Day 39 (April 5)
A very good day. Feeling well and energetic again and the Queensland mid-autumn weather is perfect, although I do admit to feeling a bit nostalgic about real northern hemisphere autumn colours and the snap of coolness. Canberra was like that too, but it feels a long time since I left there early in 1992. Must look out some photographs as reminders.
Goals: To work through at least three chapters of editing AND to give some thought to short story ideas.
Progress: Today’s editing went like a dream. I worked my way quickly through four chapters where it’s autumn in Scotland also; the year is 1983. Freya’s grandmother remembers some unwelcome facts from the past while Freya is looking forward to a few weeks of leave which she intends to use preparing for her finals at the beginning of the next year.
Today Alexander was having a pensive time in Queensland’s spring, with the end-of-year purple blossom of the jacarandas beginning to show. And it looks as if he might find a way to end the impasse of separation from Freya, temporarily at least, although he wants to keep his ideas as a surprise. Bad move, as unexpected events are taking shape behind the scenes in Scotland.
Only the final chapter for Part One remains to be scrutinised, unless I bring forward the first chapter from Part Two – haven’t quite made up my mind about that.
My new indicative deadline for completion of the editing task for Parts One and Two, and therefore Book One, is now April 30. Possible? Maybe.
About the short stories: I think I’ve settled on two ideas, oddly both arising from a time when I worked in a UK community hospital – not sure why the long ago incidents found their way to the surface right now, but each seems to offer a seed for growing a fiction around it. One is about an old woman the other about a toddler.
So today’s goals were met.
Other: And surprisingly it’s a while before the bus is due, but not long enough to commit to a chapter. I can see the stop from my spot here in the library, so there’s time for reflection:
- I’m thinking in my next edit sweep I need to check for writing style, to make sure that it differentiates between the characters sufficiently – I’m hoping it has happened alright as the main characters are so clear in my head
- What is genre? And which one(s) apply for my story? The answer varies somewhat between each of the three books and contains more than a taste of a number of things: overall a family and friendship saga / a love story / there’s a mystery of sorts / a coming-of-age tale / a woman’s read probably. How do I respond to the question if I make a submission? Do I make a judgement one book at a time? Or consider the overall content of the current trilogy? And then the fourth book in the series is incubating away. It is quite different even though the characters will only have moved on around ten years – but most of the action will take place in Australia, instead of being spread between Queensland, Scotland, Europe and Africa.
More other: Pleasant surprise when I checked the Irish Fish Publishing site this evening for results of the International Short Memoir and Flash Fiction competitions – my stories, Memory rings true and Innocence lost respectively, were on the long lists.