Hello from the hopeful side of winter!
A quick little update on my latest writing endeavours:
I recently published a short article about the Capital Ring walking trail in the February issue of New Nature Magazine.
This is a wonderful online publication that showcases young nature/wildlife writers and photographers. I thought it would make a great home for my thoughts on the Capital Ring, which is a 78-mile long walking circuit around the outskirts on London. This trail is split into fifteen sections, and over my two years in London, I’ve now managed to walk nine of them. I’ve been amazed at the convergence of urban and wild along these trails, which was what I wrote about. You can read it on page 18 of the magazine here.
I’m still blogging regularly for Dragonspace, a magical little shop on Granville Island in Vancouver that I used to work at. Their online store has really taken off, attracting visitors from all over the globe. I’m writing fortnightly about subjects like fairies, Pagan rituals, the power of burning sage, dragons in pop culture, and a few other mythical and metaphysical subjects. You can keep up with them here.
I’ve also been commissioned to write some children’s short stories for educational resources, and I’m really enjoying it. I forgot how fun and challenging writing for kids can be, but it definitely puts me in my element.
Nature and magic are fast becoming my writing specialities.
I’ll be on the hunt for more commissioned writing opportunities over the next few months, so please feel free to drop me a line if you have a project you think would be a good fit! (It doesn’t have to be about nature or magic – I’m also interested in culture, entertainment, history, travel and more!)
Until next time,
For the past few years I’ve been working on the first book in a young-adult trilogy, inspired by my favourite place in the world – The Southern Gulf Islands in Canada .
These islands – “strung like a shimmering necklace between the mainland and Vancouver Island”, if I can steal the Lonely Planet description – have such a unique vibe and special place in my heart (my family have a house on Galiano Island). Not only do they offer stunning landscapes of beaches, bluffs, lakes, and forests, the islands attract communities of artists, free-spirits, nature-lovers and independent thinkers. On Galiano for example, you won’t find a commercial supermarket, but you will find a bookshop and artisan galleries. The island culture therefore feels concurrently caught in the past (rustic and pastoral) and a step ahead (free of the constraints and boxes of the modern world).
My book ‘The Arcade‘ uses the spirit and beauty of the islands as inspiration, but it’s still very much fictional. It’s an environmental-fantasy story that follows a group of island teens as they reach adulthood, grow curious of the world outside their small peaceful realities, and take on the external forces that threaten to endanger their utopian home.
I think it’s time we started talking more about environmental issues in young-adult fiction, given the uncertainty of our future on this planet (there are many things I could reference here, but the latest on the Arctic seed bank is particularly pertinent).
The first book is finished now and I’m currently seeking an agent, but thought I should start getting this idea out into the world, to see if anyone’s interested in knowing more or beta-reading for me. I’ve also just made the Pinterest board that I’ve been using as inspiration for the past year public.
The Arcade on Pinterest
Please get in touch if you’d like to chat about The Arcade!
I’ve just wrapped up my recent project, working as a writer for Story City– an interactive choose-your-own adventure story app.
Story City was started by the wonderful Emily Craven as a way of celebrating the cities we live and play in through digital locative storytelling. The stories you’ll find on the app are like old school Give Yourself Goosebumps/Choose Your Own Adventure branching narratives. However, instead of simply flipping to a numbered page to make your next move, you physically walk to various locations in metropolitan and suburban areas of Brisbane to unlock the next scene. We incorporated artworks, architecture, landmarks and landscapes into our stories to create an immersive and reader-driven story experience.
I chose to set my story, ‘The Curse of the Bramble Spirit’, in my home suburb of Sandgate. As Sandgate is a coastal suburb with a lot of rich history and heritage architecture, it felt only natural for me to write a ghost story, focusing on a mysterious ghost ship sailing around Bramble Bay.
This project was a huge challenge, but so rewarding. One of my writing weaknesses has always been structuring and planning, but you simply can’t write a branching narrative without a lot of forethought. So I learnt the value in sketching and re-sketching dozens of story maps. The other great thing about working on Story City was collaborating with other creatives. As well as two fellow writers, I also got to work with local artist Clare Neal and musician/sound designer Schae to make these stories multi-sensory.
If you’re looking for something fun to do, or a way to see Brisbane and its suburbs through different eyes, download the Story City app and start adventuring! All the stories are family-friendly, but they’re definitely not just for kids. And if you make it to Sandgate and catch sight of the Bramble Spirit, let me know how your journey goes!
(Art by Clare Neal)