Thursday, January 13, 2005

Well it's Thursday night, Week Two. I'm sitting here typing, glass of wine by my side. I handed in a story this morning which will be torn apart in class tomorrow. And, given that yesterday I spent 4 1/2 hours in class, 2 hours critiquing, and about 5 hours writing I'm giving myself a quiet night tonight!

I didn't have to put a story in for tomorrow - but I decided that as it was kind of done I might as well. The down side of this is I am going to have to work my butt off over the weekend to come up with some to hand in on Tuesday.

I've got a work in progress (tentatively called 'The Crying Chair') but I'm really not sure about putting it in. It's written in first person present tense as a bit of an experiment - and I think it's probably an experiment which isn't paying off for me. I've started to draft something else - but I'm just going to have to see how productive the next four days are.

Michael Swanwick's been great - but hard work. He has a wonderful strutural view of a story - and very strong ideas on how to 'fix' our stories. It's great to see how his mind works - and I'm learning heaps. But sometimes I wonder at the end of a 'fix' whether the writer will still feel that the idea is their own. Particularly when Michael's 'fix' involves significant changes. I like hearing his 'fixes' though. It really is making me look at the nuts and bolts of how a story fits together very differently.

On more general stuffs.... so far everyone is getting along well. Have I mentioned that I'm sharing a floor with Tess (ACT), Rjurik (VIC), Alison (ACT), Ellen (USA), and Trevor (ACT). Yup I'm the sole NSW representative on the floor. (Anyway apparently half the people here are reading each other's blogs - so I'm not going to say we all hate each other.... at least not unless I want to cause waves! But we don't - at least not so far)

I'm also the only one who's bought a car on our level - so I'm getting way more familiar with 'Garden City' Shopping Centre in Logan than I could have ever imagined.

I grabbed Nathan (NSW) and Rjurik and headed over to the pool for a quick dip this afternoon. Wonderfully refreshing.

Tomorrow night I'm escaping this hotbed of frustrated writers and catching up with the lovely Chris Peat and Martin for dinner. Chrissie moved up here late last year - it'll be great to catch up on the gossip. They've offered me a bed for the night so I can down a couple of glasses of wine. I'm thinking of staying more for the chance of a night off campus!

I actually got horribly homesick around Monday this week. I think it was more tiredness induced that anything. Sleep is hard to get here as the brain tends to keep turning way after lights out.

Alison's turn to cook tonight and we're having salmon steaks. Followed by Michael Swanwick (tutor) and his wife dropping in for after dinner drinks. When I cook it's dodgy chicken curry or spaghetti bolognaise... nothing as fancy as what Alison seems capable of whipping up.

Ahhh well. My IT issues still aren't solved - so i'd better get off Tessaaarrrghhhh's computer and go see if dinner's ready.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Well Week One is over, the lovely Sean Williams has said his farewells, and it's straight into Week Two.

I'd dreamed that the Week Two tutor, Michael Swanwick, was a midget who made me carry him around all week on his back while he beat me around the head at regular intervals. Was happy to find out he wasn't.

I had a story up for critique today - which was a bit scary - going first before we really knew what Michael's critique style was like.

He was tough, but had good points and comments to make. I think we'll learn a lot from him - though it might be painful learning it.

Overall the story was well received by the group, but there are some issues which I need to work on. It will end up a much longer piece. It's a bit depressing to realise that the work won't end after Clarion - cos I'll have all these stories to rewrite.

Am struggling with next week's story. It, like my Week One and Week Two stories, is written from a child's perspective and, despite the fact that the stories included sex and cannibalism, some of the group seem to feel they are Young Adult. I've written another story since getting here in, about a sentient chair and a female adult, but I feel it's a bit lightweight and I'm not sure I'm going to put it up for critique.

So far everyone seems to be getting along well. I'm finding it a bit of an adjustment going from basically living alone to sharing with 5 others on my floor and 16 others within the building. I escaped early Sunday morning and went down to Southbank, ran along the river, through the Botanic Gardens and back. Just the short break was good. I must make an effort to have some 'me' time each week so I don't go nuts.

I'm having internet connection issues. The modem in my computer seems to have died. The convenors (fabulous people) are organising a replacement computer for me which will be a total lifesaver. Tess has kindly let me jump onto her internet connection at times, but I need to do some research for my next story and that will involve a fair amount of time online.