I’ve reached the point in a first draft where you feel like you’re trying to push an elephant into a cup.
Hey, those of you who know me won’t be surprised by this, but I told you the wrong thing. (Note to self: brush up on details.) Volume 3 Issue 4 of the Review of Australian Fiction containing short stories by Melina Marchetta and me is OUT NOW.
It can be yours for $2.99 (or you could subscribe and get a whole heap of awesome writing) and you can read it anytime, anywhere, because this baby is digital.
Molasses is dedicated to Kelly H. & Trish E. Thanks Matt for putting it in there!
PS I’ve just read Melina’s story, and I LOVE it! I want a book four in the Lumatere Chronicles, and I want it to feature Celie and Banyon. I’ll present those demands to her next time I see her.
While I was at Coonabarabran, I was asked to judge the staff’s short story writing competition. The only rule was that it had to be 50 words. A whole story in 50 words. I couldn’t do that, not in a million years. For me, even a short story is over 10,000 …
But these guys were all over it. There were space odysseys, toxic curries, sunset epiphanies, and men in saunas. The winning entry was by Kellie Nash, and I asked her if I could share it with you, because I loved it. In just 50 words, Kellie built a world and a strong situation. Humour, tragedy and, ultimately, death …
Mad Dog’s Day
The handsome stranger, a solid wall of honesty and manners, rode with his Peacemaker into Mad Dog’s town aiming to make the West less wild.
The plan: twenty paces . . . turn . . . shoot . . . back to the saloon.
Mad Dog, always confused by numbers and firing at eighteen, stilled the ladies’ fluttering hearts.
© Kellie Nash, 2012
I’ve written a short story – well, strictly speaking it’s in the long story form, clocking in at 14,000 words, not that I was counting or anything …
It’s called Molasses. And it will be published in the Review of Australian Fiction on the 14th of August, along with a story by Melina Marchetta, which she tells me is called Ferragost, and you can read what she has to say about it here.
The Review is available electronically, for anyone, anywhere, and you can purchase it for the princely sum of $2.99. I will nudge you again when it comes out.
If you want to read about how I wrote this story, you can do that here. If you are a writer and you are struggling with whatever it is you’re working on, it will probably make you feel better.
Night Beach has gone to the printers. Now, I feel like I’m just kicking around. Listless, a bit cranky. There’s heaps of things I should be doing. I even have deadlines. Instead …
I’ve found new ways to waste time. For instance, I’ve designed a stamp to use for book signings. I’ve been needing a bit more theatre in that department. Other authors have bookmarks, ribbons, feathers, glitter, dirt – all sorts of stuff. But the only time I’ve ever cut loose was at my first book signing. I had to borrow a pen, and I wrote something so stupid I’m not even going to say what it was. It was like a car crash between a motivational speaker and a desk calendar. Awful. Truly awful.
Anyway, the stamp. I started with this (which of course means nothing to you now, but if you read Night Beach all will become clear):
And I changed it to this, with help from Emerson (“Live in the sunshine, Swim the sea, Drink the wild air”) – who is also referenced in the story:
So there you go.
What’s that? You think I should stop wasting everybody’s time and get back to work? You’re probably right.
Raw Blue has the glitter skin, but it was only as I looked at the previous post I realised Night Beach has the glittering lights. Huh. Funny how you find patterns. It’s a recurring thing through the story. What do you call that? Motif?
At seventeen, I’m in‑between. Staring at the carnival from a distance. Not sure if I want to go forward and become an adult; liking the view too much to turn back. Drinking and cars and Kane and freedom. All those glittering lights … (from Night Beach)
Someone emailed me to let me know they had ‘approval from netgalley’. Me, being me – vague at the best of times – didn’t know what that meant. So I checked it out. It means they can read Night Beach. The current version. Now. Before it’s polished to within an inch of its life. While there still might be MISATKES.
How long has netgalley been around? To think that yesterday I was just blithely listening to The Clash, happy because I didn’t have to face the real music yet …
No doubt, most of you already know this, but just in case you’re not up to speed yet … I was checking out the latest newsletter from the Australian Society of Authors, and it says that three of the major publishers are now accepting submissions on a regular basis:
Pitching opportunity from PanMacmillan. Submit the first chapter of your manuscript, plus synopsis, electronically between 10am and 4pm every Monday, and have your work read within one month. Full details at the website.
The Friday Pitch
Allen & Unwin have an electronic submission process in place, and you can submit work via their long-running Friday Pitch program. Submit the first chapter of your manuscript, plus synopsis, each Friday. Full details at the website.
The Monthly Catch
Penguin Australia has just started accepting unsolicited manuscripts. For the first week of every month, they will accept manuscripts, in electronic form only. Send your full manuscript plus synopsis. Full details at the website.
This is fantastic news. If you’re going to do it, my fingers are crossed for you. The only thing I’d say is make sure you follow the submission guidelines. Don’t deviate, not even in a tiny way. Just trust your writing and stick to the requirements. Good luck!!!