September 28-October 7
Edit diary: A little bit of editing happened – way behind expectations. I hope to complete the current sweep of Present tense soon before moving to Future hope, the third in a family saga series. A number of mundane happenings (pest and termite inspection requiring furniture removal from walls, servicing of air-conditioning, appliance breakdown, business meetings etc. etc.) interrupted the edit flow and there were a few unexpected events as well. Never mind, with the walls and floors behind furniture exposed what better time to dive into spring-cleaning that somehow didn’t happen properly last year. Too busy swanning around Europe and Canada and having a great time. Will include one photo reminder from last year – Vancouver, one of my favourite places away from home. However a number of bus journeys to and from Brisbane last week gave the opportunity to catch up on reading.
Reading: Back to a third read of Six months in Sudan: a young doctor in a war-torn village, by James Maskalyk – an incredible and saddening catalogue of civil strife and trauma, unmet basic needs and epidemics of preventable diseases and lack of infrastructure and essential resources. It wasn’t a new story then and although the north and south of Sudan have since separated, the situations continue. Wonderfully low-key writing that packs a punch. I am backing up the reading with watching the newly released MSF TV AUSTRALIA program which will run for a month. Compelling viewing. So much being done; so much still to do. If only we could change the world. Of course the questions are ‘which we’? and ‘change which way?’ Could go in an entirely unbearable direction instead of towards harmony and help and fairness.
Another disturbing read was Dorothy Koomson’s tale of tragic events that affected two teenage girls and the lasting and widespread legacy that followed. The blurb says ‘Gripping, thought-provoking and heart-warming, The Ice Cream Girls will make you wonder if you can ever truly know the people you love. I stayed with the book because of the excellent writing.
My current book is Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. The writing is superb and lives up to previous books of hers that I enjoyed – March and People of the Book. I look forward to having the companionship of the two main characters, Caleb and Bethia over following days and learning more of their lives in the 1660s between Martha’s Vineyard and Cambridge.
Writers Group: A small group this month but as usual we travelled far and wide, enjoyed the company and benefited from the constructive comments and suggestions offered.
Other news: Last night, two of our members – Marci and Sara, received Highly Commended certificates at the Redlitzer Short Story awards, and launch of the second annual anthology. It was a very successful event in support of emerging writers in the Redlands. The anthology features ten stories from adult writers and ten from young people. Another read to be savoured. And in ten days I’ll attend the launch of a friend’s fifth book.