Today was the Winter Solstice, and the morning began all drizzly grey and cold, here in Sydney. This afternoon, the sun removed its veil and smiled upon us for several hours before retreating once again behind the clouds. And what clouds they were! Monstrous billows of blinding white and charcoal, towering miles into the rain-washed blue of the sky, gilt edged where they caught the dying afternoon rays.
My daily walks are a source of inspiration for my work and, like most writers, I find stories everywhere – in the parade of the seasons; in leaves scurrying along the ground, driven by a fretful breeze; in images caught in puddles at the edge of the road, in the antics of children and animals playing in a park, in snatches of conversation overheard by chance; and, of course, in the ever-changing heavens.
Having, this month, published my first book of poems, I find myself ready to return to book three of my Children of Myth trilogy, reinvigorated by the change of pace. The interiority of the winter months encourages solitude and reflection, both of which are essential for the demands of a complex narrative. As I reconnect with my characters and shape their fate, I look to the clouds to refresh my thoughts. They still my mind, even as they transform before my eyes, forming fanciful patterns and textures – moving slowly across my field of vision, much as my characters enact their dramas upon the stage of my imagination.
Dragons and castles, ephemeral and insubstantial:
blink and the image is lost.
So it is with the craft of writing.
Seize the moment, the flash of insight, vivid and bright,
before the light fades and robs it of its colour;
before the clouds of forgetfulness
draw their veil across your eyes.