There’s an urge to begin my very first blog post with a little bit about me. However, I’m trying to be a writer and no one likes an information dump, therefore I will dive straight in. Rather than tell you about me, I’ll introduce you to the landscape where my body resides, and perhaps to the one in my head too.
A wreckers paradise
I’m one for nostalgia. I have a keen interest in geology, and I gaze in wonderment at the strata, which makes up the Cornish coastline and the millions of years it took to reach this precise moment. I think back on the days of smuggling, and further to the dolmens, stone circles and iron age forts littered along the coastline and wonder, what did they make of it all? In short, if it isn’t an inert piece of material, millions of years old, or only been dead for a few hundred years, I’m not particularly interested. The dead are good listeners and they tell good, if somewhat fractured, stories from the pieces they leave behind.
My home is the rugged North Cornish coast in a town called Bude, whose sole existence can be boiled down to the railway and Victorians realising the bracing saltwater and fresh air was actually good for them. In the summer it’s heaving with visitors but during the winter it is cold, grey and bleak. Storms roll off from the Atlantic and pummel the empty beaches and whip up the sand and blows it into your eyes. It’s empty and I love it.
When it rains…
It’s where the name of the website originated. The winter brings the storms and if I’m honest (it’s the UK, mind you), it rains in the summer too. I write on those gloomy days, although, it hasn’t rained since I started this site. Oh the irony of the British weather! Those sorts of days where you experience the elements and once you’re back home in the cosy warmth you can sit on the sofa and retreat.
it pours… make mine a cuppa (or a glass of red)
The sofa is where I write. My laptop is ancient but it serves the purpose. Rather than coffee, my writing is fuelled by tea, or wine if it’s an acceptable time to pour a glass. I feel like I’m missing out if my characters are drinking.
Nurtured by nature
Someone asked if the local landscape influenced my writing. It’s pushed me to write. Try going outside in the middle of summer to a throng of people. I’d rather be home away from them all. I’ve lived here all my life and I can see the place for all its flaws and all its beauty. I wrote a passage for my current WIP. The main character is taking in the view of the sea and he’s not enamoured by it.
Personally, he didn’t see the allure of the coast. To him, it was a constant pounding on the senses with the stink of seaweed and the persistent screams of the seabirds as well as the endless roar of the sea itself. Licking his lips he could taste the salt and every exposed piece of metal was red with rust. The view was either a rim of blue or grey. It never changed with the seasons like the woodlands of home.
I can relate to his thoughts. I have days where I hate the place and pine for a home on the border of England and Wales. Though only last week I wandered the coast path and fell in love with it all over again. A friend in America is writing a fantasy and is currently mapping out the castle. Tintagel Castle isn’t far from me and she wished she could visit the UK and nose around the old castles and ancient places. It’s easy for your senses to get dulled by your day to day surroundings.
If I wrote a tale now, it would be on a day of cotton wool clouds obscuring a pale blue sky. Winter’s grip has loosened and the air almost feels springlike, but the coastal wind still holds a touch of coolness. The endless sound of the waves crash against the shore but I have listened to them for so long, I no longer hear them.
The landscape of your mind
Where would your tale begin? How does your landscape affect your writing? Do you see it in a different light since you’ve started writing? Does it feature in your world building? Or do you dream up new places or places you’ve visited far from home?