Back to the ‘board

So much has happened since the last post.

I completed my Thesis, finished the accompanying work of Creative Nonfiction, graduated from the University of Queensland, moved house, oh, and welcomed a tiny Jamey Fellow into the world. Despite having the best of intentions, I’ve not been able to write my own words for quite a while, walk my hills, in fact, not do that much other than marvel and wonder at the endlessly happy, endlessly exhausting little chap in our lives. But now, with Jamey fast approaching a year old, my writing fingers and walking legs are itching furiously. The walking may have to wait a little longer due to current issues, but I reckon it’s time to start draining the story brain.

The first draft of my book on Tasmania, hiking and wilderness, Over Land, is done, but it is only a first draft. After some fantastic feedback from other nonfiction writers and my agent Merrilee, I’m pulling in a bunch of other threads to turn the work of nonfiction into a story, a book. This is going to be really tricky for me, as all along I knew that I would need to put myself into the story a lot more than I had -this is a linear work in a very true sense of the word; me following a path. Literally. From the outset I just didn’t want to make it about me. Through my studies on Landscape at UQ, I knew I didn’t want to write a grief memoir (which is a slightly melodramatic-sounding genre classification for the books that have appeared over the last few years that use nature as a means of exploration for loss, or a dramatic change in in circumstance. These kind of stories date back centuries -millennia- and have seen a remarkable resurgence recently, and I imagine after the events of 2020 and enforced isolations, will continue to be a literal escape for many). But I also knew what I needed was some sort of story arc. This is a particularly difficult proposition because of the very nature of my source material -two seperate trips with different outcomes though the same agenda, is almost itself more circular than linear.

So I guess we’ll see. As I mentioned earlier, with our Jamey-inclusive life a little more settled now (and, let’s face it, the distinct lack of any music work other than our weekly broadcasts), I think I can finally get myself back into gear. I’ve got a couple of fiction ideas bubbling away next to the coffee pot at the moment, but I really need to finish this tale of walking, snow and mountains that very nearly killed me!

Eeyore Knows the Way