Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A grateful farewell to Brisbane...

Today was my final stint in my QUT office as part of the month long writer in residency gig I was blessed with. It's a bitter-sweet farewell as I am desperate to see my family in Sydney, and enjoy time in my home (and my bed), but I have truly fallen in love with the 'river city'. It will be hard to drive south in the morning.

I have so much to be grateful for this past month, but today I'd like to make special mention of the following:

HIS ROYAL MUSENESS: I'm deeply grateful for my dear Muse who has been with me throughout my Brisbane research and writing time. I usually have a new hot muse per book, but I might have to keep this one for a few more. He has become very special to me and I do believe he feels the same, although there is a kind of muse-misconduct-code that I always abide by. You'll see above that he is busy researching Indigenous media - specifically The Koori Mail - but I'm sure he was hiding his tears at the same time. Which reminds me Mr Muse, please duck down to the Village as I need some more waterproof mascara!

OODGEROO UNIT: As I drove over the Story Bridge this morning, I contemplated my time here at the Oodgeroo Unit and the unconditional support and generosity I have been shown by staff and students. I have been so welcomed and taken care of that it feels like I am saying goodbye after years of being here, rather than just four weeks. I'm grateful to all the deadly staff (some pictured above and below) who are fabulously funny, warm, helpful and kind, and to the students who have dropped in to say 'G'day' to make me feel at home. You have forged a special place in my heart.

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES: I am grateful to Vivienne Muller, Craig Bolland and Sharyn Pearce from the faculty of Creative Writing and Literary Studies in Creative Industries who not only invited me to do this gig, but who have involved me as much as possible in CI initiatives and events. My dance card has been full - so to speak - and I'm grateful for the collegial atmosphere provided to me. I'm also grateful for the chance to mix with  graduating students at the end of year gala. You guys do know how to put on a spread!

COPYRIGHT AGENCY LTD: I'm grateful to CAL, for making all of this possible. Without financial support via CAL's Cultural Fund, I wouldn't have been able to come here at all, and the new book would've taken a year longer to write no doubt. I acknowledge the ongoing contribution that CAL makes to worthwhile projects nationally and look forward to working with them more in the future.

BRISBANE COMMUNITY: I am extremely grateful to all those locals who have tweeted me, commented on my Facebook fan page, provided ideas from the audience at my events and been generous with their ideas and feedback on how to make my new novel inclusive of all that is Brisbane. Your interest in, and support for my work is appreciated. I don't know why writers say it's a lonely profession... I certainly don't feel that way at all!

And now, that's it from me in Brisbane. It's hard to leave, especially as I jump out of bed each morning to walk along the magical Brisbane river. I will carry the views of the city with me in my memories (and my photos as per below) and look forward to returning.

Thanks for having me!

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