So it's the first day of semester here, today.
For the first time in a couple of months, the campus is thronging with students. There are lines to get into the bookshop. The nearest parking spaces are roughly 45km away. Someone is driving a lawnmower outside my office window*
As is my custom at this time of the year, I've spent a good proportion of the day trying to lever several hundred students into just-slightly-fewer-than-several-hundred-places. It's up there with doing a Rubik's Cube. Or self surgery. It generally works out okay in the end, though. By this time next week, touch wood, everyone will be happily allocated to a class which (almost) suits them.
Actually, I think it's going to be a really good semester. Numbers in my classes are up on last year, which is gratifying (and much better than the alternative), and we're doing some fun things in both of them. Later in the semester, we have the lovely Melina Marchetta coming to visit and speak to us (we're studying her fantastic novel The Piper's Son as part of my Lit Studies unit) and in a month or so I'm off to the Perth Writer's Festival. With Toby in tow. Which should be fun.
I'm also within spitting distance of finishing the much procrastinated 'Orion' (which I'm thinking I'm going to have to rename, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.) As of this afternoon, it's at 48,500 words out of an anticipated 50,000**
Of course, late last week I decided that the big final scenes, which I was just launching into, needed to be set not in Melbourne, as I'd originally planned*** but in New York. Luckily I have spent more than a little bit of time in the Big Apple, and so it shouldn't be too big a leap to move things there, though it has involved a few days of re-visiting my old travel photos, and cruising around in Google Earth (what did we writers do before Google Earth? How did we cope?)
I've also had to research private jets, plus a few other interesting bits and pieces that I'd never expected to have to delve into.
So, all things considered, writing wise things are looking up. Today's writing time was a little interrupted by the necessities of life, but from tomorrow I should be back into my daily routine, as per the schedule. Yay.
And then, hopefully within the next week, Orion will be finished. More than 12 months in the making, but finished.
Then I only have four more books to write in that series...
*to be fair, this is nothing to do with the influx of students, and everything to do with, you know, building maintenance.
**Though, to be honest, there's no way I'm going to be able to finish it in 2500 words, and it'll probably blow out closer to 60. But then I'll edit the hell out of it.
***Not, I want to make it clear, that I have anything against Melbourne. I love Melbourne. It's just that Melbourne didn't love this chapter...