KSP cat by Ashleigh Hardcastle via KSP Writers Centre
Blog,  Writing

Day 2: A cat is here! Day 2 of the KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship

Day 2 and I woke up joyful today.

Joyful because it was such a wonderful thought that I could write and everyone was going to be mindful of that. That no one would disturb me, no one would interrupt me, no one would think to themselves “She is free – let’s get a hold of her.”

Also annoyance because my article was overdue and I needed to get it done so I knuckled down to do that while battling my ear going strange again. I made a mental note to see my doctor as soon as I get back to Melbourne.

I figured out the A/C and I had a warm room. I counted the planes flying overhead as I came to grips with the intricacies of biomaterials. I counted the loud noises from some of the neighbouring properties. But I also counted the silence until I ran out of real numbers.

Eventually, Nikki came to see how I was and I sent off the article and joined them for cheese and crackers.

“How did you go?” they asked.

“I worked on an article. I haven’t started yet but it has been sitting in my brain.” I say.

They laugh. “You were in there all the day – we thought you must have been writing away.” I laugh. We talk about pets, the other two have dogs. I tell them about Melon/Lemon/Rooby Roo who has more names than energy which is saying a lot because she is very energetic.

The other two are early birds so we leave before eight pm for them to get to bed while I come back to the cabin to find a missed call from my mother. I message back” “What’s up?” My sister replies: “It’s talking time right now isn’t it?”

Varuna has a rule about no mobile phones and calls before 6 pm so everyone has silence to write in. I message back: “Not KSP but yes, I am writing.” It makes me happy to think that they have¬†thought about not interrupting me.

I make noodles for dinner. The bean thread noodles sit in cold water and I cut tomatoes, tofu and spring onions into them and open a tin of mushrooms and a packet of smoked chicken. I forget about dinner and write for a bit and then eat and write. Finally it’s ten pm and I stop near the end of a scene and call my mother and sister. They play around, setting up my mother’s tablet and passing on gossip and asking how it is going. My mother, particularly, is keen.

“So it is going ok?”

“I think so. Today was good.”

“It is flowing?”

“So far yes. I am hoping to continues to flow tomorrow too and the next few days. I am not worrying about how it all works and if it makes sense right now.”

I tell them and my Whatsapp group of friends that I have realised that the villain is someone else after all. And then I write a scene from the villain’s point of view which may turn out to be a problem. It’s a crime fiction story – surely this gives the story away? Not for the first time do I wonder if I know how to write a story.

I realise that a crime fiction story really has two plots – the one of how the villain comes to and actually does commit the crime and then the one of how the detective finds out what has happened.

I look at my handwritten scenes and start typing them up into yWriter6. I have smashed my Day 2 goal of 1,666 words in just about two hours. If I actually had had the entire day for day 2 I might have written even more. I now, with the words I wrote before the fellowship started, have 4631 words.

View this post on Instagram

More info on the blog about how Day 2 at @ksp_writers_centre went and why it went that way but I beat my goal of 1,666 for the day and got 1,947 words. . . . There was a bit written before the fellowship started so in total I have 4631 but I want to add to add at least ten thousand during my stay here so that's just over eight thousand more to go. . . I want the manuscript done by the time I get to Varuna at the end of July because I can then show it to people there and work on edits and rewrites. And also so it doesn't take twelve years to write a book. Check the blog soon (give me an hour or so ok to type it up ok) for a post about what I have learnt so far. . . #kspwriterscentre #kspvarunafoundationfellowship #writingretreat #writingfellowship #writinglife #srilankanauthors #srilankanwriter #srilankanauthor #srilankanwriters #australianwriters #australianauthors #writersoninstagram #writersofcolour #writersofinstagram #writersofig #authorsofinstagram #authorsoninstagram

A post shared by Marisa Wikramanayake (@marisa.wikramanayake) on

I decide to write my way overdue blog posts about Day 1 and Day 2 and in looking for pictures find that there is a cat on the premises somewhere. Nikki briefly mentioned this tonight and both she and Alison have allergies to cats. Where is this cat if it isn’t heading towards me in Phillips cabin? I will have to look for it tomorrow. I sit in the comfiest armchair known to man and type out the blog posts. My ear is really acting up now.

KSP cat by Ashleigh Hardcastle via KSP Writers Centre
KSP cat by Ashleigh Hardcastle via KSP Writers Centre

FINAL DAY 2 WORD COUNT: 1947 words.

SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS: The writers including me and calling me out for dinner and a chat.

CAT APPEARANCES: 0 which is unforgivable. Where is this cat? What is its name?

CUPS OF TEA: THE ENTIRE KETTLE OK?

THINGS LEARNED: There are two plotlines in a crime fic novel – one for the villain and one for the detective.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: