Friday, April 18, 2014

What I'm reading, and what I'm reading next

Hey, it's Friday, and the family is all here. I went and sat with my husband and his two kids in the kitchen for about four minutes to discuss the day's activities. We have a ritual on Good Friday that includes: walking the dog off-lead at the park, having a feast-brunch, playing a board game as a family and, in the evening, watching Life of Brian. We're not having brunch, because we're doing it on Sunday instead, with my family including bro who is down from Canberra. The weather looks pretty shitty, so not sure about dog walk as we just washed her the other day. Board game: well, I don't think the 18 year old will do it, she's been not into it for a few years. But the 17 and 15 year olds will. And Life of Brian? It might just be me and my daughter and Clokes.

But sitting with 3/5 of my immediate family for four minutes was hard. They have these silly in-jokes that are exclusive and, well, silly. It's something I've noticed creeping up. It does make me feel excluded and annoyed in an adolescent way. I should be happy they are bonded and having fun, and I am. I'm also happy that I don't have to be with them, they can get on by themselves. But it's still annoying. And strange. We are a strange situation. Two families in one house. I have fantasies of leaving; going away under the guise of writing retreats and workshops in other countries, and just not fucking coming home.

But all my books are here.


What I'm reading. I'm back on the first book of the Game of Thrones series. I've decided I just want to read ahead. It'll take me a while to get past where the series is, and my daughter tells me that the series is not in the same order as the books. I'm also reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. And I started The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane. It's on the Stella shortlist I think. Lined up I have Pnin by Nabokov, as well as his memoir Memory, Speak. Both of these have been highly recommended by people whose opinions I rate. And I'm going to re-read Love in The time of Cholera because  Gabriel Garcia Marquez has just died and I've chosen it as one of my favourite books for a short piece I was invited to write.


There is no publishing news, but there is some movement. I spoke with my agent on the phone earlier this week, then gave the novel to someone else to read. There's a huge story behind that, but I can't say much about it here, other than things lined up quite extraordinarily, and I am seeing this person - a published novelist, quite high-profile, established and establishment - tomorrow to discuss it. Which means she's read and has something to say. So I feel like I'm inching towards *something* but I also feel like it's all pretty impossible.

My dear, supportive, writer-friend, the other day over coffee, drew me a picture. It was something like this:

And I'm like: yeah.


suze2000 said...

I too, fantasize about running away. But there's nowhere to run to. Well, nowhere practical. That I can afford, long-term. Now I know why battered wives don't leave their husbands. They just can't see the way out. Not that I want to leave my husband. But I often want to leave this life behind. I want a life where I don't have to force myself to go to work, where I am not cold all winter, and where I am not miles and miles from my loved ones. *sigh* I don't want to live in Melbourne any more, it seems. But my husband refuses to consider moving to Brisbane, where I know I would be happier and more comfortable. *sigh* Or Perth, because it's just on the wrong side of the country now. I just don't want to be cold any more.

jo_blue said...

Oh I know that wanting to run away feeling, living in the place that is wrong for you, so I feel your pain Suze...and Melba I wanted to just keep on driving just the other day and I'm living the life I absolutely wanted only 2 and a half years ago. I still do love my life...mostly.

I hope the something you feel is definitely something. Impossible? no, not impossible. Just keep going!


Melba said...

Funny isn't it, why do we want to run away? I guess it's because our lives aren't what we wanted/thought. For me, it's always a temporary urge, which is good I suppose. So that feeling passed pretty quickly, which is good.

Anyway hope you both had/are having a nice long weekend. And that there was chocolate if you wanted chocolate. And buns too.

squib said...

We used to rent out a one bedroom flat in Freo and every time I had to go there (like if the tenant locked herself out) I would fantasize about living there. I would squeeze all my books into the tiny living area and I would take up smoking again and I would eat spring rolls from the Joy Kitchen every night

Alex said...

Wow; so everyone fantasises about running away, eh? Interesting. I wonder now if this is something that all married women do? Or maybe all married people? I know my mum must have at times. Especially after the war. I wonder if she still does? She's never mentioned it to me, at any rate. In the past, when I wanted to get away from someone or something (including my own messes), I just packed up and went. I suppose it's easy when there aren't kids involved.

At the moment, I am very happy to be back home after months away (looks like I might have more work lined up out west though (bleh)). I am also happy that I avoided getting punched out on ANZAC day, though I did manage to get called a dyke - on two separate occasions.

How's it going Squib? I had to go into Brissy to pick up some gear before I went home, and I couldn't believe the number of women I saw with bob-cuts, giant sunnies, and knee-length skirts. If the flapper look is making a comeback here, maybe you got out at the right time. How's the weather over there?

Suze2K, good to hear from you again. I don't blame you for not liking the cold. I like it less and less as I get older.

And about that little diagram Melbs, I think part of it is how you define success, too.

squib said...

Pretty ok at the moment, Alex. Still immersed in tedious home improvements (jesus we waste so much time and money on what is just a roof over our heads). Weather is fine but still throw a few logs in the stove of an evening

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