So what does this mean? With many thanks to Arts SA, it means I'm at Varuna, the Writers' House in Katoomba, and I've been writing a conversation between my left and right hands (I'm right-handed) that formed part of an exercise by our fabulous writing mentor, Marele Day. "Unfair!" said the left-side of my brain. "Not used to working, eh?" said Bo. Without giving too much away, I'm definitely going to use this exercise, starting tomorrow. Easy to do in such a peaceful setting.
And providing a peaceful atmosphere to concentrate on your writing is what Varuna's all about - that's in addition to the encouragement from the wonderful staff (thanks Vera, Lis, Joan and Kathy), the picturesque setting, the enormous library, the beautiful grounds (thanks Rod), the amazing meals (thanks Sheila) and the new friendships. Hello to [in Dewey order of author] Ben, Catherine and Tamara.
A special mention must go to the resident Black-backed Magpie who insists on swooping us. You have chosen to pick on CRIME WRITERS, you nincompoop bird, and we can think of 27652 ways to dispose of you without a trace...[we won't, of course]. At the moment we're trying to think up a suitable name: "Stuka" comes to mind...
Today, Marele gave the four of us an overview of the areas where we call can improve. Tomorrow's crunch-time (apologies for the cliche), with our "one-on-one" critique sessions with Marele. Half of me can't wait, the other half is terrified and positive I can't write a word.
This morning, I hiked over part of the "Round Walk" by Katoomba Falls and back on part of the Prince Henry Walk. Saw scrubwrens, thornbills, a sulphur-crested cockatoo digging out a hole in a tree branch (needs a Black&Decker), heard fantails, a treecreeper (?), and a host of others that I still can't identify. Oh, and the pied currawong at the Katoomba Falls lookout who appeared out of nowhere when I opened my lunch bag...How to shoo him/her off the environmentally friendly way: I brought out my camera. It worked!
I forgot to mention that, on Saturday's walk, I heard a group of Bell Miners in one patch of scrub underneath The Three Sisters - just in one patch, nowhere else on that section of track. Bell Miners are known affectionately in our family as "DINGS." If you've ever heard them, you'll know why.
Thanks to Jenny and Paul at "Shelton-lea Bed and Breakfast" in Lurline Street, Katoomba. Wonderful hospitality, fabulous food and a beautiful suite. If you're ever in Katoomba, it's definitely worth staying there. Here's their link: http://www.sheltonlea.com
I thank Varuna and Marele Day for the fabulous opportunity to come here and WRITE, and also thank Arts SA, who, through their generous Independent Makers and Presenters (IMP) grant, have funded my travel and accommodation expenses. Thank you Arts SA!
Now, back to writing...