On Winter is Coming

Winter is coming.”

Assorted Game of Thrones characters

and, the Bureau of Meteorology.

Recently I participated in a writing Masterclass where we discussed taking small breaks from writing that keep you thinking creatively. Whether an hour, a day or a week or two, for some of the writers this time was the space to do further research or reflect on what they were writing.

I nodded in class but really, I thought — phew! Those lost hours reading twitter, browsing bookshelves or watching my favourite movie are actually justified* as part of the creative writing process. And so of course I immediately excused myself for feeling guilty about switching on Game of Thrones and getting stuck fast.

I will say up front that I haven’t read any of the George R. R. Martin‘s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, from which Game of Thrones is adapted. But I am a brand sparkling new convert to the HBO series after my friend kindly gave me seasons one and two. And desperately trying not to read the reviews and updates about season three which is screening in that other realm — pay TV. A sneaky peak at IMDB gave me peace of mind: another set of episodes with the largest ensemble cast on television has been confirmed for next year. Season four is coming.

Shakespeare famously wrote (don’t believe that Marlowe hype) that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In Game of Thrones, we’re taken on a dramatic, rollicking ride as noble families play each other for control of the Iron Throne. The episodes are packed full of violent battles — on the field, for the throne, across the seas, and in the bedroom. Plots and intrigue consume the dynasties. Hatred and fear boil over into rage and revenge. And that’s just seeing family members pitted against each other.

The families are full of liars, cheats, thieves and monsters. I’m fascinated by the changing landscapes that define the battling families. Dire-wolves and dragons, lions, stags and white walkers, aka zombies. It is a magical, terrifying, beautiful space. A creative place to get lost and found.

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Footwear appropriate as winter is coming

Lost under the covers would have been the perfect place to be today. Melbourne had its coldest day since 27 October 2012. Mid-Autumn and 16 degrees Celsius. So I grabbed my Christmas gift of individually heated wheat-bag slippers, wrapped myself in a woolly blanket and dragged out my electric blanket from storage. All because, as we Southern hemisphereans now know, winter is coming.

*btw, another ace tv series. With five seasons to watch and only one and half down, Justified is quite possibly my next ‘creative spacing’.

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4 thoughts on “On Winter is Coming

  1. This is a dangerous post! I’ll have to be careful to make sure the small breaks I take from writing are there – and only there – to make me think more creatively… not to help me procrastinate further! PS Love the slippers!

    1. Am certainly leaning more towards the idea that creative breaks are all in the “eye” of the beholder… thus, non-stop tele series viewing perfect for getting the writing juices going, while warm-me-up slippers help me slide into character. Or possibly just into take-a-break mode. Recommend!

  2. Ooh, that explains why I was so chilly. I am avoiding watching this until I read the books (sometime in the next million years) but I bet it would look amazing. Excellent to see your creative away-from-writing space here.

    1. It is unusual for me not to have read the book before the adaptation as love imagining the characters before someone else presents them. But I couldn’t resist this creative, visual feast -especially as it’s all perfectly ‘allowed’ as part of the writing process. Also good reason to bring out the slippers!

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