By PD Martin
Last weekend saw the final part of a writing tour I’ve done this year for Writing Australia. While some authors get to tour a lot, and probably too much for their liking, that’s not generally the lot for us mid-list authors. So my last interstate dash was met with the excitement of someone who doesn’t get to travel for work much, if at all.
At the beginning of the year, Writing Australia (via Writers Victoria) asked me if I’d take part in a tour, where they’d sponsor my airfares and appearance fees so that other state writing centres could access a range of teachers. In this case, me!
It’s been great fun…I’ve done a weekend course in Canberra, a whole weekend of activities as part of the Salisbury Writers’ Festival (blog about it here) in South Australia, and this weekend I took a one-day workshop in Hobart on wrting crime fiction and popular fiction; and a one-day workshop on crime writing in Sydney.
All the centres have been wonderful hosts and the tour was expertly put together by the Director at Writers Victoria.
I’ve received excellent feedback from all the attendees at my workshops and I’ve had a blast! I mean what’s not to love? Downtime at the airport – great time to fire up the laptop and get a few hundred words done over a glass of wine or beer. A hotel room to yourself, TV in bed, and time to myself. I think the latter is something many parents (and dare I say it, mothers) don’t get much of, so when we do it’s appreciated. Of course, I missed my two munchkins enormously, but I also think I lapped up the ‘me time’ and also made sure I made the time productive, where possible.
I’ll give you a sample with a breakdown of this weekend. Cab to the airport in the afternoon. Wasn’t a whole heap of time at the gate, so I read on my Kindle. Love my reading time! Arrived at the Hobart airport and then onto the hotel. Decided to treat myself to a good-quality steak dinner and delicious wine – Kindle in hand. Then back to the hotel room where I eyed the bath and noticed that not only was it deeper than ours, but I didn’t have to clear a million bath toys to get into it. Hot bath, bit of TV in bed, more reading. Heaven.
Then there was the course (great fun) followed by two hours to kill before heading to the airport. Cheese platter, glass of red wine, laptop out and some writing time. Gold.
Arrived into Sydney late, so didn’t do any more work but I did read for half an hour or so before it was sleep time.
Next day was the course (great fun again) and then my hour at Sydney airport was spent writing with a beer.
Like I said, who can complain about touring??
I have to confess, while I first took up teaching to add another income stream, I LOVE teaching. I love talking to eager students, I love seeing their faces light up when something clicks or excites them. I love watching them leave the venue at the end of a day with their heads spinning with information but also feeling inspired.
So, Murderati. What courses have you taken part in recently, as either teacher or student? What makes a course ‘good’ to you?