Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Summer in winter

What does a writer do when it's snowing outside, there's a windchill that's too horrifically cold to contemplate, and a frostbite warning to boot? She uses her imagination to put herself somewhere warmer!

In my case, this means writing about South Africa at this time of the year i.e. midsummer. What am I writing, you ask? It's a memoir, actually the first full length manuscript I ever completed. I wrote it for a writing contest and although it didn't win, the sponsoring publisher wrote to say they were interested to publish my 'charming' book.

Hah, I thought, this getting published business is a bagatelle. How wrong I was! A year later I received the rejection, along with the two readers' reports. I was so ignorant and innocent that I didn't really 'get' what those were saying. Luckily I kept them because now, at last, I feel the time is ripe to do the revise and expand thing. Because now I can see the faults—well, some of them—and the potential.

So what's it about? Ahhh, see, our family spent four magical years on a Cape wine farm. My memoir is written from the point of view of Miranda, our eldest child, who was on the brink of teenagerhood at the time. Here's a faded old photo to give you a glimpse of the paradise in which we lived:

Friday, January 4, 2013

What a coincidence!

Last week when we had a snow dump, our neighbor and her daughter helped my husband with the shoveling. So when they were done, he invited them in for a cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake.

We were sitting around the dining-room table adorned with its festive cut-glass candlesticks when our neighbor turned to me and asked, "I'm interested to know... What do you do to keep yourself occupied?"

I explained about being a writer and started to tell her about 'Cape Town'. She opened her eyes in astonishment and said, "I just got that book out of the library!"

"Really? That's amazing!"

We chatted a bit more about writing and reading and so forth.

" And do you know how I choose the novels for (her teenaged daughter) and me to read?" she continued. "I go along the shelves and see what book kind of glows for me, stands out in some way."

How often I've wished I had that ability, which some people seem to possess quite naturally.

Anyhow, the cool thing is, mother and daughter were very excited and thrilled. Mom said she'd definitely buy my book, and would I be willing to sign it for them?

Would I? You bet!