Hey cHEwY gum gums

One of my seeds for an upcoming story is about a girl living in a small country town. So whenever I go visiting these rural areas, my spiky hair acts as little antennas, picking little things up for my future cHEwY creation.

Over the years, I’ve visited a lot of small country towns, from Manila near Tamworth to Lightning Ridge to West Wyalong (cue that ‘I’ve been everywhere’ song haha). So this country girl story is growing bit by bit.┬áLast week, I uncovered a few more ideas as I traveled around the Federation Council region. I was based in Corowa for four days, which was where a meeting about Federation took place. It’s a lovely small town where the Murray River is the borderline between New South Wales and Victoria. I picked up plenty of historic nuggets about being this little town, thanks to Louise who showed me around. I learnt how lots of Victorians used to visit Corowa’s clubs to play the pokies in the 80s and 90s, turning it into a mini Las Vegas. There are also the confusing double-state laws that townsfolk have to deal with.

Image may contain: tree, sky, grass, plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: 20 people, people smiling, people standing

I also enjoyed visiting the schools in rural villages as Urana and Lowesdale too, where the whole school could fit in a classroom. My main character could be in one of these schools. She could be living in one of these tinier towns such as Urana, where’s a giant spider on a silo. Apparently it’s a mascot for a netball team. I might use that in my story too haha.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

But there are other subtle things I picked up as well. About how quiet it gets in the late afternoon. Or how some kids could be travelling on a bus for an hour to school, on a straight road for kilometres. The kids in these towns are so friendly and they’re just as tuned in to video games and sports as anyone else too. It’s exciting to see where this story may lead me, so I can’t wait to discover more of the country areas across Australia. I will probably have a fictional rural town as my setting in my future story, but it’s going to carry a lot of nuggets of everywhere I’ve been hehe.



About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

Leave a reply.