Tag Archives: editing


horse pulling overloaded cart

how it feels some days

So what have I been doing all this time? Putting too many things in my wagon – that’s what!

Most days I sail along but others, I must admit, I feel a bit like the poor horse in this picture.
I’m teaching narrative at the University of Queensland, and yoga to the performance dance students at the Queensland University of Technology (yes I’m a yogi). I also teach both writing and yoga privately and edit other people’s work,as well as marking homework, looking after my family and keeping the household reasonably hygienic. And helping out my sisters with their small children and new baby.

I’ve also been busily organising a family trip to Europe to visit relatives – a first for all of us. Very exciting.

This has meant not much time is left for my own projects. I have a new short story half-written, and have gone part of the way through reading and marking up the draft of Dear Madman I wrote at Varuna. Oh how I long to return there to have some uninterrupted time to sit and ponder and immerse myself in the Madman’s world so I can better whip the manuscript into shape. A novel is a huge thing, you need time and space to hold it properly in your mind, to be able to figure out how best to bring it to life.

Today I have to agree with Toni Morrison,

“We are traditionally rather proud of ourselves for having slipped creative work in there between the domestic chores and obligations. I’m not sure we deserve such big A-pluses for that.”

She’s right. I’d rather have an A+ for finishing Dear Madman. An A+ for prioritising my own work.
Find some time for your writing today. See how good you feel when you do!

Oh, and Child of Fortune (the Cambodian novel of many names), is being read at a few major publishers as we speak. Getting a major publisher and some royalties coming in is one way to make sure my own work comes first. So cross fingers.

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My best writing buddy, the talented Helena Pastor (see her work in Island, Griffith REVIEW, Westerly, Hecate etc), have set ourselves a deadline of finishing the first drafts of our works in progress by the end of August. Helena is writing a creative non-ficiton project called “Iron Men – Alchemy at Work” about a youth project in Armidale and I’m working on my”Little Guide to Grief, First Aid for your Heart and Soul. Practical Tools to Help Cope with Loss”. A long title and quite a change from fiction but it demanded to be done.
When we’ve finished our drafts on time the mammoth effort will be celebrated by our traditional Writers Retreat at Evan’s Head where we forget that we are mothers for a weekend and indulge ourselves in uninterrupted reading and writing. We will edit each other’s work and plan our second drafts.
Today I did 1700 new words (that’s a pretty good day for me considering I’ve been out teaching). Tomorrow I hope to do the same. It’s only a few weeks till the end of August and I’ve got this chapter to finish and then two more. Can I make it? You bet your booties I can (or I’ll eat my bonnet). Having neither booties nor a bonnet this is a pretty safe bet.

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