A writer can’t spend all day in purdah. Although given 2020-21, Lockdown does resemble a kind of solitary confinement. But even in Lockdown, we have all been entitled to our ‘outside time’.
And so it is for me.
A former journalist from Australia who graduated with majors in history and politics, Prue has worked as a hotel cleaner, a cosmetician in a major department store, a tour guide and a bookseller. But most properly, she has been a journalist/researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She is now a cross genre writer who enjoys creating escapist fiction for her readers.
Her eighth novel, Tobias, was short-listed as a semi-finalist in the prestigious 2016 M. M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction and has won other awards since its publication, as have Michael and Guillaume from the same trilogy, The Triptych Chronicle.
Her historical fantasy novel, A Thousand Glass Flowers, won a silver medal early in Prue’s writing career which gave her the impetus to write on. The quartet of which it is part, The Chronicles of Eirie, ranked in Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle Top 100 in varying categories for over six years.
Her 2019 foray into contemporary fiction, Passage, has been honoured, not just with a finalist’s award from Chanticleer, but with an endorsement from the great Cathy Kelly.
She is regularly commissioned to write short stories for a miniature book press in the United States, where the narratives are bespoke-bound and illustrated, to be purchased by miniature book collectors across the globe.
She is also a farming partner, dog owner, swimmer and kayaker and claims her major faults are embroidery and gardening and that she’s always looking for new creative ideas while eating way too much chocolate!
Our big garden is tired and begging for autumn to arrive. We’re in the tail end of meshed weather systems today and the humidity is tropical. Rain is falling and the waves are crashing on the beach. The garden needs a good fertilise and for the windiest summer for ages to cease. Hopefully next week I can post on how it looks but in the meantime – on Thursday I was in the city and took some pics of our little Matchbox garden…
Yesterday, I looked at the word count of Reliquary, my current manuscript, and realised I had passed the 100,000 mark. I was surprised. It seemed only a short time ago that I watched 50,000 tick over and then time just slowed and it seemed no matter how often I wrote, the numbers barely changed. Some days, I would delete a page or a paragraph. And at one point, I accidentally opened the file at the very beginning and decided I wanted to hit the readers pretty hard from the get-go and so added a kind of prologue to set the scene.
I have still to get the editor’s approval on that one but it works for me…
All writers will agree that a significant part of their time when they’re not writing, is quietly observing the human condition. The seasonal holiday gives one the greatest chance to do that as the jigsaw of characters falls across one’s path.
As Ernest Hemingway said in Death in the Afternoon:
Oh, crikey! I’ve observed the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
It’s been an horrendous couple of weeks with the seasonal equinoxial gales. We live at 42 degrees south latitude, commonly known as the Roaring Forties, so gardening has been something we’ve done only if we really really have to. Best to stay indoors or find a stretch of the coast under the shelter of cliff.
Our house painter says the winds make him melancholy, the teachers all say the pupils develop a kind of madness; our Jack Russell certainly does. I have a balance issue and so the sound-buffeting and the visual disturbance of trees waving and gyrating can bring on an attack of vertigo. But the gales are abating now and I’m in clean-up mode. Masses of whippy branches from the two willows, cossetting the gardens with as much water as possible and starting to shovel mulch all around after much water, so that summer doesn’t dry everything out.
Here’s my lot for this week: