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Translating Chick Lit – Who, Me?

cat, translating
Me, translating chick lit?

Essays by Norman Spinrad, YA fantasy, YA urban fantasy, Kim Newman, Rick Hautala, that’s what I’ve translated so far. See the pattern? It’s the stuff I enjoy reading, too (although I do tend to read whatever I get my hands on).

Now, since finding work is not easy at all, it would be a bad idea to be picky, so, when I got the offer to translate a chick lit book, I immediately said yes. After all, it’s not that I hate chick lit; I’m just not all that interested in it. And frankly, when I think of chick lit, I think of Bridget Jones, a woman who works in the publishing industry but doesn’t mention books even once, and instead obsesses about the calories she gets into her body and whether she’s going to be with this guy or that. Yawn. Oops, sorry, that was rude of me.

However, I didn’t get to translate anything like Bridget Jones. I got Better Together by Sheila O’Flanagan.  The main character, Sheridan Grey, is a sports reporter who loves her job and is great at it. While I’m not interested in sports, I do like people who enjoy their jobs; and I also liked that Sheridan was doing something that’s usually seen as a girl’s job. And when she lost her job, her flatmate and her boyfriend in just two days, her feelings and self-doubt and her actions were very understandable, and something a strong person would do.

The other main character, Nina Fallon, is shaken after her husband’s infidelity – they’ve been together for over 20 years and have 2 grown-up kids – and is also worried because he threatens to take her house and her income (she runs a guesthouse) if she doesn’t take him back, but she fights the impulse telling her to forget her pride and her hurt (it wasn’t his first time), the impulse which is strong indeed because of the force of habit of living with him for so long.

The 2 women are different, but both strong in their own way, even though they doubt themselves, and I enjoyed reading about them, just like I enjoy translating that book now.

And so, it turned out to be yet another new thing I do, something I’ve never done before. Not quite getting out of my comfort zone, it’s not that different, nor do I loathe it, but still, it’s somewhat new.

And I like it.

How about you? Have you done something new lately, big or small, and how do you feel about it?

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My 2011

I did some work before I fell asleep, really!

This has been a tricky year for me. At the very beginning of it, I was left without job; not only was I left without my income (which wasn’t much to begin with, but still better than nothing), I was also no longer writing for a living. Although, truth be told, I was more concerned about the income.

Some start of a year.

A friend helped me, she found a guy who needed a book translated from Croatian to English, a crime novel. I’ve never translated an entire novel before that, but hey, there’s a first time for everything, and I made it. After that, a publishing house hired me to translate Graceling by Kristin Cashore and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. More work, yay! And then, there was translating The Man from the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman with a killing deadline — a new challenge, and a great experience; I’ll be translating another book by Mr Newman, the one which nobody dared to publish.

So, within a year, I have translated four books — is it good, bad, average? I’m not sure.

I’ve also managed to finish a short story collection (ghost stories), I hope it will get published sometime next year.

Not to forget: I’ve written some reviews for Suite101, and one of those reviews helped a book get translated into Polish. I’m really proud of that.

All the time, there’s the economy crisis (although, there’s always some sort of a crisis here), lousy health mostly due to stress (both me and SO).

Did I do well this year? Or bad? Something in the middle? I don’t know, but we survived. I guess that counts for something.

What was your year like?