Monday, January 09, 2006

There are so many well-known blogs these days (Miss Snark and other agents, political blogs, ones that make the news) - then I read in the news that there are so many million blogs on the net now, people everywhere publishing stuff about themselves and their lives. So it always comes as a bit of a shock when someone emails me or says they've read my blog!
After a while, with no comments forthcoming, I tend to think of this blog as a journal more than anything, forgetting that it's available to anyone who's interested. Then I wonder how much rubbish I've raved on about, and how boring I am! Oh well... It serves a purpose for me. It's often a reflection on my writing, how things are going, a bit like a sounding board. And it's a reflection on my reading. I'm not in a reading group, I couldn't be bothered doing full-length reviews, but it's good to comment on what I thought worked in a book (or not as the case may be). Again, it's all part of writing.
Editing on the pirate novel continues - it's as if I can't stop. Sentence by sentence editing, and always thinking about the main character. Is that scene strong enough? Do I need it at all? How does he react? Have I shown this well enough?
Always reminding myself that action shows, telling doesn't. I'm up to page 102 (I edit single-spaced so I can see more of the text on the screen) with about 23 pages to go, but this last section will be the hardest. I made a lot of changes in this new draft, altering the story more and more as I went along, so it is quite different from the previous draft (which is over a year old). The question is whether I have left any plot threads hanging, one of my weaknesses, and whether I have rushed the ending.
I've just finished reading a book of poetry I was given for Christmas by my sister - "The Art of Walking Upright" - it's by a doctor in New Zealand, Glenn Colquhoun, and I've read another of his collections before and loved it. That one was about being a doctor - this one is about his experiences as a Pakeha in New Zealand and about Maoris he knows and his connections to them. Some great images and he's not afraid to experiment with structure, which creates little surprises in the poems.
Also read most of the latest issue of "Famous Reporter", a literary mag out of Hobart, Tasmania. Lots of good poems.
Now reading Sara Paretsky's "Blacklist" and finding it heavy going. Not enough action? Not sure what the problem is yet but I keep wanting to give up on it.
"The Book Thief" is still sitting there. I think it's next, when I either finish "Blacklist" or give up.
I am strongly resisting any urges to start preparing for this year's classes. As my night class has been cancelled, that means I don't start teaching for another 6 weeks yet, so while I'm reading poems and stories and deciding whether to include any in my readers, I am not preparing class work.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sherryl
Enjoying the blog.It's not boring but an insight into the writing life which I find fascinating.
Blacklist does pick up. But the relationship VI has with "her lover" is annoying and feels tacked on.
Keep writing

Lee said...

Actually, yours is a favourite read, because it IS more like a journal, less like one of these look-at-me, I'm-so-wonderful efforts at self-promotion that masquerade as a blog.