Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Those bits of paper are all the notes I make to myself as I’m going. There’s always a tea cup somewhere – headphones for listening to music (mostly classical – no words). On difficult writing days, I put on a CD and don’t let myself get up until it’s finished. Usually, somewhere during the 60 mins or so, the writing starts flowing again.
The book under the headphones is British Poetry Since 1945. If I’m stuck or blocked I often find reading poetry helps my mind to un-knot itself.
I just pick a random stanza from any old page, like this:
But somehow his arms had become just bits of wood
Somehow his guts were an old watch-chain
Somehow his feet were two old postcards
Somehow his head was a broken window-pane
‘I give up,’ he said. He gave up.
Creation had failed again.
(From Fifth Bedtime Story by Ted Hughes)
Don’t ask me how it works to read something like that (brilliant, isn’t it?) and then sail on with my own writing, but it often works. Not always, mind you.
Sometimes a chat with E helps. Or my last resort is to head off somewhere with pen and paper to THINK.
Oh, and you can see my old computer behind my laptop, because I just haven’t been able to bring myself to throw it out. But now, it must all be tidied. And I haven’t shown you the floor or the sofa where my poor guest must sleep.
It’s all creative mess, I assure you…
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Coming in late here... but I stayed up late on Monday night to watch the Oscars. I do love them. Yes, I love the glamour and the gowns and the stars, but mainly I love them because I love cinema so very much – almost as much as I love books. And now that my children have flown the nest, I can go to the movies quite often – whenever I’m in the city, that is…
I find movies inspire my muse in subtle ways I could never quite identify. This year, I particularly enjoyed the tributes former Oscar winners made in person to the new nominees. I found their comments very interesting and insightful and inspiring and generous…
Over this past year I’ve been lucky enough to see many of the nominated movies:
The Dark Knight
Happy Go Lucky
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Of course, I enjoyed movies that weren’t nominated too, (or if they were nominated, I missed seeing them in the abridged late night version we saw here) Movies like:
Burn After Reading
Now, I really want to see:
Harvey’s Last Chance
And what were my personal favourites this year? I’d have to say:
Slumdog Millionaire (If you haven't seen this, you must. I promise you, it's brilliant!!)
Happy Go Lucky (Feel good and deep and original)
Revolutionary Road (First class acting all round)
OH, and my current heroine looks rather like Kate Winslet, in my imagination. What were your favourites?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
A RECIPE EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW
You are going to print this out straight away, aren't you????? Let me know how it goes.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Yes, I know, I’m still writing versions of that same story, aren't I?
I’ve heard it said that we all have a core story to tell. I guess this is my core story. And in a way I’m still playing it out in my life – yo-yoing back and forth between the city and the country.
But there is another kind of story I love and that’s fairytales. I’d say Blind Date with the Boss falls into that category. As a teen, I wrote lots of ugly duckling and rags to riches stories. And later, I wrote stories for my four children. This book – A Story About A Princess and Pink is one I wrote for my daughter Victoria and her friends Tanya and Ruth, when they were at kindergarten and used to fight over the pink dress in the dressing up box.
My children helped illustrate the book. I think Vicki was four when she drew this front cover pic. Richard drew the handsome Rainbow Prince at the end and I photocopied the pages at the library and sewed them together on my sewing machine. Never was a book produced with more excitement!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
What a wonderful chance to put in a word for romance novels. The list of authors comprise the usual suspects and Mills & Boon is listed as an option!
Wouldn't it be fantastic if M&B could pip JKR or Grisham to the post? So it would be terrific if you, (and all your friends and relations) log on and vote...
Take a look here.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Mind you, I'm aware that American readers might find it strange, because I don't think you eat much lamb, or pumpkin as a vegetable.
spiced lamb cutlets with coriander pumpkin
200 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1 cm pieces
125g chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup (60g) frozen baby peas
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
4 french trimmed lamb cutlets
2 teaspoons curry powder
cooking oil spray
1/3 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/180 fan forced
2. Roast pumpkin in small, shallow baking dish, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with coriander.
3. Meanwhile, sprinkle lamb with curry powder. (I coat mine fairly liberally). Spray lamb with cooking oil. Cook lamb in heated frying pan. Remove from pan.
4. Add coconut milk, stock and garlic to same pan, bring to boil, stirring in pan juices and spice; remove from heat.
5. Serve pumpkin mixture and lamb, drizzled with coconut sauce.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
We met in my first year of teaching, when I’d recently left home and was flatting for the first time. In fact, my flatmate took me to his birthday party and introduced us. Now comes the really embarrassing confession. At the party, she announced I was his ‘birthday present’.
Now that could have been the end of everything. I was, after all, a budding feminist. But we managed to survive this shaky start. Actually, we went for a midnight swim and I emerged from the sea covered in phosphorescence and looking (apparently) like some kind of sea nymph.
And here we are all these years later. Our granddaughter (the new big sister) was thrilled that we were having a birthday party and of course she sang loudly and helped pappy blow out the candles.
And in (secret) honour of the phosphorescence, I gave her glow in the dark bracelets to wear. A big hit!
Monday, February 09, 2009
There's not much I can say about the terrible bushfires. They're so horrendous and terrifying. We're all so stunned by this tragedy, and the danger's not over yet.
The best thing we can do is dig deep and donate money, which the people in Victoria need desperately, and this is the best place to do so.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
It's still raining. In fact, it's been raining in Townsville all year! That's right -- almost all of last month and again in February.
We're completely cut off to the north, west and south by flood waters and if there were roads to the east, they'd be cut, too. The supermarkets only have long life milk, because the trucks can't get through, and a consignment of groceries has been sent up to Cairns by barge.
Some areas of NQ have received over a metre of rain in the past seven days.
And what am I writing about at the moment? Funny you should ask. It's a story set in Cape York in the wet season. I am so totally soaking up the appropriate vibes.