25 November, 2010


Right. So. Reading: Leanne Hall's This is Shyness. Finished Tove Jansson's Fair Play and The Summer Book—both brilliant.

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's Steampunk Reloaded arrived (with 'Machine Maid' in it, and a whole lot of other (more) interesting (to me) stuff. Also the audio book of Zombies vs Unicorns, and the Australian paperback edition from Allen & Unwin. It's enough to make a person think it's Christmas.

Writing: I've just about re-drafted the middle section of the selkies novel. It's gone from one long miserable chunk to three more varied chunks, two of them cheerful, one of them sad but stoic. That sounds better, doesn't it.

Momentous things: Our younger son Harry finished his HSC. He heads off to Schoolies' Week in Ballina tomorrow. If you see him, give him a big glass of water and a piece of fruit, and tell him to get some sleep.

I'm just about to head off to a 2-day Lit Board meeting, which will steal 2 writing days from me. But then, what are the weekends for? *wan smile*

Also, what does everyone want for Christmas? I would like a big-winning lottery ticket, please, just in case you're wondering.

14 November, 2010

The Sekrit Location

For the last couple of weeks Steven and I have been staying in a 26th-floor apartment in Kings Cross, looking out over Sydney Harbour and (if you dare to go out on the balcony) the whole city from the mountains (between the city towers) to the sea (beyond the Heads). Most mornings I've been getting up early and working while the sun comes up and the view changes from twinkling city lights to sunlit city blocks—although mostly it's been pretty moody and grey weather-wise.

I won't say it's been as good as a holiday, because I feel as if I've barely stopped working, but we've done some holidayish things, wandering around this part of town—well, more like clambering than wandering, up and down flights of sandstone steps everywhere. Walking right into the city centre from our home base is a bit of a novelty. We've seen an officially Historic House (Elizabeth Bay) and a lot of unofficial ones, and been to an exhibition or two ('Painting the Rocks' at the Museum of Sydney and 'Mari Nawi' at the State Library). And we've yacht-watched and cruise-liner-spotted and square-rigger-monitored, not to mention making a lot of sage observations about the weather. It sure is a purty harbour, and it's very easy to forget it's there when you live in Lewisham and work in Kensington.

I've done a lot of novel revision. I've more-or-less fixed the first third, and I'm maybe halfway through re-drafting the problematical (saggy, miserable, repetitive, bit dull) middle section. Feels as if it's working, is as much as I can say.

I've also been assessing a lot of applications for the Publishing and Promotion Grants that the Lit Board decides on at the end of November. This wasn't as big a job as I'd feared, so there'll be more time for novelising and short-story-writing than I thought there'd be in the next week or so, which is a relief.

Other reading:
  • Sixty Lights, by Gail Jones
  • The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson
  • and I've begun Tove Jansson's Fair Play (thanks, Kathryn!) as well.

I went to a wonderful gathering of women writers in Glebe the other night—you can see me there over at Anita Heiss's blog. It was excellent to whinge and laugh and generally compare notes, and just to be in the same room with people who are obsessed and anxious in the same way as I am. I know, there's always the Internet, but face-to-face is sane-making too sometimes.

The only other news is minor physical glitches that I won't bore you with, except to say keep your abs strong and don't bite your nails. ;)

Onward and upward.

01 November, 2010

'Sea-Hearts' wins World Fantasy Award for Best Novella!

I'm so pleased about this - it makes it look like such a good idea to expand this novella into a full-blown novel. When I'm up to my ears in revisions, I need all the reassurance I can get.

In case you're wondering what 'Sea-Hearts' is all about, there are now two places where it can be found: in its original publication, Keith Stevenson's/coeur de lion's novellanthology X6, and in Paula Guran's just-released The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010.