Saturday, October 27, 2012

Plus a couple more

I forgot to include Lily Brett's new book Lola Bensky. Also a couple I read about in the papers today: The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer by Edwina Preston; Red Dirt Talking by Jacqueline Wright and The Darkest Little Room by Patrick Holland. Not because the last three are necessarily my usual cup of tea (Brett most definitely IS) but because they are either debut novels, and/or from independent publishing houses, and/or have unusual narrative structures.

I'm hoping to have some exciting writerly news that I can share soon.

Will put on here once it's all systems go.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Books to buy

I would like the following:

1. Salman Rushdie's new memoir Joseph Anton, about his time during the fatwa (has it finished even?) (for interest)

2. The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (shortlisted for the recent Man Booker) Apparently it's fab.

3. Sixty Lights by Gail Jones (for pleasure)

4. The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville (for pleasure)

5. The Meaning of Grace by Deborah Foster (for 'research')

6. Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany (ditto)

7. The Jesus Man by Christos Tsiolkas (ditto)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Says it all, really

And some links for you, Alex, cause you're not on facebook (and anyone else interested in chatting about these things. I admit I'm starting to move on):

Be interested to see what you make of Anne Summers on Gillard's (and other women's) choice of footwear

Another Summers article published on a New York blog, on the Gillard/sexism/misogyny thing

A link to Gillard's speech re the UN, note at the beginning how carefully she ascends the stage. Poor thing. Get rid of the fucking heels. Go the Stott Despoja Doc!

And finally, something recycled from years ago. Still love it:

And if you like shoes you might like muffins:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hicks charge ruled invalid by US court

Interesting. I remember a series of posts I did in 2007 about bringing Hicks home. Seems like forever ago. I know he's been 'home' for a while now but it's only today it seems he is validated in calling himself innocent. Others will have other opinions, no doubt. Interesting to read his lawyer, ex-Marine, Dan Mori is now living in Melbourne and practising law.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Destroy the Joint

I'm one of the 18K+ followers (or facebook 'likers') of Destroy the Joint, a bunch of people who didn't like that Alan Jones said that women were 'destroying the joint.' (And didn't like a lot of other stuff he's said, too.)

Destroy the Joint have a facebook page, and recently asked followers' permission to make a montage of profile pics and this is the result. I found my face pretty quickly; I think it looks pretty and it represents people who want to stand up and say it's not on. Click on image to make it bigger. Look at the pretty colours. The waves of people power. The faces, some real, some avatar'y, of people who say 'enough'.
This is the kind of activism I like - don't need to go out into Melbourne with placards. It's good for lazy, apathetic people comme moi. Imagine if new ways of activism - like this - managed to capture all the lazy, apathetic people into one huge, rolling Indiana-Jones-ball of protest. Love it.

Couple more montages done, now there are 1800+ people who've given permission to be included:

and this one too:


Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday funtime

So I haven't done a diarama for a while even though from memory there's still about 18 months if not two years of the 80s to go. Wondering if I should persist? I hate an unfinished project.

In other news, am getting through the David Foster Wallace biography. It's brilliant, I am taking notes. And girding my loins for Infinite Jest.

My father, who I have called a cunt on here, and who I don't think visits much anymore (and not because of that, I hasten to add, probably just because it's boring here) is still talking to the poh-lees about the particular case from several years ago (early part of Bad Eighties Diaries, I think early 1984). His 'detective friend' (as my dad puts it) had gone quiet (required else where in the city a couple of weeks ago) but he's sure to pop up. Dad had to give a proper statement, and he gave the DNA cheek-swab.

I love my dad but gee he's snaky. I spoke to him just before and told him so. Last week he let me down and sometimes it seems like that's the pattern. Here I am - a mature woman - capable in every way, yet she still has a seven-year-old girl living inside of her, who gets hurt. It's pathetic but I'm sure I'm not the only one. Don't we all have smaller versions of ourselves living inside our skins?

Last week we had organised to go to lunch. Him, me, my mother and Princess. (My parents are divorced but still share sweet nostalgic referencing when they see each other; talk of songs remembered, seeing Frank Sinatra together in the '60s, peeps they knew, etc. This is a contrast to the wild scenes of thirty-five years before - love letters found in shirt pockets; soap rubbed into locks; marital beds dismantled; feelings hurt about not being invited to Abba at the Myer Music Bowl.) So Dad cancelled at the last minute. He said he'd hurt his leg. I smelled bullshit and found out today that aroma was accurate. I can't be fagged going into it; it's like politics. Just let it go. But I told Dad today I'd felt he let me down and I felt he was being snaky and not being straight with me. He gets caught in the middle - something that happens to men NOT women. Women are the ones that PUT them in the middle. Men are reeling, fogged-headed and confused, trying to keep everyone happy and not managing to get a smile on anyone's face - so they lie and cover up and bullshit and make excuses. They can't win. I know that.



