Inching towards almost

So many details. Who’d have thought there was so much thinking put into those online forms we all fill in every day without ever singing one hymn to their creators? Getting a form right that our authors will fill in with not a thought about the hard-thinking logic behind it- unless it doesn’t work! – has taken many dinners , several long email exchanges  and so far two international Skype meetings with a third looming. I was very impressed that its  digital creator took down our suggestions in html as rapidly as people used to do shorthand. At a another meeting with the leading agent who’ll help authors who don’t want to do digital themselves – won’t name him yet! even with all the help we offer – I suggested he call himself not an agent but a shepherd – he showed complete loyalty to authors and their needs. He’s not in it for the money. Our first family books are going out to proofers, for those authors who don’t have time or perhaps expertise- Gordon Graham, himself an author and playwright but also a sub-editor for the major newspapers for 20 years, is proofing Marion Campbell’ marvellous but unrecognised novels as I write this. At a conference on literature early this month I re-found an author I’ve long admired, James Cowan, and we enthused over how digializing will free us all, allowing us to write the stories we need to write, without genre, without demands about length, without fear that what we are doing won’t be favoured by gate-keepers- even though many have been very kind to both of us in the past, and the present. At another meeting with the ASA, in which they agreed to tell their digitized authors about us any minute now, we found great agreement: we are all on the same side, determind, just as I dreamed so long ago in that white Athens hotel room with Kitty sick in the bed beside me, to help all of us Australian authors use the digital revolution together to change the landscape of Australian literature.

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