Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday, 11 October 2015

Paint the Desert with Purple Prose

Sadly my computer's hard-drive has been at the doctor's the last few days having an upgrade, and I have had to revert to my laptop, where unfortunately I don't have access to all my files and photo editing etc so I am unable to bring you as promised more photos from our wildflower drive through the southern Western Australian goldfields.

So for something completely different this week I have drawn on a couple of writing exercises from my writing group, South Side Quills, from recent months and some old images from our South Australian trip in 2013.

My writer's group had two exercises - one was a short travel article in 300 words and an exercise in Purple Prose.  
What is Purple Prose....an explanation from the web....In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the extensive use of adjectives, adverbs, zombie nouns, and metaphors.  Purple Prose-Wikipedia

For my travel article I drew on our stay in September 2013 at Arckaringa Station set in the visually stunning Painted Desert in mid-South Australian outback country.

Arckaringa homestead

With relief we pulled up under the shade of the gum trees surrounding the Arckaringa Station homestead.  We’d had enough of the heat, dust and the rocky track.  As we piled out of our four-wheel-drive a station truck pulled up and a craggy weather worn face uttered “g-day” from under a battered hat.
Hobbsy, the station manager, waved his hand towards a clump of scrubby trees and told us to “pick up spot” to set up our camp.
We had been on the road for a few days, so a hot shower was high on our agenda. Housed in a corrugated iron shed the showers definitely had a rustic Aussie outback feel but they were clean and the water hot. Just make sure to shower early as you don’t want to be left in the dark when the diesel generator cuts out!

Although the facilities might be considered basic, this was more than compensated by the views of central South Australia’s spectacular Painted Desert from our camp.
Evolved over 80 million years, this fragile landscape, which was once an ancient inland sea bed, is slowly eroding away revealing the rich colours of a desert artist’s pallet beneath the surface. It is not surprising that Arckaringa has hosted many groups of painters, photographers and geologists over the years.
Mt Arckaringa and the Painted Desert is only about eleven kilometres from the homestead out along the Arckaringa to Oodnadatta Road. The area is protected within the Arckaringa Hills State Heritage area and mostly inaccessible due to ruggedness and Aboriginal cultural sites.  A public access track leads to a parking area from where there is a half hour walking track to the lookout. Bring your camera and a fly-net.

At days end we sat in the comfort of our camp chairs and watched the changing colours of the Painted Hills and the desert sunset. 

The Painted Desert late afternoon

For the "Purple Prose" exercise I changed the introduction paragraphs (78 words) of this sample article to Purple Prose (282 words!) In fact the first sentence is 88 words long! There was a lot of laughter amongst our members when I read out my piece at my writer's group. 

We gratefully welcomed the long-awaited-for respite from the constant bone-jarring jolting of the rocky dusty track as we steered our red-dust stained white Prado 4-wheel-drive through the wire strung gate hanging precariously by its hinges to a fence post which appeared to have been fashioned from a rusted piece of railway line, and steadily decelerated before braking to a halt beneath the thin dappled shade cast by the trailing blue tinged leaves of the tall stringy Coolibah trees encircling the low roofed, wide verandahed Arckaringa Station outback homestead. (88 words)  The typically Australian fragrance of eucalyptus assisted by a slight lazy breeze assaulted our senses as we prised ourselves from the cramped stuffy confines of our four-wheel-drive and into the searing red heat of the midday desert sun.  A battered station truck which appeared to have not been washed for many years, if ever, rounded the corner of the nearby empty cattle yards and came to a stop in a cloud of choking dust beside us.  The door of the truck creaked open and a craggy, lined, weather worn leathery face with a chin covered in grey stubble, uttered a gravely “g-day” in a slow drawling listless way from under a shabby tattered Akubra hat which was so ingrained with dust that it was the same hue as the red dirt.

We soon learned from his introduction that the man was Hobbsy, the station manager. Hobbsy was somewhat short on words as if he would rather not deal with city slicker tourists, as he waved his hand unceremoniously towards a clump of low scrubby trees across the yard beyond the sheds and curtly invited us to “pick up spot” to set up our camp. 

