I’ll never be a prolific blogger, but my plan has always been to keep in touch now and then. I didn’t publish any fiction in the past twelve months, but my hard drive has been filling up with work that isn’t yet ready to submit.
This time last year, I threw myself into yet another major edit of my Fantasy/Steampunk novel with the plan to have it published by 2019. I gave myself three months to get the edits done. They took eight. Then I sent it to a professional editor friend who gave me a face-to-face critique along with a stash of notes. I hoped to need only a line edit (I had, after all spent years editing it myself), but it needed a few more structural edits. Nothing major fortunately, but a few things that needed some time to think about.
That’s the trouble with self-editing. I’m so close to my writing, something that needs fixing can stare me in the face and I won’t see it. Editors are gold. Just saying.
I’ve also got an epic fantasy novel on the boil. Opening chapters for Draft One are done. I’m keen to get started on this again as soon as the previous novel reaches the line edit stage.
Last year was also the year of reading and convening for the Australian Aurealis Award’s Anthologies and Collections panel. I can’t say any more about that until the Awards Ceremony on the 4th of May, but it’s been a fabulous experience, and I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed every moment.
This year, however, I’m planning to take a break from judging. My to-read pile is getting taller and the novel really is my preferred form. Here’s a taste of what’s waiting for me:
Washington Black by Esi Edougyan
Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Riders by Tim Winton
House of Sighs by Aaron Dries
The Cup of Jamshid by Andrew Old
Into the Sounds by Lee Murray
Moonfall by Donna Maree Hanson
Plus there’s more staring down from the top of my bookshelf.
My favourite reads for last year that weren’t connected to Aurealis judging:
The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan
Ecopunk edited by Liz Grzyb & Cat Sparks
The Silver Well by Kate Forsyth & Kim Wilkins
Science Fiction and the Moral Imagination: Visions, Minds, Ethics by Russell Blackford.