Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bye, Beautiful and places in the sun

Writing can seem like a lot of effort for little reward.  Your books (if you're lucky enough to get published in the first place) might be ignored, go out of print, drop off the radar (or never be picked up by the beacon in the first place), or date too quickly (I believe I mentioned a phone box in my first novel, just as one example).  Now there is a whole new level of uncertainty with the demise (they say) of the bookshop and the unknown quantity of the ebook.

I am therefore more than usually gratified that Bye, Beautiful, six years after its release, is still getting attention like this.

Also, I spoke at John Curtin College of the Arts last week, and was presented with a range of remarkable interpretations of Bye, Beautiful, like these:

In other news, I recently drove 2000kms with an old school friend to visit another old school friend on her mango farm.  It reminded me of how important high school is, despite its limitations or otherwise - and regular readers of this blog will know I haven't always been inclined to speak fondly of my alma mater - and particularly the importance of those formative friendships.

I also learned that I'm a pretty good shot with one of these:

And that fanging around on one of these in the dunes is about as much fun as there is:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

From the mouths of others

Today, this week, I have no words: ironic, perhaps, given that Losing It was officially released on Wednesday.  So instead I am gathering the words for you, that you might find a pattern you like among them.

1.  since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves;
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom ...
e e cummings

2.  I am over-run, jungled in my bed, I am infested with a menagerie of desires: my heart is eaten by a dove, a cat scrambles in the cave of my sex, hounds in my head obey a whipmaster who cries nothing but havoc as the hours test my endurance with an accumulation of tortures.  Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic orders?

How can I be kind?  How can I find bird-relief in the nest-building of day-to-day?  Necessity supplies no velvet wing with which to escape.
Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

3.  chaos, n: The wrongs are always more visible, the threats always closing in when in truth the world opens and opens and opens.
David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

4,  Neither she nor James had ever uttered the word 'love'.  Both were too shy.  Both were troubled by what might dissolve if they dared to name it.  Neither wished to alarm the other, or to reach and find their hands empty.
Gail Jones, Five Bells

5.  But no one succumbs to a temptation they find unattractive.  What is it, this compulsion to scrawl things on blank pages?  Why this boundless outflowing of words?  What drives us to it? Is writing some sort of disease, or - being speech in visual form - is it simply a manifestation of being human?
Margaret Atwood, Curious Pursuits