Friday, March 5, 2010

She liked my story...

My sympathies to the family and friends of Jo Noble who passed away a few days ago. A committed and hard working member of Storylines and a significant part of the Children's literature scene in New Zealand for many years, Ms Noble made a great and landscape-changing contribution during her lifetime. Most writers know how even the smallest positive comments and praise can make a huge difference to their careers. There can be long periods of time when no praise is heard at all. Any such comments received are closely guarded and cherished in case of future drought. Jo Noble was one of the first people to give me a positive comment about one of the first manuscripts I ever sent out into the world. A judge on the 2001 Tom Fitzgibbon Award panel when I chanced my luck and entered, she took time out, even though I hadn't even been shortlisted, to give me some feedback and encouragement. She liked my story. She thought it might be publishable. She likened me to a few starry writers. She suggested some improvements. Maybe I should keep trying, I thought. Thank you Jo. I will be forever grateful. Rest in peace.

I have been feeling up and down about this writing business for the last few months (yes i'm sure you can probably tell from my witterings) and the frustrating thing is whenever I am ready to tear my hair out and move on to something far less stressful and distressing (like maybe being a spy or a brain surgeon) I get a story idea. I wish the universe would stop messing with my head. Mooching round some blogs I came across this incredible little youtube clip which cheered me up and slapped me round the chops a bit. I want to grow up to be like this person - Victoria Schwab. She is amazing and has her head screwed on just right. Whenever i am feeling the writers blues this will be my medicine. Thanks to writer Dawn Metcalf and her Officially Twisted blog from whence this comes - in fact as I haven't yet figured out how to upload the clip (technological noob that i am) you will have to go see it here or here. But I THOROUGHLY recommend it. You will be glad you did.

And to honour Jo Noble and my first praised manuscript (still in my bottom drawer but definitely not forgotten or given up on) I'll keep soldiering on.


Victoria Schwab said...

You just made my day :)


Old Kitty said...


What a lovely way to remember and honour Jo Noble.

Thanks for the fun links! I'm at work at the moment so can't hear the sound but am enjoying the drawings!

Take care and have a great weekend


TK Roxborogh said...

We have to just hang in there. Look at Fleur - oh how many times shortlisted but never a winner? Me, after 15 years of published works I get the nod (whaoo) People like Jo make it bearable when it seems no one else notices you.