A busy time.

Posted by Nette on Jun 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

I love chatting with you and can’t believe its so long between visits. I have been busy though – and loving every minute of it. My new novel has been taking most time – honestly when people ask me how long does it take to write a book I’m sure they don’t believe the answer. This novel has taken years. Its taken the last six months to tidy it, polish it, go back and pick out little bits for an extra shine, argue about whether the ‘headlines’ stay or go…and this has been really traumatic.

The ‘headlines’ are linked to events which happened in the Ukraine in the period from 1930 – 1950 and I went to no end of trouble to make sure my young protagonist is portrayed in connection to these. He is living in Australia and has flashbacks to his earlier life….although, I must say, this book is more about the mystery surrounding the death of a young child that his background. Sort of … actually its like trying to upick a very complicated bit of knitting – one bit is so woven into another that its hard to say what unravel one bit without the whole lot coming apart. Anyway, the ‘headlines’ were to be an added extra at the top of some of the chapters and we were not sure if it might interrupt the flow of the reading. I reckoned it wouldn’t but its a hard call for me to make – let’s face it…I know this story and so for me to try to be really objective about it is very, very difficult. A good editor is a must to advise you about which things should stay and which things are confusing. I have to admit that writing a blog is a bit scary because I don’t have someone double-checking my punctuation and the flow of the words. Hope you’re not having too much trouble…

As well as the new novel – The Innocents (due out in August) I’ve been working on the new bilby book. At the minute I’m working on story no. 7 and, trust me, its becoming such a journey. All those little bilbies are very tricky to keep in line – and to take them where I want them to go and to stay inside a low wordcount. At the minute we’ve got the word count down to about 1100 and I think there’s still too many -and I’m getting desperate!

As well as sitting working like crazy with bilbies and headlines I’ve been running some workshops with the best students. Honest to goodness, where do you all come from? Clever girls from Brisbane Grammar who spent a weekend working on stories and brushing up writing techniques. They were so, so good and came up with the best ideas. It rained on Saturday so we had perfect writing weather. During the afternoon when we’d drenched our brains with words we set off outside to make friends with a couple of coloured gum leaves – and then we drew them. Wow! That’s all I can say – wow! How can you all be so talented at so many things? Sunday – so many things to write and talk about and too little time. Girls, thank you for a wonderful time working with you.

Not only but also….tra da!!! I was at St Aidans in Brisbane and let me tell you – there’s a bright bunch of little cherubs. Watch out for them when they get going. We wrote stories and made up some great artworks to go with our sea story. And, again, what great ideas. I can’t believe so many clever kids were all there in one class together….you amazing little things you!

Last month, not long after the writing in the old bus, I went down to the Bilby meeting. And you’ll never guess what!!! Fingers crossed – Billy Bilby is going to go into Tele! How about that. What a wonderful day with people talking about Billy and all the little bilbies. How interesting are film people and music people – they see and hear the world in such a way that they take what you know that little bit further.

Time to go – another conversation about Billy Bilby No 7 (and confusion because now there are two sevens and we have to make sure they’re sorted out….aaaagh!). You’ll love this one – I’ve had the best time planning it – the writing is still a bit tricky but its pretty close now.

Have fun and stay warm. And fingers and toes crossed for the Socceroos.

Nette. xxx

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