You all look suspicious!
I've been praising the humble notebook as a writer's most important tool when you're on the go. Mine has had quite a work-out. In 7 Tips to a Writer's Year I told you I won't be allowed to start any new writing projects until I have my current manuscripts edited. Now I am allowed to write a little in my notebook each day, things like ideas, dialogues I overhear or writing exercises.
Real life has in it's own beautifully arty way, managed to provide me with plenty of new material. I'm a mystery lover and enjoy the challenge of working out an intricate mystery plot. Now I have been exposed to a real mystery.
Summer holidays has ended and our high schoolers were due to come back on Monday. But. On Saturday morning there was a fire at our school and our Canteen and toilet blocks were burnt down. This is disappointing and a little sad (especially if it turns out to be a teen from our small community), however it also provided some insight into the characters I work with. Our teachers have pulled together and managed to get all our new year 7s introduced to high school life, with the aid of a local church as premises (we can not use the actual school site until it is deemed safe for the students).
The kids have had loads of activities, including swim school, English and Music quizzes and I even got to 'perform' a Spanish class for about 90 students at once. It might have seemed like a problem, but turned out to be a bonus. The kids got very hyped and enthused, possibly because of the size of their crowd and the new kids have had a chance to bond with teachers in a friendly environment.
I had my notebook handy and was constantly scribbling any updates about the fire and the investigation's findings (according to most thriller movies, doesn't that make me a suspect?). Dismissing teens-up-to-misadventure, I came to find several teachers wanted the canteen torn down years ago because of asbestos. Hmmm. And what if (my pet phrase) the motive wasn't to burn down the canteen, but to hide a more sinister crime, or, if the culprit needed the school to be empty on a particular day because they found a map for buried treasure on the site, or there would be an international spy meeting and they didn't want anyone to recognise 006 AKA Elvis Presley. But, what if it was actually a travelling arsonist just passing through Yass with a shady past?
Motive can turn up anywhere.
So, you see why I can view this as a blessing disguised as a slight disaster. We will have temporary facilities put in place until our amenities can be replaced, it's been a bonding experience, and, there are schools in Queensland that were so badly flooded that I imagine they won't be opening for a while. It just depends how you look at it. Our Deputy Principal had a great saying at our last meeting:
Happiness is a decision you make in advance.