Reached 20,000 words today. Now, at my usual breakneck-never-sleep-cry-a-lot pace, that would take me ten days, but this has been about three or four weeks of writing and planning every day, with a big writing day on Tuesdays.
This pace has been intentional. I am trying to teach myself that slow progress is sometimes more solid, and that just because I’m not burning out, doesn’t mean I’m not working hard or working well.
So even though I am decidedly Bad Decisions Meg this year (more on that when it has all been confirmed) I am trying out Sensible Writing Meg.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Let’s just skip over the fact that it’s been about a year since my last update (oops) and go straight to the news!
I found out earlier this year that WAER was a CBCA Notable, and this morning I was informed that it has been shortlisted for the 2017 Book of the Year in the Older Reader category.
I am honoured and excited to have WAER shortlisted among so many other wonderful titles, and I am especially thankful to Text Publishing – not only for bringing my book out into the world, but also for being so incredibly supportive, and nominating WAER for the CBCA.
Now, we drink tea, celebrate a good day, and wait for the results in August!
In the meanwhile: update!
Over the past year I’ve been bookselling, working with kids, doing book talks…and writing, of course! Soon I’ll be off on a research adventure to the Bahamas, America, and London to meet with historians and pirateologists, and keep hunting for information on my Anne Bonny. I’m also hoping to revamp this website, so eventually we might actually have regular updates (keep dreaming, Meg…).
WAER IS OUT.
But I’ll do a whole thing on that later. For now, it’s time to clear up the funny phonetics of WAER.
WAER – Pronounced ‘Where’
KAEBHA – Pronounced ‘KEE-vah’ or ‘KIE-vah’
LOWELL – Pronounced ‘L-OH-well’
LYCAEA – Pronounced ‘lie-KAY-ah’ in Luthan and ‘lie-KIE-ah’ in Kudhienn
HEMANLOK – Pronounced ‘HEH-man-lock’
KUDHIENN – Pronounced ‘koo-thee-ENN’
LUTHAN – Pronounced ‘LOOTH-AN’
DEBAJO – Pronounced ‘deb-EYE-oh’
CIADUDAN – Pronounced ‘chee-AH-doo-dan’
GRINAJA – Pronounced ‘grin-EYE-ah’
TADHG – Pronounced ‘tie-g’
LELDH – Pronounced ‘lel-th’
CAERWYN – Pronounced ‘CARR-win’
Any other curly ones you can think of? Drop me a message here or on my Twitter account @MegCaddy1
My long absence can be explained threefold: lots of work, lack of organisation, and also I forgot my username to log in. It’s okay, we’ve got it sorted now! And what an exciting time to be blogging in.
When the clock ticks around to midnight tonight, we’ll be in the month of WAER. This week, the printed copies all arrived in the Text office, which means soon it will be in my hands. I’ve been waiting for ten years to hold this thing in my hands.
(I’m simultaneously wildly excited and in a state of total panic.)
In other news, I’ve moved into a new flat. It’s nice to not go up two flights of stairs with the shopping, it’s easier to clean, and I’m teaching myself to garden. The first thing I planted was a chilli tree. It started dying within three days, but it seems to have come back to life now. The lavender is dead, and so it most of the thyme. On the other hand, the basil is thinking about taking over the earth so I think I’m doing alright for my first efforts.
School is back this coming week, so I go back to my odd schedule of tutoring, pastoral care, and (very occasionally) sleeping at normal hours.
As far as writing goes, it’s been a solid month. I sent off my manuscript ‘Slipping the Noose’, which has been burning a hole in my brain and fingers for a while now. I started the research in 2010, did my Honours dissertation on the surrounding history and literature, and fell absolutely in love with the whole thing along the way. I’ve now started research for something with similar lines. This one’s going to be more difficult – the literature on the time period is more sparse, and the history doesn’t entwine with the fiction as clearly. We’re getting there, though, and once I get that first page down we’ll be back into a realm of frenzied research and endless typing. Just how I like it!
My current WIP is a historical fiction.
For the past few months I have been aggressively hunting down the details on a particular historical figure (a Jacobite printer and publisher) and last night I finally found it. The relief is overwhelming – unfortunately, it means I need to rewrite a huge chunk and make several big changes.
I went to the gym today to try burning off some stress. My bones have subsequently turned to custard. I’m lying on my couch, wrapped in a blanket and longing for…actually, now I really want custard.
So yes. The editing is happening! Albeit at a haphazard, erratic pace.
We also have a publication date – looking at March 1!
