While Dave is moving, here’s another piece of his really good advice from the archives, this one from September 2016:
A friend put up a meme about the inherent logical conflict any really good book causes: you don’t want it to end – but you want to keep reading to the end.
His comment was ‘make sure there are lots of sequels.’
Ah. Eyes that see what they want to see. I read that as ‘make sure there are lots of SEQUINS’: an excellent maxim, which promptly sent my male heterosexual mind back a back a good many years to a fine sequence of sequins. Read more
Dorothy here: While Dave is moving, I wanted to take a moment and share with the world some excellent advice he gave on dry spells, originally posted back in September 2017:
When the well is dry where do you go for water?
You know I have spent many years mishearing songs and making up what I thought were the lyrics. Sometimes they’re a great deal more meaningful than the real thing – or at least to me.
I heard Peter Sarsted’s ‘Where do you go to my lovely’ as ‘where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone in your head’ (not bed)…
To me, anyway, as writer who tells himself stories, whether he intends to or not, with the different characters speaking their dialogue and thinking their thoughts… being alone in my head is a very frightening thing.
Where did they all go? Why did they leave me behind? Was it something I said? Read more
My dear MGC followers, I am half moved, with a foot in each place, and severe stretching about the middle bit, seeing as they are several miles apart. I don’t actually have a working internet connection at our new place, or, in fact, a computer, yet.
10 points for anyone who gets the title reference. Barbs and I have spent much of our lives as rolling stones. We went where the work was, and later, when I could take work with me, where the best school for the kids was. And then… to Australia, where we had to start again basically from scratch, with things so tight we had to ration slices of bread, and it was only my hunter-gatherer skills (in a new place, where I knew nothing) and very inept gardening that kept us fed after the rent was paid. All the aspects of being a midlist trad author (doing all the checking on listings, providing all the publicity, pushing and publicizing the book, getting reviews etc. had had to be left to the people who get 90% + of the income for it. Of course – as usual – they did nothing barring botch a few things and mess about with my royalties. So things were pretty desperate… But we kept on. Writing, renting and moving, living frugally and saving until we could get a place of our own again.
Moving. Packing, carrying. I’m sick of it.
So the last while has been taken up not with writing but with trying to move a house. As in: jack house up, and move it – a thing commonly done – but not often here on our remote island, and not by me. Thing is, it’s cheaper than building – but still very expensive. Australian prices are ludicrously high. And like most midlist authors, we get by… principally by not being in debt. By living frugally, and being as self-sufficient as possible. The actual moving process is not particularly expensive. It’s just getting it done that is. We were given a free house on an adjoining property, conditional on our taking it away.
Now, I tend to live my life rather like I write my books – to plan. A plan that does not always survive contact with the event itself. But… that’s life. I had planned to do all of this over the next 4-8 months, taking piece by piece, in between writing, growing our food etc. It’s how I do things – our farm was a bare block of 43 acres of scrub. I’ve built a solar power plant, water pump, a dam, piping, an orchard, a bunch of sheds, and was just busy with the sewage system – before the final move. We had let our landlord know that we’d end our lease and move to farm we bought by December – because my plans are usually careful and allow for things to go wrong. I rock-climb. I dive. People who do these and don’t try to be cautious end up dead young. I’m not young. Building my world and setting up for my plot as it were. Read more
They asked you to critique their novel.
You like them, they’re a friend, and you would like to help.
And how hard can it be?
And then you find out just how hard…
So how do you tell someone ‘It sucked. Don’t quit your day job.’?
That is, if you wish to remain friends? Read more
That’s Australian for renovation, just as a service-station in is a servo, I am Dave-o and Oh is Oh-o. Really. Would I come the raw prawn on you?*
What happens in reno is quite different to what happens in Vegas (or even vagus, for the nervous). It doesn’t stay there for starters. Home reno is major entertainment and aspiration for millions of Australians, which is not surprising as: 1)Our homes are made of ticky-tacky 2)They’re ridiculously expensive, and constitute a far too large a part of our economy, expenses and most dangerously, savings. But that aside, there are major similarities between this and taking that book that you’ve had in your bottom drawer, or have profound dissatisfaction with and working it into something else. Note: I do not say ‘better’. That, like in many a house reno, is not a foregone conclusion. Read more