I returned to University to study (another) Masters mid year. Although I find some of the referencing requirements laborious and confusing and some of the academic-speak a bit wanky, it’s actually aligning with my interests. In a publishing subject for example, we discussed changing technology and its impact on the industry. It seems that good old print books are hanging in there, despite the increase in ebooks but that audiobooks are an area of growth. This, I understand is possibly piggy backing on the popularity of podcasts*.
I had great plans to blog more regularly. To write more personal posts here, rather than just book reviews. But it feels everything I contemplate is emotionally treacherous and would require a lot self-reflection. Added to that, most would be for my benefit… cos I need to get stuff out of my head or ponder it more and I’m not sure that would offer entertaining reading.
One of my University subjects requires me to write a personal essay. All three subjects actually require ‘major’ assignments and I keep changing my mind about them. But drafts of two are now due in mere days, so I figure I need to stop friggin’ procrastinating and worrying that I’ve not chosen the perfect topic and just start writing.
I (eventually) decided my personal essay would be about my time in Africa. Long-time readers of my blog will recall I’ve often pondered the idea of writing some sort of factional account of my 18mths (or so) there in the mid 1990s.
I completed my MBA (Master of Business Administration) in 1998. Apparently that is more than a decade ago. Even more than two decades ago. Apparently.
I’d started the MBA before heading overseas to work in international development so completed it by distance and have vivid memories of trying to explain to a lecturer – via fax or telephone (ie. before internet) – that I was living in Mozambique. A Portuguese-speaking country and had no access to any English texts or literature of any kind.
I’d intended to post something today but was at a bit of a loss (and am also sick). I’m getting daily reminders (thanks Facebook memories!!!) that this time last year I was in Italy. Indeed on this very day last year I was perched outside eating gluten-free pasta with a delicious sauce while gazing at the Tuscan hills.
Recently I opened the notebook we received from Vanessa Carnevale at the writing retreat and found some exercises we’d done.
I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival.
I’ve been to a few writers’ festivals and one can feel quite isolated as you drift in and out of sessions. There isn’t the sense of camaraderie you get at a conference… where you’re all staying in one spot and chatting over meals etc. However… what I didn’t realise is that the NSW State Library precinct isn’t as vast as Brisbane’s for example (where there are several cafes and various outdoor spaces). In Sydney there was far more socialising than I expected because it was hard not to keep bumping into the same people between sessions in the on-site cafe or library foyer.
I’ve actually been feeling much better since my ‘a-ha’ moment a few weeks ago. I’ve felt a sense of relief. Or release.
I felt weird publishing that post. I was reminded of talking to my mother about quitting blogging and mentioning I’d need to announce it (on the blog) and she asked why write about it? Surely I’d just stop.
My mum is good like that. Down to earth. It can be confronting – the notion that no one will notice or care, or that lives will continue on despite the disappearance of Debbish.com – but, I know it’d happen.