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. 

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