Saturday, January 29, 2005

Got a fair bit of writing stuff done today. Plotted the story I'm working on out. Wrote about a thousand new words... the only problem is I think it might be my least good story so far. Ahh well. I'm not going to have time to do anything else for this coming week... so least good will just have to be good enough.

This evening took myself off to Garden City for a glass of white, a salad and the 'Neverland' movie. It was good... even if I did cry at the end.

Tomorrow I really must do some exercise (had a bit of an exercise free zone today) and probably need to find another thousand good(ish) words.

Night night
After Margo left last night we had a bit of a floor party in Trevor's room. Lucky he was starting to feel better after 12 hours solid on the toilet!

We checked out the photos he's taken of Clarion so far and gossiped until late.

Of course I woke this morning remembering I hadn't finished my critiques for todays class. Went for a walk and a swim and came home for a solid hour critiquing before heading off to class. Being a Friday, and having been the guest of all of us last night, Margo was in feisty form. I was very glad I didn't have a story up today as she probably went harder on today's stories than she had the rest of the week.

This afternoon a nap, the gym and then at last minute, Margo to dinner again! A slight rush and we were all organised (though I did have to requistion a bottle of Ellen's champange!)

Around something pm Margo left and Ellen came home. I did a bottle shop run to replenish the champagne which Ellen and I then drank over a game of backgammon. She's a rank amateur and fell to my mighty skill... tho I'm guessing give her a week and it will become a much closer comptition.

Now it's to bed, a little tipsy, and with all sorts of plans about writing lots of my next story over the weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

It was raining in Brisbane at 5.45am this morning. I considered lying in bed and pretending I'd slept in. Then I roused myself and went downstairs to meet Suzanne, my running buddy, hoping desparately that she'd have slept in so I'd have an excuse to go back to bed. She was up. We looked at the weather, we looked at each other, I did the Aussie "A little bit of water won't hurt". We drove to the gym!

Class today was the three sad stories. They were all really good (in my opinion) so it was kind of hard finding things to critique.

This afternoon was a nap and then the panic striken thought.... we hadn't got Margo (tutor) a thank you gift... and tomorrow is Friday! A quick confab with floor 2 and Nathan and I headed to the Mall (thank God for Thursday night shopping)! We got something and then had cake and coffee (or orange juice) before heading home. Nathan is a gorgeous man. I've adopted him as an honourary big brother.

Tonight we had Margo (tutor) for dinner. Instead of using the opportunity to pump her for information on publishing and tips on writing we largely exchanged smutty jokes and made dubious revelations about our sex lives... OK it's week four and we're all a little tired and silly!

Actually, having got a decent night's sleep last night am feeling much more like the usual bouncey Susan. Did have a couple of people comment that I seemed much better today than I had yesterday. It's a bitch being one of lifes happy people. When you're low... the difference is so great that everyone notices... if I was a quiet person you prolly wouldn't notice the difference.

Next week there is a special 'reading' night at some bookshop in town. They've offered a couple of us Clarion types the chance to read (3-5 minutes) if we want to support the main act, Ian Irvine. I've put my paw in the air. Thinking of reading 'Insomnia' which did OK for me at 'Magic Casement's Flash Fiction Competition last year. I may have a last minute change of mine however.

Anyway... good night sweet reader. As Scarlet O'Hara would say 'Tomorrow is another day'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Up early for a jog this morning... but so tired. My sleep pattern is still out. After I got back and had some breakfast I snuck back to bed for 45 minutes shut eye before class. Sadly the result was arriving in class glassy eyed and feeling like a parrot had slept in my mouth!

My story about a steam train was up today. Once again the group were largely kind to me with some good suggestions about how to strengthen different bits.... and also some comments that revealed that some of the story was in my head - not on the paper. Need to fix that one!

Then my one-on-one session with Margo Lanagan this afternoon followed by a brief nap and a quick session at the gym to try and wake myself up.

The one-on-one was good. We talked a bit about Young Adult Fiction - as that seems to be what some of the group are thinking I'm writing. I hadn't seen myself as a Young Adult writer... but hey I'll be anything so long as they pay me and put my name underneath the story title!

This evening most of the floor have gone ten pin bowling. I stayed at home to finish my critiques for tomorrow and start trying to piece together next week's story. At this stage next week's story (tentatively 'Muscle Memory') is in that stage where I hate it and I'm having to fight it into some kind of shape. By the weekend it will start coming together I'm sure.

This week has been tough emotionally - I'm missing home, and tired, and have probably let things get on top of me more than I normally would. Considered buying an air ticket to Cairns and flying away for the weekend... then thought about my budget and decided to just get over it! As lovely as it would be to spend a weekend with Gail and the kids hanging by the pool.

Next week am catching up with Natasha and Paul (school buddy and hubby) which will be wonderful.

But for now it's back to the critiques for tomorrow. Actually tomorrow's stories are all sad ones... I'm hoping someone hands in comedy for Friday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Colony aired on SBS tonight. So, for the first time since coming to Brisbane, I settled down to watch some TV. The show, which takes a group of people back to recreate an early settlement in Australia, was largely doing set up in week one, focussing on the settler families. Still they showed each of the convicts - Random / Wayne was there in the background, carrying stuff and banging a post into the ground. Apparently we have to wait for week 2 for people to start falling apart and having arguements and so on!

Had a fairly slow day. I didn't sleep well last night, actually I was up at 1am doing internet banking.... not my best decision, instead of transferring money into my mortgage account I actually transferred it into my friend Merilyn's account. Had to ring her today and request that she didn't spend it on champagne but actually sent it back to me!

I skipped the morning run (good thing too... cos the rain came in really hard just after 6am), and then had a serious nap after class this afternoon.

Have done my reading but couldn't quite bring myself to starting to work on the next story (I handed in this morning and will be up for critique tomorrow). Went down to the common room with some of the gang and watched 'Lost in Space' dvd. I can see I'm going to come home having caught up on all the dodgey science fiction movies that I've missed over the last few years!

Now it's off to bed, and hopefully sleep, so tomorrow I'm ready for Critique Room Dissection!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Here I am - sitting in my own room - connected to the internet! YAY!

A quick recap. We rounded off Ellen Datlow's week on Friday night with beer, pizza and a DVD on the big screen of 'The Incredibles'. Was a fine end to the week.

Saturday night we attended the Aurealis Awards. Some of last years Clarionites were in attendance, in fact some were even nominated as finalists! The awards were followed by a cocktail party, pancakes in town, and drinks on level 1 that went on into the small hours of the morning. I had too much to drink too early - less said about that the better probably. Moral to the story - a handful of sultanas does not a good base for drinking make!

Sunday was hot and quiet. Everyone was busy catching up on sleep or writing madly if they had stories due on Monday.

Week Four started today with Margo Lanagan as our tutor. Margo delivers a very well considered detailed critque and talked about language issues as well as characterisation, plot etc. Another very different flavour - but I think we'll do well.

Ellen was doing a panic this afternoon. She's due to hand in tomorrow. I offerred to swap her my spot (which is later in the week) as my story is fairly much finished. I'll probably need to wake up early - there's a couple of loose threads that I'm not really sure how to tie up - perhaps inspiration will be more with me after a night's sleep.

Everyone is starting to look pretty tired actually. Grabbed a kebab for lunch with Nathan today and had a good chat about writing and story stuff.... it's going to be weird going back to the real world and having to talk about the weather and whatever I normally talk about!