Here’s what we’ve been up to in April …
Daisy: In April, I began editing a book on evidence in Australian common law states, and I proofread a middle-grade fiction novel. I edited a couple of documents on equity in the context of New Zealand’s health system, and one on our maternal clinical indicators. I worked with an author on the ending of his novel, successfully managing to convince him that a happy ending will be more satisfying to his readers than a ‘WTF’ one.
India: Identity crisis: Am I even an editor at all?* This month was all writing, all the time. I wrote a magazine feature about travelling with a disability and another about isolation among rural medical practitioners. I interviewed All Black Jack Goodhue about his hometown of Kawakawa. I wrote book reviews of Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare, Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer and Adèle by Leïla Slimani. For WellingtonNZ.com, I wrote about the Featherston Booktown festival, the Wellington Jazz Festival and Second Unit, an immersive theatre event. I did a flurry of interviews as research for a feature I’m writing about the Wellington cuisine scene. And my interview with Nadia Reid appeared in the April issue of Kia Ora.
*I am; next month is filling up with editing work. To everything there is a season.
Daisy: Harry Potter books two through seven (I recently read the first with my eldest daughter, so my memory didn’t need refreshing on that one). I ain’t ashamed to admit it.
India: Adèle by Leïla Slimani, Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer, Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare and Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.
Daisy: I had cause in April to reflect on the fact that a key attribute of a good editor is an ample supply of general knowledge; or, of course, quick-draw googling reflexes. Sometimes, though, googling doesn’t cut it; every now and then I prefer to ask the advice of authorities I know in person. This month, I asked my francophone brother for the definitive French term for ‘lambs’ brains’ in the culinary context, and I asked my mechanically minded husband whether this sentence was ok: ‘A professional vehicle examiner will testify that the brakes on the car had not been reconnected after the replacement of its pads.’ (Not really: singular ‘its’ should technically be plural ‘their’ since the pads belong to the brakes, not the car. I ended up amending the sentence to ‘... after replacement of the brake pads’ for clarity).
India: I recently encountered my first-ever emoji in a book (The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware):
This led me to wonder in general about reproducing text messages / Facebook posts / tweets / Instagram DMs etc. in modern-day fiction. Will it make these books date too quickly? Or is it disingenuous not to do it, since this is undeniably the main way most of us communicate now? Thinking Face, indeed.
Daisy: Attending school and kindy Mother’s Day festivities (serious little faces reciting saccharine verses; not a dry eye in the house).
India: Preparing for an epic overseas trip. Check out next month’s newsletter for updates.
Daisy: Home-made lemon curd: Edmonds recipe, of course (that’s a dig at my Australian brother-in-law).
India: New seasons of Fleabag and Killing Eve – a feast for the Phoebe Waller-Bridge fan.
TIP OF THE MONTH
(Daisy) The novel whose ending I was working on was a coming-of-age novel (at least, so I was arguing to the author); the term ‘bildungsroman’ refers to a similar genre, a little more narrowly defined. The Harry Potter series is arguably a classic example. Swot up, and throw the term casually in to your next literary conversation!