This Sunday Circle is an initiative of Peter M Ball (see here). I don’t get to it every week, just because of the tides of work don’t always put me at a keyboard on Sunday. But I’ve made it this week, so here we go.

What am I working on this week?

Last Friday I passed through my final formal PhD milestone before submission (thesis review) and I’m on track to submit this year. This was a bit of a watershed, and I didn’t realise how much until it was passed, because now I can actually plan the year. My exegesis was not in as much trouble as I’d feared. So, this week, I am doing a bunch of admin for the thesis (various applications for title change, overlength, milestone submission, submission extension, etc etc) and beginning on final exegesis drafting. The novel itself I will return to in a fortnight when I have structural reports back. That, too, doesn’t not seem as big a job as it did last week.

Other than that, this also happens to be the huge week for Saving You promotion. I’m at five libraries in five days, including one trip flying up to the Fraser Coast and back. I’m grateful I had a few events last week to hone the talk and work out what most interested the audiences.

With the imminent start of first semester, I will also be preparing for classes and masters dissertation supervisions this week.

I also begin thinking about an agent search. More on that later.

All of this is being made possible by the start of kindy for the small child, which to be honest started as a real shit experience for everyone involved. After three weeks, however, it’s all starting to settle, which means there can be reliable work days in a week in a way that hasn’t been possible for the last four years. … at least for the school term, anyway.

What’s inspiring me this week?

Libraries, as it happens. The promo tour has taken me back into libraries that I’d become disconnected from. Because of the small child, I’ve “read” most books in audio these last 4 years. I’ve enjoyed it – when you can’t read otherwise, it’s a great sanity saver. But then my neighbour leant me Maybe A Fox, a beautiful book that is meant I think for children, but had the added bonus of reminding me of the pleasures (and speed) of reading a physical book. When yesterday I found myself at my local library, I grabbed Elanor Oliphant is Completely Fine from the fast-back section, and read over a third before bed time. That’s a record for me. I intend to make it a regular habit, and encourage everyone to use your library. I, like most people, don’t have a budget that extends to buying a new book every week, plus the problem of storing the book afterwards. But authors in Australia earn money from our books being in libraries, so please, borrow us. Read. It’s all good.

Also, the Behind the Bastards podcast. I found this podcast as I find most of them – through the cross-promotion on another podcast. This one does in-depth looks at the worst people in history, from Mark Zuckerberg to the Dutch East India Company. It’s a mix of well-researched information and comedic reaction (each episode has a guest comedian), which is a logical and brilliant way to add levity to history. I find a wealth of ideas for fiction here, as well as a sometimes horrifying awareness of the shadier parts of the world.

What action do I need to take?

Check off the items on my to-do list. Turn up at the libraries and do a good, professional job there. One foot in front of the other type stuff.

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