Friday, March 8, 2013

In search of Edward and his relatives

With the first draft I wrote nearly six years ago copied to my iPad, I've set out to revisit and redraft the story while I am in London again. I've take a red pen to much of what I had written - too complicated for primary school children to understand, too many characters, too much history.

I haven't got far with the rewriting but I've done some good research in Westminster Abbey, St Albans Cathedral, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. I've walked my feet off, and hopefully some centimetres off my waistline in the process, and I've had a good time. I've got some good ideas which I hope will improve the encounter between Abbie and Edward, and I have not taken a single photo. It's all in the mind. I hope nothing happens to it before I get back to Australia or I will have to turn around and come back again

Off to York on Sunday

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A patchwork of writing projects

Like my sewing cupboard, my metaphorical writing cupboard is full of unfinished projects. Some are almost complete, just waiting for a few details to be researched and a final draft. Others have a long way to go, and some are barely started. I expect more will be added before even a few of these are finished.

I have to make distinctions between them. There are the 'have to' projects, the ones I am commissioned to write. They have deadlines. One in particular has to be completed so it can be published in time for an anniversary in 2015. Other shorter pieces have to meet much tighter deadlines. They have to meet submission criteria for newsletters, meetings and grant providers.
All of which means at the 'want to' projects are constantly shoved on to the back burner to be brought out only when there is space in the imaginative section of my mind for them. One of these precious spaces is looming. On Saturday I fly to London for three wonderful weeks of indulgence. With me will be Abbie, a creature of my own creation, a twelve year old tomboy whose architect mother and historian father are researching and writing a coffee table book on the great cathedrals of Europe. Abbie's encounter with the ghost of Edward V in Westminster Abbey sends her on a wild goose chase in search of the Prince's murderers. And I will be with her all the way.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Is it really that long?

The last time I blogged it was September 2011!

I've been busy, too busy to spend a few minutes thinking of something to write about, not that I had nothing to write about. There was simply too much else that needed my writing attention to leave any time for blog creativity.

Nothing much has changed. I'm still busy. I still have more to write about than I have time to write, but it seems a shame to let this blog fade away without some contributions once in a while. Besides it is good to get up from the computer and the writing that has to be done, take myself down to my favorite coffee shop, Wen and Ware, in Bridge Mall, and write for the fun of it, while enjoying a latte and a fabulous macaroon. I think I will make this my new year's resolution. I will blog whenever I am in Wen and Ware.

On the way here I was thinking of my mother. It's just over a year since she died at the age of 95. But at the age I am now, she had declared herself to be a old lady. She had long since retired from work, she did nothing strenuous, prepared meals for herself and dad, baked a few cakes, and little else. Dad did all the heavy work, hanging out washing, vacuuming and the like.
In the afternoons she napped with an open library book in her lap, or some knitting close at hand which would eventually get finished. Life was much the same for the next 25 years. She used to be appalled by the number of tasks I took upon myself. She was constantly telling me, "you should slow down. You're not getting any younger."

No chance of that. For the next six months at least I will be president of the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute, chairing meetings, fielding inquiries, dealing with the day to day running of one of the most beautiful and flourishing institutions of its kind in Australia, and probably the world. I should blog about mechanics' institutes some day.
At the same time I have a history to research and write, lectures to compose for the U3A course I am teaching on the Birth of Sydney, an adult novel, stalled for want of attention, and two children's stories. For one of them, a novel dealing with the journey of the First Fleet and called Transported, I need to either find a publisher or publish it myself. That, in itself, requires research and considerable effort, but I am so committed to this story which is so relevant to our history, and fits so well into the new national curriculum, that I'll not rest until it is published in one form or other.
The other children's story is taking me to England again in March. It needs more work. Called Abbie in the Abbey it is a murder mystery with a difference as the victim is Edward V.

In between this writing, researching and travelling, there will still be the garden to attend to, the grandchildren and the grand dogs who all need to see me often, and my own dog Maisie, who needs a daily walk. And I have to keep up the supplies of champagne and cigarettes to my sister in her nursing home.

I haven't decided what I am doing with my leisure time.