on the writing & reading trail

Edit, write,read day

Days 18-21 (June 1-4)

Over Friday and the weekend, editing was just a whisper in the wind. Those days were all about Writers Group meeting, and anthology with some extra critiquing thrown in. All enjoyable. And always some reading.

Today Monday, continuing editing of Book Two (Present hope) started off sluggishly but gathered momentum towards the afternoon. Worked carefully through Chapter Eleven where I’d left some ragged patches to come back to. Freya is reassessing her relationship with Reg and finding it wanting. Then returned to highlighted passages in earlier chapters and sorted them out with a clearer mind. A good day.

Short story – I’ve six days to flesh out a story idea to include one or more of the seven deadly sins. If the germ of an idea can be made to work, I’m playing around with anger and greed with a hint of sloth. The big challenge is that the judges want to be amused! So I’m trying to find a different twist for my very serious story.

Reading – Finished Taft today. A satisfying read on the tender and divisive topics of family and friendship and loyalty and morality that resist the stereotypes of race and lifestyle choices. My mild discomfort with Patchett’s use of a device that links the psyche of one character with another is salutary as I’m using a similar approach myself in slightly different guise in each of my three novels. I will still use it but ask for particular feedback from preliminary readers-about any discomfort they may experience with it.

An ‘on-hold’ book became available today –  author, Martin Thomas. Title is The many worlds of R H Mathews: In search of an Australian anthropologist. I’ve been waiting a while and the timing is good. Although I’m only touching the edges of Indigenous experience with one of my characters, I’m hoping the book can add authenticity. My character Mani Strachan was orphaned as a toddler. After his Aboriginal mother and Scots father died, he was raised by a white family far from his roots. He either was unaware of, or did not experience the discrimination suffered by many during his early life. Only in maturity does he think of exploring his cultural identity.

A quick page scan of the Thomas book suggests there is more meat of interest than expected with a bit of mystery surrounding the Mathews family Irish origins. My husband may want to grab the book ahead of me.


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