Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Murphy will have the last word...

On travel writing...
Sometimes I have to laugh and shake my head. On Saturday, HJ and I collaborated on our first travel story in ages, a trip out to DelVera in the Stellenbosch winelands. Situated on the R44 on the corner of the Muldersvlei Road, this agricultural village is definitely a place to consider visiting if you're tired of places like Spier etc.

The place used to be a pig farm and the owners (of Delheim fame) are slowly (and organically) turning this into a thriving destination for people who love epicurean delights such as all manner of olive produce, organic farm food... and just stuff. Of particular note was ceramicist Johan's raku pottery. We timed our visit well to coincide with a firing and it was spectacular to see carbon-blackened pots wash clean to reveal the characteristic cracked cream or white raku glazes.

But I'm not going to wax lyrical ad nauseam here. If your interest is piqued, go check out: www.delvera.co.za

I'm so going back there, especially since the famous Kokerboom Nursery (of Vanrhynsdorp fame) has opened a branch and I saw some aloe specimens with my name written on them. And I didn't even get a look at the euphorbias.

Staying with travel writing, unless Murphy has the last word, I'll be zooting off to the lovely island of Mauritius for four days. I've okayed it with the bosses and they're happy that I'll be writing for one of the national papers. This is a big (and unexpected) step forward for my travel writing, which has, sadly, been on the backburner for a while now that I've been concentrating on my fiction writing and editing.

Then... A '49 Hudson Six update...
Today Thomas went to go see the new mechanic who'll be working on our Hudson. The guy jokingly refers to the car as "the Shrek car" because, well, it's f***ing big and green. We're hoping this new chap will have the time and the passion to help us get our li'l hellraiser on the road. Plans are already afoot to convert the back seat into a fold-down double bed... Woo-hoo!

On writing...
Really. I wasn't going to do it but then a few writers from one of the crit groups I belong to started buzzing about it. Then I happened to read an old Andrew Lang fairytale which hints at Beauty and the Beast but has scope for a far more, erm, erotic treatment. Added to that, I've just finished the first draft for Ironclad Dreams, so I've a gap in the train-writing schedule.

So... **drumroll please** I'll officially be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. The story is called The White Bear's Wife. I'll be putting together a conscious nod in Jacqueline Carey's and Neil Gaiman's directions. There. I've said it. No backing out now. Guess I'll have plenty of time during that flight to and from Mauritius...

I've also blogged about writing novels at my Tuesday Frightening Journeys slot, if you're interested. See: paranormalwriters.blogspot.com/2009/10/tired-of-talking-about-it.html

Bloody Parchment at The Lounge of Horror

On Friday, October 23, from 6.30pm at The Book Lounge, some of South Africa's finest authors of horror fiction will gather to share their own personal brand of darkness. These include established and up-and-coming authors, such as Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz, Sam Wilson, Werner Pretorius, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Diane Awerbuck, HJ Lombard, Carine Engelbrecht, Danielle Eriksen and myself.

I shall be reading an extract of my upcoming Lyrical Press, Inc. release, Khepera Rising.

See: www.shadowrealminc.com/bloodyparchment/bloodyparchment.htm

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