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Monday, February 23, 2009

Clearly not a night owl

Once again it is nearly one am and I am nowhere near heading to bed for the night. I'm still getting up at the same ol', but for some reason I work a lot at night. Not that I'm a night owl. I actually think I do my best work mid morning. When I'm, you know. Awake. Not exhausted.
I'm back in Melbourne aGAIN, sitting in my sister's unit, on the mattress on the floor. Actually this mattress is the only thing in the room. And there's a TV in the living room, but no couch or table or anything like that so it's a really fun stay. Well, I take back the sarcasm. I mean the two most important things are here, right? (she's moving out, if you couldn't guess)

Despite the humblitude (did I just make up that word? Regardless, it's my absolutely new favourite word.) of my digs at the moment, I've had a really great couple of days.
Let's see, three days ago I joined the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, and yesterday I went along to the Victorian branch's quarterly meeting and mingle.
It was really interesting and I met some fantastic people.
I am quite new-person shy so it took a bit for me to talk to strangers, but who am I kidding. All writers for YA and the little tackers are wonderfully friendly.
I made sure to go home and design some business cards though, because really - it's a nececessary part of the business if you want to be taken seriously. I learnt a bit about breaking into the education market from some fellow writers, as well as mentorships and being a professional writer and how to present yourself.
They also had Lucie from the Australian Booksellers Association come and talk with us (notice I said WITH?) about Booksellers and their general lack of training and fear of children's books. It was great to get that side of the picture.
Today I went along to see Simmone Howell and Justine Larbalestier in Conversation, which was hosted by Lili Wilkinson (yet another YA author) at the State Library.

There were lots of teenagers there, lovers of these authors' books and I was pleasantly surprised to find several big name authors in the audience as well, such as Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi, Jellicoe Road), Penni Russon (Undine) and Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Peeps) in the audience as well. Scott Westerfeld is so successful and for some reason just assumed he was mostly in America so was VERY surprised he was there. However, I shouldn't have been because this evening I have discovered that he is Justine Larbalestier's husband. Good supportive bloke, eh?

Simmone and Justine were fantastically entertaining, talking about how they write, the publising business, their misspent youths and I like to say they bonded over learning they had both been expelled from public schools.
They sure showed me how it's done, interacting with their audience and being good speakers. Just being open and candid with their responses was great to see and experience and it was a successful day.

This evening I saw Slumdog Millionaire, which as the world has discovered, is a fantastic film. I didn't realise it was a love story as well, but it is and it's wonderful. I didn't realise it was based on a book called Q&A, but if the movie is this good then the book must be amazing.

This morning I finished my entry for the Celepene Press short story competition, and am in the process of culling it back to the word limit. I'm actually really proud of this piece, and am planning on sending it out as a possible chapter book. Or to some magazines, like The School Magazine or Comet etc.

I've also started doing a chapter summary of 2 books, as I'm letting them ruminate and rattle around in my brain for a bit. I will NOT start writing until I know the characters and story really well, dammit. I AM learning from my mistakes.
I'm also gearing up for Script Frenzy, which starts April 1st.
Though I'm not writing a full hundred page script in the month, but am finishing one I'm halfway through, I still find the deadline and tight schedule a good help. Especially since I'm only aiming for half the expected output. Though I haven't read my NaNo book yet, I cringe when thinking about it. It went in a completely different direction than I wanted and think of it fondly as "a mess". I'm a writer who needs to self edit as I go, I can't just write a crap first draft and fix it later. Because later I just don't know where to begin.
University is going back next week, and I'm moving back to campus pretty soon. My family have been mentally redecorating my bedroom and by the time I get back from Melbourne on Wednesday my bed will be in storage. I'm feeling the pressure to leave somewhat. :) Doesn't help that as I leave, my sister is moving IN.
I've been reading my text books lately, so not AS into the fiction because I want to get ahead in my studies, if only for a week. I HAVE been reading Are you there God it's me Margaret (I know - what's taking me so long?) and finding it to be very different to what I expected, and different to other YA books I've read. I thought it was banned because there would be sex. But I think it was banned because there is open and honest conversation about bras and menstruation. It's interesting though, she's definitely a great writer as the world knows.

I let my mother read Dewey first, and she's promptly been trying to tell me all the good bits and positively spoil the experience for me when I get to it. Charming woman.
Must dash and use this mattress on the floor for sleeping and not interwebbing. I'm hoping I don't eat any daddy long legs in my sleep tonight, because there have been a few come to visit me as I sit here. Squeal!



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