on the writing & reading trail

Posts tagged ‘jacaranda’

Edit diary and other things

October 16

Editing: Over recent days I’ve been working on two fronts – finishing those last paragraphs of Present tense and what I hope is the final sweep for Past imperfect. I’ve put Present tense aside for several weeks so that I can see it with fresh eyes.

It’s been slow so far with Past imperfect. I’m one quarter throughand feeling satisfied that the changes are enlivening the narrative. Hopefully my writing was improved for the later chapters and I wonder if an end of the month target for completion is too optimistic. I’ll stay with that meantime.

Writing: Writing Group members who contributed to the anthology, Ten Minute Tales, that we recently e-published for free now feel we have learned how to manage the process well enough to embark on a more serious effort at quality writing. Last week we agreed our focus – to produce a collection of short stories with a ‘twisted’ orientation. We’ve set a completion date for the end of November and a maximum 1,500 word-count.

One member is off to a flying start with a story completed already. I’m struggling with the ‘twist’ emphasis and grappling to find something that works – meantime all that surfaces is as lightweight as a spiral of licorice.

I guess I’m thinking maybe we need to aim for more than one story each or perhaps to find several themes or even something open, as well. Is that an escape hatch for lack of inspiration / application? Or a legitimate thought for something solid enough to publish?

NB – One of our members, Nene, has a story on the ABC website. Congratulations. Find Nene’s story here – https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words-caught-out-28dn4ay/contributions/santa-s-helper-helps-herself-78du0ff

Reading: A few real books and several e-books on the go. Continuing with Caleb’s Crossing, the Redlitzer Anthology 2012, Where war lives: A journey into the heart of war, and another war correspondent journey, What remains by Denise Leith – a devastating story of different kinds of horror – at the moment I’m with her in Rwanda after a spell inSarajevo. These readings balance each other out in different ways and with topics in current editing where the story is personally disappointing for the protagonist but underneath is a happy situation even though that is at risk.

I’m taking advantage of The Australian (newspaper) offering of free e-books for readers. The Marmalade Files by journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann was a straight-through riveting read – brought back so many memories of eight years working in the Commonwealth bureaucracy in Canberra – thin cover for contemporary happenings in the national capital. It really is like that. Reminds me of the TV programs, Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, so popular in the UK many years ago.

General: During a weekend walk we met this wonderful fluffy creature. About to capture a front-on shot, a cyclist hurtling over the bridge sent the bird off in fright. Another day perhaps but it will be a big bird then.

Fluffy friend

The library was quiet today. Students are back at school. The sun is shining again. An earlier dry spell and recent winds have reduced the blossom from our beautiful jacaranda trees. We’re left with carpets of mauve. I hope there are some late bloomers left. They are among my favourite trees.

Jacarandas in bloom

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