by Kim Kelly

golden gully

PLACES OF ME

Any kind of imaginative inspiration comes to us in waking dreams, and my dreamscapes come from the world around me. The places I live in. Colours, shapes, bridges, roads, rocks are the first elements to splash down on my mental canvas.

This ragged, washed-out country, between Tambaroora and Hill End, with its crumbling sandstone ridges and wild scrub, is the place that Paper Daisies began for me. It’s a place where I began to fall in love in ‘real’ life, with Dean, who was working on underground survey at the gold mine there at the time. It’s also a place where I left behind some dark shadows that had been dogging me for years.

In many ways, writing Paper Daisies is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because it delves into that darkness – that waking nightmare of domestic violence that clouds so many of us – and, hopefully, blasts some sunshine into it. Through it, I have travelled down some fairly hideous rat holes to explore things I still can’t really talk about in real life.

I’m making my final revisions to the manuscript now, walking this country over and over in my mind, and each time I come here, I am more daunted and more determined, that my words and dreams do this place justice.

I’ve never been more fearful of failure; and never more willing to jump, to dare to fly. The craggy cliff faces of Monkey Hill here are too beautiful not to try.

hill end road