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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Answers at last

Well it's been a little while since I blogged and I gotta tell ya - it's cos I've been busy. But I say that every blog. I now go to Rock n roll dance lessons Mondays, Badminton Tuesdays (hilarious with 3-4 people per team, so you get hit with the shuttle cock a lot. Especially from a person who will remain nameless. "OMG, Sorry, sorry!" he starts the night with, but by the end it becomes: "I can't help it, it's SO funny." Hmm. And then I go to gym Thursdays and Fridays and I haven't found the time to do my mental health walkies in the evening! Except for the time I was wide awake at 2am and thought I should go but then decided against it. I was trying to make myself more tired, not more awake.

Uni is back - can't remember if it was or not in my last blog...anyhoo I'm read-read-reading but not the fun stuff. I'm trying to keep up with the 50 - 100 pages each class sets me for the week, let alone any FUN reading. Or writing.
And at the moment, this is my second week of placement in a grade prep-one class. I'm having lots of fun, really like the kids but they really can be exhausting.
It's especially interesting for me to do reading group with them every morning, and see what they think of the stories. If they can read them. They ARE grade prep and one we're talking about here.
The library got a shipment of new books today and I spent my lunchtime in there poring over them, looking at the publishers and reading the blurbs. Clearly I'm very excited about kids books and what's new in the market. What people are writing about, what kids are reading about and what publishers are buying.
I was interested to find that one of the grade six girls's favourite book at the moment is about a cane toad who's family is being wiped out by floods and people, and he stacks up his dead relatives in the corner of his room. It's by Morris Gleitzman, and though it sounds kinda disturbing, she says it's funny. It'd have to be, wouldn't it? :)

I received some good news and some disappointing news - after a lot of work and a long wait, Allen & Unwin have decided not to publish my book, Life was cool until you got popular. I was spared the moment of receiving the manuscript back in the mail, because I was at Uni and haven't seen it yet, but next time I go back to my parents place it'll be there waiting for me. It's disappointing cos I really thought this was it, this was the beginning, and I KNOW it's a good book, but clearly it wasn't meant to be. Not as a Girlfriend Fiction title. I can sort of see that it doesn't fit neatly into the Girlfriend Fiction mould, they're mostly serious books and mine's a little more out there. But she had lovely things to say about it and more constructive criticism for me should I choose to take it on.
I waited a day and sent it to another publisher and today I've sent it to an Agent as well. I feel I'm getting a bit better at criticism. :)

Continuing on with bad news, one of my dogs passed away. Horrible day. He's been sick for awhile and my parents decided it was time to have him put down cos he wasn't doing too well. So that morning my father met me halfway between our homes and I got to say goodbye and tell him what a good boy he was. And not twenty minutes later, on their way back home he slipped away. It makes me sad thinking about it again, but it's so much better for him to have gone that way, don't you think? And he was an old fellah, he'd had a good life.

Okay. Deep, calming breath.

Good news however, is that I'm being published, though not fiction. I have the movie review and another piece being published in Lots Wife, and a newspaper article in a local paper as well.
Plus, I found out something interesting about the Writers Digest contest I entered last year. I came 88th, which I was thinking, you know, that's average. But then I discovered I came 88th out of 17,000. Not something to be sneezed at, anymore, eh?

Since I can't concentrate on a long piece of work at the moment, as soon as I get some writing time I hope to start some chapter books and juniuor fiction. I have a gazillion ideas, as well as ideas for creative non fiction for kids on topics such as space and australian history. As a writer, I'm definitely learning that you can't pigeon hole yourself. You have to branch out and that's what I'm starting to do.
That's about it from me. Must go and cook and prepare for placement tomorrow.




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