Friday, November 27, 2009

More astute readers may note that, instead of the two weeks I estimated it would take me to read my manuscript and notes, and then reappear here with something interesting to say - it has in fact been a whole month. (Even then I'm rounding it down, but cut me a break, okay?)

What have I been doing during the past five - I mean, four - weeks? A lot of internal mind-bending roller coaster rides, I must say. I can't help but think of Number One Son's progression with his swimming lessons.
  1. Prepare to dip toes into the vast expanse of manuscript yawning before me. Very unsure as to the temperature... warm? Freezing cold?
  2. Find it's generally quite icy, but with unexplained warm patches throughout
  3. Freak out manically at the sheer immenseness of it all.
I am comforted somewhat by the knowledge that Number One Son has come a long way since his first lesson, which consisted of 25 minutes of crying and pleading "I need to go to the side and have a rest", five minutes of silent defiance and then a smile and a high-five when the lesson was finished. Six lessons later and he now rushes to the edge as soon as we arrive, waiting impatiently for his turn, then spends the whole half hour grinning and waving proudly to Mummy. So I prepare to undertake my next challenge tentatively, yet with the hope that I will one day be 'high-five'ing too. That challenge is just to begin. Dip one toe in the frigid water that is my novel, and try to warm it some with a few drops of heady inspiration. Where that will be coming from, I have no idea!

On the plus side, I have now allowed myself to go out and buy that new book!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breaking Dawn

I've achieved a lot this week! Hurrah! Started swimming lessons with Number One Son, hung some pictures for my mum, enrolled Number Two Son in daycare for next year, embarked on a new diet, squeezed in a couple of gym sessions, made some invitations for my brother's 30th birthday and did some research for his present (no clues, Bro!). 

You may note, though, that none of this list has anything to do with working on my manuscript...

I have done some mental planning - does that count? Let's say, for the sake of my sanity and my blog, that it does. My list of things to do, in order to get me into the right 'space' is now:
  1. Finish reading final book of Twilight series (bizarrely enough, there are NO MORE books in my 'to read' cabinet, which never happens. I really want to read The Time Traveller's Wife next, but I'm refusing to allow myself to buy it before I have achieved steps 2 and 3)
  2. Fish out manuscript from the drawer and read it from start to finish
  3. Read all editor's notes on aforementioned manuscript

Yes, I managed to figure all that out in just one tiny week. How brilliant of me. (Not.)

I estimate it will take me no more than two weeks to finish the rather hefty tome on my bedside table, and then the gloves are off. Preparation for my next bout shall begin...

Friday, October 16, 2009

So, I've just returned from a holiday. Which is unusual for two reasons. The first, because I'm a mother of two young boys and the word "holiday" hasn't been part of my vocabulary for the last three plus years. Secondly, because instead of returning with the need to sit on my butt and recuperate, I've come back with a proverbial fire under it. Due mostly, I think, to a cracker of a movie I saw when I was away (in Gold Class, no less...)

I was really hoping to see Up, but due to terrible signposting at the Melbourne Crown Casino, managed to arrive only in time for Julie and Julia. As it turns out, wine, dinner and a Magnum ice-cream seem to enhance any viewing experience...

In this movie, "Julie", an aspiring writer stuck in a thankless job, sets herself a challenge: to cook her way through the entire 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs... and starts a blog to make herself "accountable" for this. Had a chat about being accountable with a Melbournian friend of mine, and thought I might give it a try myself.

I don't tell many people that I have self-published a picture book, for various reasons. For those very same reasons I haven't told many people that I was awarded a mentorship from the Australian Society of Authors, to work with an editor on a Young Adult manuscript I've sequestered away in the cupboard. My babies have severely hampered work on this, and the official mentor time period of one year has passed many times over. I'm just totally thankful that I happened to choose an editor who is a mother herself, or perhaps just a very kind person. Whatever her motivation, she has left the door to her postbox ajar for me to send through my manuscript "whenever it is completed". Unfortunately, "whenever" isn't really working for me. The rest of my life keeps getting in the way.

So I'm going to take a leaf out of "Julie's" book, and become accountable. To myself. And to whomever happens to read this. I now endow you with the ability to have a go at me about how much I've done lately. Okay? Thanks.

Number 2 son waking now. Must go and think more on the next step while I change nappies and figure out how to entertain him in 35-degree heat when Puss popped the paddle pool last night...

*As an aside... I personally know two Julie's and two Julia's... all of whom I admire greatly, for different reasons. Will no doubt be referring to some of these fabulous women in a future post. :-)