I am writing in a hotel in Sydney (doesn’t that sound super profesh and writerly). Our room is on the 20th floor overlooking the city. I’m reminded of a piece I read a few years ago:
But in those days I wanted to see everything happening outside, even when what was happening outside was too close to the inside for comfort. You never knew when there would be a revelation. At night the cities were like jewelled cobwebs on black velvet. (James, 1986, p. 5).
Isn’t that beautiful? Cities like jewelled cobwebs on black velvet. I love that image.
Sydney isn’t what I expected. It’s big, and busy, and sort of grey. The footpaths are different. There was a building clad in corrugated sheeting, multiple shades of yellow, holey like swiss cheese. I couldn’t stop staring at it from the back seat of the taxi.
The rest of the Scholars are lovely, and intelligent, and wonderful company. We ate pizza tonight in our hotel room, sat around talking about science and stories and passions. I can’t believe this time last night I was at home packing, having just submitted my Honours thesis. In a few days’ time I’ll be on a plane again, San Francisco bound. What an adventure.
I’m looking forward to New York. I’ve been invited to sit in on a science fiction studies class (I’m very excited). It’s difficult to find universities which offer sf studies at undergraduate level, let alone postgraduate, so I’m sure I’m in for a treat.
I’ve brought three books with me for plane reading—Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, and Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey. I’m thinking a space opera is on the cards in my writing future.
And now to read and rest!
James, C. (1986). Introduction. In Flying Visits: Postcards from the Observer 1976-83. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company.