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:

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