One bonus (maybe the only one) of the heatwave we’ve been having is that we’ve been having some spectacular sunsets. This was last night. Gorgeous high clouds (I need to brush up on my cloud terminology so I can actually identify what kind they are), and then I turned around and saw the rainbow.
The rainbow was particularly amazing, because yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my father’s death, and the rainbows are the sign that my mother asked Dad to send her to let her know that everything was okay. Thanks, Dad.
For 2013, one of my goals is to complete a photo-a-day project again. I’d also like to get back into regular blogging again (Public blogging, that is. I ramble way too much in private.) And so, thought I, I shall combine the two! I’m not sure if I’m going to cross-post everything. We’ll see.
This project is for 2013, but I started early, because this photo opportunity was too good to pass up. These corellas (which I think are Little Corellas, feel free to correct me, anyone, if I’m wrong) were making a racket this morning dancing in the sprinklers across the road. I don’t blame them, since it was over 30C at something like 8am this morning. Heat wave. Ugh, summer in Perth can be horrible.
Corellas dancing in the sprinklers. Click to embiggen over at Flickr.
I do have bias, since I have a story in here, but I just finished reading through the whole anthology today, and while I can’t comment on a bunch of stories (since they’re eligible for the Aurealis Awards, of which I am a judge), I can say that this is hands down one of the strongest set of stories I’ve read in a long, long time. There is so much just downright good writing in here, and use of some really unusual mythologies. Even if I wasn’t in it, I’d be totally recommending it.
The amazing piece I commissioned from Pia Ravenari for Liam for his birthday.
I’m trying to get back into the swing of posting regularly again, which includes getting back to being on top of my rss feeds so I can do links round-ups again. And so, some links! Just a few, because I need to get on top of Google Reader in a big way.
I was tagged by Martin Livings in the seemingly never-ending chain of Next Big Thing meme that’s been doing the rounds of pretty much every online writer in Oz (or so it seems).
1) What is the working title of your next book?
At the moment, I’m reworking Shaede, the first book in the Crossing trilogy.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’m honestly not certain where the original idea came from, I’ve been working in this story universe for so long. I have a long fascination with the idea of a city built around the worship of art and creativity, a place where being a creative is something almost mystical and to be worshipped. Old Quarter’s Crossing, the city which is the focus of the trilogy, is such a place.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Once upon a time I would have called it urban fantasy. But these days, I see UF being applied more and more to what are, in my mind, paranormal romances. Nothing again PR, but this book isn’t it. So I’d have to say contemporary fantasy.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I have no idea. I do spend time working up character sketches, including trying to find photos of people who resemble my characters. I tend to use stock photos, though, not anyone famous, as sources.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After the unexpected suicide of her boyfriend, Sycamore Brannen takes his ashes back to his home town, Old Quarter’s Crossing, and discovers a place devoted to creation and steeped in magic.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
No agency representation yet, though my plan is to pursue that first, with self-publishing an option to be explored if that doesn’t work out.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Too long. Also known as, I have no idea. This is currently something like a fifth draft.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have to go with Charles de Lint’s Newford books, in feel only.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I have a wonderful writer’s group and several beta readers who have loved earlier drafts (some have even read more than one draft, the poor things). I was flailing about working on another novel a few months ago, and my astute critique partner persuaded me to give Shaede another go (as it had previously been trunked). Not certain if it’s going to end up being publishable, but it’s a good writing lesson at least. And I get to see how much my writing has improved over the last few years. I actually came close to agent representation with an earlier draft, and I’m glad that didn’t happen, to be honest.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Crossing is a city founded on magic and by magic, though few people who live there are aware of that fact. When you walk in a dream all your life, you grow accustomed to it, and no longer see it for a dream. Its only by looking differently that you can see the dream. I want to make people see the magic in their own lives.
I’m now supposed to tag five people to do the meme, but pretty much everyone I know has already completed it. I can find two – Pia Ravenari and Sarah Diemer, it’s your turn.
Happy birthday to my little guy! Hard to believe that three years ago, this was you:
Three years old, with very definite ideas about things that you do and don’t like. You don’t like eating still (seriously, child, you ate half a chocolate cupcake today and then wandered away, bored), though you are far better at sleeping these days (apart from those darned night terrors and nightmares). You love your trains and cars, Thomas especially, and you can name pretty much all of the engines from the series. You love Superman, Batman and Iron Man, even though you have no real idea who they are.
You care about other people deeply. You give huge cuddles, and love to hold people’s hands. You say hello to pretty much everyone when we’re up at the shops. You have your wobbly moments, but they are few and far between. You also love your kitty, who has just realised that you’re old enough to know what you’re doing and will give you a light scratch when you’re tormenting loving her. You love books, and you could happily be read to for hours. You adore My Neighbour Totoro, and your current favourite movies in the world are WALL-E and Ponyo. You love playgrounds, though you’re always a bit hesitant on slides. You’ve just gained your confidence swimming, and are starting to do a pretty good dog paddle.
Another year and you’ll be in kindergarten. And everything will change. I don’t mind, as long as you continue to be the happy kid you are right now. Though hopefully you’ll learn to eat soon 😉