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"Solitude in the Outback..."

(NOTE: A reader asked me to re-print this blog that was originally published on Stiletto Gang Blog in Oct of 2021)

Years ago, when I lived in the Outback, I often found myself alone for weeks at a time at the homestead while the men were in the field catching feral cattle. That solitude gave me time to read the Russian novels by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Puskin, and Pasternak to name a few. Dr. Zhivago and The Brothers Karamazov remain favorites to this day.

In my Australian days, I’d visualize the great books as a lighthouse that would light up the path of my life. A silly image, perhaps, but when one is completely alone, the mind creates interesting imagery.

Even after the Outback became only a memory, I rarely read novels hitting the New York Times bestseller list until the original hoopla surrounding their launch had quieted down. During the hectic days of my international corporate career, I had little time to indulge in big books. I’d discovered less lofty but more enjoyable reading – the mystery genre – my pleasure reading for long flights from New York to South America, Asia, or Europe.

Fast forward to the present when I'm an author myself. My love of mystery intrigues me so much, that it’s what I write. Revisiting the idea of best sellers, I still wait until the hoopla quiets to a whisper. Recently, I must have heard crawdads heralding Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing as being a mystery wrapped in a coming of age story woven with romance. So I purchased it.

What a delicious dip into the wondrous world of nature in the swamps of North Carolina as seen, felt, and described through Kya’s life.

Delia Owens said in an interview that Kya represents what we can be when we have to. I concur with the author that all of us have the ability to do more than we can imagine when life requires it.

Delia Owens described how her life of studying lions and elephants in Africa brought extreme and/or partial isolation for twenty-three years of her life.

My own isolation in the Outback, for a mere three-and-a-half years, changed me in many ways. I became, like Kya, self-reliant, more introspective, and a problem solver. When I re-emerged into life in Mexico after the Australian experience, I was socially insecure. I thought it’d take several years for me to feel like the extroverted girl who’d left the comfort and love of her family to form a family of her own on the other side of the world. Then I realized the young girl had been transformed into a woman capable of following her own lighthouse to accomplish her dreams.

Has solitude changed your life in any way?


Kathryn’s mysteries – The Nikki Garcia Mystery series:

Danger in the Coyote Zone -

Kathryn’s short story collection:

Backyard Volcano and Other Mysteries of the Heart -

All available on Amazon

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.

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Photo credits:

All photographs are used in an editorial or educational manner.

“Follow the Road” by ASTRORDINARY is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Where the Crawdads Sing” Public Domain

“Perthling” by ASTRORDINARY is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Visit my website at

I love hearing from readers. Ask a question, suggest an idea, or comment about the blog.

Tortuga Publishing, LLC

The Woodlands, Texas

© 2021 Tortuga Publishing LLC, All rights reserved.

1 Comment

Jul 21, 2023

'If you die before you die, when you die, you will never die' -Jesus ● ● Cya soon, miss gorgeous...

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