Book is available for pre-order from Text Publishing at the following link:
I know, I know, I’m an awful person who fails her NYE resolutions and doesn’t blog enough. Yes yes yes. I’ll care more in two weeks, when my dissertation is handed in.
Two weeks. Seriously. As of today. What is even life.
But a lot has happened since my last blog entry. Mainly, I’ve moved out of home and into a flat. I have no housemates, no TV, and no wifi. Life is very quiet and studious at the moment. It’s a little surreal, but it’s also very nice. I’m eating better, drinking less alcohol and more water, and (weirdly) being more sociable.
But the sociable bit is dead for the moment, because dissertation.
The other more significant piece of news is that Penguin has picked up one of my short stories for an upcoming anthology! I’m terribly excited – the contract arrived today, I’m almost done with this round of edits, and I’ve received a wave of support and love from friends and family.
So everything is desperately busy and stressful, but I’m also in a pretty good place right now, and very thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. /endgush
I’m lucky to have a wide circle of strong women in my life: my mum, my grandmothers, my cousins, my aunties, my friends, my teachers and coworkers. Although I don’t have any sisters (biologically, at least), I’ve never had a shortage of female role models in my life. I’m very grateful to them all.
Seeing as how this is primarily a book blog (with some cooking thrown in there) I thought I’d give a little time to writing about women writers who have inspired and entranced me across the years. There are so many, and I can’t possibly write about them all, but here are a few:
-Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre: Gothic Romance novel)
-Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness Quartet, Protector of the Small: Fantasy novels)
-Juliet Marillier (Sevenwaters Series, Blackthorn and Grim: Historical fantasy novels)
-Robin Hobb (Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders: Fantasy novels)
-Glenda Larke (Isles of Glory: Fantasy novels)
-L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables: Coming-of-age novels)
-Agatha Christie (Poirot: Murder mystery novels)
-A.J. Betts (Zac and Mia: YA novel)
-Diana Sweeney (The Minnow: YA novel)
-Mary Gentle (Ash: A Secret History: Fantasy novel)
-Anne Bishop (The Others: Contemporary Fantasy novel)
-Danijela Kambaskovic (Internal Monologues: Poetry)
There are hundreds more – in particular, the writing women of SCBWI and KSP, who tirelessly inspire and encourage other WA writers. To all of these women, and the others in my life (cis and trans, gay and bi and straight and asexual and mothers and daughters and every other variation of womanhood), Happy International Women’s Day.
…and other important aspects of WA culture.
Recently, the powers that be decided to halve the funding for the WA Premier’s Book Awards. This decision came just after the spectacular Giants event in Perth, and just before the Perth Writers’ Festival. The timing (and the choice itself) was lamentable. It screams ‘You don’t matter!’ to the countless WA writers, librarians, book-sellers, English teachers, publishers, editors, and readers who make up such a brilliant and vibrant community – just before one of our important annual events. The announcement also came just after Perth had proven a passionate interest in the arts, with mass support for the Giants. It should be mentioned as well that the Perth Giants were inspired by ‘Lighthouse Girl’, a beautiful book by WA’s own Dianne Wolfer.
The bad news snowballed. The beloved State library may be slashing its opening hours to meet with government cuts, and the West Australian newspaper is reducing its weekly coverage of literature from a double page to a single page spread.
I’m gutted. And I’m not the only one.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I run groups for young writers. On a Tuesday, the children are between 8 and 12 years of age, and on a Thursday they are between the ages 11 and 17. These are children who inhale books. They love to read and they love to write. They give up their precious free time to learn how to develop both their reading and writing skills. I have no doubt that one day we’ll be reading their books. I try to keep them in touch with the wider writing community by bringing in guests (writers, editors, scholars) and talking to them about issues involving WA writers. When I told them about the recent cuts and announcements, they were horrified. They were furious.
This coming week, we will be writing letters and brainstorming ways to protest this. We will also be discussing WA authors and WA books, and how to support them. These kids are passionate about keeping WA literature alive. They are doing what they can.
What else is being done?
Bookseller, blogger and writer Emily Paull has started a petition here: https://www.change.org/p/colin-barnett-state-premier-of-wa-john-day-minister-for-culture-and-the-arts-asking-them-to-stop-the-cuts-to-funding-and-changes-in-the-format-of-the-wa-premier-s-book-awards?just_created=true
There is a twitter hashtag: #savethewapremiersawards
You can write to the West Australian and complain: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/contact/
You can also read and share the numerous blogs and articles about these issues, and add your voice to theirs. This is important. This matters.