I detest mangoes!
I grew up in Cooktown, a very small town, in Northern Australia. Guugu Yimithirr country. 1500 people lived and breathed there. Everywhere you went, there were huge mango trees, and soft, squishy mangoes covered the ground.
Naturally, I would pick them up and throw them at my friends.
Small towns are in your face!
A small town is great for telling stories. Why? Because everyone knows everyone's business. I had pigshooters, religious fundamentalists, conservatives, hippies, kids from farms, kids who grew up on missions and kids who didn't, all as friends.
I saw terrible things in this town.
Evil step-fathers who threw out their teenage step-kids. Young teenagers who had nothing to do except have babies. Alcoholics who beat their wives. Friends who didn't have enough food for breakfast.
I swam in the glistening sea before school. I cycled to fresh rivers and walked through swamps with crocodiles living in them. I snorkelled the Great Barrier reef, skied over crocs in the harbour, and camped out on the rocks. And pretty much every day, me and my friends sat on a bench on the main street, making up stories, just like these podcasts.
When I was 12.
I was sitting in our caravan in the caravan park. It was a sunny afternoon (by night there were frogs and toads croaking, but now it was quiet) and suddenly, out of nowhere, a poem popped into my head like a red ruby stone. Since then, I follow the images in my head. And I know that you too can follow your imagination, and create stories too.