Sometimes life swells to be so big, so full, so intense that writing seems almost dull in comparison. This happened a lot to me throughout my teenage years. I would write when life was boring and I would just live when life was intense. To be honest this doesn’t really bother me. Sometimes I do feel guilt for not writing, but that’s only when fear, rather than life, gets in the way. Life getting in the way is a GOOD thing. For one thing, these big life things – the friends, the events, the perils, the loves – they all fuel us. They are the reason writing and creativity exist. Our writing is improved by living. For another, I never want to be the kind of person whose work controls their life. This was me in the first year of uni, trying to hold down a job and a full uni load, spending every waking moment in the library. I burnt out pretty quickly. It also had the effect of helping me to clarify my values. To figure out what I wanted out of life. Never again will I let career get in the way of family, friends, just general life stuff.
So that’s a long-winded way of saying I haven’t done much writing lately. But I’ve done a lot of other important stuff. I’d love to say that things look like they will be returning to normality soon, but I’m not sure if this is true. A couple of my New Years resolutions are beating pretty strongly and I think I might even have news in the next couple of months.
Also, Michael and I are actually going away for a bit of a holiday! With my parents, but I think it still counts. We’re going to Queensland, to Brisbane and the Gold Coast and the timing is so perfect. This time two years ago we were there (under much sadder circumstances) and while at Movie World (totally unconnected to the sad circumstances, obviously) I had the idea for Tiger Eye. I was sitting in a little food court area, waiting for Michael to come back with lunch, and I was staring at these huge statues by this massive door that were immediately recognisable as representing Batman’s Gotham city. I started thinking about how amazing it is that Gotham and Metropolis, and all the little sections of Movie World, are so iconic, so full of their own personality, that you are completely sucked into their world. And the landscape dictates the superhero. Batman is such a dark soul because he inhabits the dark world of Gotham, whereas Superman’s strong value system comes from his positioning first in the small town of Smallville, and then in the bright, young city of Metropolis. I started thinking about how awesome it would be to create a world like that, a city you feel you could step right into, and see how it changes and develops my characters. It was over six months later that I started writing Tiger Eye, but the initial inspiration started there. Also, I used a good deal of Brisbane city in my development of Petra.
It just feels good and full and cyclical to end up back there two years later, while the book is out with agents.
There’s so much I wish I could fill you in on but this isn’t quite the right forum, especially when things are still up in the air. But the future looks really bright from where I’m standing.
Do you remember a few posts back I was trying to figure out who I was as a writer? What kinds of books I write, where I want my career to head? Well, I think I’ve come a lot closer to figuring that out. I’ve sharpened my understanding of YA and I’m feeling much more at home there. I think my heart is for mystery writing but I can never escape that touch of the paranormal. And I like tales with a great deal of character growth, which doesn’t describe the typical mystery novel, I know. I actually have a long-term project in the works that I’ve wanted to write for years. Maybe I’m coming closer to being ready to write it, but I don’t want to rush anything.
Sorry for all the vagueness! If you know me in real life I’m sure I’ll fill you in when I see you next. For the rest of you, here is a little phrase I learned this week: "Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, for it’s seldom found in women but never in a man." Ha! I love it. But, of course, in my house I’m generally the impatient one.
Anyway, I’m heading out to the movies with my boy. We’re going to see Tangled, which I’ve heard is fantastic, and I can’t resist a good Disney film.
Have a great weekend!