I've been catching up on a bit of blog reading before work and it's good to see that most of my regular reads are still there. Miss Jen Jen, however, has well and truly gone, and even Mavis Appelby hasn't written since May. A shame.
I realised yesterday that I only have one more year in which to enter the Australian/Vogel novel awards. It's something I've always thought I'd like to do and as time is running out (you have to be under 35 to qualify) I think I should probably get onto it fairly soon. Trouble is, I've never come any where near writing a novel or even coming up with any novelish ideas. I only seem to think in terms of short stories. However, if nothing else, it'll be a good exercise in writing a longer piece. The minimum word count is 30 000 words and the maximum you can submit is 100 000.
So I think this will keep me occupied for a while - I think the due date is May next year. Trouble is that there is this pesky little MA that I'm supposedly doing, but for which my interest and enthusiasm is rapidly waning. I'd rather write stories.
It's odd to come back to your desk and discover the traces left by the you-about-to-go-on-a-long-holiday.
clear out emails
and the last minute panicked post-it notes:
check if I need Visa
It's raining today for the first time since I've been back as if Melbourne was holding it in, like someone sucking in their gut, trying to impress, until the effort became too great. It doesn't matter. I don't mind the rain; it's wind that I hate.
I started looking for short courses yesterday (the sort of thing you do when you've just returned). Something about writing, I was thinking, but then I discovered some interesting sounding classes through the Swineburne site - perhaps pancake fantasy might be interesting (if only to discover what kind of pancakes people fantisize about) or gingerbread house. Sadly, close encounters with remarkable trees doesn't seem to be available at the moment, but it is to be hoped that should it run it would be done so in a classroom far removed from the students learning safe chainsaw operation.
So, like, I'm back. I mean, I'm really, really back. I'm sitting at my desk, I've gone through the 670 emails in my inbox, I've signed three Birthday cards, I've become reaquainted with the guys in the Turkish supermarket across the road. I don't even have jetlag anymore. And yes, I was very, very slack with my blogging. I'm sorry. I have no real excuses, except that I just didn't really feel like it. I kept thinking of things to write, but by the time we found an internet cafe we would be in a different country and well, the moment just seemed to have passed. So I owe the blog some updates. My blogging essay finally got accepted, published and has already attracted a negative review on the blogosphere collection. I'm supposed to write a response, but my head hurts even thinking about it. I've had a couple of stories accepted by Cardigan Press too (the anthology being launched in August) which is quite nice.
And there are travel stories that I should put up, too. Like the fight we had with the man in the Europcar office in Chamonix where he became so enraged he threatened to take off his clothes. Or the story about Louis who was killed by a bird flying in through the window. Or how the Germans have no phrase for "having fun." Or Thieu being utterly incensed by the idea of paying to sit on the beach. But perhaps too much time has passed and it'd be better to concentrate on the process of fitting back into the Mebounre routine.
I learned something new today. Museli doesn't keep for three months. I made a huge batch of it before I left and put it in the cupboard at work for when I got back. This morning I pulled it out and it was filled with winged insects. Winged insects with very low cholestrol and healthy digestive tracts.