Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Finding time to blog

I was astonished to find I had not posted here since February! But my writing and studying life, along with work of various kinds, has squeezed up every hour of my day for months, and although I've had quite a few ideas of things I wanted to blog about, I just have never found the time or headspace.

But here I am at last. Determined to get back to posting more regularly, because I have always enjoyed it. I also think the little time I spend on FB has been taken up with negativity (shared, I might add) about the Australian elections and our pathetic politicians, our shameful treatment of refugees, and a number of other issues. I do love FB for the funny pics and cartoons that give me a laugh, though, just when I need it.

25898530What have I been doing? Mostly working on my PhD, which is on fairy tales. It includes several picture book length original tales and a middle grade novel, as well as a 30,000 word exegesis. I've found the academic writing to be a huge challenge, and it's only with the feedback from my supervisors (no, that's too chatty/conversational/casual) that I've been able to finally get a grip on it.

Along with that, I'm still working part-time (as little as I can) in TAFE, which often breaks my heart as the paperwork and compliance requirements from the government become more and more onerous for very little good reason or useful results. And as well as my creative work for the PhD, I've been writing a four-book children's series. Luckily that's been spread over 8 months so has been manageable. More on that in another post.

In fact, I have several things I plan to write about for this blog. I'm becoming more and more interested in memoir pieces (not my own life story - I wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone) but short essays and stories that dig deep into single events, or people. I was so pleased to have a poem and personal piece included in the second edition of Meg Files' book, Writing What You Know (first edition was called Write Your Life). In this edition she provides many examples of people's life writing, and my poem and piece are compared. They are about the same thing - my mother and her death - but they were written more than twenty years apart, and with quite different purposes. I can recommend this book - in fact both editions - and my students agree.

This is the book on GoodReads - and you can buy it online, no doubt.

I've also had poems accepted here and there, and am waiting to see illustrations for a new picture book, but mostly I've been writing and revising and revising and revising. My TV viewing is minimal and impatient - show me something good or I go to bed with a book. I've had to learn to become even more disciplined with my time, but at the same time, give myself breaks, and make sure I sleep well. I'm starting to see clear air ahead...