Foraging reflection

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We stepped past the wrappers, through the swarm of abandoned plastic bags. The ground littered with the remnants of oil-soaked meals. We found what is underneath the plastic coating, what has been sprayed with countless poisons. They keep resurfacing, they have always been here. Here before the flashing red and yellow lights of fast food. Here before the endless aisles, the rows of processed, packaged food. These are the plants that have fed for thousands of years, which have been pulled from the ground by generations. Tasting of bitterness and green, these are the foods of the earth.

 

– Maxine / Footscray City College Substation

Mining for Ideas

Mining for IdeasThe one question that writers get asked all the time is: ‘Where do you get your ideas?’

The world is full of things that inspire us every day; what we see around us, the things we hear, the events we experience. No one should ever be short of ideas for stories, once they know how to look. This stuff gets into our heads, whether we want it or not. Even if you’re not writing stories, your thoughts are being influenced by these things. I write in a range of genres, though most of them will have a weird aspect that could categorize a story as science fiction, fantasy, mystery or horror. I am fascinated by the strange, the unexpected, the challenging and by how often ‘ordinary life’ thrusts these in front of me. Most writers of fiction make up stories to describe their experience of reality.

But our ideas influence our surroundings too. I am working with Weather Stations to explore this mutual influence. We decide to mine the earth, dredge the sea-bed, burn fuel that sends carbon and other pollutants into our air. We affect the environment that has such a profound effect upon us. And that’s where I’ll be getting my ideas.

(This piece was originally written for the Tallaght Community Arts newsletter)