'You'll have to get used to this,'...
The profile, by Rosemary Neill for the Review section, will come out in mid-December.
Because talking is hard enough without all those 'st's
Writing has never been easy for Miller. Prochownik's Dream took three years. 'The first draft was done very quickly, in six months.[!] Then the hard work began. It takes me a while to quietly get to my people.'[Margo quietly adjusts expectations of self.]
He compares the process to that of the artist Giacometti, who kept scratching back his image and starting again. 'Each time he's starting from a more elaborate sense of failure.'
Only one reviewer in Year 9 didn't like the book, while all the others, from formidable readers in Year 7 to very thoughtful readers in Year 11, responded with enthusiasm. And they didn't identify with the characters. Faced with one of a reviewer's most difficult tasks, writing about a collection of ten complex stories, they praised the writer for the difficulties she had placed in the way of their reading, and they enjoyed the challenge.Yessss!
The absence of time and place, a context, makes black juice a beautifully crafted global text. It is about more than one culture...it is about all of us...it is about human instinct and the sensations of friendship, love, kinship, loyalty, hope...Lanagan's language leaves gaps that you are enticed to fill...There is an excitement and satisfaction when you suddenly understand what is happening.These and other quotations are treasure - because I haven't been out in schools this year, I haven't heard much in the way of reactions from YA readers. A lot of reviewers have had opinions on younger readers' behalf, but I haven't heard much directly. Very reassuring.
Sometimes writing is like being the director, cast, DP, grip, and greensman, and watching in horror as the entire production reveals itself to be a troop of rabid and incontinent dancing poodles.aaronjv, in response:
In which case, you do the next logical thing: turn the cameras around to film the film crew.
Or you post about it on your blog, I guess.
I always work intuitively without much knowledge of where I'm going. I find that if I insist too strongly from the outset it won't take on the life that a novel needs to have. I find that by writing in the dark and coming up with a big messy first draft and reshape and rework I stand the best chance of coming up with a book that's a little smarter than I am. That may be useful to others struggling with novels. There's always a point during the writing when the book falls apart, which is a difficult period and no fun, but what actually happens is the novel is outgrowing my idea and taking on a life of its own. All novelists are heroes. Blessings on your efforts.
Doubt is like a divining rod; it begins to tug when it nears something fertile and fluid and underground.I will forgive the author using the axe/frozen sea Kafka quote only because the Michael Cunningham quote was also in there. Only this once, though.
I’d like to write a novel, I suppose, but my approach so far is just to find something that interests me, and see how much weight it will bear. Generally, the answer is: Not much. The ideas that interest me are generally “fast-twitch” ideas — they are like those little wind-up toys, which, wound up, then quickly go right under the couch. That’s an aesthetic I understand.(Via bookslut.)
To say Margo Lanagan's "Earthly Uses" belongs to the fantasy/horror genre doesn't do it justice...Terry Dowling's "One Thing About the Night" is likewise so powerfully imagined that it too resists categorising.
Every one of these brilliant narratives focuses upon people living on life's edge in some way or another. All are facing a form of danger, whether it be physical, emotional, psychological or from beyond the world we understand. Acclaimed author and editor Barry Oakley has chosen each tale not only for its entertainment value but for the deep insights it offers into the minds of people coping with the greatest challenges their lives can produce. The result is a collection of work by some of Australia's foremost writers whose gifts, in many cases, are also recognised far beyond our shores.
My biggest problem with this story? It's moving too damn slow. I blame that on my subconsciousness' inability to communicate.It's 10.15 a.m. Work avoidance? Moi?
Maybe it was the air-conditioning vents brought the words to me. Maybe it was the secretive softness of the women's voices, made my ears stretch to hear. I stopped trying to push the doll's arm through the narrow, spangled sleeve. I lifted my head.
Were you not able to have other children? she asked my mother.
Oh, I suppose I was able. I was afraid, though. I was afraid they would all turn out the same. Like Cerise.
I think that the one false signal that this discussion might give is that the whole journey was more straightforward than it really was. Some of the earlier notes were much more confused and less focused than this. The process is muddier than even this indicates, and I know that this is muddy. The confusions and the darkness...this seemed more focused and direct than I think the process is.
There's this question people have, how should I really be doing this? Students always think when they're proper writers their self-doubt and their uncertainty will go away. I say to them, this is what you're choosing for your life. You think you feel bad now, you wait. Because that's the nature of writing.