Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm grateful for an abundance of inspiration in Brisbane...

It's been an amazing week of inspiration on the writing front. Brisbane is so rich in people, places and programs. I seriously don't want to leave, except that it is SO HOT!!!

Here's just a taste of what I am grateful for this week...

1.     THE MUSE: My muse has been working over time, blessing me with inspiration for the new novel. I couldn’t keep up with the ideas so I had to ask him to stop being so good at his job. To keep him occupied though while my fingers caught up with my brain, I got him to go through all the brochures, business cards, menus etc I’ve been collecting here the last few weeks. I’m grateful that my muse is practical and efficient too.

2.     BLACK+WRITE PROJECT: As part of my residency here at QUT, I have been working with Ellen van Neerven-Currie and Linda McBride-Yuke. Both are doing the kuril dhagun Indigenous Editing Mentorship program within the black+write project at the State Library of QLD. It’s been a learning experience for all of us; even after going through the process of editing twelve of my own books, Linda and Ellen taught new ways of considering my current work. In exchange, I taught them some different strategies and processes from am author’s perspective. For my small amount of time with them (six hours in total), I am incredibly grateful. I’m also pleased there will soon be two more qualified Indigenous editors in the industry.

3.     SHERLY GWYTHER: I’m especially grateful for local writer and artist Sheryl Gwyther for her time, energy and enthusiasm when it comes to supporting writers. Sheryl was at the forefront of the fight against parallel importation of books in recent years, and is often seen at events in Brisbane supporting local writers, and indeed, visiting writers like myself. This week alone I am grateful for her treks to QUT and to the SLQLD to catch up and talk about issues important to all of us as writers: ethics, publishing protocols, the need for support from our writing orgs and so on. You can check out Sheryl’s blog  in preparation for her cameo appearance here in the near future when she presents her own ‘five gratefuls’.

4.     ALI COBBY ECKERMANN: I’ve mentioned Ali Cobby Eckermann here before. She’s a poet, novelist and all round deadly woman who also established the Aboriginal Writers Retreat. Last night I was one of the privileged audience members who heard a reading from Ali’s forthcoming novel Ruby Moonlight, written as part of the kuril dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship. I am grateful to Ali (pictured above) for the inspiration she brings me, but I’m more grateful I can call her my friend.

5.     SUE McPHERSON: Last night, I met for the first time Sue McPherson, also a recipient of the kuril dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship. I listened to her read from her work Grace Beside Me and was entertained and engaged.  I can’t wait to delve into the complete work when it is released through Magabala Books in April 2012. I’m grateful for another new voice to hit the Australian literary scene, and also that Sue is a Wiradjuri Williams, just like me!

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