Monday, November 8, 2010

Back from the Dead...

Right, a proper post today. Sort of.

So the last couple of weeks have been utterly brutal, in a lot of ways. I've never had so little time to do anything other than the essentials. Each morning when I get out of bed, every minute of the day ahead is already accounted for. This explains the lack of blogging, and the general silence of me in the twitterverse and everything. And this looks set to continue for at least the next couple of weeks.

There have, however, been a few high points.

The most recent, as of just a couple of hours ago, was the announcement of the winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards for this year. As I talked about earlier in the year, this is the first time that YA and children's writing have had their own categories, and with prize money equal to that of the 'grown ups', too. I'm absolutely thrilled to see Bill Condon take the inagural prize for his Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. Bill is - I've thought this for a number of years now - one of the most under-rated writers in Australia at the moment. A few years ago I did a reader's report on his novel No Worries and it struck me at the time as one of the most interesting and profound pieces of YA fiction I'd read in years. He's also one of the nicest, most quietly spoken and humble people you could hope to meet. I can't think of a better recipient for this important prize. (Though I'd have been equally as pleased to see any of the shortlisted writers pick up the gong - it was a brilliant shortlist, I thought).

I'm also particularly pleased because Confessions... is another Woolshed Press book, just like Into White Silence, and my longtime friend and editor Leonie Tyle was the one who commissioned and worked on it - it's a fantastic feather in her cap, and an honour that's been a long time coming.

So well done both of them.

In other news - I mentioned in my last post that I'm currently in love with Scrivener 2.0. This is quite simply the most useful writing tool that I've come across in years. A few people have commented here and on Twitter about their own love for it, and I fully understand where they're coming from. For $50 ish dollars, this is worth every cent. I particularly like the corkboard function, which enables me to do my planning and structuring, but also to jump quickly and simply between various points in my MSS. It also has brilliant research functionality which enables you to dump in anything - images, pdf's, whatever, and to associate them with whichever part of your document you intend to use them.

At this point, I'm using it for both fiction and academic writing, and finding it soooo useful for both.

And finally, on the subject of academic writing, you might remember that a few weeks ago now I posted about the impending release of my first two actual research papers. Well, the first of them is now out and about and, because it's in a free online journal, you can even read it!*

It's actually very strange, seeing it up there live and for real. It reminds me of the giddy anticipation I felt when my first book hit the shelves - kind of like standing at the start of some new and exciting avenue in your life.

Anyway, it's stopped raining outside, and so I'm going to take the opportunity to go and get Toby from daycare without getting wet. Or struck by lightning.

See you all later. It's good to be back...

*If you can't get to sleep tonight, I'd recommend it. Particularly the first half...

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on the paper! The response to Into White Silence is not unusual for anything that differs from the norm. I have come to the conclusion particularly in the last week that people do not read/listen/watch/experience literature to be surprised. Further, they tend to get uncomfortable and angry when their expectations are not met.

    It's frustrating when something is new and exciting, or more importantly delightfully clever and witty gets taken as a personal insult by the people who think that they understand all that is and will ever be about literature in whatever form it takes.

    Congrats again.

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  2. I enjoyed "Making to Unmask." I am very intrigued and would like to read INTO WHITE SILENCE. It is sad how narrow publishable "Young Adult" literature can be.

    I recently talked with a group of elementary school students about an author's relationship with his characters and the audience. I wish I had known about your paper at the time. The paper itself would have been too advanced but they would have gotten many of the concepts

    Congratulations.

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