I’ve settled well in my Fellowship Creative Time Residency in the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust‘s gorgeous apartment in Norwood. It’s cosy, roomy and well set up for their chosen Fellows.
I’m here to finish the ‘first’ draft of my current work-in-process, VIVALDI’S ANGEL. It’s progressing well, thankfully! How lucky am I to be able to have this four weeks time to escape into the 18th Century Italian Baroque, to Venice and into the lives of street urchin, Caterina L’Artiglia (the Claw), and that genius, the composer, virtuoso violinist and music teacher, Antonio Vivaldi. Yes, I do play my tiny collection of some of Vivaldi’s 500 concertos to help me on my way.
My main character, 12-year-old, Caterina’s ‘voice’ grows stronger in my brain – I suspect it’s always been there but I wasn’t listening very well. But where did that stray, three-legged black cat come from? I had no intention putting a cat in this story, and yet, there she is. That’s what I love about discovering a story – you never know where it will lead.
I do know the ending though, and much of what is to unfold. That’s because I’m a ‘plotter’, rather than a ‘pantser’ so I have a rough outline that evolves naturally as I follow the desires and ultimate journey of my main character, a feisty, street child who’s cursed with a claw-hand, but blessed with the voice of an angel. Vivaldi also plays his part in this plot.
I also get to be the author-in-residence for Scotch College’s junior school – a lovely place in beautiful surroundings. Started my week today with them, and what a great bunch of kids and librarians they are. Thank you, Fiona and Lucy for preparing my way. It’s going splendidly in their lovely library. Today, I worked with Years 3/4s and Year 6s. Hopefully my throat and voice will hold out until the end of the week – but it’s going to be a great one! Now, back to writing I go.