Back Home (for now)

Dear readers,

I am writing to you from my parents’ house, on an inflatable mattress, with seven suitcases scattered in the hallway, the dining room, and the bedrooms. The past week has been a crazy mess of packing, cleaning, and goodbyes. My degree is over, and I’m in this strange limbo that isn’t quite real life, but almost.

Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday, and in two months and a day, I will be on my way to Iceland for my first writing residency. Thank you so much to everyone who pledged to, shared, and supported my Kickstarter campaign. Without that, I don’t know what I would have done.

For now I really need to get back to my writing. I have taken a bit of an unintentional break, letting work and life get in the way. Every time this happens, I get nervous for next year when I’ll have to have a full-time day job to support myself and my writing. I fully realise that I’ve been spoiled, having the freedom to fully immerse myself in exactly what I wanted to do for the past three years, and again at the residency. After that the real challenge begins, and I’m nervous and excited to go through it all with you.

Thank you so much for being here,

Yours,

Tamara Drazic

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My First Writer’s Residency

Dear readers,

I woke up to some incredible news this morning. I found out that I’ve been accepted into the “Gullkistan Residency for Creative People” in Iceland for March next year. A couple of weeks ago I wrote to them about the novel I’m currently working on, and the plan I have for the month in residence, and now it’s all happening. I have wanted to visit Iceland for almost three years, and I can’t believe that I will be there for a month, doing what I love. I can’t wait to finish the first draft of my manuscript and hold it in my hands. Suddenly the end of my university degree doesn’t seem so scary.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving such lovely comments; I can’t wait to take you along on this exciting path with me. Stay tuned for failed photos of the Northern Lights.

 

I hope something amazing happens for you this week.

All the best,

Tamara

P.S. The October issue of Spinebind goes live the day after tomorrow! It’s been a big weekend.

Writing Quote of the Day: Kafka on the Shore

Hello everyone,

I have around 10 thousand words due on Thursday, the same day as a proofreading exam, so this is going to be a very short post. I felt I had to update you though, because I think I may have a new favourite book. I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (let’s call it Kafka for short), and there are so many things about it that I just adore. I love Murakami’s stripped back style, mixed with the surrealism in his novels. It’s such an odd and fascinating combination, and I find that I’m enjoying every second of reading Kafka. As well as the intriguing style, the book is laden with really beautiful quotes that I want to write on my walls. I’m not going to because I’m renting, but if I had enough money to buy a house, that’s what I would do.

Here is one of my favourite quotes that makes an appearance quite early on in the novel:

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami

Have you read any Murakami? What do you think of his writing?

Thanks for reading,

– Tamara

Quick Update – WIP – Twitter – Spinebind

Hi guys,

Just a quick update – today I reached the 10 thousand word mark on my current work-in-progress once again. I keep deleting thousands of words and then getting back to 10 thousand, and then deleting and then writing, but I think I may finally be over the hump. I’m excited to leave the beginning alone for a while now and just keep moving forward.

Also, I decided to go through my old Twitter account, and it was a painful experience. All the tweets were from when I was around 15 years old; they made me feel physically sick. Anyway, I’m happy to finally have a clean slate where I can focus on my writing, my blog, and on Spinebind. If you want to get even quicker updates than this, follow me at Tamara Drazic, @drazicdiaries.

The second issue of Spinebind is well underway, and I’m currently in the exceedingly difficult process of deciding on which pieces to publish. I received even more submissions this time around, which is crazy to me. Fortunately, a lot of them are quite short so I may be able to fit in more writers. There are just too many great submissions to choose from, and I’m having the most amazing time reading them. I’m maybe having a little too much fun with it, considering it is the final week of university for the semester, and my assignments are piling on top of each other.

I hope you are all having a fabulous day,

Yours truly,

Tamara

New Bookshelf Additions

I’ve been buying quite a few books lately, but I haven’t had the chance to do a lot of reading outside of my prescribed novels for University. I thought I’d write a post about the books on my shelf that I finally have time to read, and the books that I’ll hopefully be reviewing as soon as I go on winter break in June!

