Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So, it's very early in the morning though it doesn't much feel like it to me -- it's ten past six and I've been awake since four, but I'm in a different timezone so it's not so strange. I'm basically just watching the sun come up; I need it to be a bit more light than this before I go and find some yoghurt and cereal for breakfast, as I want to eat it out on the balcony...

So, yes, I'm in Australia again. I didn't manage to do much writing on the plane, but I did think about characters and whatnot quite a bit. I realised I had forgotten all over again what exactly was going on in the latter parts of Greywater, but I've come to the conclusion that the new theory works better anyway. So, what I am hoping? Is to get maybe ten or twenty thousand words written of that while I'm here. I mean, I could sit on the balcony, or in the office, and there's lovely views of the sea, so...yeah. It's something that I need to do. Writing's always been my happy place, and I need a happy place rather like burning right now.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to at least a couple of things once I get home. We've got the Readers and Writers Alive! festival coming up in Southland, and I've already signed up for two workshops. One of them is more poetry-based than anything else, of course, but I figure any sort of lesson in critical reading of text? Is useful. Even though I'm not entirely sure it's a teachable skill. I did it very instinctively and very well at both high school and university, and I used to be driven to despair by my fellow students being unable to do the same. I just saw things; I could never explain to them how I did it. Because to me, the meaning or the nuance or whatever? Was just as clear to me as the words themselves. So, yeah, I would have been a terrible teacher.

I'm also signed up for dinner with a local author at my favourite local restaurant, which probably means I ought to go and read one of her books. Er. Actually, I was rather distressed during my runs between airports yesterday (I really had to hoof it from the domestic to the international terminal in Auckland) because none of the bookstores I went to? Had any Jacqueline Carey. Bastards. I was looking forward to devouring one of her books on the plane. Fortunately I found a Matthew Shardlake I hadn't already read instead, but...yeah. I've come to the conclusion, since reading a couple of Careys in the last week or so, that I am very similar to her in tone and style. And I like that. So...there's something to dream on, I guess.

And it looks light enough to read on the balcony now, so I might go do that, have a long long walk around the mangrove boardwalk, and then come back to the apartment and talk to some of the voices in my head. Holidays? They're all good. ^_~


  1. So how did talking to the voices in your head go? :-)

  2. They haven't been *completely* co-operative, but I am starting to get a really good feel for how this story is supposed to play out. Too bad it appears to be three novels rather than the one...

  3. Three? Which one are you working on--TJB or Neverboy?

  4. Ha ha, I can't even remember what I was thinking about now. XD Oh, wait, yes I do -- I've been messing around with Arosek and Ryenn, who are historical figures in the world Eliot is from originally (though he predates them by many, many years); Aleksandr is actually quite intrigued by them, which is how I sort of met them at first. (I have a story somewhere where Aleks explains things to Araben; they lived about a hundred years before Aleks was born.)

    But yeah, I was thinking of "The Simple Story," which is the longer version of Aleks's story to Araben, and I realised that Arosek and Ryenn are deeply involved in "the forevergirl," which is the sequel to "The Neverboy," and of course "Greywater" is essentially the prequel to both of those, and...argh. Yeah. Too many threads trying to weave themselves together in my mind, really! I hope your voices are being far more co-operative than mine...!

  5. Oh my, it does sound like you're weaving quite a wide and complex intersecting web of tales! I recall you mentioned to me once finding some kind of family-tree type software and putting info for characters into that. That sounds perfect for you. :-)

    Aleks narrating to Araben is a rather classic storytelling frame, isn't it? Doesn't Quentin end up narrating a lot of Absalom, Absalom! to his roommate? I think he does. Not sure how much of Faulkner you've read, but it makes me think of that. :D

  6. Yeah, I've always known that the stories intersect all over the place, but these ones appear to be doing it even more than the average. XD And yes, that family tree software is very useful for keeping track of lineages and things, given there are three distinct time periods that I work in. I mean, one of Aleksandr's ancestors, a man named Rafiel, features a little in "The Neverboy;" I can't recall offhand what he is exactly, but I think he's Aleksandr's great-great uncle. :D

    I can't say I've read any Faulkner, unfortunately. :/ And yeah, I found it an interesting framing device; basically the point of it was to have Aleksandr relating to Araben the story as he understood it, but it was interspersed with little snippets of conversations between Arosek and Ryenn to show how it really was -- legend versus truth, I guess. It's not entirely accurate anymore because I've found out more about what happened since, was definitely an experiment worth the doing!