Days 101-102 (August 21-22)
Editing: Will spend a little time on editing yesterday’s highlighted areas of later chapters of Present tense, but don’t expect to get far as it’s becoming late. Also did some mental work on the way to the city in the bus this morning, and of course pen and notebook to hand so none of the gems get lost.
Reading: Brisbane City Library had a book on hold for me and it took all my attention on the way home – Crossing to safety by Wallace Stegner.The book came to notice through Jennifer Byrne’s First Tuesday Book Club a few weeks ago. I am hooked already by the first pages and the biographical note and introduction; a book about friendships. The notion appeals, partly because my own three novels are based around family and friendships. No doubt there will be many thoughts as more pages are devoured.
Last night I finished The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith – a sad but inevitable end. An important read for Australians and closely based on a true story.
Art Gallery: Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado was well worth a visit. As I’m not familiar with Spanish art it was an education to see the changes in style over the centuries. And a reminder of the prominence of religion and royalty in art. The exhibition was well attended with a number of guided groups being introduced to the main works in each of the galleries. The absolute stand-out for me was in the entrance area. Won’t spoil it by comment, but a must see for anyone interested in attending. Cameras were clicking at a major rate; the only place they were permitted.
Days 96- 100 (August 17-21)
Editing: Slowly getting through a few more awkward chapters. Previous editing changes have a flow-on effect that has led to a substantial rethink, not of content but of presentation. Dialogue has been compressed. Not sure how the many repetitions escaped previous scrutiny. Have also found numerous paragraphs which are improved by bringing the final sentence forward to the beginning – an unfortunate and recurring tendency I’ve noted. Have highlighted many segments for further work this time round.
The end is night though, for this edit – only six chapters remaining. Then I’ll take a break and go through it all again to check whether the changes have worked and how much more fine-tuning is needed. Am more or less satisfied that no extensive alterations are required. Hoping the next sweep through won’t change my mind.
Hoping to move on to Book Three (probably to be titled Future hope) by the middle of September.
Reading: Ran out of time to finish Anna Funder’s award winning novel All that I am. It is in demand and the library wants it back – no extensions possible. Because I was reading it in short stints I couldn’t seem to relate strongly to any of the characters. Probably a book that is better approached when there is continuity of time. I will request it again.
Am just about finished The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, a dark tale by Thomas Keneally. Not enjoyable but of interest and I’m supposing with many true insights into the experience of a proportion of Aborigines of mixed descent when subjected to continual discrimination. Some wonderful poetic passages around environment and flora.
I’m also still dipping into Wanted women: faith, lies and the war on terror: the lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui and Emma’s war, both by Deborah Scroggins
Recreation: Friday’s coffee catch-up with friends was a delight as usual. So was Sunday’s walk in the park. Still didn’t find my bird friend (pictured). A beautiful afternoon with need for alertness to dodge the many cyclists enjoying the afternoon.
Tomorrow is a visit to the Prado Exhibition at the Art Gallery and a birthday lunch for one of my sisters. Looking forward to that. Wonderful sky as I waited for a bus.