Sunday, February 22, 2015

Life is like a box of chocolates, without the chocolate identification card ...

So I had a weird kind of summer hibernation where my writer's metabolism slowed right down in the languid seasonal heat - I guess maybe the equatorial folk would call that a siesta. Semantics aside, it seemed an involuntary response to everything that was going on and that had gone before, and in the end had a bit of a therapeutic quality. I feel (mostly) ready for 2015 and a new book project is tugging appealingly at my subconscious and conscious mind. A plot has taken shape and now I am getting to know my main protagonist a bit better. He is a little elusive and while in the past my key characters have often rocked up to the page fully formed and ready to go, I am having to set my chisel to the stone to pick this boy out of the marble. Hah, maybe I should call him David :)

And after looking somewhat empty after the hurly burly of 2014, the old schedule is starting to get interesting. Life is what happens while you are making other plans. After challenging my poor family and pushing them to the limit with my wilful independence (a.k.a. the Children's Writer's Residency in Dunedin) last year, I rashly applied for another residency for this year. I thought it a long shot, but my six months away had made me brave/foolhardy, and I tossed my hat in the ring with a wild project (the one with 'David' in it) that I thought they would either love or hate. They seem to have been in the 'loved it' camp as I will now be based out of The Pah Homestead in Hillsborough when I take up the University of Otago Wallace Residency for three months starting in March. I can't wait to get writing on the new project. I am thanking my lucky stars and bribing my family relentlessly to keep their affection.

I'm also doing a talk at the next SCBWI NZ meeting on March 21st (more details soon), and then in April I'm off to Wanaka for a week as part of the Festival of Colour, where I'll be taking part in a Speed Date the Author morning, a True Stories Told Live event, and assorted other authory visits. Most exciting, and what a wonderful time to be in such a beautiful part of the world.

My SO and I have booked a holiday away for September (yay!!!) and when we return I'll be off to Wellington for the Bi-annual National Children's Writers and Illustrators Conference - Tinderbox 2015 - for the first weekend of October (email for info and updates if you are interested in attending).

A few other exciting potential engagements are being discussed. It's all been a bit surprising (apart from the holiday which we have been planning since late last year). Take note universe, these are the kinds of surprises I like. Anyways, I'm off to dig David out of a to you later.


Anonymous said...

well done Melinda!

Jane Bloomfield said...

Fun to see you are heading back down this way Ms Melinda! I will have to pop over. Congrats again on your residency. And happy chiseling.