Living in the sub-tropic coastal fringe on the east coast of Aus… albeit a sketch an a bit inland, we are busily now welcoming the arrival of spring and it is glorious. The flush of spring colour in the gardens, the fruit flowers on the mango tree promising a great crop. Soooo…. hoping the bees are busy.
While the Northern hemisphere is sinking into their winter we are busily emerging from ours and if the weather patterns are anything to go by it is gunna be a hot, wet summer. For Aussies, summer brings the Wet up north, the time of floods and cyclones of which we get the end of as they bounce down the eastern seaboard. This also brings a new step, a corner on the horizon for an author. New thoughts, new projects and new ideas particularly as you have rounded up old ones over the winter months now passed as I have.
I love the storms, adore a good electrical storm with fires the air and is a magnificent display of mother nature’s power, as much as I love a new idea or a good plot. It is the storms, which cradle the legends of the Dreamtime and there is nothing quite like sitting on the Kakadu Plateau and looking out over the vastness of the wetlands while different storms travel across the land. Yes… your view is so very vast up there in the Outback that you can watch the storms individually, they are like actors on stage yet in different plays performing for the privileged.
I adore the legends and myths of the Dreamtime, those that touch the reality of our lives and help mould who we are.
They really are lessons in life, those that the Spirit Creatures (including the Holy Spirit) gift us in teaching us values and Lore. Bringing these values into your life is the same as other faiths and beliefs, as deep and often as fanciful but what is important is that the lessons are learnt. It is important that you listen.
As an Author, toying with stories and research in my head is what I do in the quieter moments of my life. Many years ago now I had the privilege to travel… as in an Aussie safari, through the Outback and touch the fabric of the Dreamtime otherwise known as the Kakadu Plateau. I say the Dreamtime because for me it was like visiting an ancient and timeless world, one touched by the art of a millennia and more past. It is a timeless space that gifted me a knowledge and appreciation of truly ancient things.
It was not a simple trip, but one of several weeks that took many months to organize, with vast distances to travel before we even set foot on the ancient plateau. There were food drops, communication issues etc. and our travelling companions were half a dozen + of both skilled and capable souls and we were all backpacking as there is no vehicle that can reach this area, there are no roads, no shops, no communication towers. Two of or companion’s left us early due to their realization that this was not a Honeymoon trip… they were of necessity escorted out through the wilderness before we even climbed the plateau above the wetlands. Another experienced health issues due to the demanding nature of the trip, and yet another got themselves into all manner of trouble. He was a skilled bushman there for survival exercise sponsored by the forces (bushtucker man style) and yet another nearly died due to eating something he shouldn’t have. It was a monumental trip!
I write a series of travelogues, however this is one trip that will not make the Series as it is bigger than this. Bringing to life the soul and spirit of the Kakadu Plateau for a reader is very difficult, as complex and challenging as any author who has experienced the Outback and then try to describe the emotion of it might find. I have toyed with the question of how to do this for a long time and as I also have written fiction tales in The Dreaming Series, which are of Aboriginal Lore and legend, which touches the Dreaming and the Dreamtime. I am considering however, bringing these two worlds and experiences together in a fictionalized book.
I am building a new project, one still very much in its birth. One where the two genre’s are married in a fictional tale, based on a real expedition onto the very remote Kakadu Plateau. So how much of reality do you put into fiction? And how do you market this? A dilemma it is for me.
I have touched on the mystery and legend of the Kakadu Plateau primarily in Book 3, Spirits of the Rock, in the Dreaming Series and this connection will also be used in the storyline that is building. The characters in the book are perhaps a short step back into contemporary Australia mainly because the main character, Jeremy, is also a short step away from what is perceived as being of full Aboriginal blood. I want to make this a contemporary yet realistic story and like most of the Aboriginal nation he also has the heritage of the whitefellas but like many, he identifies with the Aboriginal nation.
Many of my readers, having heard me talk of our expedition onto the Kakadu Plateau on the edge of Arnhem Land, have asked me to put this story into the travelogue series. However as I mentioned, it is much too big a travelogue to translate easily and the size of the tale would require colour photo’s to enhance the telling, which would make the cost or reproduction prohibitive. On the other hand, a fictionalized story, one enhanced by black and white pictures would allow me to translate the beauty, mystery and legend of the region into words.
So the challenge is… do I embark on this? Still thinking on it I am, as it will take a year or two to develop the story and to many that is a lifetime… But oh such a good way to live it!
The Dreaming Series is also available in e-books from $3.99-$5.99 at Amazon.com in .mobi and at Smashwords.com in other multi formats for e-books.
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Enjoy. The Bushtucker Man at Youtube…
A taste of the Outback in Arnhem Land Part 1-2-3