Weekly Writing Prompt #38

Happy Hump Day! Which reminds me of a book. Have you ever read Tracks, by Robyn Davidson? Before the hype of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (which I also love), Australian Robyn Davidson, trekked the Outback from the Glen Helen Tourist Camp to Hamelin Pool, Western Australia, 2,700 kilometres, In 1977. She hiked through the hot sun with her four camels and her dog, Diggity, for nine months (after three years of preparation in Alice Springs). According to Davidson (reluctantly dubbed ‘The Camel Lady’), although the trip appeared to be a case of ‘inspired lunacy’, there was a method to her madness, as she sought to test and push herself to the limits of survival.

It became a seminal trek that would inspire other adventurers, spawn a movie adaptation and see her memoir never out of print.

The book is as much about Davidson’s pilgrimage as it is about the Australian landscape and I can’t recommend it enough. This week’s quote comes from the opening page.

Annie Spratt

Weekly Writing Prompt #26

This week would have seen the birthday of the author Aldous Huxley, born July 26, 1894. Best known for his 1932 dystopian novel, Brave New World, Huxley had a challenging early life. During his teenage years, his mother died of cancer, his brother committed suicide and he began having problems with his vision. In an interview with The Paris Review, Huxley explained that he was almost completely blind during his late teens: 'I started writing when I was 17, during a period when I was almost totally blind and could hardly do anything else. I typed out a novel by the touch system; I couldn’t even read it'. He eventually regained enough of his vision so he could read and study using a magnifying glass. In 1942, Huxley wrote The Art Of Seeing, a book in which he described how he regained his sight.

In the early 1920s, Huxley contributed articles to magazines, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and House and Garden. He wrote on a broad range of topics, 'everything from decorative plaster to Persian rugs'. He recommended this sort of journalism as a great apprenticeship into writing claiming that 'it forces you to write on everything under the sun, it develops your facility, it teaches you to master your material quickly, and it makes you look at things'.

On November 22, 1963, Huxley died of cancer of the larynx, after been diagnosed three years prior. If this date seems familiar to you it's because he died on the same day that former US President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas. Huxley's death received very little notice due to the shooting, as did the death of British author C.S. Lewis who also died that day.

The moral of this week's prompt is that no matter the hardships you may encounter, be it in your writing journey or any other goal, if you're brave, work hard and take every opportunity that comes your way, you might just get there.

Tyler Nix