Jul 9, 2010

Inspiration - Finding it on the Map

The Foggy Road North

This trip would be a chance for me to work on my novel, find some direction for my next WIP. Find direction? At one point I could barely find the road! Above is a pic taken during the day, the fog was so thick, I couldn't see the cars in front. How eerie is this scene? Wouldn't it make a great setting for a murder mystery?

Most travellers take the coast route to Queensland, but I like the inland one. There's the cutest little towns, pubs and gardens. I like quirky, and I found one region chocca with it. For a couple of hours, we would drive through towns, villages and past farms that all hosted... old bikes.

I first noticed it when I started seeing old children's bicycles hanging from trees like christmas ornaments or posted to the tree like a sign:
Before long, I saw animals fancied from bike bits and other 'junk', our favourite was the dinosaur:

 This got my brain whirling. How did the bike art come about? Was it just one guy who created these sculptures and travelled through his entire county distributing them? Or did one person try it and everyone followed their lead? Was it a council decision to distribute the old bikes? What happens if a town beyond the border decides to go ahead and put up bikes as well, if I hang a bike from a tree in my front yard, will I be slapped with a copyright infringement notice?

This got me to thinking how our stories begin, or where in my travels I might locate the town hosting my inspiration. Everywhere. It begins with us questioning and imagining. I immediately wondered what kind of man created this bike art and, was the entire community happy about it? Perhaps someone disliked the idea enough to kill him? (Not really I hope, just pondering some book ideas).

I also heard of a town nearby called 'Welcome' - and immediately I thought, great location for a murder, especially if the victim is a newcomer to the town, 'cause I don't think they'd be feeling the welcome.

So what happens after you start questioning, how does it become a story plot? For me, it comes with play. I play with the ideas and mix them up. I look at all the possibilities and one will latch onto me, make me need to write it. And darn it, somehow I'm gonna work that weird bike art man into my WIP. :-)


  1. Oh my - wierd bike art! I love it. What makes a town collectively go, 'hm, bike art, cool!' Makes my brain whirl too. :)

    Also I love your foggy photo - it is gorgeous, chock-full of atmosphere.

  2. Jayne, I know! At first I was like, 'Someone's hung a bike in a tree, that's strange' but then I kept seeing more and more spread across the whole countryside!

  3. I have to agree the Newell or the New England Higways beat the Pacific highway any time!
    I love the bike art!
    Don't think it would fit with my current WIP :-(

  4. I love that dinosaur bike -- it reminds me of something straight out of a Tim Burton movie. I can just see it, all animated and creepy.

    Cool post! :]

  5. I love this; Funny I posted today about bikes and the journey! I love the art...I so want to hear more! Your ideas are fresh...go with it!

  6. Chocca with quirky... I knew there was a reason I loved Aussies. This is probably the best description I have ever heard for why to like a place that is... chocca with quirky... (and I LOVE places like that)

    Ann Arbor, my current residence, is also chocca with quirky. A man... an artist and architect, has convinced no fewer than 20 businesses to let him build fairy doors... you know... for the fairies that want to frequent the places...

    There is a copycat goblin door (larger and often pelted in garbage)... not sure what this says about Ann Arborites...

    I wonder if anyone is writing the story of the fairies...

  7. I've never seen bike art before. Very cool. Artists in all media are wonderfully imaginative.

  8. Al, yes, you would know what I mean about the highways (the coastal one always hosting roadworks and traffic). I've not done the New England, must try that sometime :-)

    Lia, you're right, it does look like a Tim Burton character!

    Ellie, I just checked out your post on bikes! It was really inspiring :-)

    Hart, I'm imagining all those little fairies coming out of the doors in the mornings, briefcase in hand, heading for the fairy bus to work! I'm thinking the goblins are the less desirable tennants with their smelly doors.

    Medeia, it is imaginative to use old bikes as art. I saw your news that you have a Kindle - enjoy! I soooo love mine!

  9. Stopping by from WFF. Love your blog. Posting your badge, would love it if you hosted mine as well.

  10. Dawn, and what a pretty badge you have! :-)

  11. What great treasures you have found on your journey. The bike art is brilliant. And, I love how your mind works in building a mystery into the mystery of your surroundings. Write on! Oh, and the chocolate in the above post looks scrumptious!

  12. I'm like you in that I just let it all play. I like to twist things up a lot, and then they just take on a life of their own.