May 25, 2010
Ever since having Cancer, I have become acutely aware of not only how many others are struck with this awful disease, and the differences and similarities between sufferers, survivors and their struggles as well as the reactions of loved ones and the community, but my own mortality as well. There are very few people I share my thoughts and fears with, but one very special person is Sara – many of you may know her as the writer, Sara Douglass. Sara also has Cancer. We discuss many things and share much laughter and tears (and about a huge range of things – believe me!) but one thing we have talked about is what Sara calls the ‘silence of the dying’ – it’s not that those dying or with real reasons to be afraid of death (through chronic illness or some other cause) can’t articulate their fears, it’s that there is no legitimate space for them to do so in contemporary society. They are ‘silenced’.
Well, Sara wrote the most amazing blog about this, examining the reasons and causes for this huge vacuum, and I have asked her permission to share it with you. It’s also going to be published, I believe, in a Perth newspaper.
I urge you to discuss what she writes among your family and friends. It’s beautiful, personal, heartfelt but also a wonderful social and historical observation that captures the zeitgeist – contemporary attitudes to death and dying and illness – perfectly. Thank you, Sara, for writing this.
May 11, 2010
This is a progress report and an apology!
It’s been ages since I’ve blogged and part of the reason for that is that I have madly been working on Votive, Book 2 of The Curse of the Bond Riders series. As a result, I had to let everything slide – my blogs, my friends, my life…! Seriously, I have had to lock myself away and immerse myself in Tallow’s world, emerging to shower, eat and the other things that our bodies require us to do! I also had to cope with a very nasty allergic reaction to medication in that period, which saw me bedridden and very medicated (semi-sedated) for a week as my abused body recovered. So, I lost more time on this most precious of novels. But I want to say sorry for being so … reclusive? Is that the word?
Thing is, the first draft is now finished and in the safe hands of my editors and agent. I am actually giving myself a brief break (a week or two before starting Book 3) – oh – and cleaning my study which accumulated dirt, papers and food scraps in amazing quantities while I wrote! The amount of mugs (which beautiful hubby would bring down to me brimming with steaming coffee), pill containers (he would also bring down meds), and plates of half-eaten food scattered across surfaces beggar’s belief – really. And I thought I was a tidy person. Ha! Teenagers bedrooms don’t come near the state of my study. I could set up a cultural studies centre here based on all the unusual things growing upon displaced kitchen utensils… gross.
Now, I was going to post the blurb for Votive here as well – but I won’t just yet. You see, I may have sent off the first draft, but I know there are many flaws and faults in it and I await feedback anxiously (us writers are an awfully insecure bunch, full of self-doubt and worry) from those whose opinion I value very highly (hubby is also reading it and found some mistakes and made some great suggestions). In fact, the hardest thing not to do is to return to the novel and start rewriting now! I can already identify changes I want to make. So, I am not going to post the blurb… I would hate the story to shift and mislead you. So I will wait… impatiently and nervously for what my agent and publishers think of what I have done to the characters – and that’s before the book hits the streets next year – I’ll be a mess by then. For those of you who have read the first book, Tallow, I’d love to know what YOU think might happen in Votive!
OK. Back to cleaning. Somebody’s got to do it and since I made the mess in the first place…
Take care everyone and thank you for your messages while I have been laying low – they’ve meant the world!