Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Writing Distractions


Just so you know what’s keeping me out of the cellar:

1. The World Cup

I used to pooh-pooh soccer, now I’m obsessed. I think it’s less to do with the game itself and more to do with the fact that it’s taking place in my homeland. South Africa is proving itself to be a great host and not only is the World Cup running smoothly and well, but tourists are having a fabulous time. Our team may not have been the best, but South Africa is a world champion host country. Here’s Shari Cohen of the Huffington Post on what the World Cup has meant to her. It made this expat wipe away a tear of pride. Also, I’m loving the sound of vuvuzelas in the Burg. A little bit of Africa floating to me on the night air.

2. Work

I have a great part-time position as an in-house journalist for the next three months. I am really looking forward to being in the working world again.

3. Marketing

The time to start marketing Balthasar’s Gift, a 75,000 word murder mystery set in South Africa at the height of AIDS denialism, is upon me. I am researching agents, writing query letters and synopses and thinking about the  best way to sell my book.

4. Summer

We are going to the pool a lot. It is a mere five minutes’ walk from our house, so we are there as often as possible. I have two-and-a-half swimmers, so the experience is more relaxing than it used to be. I can now read my book and do some lengths if I want to.

5. Parties

Loads of parties! Summer parties, farewell parties, got-a-degree parties, soccer parties, work parties. We are up for a party chez Otter, we love a bit of music and dancing and chatting to people we know and don’t know.

Hope summer is turning out just as lovely for you. Here’s the World Cup Waka Waka to put you in the mood:


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

16 thoughts on “Writing Distractions

  1. that Shari Cohen article made me tear up too. My parents are in South Africa at the moment and went to all the New Zealand games. They’ve had a great time but I must say I’m not that thrilled they are bringing my daughter home a vuvuzela! Enjoy the rest of your summer! Have to confess though that here in the Southern hemisphere in the depths of winter I’m about ready for a change of seasons

  2. Those are great distractions. Good luck with finding an agent. I hope it turns out beautifully for you.

  3. Lovely article, which had me tearing up too. I’ve loved being part of the World Cup buzz here and it’s great to feel so positive about my country. I’ve mostly watched the games on TV but that spirit of Ubuntu is very evident in the welcome that SA has shown the world. I’ve also been a bit cynical about the relative cost of the whole exercise but I figure it’s not about development vs the World Cup. Both are possible.

  4. Oh, and exciting re your novel. Way to go!

  5. Congrats on “Balthasar’s Gift”, wishing you all the best as you continue on this journey!
    I have been loving every moment of the World Cup! I finally got my hands on the “Listen Up” CD which is apparently the FIFA 2010 Official Album and features the Waka Waka song on it. My 6-year-old has since hijacked my CD and is playing it loudly on repeat in his bedroom on a daily basis! Luckily, we both have the same taste in music…. for now!

  6. s.a. did themselves proud, both in the how they played and how they’ve hosted.

    can’t wait to hear more news on the novel!

  7. Congrats on having your novel ready to market and good luck with the steps ahead leading to its publication!

  8. Keeping my fingers crossed for you on the novel front!

    Your summer is sounding all-around lovely!

  9. Those sound not at all like distractions but like wonderful, life-enhancing card-carrying activities! Fingers crossed for BG, Miss Charlotte.

  10. You’ve got to live life to write about it, so great distractions all round!
    I’m actually secretly enjoying the World Cup too – great that all the cynics have been routed and SA is showing its sunniest face to the world.
    Keep enjoying your summer!

  11. So the job interview was a success! Way to go! Have you started?

  12. I think the marketing is the hardest bit – definitely where the touch get going! Good luck!

  13. GREAT title, Charlotte. Very exciting, and I’ll keep my metaphorically broken fingers crossed for you. Onwards!

  14. Charlotte,

    I found your blog page, I really enjoyed reading it; very pleasant and informative

    And yes, I’m also watching the world cup although my two teams are out (Brazil, the US, and Italy) but I still enjoy Shakira’s waka waka … trying to dance that is so much fun.

    Thank you for bringing the attention to the book: 28 stories of aids in Africa, I just bought it.

    I’m highly interested on the AIDS cause, please check my blog:


  15. That’s a great article on Huff Po. A lot of the positive coverage that South Africa has go has made me cry – just so incredibly PROUD of the country & how we defied absolutely all expectations! I was walking through the City of London last week, awash with suited and booted English bankers and lawyers, and suddenly the parp of a Vuvuzela rang out quite clearly. I smiled all the way home – Africa has finally come to colonise Europe!

  16. Hi Charlotte,

    I just found your blog. It’s great!

    I’m a master’s student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I’m beginning research for a master’s dissertation on South African literature that deals with HIV/AIDS and I found that you’ve written ‘Balthasar’s Gift’. Has it been published yet? If so, could you please provide me with details on where I might buy it. I would be thrilled to read it.

    All the best

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