What is the dominant note of Australian Scenery? That which, is the dominant note of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry—Weird Melancholy. … The Australian mountain forests are funereal, secret, stern. Their solitude is desolation. They seem to stifle in their black gorges a story of sullen despair. No tender sentiment is nourished in their shade. In other lands the dying year is mourned, the falling leaves drop lightly on his bier. In the Australian forests no leaves fall. The savage winds’ shout among the rock clefts, from the melancholy gums strips of white bark hang and rustle. The very animal life of these frowning hills is either grotesque or ghostly. Great gray kangaroos hop noiselessly over the coarse grass. Flights of white cockatoos stream out shrieking like evil souls. The sun suddenly sinks, and the mopokes burst out into horrible peals of semi-human laughter. The natives aver that when night comes, from out the bottomless depths of some lagoon the Bunyip rises, and in form like a monstrous sea-calf, drags his loathsome length from out the ooze. … All is fear-inspiring and gloomy. No bright fancies are linked with the memories of the mountains. Hopeless explorers have named them out of their sufferings—Mount Misery, Mount Dreadful, Mount Despair.— Marcus Clarke, “Australian Scenery,” Australian Tales, 1896
Found at The Literary Piano.
I know I haven’t talked much about any of the characters that constantly walk around in my head. The above quote, a reference to the setting of the novels I’ve spent years trying to write, speaks powerfully to their mood.
The story I’ve been working on at the moment is about a girl named Dawn who lives alone with her father and adoptive sister. Her relationship with her father is abusive, and she dreams of running away. When she finally does, her life begins to unravel until she ends up alone, molested and tormented.
And then she discovers she’s a vampire.
The story’s about her quest for revenge, and her search for a better life.
Image from Serena Lawless’s tumblr
This image evokes Dawn’s home very strongly. It’s a panelled, two-storey home in a remote area of Australia’s forested mountains. Stilts hold up the front of the house, which is painted green. Dawn’s room is on the second storey, overlooking the forest below.
The view looking up through the trees illustrates the downhill path she took away from her house, and the time of day she finally escapes.