He and I are good. I don't like it when we're not good. Families suck but they are also really great when they are great.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Busy times, my friends

Am reading the DT Max David Foster Wallace biography and it is brilliant and fascinating and I am learning a lot about writing and processes and things like realism and modernism and postmodernism in ways I never thought about them before. It's an inspiring book too in many ways, despite the known ending for this intelligent, struggling, unusual man.

And then I am doing one last go-through before sending my ms to the agent overseas. Trying to keep a lid on that. Plus fielding calls and emails for the business, Term 4 is traditionally the time when many schools realise 'ooops we haven't done sex ed yet, let's get to it'.

It's all happening at once but this is how I like it.

And THEN, in a situation that is part schadenfreude deliciousness mixed in a vitamiser with the ongoing sombre reality of sometimes depressing/other times uplifting gender and social political struggle, we have this:

One dickhead:

plus one PM who is letting the whole world know what she will and won't stand for.

I love it:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Happy Monday

It's a good day today because:

a) the kids are back at school and I have the house to myself

b) I just bought the following:

I know, I know. It's been out for a while. I've always been a later developer.

And this:

And then this:

My plan is to read the bio, then Infinite Jest but I suspect I will have to intersperse with at least one other book, possibly the Pamuk although I think I'll want to read that exclusively.

I'm also more than half way through The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower. It is interesting, not least because it was published in 1966 I think it was. Good stuff.


I'm also still plugging away with my first ms - let's call it The Feeling of Orange although it's had a bunch of other titles, including Moonshadows (there's something just a little too Cat Stevens-y about that.) I have an agent interested in looking at the whole ms - woo hoo. But don't get too excited, even that woo-hoo is possibly premature. I am so careful with the woo-hoos, they can be dangerous. 

And my second one, The Sugar Men I am excited about, that's still first draft stage though (some people call it Draft Zero, which I can kind of come at). Loooong way to go with that one based on how much revision and pottering and tinkering the first one has taken. Who knows?

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom. Again.

I went to see it again. I want to take back what I said about the adult actors being pushed to the background. They aren't, they have more screen time than I remembered but still the focus is on the two children and their story and rightly so.

Fucking brilliant movie and I'm especially pleased the three teenage girls I took all loved it too.

Next is another floody movie - Beasts of the Southern Wild which I'm expecting to be wonderful as well. Now I'm worried that it will push Moonrise out of my head, when really I'd like it to linger and ripen a little more. Maybe I'll leave it a week.

In other movie news, I was to see Mental with my mother this coming week sometime but I don't want to now. It looks trite and could so easily be a bad movie (this feeling isn't helped by a review I read today. Where Moonrise got 4.5 stars and Beasts 5, Mental was given 1.

I'm going to tell my mother I don't want to see Mental.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

I love Wes Anderson's movies but watching Moonrise Kingdom, at first, I was thinking 'no'. The opening scenes echoed The Royal Tenenbaums. The iconic house, the quirky children lounging about, doing their own eccentric things, dressed à la mode d'Anderson. I began to tighten with disappointment. Oh, pffft.

But then, oh then, it snuck up on me and I was thinking 'how could anyone fail to be utterly charmed by this movie?' What hard-hearted soul could see this and not be swayed, undone, dismantled and completely transported by nostalgia (which if it has a colour, surely has to be burnt-orange.)

By the end of it, I had rationalised and accepted that the waste of actors like Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton was necessary in this movie. All the adults except Ed Norton and Bruce Willis were bit players. But then, but then: oh, it's a movie about two 12 year olds in love. You can't have the adults intruding on that narrative. (Recently I had to defend myself against the charge that some of my characters in my manuscript are 'flat'. I like flat characters and it's not just lazy writing that can result in these types of characters. A flat character is one upon which the reader can hang his/her own ideas, almost like one of those cut-out doll shapes and you choose the paper clothes. When I'm reading I don't want everything spelled out, I want very little spelled out, in fact sometimes I want nothing spelled out at all. That way my reading becomes part of the construction of the story. I don't want to know what colour eyes, how long the hair, how rough the beard, how retroussé the nose. And if a character is described as beautiful I hate her immediately and am jerked out of the story.)

I read one review where the movie was criticised for depicting the two protagonists having sex. Say what? I did not see any intimation of that at all. Sure, they get 'married' but this is an innocent movie, delightful and sweet and simple. So simple and so true to how kids have romances, or should have romances, these days.

I need to let it settle. My comparisons to Anderson's other movies did colour my response. There was none of the depth of Tenenbaum switching between adult and child perspectives; none of its humour either. There was no smartness of Steve Zissou. No adult POV therefore no adult angst or frustration or complicated emotion. This makes it all the more delicious; the focus is on the two kids, it's their movie and their story is unpolluted by all things grown up. The attention to detail is gorgeous and lush. The beach where they pitch their tent is a magical place of temporary sanctuary; their journey there and back and their clashes with the 'evil scouts' - what a wonderful movie. I felt it could have gone for another half hour but what would they have done with it? I suppose like the kids at the centre of it, I didn't want the magic to end.