It is a few years now since I lived permanently in Brisbane but recently I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the city. It’s interesting to see how a place has changed—and how it hasn't—while one has been away.
But there is an extra interest when visiting a city that is the location for one’s novel. Having spent time as a keen observer of the city and its people, I was reminded of what an interesting place the city and its inner suburbs are. In the Spring sunshine, the Brisbane River winds its way around the city, giving the central business district a unique sense of space and confinement.
But perhaps the most remarkable experience came on the Saturday afternoon. Staying with family in an inner suburb, we headed out to walk to a nearby park. It was warm afternoon with a near-cloudless, Queensland blue, Spring sky.
A couple of blocks away from their home, I looked up and noticed a skywriting plane beginning to do its thing. It caught my attention and more so as I realised it’s first letter was a G. (See chapter “one” of Nemesis Train for the significance.)
I contemplated running back for a camera but realised by the time I did the moment would have been lost, so I just continued to watch the sky. It ended up spelling out the name of an upcoming music festival. But, for just a few moments, the book came to life in an unexpected way while wandering the streets of Brisbane.