Wednesday, September 13, 2006

From a distant land far, far away...

So Julie said, hey Nalini, why don't you do a post on your insights on writing from overseas. I thought that sounds cool - I mean, I've lived in Fiji, Japan and New Zealand. I should have many insights. In fact, I should be awash with insights.

But before I dazzled you with said insights, I had to make sure I posted this blog on the right day. See, I'm not really awake at 6a.m. on Wednesday I'm awake at 10p.m. on Wednesday. If that makes your head hurt, think about the fact that I have to make sure I turn up for the chat that's tomorrow, but is actually today.

Insight 1: Time Differences make life interesting. But some of those differences are actually good. For example, I almost always turn in projects early, because I'm already a day ahead and it's easier to just stick with my calendar than put my body on NY time.

Insight 2: Sometimes you start to talk funny. This is how Angelle Trieste (Japan) put it:
A lot of people here want to practice their English with me, and I know I pick up strange stuff from them. Truly, you learn language by absorbing what's around you.
If you don't believe her, check out this site. No really, you want to visit that site. ;)

Insight 3: Money & Time. You know what I said about being a day early most times? That works in reverse when things are posted out to me.

But don't feel sorry for us because as Bronwyn Jameson (Australian but we don't hold that against her) says:
Mail time used to be a problem -- trying to work out how far in advance to mail submissions to make deadlines; sweating on edits arriving in time to turn them around before deadlines; that kind of thing. But now I submit by email and although edits and galleys are mailed, I can send my changes electronically.
The internet is our friend. A lot of the things that used to be problems aren't any longer. It's harder for unpublished writers because they still have to post things out, including hunting down those elusive US postage stamps for SASEs or stumping up for International Reply Coupons. (And we simply won't talk about the dent going to RWA Conferences puts in our finances - that tends to scare people.)

Insight 4: We're lucky because our backyards are interesting. I'm leaving the explanation to Trish Morey (another Aussie mate).
There's a point of difference from the get go - an exoticness which flavours our writing, simply because of our geography.
And Yvonne Lindsay (a fellow Kiwi).
I'm very fortunate in that I get to celebrate the differences between NZ and the rest of the world with my stories and I'm even published with NZ spelling, so I don't have to *Americanise* (see? no 'z'!) my work.
Insight 5: We're writers. No matter where we live, we obsess about the same things, have the same neuroses and the same dreams. And now it's time for me to go have those dreams. Hope to see some of you at the chat tomorrow today.


Blogger Jennifer Smith/Ila Campbell said...

Hello, client from Korea here, so I really identified with this one. I have been SO lucky in having editors and agents being willing to take my things email even before it became (sorta) standard.

I always like to say I know everything (including the weather) 13 hours before my friends!

Downside -- DEFINATELY the plane fare to the conference!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 8:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Elaine Spencer said...

Thanks Nalini, and Jennifer, for such insightful thoughts on this topic, one which most of us can not begin to imagine!

And to think sometimes people treat us like we are in a different country just because we aren't in NYC - if they only knew!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 9:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

My husband is always shaking his head over what a tough business it is. Kudos to you and all your mates (can I use mates for women? what's the appropriate terminology?) for braving all these additional obstacles!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 2:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

This is GREAT! Loved the post!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 3:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nalini Singh said...

Hey Jennifer! I didn't know you were in Korea (otherwise I would've hit you up for a quote too *g*). Email is fantastic isn't it?

LOL Elaine. Isn't Georgia in another country???

Natalie - "mates" is a free for all. Use it at will...mate. ;)

Thanks Deidre!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 4:22:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Pennyoz said...

Poor Nalini. When she calls a plumbler she asks "Cin you come and fux my tip." LOL

"Sure I cin," he says. "I'll be thir at sux."

It's funny living in tomorrow. I always am reminded of that old Mickey Mouse Club on early days television. "Tomorrowland of Things to Come."

That was such an enjoyable post Nalini. Crikey! I missed your chat, mate!

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 1:43:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Nalini Singh said...

Aha! An Aussie sighting. Thanks for the compliment, Penny!

(psst, when Penny calls a plumber she says: Keen youuuu feeeex my teeep? *g*)

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 2:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger M. Green said...

Loved this post. I have a friend that lives across the states from me, and having never been past my own time zone, I remember the laughs we'd have when she would say, I'll call you at 9am, and I'd be like, 9 my time or ur time? And that continued for a while, until I basically thought in her time frame, so now, it's like, I'm going to call you at 7pst/10est. lol

Good stuff Nalini!

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 1:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Saskia Walker said...

Spot on , Nalini. Great post. Saskia in England :)

Friday, September 15, 2006 at 3:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous pennyoz said...

Uu-uu Nalini.

Penny would say:

"Crikey. Me tap's broke. Can you fix it Myte!"

But these days the plumber would probably say:

"I can fix it in two week's... let's say sometime between "8.30 am and 8.30 pm."

It's not all beer and skittles in the antipodes!

Saturday, September 16, 2006 at 12:31:00 AM EDT  

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