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On the Shelf

Writing is not on the menu for me at the moment. With teaching and marking and copyediting and any number of other little jobs all demanding attention nownownow, I don’t have the time or the headspace that writing requires. I can potter on smaller projects, like picture books, but it’s busy work mostly; it’s tiny gestures towards writing so I can tell myself it’s okay, that I’m still doing it – look, see? But the truth is that I can’t really make any creative progress until I move the other piles, and to some extent, myself, out of the way.

So in the meantime, I’m reading. All sorts of things. Here’s a snapshot from the last few weeks:

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It’s kind of all over the place, really, but I guess in some ways it’s a snapshot of me. There are kids’ books in there partly because I write for kids and partly because I have a new nephew and partly because I like to keep up with what my daughter is reading. There’s poetry in there because I am, or have been, a poet, and somewhere in the midst of all the skateboards and the exploding hoses and the difficult, demanding ducks, that side of me has slipped quietly away. And I need to have it back. The adult books are mostly recommendations from friends – thanks to Julia Lawrinson for The Vintner’s Luck, which I finally got around to after only five years. And Art & Fear is there because, well, you know.

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while, not much, how ’bout you?

If you recognise the lyric I’m quoting above, you are probably too old to read my books!

So, it’s been a while, and there are reasons for that. I’ve had some time off, but am starting to find that writing space again. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to over the last month:

Writing: completed a picture book and a short novel and sent them off with fingers crossed. Uncrossed fingers again because I was finding it difficult to type, and started a new novel. This is another short one and is coming quite quickly so far, which is usually a good sign. I’m also working on a picture book, something I’ve been playing around with for a year or so. It’s very conceptual and a bit tricky to write, but I’m in love with the idea, so keep hammering away at it. Hopefully I’ll find a way through soon.

Launching: attended the launch of the FAW(WA) anthology Lines in the Sand, which contains my poem ‘Ancestor Games’.

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