So, I’m in the advanced state of terror that comes before writing with me. It’s the feeling that anything that I’ve ever written that I could ever bear to look at again was nothing but a fluke, and that I must prove myself wrong. The effort of emotional involvement is great, and I’m not a person who rushes towards heightened emotional states (rather the reverse; I like calm, dislike suspense).
I’ve got two short stories I need to finish, and a novel that in a spectacular fit of optimism I agreed to submit by the end of the year. Much like the skeleton jetty of the image, it’s more the idea of a novel at the moment with a couple of structural stumps I plan to hang other bits off. But that’s something, right?
I’ve been thinking about this jetty, which is on the Coorong. On the other side, the mainland, is where my ancestor’s original sheep station was, and behind me on the peninsula is where they moved their house to, nestled among the sand dunes. Was this their jetty, I wonder. Could it survive in any form at all for 170 years or more? Maybe not, but it doesn’t matter really. There would have been a jetty, and it would have been from this point that my great great great grandmother was rowed at dead of night in a gale, in labour, in mortal danger, on a frantic journey towards help. It seems more, bigger, more vivid and real in my imagination.
It was the flowers that were the best thing. We just got lucky after a wettish spring, I suppose. They were like tapestries against the sand.
A recent review of The Best Australian Stories 2013 (by Tali Lavi in The Melbourne Review) came at a good time. We all need a pick-me-up from time to time.