Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
We're about to be invaded by my friend Peter from Christchurch. Peter's a better friend than I deserve - always there even when I ignore him for years (have I ever said how terrible I am at communication?) and whenever we get together it's just like being back at high school.
No doubt hilarity and heartwarming stuff will ensue.
35,000 words into my new story and I can't wait to write more. It's such great fun, particularly since I don't know what's going to happen next. Weirdly, a real-world person has intruded and has now become a major POV character. Could make for fun at publishing time.
Well, back to it.
Very pretty, and directly on the way from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne. Honest.
and the nice people I've worked with for the last two weeks. Thank you Donna, Nicole, Kylie and Trudi for the laughter, the critiques, the honesty and the adventures.
Like yesterday, the day of broken dreams. OK, so it as up to me to organise a field trip and, fools the others were, they invited me to make it educational. So we left at midday and spent two hours in Lakes Entrance eating and shopping (I bought something very cute for Dorinda) only to arrive at the Buchan Caves five minutes after the last tour group of the day departed. Argh. Right, so we looked at the map and went off to a waterfall. Only the roads were more like 4WD tracks, and when we got there after a half-hour long ten minute walk it was, well, underwhelming.
OK, class, here's a quiz about Australian waterfalls. What do you think the main ingredient of a waterfall is? That's right! Water! But not in Australia in the summer after a drought. Nice views of the Snowy River, this sort of little stream thingy, but no waterfall, just a bluff with a trickle of water oozing down. Pah. On the way back our car rocketed ahead, and we considered livening up the day by driving the car into a ditch, leaving the doors open and lying artfully at the side of the road. We should have. Would have been worth the serious recriminations.
The retreat was an unqualified success on every count. Quality of work, of the company, of food, of friendships, of fun, and we haven't killed each other. Apparently I was a sobering influence on the retreat. I can't tell you how wild it might have been had I not been here to ensure at least some good taste and quality. The odd bodily noise excepted.
I love you all.
I alluded to the news in my last post. I've been told by my US publisher that my debut novel, 'Across The Face Of The World', is the US's best-selling debut fantasy/scifi novel of 2008.
Hard to believe that something written over twenty years ago could do so well. The second and third in the series have also sold well, so the news is good and getting better.
Funny how different markets have performed differently. Reviews and sales were mixed in Aust, poor in NZ, indifferent in the UK and great in the US.
Russell is officially happy.
Sometimes writing is like drinking margaritas. It makes sense at the time, but after a while things get blurry and all you do is tell rude jokes. And the next morning you wonder 'what was I thinking?' At least that's what's happened to Donna. Not me, I deny that, doesn't matter what you heard. The writer's retreat is going well. I'm still cracking on near the lead in the all-important 'word count' competition, currently being led by the hungover Donna. The lovely but misguided Nicole is typing furiously, hoping to make up ground now her laptop cable has arrived. We're all praying for you, Nicole, that you will handle defeat gracefully. I've played five rounds of golf at a truly wonderful course, we're going boating later today, and I've just received truly astonishingly good news from my US publisher. Things are good.