Tag: imagination fuel

Birching, medieval peasant life & Norse names: random writing research

I’m in the midst of Nanowrimo and closing in on 50k. Hoorah! I dip into research as I write and so I thought I’d share a few random links for interesting things I’ve researched during the past few days. My Nanowrimo manuscript is fantasy, so I’m going all medieval on your arse.

Birching

The use of birch rods for punishment and birches were always my favourite tree. I now look at them in a different way.

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Cross-Stitch, Jekyll and Manila – other creative outlets

I can be a bit single-minded. All work and no play makes Madeleine super freakin’ boring. I have to remember to stick my head out of the writing cave and do other stuff, like talk to people and put shoes on. Today I’m going to talk about stuff other than writing and Evangeline.

Writing is not my only creative outlet. I like to make tangible stuff. After spending all day in my mind, it’s fun to make stuff with my hands – cook or craft.

At the moment I seem to be obsessed with cross stitch patterns. My mum used to be an avid cross stitcher and has some beautiful framed work around her house. For some reason in the past week, I’ve been drawn to the world of cross-stitching and I’m stalking various patterns and kits on Etsy. Maybe I’ve also been inspired by the cover of the Steven Pressfield’s new book on writing (Nobody Wants to read your sh*t). I’m seeing some cross-stitch action in the near future.

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Three reasons why I’m glad for my day job

In my dreams, I would be a full-time writer. But in reality, some days I’m glad to leave my writing at home and go to the day job.

Here’s three reasons why…

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Watching a rom-com unveil in real life

I’m callous and caustic, love stories leave me cold. I’ve never pictured a perfect wedding, knights in shining armour, being swept off my feet (surely that would hurt?) or living happily ever after.

In fact, I actively avoid rom-coms or romance novels. I hate the part in a comedy movie when the laughs stop and the lovey-dovey, vomit-inducing stuff takes over. Blurgh, give me spaceship battles or fights any day.

So, how did I find myself witnessing a scene straight from a rom-com, blossoming moment by moment in front of my eyes?

I arrived at the communal study room of my local library, looking for a little quiet editing time out of the house. The room was crammed with studious people, barely a spare seat, I took the last seat next to a guy. I didn’t look at him, but I glanced across to see what he was working on/studying. I’m nosy like that. He was doing Japanese homework.

I put in my headphones and booted up my lap top, ready to work, when an announcement came over the PA system. The library wifi was down. I opened up Scrivener and plugged on regardless, hoping the wifi would come back soon.

Five minutes later, another announcement. The wifi would be down for the rest of the afternoon. I decided to persevere, with the music-less headphones in my ears (editing Book 2 Return to the Forest). One by one, the other people left the study room.

Then the guy next to me struck up a conversation with the girl on the other side. Miffed at first for disturbing my peace, my stickybeak nature couldn’t help but eavesdrop. He was studying Japanese and she turned out to be a Japanese exchange student, freshly arrived in Melbourne. They exchanged phrases, she corrected and praised his Japanese, he helped with her English. They giggled and continued to talk.

As the room emptied, I moved to another spare table, but glanced over to check them physically. Was he a dirty old man and she a young girl? No, they were well suited, both slim, young and a little nerdy.

Over the next half hour, they moved closer and closer together, while the rest of the room emptied. Arms touching, hunched over their homework.

My editing time was up, so I packed to leave, but as I left the room, I wondered about the Japanese student and the Australian guy, imagining a happy ever after.

Perhaps I’m not as callous as I thought.

www.dreamtime.com

Killer cockroaches and ashes – Imagination Fuel Diary

Are there any songs about Thursdays? I can’t think of any.

As an exercise in documenting my imagination fuel, I spent a day noting down interesting sights, sounds and topics for future writing. Inspiration is everywhere and you never know where the next gem might crop up.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. ~ Neil Gaiman

  • A burnt out building.

As I walked to work, I caught sight inside a fire damaged building. The news stories said the fire was suspicious. I peeked inside (actually I stopped and had a proper gawk) at the smoke damaged walls, the blackened beams, the smashed skylights, the missing first floor, the piles of debris, the grey, white and black.

  • A ballet costume on a bill poster plastered to a brick wall

A vibrant green male ballet dancer jumping the air with a flowing cape from the Australian Ballet’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Here’s the image from the poster.

www.artcentremelbourne.com

  • Killer cockroaches preserved in amber found in Myanmar

A “crane giraffe” killer cockroach from 100 million years ago has been found preserved in amber. Sounds like the premise of a horror movie to me.

  • A bumper sticker “Avenge Sevenfold”

This might be some kind of brand or a bikie gang, but my imagination went to a tale of brotherhood and family rivalry.

Note: turns out my memory is faulty and this is a US metal band and their name is Avenged Sevenfold. Good name though.

What you noticed today which fuelled your imagination?

Tiny apartments – the fancy and the appalling

As cities get bigger and more people move to find work, pressure on housing increases. Tiny apartments is one solution.

Like all interior design porn, small apartments get attention. The perfectly minimalistic Nordic designed tiny space with only the bare essentials.

A micro-apartment for James Bond perhaps?

www.businessinsider.com

Or a pristine serene monk cell? But where do you put the telly?

www.lituanus.org

That is all nice for a photo shoot but how do people really live when they only have 10sqm (300 sf), or less, of space.

Look at Hong Kong…

www.nvusdesigns.com

…where whole families live in similarly small space.

www.nvus.nl

www.cantonese.tierlinck.net

…or live in bunk like storage cages.

www.dailymail.co.uk

It’s not just in Hong Kong, here’s an example in London

www.guardian.co.uk

Dystopia is here already.

Lakes of liquid mercury and Bears take back Chernobyl

OK, it’s a massive cliche but the world is an amazing place and truth is stranger than fiction. Here are a couple of news items which caught my eye and fuelled my imagination.

Lakes of liquid mercury

Archeologists excavating a Mexican pyramid site found a chamber filled with liquid mercury sealed for over 1,800 years. This lake of liquid mercury suggests the existence of the tomb of a very important individual. Liquid mercury has no apparent purpose for the ancient Mesoamericans. The archeologists theorising that the liquid mercury represents an Underworld River like the River Styx or a dark mirror to look into the supernatural world.  Reminiscent of a scene from a Mummy movie.

Bears take back Chernobyl

It’s almost thirty years since the Chernobyl disaster and nature is taking back the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Scientists on the Ukrainian side, have positioned over 80 cameras to document the animals now living in the radioactive zone, including endangered horses, grey wolves, lynx and even brown bears. The way nature bounces back and takes over in such a short period always fascinates me.

What fuelled your imagination this week?

www.vecteezy.com

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