We don’t bother too much with winter in Queensland, but this year it feels like we’ve overlooked it entirely. A couple of chilly mornings and that was it, which might explain why my photo gallery is looking so much more impressive than my word count. It’s been too glorious to be indoors at my desk. And who can resist pointing a camera at a bright blue winter sky or a perfect sunrise.
Certainly not me.
Unfortunately my propensity for posting winter snaps has prompted a few awkward questions, like: Are you still writing?
Well, yes, of course. (Social media counts, right?)
In truth I’m working on a project that is proving a little trickier than I had hoped. Some stories just fly off the keyboard, others need to be prodded and poked and considered from every angle. They reveal themselves slowly. Unfortunately the latter seems to be the case for this one. Hopefully the finished product will be worth the wait!
I can’t offer too much detail, but I can give you a taste of what I’ve been up to these past few months, when I haven’t been prodding my story.
Book Week always puts a spring in my step. This year I was invited to be part of the Ashgrove Literature Festival and also joined the celebrations at Faith Lutheran College, Redlands, sharing stories with an amazing bunch of kids who obviously really love reading. And what an inspirational group of librarians, teachers and staff I worked with during the week. Three cheers for you all. I don’t know how you do that every day!
Mt Warning (above): The remains of a volcanic plug in the Tweed River region of NSW. Magnificent tropical rainforest and stunning views over Cape Byron and the Border Range. A four hour return walk if you keep up the pace. The final stretch is steep and rocky. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear and watch your step!
Nothing beats writer’s block like a good walk in the bush on a glorious winter’s day!
Mt Cooroora (below): Best known as the venue for the annual Pomona King and Queen of the Mountain race. It’s a steep climb but the views over the Sunshine Coast hinterland are definitely worth the trek. Race winners get up and back in less than 30 minutes, but I’d allow one to two hours.
It’s Archibald Prize time!
A visit to the Art Gallery of NSW to see the finalists in Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize is a must, but getting the chance to frock up, admire the portraits and meet a few of the artists is a very special treat. I was lucky enough to be mingling with celebs of the art world last week: getting the low down from Prize winner Mitch Cairns on the vibrant portrait of his artist-partner, Agatha Gothe-Snape, and gleaning some insight into the work of super-talented, Kim Leutwyler, who painted football star, Michelle Heyman, to secure a place in the Archibald exhibition.
Loved your work and your stories, and thank you for making me look cooler than I actually am!
Thanks also to my ever-glam book-group buddy, Elizabeth Blackwood for keeping me company while my hubby shared sartorial notes with iconic comedian Barry Humphries. Magenta rules!
You come across the most surprising characters at the Archibald Prize Exhibition.
So, that was my winter. Now, back to some proper work!