I look here and find it’s been quite a while since I blogged… again! *Sigh*. Doesn’t mean I’ve been lazy.
I’ve been very busy with the upkeep of the Eurobodalla Writers website and assisting an acquaintance with his website and Facebook page. At the same time I’ve been lucky enough to undertake a small but delightful consultancy. So Cat has been a busy little kitten. Amongst all this I’ve been reading and writing, attending writers workshops, getting ready to fundraise for the next EW anthology to celebrate it’s 20th year in 2014. Also I’ve been working with Louise Falcioni on a recruitment drive for EW and to set up an evening meeting forum – luckily it was successful and we have new daytime members and a wonderful set of talented people coming to the evening meetings.
One of the wonderful things about the EW evening meetings is that we are all undertaking a novel – fiction and non-fiction, so we are using the meetings as a critiquing forum. It does mean that I have to dust off the 240,000 words I’ve written and begin to nudge them into shape – that many words will likely be two novels of fantasy. I started writing it nearly seven years ago and finished it two years ago. However, over time I’ve become a better writer and I can really see that in the manuscript. So lots of editing and rewriting to do. I guess leaving it two years has refreshed me and I’m ready to get it into shape so that I can try getting it published. We all have dreams.
Amongst all this, I’ve managed to trace my Dutch family lineage back to my 7th great-grandmother (born around 1643) and spend significant time with two of my grandchildren.
I’ve been reading a lot as well. My eReader has been working overtime. I was delighted by Ayn Rand’s Anthem – a poem about becoming one’s self.
Add to that an interesting article on speculative poetry in the Australian Horror Writers Association magazine ‘Midnight Echo 8’ with some great examples and I have a new perspective on spec-fic poetry. Yesterday I received my copy of Midnight Echo 9 with a story by an acquaintance, Alan Baxter. To be read in the next day or two.
And I quite proud of myself. I have a copy of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ – part of La Divina Commedia written between 1295 to 1320. I decided I would work my way through it and found it very rewarding. It did help that the edition I had came with lots of wonderful academic notes and footnotes but after twelve or so pages I got the gist of things. I did find it important to read about the context in which the poem was written – I love that it includes a deal of political comment relevant to the times. It is a horror poem with a political bent.
If completed Arthur C. Clarke‘s Space Odyssey series (2001, 2010, 2061, 3001). I mentioned in an earlier post that I was a little disappointed that Clarke had changed 2010 to reflect the movie rather than his original book. Once I got over that, I did find that the books in the series provided a wonderful view of our solar system, the planets, the science around the planets and space and, in terms of Earth in a millennia from now, the buildings reaching into the stratosphere.
I loved the fact that Clarke that thought about language changes; that someone from our time would be unable to understand the language because it had changed so much. I find that language has changed substantially in my lifetime – written and spoken. I feel it is open to speculation whether it’s for the better or not but as a writer I know I have to keep up with it.
I’ve also been reading a couple of short novels by Charlie Huston in the Joe Pitt Series. They are certainly in the pulp ‘noir’ style of Chandler and Hammett. I found the stories interesting but had to work through the style issues as sometimes there was a lot of description and mood setting when I wanted to know what happened next. Of course, I love a pacey story so I guess it’s not the fault of Huston. That said, Joe Pitt is like many hero’s of recent years and in a way reminds me of Jim Butcher‘s wizard Dresden. Both hero’s get in their own way and make their own troubles, fight multiple factions at the same time and end up nearly dead but victorious. I suspect to be really on top of this particular style of story style I will have to get the originals and read a Sam Spade or Phillip Marlow novel.
Currently I’m reading Greg Bear’s ‘The Forge of God’. I’m up to page 90 and twice I’ve nearly given up but decided to forge on (pun intended). I’m not always interested in political issues in novels although I know others love this. In this case the idea that alien artifacts and alien life forms can bring two different messages and also the fact that Bear has included Australia in his novel (unusual to say the least) makes me want to know where he is going with this.
OK, so now I’ve procrastinated long enough and I need to go back to my novel rewrite/edit. Till next time.