Last month I bought my very first camera, so that I could take some photos of the setting of my next novel. This work-in-progress doesn’t even have a title yet. All I’ve done so far is read a lot of books about the subject, fill a folder with research notes and think up some fairly silly jokes and snippets of dialogue. The next step – organising all of this into some sort of coherent plot – seems so overwhelming that I’ve been avoiding it. However, today I decided to go for a long walk around the place in which the novel is set, in the hope that this would inspire me to do some work. I took my camera along and here are some of the results.
First, the Lion:
His ferocity is slightly diminished by the fact that a few of his front teeth have fallen out. Actually, I’m not sure if the Lion is going to make it into my book, but the cute little gargoyle in the top left corner of the picture definitely is.
And then, the Unicorn:
I’m assuming it is a Unicorn (and not just a horse with a weird lump on its forehead), because it’s helping the Lion hold up a coat of arms. Poor Unicorn has lost most of its horn, but hey, if you were a hundred and fifty years old, bits of you would probably be falling off, too.
Next is Mephistopheles, spitting into a fountain:
Unfortunately, he’s missing most of his nose, but he still looks quite evil. He was (supposedly) designed by Australian architect Leslie Wilkinson in 1925, and possibly inspired by Australian artist Norman Lindsay. (I accidentally typed ‘Normal Lindsay’ just then, which I’m sure he would have found highly insulting.)
And then there’s Gilgamesh, who is either hugging or strangling a lion:
I have to admit that I don’t yet know much about Gilgamesh, except that he was the king of Uruk (now Iraq and Kuwait) in about 2500 BC and was regarded as a demigod in Mesopotamian mythology. He also went on a ‘quest to seek immortality’, which is very useful for my purposes. I’m choosing to believe he is embracing the lion, even though the lion doesn’t look very happy, because Gilgamesh also found ‘compassion, friendship, courage, love and peace’ on his quest. That’s nice, isn’t it?
Tomorrow: More photographs from my expedition, and I’ll explain where you can find Gilgamesh and his friends. (Shh, Sydneysiders, I know you’ve already worked out where the photographs were taken! But I’m trying to create some suspense here!)