Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Infernal

Wow, two posts in a month. Could be making up for the lack of March madness, er, I mean musings. The Infernal has a special place in my writing journey. In part the book itself and in part the author. I came across The Infernal in what feels like a million years ago but was in reality 1997 or 1998 while working in a university library. I was putting new titles onto the shelves for students and The Infernal was amongst them.

The original cover grabbed my attention as did the title and I decided to borrow it (alas, I cannot find the relevant cover anywhere to show’n’tell). To this day it is one of the very few (& I mean VERY few) books where I can still recall images created by the words (Kim, if you read this, I now have a morbid fear of pine trees). Kim is one of a very small handful of writers where I will automatically buy their books.

When I first decided I was going to attempt to write my first story (after the passion to write was inflamed on a dare by some o/s friends) I was trapped by research. Having a degree in ancient civilizations meant I’d spent many hours delving deeply into knowledge of topics. I was fairly sure that fictional books didn’t quite need the depth in knowledge but I was unsure (of a lot of things). I came across two authors in an anthology, Mystery, Magic, Voodoo and the Holy Grail, Kim Wilkins and Louise Cusack.

Little did I know the impact this would have on me. Very nervously I sent off an email to each of them basically asking for their opinions about research and fantasy and fiction writing. I had no idea if either of them would read the email let alone reply. Imagine my shock when BOTH of them had replied within a week of my sending the query. I was completely speechless, gob smacked, in awe (you get the idea). Plus the information they gave was (of course) very useful.

Fast forward to the present day. I’ve now have had two wonderful year-long workshop stints with Kim (through the Qld Writers Centre). Louise gently nudged me to join the Vision Writers group and is still an ongoing mentor, keeping me on the track of my writing path (making sure I don’t fall off it) to this day.

So, The Infernal holds a special place. If it wasn’t for the fact Kim scared the living daylights out of me with her visual imagery I wouldn’t have come across the anthology. If I hadn’t come across the anthology I would never have contacted either Kim or Louise. I don’t even want to say how my life would’ve unfolded (though I’m sure writing would’ve reared its head regardless of what I chose). I say my life, rather than my writing life as it has been through my writing life that I have now made a wonderful circle of (in some cases, very close) friends. Not to mention my fiancĂ©e.

Now, Ticonderoga Publications is doing a special limited edition release of Kim’s first book. Isn’t the cover pretty?  I love the tone, hues and scripts chosen. There will only be 100 created. I should drop hints to my other half. I’d certainly struggle to justify indulging in such a beautiful copy. Go here to place an order.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Time Vortex

I seem to have fallen into one this year. So much for the year being quiet. I really should know better by now. I did have a quite relevant reason for missing March online. During the mad preparations that was the Emerald deadline my laptop died. Died as in replacing the hard drive. Luckily for me, the m/s was in email land waiting for my reader/edit . One thing it did teach me, I must really want to pursue this writing thing. I could’ve quit. I could have in the tears and swearing, sometimes simultaneously quit. Stopped. Walked away. I didn’t.

The computer going kaplooey did throw a spanner in the works of my life. It didn’t help the computer was physically away for some time and when it did come home it wasn’t right. It still isn’t completely there but at least now I’m not so gun-shy of coming back online. My Google reader was approaching scary proportions with many still to be caught up on.
I’ve been amazed at how online many lives have become. Not just for writing but also socially and professionally. I had HR, pay office and all manner of things caught in emails I could not access (until recovery had occurred).

This brings me to the other reason for my absence online, or rather, my minimalist approach to online time. I have taken on an extra contract. I have no idea why given my plan this year was to write two books and get much more serious about sending the stories out into the world (I’ve whittled it down to one book to be written now). Life happens. So I’m now back in an adult classroom as well as my usual factory playground for work.

Making me organised is the way I’m seeing it. I’ll be this way until the end of June (or until the teacher I’m replacing returns, which I’m guessing will be early). Just in time for my event planning to take place.

So April is past the half way point. Least living in Australia I don’t have to worry about my taxes (that would be September for me) but juggling work x 2, engagement/birthday event planning, family and oh yeah, writing is keeping me out of any kind of mischief.

Til next month. Ciao.