Month: January 2016

A Year of Words

I’ve been wondering what this blog will be all about. What theme will it embrace? I’ve talked(rambled) about some witchy business and the rock books I liked in my first two blog entries. No theme there. So I’ve decided (after reading someone else’s) to make this blog about my year as a writer.

Writing has very little to do with words and lots to do with the spaces between the words.

I’ve been writing since I was four. Most of the things I’ve written have been self-indulgent garrulous weeds that spread across countless pages but were not meant for a greater audience. The dream of course for those who are drawn to writing, is to be PUBLISHED. In newsprint, magazine or better still…..a book.

I have decided (of course this is largely out of my hands) that 2016 will be my breakthrough year as a writer. God knows I’ve done the apprenticeship, put in the hours and now it’s time to make a splash.

It’s already the end of January and here is where I sit.

I have a young adult novel being published this year by UQP. This is very, very exciting. It is exciting because I can feel in me waters that THIS one, this epic tale of three women, spanning 400 years, all accused of witch-craft, THIS one, will make waves. This book knocked on my heart and demanded to be written. I have just been assigned my editor and I love her to pieces and this is the first time I have edited a book with someone I already knew. We will weave a spell into ”Hexenhaus” and when the hurly-burlys done….it will bewitch all its readers.

In addition to this exciting venture I have entered a cart-load of short stories into various competitions – The Newcastle Short Story Comp, The Hope Prize, the Josephine Ulrick prize, Elizabeth Jolley and will continue to fling them at whatever comps arise through the year.

I also have a manuscript, a romantic sort of drama thing, that my agent has sent out into the marketplace. It is fishing for a beloved home. This one, about grief, mothers and sharks, is a story so very close to my heart and I am in that awful waiting place – that sitting by the phone, waiting for the cute boy to call thing. Purgatory. My agent liked it. Dad liked it. Zeus liked it. I liked it. But will a publisher like it? Will it get its moment in the sun? I believe in it. And that’s a start. But as my guru davidji always tells me – ” I have control over my actions but not the fruit of my actions” and therefore I must release it to the wind and wait for a gust, a slipstream, a sirocco. I must be still. And wait. Patiently. I DON’T DO PATIENCE VERY WELL AT ALL!

I am off on a ten day Buddhist meditation camp soon where I will be silent and have no contact with others, not even eye contact. No reading. No writing. Nothing but the stillness of my own mind. That will drive me fricking bonkers but I have decided to write a book about it next. A book about ten days of absolute silence with my own thoughts, memories, hopes and dreams. Who knows what demons and flighty sprites might visit me there? My son lives on a property near the retreat so I always have the option of escaping and running away to his place….but I won’t. It is my challenge (coinciding with a significant birthday ending in a 0) and I intend to rock it and find bloody enlightenment!

The first writing comp that I entered has just announced their winner and it wasn’t me. Thanks for nothing! First strike. Writing is like playing the lottery. Sure, the odds are better. But it’s still as much luck as skill. Judges, publishers, readers. You can’t please all of them, all of the time. And there are many, many amazing writers out there that I have to compete with. It’s a dog eat dog world. Grrrrr.

Back to the drawing board…..finishing off a young adult murder mystery that I plan to enter into the Text Prize. See ya next time.