Yesterday I went to the PO Box and discovered three copies of the latest One Book, Many Brisbanes anthologies waiting for me.
Naturally, my first response was sweet, free books, cause books that arrive in my PO Box are always free books by virtue of the fact that I’ve already paid for them and forgotten about it. It’s one of the more pleasant aspects of ordering books via the internet, especially if you have the same inclinations towards pre-ordering things that I do.
Except this time they actually were free books, I think, presumably because I was tangentially involved in the workshop put on for the finalists in the One Book, Many Brisbane’s competition, where, basically, I showed up and talked about writing for an hour or so with Cat Sparks and an editor for Overland whose name currently eludes me
Every now and then writers like to talk about how writing is a remarkably poor career choice, or at least a remarkably hard one, but the plus side is that every now and then someone will pay you to show up, talk about something you love, meet some new people who are generally interesting, and then hang-out with your friends for a bit afterwards.
And very occasionally you get sent free books, which is the sort of thing I’d hoped actually happened to writers back when I was ten and decided writing seemed like an interesting sort of job to spend the rest of my life pursuing.
Today is my last class out at UQ. Given that the assignments are all done and the class was remarkably small to begin with (7 people), I have a small bet with myself regarding how many people will actually show up for a Friday afternoon writing class on the last day of the semester.
I will be sad that the writing classes are done for the year. I rather miss teaching writing, for a variety of reasons, but the last few weeks have really brought home how useful it is to go back to basics. It’s no coincidence that we get to the tail end of the semester, with the marking and the what-do-you-do-when-this-story-is-done style questions, and there are suddenly stories being submitted again.
There is no third part to this entry.
Edit: Actually, no, just remembered, there is – Happy Birthday to JJ Irwin, who is one of the more talented writers I know who continues to not be published enough by virtue of the fact she goes off to do things like getting Master’s degrees. I recommend going back a few years and rereading her story, Still Living, over at Strange Horizons. Or checking out her story, Haniver, in the latest issue of Shimmer.