Back on track

by on 24 February, 2017 with 0 Comments

One more month gone, but at last I'm writing again. In January I was in near despair - just couldn't seem to get really involved in the new book, and totally daunted by the difficulty of research into late nineteenth century Germany.

Now, after a month of solid reading and writing, I'm still daunted, but at least finding enough material to, I hope, give some authenticity to what I'm doing. Though, as I commented to someone yesterday, it's such a mix of pleasure and pain. When I'm actually sitting at the keyboard, seeing words emerge and characters develop their own lives and lines of print appear, I have the most satisfying sense of contentment. ie the writing process is great. Next day I read what I have written and despair sets in - what rubbish! what boring tedious trash!  ie  process fine; product miserable. But, because I'm tenacious, I battle on.

I guess what I'm writing is 'faction' - a fictional novel based on a thin thread of family lore  and set in a country and era that I'm trying to make as authentic as possible. I say authentic rather than accurate - two very different things. It's a topic that has occupied my thinking during this last month, as last week I had the pleasure of being the launch person for Maureen Mitson's new book 'Esther's Wars' - and that too I'd class as faction. Set in the 1910 to 1925 era in the SA Riverland and the Adelaide Hills, I found its topicality interesting, and her research into that period of anti-German hostility had been meticulously done. It meshed so well with my personal background and tales by my parents of their experiences during those years in a small Lutheran German enclave in the Albury area, and also with my own extensive post-grad research into the closing of the Lutheran schools in SA during the World War 1 years. I was really impressed by Maureen's knowledge of the time.

So I'm back into writing prose, and feeling oddly deprived at lack of poetry in my life. However, it's pleasing to find that I'll have two poems in the 2016 Friendly Street Anthology when it appears mid-year, and some in the coming Polestar. I could do with some reassurance at this stage, with about 40,000 words of the new novel written, of which a very small percentage satisfies me! Ah, the joys of writing ....

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