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Kate left today, but Julie somehow mysteriously got to stay another week. This is great, less change for me, and she’s a fun character. We did a reading last night, Kate, Julie and I, sitting around the fire with a glass of wine. It was so interesting to see how we’re all working on such completely different things, and yet this place has just brought out the inspiration in us. They liked my stuff, which was a relief (I always feel a little nervous about sharing it with other writers), and gave me lots of good ideas with all their questions and “I want to know what happens with that” and “describe that section for me”. This morning I have gotten some great writing done, stuff that just flowed. I can’t tell you what a wonderful feeling that is.

I went to a chocolate shop this morning (Jen, I finally went!), had a scrummy hot chocolate (kind of like max brenner’s) and bought some chilli chocolates, which I love. Then walked down to Echo Point to look at Megalong Valley but of course there were a million tourists there so not really that picturesque or atmospheric. It’s amazing to go down there in autumn at dusk, when almost everyone else is gone, the air is really cold and crisp, and the fog starts to roll in.

I can feel that this week a lot of good stuff is going to happen. It’s taken a little while to settle in here, and I’m still not sleeping properly, but the words are coming more easily now, and the ideas are starting to gel instead of banging around in my head with nothing to anchor them. The characters have come alive again. Not that they were ever dead, as such, but I kind of forgot who they were, and all their little quirks and idiosyncracies. It’s nice to get to know them again and also to have so much more space in this novel (than when it was a 20,000 word thesis) so I can explore tangents if I want instead of having to sum up a whole childhood in three lines.