LIAN TANNER

House painting

December 2nd, 2018

Well the holiday only lasted for a few days. Then I started to get itchy, wanting to get back to Alley Hunters, so I spent last week working through another draft. Which was tricky, because I was having the front of the house painted.

These days I mostly write while sitting up in bed, but that was pretty much impossible with someone scraping paint from the window sill right in front of me. I hate having people working around the house, even if they are outside. I always feel as if I’m holding my breath until they leave, and I have the place to myself again. Then I let out a big sigh of relief and say to Harry, ‘Isn’t solitude nice?’

So I ended up hopping from room to room, keeping as far away from the painter as possible. But now the painting is finished and that week of small discomforts was worth it, because the house looks beautiful. I love this colour.

Now I’m back to thinking about what I’m going to write next. I’ve got four books jockeying for position, and they are all strong possibilities. But one of them is beginning to sneak ahead of the others, so I’m going to spend tomorrow morning doing a quick and dirty outline, and see what happens. I don’t know a lot about the story so far – I just know the beginning and a couple of small things that happen in the middle.

And the working title, though I’m not completely sure of that, either.

On Wednesday (5:30 PM at Fuller’s Bookshop) I’m launching Towns of Tasmania, by Pen Tayler and Bert Spinks, for my friends at Forty South Publishing. And on Friday I’m visiting Bagdad Primary School, a little country school just north of Hobart.

Sounds like a good week.

What am I reading?

For adults and children: The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban. I think I read this years ago – it’s quite an old book – but someone recently reminded me of it, and it was well worth a reread. It’s the heroic story of a toy mechanical mouse and his son, and how they are thrown out into the world and have to survive. (Apart from anything else, they keep having to find someone to wind them up.)

The birds and animals they meet on their journey are hilarious – always eccentric, sometimes vicious and sometimes helpful. It’s the sort of book that you could read as either a ten-year-old or a sixty-seven-year-old, and enjoy hugely.

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