In between travelling, work, and illness, I’ve neglected the blog this past couple of weeks! My apologies to my regular readers. So, here’s a summary catch-up!
The rest of our outback trip went well. We had planned to spend two nights in Oodnadatta, but as the rain clouds threatened – and the town is at least 280km of dirt road from anywhere – we ended up leaving a day early to avoid the rain, which reached us just before we got to the sealed road at Marla. So, we stayed for two nights at the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy instead, which gave us a relaxing day wandering around the town and seeing some of the area. (But I didn’t buy any opals!)
Our next overnight stop was Quorn, an old, pretty town at the southern end of the Flinders Ranges, with many nineteenth century buildings, including the old railway station on the old Ghan line.
The next day we travelled on across South Australia and back into New South Wales, to the outback town of Broken Hill. Sustained by mining for well over 100 years, Broken Hill is an interesting town – a place I’d love to have more time to explore. However, sadly I had to leave Gordon and our friends in Broken Hill, and fly to Sydney on the Thursday and then the Gold Coast on the Friday for my next adventure…
The Gold Coast Literati events were great fun. There were about 30 authors in attendance, and the program kicked off with the Literati Feast on Friday night, at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. With two authors per table, moving to a different table each course, it was a great way to meet people and talk about books, writing, and other subjects. Good food, good company, and lively conversation – I enjoyed the evening, and hope the many guests did, too.
On the Saturday morning, I was on a panel with the delightful Toni Jordan and Karen Foxlee at Broadbeach Library, where we talked about the pleasures and pain of writing a second book after a successful debut novel. About thirty people attended, including Eric, a long time reader of this blog, and it was great to meet him at last!
The only shadow over these few days of the time away was that my father was ill in Canberra. We’d previously arranged that my older sister, who lives an hour or so from the Gold Coast, would come and stay with me on the Saturday night, and as it turned out rather than me going home on Sunday, both of us travelled to Canberra to see Dad. Fortunately, by the time we got there he was a lot better, and he continues to improve, so after spending most of Monday with him in the hospital, I was comfortable enough to fly home that evening. Just to top off the ‘adventure’ though, the plane circled my town trying to land three times, but because of low cloud we couldn’t, and we were eventually diverted to Tamworth, and then bussed up to Armidale – getting in 2.5 hours later than planned. Then I had to pick up my car from my friend’s place, and drive home… I finally got home, to a cold empty house, about midnight – not the most fun part of the trip!
The week since then has been busy with work, and with battling the cold/flu that I picked up somewhere along the way. I have managed to download the photos from the outback trip, although we did so much driving that there aren’t a lot of them. I’ll go through them in the next week or so and put any good ones in a a gallery.
Tomorrow is a public holiday here, and I have proof pages of book 2 to work on, and to get the house a little tidier for my honorary brother and niece who are visiting overnight – I’m looking forward to seeing them. But now it’s late, and I need to get to bed.