To edit a novel takes patience, discipline, courage, time, and funds.  It’s a labour of love.  It’s something you started and are now forced to finish.  It’s a crack in a teacup when all you want is a hot drink.

That last one might have been a stretch, but the insanity has set in.  Visions of the mad hatter now spring to mind as I stare out the window of my little room (the White Stripes wrote a good song about this).  But with forty pages to go, I’m on the home stretch and the end is in sight.  Just try not to think about the next draft.  Or the mail.  There are only so many times a day that one can check it.  It mostly ends up being junk anyway, but throwing things away is a task, isn’t it?

In my novel, some of the characters may be experiencing some existential crises.  And as I sit in my little black room with the lights off to save power, I feel like a character actor.  Am I merely deploying the Stanislavski method to writing?  The trick I believe is to ride the edge; for going insane for one’s art might be heroic in some sense, but I have better things to do.

Cake, anyone?

How many cakes does it take to edit 100 pages of your first novel?

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It starts like a seed.  Like a dandelion spore blown in through the ear it floats through the mind, tracing the contours of the brain in search of a home.  Eventually, it is caught, and the cognitive processes take over.  They fill in the shade, they select the colour and hue of it all.  They bring life and all that comes with it; emotions in spades.  And once their work is done, and the flower has bloomed, so is the idea.  Fading.  Wilting.  Gone.

But always a trace will remain.

Welcome back!  It’s day one and I’ve got another draft to write!

Perth Writers Festival

March 8, 2011

A long weekend has blown its way through Perth once again but not before the Perth Writers Festival had its way with my fragile writer’s psyche. “Why?” you might ask? Well as an unpublished hopeful I thought it would be prudent to attend “The A to Z of Publishing” so that I might “capture the learnings” of those who might be far more learn-ed. So, what did I learn?

One – I’m not an amateur, a novice, a wanna-be, or an unemployed bum. Actually, my title is “emerging writer” – I think. Right now, I don’t really feel like I am emerging from anything except a cacophony of depressing facts about the publishing industry. Of course, none of it was new to me (think “avoidant personality”) But for the sake of creating ordered lists…
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The End

November 24, 2010

Sore Hand – An Interlude

November 10, 2010


With five chapters to go and a numbness in my left hand, the blogging has taken a back seat over the last few days as I try to punch out the remainder of my novel. Everything would be fine if I didn’t ever want to type the letters ‘a’ (ow), ‘s’ (ouch), ‘z’ (yeah that really not good), or ‘x’ (which makes me really glad you can’t spell anything with those alone…)

The writing is going well.  Better than ever before.  I’ve nearly got 100,000 words.  Quantity!  Yes!  It’s like walking into an “all you can eat” Chinese restaurant after having run a half-marathon!  Filling, greasy, and awesome.  But after the euphoria dissipates, and you’ve broken a sweat for the second time that day, would you recommend the experience?

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Sometimes, kids like to bash on pianos.  Pianos, like pots, provide simple mechanisms to create noise.  Can we presume that these children have not received any such training on the art of playing the pots and are merely bashing at it in a free-form expression of art that transcends these pictures of cows that you see here?

Cow next to a fenceCow stands in paddock with windmills in the background

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When I tell people that I am attempting to write a novel, I tend to get two types of responses.

The first could be characterized by phrases such as “Wow that’s great!” or “Well, I’ll definitely be buying it!”.  I call these people my “yay-sayers”, and amongst other things, my friends.  These friends, the few I seem to have left, are my cheer squad.  “To hell with it!” they say.  “It’ll be awesome, a best-seller!” followed by, “What is your book about?”  These people not only believe that it is possible, but they want it to become a reality.  They want to read it.  At least, that is their cover story.  Time will tell!

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A rustling in the darkness.  Sam was half way between the inner and outer worlds.  A fumbling.  Was he asleep, or was he awake?

Suddenly, he was awake.  Where was he?  A box.  No, a cage.  A prison.  He dragged his head from this way to that, searching for an answer.  Around his walled apartment, a black cloak.  As he stared into it’s inky blackness, it flicked up and fluttered from time to time.  Occasionally, he saw glimpses of people in suits, but little else.

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