Sunday, April 28, 2019

Weekly Goals 29-4-19

I got a lot of writing done over the long weekend, and am feeling pretty good about where this book is going, weird empty spot in the middle and all.

Unfortunately, this week looks like it's going to be a really busy one, so I'm not sure how much work I'll get to do on it.  I may have to wait until next weekend to get back into it.  We shall see...

But anyway, the goal is to get it finished within the next month.  Then I will do a bit of a polish up before getting my critique partners to take a bash at it.

Other goals this week are to get my oven fixed (please?  It's been almost two weeks) so I can cook properly again.  I never realized quite how much I use the oven until it was broken.  The electrician who came last week confirmed the problem was with the oven, so the oven specialist is coming tomorrow.  Fingers crossed it's something he can fix without having to order parts from Timbuktu.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 26-4-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

Another long weekend!

Because we had Anzac Day on Thursday, I decided to take Friday off work so I could have a second four-day weekend.  If course it means the two days in the middle I did have to work were insane, but I guess that's the price you pay for the extra time off.

I feel like I'm finally on a roll with finishing the book and actually wrote a good chunk yesterday.  Hopefully I can do the same today and tomorrow and make some real headway toward finishing the damn thing.  I know there will be a lot of editing to do once it's done, but that's okay.

One of my sons is back from his holiday, so I plan to do something with him today.  The other gets back on Sunday, just in time to go and see the symphony orchestra play the score to The Empire Strikes Back live.  I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I do love films with live music and because the kids are such huge Star Wars fans I thought this might be something a little different we could do together.

School starts again on Monday.  Somehow these holidays haven't felt nearly as long and painful as they usually do.  Probably because I've been on holiday for part of it, and the kids have both been away for parts.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Books I've Loved: I Will Call It Georgie's Blues

With the library I have easiest access to closed, my reading has been limited to books I've borrowed from friends, things on my shelves I may not have read yet, or wanted to re-read, and reading on my phone.  So without anything new to read over the long weekend, I decided to re-visit some of my old favorite books to see if I still felt as passionately about them as I did when I first read them.

I Will Call It Georgie's Blues is a story about a family in crisis.  Mr. Sloane is a Baptist minister in a small town and has very fixed ideas about the image he and his family need to maintain.  But while outwardly the Sloane family might look picture perfect, behind closed doors each member of the family has their own problems, all stemming from Mr. Sloane's subtle tyranny.

Oldest daughter Aileen rebels by failing school and running around with the most inappropriate boyfriend she can find, flaunting her father's rules openly.  Neal escapes his problems through music, keeping his passion and talent for jazz a secret from everyone.  And youngest child, Georgie, creates a vivid fantasy world to explain why he feels so alone, even while surrounded by the people who are supposed to care most for him.

Told from Neal's point of view, the book covers a period of weeks in which Georgie's fantasy world overwhelms him and the family's secrets explode in a way that forces them all to reassess the way they behave to each other, and what they present to the world.

I really like this book because while it deals with an abusive father, he's not violent and the wounds he inflicts on his family are psychological, not physical.  The characters and their reactions to him feel very real and the portrayal of small-town life where everyone is under scrutiny all the time also rings true.

Definitely recommended.

But don't just take my word for it.  Here's the blurb:

Reverend Mr. Sloan is a time bomb waiting to go off. Behind his kindly public persona is an intolerant, demanding parent who terrorizes his children. Neal escapes his father in the world of music, but his frail brother Georgie is headed for a breakdown that almost no one will realize.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Weekly Goals 22-4-19

I think I figured out what needs to happen with the book I've been struggling to finish, and over the long weekend I made some changes that I think will make things work better and allow me to finish writing it.

So this week my goal is to chip away at those changes and keep working on finishing this story.  It's one I really want to tell, but getting it right is so very tricky.

While cleaning out a closet over the weekend I found copies of some of the first novels I ever wrote and thought it might be fun to read them now and see what they are like.  The first one was really very bad.  The story and the characters weren't well developed and even though it was first person narrative, there was very little inner monologue so you never even really got to know the MC!

My second novel was better, but still not great.  There was a lot of telling and because I was trying to tie together two stories in two time periods, neither got the attention they deserved.  But the characters were better in this one, and their motivations.

The third one actually showed some potential, despite being overly-melodramatic in terms of plot.  But I think I re-wrote that one several times to get to that point...  This one has a lot of characters, all of whom get their POV shown at times, and I think if this was to be re-worked into a publishable book, one character would need to be the focus instead of five.

Not that I think I'll be re-working it. The book I'm working on now seems to be a direct descendent of this early idea, but written better and with more focus.

So I'm feeling grateful that it was my fifth novel that was the first to get published.  I needed all those earlier attempts to learn how to write a novel.  Plus all the short stories I wrote in between and alongside those books.

What are your goals this week?  Have you ever gone back to read your early attempts at writing and cringed in horror?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 19-4-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's a long weekend!

And next week I'm only working two days because Thursday is a public holiday and why not have two 4 day weekends if you can?

Plus, this long weekend I'm going to be childless.  And largely alone because my partner is working most of it.

The luxury!

I haven't really decided what I'm going to do yet, but I know reading is going to be a big part of it.  And eating delicious food. Going to the gym. Maybe writing a bit.  And if there's anything worth seeing, I might go to the movies.

But just the fact I have nothing I HAVE to do makes the weekend one of infinite possibilities...

What are you celebrating this week?