Well, it’s been almost three weeks since I arrived and I am feeling well and truly settled into a happy balance of writing, reading, tramping about and random other stuff. My neighbourhood of Motoyama has turned out to be very congenial indeed – urban and convenient but with regular pockets of green and stillness in the form of local shrines and other ‘time out’ spaces, something I find very necessary living in such close quarters with others. I find myself enjoying the more communal sense of space in Japan, the constant awareness that there is only a thin layer between your own space and that of many, many others, but as it is at such odds with what I’m generally used to I do need regular respite from it as well, and to actively seek out open space around me.
Writing-wise, I’m making good headway on my two projects. My adult novel, The Last Wild Thing, is still in the research and development stage at this point but I figure I have one last major burst of reading to do and can then start to make some real inroads into the writing. My YA project, a verse novel, is steaming ahead in a very satisfactory way and getting my teeth stuck into some poems in a wider narrative context is giving me a lot of pleasure.
It’s official! Duck for a Day launched yesterday, 1 May. Since I’m in Japan, which makes it difficult to serve hors d’oeuvres and sign books in Australia, it launched not so much with a quack as with a whimper, but nonetheless it should be waddling its way to libraries and bookstores near you very shortly.
As it happens, there are two ducks in my life at the moment. There’s the aforementioned Duck, quacky visage brought to you by the wonderful Leila Rudge …
I have been planning a post with this title for some time now. I want to talk about the reactions people have had to discovering that I’m going to Japan to write a novel for adults. Oh, wow.
But the truth is that I’m leaving today – in a few short hours in fact – and as expected, all my preparations have taken much longer than expected (yes, it’s a paradox, but a good one, I think), so those thoughts will have to wait. For now, I must eat, pack, and freak out just a little, then haul myself to the airport.
So I will leave you instead with this most wondrous of things:
A new journal, from my sweeties, to fill with Japan musings. What could be better – a trip elsewhere, a long stretch of writing time unrolling ahead of me, and a brand spanking new journal?
Hey, my blog speaks Japanese!
If you can read the title of this post, come and meet me in Japan, because that’s where I’ll be very soon.
Over the last few months I’ve used various euphemisms to allude to this news: “something else exciting, yet to be announced”; “a forthcoming writing-related trip”; “a bunch of other bits and pieces”; “other news on the horizon which is the current source of both excitement and blind panic”.
It is still all of those things, the last one most acutely. But now there has been a formal announcement, so I can at least spill the edamame:
I am thrilled to be the recipient of an Asialink Literature Residency and will be spending three months in Nagoya from April-July.