Monday, August 30, 2010

Appearances at AussieCon 4

I am excitedly gearing up for the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, AussieCon 4, which very conveniently is on in Melbourne this year. And which will be my first World Con! I am so on the quivive you can barely see my limbs for the blur.

Below, for any of you who will be there and interested, are my panel appearances, where I will be chatting with some awesome colleagues, as well as a Kaffeeklatsche - a casual hour where I and anyone else interested get to hang out with caffeine - a signing, and a reading. I can't help wondering if anyone will turn up, since it's such a huge event, so if you can, do come!

The whole program for AussieCon4 is available here.

Thursday September 2, 5pm: Signing, Room 201;
Friday September 3, 3pm: : Eowyn and Sam: underappreciated heroes in The Lord of the Rings, Rm 219;
Saturday September 4, 10am: Science fiction and the theatre, Rm 217;
4pm: Micro-audience and the online critic, Rm 219
Sunday September 5, 10am: The eternal stories: myths and legends in YA spec fic, Room 213;
2pm: The fantasy plays of William Shakespeare, Rm 217;
3pm: Reading, Rm 207;
4pm: Let’s get lyrical: poetry in YA spec fic, Rm 211;
5pm: Mary Poppins: from the Outback to Cherry Tree Lane, Rm 219;
Monday September 6, 11am: Kaffeeklatsche, Rm 201.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Myths and Emily Brontë

The lovely children's author Lucy Coates - with whom I spent a most pleasant summer afternoon in London a couple of years ago - has recently been running a weekly series of interviews on her blog Scribble City Central, in which she asked different writers about what myths mean to them. They're all worth reading, but I'm rather egotistically posting about it, because this week's instalment is with me. They were fun questions to answer, and interesting to think about.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago I finished the first draft of Black Spring, the novel on which I've been working since last year. That's kind of Wuthering Heights, set somewhere in an alternative 19th century Eastern Europe, with vendetta and wizards... It turned out a bit stranger than I thought, and the last month of writing was really difficult because, well, difficult things happen to the characters, as you'd know if you've read Emily Brontë's book. In a way, the book is for Emily, for whom I've always had a strong fellow feeling. One of my earliest poems, written when I was 16, is about her. Here it is:

Emily Brontë

The bell of my loneliness
Is a note so high and pure
It leaves you breathless.

These windy slopes are shorn
of the things that make life comfortable:
broad trees, broken bread, the swell

and supple curve of a lover's back.
These come only in dreams,
fade achingly before the besom dawn

sweeps away sleep's comfort. I
can sit here in my window, catch
the rough sweet scent of heather in my nostrils

and write of death and love entwined
like adders together. The poetry
lies wild in my veins, the poetry

of windy slopes stabbed by rocky outcrops,
the giving spring of turf, the taste
of solitude like aloes on my tongue,

the bare, unchanging moors, which take
my sisters and myself with mute indifference
and conquer under soil all our passion.

(From The Common Flesh, New and Selected Poems, Arc Books UK).

The novel manuscript has now been sent to my agent, which means that it's dropped out of my head. Until I have to start work again on editing, of course; but I like editing.

Right after finishing the novel, I also finished a music theatre script for young adults, Night Songs, that I've been co-writing with my husband Daniel Keene for the Bell Shakespeare Company. And after that, I had unusually busy couple of weeks of journalism - four theatre reviews and a couple of big articles for the Australian. And I've driven myself straight into the ground.

As a result, I've caught a bad cold and have been feeling a bit sorry for myself, which is never a good look. And the problem is that I can't blame anybody - it's all my own fault, dammit!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - already!

Oh, I am a bad Pellinor blogger. Keeping up two blogs is more than my capacities allow. Even one blog is more than I can deal with, frankly. Apologies to all...

You'll be glad to know - I hope - that 2010 is Croggon's Year of the Novel. I am now around half way into Black Spring, a kind of Wuthering Heights-with-evil-shepherd-wizards and vendetta (but no vampires of any description). I love you, speculative fiction, for permitting me to pretend that I am the bastard child of Emily Bronte and Ismail Kadare. My present ambition is to finish this ms to first draft by the end of February. Wish me luck.

After that, I'll be working on a number of other things. Too many, really. Ambitions include three pieces of theatre, including an opera on the poet Mayakovsky, and three unfinished novels. We'll see how that all rounds out at the end of the year.

In Pellinor news, the US paperback edition of The Singing will be out in spring with Candlewick. It seems strange that it is still evolving there! There are other English language editions proposed, including audio books for the Australian/New Zealand and US markets. I'll be fascinated to see who will be reading them. I guess Cate Blanchett is too busy...

Meanwhile, I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the best of luck in all your own activities!