Inspiration from below ground

We’re heading into winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are getting shorter, cooler (I wouldn’t say ‘colder’ yet, although we have had the odd chilly day). In spite of this, my little family and I seem to be getting out and about more than we did over the warmer months!

Yesterday marked the 100 anniversary of the Marakoopa Caves first tour. To celebrate they were offering free tours, so my partner and children and I went along. The tour guides were dressed in period costume, and as we wandered through the cave the lights were periodically switched off, to be replaced by small battery operated candle lights – given to the children in the group – to give us an idea of what those first tourists would have seen.  Little compared to what our modern electric lights can reveal. My kids loved it – the little electric candles, the glow worms, the tiny crystals in the rock the reflected light from our guides torch. My daughter loved the stream or “river” as she called it, and it certainly sounded loud enough – I thought there was a waterfall ahead from the roar the water made as it travelled through the cave. Even the utter pitch blackness of the dark, as we stood a moment, failing in our struggle to see our hands in front of our faces did not scare them as I thought it might.

During the free tour we were not permitted to take photos (although if you go along at any other time you may), so here is a link to some photos of what we saw:

And I have come away with more ideas. 🙂


And before I forget – I want to say Thank You and Welcome to my newest followers! I hope I can continue to provide interesting posts for you all! 😀


Inspiration from the Tassie Bush

I read somewhere (possible The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron), about the importance of making sure there is fresh inspiration. That as writers, we can only output what we input. I’ve been stuck indoors, editing various stories for a while now, with little fresh input to inspire me.

But last weekend, that changed. My dear partner and I decided to go for a bush walk. Or perhaps forest walk is a more accurate term. I love the Tassie Rainforest – the moss, and ferns, all the different fungi. It’s the home of fairy tales. You can almost see the fairies dancing in a circle under the mushrooms, or red riding hood skipping between the trees, Vasalisa getting directions from her doll on her way to Baba Yaga’s house. Fantasy is my forte, and while I don’t write about tiny fairies dancing under mushrooms, nor of the older fairy tales (though I think I might like to write something along those lines), the beauty of the forest sets my imagination whirling, and gives me that fresh input to enable me to find more stories to tell.

Inspirational Quotes

I can’t believe it has been over a week since I posted. Well over time for another! I started this post a while back hoping to collate a list of my favourite writing quotes, but I’ve found that some of the quotes are good for life in general. I still haven’t managed to find all my favourite quotes, but here’s Part 1:

WordPress has provided me with some great quotes:

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. – Isaac Asimov

The desire to write grows with writing. – Desiderius Erasmus

Writing is a struggle against silence. – Carlos Fuente

The scariest moment is always just before you start. – Stephen King

And then there are the quotes I’ve picked up from my own reading:

I have a LOT from ‘Writing Down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg. This was probably one of the first books I read on writing (that I can remember anyway) and I loved it!

Writing is the act of discovery

It’s better to be crazy than false

Don’t set limits

Approach things for the first time, each time.

Don’t think too much.

I love this one:

Impossibility is not a wall, but a gilded doorway through which the most satisfying of life’s moments reside. – Iddeus Orridge – The NaNoLand Chronicles by Chris Baty 

And this last one is not really a quote about writing specifically, but I think it fits anyway, and is certainly something I learned competing in Nanowrimo last year – achieving 100,000 words. If you push yourself – it’s amazing what you can acheive, and learn about yourself and your writing in the process:

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. William James.

What are your favourite quotes?

The Big Edit

I’ve been working through the novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month last year. Attempting to edit the beast. At 100,153 words it is massive – easily 40,000 words longer than anything else I’ve written.

40,000 words is almost a novel in itself.

I’ve read through it all once, and I’m relieved to say that I’m mostly happy with the story. There are a few scenes that will be deleted entirely, some that are on a ‘maybe’ list, and obviously many that need editing. But there are also large sections that flow well, scenes in which I miraculously managed to write what seems (to me at least) like perfect prose; great word choices, sentence structure, paragraphing. But now I’m onto the actual work.

I’m using Scrivener. It’s a great program – it allows you to break the novel down into scenes, allowing you to view them on a virtual cork board. This makes it much easier when it comes to moving scenes around, and seeing how the story flows from one scene to the next.  My problem is that I have around 130 scenes. It feels too big. It’s overwhelming.

I’m trying to focus on the little bits. How each scene works in itself, whether it is necessary to the story, or whether it is one that I should let go. But I still find myself wondering how on earth I’ll fit it all together, how the big picture will look.

I remember this feeling well. The first time I managed a novel, just over 50,000 words, I looked back at it to edit. It seemed too big, too hard, and I’m sad to say I gave up. I have since edited another novel, around the 60,000 word mark, and it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. I think about that first novel sometimes, and wonder… maybe I’ll get back to it one day.

I wonder if a time will come when editing 100,000 words no longer seems daunting, but I just can’t picture it.

But I’ll get back to it now… focusing on the little bits… and maybe by the end it won’t have been so bad after all.

From little things…

My daughter loves getting out into the garden with me, especially harvesting the few things we’ve grown. She came to me with this pot she had painted at Daycare and told me she was going to grow some vegies in it. I asked her if she thought it was big enough to grow vegies in and she said “Yes mummy, corn and brocolli and Avocado!”


More from the garden

This is my third attempt at growing pumpkins… I have never had much success before, and although I still would not count this one as a great success either I am proud to actually have a pumpkin shaped pumpkin. We ate the small one (it’s about about palm sized) and about a quarter of the larger one last night, and there should be enough for at least one more meal of pumpkin from the rest… so, a small success – and I’ll just keep on trying again. 🙂