Inspired! Writing the Landscape

Jill of Jill’s Scene has inspired me to write a blog entry once a week! So I am reinvigorating inchsquare and giving my writerly self a kick up the soft pants area.

Today my writer friend Paula and I organised a ‘get together’ of other slightly lost and disembodied writers in Hawke’s Bay.  Such a talented bunch of women who were so happy to have a place to sit and write together. And to chat about writing and books.

We decided to set a theme ‘Writing the Landscape’ to 1)give the get-together some focus and …. because:2) landscape gets little focus in writing classes, 3)  its an essential component of writing (albeit down the list from story, character and theme!) and 4) all the WtL courses overseas (London, Wales, Iowa) would be hideously expensive even with a bouncy little NZ dollar.

My thanks to Stephanie for pointing me in the direction of ‘Long, Hot Summer’ by the late and fabulous Barbara Anderson for a Hawke’s Bay landscape text.  The novel is centred around a fictionated (yes a new word from me) Waimarama Beach.  There was a lovely segment in there that did so much more than I could have asked for – it is description with strong memorable elements, action even playfulness, characters are revealed and strengthened, and, even better, she drops in  the culture and history of the place, which for NZ readers drops us into the deep pool of the Maori knowledge of our land.

And I also found a non-fiction piece by the marvellous Elizabeth Knox – although knowing her work, she brings a creative edge to everything (I think having a z and and x in her name has something to do with it … in the same way I value my w and y!).  It describes the back country and the light of Hawke’s Bay which is enough to make us all think about how we see the familiar and unfamiliar.

So today on a blustery election day in Napier we came together, talked some, learned more and made a commitment to write more… and me, well, to use the great gift of the internet to share thoughts and ideas and words.

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