Thursday, January 28, 2010

Murdering your darlings

The above is a paraphrased quote from Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This is a book which he wrote and tells the reader, very conversationally, a bit about how he got started with his writing, and how to write better.
It is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read on this subject. You know what? It IS the best.
I first read it several years ago, and just finished re-reading it now.

He says some of the best advice he got from someone else was that you have to be prepared to murder your darlings. Your darlings are your words, maybe words that you are especially proud of, but if they don't progress the story, or are redundant or padding, you need to get rid of them.

It's interesting, and he's right.
I am sitting at my new work space in the new house. Once again I have my old kitchen table that is motherfuck big, huge enough for me to have lots of piles of crap on it and still plenty of space to work. It faces a stretch of bay windows - four of them, count them, 1, 2, 3, 4 - and I can see an enormous house across the street and rose bushes and greenery along our front fence. The light is wonderful.

To my left are two bookcases filled with books.

Here's one:

Then to each side of the bookcase are stacks of other books that won't fit.

On the left, yes, evidence of my Stephen King collection. For a couple of decades, these books (along with my Jackie Collins, Agatha Christies, Sidney Sheldons, Robert Ludlums and Dick Francises etc) have been hidden away in boxes in whatever garage I've had my "extra shit" in.

I am now out and proud. I read these books voraciously when I was younger. Couldn't get enough of them, but balanced them out with deeper, more literary readings. I don't read a lot of genre but these good folks represent the genre I did read: horror (only good horror, ie Stephen King, but also dabbled in a bit of Anne Rice and a writer called Dennis Wheatley. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has heard/read him. The first book I read of his was called The Satanist and my bro and I loved it.

My dad put me onto Ludlum and Dick Francis. Excellent story writers, I enjoyed them so much.


The other day I popped into the BookGrocer in High St, Northcote. We pass this place weekly/fortnightly, but always with the car full of child and on the way to dinner in the north. I had my opportunity to stop and bought the following:

So much excitement and joy. Have to finish what I'm reading now before I delve.
Books I am in the middle of:
The Lovely Bones
The Hand that Signed the Paper*
Anna Karenina
John Irving's new one, something about Twisted River. He's on Radio National tomorrow by the way, with Ramona Koval at 10am and repeated at 8pm. One of the my favourite authors, and if I had to name one who I have adored the most, 'twould be him.
I'll show you my other bookcase next time.
* I have read this and am re-reading after just having finished The Demidenko Files - which is a fascinating and comprehensive collection of all news articles and some radio time on the Demidenko/Milesa Franklin/anti-semitism scandal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So what?

So what if I liked Avatar?
So what if I might be cutting off my supply of fresh lemons north of the river?
I liked it:

Look how beautiful he is. Who cares if he's standing next to a blue lady with funny ears.

I liked this too:

Floating sky-mountains, dontcha know?
There were flying dragon thingies, and big, big humungous trees of Life, and flowers and creatures and I thought it was like a dream.
It didn't go for too long. It was good. The only thing I don't like about it is that it was created by a complete twat. But hey. Who really cares?
And this. I liked this too:

Avatar. Going back to see it again. That makes it twice. That makes it double the bad sunglasses in the glove box of the car. That makes it double the fancying of Mr Worthington.
Taking the kids, but only because they want to see it and I don't mind seeing it again.
So what if it is a slightly trite tale of let's look after our planet otherwise we are in big trouble. So what if it's a baddies (miners/businessmen) versus goodies (indigenous peoples/big-hearted, renegade soldiers). SO WHAT?
I liked it and that is all.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday part 3

When I said the rugs were being hauled into the garage, I actually meant they are being spread about the back yard.

Anybody want to buy a rug? Good price for you.
This is approximately a third of what I will have. Two more shipments incoming.
Obtuse - next post will be a diary one, tomorrow.

Thursday part 2

Just "going through my papers"* and came across this little gem, transcribed from The Perfumed Garden, page 48.

Beware the woman with a large, cold vulva for she will be the one to bring misery to a man's house. Likewise, she will be ugly and garrulous, woolly hair, etc. etc.

The man who approaches a woman like that with his member in erection will presently find it soft and relaxed, as though he was only close to a beast of burden.

Contemptible, likewise, is the woman who is constantly laughing out loud... she exhales a bad odour which infects you and sticks to you even after you have left her.

And don't think he's a misogynist, oh no.


Know O my brother (to whom God be merciful) that a man who is misshapen, of coarse appearance, and whose member is short, thin and flabby is contemptible in the eyes of women.

Do you know that women's religion is in their vulvas?

A humid kiss is better than a hurried coitus.

Women like a man who rummages them, even if he is ugly and misshapen.

The coitus of old women is a venomous meal.

I'm so glad I keep so many notes.

* 6 document boxes of news clippings and notes.

Well hello, Thursday

I do so enjoy being surprised by a UPS delivery which means I have to throw on clothes - no bra - then help the driver unload 453 kgs of carpets onto my driveway!

When you say you are coming at lunchtime, that doesn't mean 9am.

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Did you know that in the traditional set-up, there are four different types of clowns and that almost every comedian or comedienne in history can be categorised into one of these four categories?

Oleg Popov was one of the most famous.

Russian clowns have the reputation of being the best in the world, or were at one time.

Some people are scared of clowns, don't like them or are indifferent.
I am fascinated by them, and all things circus.
Happy Wednesday to you.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Bright Star

It was beautiful.


I did cry. Several times, but ultimately, it was a bit meh and I'm not quite sure why.

I have some ideas. He was very, very thin. His Scottish friend was a fuckwit. Her moles distracted me, and her fringe hanging at the side of her head was too post-modern.

I didn't get their connection. They seemed to jump from her being disinterested to a Grand Love.


How did she become his Muse?

It was lovely. It really was. And there were some beautiful moments. I liked her spunk, her character.

I think he was really just too skinny. And his friend was too much of a fuckwit.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hello Friday, oh happy day

Friday has been good to me this week.

Today I have done the following:

- had a kitchen renovation designed, including choosing the surfaces, the accessoires and appliances

- had the pictures drawn and measurements taken, but the other way around

- decided on charcoal for the wooden floors

- eaten a bagel and a banana pancake (a really thick, fluffy one)

- made coffees on our new machine. It's gorge.

- taken delivery of OUR NEW KING-SIZED BED THAT DOESN'T MOVE WHEN CLOKEY TURNS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- put new, appropriately-sized linen on bed

- heated up napoli sauce, made from scratch by moi. There is nothing simpler. Nothing I tell you.

- moved our old bed into Daughter One's room. It's a queen-size, she will be rapt, even if I do call it "the Boat Bed."

- decided to renovate the bathroom as well

- decided to use long tiles. Ooooh.

- chosen tapware, vanity unit and new kitchen sink. And come in under budget.

What a day of achievements. The only thing on the list not done was see Bright Star. I think we'll be too tired to go tonight. Tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Anna Karenin

Back on track now with some quality reading.

It is the top shelf stuff.
I think I fill in the gaps with crap so then I can really appreciate the beauty.
That's my theory anyway.
What did Tolstoy read I wonder?

Pretty good actually, better than expected

Enjoyed this one. I liked being able to understand what they said [take note, Guy Ritchie] and the pretty boy leads also I enjoyed. Brad Pitt as an incoherent gypsy is not my cup of tea. [Take note Brad Pitt.]

Still to see:

Bright Star

Bran Nue Dae


The Lovely Bones

A Serious Man [non-essential]

Julie and Julia [non-essential]

Monday, January 04, 2010


Simply brilliant.
Goes straight into my Top 20 Ever.