Archive for January, 2012

The Road to Writing

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

There’s nothing like a long drive to think about things. Normally I avoid thinking but out of sheer boredom I finally relented and allowed my brain to some work. I did try listening to the stereo, going through about thirty stations before I figured out I didn’t feel like music for a change. I was a little slow there.

As you can see by the photo this particular highway was one where drifting off to sleep could have dire consequences; two lanes, lots of trucks and snow along the shoulders. I would also like to point out the highway was 350 km long (or 200 miles for those who don’t do metric) without a town in between. Fill up before you go.

By the way, this lovely stretch of road goes to Ft McMurray, oil capital of North America. Out of nowhere this city appears. It’s an interesting city where pickup trucks outnumber cars ten to one and it’s the very definition of a growing economy. But I digress- this has little to do with my thinking, or the lack of.

During my road trip my thoughts turned to writing and to some stories I would like to write. I like science fiction and fantasy, so I envision different circumstances that involve those genres. For example I went past a work camp with dozens of trailers used for housing. The work camp likely held a thousand or more workers. I wondered what such a work camp would like in the far future. To be specific, on an alien world but only much bigger. With a strange creature attacking the workers.  Okay maybe a little too much imagination, but you can see where some stories can have a humble beginning.

My first novel, Talnut, was inspired by a trip to New Zealand and the wonderful landscape there. My trilogy Castle was started by a painting my dad did of a castle overlooking the Wear River. I guess what I’m saying is that stories are not born out of a vacuum. Perhaps the next time you find a fascinating novel, consider the author may have been on a long uneventful trip.

Best wishes and have a great day.