Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A rat, a book, a blessing.

I had to haul him out by the ankle from under the sofa (sweeping out blue cheese wrappers and marmaladey spoons with him) but Ratty insists he's ready for the festive season, greasing up his salesman's patter, sponging his ears clean, and limbering up with the ratadilloes.

Meanwhile I've been working with Caroline Jackson who's come up with a winning cover design for the 10k series — to be unveiled soon. It remains to be seen whether we can put out the first edition, Sue Wootton's three stories in The Happiest Music on Earth, before Christmas. Hope so. Thanks to those who have sent me work to read; I haven't forgotten yours, and mean to be in touch with you all well before the holidays start.

I dipped my toe into Michael Jackson's latest book, newly published by the University of California Press, The Other Shore: Essays on Writers and Writing. From the Preface: '… while many claim that these new [reading] technologies are "disruptive", undermining and transforming the way we work and live, I see them as "sustaining" what we have always sought to do — bearing witness to what we learn of life, struggling to express it adequately, and comparing our findings with the findings of others." Amen to that. It's going to be my prized summer read, I can see.

I started to write something about Christmas . . . but it's only November for goodnessakes so no. But in the meantime, did you know that any buyer of a Rosa Mira eBook receives a delighted and grateful blessing into the bargain? That's how small and personal we are round here. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

The twelve most compelling captions …

(… and seeking the one most compelling title). Apparently this title formula (the x y-est zeds) attracts hordes to the blog by some SOE magic, so you'll notice us trying that rat-trick around here.

Ratty may appear to be stuck and confused but really it's a triumph that he's turned up at all, recognisable, purposeful (evidently going somewhere) and drawing inspiration from his friends. He asked a few Facebookers to help him with his latest banner. Make what you will of their combined efforts.

Let's hope it augurs well for his pre-Christmas sales campaign.

Following Ratty's lead I'm asking for help with the name of the up-coming '10k' series — 10,000-word ebooks of fiction and non-fiction. '10k' doesn't quite capture the sense of sought-after gems that I seek. Ideas? Anyone providing the name I need will be offered a free subscription to the series.

As I write this, I come upon the glad news that our first 10k author (with three short stories in a collection titled The Happiest Music of Earth) Sue Wootton has just been awarded the NZ Society of Authors Mid-Career Writer's Grant. Congratulations, Sue! (I can't help adding that it's heartening to see an award come to the far south. By the NZSA radar, at least, we have not slipped off the end of the country.)

Okay, writing this and organising the rat took far longer than it should have. Would anyone out there care to write (or draw) a guest blog anytime soon? It might be about . . . your experience of digital reading; your experience of keeping a rat; a scene from the writer's/reader's/publisher's life; the time you were stuck under/in/behind a door . . . or anything else mildly or fiercely relevant to Rosa Mira Books.