I have been working on my granddaughter’s book and, although I have no idea if it will be worth publishing, I can see the end of the first draft. It will need beta testing once edited, to see if it will hold a child’s interest. Writing for children is a whole different genre and while I worked as a children’s librarian for many years, the style of writing has changed enormously. Humour, fast-paced and full of action is what is wanted. I am sad that my granddaughter, who recently finished reading all of Harry Potter, has said she doesn’t think she will ever read anything as exciting again. She’s 8 years-old. It’s not true, I hope.
I am 5.500 words into my new book. I have no idea where it will go. That’s what being a Pantser means. I am writing what comes into my mind. This evening, I rewrote a lot of it. I must move on to see what happens next. I have the feeling it may be time-slipping into Victorian London at some point. This man will feature. Who is he, what is he? I want to hear your best guesses.
On Monday I gave my first talk entitled Secrets and Lies; the story of an amazing Australian family. It was a small group of elderly ladies who settled down to listen. I took my laptop and a projector which fits into my palm to show images. The first issue was there was no black-out and we had to move from the foyer into a modern church which was barely darker. Luckily they could all see my laptop screen rather than squinting at the large screen. I spoke for an hour without leaving me time to do any reading from one of my books but they were interested and engaged. A good learning experience for me.
The most interesting thing that I learnt was that the Townswomen’s Guild began in Hayward’s Heath, West Sussex, as did the Women’s Institute, by the Suffragettes and the TG adopted their colours. I love these little snippets of history.
I have just finished reading The Singing Line by Alice Thomson which my friend found for me in a second-hand shop. What a find! It’s the story of how the telegraph line connecting Britain with Australia was strung through the middle from Darwin to Adelaide. An amazing feat considering only Stuart’s expedition had explored the centre before. He returned an almost blind and broken man, but Charles Todd had a vision and nothing was going to deter him from completing the line.
I love that great, great uncle Charles Dugmore Timms followed the same route 55 years later when he built the Old Ghan up to Alice Springs. Unfortunately, they had to move it because the line was so often delayed due to floods.