29 September, 2008

A note from the Island

Well, here I am looking out over the lawn at Joondoburri Conference Centre on Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia, The World. Sun is shining, magpies are stalking past, quiet conference-centre people go about straightening the chairs and wiping up the spilt wine-drops and cracker crumbs from where we all sat about last night.

It's the last day of the retreat, and I've well and truly retreated from real life; it's been the most amazing luxury to not only eat like a pig and drink like a fish every night, but to have all this uninterrupted time and quietness to catch up on my To-Do list and even, yesterday afternoon, get some sealwife story written. Having a bunch of mad writers to whinge to/share a desk with/indulge in piggery and fishery with/oh, there was some mentoring in there, too, has been a wonderful bonus. I wish we could go on for another couple of weeks. I would be the size of a house, my liver would be shot to pieces, but I would have those novellas in the bag.

I've been going on bike rides after lunch, exploring Bribie. There are very few nice old beach houses here, is all I'll say about the architectural heritage here. I aim to take pictures of all 5 of them for posterity on my ride this afternoon. There's only one road that goes right across the island, and unfortunately it's guarded by a very aggressive magpie, which will even cross to the other side of the road to swoop down on you. I have a bruise and two peck marks (upper beak and lower) on my left ear from the bugger. Nevertheless I'll bravely face it again today, to get my photos. Someone should video me pedalling furiously along the bike track, banging my helmet to frighten off that angry ball of feathers (and claws, and beak).

And now I must procrastinate no more, but go and write an article about short-story vs. novel writing.


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