I have a sore back, a broken thumb-nail and a bruised ego. I’m not going bowling again.
Furthermore, I’ve had a Tim-Tam hangover all day. Note to friends, don’t let Helen take left over Tim-Tams home from Prana Writers, especially not if jumbo-sized pack. And, Helen, don’t eat 6 in one day.
The good writing news:
My alien horror story ‘Surgeon Scalpelfingers’ was accepted for publication in Midnight Echo 6. Here’s a link to the contents on Jason Fischer’s blog. Honestly, I’m a bit scared, because the other authors in it are great. It’s cool that Joanne Anderton feels the same way. I’m controlling impulses to email the editors, ‘Are you sure about my story?’ Beck and Myra (other Prana Writers) made fun of me for this, which was sweet and reassuring. Midnight Echo 6 comes out in November.
Also, Black Earth, my unpublished novel, made it through to the quarterfinal round of the Amazon Breakthrough Award. Out of 250 novels, Amazon Vine readers will choose 50 by 26th April. This round of the competition is judged on the whole novel, whereas earlier rounds were judged on the pitch and beginning. Will it get through? I think I’ll faint if it does. Note to self (number 2): sit on lounge surrounded by cushions, with laptop secured, before looking up result.
And here‘s Publishers Weekly’s review of Dead Red Heart. I got my galleys for ‘Deathborn Light’ this week, which were pdfs of the pages of the book. Exciting for a first timer.
I saw most of my Prana Writers buddies yesterday and we worked on characterisation with the guidance of Sheryl Gwyther. She made us consider questions we’d never thought to ask our characters. She’s so passionate about the subjects of her books–very inspiring! We did a few writing exercises, too. The random card I drew was, ‘My First Love.’
That was bound to be trouble. The output is below the asterisks. It made me giggle as I was writing it and laugh when reading it aloud. I like the ribbon and snapping jaws bit, but it’s very indulgent first draft sort of stuff.
In reality, black swans are peeping outside, possibly nesting on the jetty. And I have a new, first ever, nephew. Welcome, little Stubbs.
Goodnight, dear reader. Have wild dreams in which you get the last kick. Whatever sort of kick you want it to be.
My second love was the one that flew past the window when the ibis was blinking with its red-stained wing raised in flapping fright. My third was the sound of knife blade hitting tile, metallic slap and chatter–clatter as the handle broke. My fourth was a hit over the head with an anvil-sized migraine that left me blinded by caterpillars of flashing patterns, head hanging over the bowl.
But my first love–well, it was perfect, everything love should be, with overhanging boughs, the cool caress of clover, the buzz of bees collecting the scent of white and pink flowers. Both soft and hard, and slow and fast, and the pain…oh, so sweet.
So now, I find each love is infinite and like ribbons they entwine and strand, ever out and upward to the future and universe until…that day. The end day, at the centre of the circle, where they knot, snare and tear then change to snarling beasts with snapping jaws, ripping apart the fabric of reality.
Then every thread of love unweaves. Even the fibres unwind to raw unprocessed states. The cotton grows back into the plant, the water back to the sky, the fleece returns to the sheep’s flesh. Dust returns to dust and love is lost.