Faber Academy – Week 3

Sorry that this one’s a bit late! I’ve had a week of school talks, emergency fillings and other joys.

Faber Academy week three – how quickly it’s all going! This week we had a guest speaker – master of bum jokes, Mr Andy Griffiths himself! Andy has just released an e-book called Andypedia, which is super cheap and contains a lot of info about his stories, including where they came from. This is pretty useful stuff for writers who hope to one day tap into the kids market as successfully as he has.

Unfortunately I missed most of his talk – I had a school talk in Geelong so I didn’t get back to the city until half an hour before the end – but even that half hour was pretty worthwhile! We didn’t do any writing in class, but Andy talked about writing practice, and filling a page a day, with free unprocessed writing.He suggested that a good way to do this is just observational stuff – lists/details etc. It’s good writing practice, good practice at noticing and you never know when it might come in handy! So today when I arrived at a school talk half an hour early and it was just around the corner from this beautiful isolated piece of beach it seemed like a good time to do just that! Here’s the result.

…Beach smells like salt and a little bit like dead fish. I can see the blue of the sea just peeking out above the bushes that cover the slight rise in front of me. I can hear the waves but I can’t see them. There is a bit of wind – enough to blow that ocean smell – the one from my childhood up here to me, but not enough to blow away the warmth of the sun on my legs and my back.

It is sunny, but not unbearably so. I can still read my words. The sun isn’t shining enough yet to make the paper a blinding, unreadable white.

There are little grey butterflies/moths? fluttering around the grey shrub directly in front of me, invisible but for the movement of their wings. There are dandelions and some sort of green creeper that is covering everything – it has even grown into the grey plant and is curling up the stems in a caress, but maybe not a gentle one.

Not many of the trees are tall as is so often the case with beach trees. It’s as if they know that there’s a view and don’t want to block it. There is one stump poking up higher than the rest and a few spindly gum trees – reminding me that this is not just a beach, but an Australian one. There is sand and gravel where I’m sitting. A little alcove with two wooden picnic benches faded to the grey of driftwood, a barbeque under a shelter, and for some odd reason, a giant stone wombat. Are there wombats here? I doubt it.

I can see the surf club but no path down to the beach itself. When I walked further along there was an opening, but closed off with a wire fence and the stone wall behind had a circle with a cross painted on it saying – “don’t go here”.

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