Redrafting, Melbourne, Something Forgotten

This is my set-up for the day:

Shifty Silas, Ready to Work

I will not leave the bed until I have finished some short stories and polished them up, all ready to submit. This shouldn’t be too hard – there’s at least a half-dozen story drafts on my hard drive that are finished and critiqued and basically waiting for me to give them the time to day, but for various reasons I haven’t been doing that and that’s gotta stop.

I constantly try to fight it, but the bed is pretty much my natural working place. I like being horizontal when I work. I like having room to spread out. I like being able to snuggle under blankets during winter and find a nice breeze in summer, and I like being close to my books (the vast majority of which live in my bedroom and always have). Further, there’s something indolent about working from the bed. As if the work you do there isn’t really work, not the way it is when you actually get up and get out of your jammies and go somewhere else to get things done.

I like studies too, don’t get me wrong. There are months when I acknowledge that a desk and a regular place and a schedule are utterly necessary, but today is not one of those days and February is not one of those months. March, I expect, will find me back in the office chair rather than lazing on the bed. March is always like that. It demands commitment.

February doesn’t. February is a month for dreaming, for tinkering, to fleshing ideas out. For shoring up a rickety story and sending it off to fly, fully cognizant of the possibility that it may topple over the edge and crash.

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I keep meaning to blog about the trip to Melbourne, but truthfully there really isn’t much to blog about there that would make sense to anyone that isn’t me. Melbourne and I have a weird kind of relationship; for decades now it’s the city that charms and kidnaps my favourite people in this world, luring them to the south to start new lives that always seem vaguely awesome from the outside. And every time I’m down there, I feel this little pang that my plans to move there didn’t pan out in 2011 (I got the day-job at QWC instead, which kept going longer than I’d originally been contracted for and rapidly proved too awesome to leave).

I caught up with my friend L. this trip; he moved down there years ago to work in a bookshop and has, since then, worked in a series of bookshops around Melbourne that always seem to be that little bit more impressive than the last one. I missed him on the last trip down ’cause he’d left the store he was working for and started at the Avenue Bookstore, which is one of those places that feels like a bookshop should feel and actually goes out of its way to stock an author’s back list along with their current books. I spent about an hour wandering around and checking stuff out, unintentionally walking out with three books I totally didn’t mean to buy simply ’cause there are some book stores that demand you buy stuff simply ’cause the store deserves your patronage.

I spent a lot of time hanging with my C’thulhu peeps, Al and Nic, who moved down there last year, and whose presence I miss horribly every Sunday evening when we used to gather and hang out. They continued their fine tradition of introducing me to new board games, showing off some of Melbourne’s more engaging bars, and introducing me to their local cafe which served one of the best cafe breakfasts I’ve ever eaten.

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In case you can’t make it out, that’s home-made baked beans (with some kind of shredded pork-belly in the sauce), a poached egg, and a chorizo sausage. It’s the food of the gods and I may have ended up dragging Al down there for breakfast a second time simply ’cause I wanted another go-around. It’s officially going on the list of things I must do in Melbourne now, right up there with a trip to San Churro and drinking too much.

I also spent a little time walking around the city this trip, which I don’t ordinarily do ’cause I’m usually there for work or cons rather than just taking a holiday. I was dismayed to discover there are parts of Melbourne where people grow palm trees in their parks:

Palm Trees in Albert Park

There are no words for how disappointed I am by this.

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There is no third part to this post. I thought there might be, but I was wrong.

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