This school term has been wonderfully intense, because I’ve had a rather atypical travel spell. I’ve done plenty of writing: SCHOOL REPORT writing! But I’m back, and I’m renewed and excited.
First there was the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival with my writing besties, Emily Paull and Louise Allan.
It has been my long-held belief that writerly sorts tend to have a similar sensibility. We over-think, we feel emotions keenly, we resonate with the mood of others in a room. Well, the women in my writing group certainly have enough in common to fill a four-hour road trip with conversation. We’d intended to listen to the audio book of Marlish Glorie’s The Bookshop on Jacaranda Street, but instead, we told stories. The tales invoked laughter and solemnity, wisdom and frivolity. I fell in love with these women just a little bit more in those four hours. Yes, ‘fell in love’. Isn’t that what we do when we meet kindred spirits? When they are generous enough to share their private thoughts? It was an idyllic weekend.
Then I went on a romantic getaway to Singapore with my beloved. I’ve been there before, and always thought it a bit sterile for my liking, but I saw another side of Singers this time around. My highlights: the architecture, Gardens by the Bay, and our public transport adventures.
My last trip was a bit of a pilgrimage to my second home, Melbourne. My eight year old son played Auskick at the MCG, much to the delight of his footy-mad grandfather and dad. I’m not terribly sporty, and generally find my thoughts wandering when I attempt to watch a game of any code. But this was different; I had such a special time with my menfolk: partner Justin, Dad, and my son Thom. I could say so much about my dad, but I might embarrass him. He’s a teacher and the type of man I hope my sons will grow to be. I think we both had a bit of a happy cry as we sat together and watched our boy kick a goal at the MCG.
I also had the opportunity to spend quality time with my long-time friend, and wonderful ceramic artist, Georgia. By golly, we laughed. SOOOOOO much fodder for new stories.
I made the trek out to Alain De Botton’s School of Life. Good stuff.
In terms of actual fiction writing…
- In the midst of travel and reports, I did a frenzied twelve hour re-write of my novel. Crazy? Perhaps. But after such a long hiatus, I felt like I was meeting my characters for the first time. Twelve months ago, I cursed them and now I look upon them fondly.
- There was also a reading at the Swanbourne Bookcaffe with the delightful Bindy Pritchard (read her story in The Trouble with Flying and other stories– it’s heartbreakingly beautiful), Rosie Barter, and my other lovely writing pal, Glen Hunting.
- It was quite a novelty to have my picture in the local rag; my boys, parents and grandmother were pretty thrilled.
So, that’s my last few months in a nutshell. It’s nice to be back. I’m going to prune the roses and plant some petunias, bake something delicious, curl up in bed with a book, and generally just enjoy the simple magic of home.