After I had expressed my dilemma about knowing just where to make a start with writing my planned book last week, a good friend sent me these words of encouragement:
“Then go back to the Lock ‘camp’ site and sit there with your voice recorder and talk about what you see and feel … what you imagine you can see and feel … the comings and goings, the soundscape, the trees, the birds, the water, go visit your interviewees in their (childhood) houses, and hang clothes on the line that is still there, put a yabby net in the water. Pretend you are your mother!!!! Take the poetry with you … write some while you are there….. Bet you will find a starting place then.”
Taking her up on her advice I decided to find a day where the weather forecast was suitably cool enough, (a week of 35 degrees + was expected very soon), packed a picnic lunch, and set off with my husband, Lloyd about 10 a.m. on Wednesday 08/01/2014. Our destination was the Lock 7 site on the Murray. This site is clearest in the memories of the people with whom I have conducted interviews regarding life growing up in the lock and weir construction camps as being the last one at which their fathers worked, they were old enough to have well defined memories.
The lock 7 ‘site’ is about 110 kilometers West of Mildura, so I decided to get myself into the zone by listening to one of the interviews I had conducted. I chose to listen to “Charlie” who is now 94, and I took down some pointers which would assist me with the “creative imagination” exercise I had planned for when we arrived at our bush destination. Charlie spoke of the Billy-cart which he would take out into the scrub for a distance of a ‘quarter to half a mile’ to gather wood for the stove at home. When I questioned him about the risk of getting lost, he suggested that it was not a problem as “there were lots of creeks.” I guess all the creeks would lead to the river!
I was certainly getting excited about my creative imagination exercise! (To be continued)