At last ….

…. the novel is done. Seven years of thinking, writing, rewriting, drafting and editing, the blasted thing is finished. ‘A Curious Intimacy’ will hit the bookshops in Oz on 8th January. I’ll also be talking at the Midsumma festival in Melbourne on the 25th Jan, and then the launch will be on the 31st January at which, of course, I’ll be wearing my Collette Dinnigan dress. I was looking at the scar on my knee this morning (acquired whilst trying to escape from stingrays when snorkling in January), wondering if it would disappear in the next two months, but given that it has only slightly faded in 11 months, I don’t think that’s a goer. I half-heartedly apply Palmer’s cocoa butter scar serum to it every now and then, but the stuff has shark liver oil in it and reeks to high heaven, so I’m not fond of using it.

Scars aside, I keep expecting Penguin to send me more proofs to tweak, but at the moment they only want more info for publicity. It won’t feel really finished until all the publicity is done and I’m back in the UK, staring glumly at my thesis again. Why did it take so long? I had various degrees to finish and start in between, and money to be made to get to London, and I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing and had to rewrite it twice before I found the right voice. Then there were agents and publisher to be found, and so many drafts to complete before it could become a reality. A few months ago I was so fed up I wished I could burn everything, but now all the work is out of the way I’m getting excited about it again.

So I have two months to get back to my previous Sydney skinniness, so as to look brilliant for the publicity. But given the shitty weather in this country, it’s hard to get motivated. In Oz the light would wake me up, I’d bounce out of bed and run around Centennial Park, then sit down and write for the rest of the day. Here it takes forever to get out of bed then it’s so fucking cold outside. However, complaints aside, I still love running. This morning along the canal there was a woman sitting on a bench reading, all the hairs on her legs standing up because it was so cold. A little further along in the alcove that stinks of urine was another woman reading music and playing on a guitar. And in the park were the usual dogs bounding around and chasing the squirrels, and a pack of men fishing, all kitted out in their green camouflage/army gear. I always laugh at them to myself as I go by, and wonder why they don’t go out into the country instead of staying by some pissy little pond in the middle of the city, trying to feel like a hunter.

I’m so homesick. I miss the sound of the palm trees clacking their leaves in my mother’s garden on windy days.


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