Sunday, July 16, 2006

ACLAR, knitting and other random thoughts.

I’ve spent two days (Thursday and Friday) at the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research Conference. I spent some of these two days feeling as though I was saying to people, ‘Oh, I’m just a writer’ and the rest of the time both daunted and stimulated by glimpses into academic life.

Some of the papers I heard were extraordinarily dense with complex theoretically underpinnings that made me feel quite stupid, but others were very clear, concise and informative. I felt a bit like I did at my very first Writer’s Festival when I consciously began to pay attention at the way people put their papers together, imagining that maybe one day I would have to do something similar.

It’s hard to straddle the world of writing and the world of academia/criticism – although some fine children’s writers have done just that. It made me wonder if I’ve got time to do both – how can you produce demanding, challenging and publishable papers while you’re also trying to produce demanding, challenging and publishable novels? Don’t these people have lovers, children, dogs? Don’t they use ebay?

Then, once ACLAR had finished, I hightailed it down to Elsternwick to hear a knitting talk given by two mathematicians who use knitting to demonstrate mathematical concepts in schools. They have an afghan hanging in the Museum of Science. That is fantastic. Everyone has to love that! It was a relief to sit in a café and knit a sock in a brain exhausted state.

Other news – I’ve written the short story that was inspired by my Ipswich café experience. So there was some flurry of writing activity as well this week. Phew! Makes me feel saner when I actually get some writing done as opposed to thinking about it.
Listening to: Paul Kelly, Foggy Highway.
Reading: Criticism, Theory, and Children's Literature by Peter Hunt
Just finished reading: Devil's Food by Kerry Greenwood As I'm a tad nervous about suspense and more than into chatty, I enjoyed this book!

3 comments:

Jo Smith said...

Hi Catherine
Re maths and knitting - check out Cate Kennedy's poem 'Relative Complexity'. It's about halfway down this page:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s85597.htm
- Jo

Jo Smith said...

...that should be htm on the end of the URL. Sorry - I don't know how to put the link in properly.
Jo

Gregory Brett Hardy said...

Are you gonna post that short story on your blog? I'd love to read it.