I live for my family. I live for friends, a good walk, red skinny jeans and cooking the perfect creme brulee. I also live for the Brisbane Writers' Festival. This is my time of the year. I have my already well-worn copy of the program from The Weekend Australian. I have colour-coded events and authors I absolutely must see, events I wouldn't mind seeing and events outside my usual taste and comfort-zone - for this is where serendipity comes into play. I have a (growing) list of books I must buy at this year's festival and I am about to transform my initial confusion (think kid in a candy shop) into a very grown-up spreadsheet. Go to www.bwf.org.au for ticket details.
Another reason why I love the Brisbane Writers' Festival, apart from all things books, is that it marks a time when the weather begins to turn in our beautiful city. I have embraced winter rather than endured it this year - with the help of a slow cooker, a super-comfy cable-knit jumper and our new fire-pit in the back yard. But there's no time of the year I look forward to with such anticipation than September.The State Library's Queensland Terrace with its Great Wall of China (one hell of a crazy tea set) is touched by the warm hand of spring, birds are atwitter and City Council buses rumble by on the street level below. It's there that I see the same lady from West End every year as if some magic brings us together to the same spot year after year. We both know this and we glean a silly comfort from it. I don't even know her name.
Today also marks the deadlines for several short story competitions that have plagued my working subconscious for some time. Do I have anything ready? Maybe. Do I have anything good enough to enter in the extremely profitable Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers? Probably not, but it's worth a crack and the experience is invaluable. So today, I will be at my desk in a flurry of last-minute editing, concentration and hope.