Sunday, January 21, 2007

City Life

OK, so you might possibly be wondering, how exactly does my life in the city differ from when I’m in the country?

I’ve been back in town since just before Christmas and once all the family events of the festive season were over, it was a matter of head down and finishing Sophie and Mark’s book. I sent this pair off to London last Wednesday, so they are now lying somewhere in my editor’s office, waiting her attention – and feeling just a tad nervous I might add. But I’ll leave them to worry while I dream about my new set of characters (I think they’ll be Flora and Joe). I love them already and I can’t quite believe how fickle I am.

While these ideas are brewing I have a little time out in the city… dining out and going to the movies or watching videos, doing a little exercise and, of course, reading.

It’s raining, raining, raining here – hard, heavy rain. Proper wet season rain and we’re all happy as – er – not Larry (who now has unpleasant connotations in North Queensland after last year’s cyclone).

Rain means I can’t walk on the Strand, but we have a walking machine in the gym on the top floor of our building, so I get to exercise while looking out at stunning city views and listening to my favourite radio programs in headphones (ABC Radio National, Triple J or Classic FM).

DVDs we’ve viewed recently.

“What the Bleep Do We (K)now?” - a fascinating look at our world at a sub-atomic level. Asks big philosophical questions and attempts to give answers (or possibilities at least) and explores how the mind and body relationship works. It's self help and motivation with a liberal dash of quantum physics and new age spirituality.

We didn’t just watch the original movie but all the extra DVDs with interviews with the scientists. Absolutely fascinating and enriching.

“My Brother Jack” – the television series made in the early sixties of the famous Miles Franklin award winning novel by George Johnston and adapted for television by his wife Charmian Clift. (Shortly afterwards, George died of alcoholism and Charmian committed suicide.)

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous evocation of the era in Australia between the wars. Ed Deveraux as Jack Meredith is most engaging and while some of the acting shows the lack of understanding of television as a medium, this is still powerful viewing.

What Elliot and I particularly enjoyed was the interview with George Johnston that accompanied it. He had lived in Greece while he was writing MBJ (and 25 pot boilers before this) and found it easier to write about Australia while abroad. It has been one of my long term dreams to do that and this has helped to reinforce that in our minds.


‘The Queen” – Helen Mirren is amazing in her role and I believe she deserves an Oscar. Anyone who can play a role as she did in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover and then play HRH Elizabeth II shows breathtaking talent in my humble opinion.

I was also in awe of the script writer who dared to tackle this subject. I know writers have written before about the secret life inside the White House, but the current British royalty has seemed to remain out of reach. Not any more.

“Deja Vu” – this tied in nicely with what we’d been learning about quantum physics because it depends on an acceptance that we are within a hair’s breadth of manipulating time. Very well done and thoroughly entertaining.


Nora Roberts’ Charmed series – NR is always a wonderful role model – I love her writing because it’s smooth and entertaining, the characters and 3d and she knows better than most of us, how to tell a good story.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. – You knew all writers were neurotic, didn’t you?

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