Winter’s Last Offensive Peut Etre

This summer city has no business doing winter, who’s launched her last offensive this week. Howling winds and driving rain embalms the city as the she-devil banshee witch screams her fury and shrieks her indignation at the thought of being bottled up again for another nine months once spring erupts the weekend after next.

Nearing the end of the Faber Academy course at Allen & Unwin in Crows Nest and tonight three wise women came from afar (actually downstairs at the publishers offices where they are publishers) to pour forth their wisdom to us donkeys and goats lying around the stable, eating hay out of the manger.

Describing themselves as professional readers, they read a debut manuscript first with hope, that perhaps this is going to be a new best seller, or maybe it will bring joy to the reader or change lives perhaps. The other side of the coin is to function as a sieve and to say No. The professional reader has to put aside her own taste in books and read for other readers might like. No mean feat. And if they say Yes, then they put on the mantle of orchestra conductor, managing the manuscript through the whole publishing process.

The group was divided into three with each subgroup assigned to one of the wise women. Ours was the jolly woman who dissected each two page sample offering with a few deft touches of her lady shaver-thirty-years-in-the-industry-seen-a-million-manuscripts approach. The muppet’s offering was the opening sequence of a gun fight in olde Galway towne back in the days when King Billy was beating the head off his father-in-law James II, the former King, deposed by Billy and his wife and banished to France where he sulked at the court of Louis XIV until the Sun King gave him half an army and told him to piss off over to Ireland and rouse his still loyal catholic subjects into war to get his crown back off Billy.

 and Taxi John were the other members of the group and between their works featuring India and San Francisco respectively, we got a good geographic spread for the good woman of words. 

@cityoftongues James kept the whole thing ticking along nicely and so we await the final saturday workshop this coming weekend by which time surfmuppet hopefully will have found the lost USB drive with his 300,000 word second draft manuscript which he plans to edit down to 90,000 and maybe some hapless publisher might be lured into taking it on. Worst case up onto Amazon it will go for a couple of cents a copy.

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