Friday, 21 September, 2012
Just a quick update on where things are at (continuing from my previous post):
- I heard back from Varuna about my application for their Writer-in-Residence Mentor Program and it seems my application was unsuccessful—both for the CAL scholarship and for the program itself. But based on my previous conversation with Varuna, I'm not sure if it was just unsuccessful because the program with Tohby Riddle didn't run; surely they would have said so if that had been the case. The email implied that the program still ran. Anyway, disappointing as it is, finding out the truth of the matter doesn't change anything, so it's best to just leave it.
- I also learned recently that a project I submitted last year is still sitting in the slush pile 12 months on. *Big sigh*. (I know that things tend to sit in slush piles for a while in the publishing world—particularly when you submit unsolicited manuscripts—however, this was a special case.) Yet another thing for me to leave alone; I am unlikely to send it elsewhere as it was done to suit something specially.
- Much as I would like to keep on working on the script of my graphic novel, much of my time has been spent on what I've been calling the Monster Editing Project (or #MEP if you follow me on Twitter). It's the autobiography of a family friend who died a couple of years ago. The family want to self-publish the book using on print-on-demand, and my job is to both edit it and lay it out. So I'm learning a lot about how to use InDesign, which is extremely cool, and I'm gaining a bit of experience in book design and typesetting as the book is around 170,000 words with photos. The photos aren't all of a good resolution as I don't have the original files he used, plus most of them had to be converted to black and white and then trimmed as the cost of getting the book printed in colour is prohibitive. Including the photos, the book is almost 500 pages at 8.25 x 10.75 inches (i.e. 20.955 x 27.31 cm). I've just started the second editing pass after around 60 hours of work. After this, I'll do a pass to check the tracking and then we'll go to print using Lulu—hopefully in time for Christmas. I'm keen to get the whole thing done and off my plate as I've set the rule for myself that I can't go back to the graphic novel until it's done (as an extra incentive!)
- Working on MEP has been interesting—not just because of the content (which is mostly interesting, unless he is talking about engineering or long road trips), but also because it's giving me insight into what people's lives are like—people's lives where depression is not a major factor. (Those of you who enjoy a similar depression-free existence are, in my humble opinion, very very lucky!) The other interesting thing (for me) is seeing the shape and trajectory of his life and how it changes from childhood to adulthood to marriage to family to retirement years. I've been reflecting recently that I have no perspective on how to live during the years we have upon this earth—not the “how” in the Christian sense (as in one's manner/attitude/purpose, etc.)—but the “how” as in what people do from day to day, living quietly, raising families, earning enough to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, taking holidays every now and then to rest and recharge, enjoying trips with friends. These things fascinate me for some reason—perhaps because I never would have conceived of what was possible to do with one's life until I saw someone else do it. Anyway, I feel I am explaining myself badly so I will stop.
- Supanova Brisbane is coming up in November. I've already booked an Artists Alley table plus flights, plus I mailed stock plus postcards up north, so all that's left to organise is logistics. We won't be there on the Friday, but we will be on the weekend, so if you're around, please stop by and say hi!
- On the subject of Kinds of Blue, if you're in Sydney and would like to check out a copy, Kings Comics now stock it (and you can also order it from them online). We're down to our last 100 copies, so grab one while you can!
- On the parenting front, things are stable and somewhat sustainable (with me making sure that I take a least one child-free afternoon off to do nothing but watch TV, knit or read comics [although some of those activities can be combined]), I feel myself getting a bit rundown. The back-to-back colds Astrid contracts from childcare (and passes onto the rest of us) don't help much, but thankfully a product like Vicks First Defence exists (even though it's a little hard to find), and I've found it does tend to lessen the duration and severity of the colds somewhat. Nevertheless, friends have been encouraging me to arrange another Mommy Holiday—perhaps one when where I actually go away without my family for a couple of days (what a novel thought!)
- On the subject of rest, over lunch on my child-free days, I have been watching TED talks, Kapow! (the comic book show) and At the Movies (which I like to download via iTunes through its feed), but one thing I would like to draw your attention to, which I occasionally listen to, is Kieron Gillen's DECOMPRESSED podcast about comics craft, in which he interviews artists and writers about particular issues they have worked on. He's up to episode 10. (I am woefully behind and have only reached episode 7). If you're interested in making comics, it's well worth a listen.
/Karen/ had a thought at 6:20 PM
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