Half a book

I’ve been too busy writing (my book) to write (my blog). Some days there are just no words left, especially seeing as how I’m working on an academic paper at the same time. Still, that’s no excuse. I guess I’ve been waiting for something interesting to blog about. Sometimes interesting stuff happens but it’s not interesting enough for a whole blog topic.

Today, something interesting happened. Hurrah! I crossed the 60K threshold. Given I am planning for the book to run to 120K, that means I’m officially halfway. Some of the writing is horrendous, I must confess, but just yesterday as I was telling my mum about the story, I got a real sense of what the book is all about. I can’t wait to get to the end, so I can go back in and tweak all the things that need tweaking, make it all sit straight and work. Put simply, it’s a story about a girl who thought her grandmother was a nice old lady, and discovers–when she inherits her grandmother’s old house in Tasmania–that Gran was a lot more complex than originally thought. It has a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and a lot of sheep. Lol!

The only downside to my recent output has been that I need to get to bed by 9.30 every night in order to get up early and write. And I’m still tired and cranky the whole time. In any case, it has seriously cramped my gaming time.

I’ve also been working hard on an application for arts funding for a fantasy project, and gloating hard over the shortlisting of my paper about Australian fantasy fiction to the Ditmar list. It’s up for the William Atheling Jr award for SF criticism. If you’d like to read it, it will be at this address for a brief time. All praise be to Sean Williams for hosting this for his technically-unsavvy friend.

8 thoughts on “Half a book

  1. Thanks for linking to your paper, Kim — congratulations on the shortlisting, and good luck. Any details allowed on the arts funding application?

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about big-L literature resisting being named as a genre. If those big lit prizes were, for example, ‘the Premier’s Prize for realist fiction set in Australia between 1788 and 2009’ instead of ‘the Premier’s Prize for Australian Literature’, I think maybe a lot of crime/SFF/romance/etc writers would feel not nearly so bad about not officially being eligible.

    It’s disappointing that one group of people seem to be allowed to guard the definition of ‘art’ to include only the work they like. I think the visual arts got over that particular immaturity a while ago, and just started thinking about quality; perhaps literature will one day too.

  2. David, your comments are very insightful. I think writing might be the last to break down those barriers. Think of the way film is able to deal so readily with genre: there are romcoms, westerns, sci-fi, arthouse, etc. The “quality” genre is still recognised as a genre. But, yeah, when an author says that they write “literary fiction” I always want to ask them what that means to them. I strive for literary quality, but I don’t identify my work that way. I do think “social realism” might be a better genre tag for them, as there’s very little lit-fic that isn’t social realism (historical or contemporary).

  3. I love old houses and wondering about the secrets our grandparents take with them. I would love to stumble upon an old house with clues. I get to do this only in fiction. At least I don’t stumble through rotted floors in fiction. Less chance for tetanus.

    Congratulations on your half-way mark.

  4. Thanks for the link to your article. It was very interesting although a bit disheartening to see that despite the numbers of people reading fantasy, there is still so much snobbiness about what constitutes “real” literature.

  5. Occasionally I ponder on the ‘real life’ my grandmother would have lived. When I knew her, I was only a little thing and heavily influenced by my parents and adolescence in general. Combined with the vast generational gap and minimal time spent together, we never really know the true stories of our grandparents.

    Ooh, I can see this tale offering some reflective moments to all of us who had ‘favourite’ grandmothers with a secretive past.

  6. Pingback: Polishing my ladies « Christine Bongers

  7. Er, pardon my pingback – it should read “No less impressive is the versatile and productive Kim Wilkins…” (bit of an unfortunate editing point, that)…
    And congratulations on your well-argued case in support of genre fiction. Looks like a winner to me.

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