Okay. Blog post. It's been...how long now? Crap! More than two weeks! You could change a government (or at least a PM) in that time. Okay. Sitting comfortably. Email switched off. Phone on silent. Actually no... left my mobile at home today, so phone back on noisy, just in case.
Time to post.
Here we go.
I spent a good chunk of last week at the biennial ACLAR conference in Wollongong. (Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research, just in case you're wondering). Listened to papers by some of the world's luminary scholars in the field of children's literature studies. A lot of it was inspiring stuff, from a critical and academic perspective. I delivered my own paper too, entitled The Politics of Prizes - Selling and Redefining 'Young Adulthood. It seemed to go over okay, in as much as nobody threw anything, and during the ten minute question time at the end, nobody told me that I'd gotten it all wrong.
The funny thing about the conference, though, was being there as a nobody. Having spent the last few years regularly attending literary festivals and children's literature conferences where I'm known as 'an author', and where other people attending generally have at least a bit of context for me, it was unexpectedly weird to walk into a conference where -as an early career academic - I was a complete unknown.
Does that sound horribly egotistical? It's not supposed to. It was really good, actually. It meant I had to open my mind up to a whole different perspective on 'children's literature', and view what I do through a new lens. I heard people deliver papers which unpacked books I know and love in such remarkably unexpected, challenging and different ways, that I came away with a whole new attitude to both my own creative writing, but also my academic research.
So now I'm back, writing again for the first time in six months (I had a great writing day yesterday, and am having a really crappy one today, which is often the way of things with me)
I'm also setting myself a challenge, a bit of a biggie. Tomorrow is the start of July, and for the entire month, I'm going to attempt to post something here every single day.
There, I've said it. Can't promise that I'll actually manage it, but we'll give it a bash and see what happens. I suspect that by the end of the month I'll probably be reduced to posting Haiku about how little I've written that morning.
Still, it's can't hurt to try, can it? How hard can it be...
See you all tomorrow.