One of my fondest memories of my childhood is of my grandfather. Whenever we stayed with him, he would spend time sitting in his favourite ‘settlers’ chair, looking out the front door and watching the world go by. I never clearly understood why he could just sit there for hours when I was younger, but now age is fast creeping up on me I finally get it. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in your favourite spot and just being.
First you have to find a spot. It can be anywhere – a park, on the bus or even looking out a window in an apartment building. Take a deep breath. What can you smell? Close your eyes, what can you hear? Open your eyes and look. What is happening around you?
You don’t have to do it for hours like my grandfather did, but take a break from the hectic schedule we seem to force on ourselves, and you might be amazed by what you find. And if like me, you will find taking a few moments is a great stress reliever.
My favourite spot is on our back patio, where I stare out over bushland and a mountain range.
Late afternoon is the most relaxing, but my favourite time is at night when the moon is full. The night comes alive with sound. The chatter of flying foxes, the call of the curlew, even the howl from a dingo will fill the night. Of course, the mossies love it too when it’s been raining. And the little swampy mossies where so thick the other night, I swear they almost carried me away.
There is a whole other world at night.
Sitting under a full moon, stirs my imagination. I see vampires in the shadows. Dragons’ fire on the mountains. Faeries running through grasses and jumping from tree to tree. The howling dingos are actually wolves. The cry of the curlew is some weird creature I’ve yet to discover. And there are gargoyles lazily slapping my face with their tails, oh, wait a moment, that’s my dogs.
It’s no surprise then I like to write at night. It would be quite easy for me to write until dawn, and if I didn’t need sleep, I would. Gone are the days when I would watch the dawn, sleep for a few hours and be ready to face the next dawn. But for some reason I need to work. And some days I’m lucky to reread what I wrote the night before.
I’ve always wanted to write, I wrote my first story when I was 11. I even put it in book form, it had a cardboard cover and illustrations! By the time I was 14 I was writing novellas. I don’t know what happened, but life and certain expectations took over and my writing fell away.
But I never stopped reading. Eventually, I had the opportunity to write for a local newspaper where I lived at the time and had two regular columns, a soapbox column and a video review – yes, video not DVD. And I went from there.
A short gothic story, over the period of many years and two children grew into my vampire series. They have gone through many changes and other stories have found their way onto paper.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, I decided it was time to be serious about my writing.
And that is another story for another day.