So here I am, in my hotel room, right on the harbour. And I mean right on the harbour:
That indistinct blur of lights on the water is the hotel. Sadly, my room isn't on the side with the lovely harbour view. Instead, I'm on the side with the lovely view of, well, not the harbour:
But still, it's a very nice bridge pylon. Big, too.
And just like always on the first night of these sort of things, I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps. Despite the lovely location, and the close proximity of lots of other writers, and the prospect of a few fantastic days at the writer's festival, I always get very flat my first couple of nights away from Min and Toby. Luckily this time round, it's only temporary; they're both coming up on Thursday afternoon, so we'll all have a bit of playtime. Almost as good - my folks are coming over from Perth, too, so by the weekend, it'll be all of us here in the harbour city.
So really, I'm not complaining.
In the meantime, I've got sessions tomorrow and wednesday for the writer's festival, along with some of my writing mates: John Danalis and Boori Prior are both presenting - I caught up with the two of them earlier this evening down in the lobby. Boori has shaved his hair off, and looks awesome. Speaking as someone who *really can't* shave his head (the last time I did so, when I was on the ship down to Antarctica, Imogen's first words to me on my return were "You look like an egg." She was right, too.) I have to admit to being slightly jealous. Boori also had the roughs of his new book with awesome illustrator Jan Ormerod with him, and so I got to stickybeak; it looks fantastic.
It's always great catching up with John Danalis, too. He illustrated The Girl In The Cave for me several years ago, and he and his wife Stella have been responsible for the design and layout of my last few books, including the gorgeous-looking Darklands trilogy and of course Into White Silence. John and Boori and I are all presenting at the festival 'schools days' tomorrow and wednesday, along with Melina Marchetta and Charlie Higson. And then my family arrive :)
Anyway, one of the few advantages of being alone in a hotel room is the opportunity to go to bed early, with the prospect of sleeping right through to the morning uninterrupted. Which, of course, means that I'll probably be awake at 3.00am.
If I am, I might even do another blog post. Catch up for the last couple of weeks, and all that.