… in hospital. The last week or so before I came down to Sydney was very busy, getting everything on my To Do list done before leaving home – except I didn’t get ‘update my blog’ done! However, since I’m perfectly well for my first five days in hospital, pre-surgery, I brought my laptop in and can connect to the internet through my phone, so here I am!
However, since life in hospital isn’t very exciting, I’ll give you (finally!!) some photos from my October trip, researching landscapes for the current book. My sister and I drove a couple of hours west to Inverell, and stayed in a cabin in a caravan park there for a couple of nights:
The first day, we took a long trip – out further west to Moree, then back north-east to the tiny community of Croppa Creek – which I’d never been to. Twenty or so years ago, when I first moved to Armidale, there was a regular commercial on TV advertising ‘Seed & Grain Sales – of Moree, Mungindi, Boggabilla, Croppa Creek & Warialda’ – and in the years since then as I’ve visited most of those communities, I’ve ticked them off the mental list. So, I had a special interest in seeing Croppa Creek – and now I only have Boggabilla left on the list still to see.
Croppa Creek is a small community, on a back road – a store, a handful of houses, and the business that must have bought out ‘Seed and Grain Sales’. A railway line does go through the town, but I’m not sure if it’s still used. Here’s the store:
And the view down the road from the store:
There is a ‘street’ that goes off to the right with a handful of houses, and one to the left on the other side of the railway crossing, but that’s about it in Croppa Creek. I should note here, that all that lush green is VERY unusual – we’ve had an incredibly wet spring, and so it was very strange to be wandering around this region and seeing so much green – you’ll have to imagine it as brown, with huge blue skies, because that’s far more usual!
From there, we continued on the back road (all dirt) to North Star, another small community. I didn’t take any photos there as rain was threatening. Then up to Yetman on the Bruxner Highway, which runs roughly along the border with Queensland.
We met one of the ‘locals’ on the road and stopped for a chat:
After a stop for a cuppa at a picnic table in Yetman, we headed south back to Inverell. The next day we headed slightly north again, to Kwiambal National Park. Driving into the park, we were surrounded by wildflowers (in profusion, due to the wet spring):
I’m not sure what the white flowering bushes are, but there were a lot of them, and very pretty!
The campground is beside the Severn River:
There are some fairly impressive rocks along the river:
The Macintye River also flows through the park, a little to the west of the camping ground, tumbling down through the rocky hills at Macintyre Falls:
So, as you can see, there’s some great landscapes in the region, and plenty of potential for drama! I’ll ‘fictionalise’ the setting, create my own towns and communities, but use the general landscape as inspiration for the book’s setting.
And now I’d better go and write some more – only two more days before my surgery, and I’ll have to take at least a week or two off from writing after that, so it will be nice to get more done before then. Besides, writing is more fun than just sitting around!