|mark211||Have you ever found inspiration in Nature?
|mark211||In last week's Weekly Discussion, QM's very own Michele wrote that she was a "woman who spends a great deal of her free time hiking/canoeing through caves that are so far from civilization that her cell phone doesn't work". I know of at least one short story that she has posted here based on a group of hikers descending into a network of caves deep in a remote forest, which got me to thinking: Has anyone else found inspiration in Nature? What about you? What fires your imagination? ||2015-12-06 06:09:10|
|mark211||I think definitely - Frank Herbert's 'Dune' was said to be partly inspired by a visit to a landscape of sand dunes in Oregon. According to the Wikipedia page on the novel: "Herbert traveled to Florence, Oregon, at the north end of the Oregon Dunes. Here, the United States Department of Agriculture was attempting to use poverty grasses to stabilize the sand dunes. Herbert claimed in a letter to his literary agent, Lurton Blassingame, that the moving dunes could "swallow whole cities, lakes, rivers, highways." At risk of sounding rather childish, even now as an adult I still find my imagination tends to run riot whenever I'm deep inside a forest. I think there must be a dim awareness in the back of my mind that I'm this vessel of blood travelling through this enormous, fibrous lung and, although I'm no mystic or anything like that, I feel that the place *could* be alive with sprites and dryads and all manner of other creatures nor visible to the naked eye. ||2015-12-06 06:16:21|
|Ironspider||Though it may not always be apparent, almost everything I write has its roots buried deeply in an appreciation of the natural world. Sometimes it's the clash/interaction between nature and our industrialised society, at others it's seeing how nature can evolve to accommodate the disasters we inflict upon it.||2015-12-07 04:50:09|
|RT||All the time.||2015-12-07 09:19:48|
|mark211||@RT: Garullity is appreciated here - in fact, one might say it is positively encouraged ; - ))||2015-12-07 09:37:52|
|mark211||@Ironspider:"seeing how nature can evolve to accommodate the disasters we inflict upon it." Now that intrigues me - I do enjoy it when SF explores the weird and wonderful ways in which certain (alien) environments will apply evolutionary pressure in certain very clear but unexpected directions. I don't know if you know of "Dark Eden" by Chris Beckett, but that is a marvellous example of the genre. It's based on a once ice-bound planet whose inner core has come close enough to the surface to melt the ice and from which life has evolved out of the warm pools of water. In short, it's a novel set on a planet with no sun but where everything that's luminous swells up out of the 'trees' (kind of solidified spikes of magma). Oh and humans end up there, all of whom are descended from a single man and woman who found themselves stranded on its surface. Great read. I highly recommend it.||2015-12-07 09:43:25|
|Ironspider||@Mark211: I've looked at Dark Eden on several occasions, but not read it - yet. I work for an environmental agency here in the UK and have always been interested in nature. Some very early stories lifted ideas directly from natural history, either things I'd read or seen on television, but were overly simplistic in approach. By the time I read the likes of Dune I'd started to see more complexity in natural systems and how such issues could provide a background for stories. I have several plots set aside where 'nature' is integral to the narrative. ||2015-12-09 00:30:46|
|micheledutcher||Although I don't often get the chance to get out into nature, when I do I try to take a lot of mental notes on details - which I put into writing as soon as I can. For instance, in one story we get into the stream and head for the mouth of the cave and the fog rising from the stream is making it 'rain' from the branches of the shrubbery nearby. That detail was unexpected,as if a separate environmental cycle was being created.
I also pay attention to the city environment, especially when I travel. I took a lot of notes in Dayton Ohio recently and I know they'll pop up in a story eventually - it's just a matter of time and finding the right plot to fit it into.
|In flight, looking out from the cockpit of a flying machine visual distances are harder to estimate than from the ground as size does not directly relate to distance. Larger is not necessarily closer. Sometimes the colors of the clouds reveal distances. Vanilla bean ice cream-colored ones are further away than fresh-bleached white-laundry colored ones.
From a vantage of 14,000 feet 10 miles southeast of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, I once saw the raw power of a lightning bolt that started almost at the western horizon and extended almost to the eastern horizon. Near dusk the display cut along and through an hundred mile long line of thunderstorms that stretched north of Atlanta. Startling and awful; full of awe and beautiful, water, air, and heat produce lightning.
Thoughts of electrons rubbing off their associated atoms and the parting of the Zero Point Energy Field or The Space Time Continuum for time travel or faster than light flight don’t seem so impossible after observing such raw power. Yes, but leaves in their quiet complexity are awesome are well. Such complexity and power is godlike if not God-made.
Rather than taking a moment to scoff. Take a moment to envision magic, a machine, or an awed character for your next tale. There is nothing noble, intelligent, or attractive about personified “nothing.” Let Nature take you by the heart. You will be pleased by the trips and the destinations.