Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day Ten

I had my one on one with this week's tutor yesterday. I'm finding these sessions very informative. These people are professional writers and they are very willing to share their knowledge - and there is so much I want to know.

I was satisfied with my crits yesterday. I had reread my story and worked out the problems I thought there were with it and they all popped up in the session along with a few I didn't expect. I am finding submitting first draft material incredibly difficult. Usually, except if I get stuck on a plot point or know it's bogging down for some reason but can't work out why, only my closest writing friends see a piece before it's several drafts along. Here I'm pushing to have time to correct grammar and spelling before it has to be handed in. To make matters worse with this story I made some last minute corrections and burned it to disc only to find the changes had disappeared when it was printed out and vanished from the file as well. Not enough to worry about in terms of having to replace it or in expecting that much would have been different in the crits but irritating.

The weather has been remarkably cool for a Brisbane summer. May it last, that's what I say, both for our comfort and for the sake of Brisbanites because cool weather means temporarily less impact from the drought affecting the whole of the east coast. Griffiths University is in a bushland setting and I was fascinated when we had a little rain a few days ago to see how plants which had been looking dessicated suddenly turned almost straw coloured leaves green again.

It's not just drought, of course. One of my room mates is from Melbourne and had a call from home to say the temperatures were over forty and fires are blazing through the state. This did not cheer me given that bush surrounds the residences here. They give shade and certainly soften the appearance of the rather stark buildings but I look out my window to tall trees that would certainly fall on the building in the case of a fire. I notice a number of them have fluorescent green crosses on them so perhaps they are marked for removal. Just as well since I'm really aware of bushfire danger.

There are good things about the bushland setting. From my window I can see clusters of creamy eucalyptus blossom. Enormous butterflies drop in for a snack there, fluttering as they sip. They look like humming birds. A possum visits the garbage cans in the evening and fearlessly stares down anyone who might want to open one, all huge eyes and twitching ears. Scrub turkeys range everywhere. I met one racing down the external stairs of the crit building a couple of days ago. Rainbow lorikeets chatter in their roost tree as they settle for bed and I know there are ravens because I picked up a flight feather. I think it may figure in my next story.


Satima Flavell said...

It sounds as though there are some good things surfacing in the Clarion camp now, Helen. I hope they continue. Good to see you on Glenda's blog! It's obviously not all work and no play;-)

Imagine me said...

The biggest problem is staying awake. At one stage this afternoon I was the only one in our apartment not sleeping. Those who can do it quite often write into the morning - like 4:00 am. No chance of me joining them. I couldn't even do that when I was a student.
Yes, I like Glenda's blog. We were at university together and lost track of each other for a while so it's good to be back in contact.