Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here in country Victoria on a writer's retreat, I can't believe how cold it is - raining too. I have to work at my keyboard wearing fingerless gloves - very expensive European fingerless gloves.
Ah well, I get to use the word 'dreich' a lot; a word that I had thought I had abandoned when I left Scotland.
Woodend is the nearest small town. It is an early settlers town of lovely oldish (old for Australia) buildings, good cafes, superior food shops and many expensive boutiques. It must be the retail scarf capital of the world.
Many Australians tell me that the area must remind me of Scotland. No, there are too many kangaroos for that, and parrots and strange trees and odd landscape. But the local charity shop did have two kilts on sale when I looked in.
What is most striking about the landscape is this rock mass, Hanging Rock. yes, THAT Hanging Rock of book and film fame. A crumbling extinct volcano, even driving past, it has an eeriness about it that makes the tales all the more believable. And yes, it is a true story, the schoolgirls did disapear in the early 1900s. Must remember never to wear a school uniform in the vicinity.

Good news on the bookfront - I am beginning to enjoy editing and reading second book.
Even better news - early sales of A Small Death in the Great Glen are going well.
Mar sin leibh an dras da (Ta Ta for now in Gaelic)
Tam biet (see you later in Vietnamese)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's been a journey in both time and distance between blogs. This one comes from the cold fresh winter days of Australia, the week that my first book has been published in the United States and Canada. To describe the thrill of holding the book, in my very own hand, written by me, all by myself, alone, lonely, frustrated, elated, and strings of adjectives further, it is still impossible to describe.
This week I will be sixty four - sixty four and publishing a first book!
So how is it done? By sitting down and doing it. Writing every day for years now, and each time making a small leap forwards. The second book has been finished for six weeks and now the editing has begun. No it is not any easier, but it is certainly more rapid.
Great reviews for book one helps, gives faith to continue, but only when book two is safely published will I feel that perhaps I could dare to call myself a writer.
And today, when the cold winds blasted from the Antarctic, I found the perfect scarf, a tartan scarf that exactly matches the book cover of A Small Death in the Great Glen.
Synchronicity - Yeah!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rain- a writer's friend

Well, it is the rainy season, and it is raining beautiful warm steady rain. Warm rain is an oxymoron for a Scott but the rain in Vietnam wants you to dance in it, bathe in it and wait for the moment when it stops then...smell, sniff, wrap yourself in the damp greenness of rain.

The rice is nearly all planted, and although a month late this year I look forward to watching it grow. It is growing as slowly as my second book. It may be a race as to which comes first - the completed manuscript or the rice harvest and the rice is fairly sprouting along. Oi Troi Oi.

OK, enough already, gotta get back to the real writing. It might stop raining and that would mean closing the computer, getting on the bike, and riding out to a paddy or twenty seven - to watch the rice grow.