This week we talk to Richenda Rudman about ‘Leaving ‘ which appears in Landmarks, the latest anthology curated by Spineless Wonders. During this interview, Richenda talks about her favourite landmark, who inspires her writing and what inspired her micro-lit piece.
Tell us about a landmark that is significant to you.
The piles of empty beer cans on the highway between Kalgoorlie and Perth had significance for me. They were at regular intervals and marked out the time it took to drink a can of beer and throw the can out the car window. It was a boring 6-hour drive on a straight highway, and each pile of cans indicated Perth was getting closer; civilization was approaching and the harshness of Kalgoorlie fading. Flower memorials marked the place where a life ended and where life changed irrevocably for the people left behind.
What inspired you to write ‘Leaving’ ?
In 1982 when I was 19, I lived in Kalgoorlie, WA, with my boyfriend and it inspired me to write Leaving. The town then was driven by a sleeping mining industry and there was a great difference in income, as well as high unemployment. It was a rough place and people often took the law into their own hands, which was very eye opening for a girl from Sydney’s North Shore. A family who lived in our group of dilapidated flats was generationally unemployed and great patrons of Department of Social Security (Centrelink) where I worked; they alternatively loved and hated me. One of their sons was in trouble and they had to leave town, so we packed their flat up and drove them to the bus stop, happy to see them go.
How do you find the experience of writing to a theme?
I enjoy writing to a theme. As well as helping me to retrieve memories, it helps me to focus on one aspect.
Most of the time I write in the “study”, which is full of junk and has a window that looks onto the weatherboards of the house next door. I write best when I am alone and in a location with a beautiful view.
Tell us about a writer or work that has inspired you as a writer
One writer is the poet, Ted Hughes. Like many poets, he cuts out extraneous detail, and his pen finds the knot, the pain and the joy, reminding us we aren’t alone in a challenging world.
Richenda Rudman has worked as a speechwriter and corporate trainer. She has been a finalist in the Scarlett Stiletto Awards for short crime fiction and in 2014 won the cross-genre prize. In 2016, Richenda won the people’s choice poetry award at Williamstown literary festival.
Feature image via Flickr.com