Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I guess I should fill in a bit more detail - yesterday I was in a rush.

To-date the average day sort of looks like:

5.00am Wake up. Swear 'cos it's so early. Usually get up and do a bit of writing

6.00am Meet Suzanne for some exercise

7.00am Shower / Breakfast and writing

9.00am Workshop session with tutor through to 1.00pm

1.00pm - 2.00pm Lunch and debrief with floor mates about the morning's session. What we agreed with, how harsh, gentle, realistic the comments were and where is everyone at with their next story for critique.

2.00pm - 5.00pm Read the following days stories for critique and write comments

5.00pm - 6.30pm Cruise the floors looking for people to distract - have a yack to and maybe share a drink with

7.00pm Dinner and more general chat

8.00pm - 10.00pm Writing

Once a week there's a one-on-one session in the afternoon with the tutor of that week. The general idea is to submit a story a week. Some people may submit more, some less. There's no-one checking your output - that bit is really up to each individual.

The morning critique sessions are fairly full on. Even if it's not your work being critiqued it's important to listen and see what sort of things people are raising as issues with writing technique and so on.

This evening I'm kicking back a little bit. I've finished my story for next week and I'm starting to think about my next story after that. Unfortunately where my recently completed story was easy to write, this next one is not coming so easily.

My critique session (yesterday) really went very well. Lots of positive feedback about 'Sea Change' and some great suggestions for how and where it could be improved. Also some tips about markets that I could submit it to once I finish the rewrite. Came away feeling especially inspired. Particularly as 'Sea Change' had been very difficult to write and I'd almost walked away from it about three times.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to raid the 'Clarion Library' to read thru some professional anthologies and try and get some inspiration on style and point of view for my next story.

I'm having some IT issues and can't actually log into hotmail from my computer. Some of my floor mates are being kind and giving me access every now and then to check messages - if you send an email there may be a time lag in my response. I could maybe fix this problem if I spent $100 or more. I don't really know that it's worth it - the laptop may be hopeless for email - but it's working OK for blogs and word processing (which is its primary function anyway)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I'm in Brisbane - I've had my first story critiqued, I've had a one-on-one session with this week's tutor (Sean Williams) and I've finished the first draft of my second story!

Nathan Campus is set in bushland. We're staying in a three story university housing block. Six of us to a level. Each level has shared kitchen, bathroom and living room and six little bedrooms.

We've all got fans but this place really heats up. I'm getting used to sweating constantly!

Still getting to know all my fellow students. So far, everyone seems very nice. I guess we're all still on best behaviour. I wonder what it will be like in two or three weeks when the pressure mounts and we all start to get sick of living in such close confines.

I've managed to get up the last two mornings and have gone for a run with Suzanne, a Canadian fellow student. Suzanne is struggling to acclimatise to the heat having come from a snowy winter world! Tomorrow we're thinking of jogging over to the pool (at the adjacent campus) and swimming before jogging back.

Overall it's fabulous - and such a wonderful environment in which to write. No distractions and everyone passionate about writing. It's very cool here to say "Thanks for the offer of a beer and a gasbag... but I'd rather write."

Can't believe it's really started.