Poet Progressing to Prose

Tag Archive: manuscript

Spellbound: Surfacing late in this Season.

Buried in books over this last week.

Thanks to recommendations by two persons, one on internet other in real life, I had my library hold and get for me, three books by

Barbara Kingsolver.

I will never be the same. TV turned off. Did I get dressed? I can’t recall. Did I stay awake for the New Year? No. Fell asleep as I could not continue to stay awake after reading. Did I start reading again as soon as I woke? YES.  Am I going to place a hold on other books? YES. So far I have kept my eyes glued to Pigs in Heaven, Flight Behaviour and The Poisonwood Bible.  

I am in total awe of the breadth, depth, research, compassion and ability to enthral her readers.  I guess, like most writers, when reading a brilliant work, there is part of the mind lost in the story and another part appreciative of the background knowledge, research, work and sheer slog going into the creation. I started to doubt my ability to ever write anything which could come within coo-ee distance of such masterful writing. Not only started to doubt, but fully doubting; aware of my lack of knowledge, education, diligence and determination.  But, as with any depression, there is a bottom to it and an upside out.  My upside, comfort and reassurance I found within that part of my life’s education and experience during the almost two years of putting one foot in front of the other described within Life Before Lithium . That period is the storehouse of experiences I could/should? translate into fiction. (currently free copy available from Smashwords during season sale).

Will I? Won’t I? Fact is, am feeling a bit in the doldrums; no creative energy unfurling my sails. Partly because I am waiting for a result due to be announced on February 9, 2018. That means, this way or that way about which I can do nothing until then. I have been trying to work on another novel – Breaking Hearts – not a romance, but a story about heart transplants. For this I have had to consciously create characters instead of letting them emerge as in Mixed Fortunes.  Trouble with that is I am drawing on facets of lives of people I know with a degree of detail which could enable identification – not on appearance, but on activity.

On the other hand, I could be out on the patio re-potting some plants, but then I really ought to go to Bunnings and bring home another bag of potting mix, but…. if I do that I know that not only will I get the mix, I will also get a few more saucers onto which stand pots and likely give into temptation to bring home more plants. This is while I am trying to restrain my expenditure to scrape together a couple of days in Canberra to experience the Seven Sisters display at the National Museum and, if going that far, check out the National Library and National Art Gallery.

Sitting here, talking to myself, knowing one person (Helen – Hi) will be listening while 120 have not heard from me via the Facebook page but not having had any feedback (other than H) will this post be READ? Feedback is like oxygen to an author!

Gives me a moment to wonder about freebies versus price one pays. Have been reading of the experiences of folk subscribed to Patreon and am wondering what I could offer to people in exchange for a regular, committed donation of even $1 a month (or more). Such a plan would certainly motivate me to post more frequently if that is what patrons wanted – or on whatever line of opinion, etc patrons would find interesting. Food for thought. Which reminds me, I have not had breakfast and it is now lunchtime and the library has been open for more than two hours. Will need to get dressed to go to the library and, being dressed may as well troddle onto Bunnings anyway. With Patrons I could buy more plants and get to Canberra, keeping my squirrelled away for book cover design if needed after the 9th of Feb.

What adventures?

What mistakes?

How many friends well or poorly chosen?

What is your story?

How interested are you in mine?




Losing Face, but Saving Sanity.

nanoHad forgotten why, but now know this is not for me. Those who advise on writing these days are unanimous in telling that the first draft is rubbish, to switch off the inner editor and just get the words down. Edit later.

This goes so much against the grain for me. I recall admiring the work process described and read back in the days when all manuscripts were type-written, using carbon paper to make copies and that a clean page was one without typing error. In other words, pre-Tippex.

I wish I could recall the name as clearly as his description of his work process at the keyboard. He worked on each page until it was perfect, knew what he had next to type and when the last page was typed the book was finished and ready for his publisher. He then moved onto the next one. It is a mode I attempt to emulate and one which does not sit well with casting words assessed by quantity. My attempt to do this at a rate which would at least give me a chance to meet a target had me sick to the stomach. Just as I did not go to University to be sick (having to regurgitate undergraduate material). nor am I going to stress out over backing away from the Nano challenge.

However, I realise it is not too late to learn to play. There is no way I would let the ‘child’ within loose on the planned plot. BUT there is now a ‘sandpit’ of another Scrivener outline on my second screen and I am preparing to give a Murder Mystery a go. Back to bed with another cup of coffee while I decide who is to be murdered and how. Any suggestions?