(Which does not necessarily mean ‘ex-pants’ – but may possibly do so under certain circumstances.)
I’ve been away for the week, taking the hand I was supposed to rest after a 12 pound spiny lobster put a feeding claw through my glove and some of my hand (just a few stitches, should be fine) for that rest.
Running with suitcases to catch your connection because your flight has been delayed is a kind of rest, I guess. Story of my life, really 🙂
I went to South Australia to my son and daughter-in-law, which at least kept me from diving. I’ve returned tired so this is a relatively short post – forgive me. What I wanted to write about was something authors – me too – forget.
Expanse. Just how enormously vast that canvas out there actually is — and what tiny microscopic pieces we actually put into any story. Part of that came from flying over the vastness of Australia. I thought we were flying relatively low (for a jet aircraft), letting you see the patchwork of fields… until I managed to spot not a house but a whole town. Then I got it into my head. Those ‘little patchwork fields’ were bigger than a lot of cities. They were miles big long.
And all of that was brought under the plow, originally, by blokes with shovels and axes. It’s a scale of work that makes a bloke who has cleared and cultivated a few acres feel humbled and insignificant. Most people who have never cleared land can’t really come to terms with how much work must have gone into places… where now the food for a lot of the country and elsewhere comes from – and very few people actually live. Story stuff – whether popular or not these days, but it must have been harsh and hard.
Then, for my sins I found myself in the city. Adelaide is not a particularly spread out city, and not, as cities go particularly large or even crowded and nasty – relatively. All things are relative (even relatives) and I had managed to forget that there were probably 10 times as many people in the airport alone as on my island – and how few of these people are reading and buying books (if they all were buying a book a month…).
I knew all of this. But I had managed to quietly wall it off in my mind. And that I suspect is fairly common among writers. Firstly we lose the whole ‘scale’ of the world. Our heroine is saving the world… man, saving one person is a whole book. And secondly, I picked up a ton of new material listening to people whose lives I don’t live, and whose world-experience I barely touch. I soaked up places and scenes I hadn’t known.
There’s an expanse to write about. And that is without the expanse of the universe, or the multiverse… or the space in one’s imagining.
But I am glad to back home.