Monday, October 17, 2011
Bris-Vegas residency... I'm grateful for Day 1
Today I began a month long writing residency at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. It is a gift to me as my next novel will be set in Brisbane and indeed one of the characters is a mature-aged student who goes back to study at, you guessed it... QUT! So, for the next four weeks I will be presenting lectures, meeting with students, working with trainee editors at the SLQLD and doing lots of writing. Of course, while I am here I’ll be conducting ‘research’ (and to see my previous researching in Brisbane check out my blog posts for the first week of March this year).
My first day on the Kelvin Grove campus was mind blowingly wonderful, and here are the main things I am grateful for:
1. QUT/CAL: Obviously, I wouldn’t be here without the invitation from QUT’s Creative Industries who put the proposal to me earlier this year. And making it all happen was the Copyright Agency Ltd (if you are a published writer and you’re not a member of CAL then you’re mad!). My heartfelt gratitude to both for giving me the opportunity to teach students here, but also to have the time to produce some new work.
2. OODGEROO UNIT: In partnership with Creative Industries is the Oodgeroo Unit who have gone out of their way to make me feel welcomed into their academic space. The unit is the centre of QUTs activities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and is headed by Anita Lee Hong. As you can imagine having two Anita’s in the office can be difficult, or a lot of fun. We’re both getting confused by the questions that should be directed at the other. The fact that we both wear tiaras doesn’t help! Seriously, I’m grateful to be working for the month amongst some deadly blackfellas from around the country who have made QUT their home for work or educational purposes. I think I may have to apply for the next job that pops up because the positive energy here is infectious.
3. RIVER WALK: What I love about my visits to Brisbane is that I can stroll down to Eagle Street Pier and have a walk along the river in the morning (or evening except with no daylight saving it’s darker earlier than Sydney!). I’m grateful for my power walk this morning that allowed me the opportunity to start my day thinking about my characters and storylines and while I looked at the cafes and bars they may have to go to one night. Of course, that will require some research on my part.
4. POSITIVE PEOPLE: I’m grateful for coffee time with a like-minded soul at QUT this morning where we talked about the choices (or not) to be happy as individuals in our everyday lives. I couldn’t get my pen out quick enough to write down all his pearls of wisdom, but one I punched into my phone was: ‘It’s morally important to be happy’. Thanks CB for that... I like to consider myself a moral person... so I will be happy, right?
5. BEING ALIVE: Today was one of those days when I smiled all day. Brisbane often does that to me. I feel good here. I feel healthy. I feel happy. Being surrounded by generous spirited, kind, helpful and hospitable people reminds me that the world – and indeed Brisbane - really is a wonderful place to be most days.