It’s the last morning of my writing residency at Bundanon. I’m sitting with my coffee, looking down towards the billabong. Mist settles softly in the gully.
It’s a magic place, and it’s been a very productive time for me here.
I admit I was a bit frenzied, scribbling away for long hours. But it’s rare to get that opportunity – for me, anyway. I’m one of the many writers (the majority) who also have jobs and write in any cracks in time we can create.
I’ve written the first draft of 1917 – let’s call it draft zero, because it’s pretty ratty in places and needs many more drafts before it’s approaching readable. But it’s down on paper – well, in Scrivener – and out of my head and I know what happens to everyone in the end and now I can’t even look at it. I’ll print it out in a week or two, read it in full, and then start work on it again.
Then I did some work on a short story about a bushranger, for an anthology of adventure tales. And at some point I sat on the river bank and wrote a little piece about fishing for another anthology.
Yesterday I even had a day off, checking out the Bundanon homestead with its miraculous collection of generations of Boyd family artworks, and then spent hours with dear friends and dogs at Culburra beach.
So next, it’s back to Canberra overnight, a few hours’ research at the National Library (and hopefully a glimpse of the Rothschild manuscript) and the long drive back to Melbourne and reality.
I’m sorry to leave, sorry to stop writing all day and night, sorry to have to wear clothes that aren’t topped by a dressing-gown, and most of all sorry to leave this place.
I’ll be back.