28 March, 2008

New York Public Library—Books for the Teen Age 2008

Guess who's on this list? Me and the Click gang (woot, Arthur! woot, Amnesty! woot, all of us!)—and then just me-by-myself as well, with Red Spikes.

Plus, you may have seen this pretty thing lurking about the Internet.


Jody Hewgill is the illustrator. Go over and have a look at what else she does.

27 March, 2008

Not one, not two, but

three short story acceptances to announce:
  • 'Living Curiosities' will appear in Deb Wayshak's August 2009 A Case of Curiosities, which promises to 'invite readers to peek into the shadowy world of sideshow spectacle, where deception and sleight of hand are the rule, and the curiously strange beckons.' I haven't read The Restless Dead, the anthology that fell between Gothic and this one, but Gothic was wonderful, so being in this one is cool.

  • 'A Dark Red Love-Knot', the Tom-the-Ostler story, is going into Michael Cart's GBLTQ anthology for teens—I'm not sure of the publication date of that one

  • And today, before dawn, I finished 'Machine Maid', my contribution to Nick Gevers's steampunk anthology, Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology, which is a bit of a hoot, being definitive with my first-ever steampunk story. Anyway, that's coming out at the end of September 2008.
Speaking of short stories, I read aloud to the South Island Children's Librarians the story 'Ferry-Man', which Sharyn November has taken for her Firebirds Soaring anthology (October 2008, same as Tender Morsels, woot!) and discovered that, even though it isn't as guaranteed to undo me in public as 'Singing My Sister Down', it's still got some pretty voice-wobbling moments.

Ah, short stories. So much juicier than, say, manual duplicate trading bank statements. But it's Friday tomorrow. And I have the cheque in my hand (from delivery of the novel to Knopf) that will pay off our smaller mortgage. And it's because I'm working at the bank that I can devote it all to that. So I've no real reason to complain.

23 March, 2008

It's been a while,

I know, since I last blogged, but I've been crazy busy, working for da mortgage and flitting to foreign shores. I must spend more than 24 hours in New Zealand some time. I have no idea where I was. The most astounding thing I saw was that the river, running through the centre of town (Christchurch), was crystal clear; you could see right to the bottom. I also learned how to eat weeds, from Maori television, and to watch out for carrot-weed, because it looks a lot like hemlock.

The librarians of the South Island Children's Librarians conference treated me very well, as librarians always do! It was very weird flying to a place closer than Perth and having to fill out all those forms, and go through Customs and Immigration twice in two days. It was even weirder having to turn up at the bank on the Tuesday, but the three-day week helped make it bearable.

Now I'm deeply into the Easter long, long weekend, and I've revised two stories and am currently wrestling the steampunk one to the ground. I also started coming down with a cold on Friday morning, when I made the mistake of relaxing, and now I'm the full snot-and-sneeze-fest, which makes plotting difficult, but hallucinatory thinking quite easy.

Back to the electric prostitutes...

11 March, 2008

Buzzy (because I'm off to New Zealand)

Adelaide was fan-bloody-tastic. Hot, hot, hot—and I'm not just talking about us writers. Our audiences were pretty steamy too. Hawr, hawr. Anyway, people laughed at my jokes during the panel, which was very polite of them; and they ignored my nervousness during the Meet the Author session, or at least, most of them didn't get up and walk away. And people kept popping up from all my different worlds: Steven's aunty (and cousin-in-law and second cousin) and a mum from my sons' school, and the editor of Red Spikes, who just happened to be in town, and a Clarion South student of mine (hi, Jason!), and an old friend who'd been hoping to catch up with us at the festival called up after we'd gone and made contact (hi, Virginia!), and on and on.

And then there were new friends and acquaintances, which was lovely too, and there were parties and dinners and champagne and wall-to-wall books and booktalk, marquees, hotel living, hairdressers' conventions, and inflowing Womaddy types towards the end of the week, and interesting-tasting Adelaide tap-water, and the view from the 13th floor straight down Grote Street and over the airport to the coast.

And the Central Markets, with Lucia's wonderful mocha and baked custard with fruit for breakfast. Go there. Just jump on a plane, wherever you are in the world. It's worth it.

I had a great time. I wrote no steampunk (but I've done 15 pages this week); I planned no NZ talk (but that's happening now); I read (Matt Rubinstein's A Little Rain on Thursday, Paul Auster's The Brooklyn Follies and John Hughes's Someone Else: Fictional Essays. I saw no newspapers and very little TV; however, I did share a lift with Germaine Greer (and a party, and a hotel!).

Now I'm back in Sydney and working at the bank again. I've had a grog-free day this week and two days' worth of bike commuting (about 60 km in total) so I am paying, and so much!, for my week's indulgence.

And next Monday I'll be keynote speaking in Christchurch at the South Island Children's Librarians' Conference. I've never been to New Zealand before. I fly in on Sunday afternoon, give my talk on Monday morning, and fly out again Monday afternoon. I think it'll be very strange. The talk will be good, though; I'm thinking 15 minutes reading, 15 minutes talking writing career, 15 minutes talking process, and 15 minutes ranting about writing for children and young adults. That should keep everyone awake.

02 March, 2008

Quiet time

Ha! If only. Things have been nuts here, with bank work and copyediting of the novel taking pretty much all my waking hours the last two weeks. The good news is, I bike-rode nearly 100 km in the last week, and got all but a few tweaks of the copyediting done. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I'll do those tweaks, then photocopy this amazingly multicoloured (or multicolored, as the 'mainstreamed' MS would read) manuscript for proofreading and Aus-editing purposes. (That's $80 worth of photocopies; or $800, if I want to capture the full multicolo(u)redness of it...)

Then, it's off to Adelaide, for Writers' Week. You can catch me on Tuesday at 11 in the West Tent with Paul Auster, John Kinsella and Matt Rubinstein, talking about The Rules and How To Break Them; also on Thursday at 5.45 in the East Tent being chaired by Gerard Windsor (I imagine that's a bit like, you know, a lion tamer's routine) for a Meet The Author session. In between, I intend to sit in marquees and listen to whatever writers happen to be speaking, work on the steampunk story (which has to be started from scratch again, due to my shaky grasp of steampunkery), put together a speech about 'My Work' for a conference in New Zealand on the 17th, and eat and drink with mates.

I know, it'll be hard not to miss doing maintenance on the Destinations Electronic manual, but I'll try. :)