In an otherwise trying week, I had a burst of writing-related serendipity on Wednesday. Sometimes, with writing, you feel like you’re trying to melt glass with your breath: it just won’t yield, and no matter the effort you expend. Sometimes it’s not the writing itself: you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ve lost your mojo, or you know what you want to say but not how to say it. All you are doing is howling at the moon. At other times, things elegantly, magically cohere. Like last Wednesday: I talked new projects with a fellow writer at lunch, among many other soul-enriching things, then returned to my desk to find:
a) a pile of Amazon-purchased books (see picture below, which also contains two others from my Dymocks Fremantle foray), and
b) an email from my editor with the proposed cover of Losing It. I squealed with delight and surprise. I can’t share it with you just yet, but if you were to design a cover for novel about four smart seventeen-year-old girls making a bet to lose their virginity (yes, you can tell it’s fiction coz they’re so old, right?!), what would you come up with?
Stay tuned and I’ll show you what Penguin’s designer came up with. It’s right.
A Pattern Language, principally by Christorpher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein (if you want to understand why most urban planning doesn’t work well, check this out)
A Wrinkle in Time (I remember now that I wouldn’t pick it up as a kid because I couldn’t work out how to pronounce Madeleine L’Engle’s name – go figure. Reading it now because of Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, which is the best junior novel I’ve ever read)
Bog Child, Siobhan Dowd
Noah’s Law, Randa Abdel-Fattah
M.T. Anderson’s Feed and Louis Sachar’s Holes
Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1793 and Speak (not pictured, because it’s in my suitcase)
Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia (I am ashamed to say I once marked a bunch of student essays about this novel without having read it myself. Anyone else ever done that?)
and Lois Lowry’s The Giver
I will be making a dent in this pile soon, as I head off to read, write and talk to my publishers. *breathes out*