Tag Archives: Adventure

Inspiration Monday – Claim your island

This week’s InMon prompts include the phrase “Capture your island”, which put me in mind of the fascinating post I read here (reblogged by Rochelle Wisoff Fields). And hence, my story below. I hope you enjoy it, your comments and critique are always welcome.

Robinson_Crusoe_island

Claim Your Island

“So, you’re Robinson Crusoe. The first thing to do is claim your island.” Gordy pulled a forked stick from a pile of driftwood and pushed it upright into the ground. He would have liked to make a flag to hang from it, but there was no material in the pile. He could strip off his vest and use that, but he might need it for warmth in the night. And anyway, a white vest would look like a flag of surrender: Gordy had no intention of surrendering to anyone.

“You never know what’ll be on the island, so you’ll need a weapon to defend yourself, and to hunt wild goats to eat. Luckily, when you were cast away from the ship, you brought your trusty bow and a handful of arrows.” He unslung the bow from his back and counted the arrows in the quiver he’d carried under his arm. Seven. Or it might be eight. Numbers were tricky like that.

The sun flicked behind a cloud and Gordy was glad of his vest. “It’s not as warm as it ought to be,” he muttered. “You should build a fire before it gets any colder. You’ll need it to cook the goats later too.” He began to gather some more sticks into a campfire. “Or wild boar. Mmm…” The idea made his mouth wet and he spat on the ground. Gordy took a swig from his canteen and wished it was grog that slipped down his throat, not water.

There was a rustling from the undergrowth behind him. Gordy froze. The noise stopped, and he dropped to his knees, carefully stringing an arrow onto the bow and pulling back on the string.

The sound came again. “It must be Man Friday,” Gordy whispered, holding the bow steady in shaking hands.

“George Anderson! Is that you messing about in my log pile again?”

“Man Friday is aggressive,” Gordy thought, wishing the local had used his proper, adventure name, and not the one his parents insisted on.

“Get out here this instant.”

Gordy felt a hand on the back of his collar, then he was lifted several feet off the ground and dragged out of the undergrowth. Face to face, Man Friday was even more terrifying. He stood six feet tall and almost as broad, wearing a bright yellow housecoat, with a washing peg hanging from his fearsome mouth.

“I’ve told you about mucking about in my garden. Get home before I tell your mother!”

“Yes, Mrs Rogers.” Gordy pulled his plastic bow and quiver onto his shoulder and hurried away before Man Friday could flick him with the red tea towel she’d been hanging out to dry. It would have made a good flag, he thought. Perhaps later, he’d stage a raid and capture the enemy’s ensign.

 

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Travels with their pens

Somehow, it’s Monday again. And Little Miss Muse seems to have taken the day off to batten down the hatches against the impending storm. We are far enough North and inland that Sandy shouldn’t mean more than high winds and torrential rain here; my thoughts are with those up and down the East coast USA who are in its path. I suspect LMM is rather more concerned about another imminent arrival – Baby’s due date is tomorrow, and even if he’s held up, he’ll be here within the next couple of weeks. Hubby didn’t look thrilled when I suggested we name the baby as the hurricane though…

Anyway, as a consequence of LMM’s vacation, I have nothing useful to say about writing and no successes (or even failures) to report on my own writing. So instead, I’d like to tell you about two inspirational writer friends of mine who have taken trips this month in furtherance of their writing plans.

Claire Larson is planning to write about her family history, which involves some nasty events which happened in Paraguay several decades ago. I only heard about that a few weeks ago when she announced that she was heading down to South America on a research trip, which involved meeting some rather unsavoury characters, being smuggled across borders and all the time negotiating the corruption and other risks of travelling in that part of the world. To help a local family (including the man who saved Claire’s father’s life) to make their way out of poverty, Claire and her family have returned the proud owners of a pregnant cow, and half a farm in Paraguay. Presumably the cow is staying there, and hasn’t been freighted back to Canada!

Claire’s back in Toronto now, and even just the story of her trip – let alone the events she was researching – makes for exciting reading. The extent of my research tends to be a laptop or a library, so my hat is firmly off to her for going the extra (thousand) mile(s).  I can’t wait to read her novel!

On the subject of long-distance travel, another writing friend is back from Scotland this morning. Not quite the same level of danger, but certainly an epic journey with its own trials and tribulations to overcome. The gentlemen of the Wayfarer’s Quest walked a gruelling 500 miles across the Highlands of Scotland during October, most of it in costume as adventurers from times gone by.

They met with some serious obstacles on the way, both in the planning – when a number of team members had to drop out for health and other reasons – and in the execution. Just a few days into the trip, Wayfarer Dan came down with a severe case of food poisoning. The Doctor’s advice of bed rest and then “no strenuous activity for a few weeks” nearly put paid to the Quest, but these boys don’t back down easily, and they managed to fit in the full distance in spite of a shortened time schedule and reduced health.

This time, the main aim of the game was not writing, but fundraising. The Wayfarers have raised over $15,000 for cancer charities, and are still looking for ways to increase that figure. And one of those, is potentially going to be a book about the trip. Again, it makes me feel like I should do more to write more! You can read about the trip and how to contribute to the Wayfarers’ cause at http://www.wayfarerquest.com/ The blog has some fantastic photos too, and I’m sure there will be more to come now that the boys are back in Toronto (Just need to drop off a Timmies voucher first to help them get over the jet lag!)

 

How far have you been in pursuit of a story? Where would you like to go to finalise that last detail or even a huge plot point? And what’s stopping you?!

 

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