Varuna-ings

This weekend I’ll be on stage at Raw Poet Roar (Saturday, Dec. 1) at The Box in West End. Darkwing Dubs has organised a massive line-up of features, so it’s going to be intense like 70% chocolate. Om nom nom. See you there?

Time has slipped away again, and the week I spent at Varuna occupies a dreamspace between crazy October and busy November. Varuna is a writing retreat in the Blue Mountains — a property owned (for a long time) by Eleanor and Eric Dark. I read Eleanor’s Prelude to Christopher in university; it was strange and splendid reading from her own library at her home. (I got hooked on Jane Eyre.)

Every Australian writer should visit Varuna at least once. I emerged with a manuscript and a new suite of poems. The time alone was both fruitful and challenging. The company was wonderful (four other women writers happened to be in residence that week), and you don’t want to die without having tried Sheila’s cooking. We spent most evenings eating slowly, talking, and drinking wine. I spent the early hours writing.

I had to learn to forgive myself for not being productive every waking hour. And, on the other hand, I had to learn to handle the quiet — and having only the writing to focus on. It was a very strange space for this frequently overloaded brain.

Back in the real world, I’m editing my manuscript and sending things off all over the place. I hope you can read the results soon. I’m very grateful to CAL for the funds that got me to Varuna (and I’d better get on that acquittal quicksmart).

See you Saturday, when we’ll be roaring and yawping at The Box.

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