Reading: A Fish Out of Water, at the Newcastle Writers Festival in April, 2014. Thank you to Catchfire Press for awarding my story 1st prize!
My story will appear in the book, Watermark, soon to be launched in September, 2014.
I’ve always loved meeting people, listening to their stories, travelling to exotic and remote lands, making observations and taking mental notes to jot down later for my own perusal. Recently I took the plunge into the world of creative writing and discovered opportunities that I had never dreamed of. I’ve explored and expanded my usual world. I’ve delighted in crafting my words into winning stories to share with others, taking on public and media challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone. With the help and support of brilliant mentors and fellow writers I’m treading on new ground all the time. I’m definitely looking forward to the road ahead.
An Unfamiliar World – A Reflection of Travel and Writing
At four am the air is cool and the sky is dark outside. Everyone and everything is still. I can hear the soft ring of silence in my ears. I creep down to the riverbank, bare foot, clad in swimmers, and a towel wrapped around my waist. It’s a bit of a scramble and slide down the sandy bank to the water’s edge. I suspect this is what keeps most people away. But I’m determined to take a chance.
I dip my big toe in the water and recoil from the coldness. Standing idle for a short time I clutch at my towel, pulling it tightly about my body. Then I notice steam hovering in the air above the water, mysterious and alluring. I slowly release the grip on my towel and lower it from me. I paddle knee deep in the chilling water, legs burning, teeth chattering until I feel a surge of warmth. I continue in the direction of the steam, the water gets warmer; my body relaxes into the new sensation. I find the river junction where the cold stream meets the hot springs – the perfect temperature. I ease my body down and immerse myself in the warmth and the darkness.
The first ribbons of light filter through the overhanging trees. A bird chirps softly, breaking the silence. Soon many birds are calling to each other. They begin to flit, swoop and skim the water’s surface. Their coloured feathers create a kaleidoscope through the light.
Before long, ripples appear on the surface and spread outward; something stirs from deep within. A new day awakes. I walk back to the shallow edge, fling my towel over my shoulder and tread confidently up the sloping bank.