You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gratitude’ tag.

The Beach Volcano cover: stony, bony goodness.

The Beach Volcano cover: stony, bony goodness.

There’s something about visibility, coming out of the shadows, being seen. But the visibility I’m talking about is more than that – it’s about exposure, true exposure, so much so that it’s frightening. Of course, I am being just a little (or quite a lot) dramatic. Because all I really want to tell you is Blemish Books have released the cover for the third and very much final novella of mine, The Beach Volcano.

You can see it right there, accompanying this post, in all its moody, melancholic, mysterious…is ‘beauty’ too strong a word? Perhaps not. I love it, the cover (and wouldn’t it be terrible to say that it’s not really my cup of tea). The stones in their gun-sight pattern; they’re also reminiscent of dinosaur bones. It’s just so very apt.

Though what would I know. All I’ve done is spend the last four years trying to make the story sit up and sing (and ‘sing’ , let me tell you, is just as appropriate as those bone-like stones).

The Beach Volcano follows I’m Ready Now (2012), which took two and a half years from first draft to publication, and Fall on Me (2011), which shot out the gates at a mere 18 months. I should say, however, that all three of these novellas existed as ideas in my journal for some time before the first pen-stroke on the page. I wrote down the thought that would become I’m Ready Now in 2003, nine years before publication. Surprisingly (to me) the initial scratchy recording of The Beach Volcano is dated January 2010, a mere five months before the first draft, but that was four and a half years before publication. What’s happened since the first draft? Rewriting, editing, polishing, delete delete delete, rewriting, editing, polishing…until nervous exhaustion set in. Again I’m being ridiculously over-dramatic, though there is some truth to what I’m telling you.

But what’s the bloody thing about?

Well, here’s the blurb:

How should we deal with what’s lost? And how should we deal with what’s to become, something unknown but so very much desired?

After years of estrangement, Canning Albury, a revered and irreverent singer-songwriter, returns home to celebrate his father’s eightieth birthday. His welcome is mixed, at best. But Canning has made the trip for more than just a glass of Pol Roger and an eyeful of Sydney Harbour at sunset. He carries a secret about his family’s murky and uncharted past—a secret that could be explosive. The Beach Volcano is a fearless exploration of life’s many compromises, and the burdens we bear for those we love. 

Has anyone read it yet? If so, what do they think? Yes, it’s been read – by none other than Melbourne novelist Andrea Goldsmith. Who had this to say:

Nigel Featherstone’s new book plunges into the loves and loyalties, the secrets and outward appearances of the wealthy Albury family. This is an insightful and at times disturbing story. Assured and compelling, The Beach Volcano holds you to the last page and beyond.

How does that make me feel? Grateful. So very grateful.

So, that’s the latest. Blemish is gunning for a late August/September launch from Canberra. And then, from that point onwards, a little book called The Beach Volcano will be out of my control. Is this really the end of the line for my novellas? I’m pretty sure it is. I’ve loved dreaming them into existence; I’ve adored hearing of reactions from readers. I can’t deny that the reviews and awards and short-listings have, in fact, meant a great deal, if only because they might have resulted in the novellas finding more hands (and hearts?) in which to be held. When all is said and done, it’s all just a drop in the ocean, isn’t it: three more books in an endless sea of books. I’m just glad – say it again: grateful – that they’ve taken me on such a ride.

My life for a screen. But it's worth it. Maybe?

My life for a screen. But it’s worth it. Maybe?

Come and go
This blogging thing: really, what’s it all about?  The blog-shaped hole in the universe that you’re currently in came into existence back in mid-2009 and somehow it’s still chugging along.  I’ve seen some truly brilliant blogs come and go; for whatever reason, the blogger has decided to end it all.  I, too, have thought of throwing in the towel – many times, in fact.  But then I think of the people I’ve met, the conversations had, and the points of view and life experience shared, and I realise that there’s no real harm in continuing on.  Perhaps I also like the fact that Under the counter of a flutter in the dovecot (which is still officially the most ridiculous name in all of the blogosphere) is archived by the National Library of Australia.  What’s been created here will exist forever.  In theory.

The pieces
Across the years I’ve often wondered about the point of a blog like this one.  It’s partly a depository of pieces I write for the Canberra Times and related Fairfax publications; if the house burns down and I lose the physical file of clippings there will always be the digital copies kept here.  Then there are the outrageously self-serving updates on my adventures in Fiction Land – frankly, they rarely sit comfortably with me, but writing and publishing literature, especially in Australia, is too difficult to justify being a wallflower.  Then there are the brief, diary-like flashes about my home or my hometown or the writing life.  Then there are the reviews, mostly of albums that I’ve bought and I want to talk about – some of the albums I’ve loved, others not so much, but I still want to work out what I think by writing about them.  Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to write about music?  It’s near impossible!  Finally, sometimes I post collages or simply photos with captions. When I’m all out of words.

For the stumblers
Does all this add up to much?  I’m not sure it does.  But for the bugger who produces it all there’s still some enjoyment to be had, and I sincerely hope there’s still enjoyment to be had for those who stumble here.

Lashings of thanks
As others have noted, what keeps a blogger going are the comments, many – most – of which have been amazingly thoughtful and thought-provoking.  So thank you to everyone who’s commented.  What surprises me even more are the subscribers, some of who have been with the blog from day one.  So here are lashings of gratitude to each and every one of you for following UTCOAFITD – I appreciate it very much.  I do hope you get something out of what’s posted and the comments that generated.  All writing, even if it’s fiction, is an exchange of information.  I just hope that you enjoy the exchange that happens here.

All the best, till next week. Unless I get hit by a bus.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 175 other followers