What inspires you? Part 2 – outback flowers, New South Wales

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I took this photo on a remote cattle station in the pastoral country between Broken Hill and Wilcannia, far west New South Wales. The bright little flowers are such a stark contrast to the red dirt in this semi-arid part of Australia. It’s one of the reasons I’m so fascinated with Australia and using it as inspiration for my writing. It opens up so many possibilities for worldbuilding and unique settings in fantasy fiction – I feel so lucky that I’m in a position to explore it.

So, please share with me, what inspires you? If you write, where do you get ideas for your stories and settings?

Swamp Wallaby, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

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Swamp Wallaby at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Australian Capital Territory. Tidbinbilla undertakes important wildlife management and breeding programs to help with the conservation of endangered species. Although the swamp wallaby isn’t endangered, this is just one of the many animals in the reserve.

Cascade at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, South Australia

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‘Cascade’ – sculpture by Sergio Redegalli

I took this photo of the ‘Cascade’ glass sculpture by Sergio Redegalli when I attended amazing bestselling fiction author Fiona McIntosh‘s Commercial Fiction Masterclass at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens in South Australia. Apparently this piece weighs 12 tonnes!

I only realised just now that the reflection of the Palm House on the left hand side looks like part of the wave. And yes, that is a duck photobombing on the other side of the water.

I’ve previously written about attending other writers’ weekends with Fiona – you can read more at An author’s journey – the business of writing (2015) and Business of writing – building your brand (2016).

 

Illira’s escape – a writing exercise

2009-05-17 On top of the worldThis is a piece I wrote when I attended Fiona McIntosh’s writing Masterclass two years ago. It gave me a good dose of confidence, a sort of epiphany that I could actually write.

Illira blew out a breath as she trotted towards the escarpment, trying to ease the heaviness in her belly. The field parted like a curtain before her horse, into yet another never ending row of wheat. A glance over her shoulder confirmed her suspicion; the trampled crop left a stark betrayal of the path she’d taken.

She pressed the horse into a canter, reassuring the beast with a hand on its damp neck. The gelding’s breath rasped over the whisper of passing wheatsheafs. Just a little further now to the cliff track, where their trail of hoofprints would disappear into the shale.

As the field ebbed away, a eucalyptus tang stung Illira’s nose, drifting from the forest spilt over the clifftop above her. The horse’s hooves crunched onto the stone path, a mere goat track, really, but at least it led to safety.

She bit her lip, having to let the horse slow to pick its way along, knowing at every step they were as exposed as a blowfly on a fresh shorn sheep.