Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Being Notable...

Just time to bash out a quick post before the midday announcement of the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual 'Book of the Year' shortlist.

I found out about half an hour ago that my book 'Daywards' has made the list of 2010's Notable Books, which puts it in contention for the shortlist (though I'll be honest and declare that I think it's probably an outsider) alongside some lovely people and fantastic writers. Michael Pryor, Melina Marchetta, James Roy, Cassandra Golds, Kirsty Murray, Scottie Gardner, Cath Crowley, Randa Abdel-Fatah and lots of others. Whatever happens fifteen minutes from now, it's really lovely to see my book on the same list as all theirs and before they make the big announcementI just wanted to say congratulations to all of the notable writers. I couldn't hope to be in better company.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to Us!

It might have been 20 years ago today that Sergent Pepper taught his men to play *, but it was 2 years ago tomorrow (which is, of course, a screen free saturday, so no blogging for me then...) that I sat down at my computer here at UC and decided, on a whim as much as anything else, to start a blog. And while my first post over at Goodreads wasn't exactly a work of online genius, more a tribute to my digital incompetence, at least it was the start of something.

And look at the dizzying heights the last two years have seen us soar to - 173 posts! (A good percentage of them about Toby) 27 followers! Occasional comments! Number 75 on the list of the Top 50 Australian Writing Blogs!** Entire fortnights passing with no posts! Months with posts every day! Strident criticism of the opposition! Strident criticism of the Government! Irritating Songs! Other Irritating Songs! Even Kevin Bacon! Goodness, what a ride it's been.

And of course, now that the blog is 2 years old, I can expect it to become recalcitrant, and to keep me up at nights, and to wake me up early in the morning, and to blow bubbles in its milk. Luckily I've had recent experience dealing with all those behaviours, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

In all seriousness, though, I didn't really start this blog with any plans or intentions for it. It was originally just a kind of idle curiosity which made me click the 'create blog' button on Goodreads. If I'm being honest I expected it to just fizzle out after a couple of months, as these things so often tend to do. But it didn't. Musings... has somehow managed to worm its way into my life, and despite my occasional long silences, I've got to say that I've gotten so much more out of blogging than I ever expected to.

It's put me back in touch with old friends. It's helped me to clarify a lot of my ideas about writing and why I do it. If nothing else, it's made me write regularly and (some of the time, at least) thoughtfully. Also, looking back across the last couple of years of posts - and this is something I didn't expect at all - it's become a sort of record of a fairly huge couple of years of my life, which is something I've never done before.

I'm not a diarist - never have been. Never really saw the point, to be honest. I kept a diary for about a year and a half when I was a teenager and then, thankfully, I burned it. Keeping a day to day (or, let's be honest, week-to-week) record of my thoughts and life always seemed a little pointless.

But reviewing the last couple of years of posts here, I'm actually amazed at how many things I've forgotten. In the last two years I've gone from itinerant writer to full time academic, and this place has recorded that. I've met some wonderful people in the last couple of years, and it's great having them dotted throughout here. Some of my friends have achieved great things, from having first books (or trilogies - Katie, I'm looking at you here...) published, through to winning quite incredible awards, and it's been lovely having a place to celebrate them. My own books have done some good things, too, and it's nice having a record of when and where, though I'm slightly worried about just how long I've been working on 'Orion'.***

And, of course, I'm grateful to have a sort of living record of Toby's first couple of years.

So anyway, there's no real point to this post, except to say thanks to those of you who take the time to read it. I'm sure you must have much better things to do with your lives, but I doubt I'd keep writing it if nobody ever looked at it, and I've gotten so much more out of the process than I'd ever expected to so.... you know... cheers!

*or, then again, it might not have been. I'm not massively familiar with the Beatles musicology, to be honest...
**
Which is just the kind of statistical achievement that makes me love the internet.
***I know I keep saying this, but it's nearly finished now. Honestly. Less than 2000 words to go. I got some writing done this week, too...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin