A timeline to match Jose’s voyage on board Uranie

Tuesday 12th February was definitely ‘one of those days’. Three momentous things that I have been struggling to achieve all happened on the one day! My ancestral home, built in 1928 by my grandfather, was sold. My daughter’s house, which we thought she might lose, was secured. But, most significantly for this space, I received a draft contract and a publication date for To See the World: a voyage of discovery aboard the sailing ship Uranie.

Jose’s journey aboard the Uranie with Rose de Freycinet took two years and one month. And Jose’s story will have taken exactly the same time by April 2014, when the National Library of Australia plan to release the book.

Elaine Forrestal working with students to find a shape for their stories

It was during the Perth Writer’s Festival in March 2012 that a chance meeting with Erica Wagner broke the Doldrum-like stalemate that the story had fallen into. Now I can look forward to April 2014 when the voyage of the rejuvenated manuscript will be complete. Obviously there is still a way to go. But, while I love most of the different stages of writing a book, in this later stage, when the story has already taken shape and we can do the polishing, is my favourite. It is hard work because  we need to look at every word, every sentence, every comma and full stop. But I find it very satisfying and, in some ways, easier than the earlier process when I am still struggling to find that elusive story shape.

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