Thursday, November 25, 2010

Non-Buyer's Regret

Once, when I was seven or eight, or eight or nine, my family was driving interstate to visit my cousins for the school holidays. Because my dad had a pathological hatred of school holiday traffic, we were going the back way – not the scenic coastal highway, but the drive-for-ages-and-see-nothing-but-semitrailers-and-squashed-kangaroos inland highway.  Also, this meant that my sister and I had been woken up at 4 am, bundled into the backseat of the car with the dog between us, and expected to shut up until at least dawn.

Anyway, we were in the middle of nowhere, disoriented, and sleep-addled. Maybe it was northern New South Wales. It was where the dry scrub and Brahmans had given way to green grass and dairy cows, but I don’t know where. And that was when we saw it, a hand-painted sign on a rusty gate:

For sale: monkey

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All You Need is...iTunes

To commemorate this auspicious time in our history – for those who don’t know, you can now get The Beatles on iTunes – I thought it was time to compile a list of my favourite Beatles songs. Here they are, in no particular order, and on the understanding that if you ask me next week I will have a completely different list.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Juvenalia - The Writer as a Child

The other day my mother bought around a box of old books she had cleared out of her cupboard. She wanted to know if I wanted them kept, because Mum knows that I Never. Throw. Books. Out. I will occasionally allow them to be passed onto charity, but that’s only after I agonise over the decision for a while.

It was kids’ books mostly – a few of The Famous Five volumes, an old hardcover copy of Green Eggs and Ham that had been stitched together with wool, some Mr Men books, and, oddly, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L Shirer.  It was about thirty books in total, and I think I’ve whittled it down to the absolutely necessary twenty-eight we must keep.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


In movies, they never give in to the bad guys’ demands. They don’t have to. They’ve always got an action hero ready to rip his t-shirt, bloody up his face a bit, and take down an entire terrorist cell armed with only a Swiss army knife and a supply of wisecracks. 

I don’t have that luxury. Or the Swiss army knife. Well, I do have a Swiss army knife, but ever since I sliced my thumb open trying to close it, I’ve been afraid to touch it. I only got it for the corkscrew anyway. Corkscrews, toothpicks, and nail files – it’s a man’s life in the Swiss army, that’s for sure. The second they add a cheese knife, I’m joining. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

POV: which to choose?

Which narrative have you chosen? 

First person narrative

I like first person narrative. It enables me to relate my inner-most thoughts while also narrating the action. It is the simplest form of narrative, concentrating on a singular point of view, my point of view, as both the narrator and a character in the novel. I am telling you everything you need to know about events, aren’t I? I have no reason to lie.

I love unreliable first person narrators.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Closet Writer

My family knows I write. My closest friends know that I do. Anyone reading this blog knows that I do, but most of my work colleagues don’t have a clue and I’m not really sure why I haven’t told them. It probably has a lot to do with the fear of still being in my same job twenty years from now and having someone snigger, “Hey, Jen, whatever happened to that book you were writing?”


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