Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A multiplicity of books

I was at a meeting yesterday, well not really at a meeting as it was held in my home, but there was a meeting. It’s the school holidays and sometimes it’s simply easier to bring work home. And during the meeting I was ribbed for my “lack of recent blogging.” This was a bit rich given that I was in the meeting rather than blogging. The good news is that there is progress on the mining book. We’re trying to come up with a better title than “Coal Mining in the Rosewood Scrub,” but it works as an interim descriptive title. We have a proposed outline for the book, lists of people to interview, research to do. After every meeting we are emailed with lists of tasks by our militant/efficient sergeant.

The funny thing now is that people often ask me “How’s the book going?” and I have to ask them “Er, which book?” At this point, they in turn get all confused, because most of the people asking don’t know about my “secret” life as a children’s novelist. I say “secret” because it’s hard for me to imagine anything is secret that is the subject of a blog. But in a world where some people don’t read blogs, other people don’t really like computers and others are simply too busy, it’s quite easy to have such an open secret. On the other hand, the mining project got a write up (with a photo!) in the local newspaper, so it is relatively prominent.

It’s an interesting question (though not one I’m going to pursue now) – the relative penetration of electronic media versus traditional print media in a rural area. I tend to mix with people for whom the use of computers is part of life. My children and their classmates are normalised into the digital world, but their parents often are not. And some of the older generation are actively scared or dismissive of computers and the internet. Talking to the check-out lady at the local supermarket about my reusable produce bags, she was amazed that I had bought them on the internet, “wasn’t that unsafe?” Well, yes and no, but there were people behind me in the line who probably wouldn’t want me expounding on safe internet use while their ice-cream melted.

I also found out at this meeting that reports of me doing research while wearing my dressing gown and fluffy slippers are traumatising the readership. So I will abstain although I am glad that people are at least paying attention.


Anonymous said...

Tell them you're doing it naked.

Blithe said...

Now that would really disturb the wildlife -- besides which no-one would believe me because it's way too cold in the mornings!