When I was at university the opening paragraphs of my best essays would often come to me in my dreams. I would read and read, and talk over ideas with my mum as we walked around the river after dinner each night, and then when I was asleep the ideas would coalesce and I would wake up knowing exactly what I wanted to say.
For the past year I have been researching the novel I intend to write; those words that have been waiting for my own babies to grow up enough to give me the space to write them down. I have sifted through histories and biographies, newspaper articles and university dissertations. I hunkered down at the State Library and listened to cassettes of oral histories and flicked through microfiche and educational film reels. I even got to put on white gloves to turn through the yellowed pages of old newspapers.
Last week I cleared my desk, sorting through the piles of back to school stationery lists and doctors' bills. I took the pile of black and white photographs from the drawer of my Grandmothers' desk and stuck them on to the wall above my writing space. And then, last night, I dreamt that I was there, in the tobacco sheds, the action unfolding like a black and white film around me. Today I sent my three boys off to school together for the first time. Tomorrow I will sit down and write.