Monday, February 16, 2009

Kookaburra Serenade

I have just read a little piece from the co-author of Kookaburra Serenade, the manuscript that along with Lorraine I'm trying to pedal to a publisher. In these notes she chronicles a meeting between the two of us in 2007 as we began writing together. I found her style evocative and so asked permission to share it with you. It would be helpful if you would post comments on your reaction or assessment. Here goes:

Its been a long time. Three months. During that time I have been alternately abandoning the bush, leaving my husband, moving back to the UK, finishing this memoir in tragic solitude or letting my hair dye grow out, performing dutiful wifely duties, and writing off this memoir as a futile attempt to rejoin my life somewhere around 1972 when I first sold out to domestic security over personal aspiration.

Parts of these conflicting scenarios glow and fade, drift and flicker in my memory as I press my foot to the gas on the road to Brisbane. Last night I decided. Decided what? Decided that I almost certainly should or shouldnt carry on. Decided that it didn't matter what I decided; we would look at each other and just know if we were still authors.

Dollar twenty, two forty, three sixty – stacking coins into the parking meter – four eighty, has to be a comfortable expanse of time, wide enough not to see the edges. Scanning the tables, timing down to the wire as always, virtually late, virtually on time, surely she will be there. No. I've made it first. Pick a table. Move to another to avoid feeble spits of rain. Sun mostly shining hotly through the shade umbrella over our circular table outside the Great Court Cafe.

Bustling along the sandstone court comes a bluster of silver grey and pink. Smiles and greetings flurry out in advance. Dorothy sets her briefcase down alongside a stack of papers and we reach for emphatic hugs. We trade bullet point news. There is no formality. Somehow we are neck deep in a relationsip only a few meetings old. Sometimes I feel we forgot something, like a shared childhood or a formal introduction.

“So you are going for DeFacto?”

“Yes. Most definitely, from my side anyway. I suggested it and he clutched like a drowning man.”

“Not very complementary”

“Well the way Im feeling it suits me. Theres been a bit of distancing, we're both backing off some”

I wondered what it could take for these lovers to trust each other enough for that ultimate commitment. Giving of hearts is more final than giving of title. What was left but the admission of it, the closing of the door behind the bolted horse. OK. You have my heart and I'm not taking it back.

Conversation turned practical. I tried out my reservations but they didn't float. Our story had already started, our best option was commitment put it where it is, keep writing. We agree to go online twice weekly and write together. Its time to shake it down, from glorious imaginings to pragmatic effort. Word by word our shuttle weaving back and forth to create the fabric of our tale. A book like a marriage, a whole life of tiny observations shared.