Thursday, February 20, 2014


There has been Doctor Who (end of Tennant, start of Smith, watched for the first time and ZOMGZOMGZOMG. I was bawling THE WHOLE EPISODE dear god).
Work. Work work, today only one day of work, but the fourth day in a fairly big week.
Had a smallish argument over the stupidest thing, fuelled by tiredness on all sides and I’m just sick of tiredness.
This morning, I came home to the news that my man, my love, my, um, big part of my world, may be heading towards partial remission. Scans over the last several weeks show increasing reduction, all the way down to no longer visible in some spots. Hormone scans show nothing active going on behind the scenes. We have gone from stage 4 to stage 2 seemingly overnight.
That’s great. One year ago, we had 70% reduction. We had streamers and balloons and me jumping around like a foolish moron, foolish only because I thought the worst was already over.
As I am writing this, my jaw is clenched so tight I don’t even know how I’m going to relax it.
6 months ago, we were told he had one year to live.
I just. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I am physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the whole day and want it to be over now and all I want to do is cry and be hugged and read something comforting and sleep and not have to get up before 8 o’clock tomorrow.
I'm just having a really hard time right now. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Upcoming Release: The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris.

It's no secret that I love Joanne Harris' work. When I found out that she's about to be releasing a new novel, The Gospel of Loki, well, I got rather excited.

Not just because, to me, Loki looks like this:


Ms Harris does some incredibly insightful and evocative work, from the ongoing small time #Storytime hashtag on Twitter to the recent MBE insignia for services to literature she received from the freaking Queen of England!

Of course, like any author of relative popularity, she doesn't always receive high acclaim for all her works. I recently read a review of her Four Quarters of the Orange which, among other things, stated that the reader is an adult and wants to read about adult things. Funnily enough, that review and what I already knew about Joanne Harris just made me get around to reading this book faster. And what a read! Filled with such amazing and evocative writing as usual:

"The secret is to leave the stones in. Layer cherries and sugar one on the other in a wide-mouthed glass jar, covering each layer gradually with clear spirit up to half the jar's capacity. Top up with spirit and wait. Every month, turn the jar carefully to release any accumulated sugar. In three years' time the spirit has bled the cherries white, staining itself deep red, penetrating even to the stone and the tiny almond inside it, becoming pungent, evocative, a scent of autumn past. Serve in tiny liqueur glasses, with a spoon to scoop out the cheery, and leave it in the mouth until the macerated fruit dissolves under the tongue. Pierce the stone with the point of a tooth to release the liqueur trapped inside and leave it for a long time in the mouth, playing it with the tip of the tongue, rolling it under, over, like a single prayer bead. Try to remember the time of its ripening, that summer, that hot autumn, the time that well ran dry, the time we had the wasps' nests, time past, lost, found again in the hard place at the heart of the fruit."
Joanne M Harris The Gospel of Loki

Her latest novel The Gospel of Loki tells the story of the trickster god (no surprise there) finally taking the stage after being thoroughly misrepresented in histories and the tales we know of him. He's going to set the record straight on May 24th later this year.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February: Out of the Blue

The month so far:

I have had the slowest month of reading I think, ever, due to one whole week waiting for glasses to be made after massive eye strain occurring on the Australia Day weekend and (unfortunately) public holiday.

I’ve never had an eye test before, but there’s nothing like sitting down with a complete stranger who asks you to shut your left eye and you going, “Ah. So that’s the problem.”

Three hundred dollars and one astigmatism later, and I am back to reading at normal pace again. Everything is so much clearer, colours are brighter and, when my eyes get used to it, apparently I’ll be less tired from strain and my mood may be better. Also, funky new face accessory:

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It’s two years since the optomitrist thinks my eye sight deteriorated. It’ll be interesting to see if my mood picks up as significantly as it’s dropped in that time.

The City & the City

As for what I've actually read, the only thing of note I've come across is The City and the City by China Mieville. I felt a little bit, on reading this, like when I read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It's like books I usually read, but for some reason I just couldn't stop turning the pages.

At first, the only thing I knew about this book was that it could be seen as a metaphor for the way homeless people are 'unseen' on the streets, even though they inhabit the same city as everyone else. But it's so much more than that. There's detectives and crime and international hijinx due to the nature of two cities geographically occupying the same physical space.

And, like King Rat when I read it years ago, reading this has convinced me that there is something very interesting going on in China's head that makes me want to read more now I'm done.

As well, since my last post, I started on writing Out of the Blue a little earlier than February. Just before Christmas, a friend of mine was telling me about how I needed to get into the habit of writing 1000 words before breakfast, 1500 before first tea refill, 2000 before lunch, etc. And, of course, I have the words of Ms. Aaron's 2k to 10k keeping me motivated.

It's been three months since I finished writing for Nano, and I finally feel refreshed enough to start again.

Currently, it's at 19,000 words approx, with the first part posted here.

A couple of tracks have really grabbed me and kept me writing. Last year, I was working for Ticketek in Melbourne and had the opportunity of going to a couple of concerts I wouldn't have otherwise seen.

The Fray came out as a support act with Kelly Clarkson, instantly becoming one of my favourite bands. Their song, How to Save a Life, has often come to me and made me want to write something along to it.

I still remember going to the Pink concert with a friend of mine. Neither one of us were really fans, though we'd both heard that she was a pretty good performer. We said to each other that it was totally alright to leave early and grab a cup of coffee instead, and then Pink exploded out of the stage in Rod Laver Arena and floored us both. 

There was no more talk of leaving after that.

Months later, I was sitting in my car and happened to hear this song on my iPod. I don't actually remember whether it got played at the Melbourne concert. If it did, it was before this story idea came to me. This time, when I heard it, it gelled with my character Magenta so much so that I immediately added it to my playlist, where it's been on repeat every morning.