I had 3 weeks (i.e. 9 working days) off the dayjob. The first week and a half was all about preparing for, and then attending, Perth Writers Festival, as detailed in the previous post. It was a beautifully organised, nicely paced program that allowed me to take in a few panels other than my own, and to catch up with Perth friends—hi Sal, hi Jonathan and Marianne, hi Lynn, hi Alisa and Tehani!
All the sessions were well attended by appreciative people with interesting questions. All my fellow panellists were lively and fascinating. Probably the Zombies vs Unicorns
panel on the Family Day was the best one—Stephen Dedman, I tell you, knows everything there is to know about zombies, and there were some big
zombie fans in the audience ready to quiz him. It turned out all right in the end, though; in the final audience poll the unicorns got the biggest cheers.
I flew home, and a couple of days later went off down the coast to take the first bash at the second revision of the selkie novel. I chopped off its nose (51 pages), then created a new nose (40 pages), which I'm in the process of reattaching to its face. I also swam, walked, lounged, read (Benjamin Law's The Family Law
, Jonathan Strahan's Year's Best SFF
, Cate Kennedy's Best Australian Short Stories 2010
), watched birds, fish, sky and trees, visited Meroogal and Bundanon, slept and lounged. It was a good, productive most-of-a-week.
Came home to gorgeous advance copies of The Wilful Eye
, the first volume of Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab's Tales from the Tower two-part anthology of edgy remodelled fairy tales. The story I wrote as first cab off the rank in this latest 8-month deadline frenzy, 'Catastrophic Disruption of the Head', a not-for-the-faint-hearted retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Tinderbox', leads off the collection of six substantial tales from me, Isobelle, Richard Harland, Rosie Borella, Margaret Mahy and Martine Murray. All between lush covers designed by the ever-excellent Zoe Sadokierski (she adds flair and mystique to the internals, too).
Now I've typed up and printed out the 40 new pages and am forging ahead with the breaking and resetting of the cheekbones of this novel. I'll get a recognisable face out of this revision, if it kills
me. We might even be able to agree on a title for it!