The Infancy Of A Novel
Loreless, the novel which I have struggled to complete, began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Well not exactly, but I was on another part of the planet and it was a great distance from where I am now.
It actually bothers me how long it has taken to get to this point in time, and what it has required to become truly aware of what I should be doing.
That is another story for later, for now we’ll just concentrate on the infancy of a novel.
A long time ago….
Once upon a time I dreamt of becoming a rockstar.
I didn’t just dream it, I also worked really hard at being one. To some degree I was successful at it, although disappointingly enough, not financially.
Art and solvency have unfortunately never been bedfellows in my experience.
Somewhere at the beginning of my rockstar career I decided to write a musical. The idea was born out of my obsession with writing songs and my day job.
I have worked on and off my entire life as a technician backstage in the theatre. A large percentage of the shows I have been employed on have been musicals. Musicals tend to employ the most technicians, have long runs and constitute what could be seen as a regular job. At least that is the case if you are fortunate enough to have one of the small number of full time jobs.
Theatres run on skeleton staff to keep the costs down and only hire extra staff when a production demands it. In short, and at the time, the lions share of my experience had been working on musicals.
A lull in production.
It was during a lull in a production that it all began.
From memory it did feel like that.
I was in a foreign country, trying to speak a language I barely understood and trying to fit into a way of life that was totally alien to me. Essentially, I was living on another planet.
I never really acclimatised. It was only after I left Germany that I could appreciated where I had been. In the end I was drawn back, not especially to Germany, but to Europe in general.
I got hooked on being somewhere else.
Germans were very interested in all things Australian.
Many of the people I met thought that it was a dream place to live and aspired to immigrate there.
I had grown up in the middle of nowhere, and had been fortunate enough to have a great deal to do with indigenous people. Germans were particularly interested in the wild west side of the continent. The indigenous experience was part of that.
I began to see that the European history I had grown up with held little interest to me. What really was of importance were the original inhabitants.
On the one hand a foreigner would see them as a curiosity, but also there was a real respect for a culture that was different to their own.
Whilst living in Australia that respect didn’t seem to exist, or at least it wasn’t widespread. It was a case of us or them. And, for some people, them was an uncomfortable thing to have to deal with.
An interest spurred.
This curiosity spurred a greater interest to find out more.
I was aware that there existed a special story. A story which foreigners found fascinating. It wasn’t something that interested Australians, at least that was the case twenty years ago.
This is where we come to the long time ago bit. This story has been more than twenty years in the making.
As I said, the novel began as musical.
I was inspired by a friend who was part-Aboriginal and very proud of his heritage. He was someone who saw himself as indigenous and not as European. I couldn’t be him, but though all that I had experienced with him, I felt the rest of the world had to know more about these people.
In fact, I felt that there was an ongoing fight to keep the culture alive.
I believe that now the corner has been turned. I believe that Aboriginal people have found a voice.
I hope this book can contribute to that voice. I hope that after reading it that the reader will want to know more about the culture, and that he or she will go and explore for themselves.
Have you been inspired by other cultures?
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