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The Sun in an Odd Place

Arrived at the KSP Centre without incident. Made friends with the local cat. Spent many minutes frantically scrubbing at my black knit top to get rid of the cat hair. Had a Zyrtec.

Opened and peered into every drawer and cupboard that I could open and peer at in this house. The definition of the house is dusty, filled with old books and lots of peculiar dark corners. Many drawers are filled with junk. There's a locked cupboard with ancient and dilapidated copies of Katherine Susannah Prichard's works. I grabbed a copy of Connardoo to read. There were nice, new-ish copies available in unlocked portions of the house, but I wanted the nice, battered, peeling version. (If it's not a book that belongs to me, I like ém dilapidated.) I shall ensure it stays in exactly the same fragile condition when I return it.

My room faces the garden. My windows, filled with nourishing, spine-tingling sunlight, are helpfully shielded by a flaming bougainvillea in drag on the left and an eucalyptus tree on the right. One of my moderators apologised for the overly-grown hedge that walls the path behind the tree. I told I liked hedges overgrown. There is a studio at the end of the garden, about 30 ft away from my bedroom window where the original occupant worked at. It's a dark little room with a paper thin carpet and cupboards that won't shut properly. The occupant kept her works there, so there are labels written on the wood in chalk, which apparently must not be disturbed in case the chalk fades. It was kind of interesting, that. But the room was dark and though it's free for members to hire and write there, apparently only one person ever tried and didn't want to come back after the first session.

benpeek was just warning me this morning that I really would bump into little old ladies, and markfinncabbit quite vehemently knows they might want to feed me up. I have indeed met one little old lady, a lovely, dear, sweet lady who said I shouldn't be afraid to ask for help and that they'd make sure I was taken care of. She was very neatly powdered and pressed. A number of the other old ladies I met this afternoon were just old.

The conference room down the hall from mine has beautifully restored black and white photographs of the house's original occupants. There are two other bedrooms in the house. The only other functioning one is a bit smaller, but also a bit less well lit and more my style. The room I've been put in is large, with a nice view, but tragically filled with sunlight. The third unusable bedroom is a dusty archival room. Someone politely wrote 'DOOM'at the back of the whiteboard next to the door. The kitchen is well stocked with many kinds of tea and lots of organic products. They even have the brand of biodegradable dishwashing liquid I like. I have roughly enough food to last me 14 days in dinners I froze myself. I have set it up so that each portion is actually equivalent to two portions of food for me -- hopefully I won't starve.

Attended two writing groups within hours of arrival. Quite unexpected, as I didn't have to attend these meetings till next week, but I went in anyway. The Young Writers group had three girls who suddenly wanted to write song lyrics. The mod for this group told me beforehand they'd never been tried with poetry before, and I was ready to do a bit of haiku if it came to that, but the girls just took over. It was quite amazing to watch them come up with lyrics on the fly -- they were very capable of doing so. Admittedly, I'd have gone down like the Red Baron if I was asked to do the same. Not only that, the images were thought out -- we had two heartbroken little girls and one burgeoning goth. As I was telling the mokie, children who have not been exposed to poetry cannot possibly turn goth.

I was supposed to read a poem at the kids' group, but I kind of bungled up that one. I had about four hours to prepare, though I seriously spent a lot of that time just trying to get my things in order and writing a blurb for my own workshop (it was due out of the blue right before the office volunteer left that day). So I didn't have a poem to read for them. I did have the first part of A Foreigner's View of the River to show the Thursday Night Group, which seemed to have gone down well. The piece itself is slow, so I knew there'd be comments with that in mind, but I did get a lot of different perspectives. Definitely an interesting group to sit in on. The kinds of work on offer with this group were varied. Everything from nephillim (there goes the first novel I ever wrote...) to angst-laden wallflowers of darkness to nice stories about fear of social gossip in 60s polite society to docu-drama scripts with The Painted Bird-style gang rape narratives. The quality was alright, and the group was keen to share opinions, which was definitely a plus.

I got to say something about my proposed workshop. Didn't really come out right, since I was stressing using religion as a tool in writing rather than it being a good way to explore religious questions one wouldn't normally be able to in normal conversations, but it seemed people caught on to the right idea. I skipped the tagline about faith and suspension of disbelief sharing similar mechanisms -- I was too sleepy, too nervous and I knew I wouldn't have been able to speak about it convincingly at the time. Met two Committee members in one day, and both pointed out my workshop was interesting for being an odd duck. It better be a good odd duck, I think. I'll have to do my best to make it work.

Was shown the alarm and locks by a very nice elderly gentleman. Still counting my food stores.

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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
countlibras
Nov. 16th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
a flaming bougainvillea in drag
I must admit that I first read that as "a flaming drag queen." I might need to cut back on watching America's Next Top Model.

The room I've been put in is large, with a nice view, but tragically filled with sunlight
We must save your inner goth girl from the light! :D

Still counting my food stores.
I wonder if hamster count the amount of food in their cheek pouches, or if it is more "whee! food! oh no! all out!"

Anyway, I have no doubt that you'll do your best. :)
countlibras
Nov. 16th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
It should have been the plural form "hamsters".

Must read before clicking the post button!
markfinn
Nov. 16th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
I believe it goes "Whee Food! Must bury it in bedding! Oh no. Can't find it again. Why does my bed touch the roof? No, no food here. GIVE ME MORE!"
countlibras
Nov. 16th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know about your hamster, but no hamster of mine ever hid his food in his bed.

It was more like, "must pee, too lazy to go to peeing corner, will pee in bed."
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
That is one seriously lazy hamster. Hamsters usually are picky about segmenting their households!
countlibras
Nov. 17th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
It was probably old age, actually.
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC)
*comprehends* *sad*
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
Think of them as very tiny dragons, sitting upon tiny hoards...
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
*grins* I wondered how many people would slip up the bougainvillea. ;)

I sincerely believe a hamster merely pouches everything it can find, piles it all up back home and completely forgets how much food was available. If the pile is big, it's good. If the pile is HYOOGE, it's very good. But by the time half of it is eaten, the other half would be stale -- and the hamster might've forgotten it was ever there. Hamster food piles are virtually never empty...
markfinn
Nov. 16th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Sounds, on the balance, to be pretty ok way to be/place to stay. gAnbE as they'd say here.
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
What's a gAnbE and can it be eaten?
markfinn
Nov. 17th, 2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
Chinese equivalent (whith bad intonation patterning) to "Genki-dah" or whatever that "be lively"/"do the best"/"go for it" phrase is.
vampyrichamster
Nov. 17th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
"Ganbatte", you mean? *tries to remember the Chinese equivalent* *can't* *ashamed!*
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )