Tuesday Therapy: Zone and Rhythm

One of the first times I encountered Cat Sparks’ writing was in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy edited by Ekaterina Sedia. ‘Sammarynda Deep’ grabbed me from the very first line — and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since.

I am clearly not alone in this. Cat was a Writers of the Future prize winner in 2004, she has published more than 50 short stories since the turn of the millenium, and she has received a total of seventeen Aurealis and Ditmar awards for writing, editing and art including the Peter McNamara Conveners Award 2004, for services to Australia’s speculative fiction industry.

This year, Cat also nabbed a coveted Australia Council Grant for Emerging Writers — a huge achievement!

This week, Cat brings a bit of rhythm into our lives:

I’m loathe to suggest to anyone else how they should write because there is no should. Aside from the rather obvious fact that writing involves writing, different methods and techniques work differently for different folks. Having said that, here is what currently works for me:

My writing is all about zone and rhythm. The zone is where I need to be and the rhythm is how I roll. When these two key elements are in simpatico, 2,000 words flow hot like lava. Good, strong words that require little more than gentle pruning.

It’s like a dance: some days you groove, others you’re all elbows, bums and shins.

So forget about word count or time in the saddle and let the boom-tish cha-cha-cha dictate the pace!

Thanks, Cat! *ties on dancing shoes*

Cat Sparks is fiction editor of Cosmos Magazine. She managed Agog! Press, an Australian independent press that produced ten anthologies of new speculative fiction from 2002-2008. She’s known for her award-winning editing, writing, graphic design and photography. Her first collection of short stories, tentatively called The Bride Price, is being published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2013. You can visit Cat online here.

*Author’s photo by Selena Quintrell


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