*In the Quiet, by Eliza Henry. I met this author at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival last year, and still haven’t gotten around to reading her debut novel. Main themes are love, loss, and grieving.

*House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski. This book is a cult classic, confusing, multi P.O.V., over 700 page, insane, experimentally structured romance about an evil house. That’s what I’ve gathered so far, but it’s all very confusing.

*The Rehearsal, by Eleanor Catton. I’ve recently started working on a book with similar themes within a theatre setting, so I wanted to pick this up and read it to make sure I don’t steer my story too closely towards this one. It’s by the author of The Luminaries.

*The Dust that Falls from Dreams, by Louis de Bernieres. I bought this over a year ago and haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. All I know is that it’s about children in the Edwardian age as it disintegrates into the great war.

*Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. The 1000 page classic novel that my favourite musical is based off of. I really need to get around to reading this.

So they’re all of the novels that I’ve bought fairly recently and haven’t yet gotten around to reading. Have you read any of them? Which one should I read first?

Yours Sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

 

Writing Quote of the Day – Chekov

My lectures at university are full of great quotes by famous writers, and I always copy them into my note book so furiously that my hand starts to cramp. There’s so much to be learned from them, and the way that these writers word things always sheds light on a new aspect of the craft that I haven’t yet thought about, or fully understood. I thought I might start a little Quote of the Day series, in which I’ll share with you my favourite of the many writing-related quotes I’ve come across, either in a lecture or in my own research. Today in class my lecturer shared this great quote by the Russian writer, Chekov:

I’m not interested in answers, I’m interested in questions.

This quote accompanied a part of the lecture that discussed novels as expansion devices. They don’t have to have the answers to everything, but they should raise questions, and discuss them. In my lecturer’s words, they should expand the universe. Literature is a part of an ever-flowing discourse, and I find it so exhilarating that, as writers, we can have our say.

I hope you enjoyed this,

Yours Sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

Thursday Quotables: “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”

Hi everyone,

I’m taking part in “Thursday Quotables” this week! It’s hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, and it’s basically an activity that gets readers and writers to share their favourite quotes from the books they’re currently reading. All the contributors then link up to create a treasure trove of priceless quotes, and a whole new to-read list.

books0212tharoorThis week I’m reading “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. It’s a beautifully written book of non fiction that explores life in a Mumbai slum, and it has some incredible quotes, particularly in Abdul’s dialogue. Here is one of my favourites, where Abdul is convincing his parents not to marry him off:

“I hear of this love so often that I think I know it, but I don’t feel it, and I myself don’t know why,” he fretted. “These people who love and then the girlfriend goes away-they cut their arms with a blade, they put a cigarette butt out in their hand, they won’t sleep, they won’t eat, they’ll sing-they must have different hearts than mine.”

He told his parents, “You don’t hold a hot iron in your palm, do you? You let it cool. You think on it slowly.”

I haven’t quite finished reading it, but I’m definitely planning on writing a review once I’m done. Let me know in the comments which quotes from which books have stayed with you long after you finished reading them; I’d love to hear them!

Yours sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

Favourite Book of All Time

I want to start by saying a big thank you for being here. This new blog is dedicated to all things writing-related. I plan to update you on my new projects, literary salons, publications, favourite books and things I learn along my journey to becoming a working writer. There’s a lot I want to say about this topic, but I think telling you about my favourite book is a good place to start. This book, in my opinion, has the most perfect opening ever written.

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. The opening sets up the exact feeling of obsession that runs through the entire novel. It makes you feel ridiculously uncomfortable, and it makes you question your morals. The sentences sound so good together that they almost read like poetry, and each character is extremely complex. If you haven’t read it, please do. You won’t regret it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my first post on this new blog. I’m really excited about it, and can’t wait to write lots of content over the coming months.

Until next time!

Tamara Drazic