I just returned from a very relaxing four-day break. It was just me, my husband and the trusty Kindle exploring Port Douglas, Mossman and Cape Tribulation.
I thought the break would give me a well-earned rest, even from writing, which sometimes I think we all need. Time to give that little mouse scurrying frantically on his wheel in my head a break. Huh! Who am trying to kid?
You see, tropical north Queensland really is the backdrop of a thousand speculative fiction stories. The other-worldly setting where two World Heritage Listed areas collide bursts with alien jungle bugs, spiders and butterflies that have crawled through the portal of a parallel universe. They are possessed of strange angular limbs, colours that are off the spectrum . . . and they are large. Very, very large.
The uber green jungle is so thick and dense it seems a demi god has prised the trees apart with powerful hands, inserted a thousand extra specimens and then compressed the whole arborous lot back together. A mysterious wind probes long fingers through the canopy to give voice to the ancient language of trees, and they whisper and snicker to each other as you pass.
Beautiful but deadly, the green-grey sea beckons seductively in the tropical heat. “Come, come, weary traveler, come bathe in my tranquil waters.” Swarming and seething unseen below the surface, searing agony or death awaits those who surrender to the swishing-swooshing siren song of the ocean.
I came back from my holiday brimming with story ideas, or at least snatches of prose that are begging to fit somewhere, and it got me thinking – while the imagination is free to roam wherever it likes in our everyday settings, sometimes a good injection of unfamiliar sights and sounds are as good a kick in the creative behind as anything else.
I hope you all had a relaxing Easter holiday.
Happy writing, happy reading and, of course, happy days.