Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Much better now, thanks for asking...

Hi everyone,

Firstly, thanks so much for all the lovely messages of support after my bleak and depressing post from last week. You'll be pleased to know that I've managed to come through my little meltdown and am feeling much happier and more like my usual self now.

On which note I did promise that I would post something this week and, well, here we are.

Actually, in the midst of all the last week's bleakness, I did have one particularly interesting experience. I'm pleased to say that early next year the lovely people at UQP have decided to repackage my second novel “a New Kind Of Dreaming" with a spanking new cover and all-new internals.

This, of course, means that I got the oddly pleasurable task of re-proofreading the book. As a general rule, once my books are finished, I tend to send about into the big wide world without so much as a second glance. Certainly I don't think I've ever actually sat down and re-read any of my books after publication-at least not from cover to cover. So was a weird feeling to settle down last week with a story I'd written over a decade earlier, right the very start of my writing career.

It was rather strange and for the first few pages I found myself spotting things that I would gladly change if given half a chance. But of course, that wasn't the point. The point of this particular proofreading was simply to pick up on any typos which may have crept through from the original edition.

What struck me most about reading the proofs, though, was how oddly different the book seemed. The version of “A New Kind Of Dreaming" in my mind didn't at all add up with the version on the pages. The book in my memory was, somehow, fundamentally different. It's hard to pin down exactly why or how, but I couldn't shake off this odd feeling of cognitive dissonance as I work through the pages of the new edition.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm still incredibly proud of the book. It's something I wrote when I was in a very different place in my life, when I was politically very angry, and which really says a lot about both who I was and who I am today. But working through the proofs last week, it felt like reading someone else's book.

So that's my little observation for this week. Not sure if it means anything though it probably does.

And also, if this post seems a little disjointed, it's because I'm “writing" it using my fun new voice recognition software which, inspired by John Birmingham, I've gone out and gotten for myself. This is in part to increase my productivity, and also because, quite frankly, sitting at a desk in front of a screen all day was playing havoc on my back. It's kind of strange talking on my computer, but I suspect I'm going to get to like this. I'll keep you posted.

In any case, thanks again for all the support last week it really made a difference.


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