Exploration

Easter was not meant to be spent holed up in a writing cave. After two excellent days hanging out with our best buddies, I was dragged out of the house once again by the father and the husband to go trekking around the bush. We went to one of the many National Parks in Western Australia, surrounded by gorgeous forest, and scrambling up to the top of a granite mountain. Mountain, in this instance, is a relative term.

The part I love most about climbing up the granite in WA is how the alien lichens, mosses, and odd little rock plants sprout up and fill the depressions in the stone with a miniature forest of its own.

All throughout the bush and forest were giant orb weaver spiders. Their webs spanned several feet in some instances! We were graced by the company of an echidna, though he must’ve been pretty weirded out by us walking through his land, because he stuffed his snout under a rock and wouldn’t move.

Here’s an artistic rendition of the video the husband took, largely featuring me walking as we came down from the top of the mount.

~A

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Skip another Sunday

Isn’t it amazing how you can get an absurd amount of things done, yet still feel completely unaccomplished? Welcome to my week. I can’t even tell you what I did, I don’t remember most of the specifics! All I know is I’ve been very busy, lots has happened, and family have been thoroughly visited, though we haven’t wrapped up those activities just yet.

Somewhere in the last few days, I’m assured a Sunday occurred and I missed blogging. I doubt anyone else noticed any more than I did at the time, since we’re all being drawn away from the usual internetly duties. Christmas break, when will you be relaxing? As usual, I need time off from my holidays.

At least with the change of pace, I can’t really get bored. That’s not to say I’m ever especially without things to do; I might get bored every now and then, but I’ve always got a new project, or something exciting to research if nothing else! But there’s something to be said for being dragged into unusual activities and being less of a hermit than I am for the rest of the year. That may or may not be a good thing.

As much as I love cooking, I don’t normally spend nearly as much time as I’d like baking tasty treats, but Christmas brings out the best in cooking delights. You better believe I am chief taste-tester, too. Mmm. Then there’s always the double batches; some for gifts and sharing, some for home. The fridge is full of snacks. It is very delicious.

I also enjoy visiting with family and friends who don’t live locally. They all troop into the greater Perth area to see us and other extended family, and it’s just pleasant to catch up. Some of them are folks we won’t see again until next Christmas, so making the most of the time they’re in town is important!

And I’ve always loved wrapping gifts, and the excitement of seeing people open the presents and find their surprise inside! I’m sometimes a bit sneaky with wrapping; if I don’t want the recipient to guess what’s inside, I’ll often hide the present in a deceptive cover first. Towels, bubblewrap, and oversized boxes are only some of the “normal” ways I’ve disguised the real gift. There have been the odd occasions of cobbling together mismatched boxes to make a very odd shape, or using an interesting basket or even a small suitcase before Christmas wrapping is applied. Hey, I have to keep myself entertained.

Of course, on the subject of skipping blog days, blogging will also be cut back this week with Christmas day falling on Sunday! But don’t worry, I’ll still be around, even if my brain is too fried to remember to comment! After surviving the rest of this week, things should return to normal, somewhat.

~A

Family influences

Something I came across recently had the opinion that people get a lot of their passions in life from family influences. For instance, if you attend sports games as a child with a parent, you will associate fond memories and excitement with that sport. The love for that game is passed down to the next generation, and then when that person has children, they will repeat the process: take the kids to the ballgame, because they have great memories, and they want to share those experiences with their own offspring.

As with most subjects, I immediately twisted the concept and wondered just how much our family impacts our writing. I know that I got a lot of my love for reading from my parents and other extended family members. I have those kinds of great memories of my grandparents taking me to the library and being allowed to choose any book I wanted to borrow. Of reading the same story every night with my mother. Of my father taking me to buy books from the second hand bookstore every time I ran out of new things to read in his house. Those are important parts of my childhood, and if I had children, I would want to do those things with them as well.

Some people didn’t have the same exposure to books and reading through their family as I did. There are plenty of folks out there who came across their love of literature from a friend, a teacher, or just happenstance as they went through their lives.

And then I wonder if the genre we write is an extension of these influences. I can definitely say that I was exposed pretty early to horror (dad-approved reading of Stephen King before I was a teen), and I was raised on fantasy in ways I can’t even begin to describe. Was I set up to become exactly what I am, or did my taste and talent coincide from such an early age? There’s no definite answer to that, but it sure makes me curious about the experiences of other writers and how much correlation they can see between their upbringing and their stories.

A final note: I’m sorry this is a couple of days late! I’ve been busy with jewellery stuff over at The Dragon’s Hoard.

~A