Was it just one year ago today that you and Neti found your way into the world outside my desk? I remember seeing you up on the top shelf at Readings, out of my reach, out of my control. I worried about you. Would others love you like I do? Would your awkwardness and gentility be appreciated in a big, brash world? The fact that you were on that shelf was testament to that you were appreciated - at least enough to win that national competition.
It was a big step for us, wasn't it Ru? An even bigger one for me i think - straight off the cliff and into the abyss. I summoned some remnants of courage and adopted a risk-taking persona at odds with my usual one.
I'm writing to you from the Moat Cafe as I wait to begin a writers' Boot Camp with an acclaimed Australian author. I've got you beside me, and Neti; Whispers sits on the table next to my rhubarb muffin and latte. I raise my cup. To you, my Dears.
Beside Whispers, on the table of this very wordsy, funky city cafe is a brand new journal. Its beautiful green cover is embossed with a golden Celtic tree. It seems to hold some significance for me but I'm not sure why. Next to it lies a brand new pen bought just days ago in the night markets of Fremantle. Hand made, black and gold with marbled teale and copper that swirl like a deep and dangerous sea. These are the instruments of my trade. My heart swells in their presence, but they demand the best from me and I know I will fear writing the very first words on the clean page of the journal.
I've sacrificed a lot for the sake of those tools and the hope for a life of writing. But that's what I want to do. Of course you know that, but I only know that now.
"Only know that now?" you ask, "twelve months on? What have you been doing?" you may well add.
I'll tell you about it later. Join me for a drink, Ru? A cup of tea? And what about you, Neti? Of course, you'd say that but I don't think they serve champagne to minors, Neti.
Dear Ru, so good to see you laughing. Cheers!
All my love, Amanda