This is part of an introduction I did at the Victorian SCBWI Meeting on Saturday afternoon. While I’m not writing, under my pen-name of Corinne Fenton – as Corinne King, I look after the Victorian Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, an organisation for professional children’s writers and illustrators. The Australian website is www.scbwiaustralia.org and international site is www.scbwi.org
‘Last Wednesday was only a part of what has been a very challenging week and month so I thought I’d take a moment to talk about ‘challenges.’
Wednesday began quite normally with me almost finalising numbers for this meeting and posting my Wednesday blog post. The rest of the day was organised – a walk through the bush with my sister and her dog Max (leisurely), a quick trip to the doctor to pick up a prescription (easy) followed by a funeral (which was always going to be challenging.)
The day started going downhill when Max insisted on sniffing everything about him and rolling about in every muddy puddle he could find, which made me late for my doctor’s appointment. As I drove I attempted to phone the clinic to explain I was running late and ended up being entertained, white-knuckled hands on the steering wheel, by 10 mins of Musak instead.
Out of the three car parks at the clinic, all were full so I ‘borrowed’ a spot and raced to the foyer. As the lift was taking forever I decided to race up the stairs to the 5th floor – that’s how I got locked in the stairwell – for a while.
30 minutes later I actually saw my doctor (while I clock-watched) then grabbed a coffee and croissant to eat in the car on the way to the funeral. Then came the call from La Notte, our regular meeting venue – ‘Our floor has collapsed.’ Mario promised to try and find an alternative venue.
On the journey from Templestowe to Mulgrave I ate my lunch, sipped my coffee and changed from my grotty track suit into more funereal-suitable clothing at each set of traffic lights. My greatest fear along Springvale Road was that I’d pull up next to a truck. Getting track pants off and tights on, was the greatest challenge. I kept thinking of the lady whose funeral I was going to – my best friend’s Aunty Adrian, and I knew she’d be laughing.
I did make the funeral on time – just – and for a couple of hours I forgot about my little own little challenges and thought more of Aunty Adrian’s husband and their six daughters. The girls talked about a lady who fashioned six lots of double plaits each morning before school – was a creative cook, a cub leader, an animal lover, a mother and I thought about her challenges.
Although La Notte tried to find an alternative venue – by 6.00 p.m. Wednesday night I was having a few moments of ‘concern’. But to be honest, compared to the challenge Aunty Adrian’s family were facing it was nothing, I knew I’d find something, somewhere. So here we are at Dimattinas.
Three week’s ago I returned from a blissful month at the May Gibbs Studio in Brisbane, where I was totally focused on myself and my writing. The last three weeks have been challenging – the night after I returned my son had an anaphylactic attack, his girlfriend left home under difficult circumstances and moved in with us temporarily – with her 10 week old puppy called Maverick. We live on a main road, on a cliff, without fences but in spite of this, – a story has been screaming at me, inside my head and it’s made it into 2 pages of draft form – page 2 of which Maverick ate! (Thankfully it was backed up!)
So really, finding an alternative venue for today’s meeting was child’s play and life will always be full of all kinds of challenges.’