Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tug Boats

It's time to turn around. My women's commercial novel is out. I have a book under my belt. Reviews have been thoughtful and rewarding (mostly), and I've stopped reading them. I am peddling - the peddling required if a book is to make any headway - but I'm hoping a grassroots campaign will take hold. In the meantime I am allowed to turn back to the short story collection coming out next year. I am revising and editing. Easier than a novel in the sense that most of the stories have been published so they have been clarified and worked over. But it's never enough, I've learned. Editing is a microscopic process, requiring various lenses, clear lighting, a tense kinked neck.

But I'm up for it. The stories in their wide range of locations and subject matter provide a new home for my thoughts, both elated and bruised by the uncertainty of publication, and the greater uncertainty of sales in a cold, multinational-slapped world. It's quite a relief to come back to the silent, word-crammed page. No other voices from beyond, no pressure to reply, just the words of my stories. Bright polished stones looking for attention and company.

PS I am reading Deborah Robertson's delicate and compelling novel of stories, Careless. It tugs me back to Australia.