It all started in a galaxy, far, far away… (lol – well, there goes the 50% of folk who aren’t into sci-fi or fantasy – bye!!)
Seriously now, where to begin?
I’ve always loved the idea that there is a book in all of us, we just need an income and a room of our own (as Virginia Woolfe told us long ago). I’ve dabbled in writing – stories and poetry – terrible poetry (not just being modest) that on the whole, explored my (at times) painful journey on this Earth and so, it was more than a little indulgent and filled with sledge-hammer metaphorical imagery… mmmmm. But I’ve always loved to read, and to write but never really believed that I could write a book. I’m still not so sure.
I tried to write stories that came from my Grandfather, who was a deep well of colourful tales that took me into another world – he was born in 1900, and had seen countless changes and knew well, the trials of the human condition, having been responsible for a few good and bad deeds himself. But my story, ‘3 Clay Knots’ .. this story has grown with me over the years. Now I’m 50, and well, I think I’m ready to get serious about this.
It all began in a Creative Writing class back in 1992. I was doing my BA at the University of Newcastle and was flying high on the raw need to believe that ‘I could do this’. I left school in Year 10, and had many self-doubts about my intelligence, and so the degree meant more to me than having a piece of paper to frame. I LOVED my time studying English Literature and Drama Studies – this was heaven. So, the Creative Writing course was another notch in my ‘I can do this’ scabbard. However, after my first few tutorials where we shared our short stories and poetry, I felt dwarfed by the talent in the room, and wanted to write something that would be taken seriously, something unique, something that would shock.. maybe? So, ‘3 Clay Knots’ was born, although then, in its first incarnation, it was called, ‘Apple Kiss’.
Back then, in my late 20’s, and a failed marriage I was I guess having my first existential crisis (the first of many!) and wanted to explore the idea of motherhood, sisterhood, tragedy and the outback. I’m not sure why the outback beckoned, having only seen central Queensland as far West as Longreach, but I saw this stark landscape as a beautiful, cruel and isolated land where a soul could escape, but also be found? Does that make sense?
Anyway, ‘Apple Kiss’ explored a moment in a session in a psychiatric ward, with a young woman in therapy. She had many demons (which I wont reveal just yet) and it was a colourful and confronting 4 page short. People were shocked, and so I was happy but I knew it had more life I just needed more life experience in order to flesh out the story of, Frances.
To be continued…