So, I picked up a writing book yesterday and I've started working through it because, well it was there in the wrong shop in the book shop and the local Community College Creative Writing stuff is all during the day on work days... Anyway, I thought people might enjoy the results of some of the writing exercises as I go through it.
Also, it is a genre focussed book but I suspect many of the skills and considerations are transferable.
When I was a child, my maternal grandparents had a farm even though my grandfather worked as a public servant in the city. There was a tractor shed, open on one end to the driveway, where I could sit on the tractor and pretend to drive it, although my feet didn’t reach the pedals. Almost next to that, and somehow part of the same building, was a shed of white hens on sawdust that produced what would now be called barn-laid eggs. The hill paddocks were planted with rows of valencia and navel oranges that had droves of cicadas in summer – my grandfather would shack a tree and it seemed like dozens of greengrocers would fly out of it. Down on the flat, on either side of the long driveway bisected by a tree lined, wild duck frequented creek, were the grassed paddocks where the cows and horses, my aunt went to pony club, lived.
A fence, gates and a cattle grid kept said cows and horses out of the garden around the house. The water for the garden, and probably the animals, came out of a tank dug into the ground and I expect that it was probably filled with from a spring. It had water lilies, my aunt reported eels, and when I was three I walked backwards into it with my eyes closed while showing off for my aunt. I can still recall the sunlight shining gold and silver on the green algae and its air bubbles on the tank’s side as I went down.
There were at least two large willow trees near that water tank, a large pink-flowered camellia japonica in the middle of the front lawn and two big plum trees back near the kitchen. A lemon tree grew just off the back verandah near the kitchen and you didn’t walk barefoot down the eastern side of the house because there could be stray bees from the hive in that wall of the house lying exhausted in the grass.