I must hasten to add that Hobbsy was not like the Hobbsy I have described above...he was in fact very friendly and accommodating and was a long time and well respected employee of Arckaringa Station. 

Would I recommend Arckaringa Station? Absolutely. It became one of our favourite destinations in outback South Australia.  I wrote about it for Go Camping magazine in October 2014 edition, and also a campsite report for On the Road magazine, April 2014.

I hope you have enjoyed this little exercise on Purple Prose.
You can read more about Arckaringa Station on my blog post be clicking here - South Australia - Woomera, Coober Pedy and the Painted Desert 

Or by going to their website - Arckaringa Station and the Painted Desert
or on Facebook - Arckaringa on Facebook

Drumsticks - at Arckaringa Station
Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday 
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 

Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global 
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday 
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard 


  1. I'm so disappointed that Hobbsy was only a fictional character! He sounded pretty dinky die to me! I love your 'purple prose' exercise Jill. It certainly does add a lot of excessive descriptive words to your story. I rather liked it!

  2. Hello Jill, I enjoyed reading your camping story. Hobbsy is quite the character. Beautiful scenery and images. Have a happy new week!

  3. Great photos! And a great story to go along!
    Please come share at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-little-bit-squirrelly.html

  4. I really enjoyed this! I used to be very guilty of purple prose! :-) I try to keep myself in check now. May I suggest that this would be a wonderful addition to a meme called Wit and Wisdom done by Linda Kay of Senior Adventures on Wednesdays. She has very few participants, and I try to do a writing exercise on Wednesdays that reflects a photo I post, which is the point of the meme, but often she only has a handful of people doing the same....sometimes only one or two. If you want to join in, link up with this on Wednesday to http://senioradventureswithlindakay.blogspot.com/ or if this link doesn't work you can link in through my blog page. Have a great week!

  5. This was fun to read, Jill. Your purple prose made me laugh. Hope your computer is soon feeling better.

  6. What fabulous shots.

  7. A fun post! We've just returned to our Greek home where I found the internet to have quit working so have been out of touch for a week. When the tech came out he discovered a mouse/rat/something had chewed through the cable!

  8. There are still some great photos here Jill along with the story, was too fun. Like yourself, my desktop was at the Geek Squad for over two weeks, but fortunately I had some extra images in my Picasa online albums to work for a post this week and uploaded some new ones into my laptop, which stores absolutely hardly a thing, but got a few shares out from there as well. What did we do without this technology? So thankful we have it! Hugs to you Jill~

  9. Lovely story and great images to go with it. Have a great day!


  10. Wonderful story. More Hobbsy! :) Lovely images of Arckaringa Station. Have a great week. Hope your hard-drive arrives from the docs in good shape.

  11. Oh boy. That was a fun read.

  12. I loved the exercise and the story xxx

  13. A wonderful place to 'pick up spot'. Watching the colours of the desert must have been amazing. Loved reading your prose too x

  14. Hope they get the computer fixed!

  15. Awesome Jill! I'd forgotten how well you write until I read the Purple Prose! Your real-style just flows so beautifully. It really made me miss Quills too - I can just hear the laughter!

  16. Well I learned something there Jill. I love the sound of Arckaringa station and can't wait to travel around Australia so I can stay in places like this and meet characters like the "real" Hobbsy.

  17. Must be the time of year for computer issues. That looks like a great place and I'm glad you've been having some writing fun.

  18. Gorgeous photos from the desert. The painted hills are amazing.

  19. HHHMMMmmm... I see I'm going to have to re-think some of my own prose, Jill - maybe I'm a little bit guilty (is there such a thing?) of 'purpling' my prose just a little too much!! Just like some I know who add a little too much 'purpling' to their photos (NO, NOT you!). It's impossible to exaggerate the beauty of this part of SA - I haven't been there yet, but hope to do it someday soon! Have a great week!

  20. My camera starting acting up so I hear your pain! Lovely mosaics...

  21. a beautiful and interesting place I visited once long ago. :)


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.