Edwina Darke is one of my favorite people. Not only is she a tell-it-like-it-is sweetheart with a gorgeous Aussie accent, she’s also a phenomenal writer and savvy world traveler. I’m so excited she’s with us today to talk about her experiences with travel and how it has influenced her writing and creativity!
Hi, my name is Edwina Darke and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for the lovely Christina Delay. I’ve been on three Cruising Writers cruises and not just because I love travelling and learning writers craft.
The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only a page. – St Augustine
I believe that travel is the single best investment you can make as writer.
I remember the first time I travelled by myself – I was sixteen and already too tall to be comfortable in the cramped window seat. My mom was sending me to Nepal to spend some time with older sister. Forced bonding time because we hated each other.
The plane taxied down the runway, building speed for take off. The sound of the engines built inside the cabin and the vibrations rumbled through my bones. Fear and excitement twisted tighter and tighter in my belly.
That stomach tingling mix of dread and delight lasted the whole three weeks of the trip. It stayed with me as I walked the traditional night markets in at Singapore. It was with me as I arrived in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, and the first truly non-English speaking country I’d ever experienced. It grew as my sister and I explored the mountains and jungles together.
I came back from that trip a changed person.
More confident – I’d navigated international travel, hiked mountains, ridden elephants, stared down a rhinoceros.
More compassionate – I’d seen levels of poverty I’d never even realized existed.
More aware – I’d eaten food, smelled spices, and looked out over cities and mountain ranges and jungle canopies different to anything I’d known.
And – most importantly – I learned to love my sister.
Travel is the enemy of prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. – Mark Twain
Travel has given so much to my writing. Greater depth to the worlds I build, greater flavor and diversity in my characters, and great friends who continue to guide and encourage me.
At a conference in Melbourne, Australia, I met Margie Lawson – creator of the best editing system west of the Mississippi. (Denver is west of the Mississippi, right?) Meeting Margie led me to Christina and Cruising Writers.
Cruising Writers introduced me to some of my favorite people in the whole world. Great craft teachers like Lisa Cron (author of Story Genius – run don’t walk towards this book) and Angela Ackerman (setting expert and author of extremely useful Emotion Thesaurus). Extraordinary agents like Deidre Knight and Michelle Grajkowski. Inspiring writers like Elena Aitken, Laura Drake, Christina Delay, Julie Glover, Jenny Hansen, Steena Holmes, Fae Rowen, and Melinda Vanlone.
And let’s pass lightly over the time I fangirl-ed at Jaye Wells like a total lunatic – sorry, Jaye!
Not that travelling has always been easy or fun. I’ve been alone and scared in Morocco. I’ve been stuck in transit in the hellscape of LAX for over forty-six hours. The friends I’ve made are scattered across the world, so no matter where I am, I’m missing someone.
But I wouldn’t trade any of the lessons I’ve learned or friends I’ve made for anything. (Not even 50 Shades type money.) And thank you, Cruising Writers, for being such a positive part of the journey.
Edwina Darke grew up in Sydney and attended Bond University, where she majored in accounting, psychology and journalism. Although she loved her home and family, Edwina had her bags packed, ready to go travelling at the age of 18. Among other adventures, Edwina worked as a ski instructor in Austria, studied the history of fine art in Florence, lived in London and ended up spending the better part of a year living with a friend in Manhattan, New York, the setting for her debut novel, Three’s A Crowd. She now lives and works in Sydney.
Buy Three’s A Crowd on Amazon!