On fevers, writing induced and otherwise

This morning I decided I would become cooler and more restrained, not share so much. I put this into immediate action by announcing it down at the surf, at which point the crows fell off their bench because they were laughing so hard. One of them later commented to me that it was too late to change. He seems to know me well, annoyingly enough, so he’s probably right. I sometimes wonder if that lot are the closest I get to a bunch of fairy godmothers. (If you’re not sure what a crow is, they are cranky surf gods, past and present, who say FAAAARK a lot.)

Anyway, the point is … Well, there is no point really, except that this will not be cool, nor restrained, and I will probably share too much.

But I felt the need to do some kind of progress report, otherwise, if I follow my natural tendencies, I’ll blog about everything and anything except writing, and I’m trying to open up on the writing front.


I am writing in a fever at the moment. Lucky you, you get to enjoy the stage of the process otherwise known as Postcards from Nutsville. I’m editing a book that’s coming out with Allen & Unwin early next year. I have already mentioned it – it’s the one set at the University of Queensland, not the one set in Central Queensland. I’ll firm up the details later, including the title and all of that, but right now all I want to say is that I’m hugely excited, terrified, excited, terrified … so that’s comfortable. 

Mainly, though, I’m obsessed. Because this book is so close to being done, so close to the shape it’s meant to be. (We can say the release date is ages away, but it’s not really – ARCs will probably be out in September.) I don’t eat, I can’t sleep, I don’t want to talk to people, namely the ones in my house, which for some strange reason is a flag to them to start talking. And all that chit-chat rubs on my nerves like a grater, but makes no impression at all:

Them: … steep driveway … no helmet … kerosene … lighter … various other things ….

Me: Okay, great. Wait. What? 

All I want to do is write. I’ve learned that now – writing is the only thing that makes the writing thing work for me. (Surfing does, too, but I’d surf anyway.) I don’t give a fuck about the industry, I don’t even know what “the industry” is. I do give MANY fucks about fellow writers, and by that I don’t just mean the published ones. But above all else, I care DEEPLY about the reader. I don’t have a clue who my readership is, I’m not even sure if I’ve got one, but when I get an email from a person who’s taken the time to read something I’ve written … it’s like a solving. They bring something to the work. And for me, personally, it’s the other part of the puzzle as to why there’s a compulsion to even do the writing thing in the first place. When I write, I’m thinking about the reader. I want to make it work for the reader. They are not a specific person, definitely not a genre, or a target market, they are a vaguely holy entity, and that’s about as specific as it gets.

I think I’ve spent years grieving for Raw Blue, the fact that it didn’t really get a chance to connect as widely as I would have liked. But this book, the one I’m working on, has been the one that made me feel better. And, let’s face it, that’s probably a whole lot healthier – looking forward, not back.

I am trying very hard not to think about the fact that at some stage I’ll have to let go of it as well, but in a way it doesn’t even matter, because I’ve worked on it for so long, and loved it so hard, that it’s almost like the end has to come if I want to survive. You can’t stop halfway through a birth, so to speak. There’s a point where you just want to BEAR DOWN and get the damn thing out.

That’s where I’m at right now.

Thus endeth the postcard :) I hope you feel cool in comparison (and spare a thought for my husband, mum, best friend and the crows, who have to put up with me face to face at the moment).

Tomorrow, I will be cooler, more restrained … But in the meantime, this is one of the songs I’m listening to a lot as I finish this edit. Play it and tell me that Elliot Moss doesn’t wrap an ache around your heart … xo