When you get to the end of the month and you have 50,000 words (or more) and your family is still speaking to you, it’s called winning. I’ve only won twice, so I am no expert. If you like non-expert tips about an endeavour that might put you in an asylum, read on.
I am waist-deep in structural edits at the moment, which is to say that I’ve bought every colour of Post-It in existence, watched three movies about writing (Stuck in Love, The Words, Being Flynn), sent quite a few emails to my dad and “tried” the new Cadbury Strawberries & Creme flavour. Constantly.
When I was a little girl, people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am so very lucky to have parents who spent the first eighteen years of my life insisting that I could be anything I wanted. “You can be a supreme court judge! You can be a bus driver! You can be a metaphysicist!” They never told me I could be a digital strategist, but I’m sure if such a thing had existed then, they would have.
As a lover of love, and a writer of magic realism, I was obviously very sorry to hear of the passing of Gabriel García Márquez. How could love ever be fully realised in words without the injection of magic?
“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”
It’s Tuesday. I’m supposed to be at school.
Dad’s taken me to a park and we’re sitting on a bench and he’s holding my hand tight, like I’m about to run away. I’ve never been to this park before. It’s wide and green and on the other side of the oval there’s a wooden fence that’s keeping the horses in, or the people out. Dad’s pointing at them and shouting because we’ve never seen horses before except in pictures. I can’t understand him, except for the word horses! and the word playground! and he is smiling but in a strange way, with all his gums showing.
I ask if we can go look at them and he gets up from the bench and he runs at full speed, straight for the paddock with his arms in the air, waving and shouting. The horses are afraid and they start stamping their feet on the spot and shaking their heads from side to side. Dad gets to the fence and climbs up to the top rung and shouts right in the horses faces: HORSES! and finally I remember to chase after him.
This week’s prompt has obviously come out of the grey week we’ve had in Melbourne. I love to be in the rain, and to be in love in the rain.
When I was writing LATKES WITH SYLVIA, I watched this YouTube clip upwards of 100 times. The Currawong’s song appears more than once in the story, and the accompaniment of the rain and the leaves makes this more or less my favourite sound in the world.
I love the act of sitting on the crisp edge of the morning and looking out. Do you?