Friday, October 5, 2012

Post Varuna

Time moves along so quickly doesn't it? 

I guess it does when you need more of it, and then when you only have an hour left until knock off time that one hour can take forever. 

My magical time at Varuna was some time ago now. It seems like a blip in my distant past, but I don't want it to slip by without me acknowledging what an amazing experience it was.

If I could have written a description of a perfect retreat for a writing mother I couldn't have crafted it better. Ten days to write, bush walk, drink tea and finish a thought in what ever order I wanted, whenever I wanted. Wonderful food, cooked for us by a beautiful and thoughtful woman, and best of all the wonderful company of four other writers.

It wasn't a breeze though. Actually, I found aspects of it quite confronting and revealing. After being at home for the kids for eight years, having the opportunity to sit down and work for a long period of time, without interruption, was very difficult. It took me a couple of days to find my rhythm. 

That was my room, up the top

Also daunting was being in a house steeped in writing history. Sitting, knowing that many great published authors had sat at the same desk, slept in the same bed, written great, and I'm sure some not so great sentences, in the same space I was in. There were many moments of feeling like an intruder. The little voice inside somewhere whispering, 'This is a mistake. You shouldn't be here. You're work is not worthy.' But do you know what. Thanks to the wonderful HC editors we worked with, and mostly thanks to the other wonderful woman I shared the time with, that little voice is gone. I don't know about gone for good, but certainly gone for the time being.

Then there were the ghost stories. Mostly centred around the room I was staying in and visitations by Eleanor. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep, despite sitting up in the middle of the night and politely asking Eleanor not to make an appearance as I didn't think I had a strong enough constitution.

I guess once it is out there, it's just out there.

Here I am now, back at home after a very unproductive winter. I have contracted the children not to catch any more viruses! 

Spring is here and I plan to make use of her. 

Thank you to the wonderful people at Varuna, Arts Australia and HarperCollins for the wonderful opportunity.