Friday, March 15, 2013

Days 26 - 28 in the Burrow

At the beginning of an adventure no amount of planning can truly prepare you for what lies ahead. Leaving behind a supportive family to live alone in a strange city for four weeks took a great deal of courage for me, and of course the Doubt Fairy sat on my shoulder in the weeks leading up to my May Gibbs Fellowship. But armed with a quote from Martin Freeman (when referring to his character, Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit'), I realised that not only did the quote relate to my own main character but also to myself and the journey I am on.
"True heroics is not the absence of fear, but having that fear and doing something anyway." Martin Freeman
The temptations of Adelaide's Mad Feb/March
When my time in Adelaide was almost up, it was tempting in the last three days to spend hours in North Terrace hopping from The Museum to the Art Gallery to the State Library. But the 37-39 C heat and my characters kept me locked away in the Burrow, chipping away at the manuscript. On the desk in front of me I had printed out in very large letters,
 'Just follow your gut feeling and write the bl....dy thing.' 

As many of you know writing the first draft of a novel is both pleasure and pain. There have been many times when I've wanted to go back and begin editing (which I love). But there's no point editing if you have not finished. And that is where I'm at - very nearly finished.

The Burrow
Now once more at home I still have the flush of enthusiasm spurring me towards the final chapters. And I have a great deal to be grateful for. Normally February is not a month when I achieve a lot. It's too humid, it's hot, it's clawing, it's busy with the start of school and uni and did I mention it's HUMID?

But, having spent most of that month in the dry air of South Australia (where every day is a good hair day) in the lovely air-conditioned Burrow, I have had the most amazing kick-start to the year. I'm far ahead of where I expected to be and the momentum to keep going has been put firmly in place. I've also learnt a lot about myself. For one, I'm pretty tough and if I say I can achieve something then I will, no matter how long it takes me.

Sad to hand back the keys
So this is not the end. I will always be a May Gibbs Fellow and I will honour the Fellowship and the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust by working hard to achieve my goals in the future. I am truly grateful to the trust, its volunteers and foundation members for this opportunity.

I'd like to heartfully thank the trust's National Program Coordinator, Sally Chance, for all her hard work and gracious assistance during my stay, together with the volunteers (you're all gorgeous); and also Mary and Ian Wilson, whose open-hearted generosity and foresight as founding members of the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust and the establishment of the Creative Time Residential Fellowship has enabled children's writers and illustrators like me the time, space and quiet to work, think and create.

Thank you all sincerely.


Daniela Sunde-Brown said...

Hooray! Glad to have you back home, but happy your novel is nearly done. Can't wait to read the end :)

DimbutNice said...

It's taken me longer than I'd like to catch up with you here. I am so pleased I have finally. I am so so pleased that you found your space and your courage and conviction to continue. Good on you Angela. Dim x

Jacqueline Harvey said...

Hi Angela, I wish I had found and read your blog earlier. I'm off to The Burrow tomorrow and have been a little nervous about it but it looks like you had a fabulous time. Sally Chance is away overseas for the entire duration of my stay - I had so hoped to meet her but it sounds like I'll be well looked after by the other members of the trust. Looking forward to blogging about it too. Thanks for your words of inspiration. Best wishes, Jacqueline Harvey

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Jacqueline,
By the time you read this you'll be snuggled in the Burrow amongst the inspiration that is embedded within its walls. For wifi I used my phone as a hot spot. A couple of cafes on the parade also had free wifi. Adelaide is a foodie heaven.
Enjoy your time and please feel free to ask me anything; I'm also on Facebook.
The MGCLT members will spoil you, I know. xx