Tuesday, August 5, 2008

AHWA Transcript & The Problem With Teenagers

Firstly, the length of the transcript for the Australian Horror Writers Association's chat session with Australian Editors has been broken into two parts due to the success of the evening. It was without doubt the most successful event so far of this kind the AHWA have held. Well done to all involved. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Today I updated my resume. I'm not actively looking to leave my current employment, no where in South Australia is going to pay me the bucks I currently get, but just in case I find the dream job in a publishing house that will, I thought it best I update my CV. Bugger me if I'm not doing a lot at the moment. It wasn't until I'd written it all down that it fully dawned on me.

Currently I:

Work full time
Write columns for SA50s+
Do reviews for HorrorScope/Black and all the reading that entails
Slush reading for a publication
Working toward my Advanced Diploma for the Arts in Professional Writing
Do market research for AHWA
Research for articles and for my own writing

On top of all this I'm a husband and a father of three with everything that encompasses. Home renovations, handyman projects, time with the kids, trying to share home duties with my lovely wife, controlling a teenage son and trying to impart words of wisdom for an adult daughter, while trying to placate an eight year old.

Oh yeah, and trying to write fiction on occasion.

Tonight I went back to work on Newland. I managed to add only 200 words. I was in the middle of finding my groove, the "hole in the page" as some refer to it, when it was suddenly ripped away from me by a loud conversation taking place in the hallway outside my study door. I tried to ignore it, but it was persistent to the point I made out the gist of the conversation, and as father, I knew the answer to shut them up. I rose from my chair and imparted my wisdom which had the desired effect.

I sat back down and found I couldn't find the thread I'd been playing out before. I now have on my shopping list a "Do Not Disturb" sign and a set of headphones. I find I need to read what I've written previous to allow me to pick up the story again. I know the major points of it but I write what I see in my head and I need to build that picture piece by piece. Once it's complete, I can then continue.

However, I've found that I can only go there once in a session. There needs to be an activity or a long enough break between readings for it to work for me. Unfortunately, after only 200 words, it wasn't that long ago I'd done my read through for tonight. The thread has gone for this evening--as has the desire to remain sitting in a chair banging away at the keyboard. (And yet I still blog...)

The problem with teenagers is they have no concept of others. Their natural state of mind is "me, me, me". Now I'm not so old that I've totally forgotten that I too was once of this ilk, but I now know how frustrating my parents must have found it. So I bite my tongue more often than not and wait till quiet has again settled in my house.

If dad points out the obvious, points out what should be referred to as "common sense", no one believes me anyway. They all still think I'm spouting the fiction I write. Perhaps I should just write about it. I'm guessing the Young Adults of today would lap up "old time common sense" as the latest in YA fiction anyway. Maybe that's my ticket to the big time--simply write about common sense...

Onto more solid matters. The second Issue of SA50s+ arrived today. What I thought was going to be a small article somewhere to one side of the front page, turned out to be the whole front page. I was staggered. In issue one, I was given the whole back page. Issue two - the whole front page. I guess the only way now is down. Not really. I've already had three articles accepted for issue three so my input has increased. Things are going well in this area of my writing.

It also means I can finally send off the assignments I've been hanging onto. I'll copy my article tomorrow and include it with my already completed assignments for Mr Stone. Things can then begin moving again on my diploma. I still haven't received any grades from the three assignments I've already sent out. Still it's only Tuesday. (Three seems to be today's number--things are on the way up.)

Still no books to review yet and the deadline is fast approaching. This means when they do arrive, I'm going to have to allocate a lot of my writing time to reading to get through them.

I'm also waiting on the first batch of stories to read in my position as a slush reader. You just know they're going to all arrive at the same time. Life is far from dull.

Okay, I've noticed this post is becoming extremely long--again. Perhaps I should change the title of this blog to the ramblings of an Aussie wannabe writer.

I've not submitted my returned stories yet, waiting on the verdict from my new beta reader, but I encourage you to not wait. Get those submissions out there.

Best of luck.


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