The beautiful winter blue skies have continued this past week. It’s the time when we North Queenslanders remember why we live here. For a while, we can block out thoughts of summer’s torrid humidity and just enjoy the crisp, clear days. I love gardening in this weather and although my garden now is “petite” compared with our previous acreage, I’ve been pruning and watering and telling myself that I must get to a nursery to buy some flowers to plant in pots and baskets during this cooler weather. I suspect one of my favourite sensory experiences is being out in the garden with winter sunshine on my back.
This week there was no choir rehearsal as our conductor is still unwell, so we had to practise at home using the sound files before our concert at St James Cathedral with Umoja, the local African choir. One of the biggest challenges is learning the foreign words, but I’ve been singing in various World Music choirs for quite a few years now and I’ve realised that learning another language for singing is quite different from learning it for communication, as we did at school or uni.
Rather than worrying about how to say “My name is…” or “Can I have a cup of coffee, please?” or whatever, we choristers often don’t really understand the precise meaning of the words we’re singing. Instead, we learn to fit the sounds and rhythms of the foreign words to the notes and beats of the music. We might struggle to tell you all the words of a song, but once we start singing, the tongue-twisting words flow. (Like another version of muscle memory perhaps?) Does that make sense? Anyway, the concert went well. My husband had never heard these African songs before and he was seriously impressed, which was lovely.
It’s only six weeks now till my new book for Penguin Australia is released, so I’ve been playing on Book Brush to create some promo pieces. I daresay that playing will continue. I’m not sure yet whether I’m up to creating a video trailer, but you never know. It would be fun to try and I’m particularly keen to share this story with as many readers as possible. I know we authors probably feel the same about each new book baby, but I really do think The Happiest Little Town might be one of the best books I’ve written and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Also, we have more writers in the family. One of my sons has entered a short story competition in Western Australia – fingers crossed for him. And my daughter-in-law wrote a lovely little story about our grandson having fun in their backyard and the story won an award at a special library event last weekend. How clever of her! And it’s so special to see little people discovering the joy of books with their parents.
And now I’ve developed a cold – Covid negative – but it may be enough to stop me from going to the gym this afternoon. Big question – can I persuade my husband to go without me? We’ll see…