July 21, 2013

May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Residency Days 3 and 4

Norwood is a fabulous location and I’m enjoying my daily walks around the neighbourhood and marvelling at the beautiful homes.  Wednesday morning saw Alle Goldsworthy, one of the Trust volunteers arrive bright and early to take me to my first official workshop at the St Peter’s library.  She very kindly brought me some delicious home made soup too.

St Peter’s is not far from Norwood – really just down Osmond Terrace.  The library has recently undergone a complete renovation and is absolutely stunning.  A very sympathetic restoration of the old building incorporated with dramatic modern finishes.  My workshop took place in what used to be a hall but is a much swisher venue now.  Alle and I met with Debi and got everything set up.  The only small difficulty was a lack of white board, which I find invaluable when teaching and demonstrating writing techniques.  Some butcher’s paper and pens provided a work around solution.

The students arrived eager to get on with it.  There were five boys and ten girls ranging in age from about 8-13.  As soon as we began it was obvious there were a few very creative thinkers and I really enjoyed the time with them.  Two hours flashed by.

Alle then took me for lunch in Norwood – we were both very keen for a coffee by this stage and then it was back to The Burrow to get writing.  But to tell you the truth, I had lots of emails to catch up on and was feeling very restless.  About 3pm I set off to go for a walk – I wanted to explore some of the other streets on the way to The Parade.  The Norwood shopping precinct is lovely and I had already spotted about 6 shoe shops, two of which I passed on yesterday’s walk.  There were some fabulous boots (half price!) out the front and so I ventured in.  And the boots ventured into a shopping bag and back home with me.

I stopped for a coffee and met a friendly Colombian girl who was working in the café.  She was telling me she’d recently moved to SA from Bondi and was finding it far more affordable in Adelaide – although harder to get work in her field as a social worker.  We chatted about Colombia and whether she wanted to go back and live there permanently.  Her comment was that Australian’s don’t know how lucky they are and that she’s reluctant to go back due to safety concerns.

I’m sure that I’ll see her again – the coffee was great.

So last night I spent quite a lot of time thinking about the manuscript, researching some more Japanese quirks and customs and planning my work for Thursday.  I also made some updates to my website and found that the cover for Alice-Miranda In New York was already on the Random House UK site in anticipation of it’s April 2014 release.

Thursday morning and it’s bright and sunny – and very windy.  Last night the rain was intermittently torrential, but the Burrow is very warm and cosy.

Today I need to make serious progress on the manuscript if I want to have any chance of finishing it by the end of next week – and getting Clementine Rose done too.

So, back to the post after many hours at the computer.  Good progress – and fun research.  Looking forward to Ian arriving tomorrow.

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