Minor aside: Having lived in both NZ and
That afternoon in Gallipoli I posed for photos on ANZAC Cove (not sure what sort of facial expression to wear) and with the massive statue of Atatürk, took plenty of photos of my own, read all the information panels, stared at the blueness of the sky and sea a few times and thought wordless thoughts - - and then it was over. Another experience for the travel blog. Another box ticked.
But there is a slow-burning significance of this afternoon which I am still trying to make sense of. There is something beyond the tales of nationhood, military manoeuvres, and even the loss of individual life which persists, lingers in my thoughts. I don’t know what it is — I guess a week is not long enough to provide the necessary perspective — but there is something which brings the tears close when I read about the battles on Wikipedia when I ostensibly visited for the correct Turkish spelling of Chunuk Bair. Something made me sit down and write about it now.This feeling, of being in the midst of a slowly coalescing meaning, is a gift in itself. It is something I have probably experienced before — though I cannot finger a specific example now — but it is something I have written about. Or more correctly, it is the state one of the characters in the first draft (2006) of Novel A finds himself in. Of not quite knowing the What or the Why of his emotions, just knowing where these feelings are coming from. For Mike, it is a past relationship. For me, it is Gallipoli.
So I will take this strong-but-muddled state of emotion I find myself in and twist it into something fit for an off-beat love story. What might have been a character-building moment for myself, I will use to (re)build my fictional character. That is what being a writer is. There is autobiography in all fiction; there is fiction in every life. Writing is forgetting about these distinctions for periods of furious typing.
But Gallipoli was one afternoon of a six day stay in Türkiye. I will also be using my time at the beach to help me write the second half of a stalled short story (though the beach David Leon visits will need to be in