For the last couple of weeks Steven and I have been staying in a 26th-floor apartment in Kings Cross, looking out over Sydney Harbour and (if you dare to go out on the balcony) the whole city from the mountains (between the city towers) to the sea (beyond the Heads). Most mornings I've been getting up early and working while the sun comes up and the view changes from twinkling city lights to sunlit city blocks—although mostly it's been pretty moody and grey weather-wise.
I won't say it's been as good as a holiday, because I feel as if I've barely stopped working, but we've done some holidayish things, wandering around this part of town—well, more like clambering than wandering, up and down flights of sandstone steps everywhere. Walking right into the city centre from our home base is a bit of a novelty. We've seen an officially Historic House (Elizabeth Bay) and a lot of unofficial ones, and been to an exhibition or two ('Painting the Rocks' at the Museum of Sydney and 'Mari Nawi' at the State Library). And we've yacht-watched and cruise-liner-spotted and square-rigger-monitored, not to mention making a lot of sage observations about the weather. It sure is a purty harbour, and it's very easy to forget it's there when you live in Lewisham and work in Kensington.
I've done a lot of novel revision. I've more-or-less fixed the first third, and I'm maybe halfway through re-drafting the problematical (saggy, miserable, repetitive, bit dull) middle section. Feels as if it's working, is as much as I can say.
I've also been assessing a lot of applications for the Publishing and Promotion Grants that the Lit Board decides on at the end of November. This wasn't as big a job as I'd feared, so there'll be more time for novelising and short-story-writing than I thought there'd be in the next week or so, which is a relief.
- Sixty Lights, by Gail Jones
- The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson
- and I've begun Tove Jansson's Fair Play (thanks, Kathryn!) as well.
I went to a wonderful gathering of women writers in Glebe the other night—you can see me there over at Anita Heiss's blog
. It was excellent to whinge and laugh and generally compare notes, and just to be in the same room with people who are obsessed and anxious in the same way as I am. I know, there's always the Internet, but face-to-face is sane-making too sometimes.
The only other news is minor physical glitches that I won't bore you with, except to say keep your abs strong and don't bite your nails. ;)
Onward and upward.