What an exciting way to finish the week! Two writing sessions with Marele, the first with the group (Tamara, Catherine and Ben), the second: a one-on-one with each of us and any queries we had.
In the first session, we presented our "homework" to the group. For most of us, that meant working on Marele's suggestions from Tuesday and bring a insanely improved manuscript to the rest of the group. How we've all improved! Mine was a little different, and I admit to being apprenhensive. I had to "drip-feed" some important information for one of my major characters over the space of about four chapters. Mercifully for the others, I didn't read it all, just the sections where this had occurred. I did rewrite one scene; for all the edits I had a secondary character divulging all the information when asked - so where's the conflict or the tension? How much did I learn from this: HEAPS. And I'll use this device to do the same in the rest of the manuscript.
Oh, and I've reworked Chapter One, and moved one major piece of infrastructure, and relocated two large compounds on the north shore further east. Won't they be surprised when they wake up in the morning?
I gained so much from this and the one-on-one session this afternoon, having discussed several things with Marele, learning more, developing ideas for one character and one location.
And we all improved: One outcome!
How valuable has this week been? Incalculable! And add to that the wonderful environment at Varuna, and it's truly sensational. And there's still tomorrow's Masterclass, more writing, and three more walks.
Okay, so today's walks: Left early to do my favourite Prince Henry Walk to Echo Point. I left at 6AM - and it was warm!?! Saw those gorgeous scrubwrens (and their young ones - so cute), a juvenile grey shrike-thrush (who was still working on its call), crimson rosellas, black duck (!), the Kiosk Kookaburras (3 laughing sessions, and yes I SAW them...by the barbeque of course). HEARD: fantails, thornbills, what I think is a rock warbler, 3 whip-birds (answering each other), and some little bird (shape of a robin but smaller - and in silhouette so I have no idea of colorus etc) but with the most magnificent range of songs that would rival Elvis. I've named it The Elvis Bird until I find out what it really is. I could've listened to it all day. The view from the walk is just stunning, defies description really.
This afternoon I walked down to the 1/3-way point lookout of the Katoomba Falls. Yep, ventured down the Furber Steps (I can manage those) to the Under Falls Walk, slushed through a couple of bits - but it was worth it. Not that I want to even TRY to look over the edge, but just that section is amazing. And I saw a King Parrot on the way back - skimming near the cricket oval.
Oh yes, the Chainsaw continued into Day Four, but we think it's done. I've added a photo of the guy at the top of tree (sorry about the distance, but less than a minute later, the tree-top fell).
It's going to be so hard to leave here on Sunday...