Choukelief

July 19, 2014 at 9:11 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

In ten weeks today I leave for a writing residency in Iceland.

Ólafsfjörður is a small fishing village on the northern coast, up near the Arctic Circle. I’ll have a studio, and a month in which to fill my notebooks with stories. There will be snow to admire, ink to spill, and the northern lights to watch for.

I think about it every day.

Next week I will head into the ABC studios here in Melbourne and record one of my stories about this magical land for broadcast on Radio National. I know not to wear my jangly bracelets this time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have recorded quite a few stories for the ABC in Melbourne and Sydney, and the prospect of returning to the studios fills me with joy.

The prospect of returning to Iceland does also, but you know this already.

I’ve never been to Cunnamulla, a desert town in outback Queensland. I love the indigenous names of Australian towns – if you can say ‘Innamincka’ without smiling, I’d like to see it – but this one fell from my pen, and characters with it. The story it turned into, Choukelief, has just been published at Foundling Review, along with beautiful poetry, photography and other fiction: click the link below to read it.

foundling review

It’s rather odd to have one foot planted in the red dirt of the desert, and the other in the snow. I’m also writing a story set in Berlin at the moment, singing to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and craving warm pretzels with a salt crust.

But for now, I’m possibly the only one in Melbourne enjoying this icy winter. I wrap my coat around me, pull my little red riding hood up against the hail, put on my leopard print ear muffs, and pretend it’s downtown Reykjavik already. The mulled wine definitely helps.

Wish me luck for the recording session on Thursday…I’ll do my best to get the Icelandic pronunciation right, but you’ll go easy on me, won’t you?

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6 Comments

  1. Dorie Mol said,

    I LOVE the way you write! The story’s GREAT!

    • inkymouth said,

      Thanks, Dorie! I really got into the research for this one, and felt quite attached to little Choukelief and her demons.

  2. martin c said,

    Good luck with the session and Iceland. And, no your not the only one enjoying winter :).

    • inkymouth said,

      Martin, I’m heading into the ABC studio now, full of excitement…will let you know how it goes 🙂

  3. gretchen said,

    come to new york city baby, she misses you. like me. x

    • inkymouth said,

      Did you peek into my dreams last night, honey? We were striding down the Bowery, headed to a whiskey bar.And we couldn’t stop smiling x

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