WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING
I finished writing my first novel. Many thanks to my many alpha and beta readers for struggling through that journey with me. I learned so much about plotting and editing along the way. I really can’t express how grateful I am to all those fellow writers and friends for their input. The novel which was named The Night Jasmine (fictional crime story in the form of a diary of a terrorist’s reluctant wife) went off to my agent, who (in light of current world events) suggested I hold back from publishing it for at least ten years, but preferably fifty! How’s that for encouraging lol.
I had a few other writers say a similar thing ‘This is brilliant, but it’s not worth your life.’ How sad. But, I have taken the advice and put the novel aside. My reward is I can now write longer pieces and I am happy about that.
My youngest child has asked me to write a novel for her, high fantasy. Using what I learned the hard way in the previous novel, I plotted the entire novelette out before I began writing. I reached chapter four before university recommenced and have only been able to find time for two more chapters this semester. The plotting has saved my sanity for sure. University exams are over next week and I will be back onto The Witch Who Ate Autumn, hopefully completing its rough draft by Christmas. It would make a nice Christmas gift, I think.
I am pleased to say that although I haven’t been able to work much on longer pieces, I have thrown myself into poetry. I am honoured to have the poem ‘Sonnet for a Native Girl, 1974’ commended in this year’s Talus Literary Prize. The sonnet is about an indigenous girl taken from her tribal family in the seventies, and adopted by a Christian family. It is about the things she will forget and the things she will remember about that that period of her life. It is based on a young child I saw at church, when I was a young girl… and her face, a face so miserable, that it stayed in my mind for my whole life. I wanted to give her a voice. As far as ‘sonnets’ go, the poem isn’t perfect. But it does have a lot of heart. I hope you will read it when I publish it at smashwords.com next year.
I have also signed a contract with my university to publish another poem ‘Lessons in Enjambment’ as part of this year’s English/ Poetry graduation ceremony. Very exciting and humbling.
I have about twenty poems now written for competitions and magazines, and hope to create an online chapbook for them to self-publish in the coming year.
A dear friend of mine has offered to illustrate the cover of my poetry book. As he has illustrated some the highly regarded Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan’s books I am super happy about this fantastic opportunity.
Thanks for reading,