Postcardia-cum-Poetica #43

The cardboard envelope I keep my postcards in is almost rupturing since my friends started collecting postcards to give me. This one, advertising a photographic initiative from National Archive, was in a bundle given to me by Nicole. 

The black and white has been rendered into sepia by the night lighting of my kitchen table, but I don’t mind it. Words are from the Time Traveler’s Wife baggie. 

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The Little Shoppe of Juxtapositions #PostItNotePoetry

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THE LITTLE SHOPPE OF JUXTAPOSITIONS

Hearts ache at the in
that is not the out door
where vestibule meets an
old counter, recently buffed.

Beyond, shelves house curios
that whisper stories through
onion-skin tissue
when held.

 

Slow dance in dappled dreams
that touch frets and spines
caress celluoid reels and fabric
as a turntable plays an never ending
ever-shifting soundtrack.

At the out door that is not an in
hearts ache to return.

2013: As It Was Read

IMG_3821Regular readers will know that I am a bit weird. I don’t run my writing year as per the Gregorian calendar, but instead by the Chinese calendar. For convenience sake, I’ve been using the standard year as my goal posts for reading (simply because it is easier and I am lazy!)

Despite the shit fight that was 2013, I managed to keep a comprehensive list of the books. I read 34 books (2 short of what I had been aiming for – with 3 books a month). November was pretty much a write-off for reading, as I poured 79,000 words out in four weeks for NaNo.

FAVOURITES

I’m picky with my books, so it’s often hard to pick a best of. This year, THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes stood head and shoulders above everything else I read, both in storytelling and in writing. Filling out the rest of the top five in no particular order were:

THE WASP FACTORY Iain Banks
CLOUD ATLAS David Mitchell
WARM BODIES Isaac Marion
THE LAST BANQUET Jonathan Grimwood

Honourable mentions:

PERFECTIONS Kirstyn McDermott
PATH OF THE NIGHT Dirk Flintheart
NEUROMANCER William Gibson
WORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR Max Brooks

Best anthologies:

YEARS BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY V 5 ed. Bill Congreve
     – this came out before I was even writing again!
MIDNIGHT AND MOONSHINE Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter
NOT SO PERFECT Nik Perring

THE FULL LIST

Re-Reads (6)

THE GREAT GATSBY F. Scott Fitzgerald
THE RED TENT Anita Diamant
THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE Audrey Niffenegger
THE BOOK THIEF Marcus Zusak
ROIL Trent Jamieson
WHEN WE HAVE WINGS Claire Corbett

Anthologies and Collections (8)

IN FABULA DIVINO Ed. Nicole Murphy
BLOODY PARCHMENT: HIDDEN THINGS, LOST THINGS AND OTHER STORIES ed Nerine Dorman
YEARS BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY V 5 ed. Bill Congreve
THE TURNING Tim Winton (Re-read)
LIVING WITH THE DEAD Martin Livings
MIDNIGHT AND MOONSHINE Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter
NOT SO PERFECT Nik Perring
NEXT eds. Simon Petrie and Robert Porteous

New Reads (18)

CLOUD ATLAS David Mitchell
LETTERS FROM SKYE Jessica Brockmole (E)
AMERICAN GODS Neil Gaiman
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD Richard Yates
THE MACHINE WHO WAS ALSO A BOY Mike McRae & Tom Dullemond
BETWEEN TWO THORNS Emma Newman
WARM BODIES Isaac Marion
SCARE ME Richard Jay Parker
THE WASP FACTORY Iain Banks
AURORA: DARWIN Amanda Bridgeman
WORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR Max Brooks (E)
PERFECTIONS Kirstyn McDermott
PATH OF THE NIGHT Dirk Flintheart (E)
PIG ISLAND Mo Hayder
THE LAST BANQUET Jonathan Grimwood (E)
NEUROMANCER William Gibson
RYDERS RIDGE Charlotte Nash
THE SHINING GIRLS Lauren Beukes

Novellas (2)

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE Shirley Jackson
DARK RITE David Wood & Alan Baxter

A Quiet Word With Patty Jansen

I have the honour today of talking about 100 Stories for Queensland, my publishing adventures and winning ‘The Hembury” in May over at Patty Jansen’s Need Bigger Elephants (what a smashingly awesome name for a blog!) Please feel free to slip over for a read and leave a comment.

I also have a few questions from Angela Slatter waiting to be answered, for a not too distant Drive-By on her site. I’m torn as to whether to choose the donut or the danish?

And speaking of quiet words… the lovely staff at the Queensland Writers Centre sent me a little something in the post today.

After years of believing the post only bought bills and nasty letters from Centrelink, I have renewed faith and excitement in the arrival of the postie each day. Kind of like being a kid all over again.

Mr D becomes my official postman
putting books in the post for Alan Baxter and Andrew McKiernan
(the first of what will be hundreds of books to many excited readers)

#124 Cafe Life

I’m breaking with tradition and posting two photos today because I couldn’t decide between them. The first is a sneak peak at the first draft musings for the Chinese Whisperings’ 2010 prologue.

The second is what I was doing inbetween writing – reading, drinking tea and thinking of Rob with the ’13’ table number. It was a lucky day.

Borders 100 Favourite Books – Complete List

1. Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

3. Lord Of The Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

4. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

5. Twilight Saga Collection – Stephenie Meyer

6. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

7. Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

8. Book Thief – Markus Zusak

9. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

10. Magician – Raymond E. Feist

11. Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

12. Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

13. Shantaram: A Novel – Gregory David Roberts

14. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

15. Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

16. Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

17. Angels And Demons – Dan Brown

18. Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

20. Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

21. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

22. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

23. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden

24. Anne Of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery

25. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

26. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

27. Niv Mass Market Bible With Bible Guide – International Bible Society

28. Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

29. Life Of Pi – Yann Martel

30. Fortunate Life – A. B. Facey

31. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

32. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland And Through The Looking-Glass: And What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

33. Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon

34. Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

35. A Child Called ‘It’: One Child’s Courage To Survive – Dave Pelzer

36. Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

37. Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden

38. Angela’s Ashes by Frank Mccourt

39. Dune by Frank Herbert

40. Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger

41. Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

42. One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

43. April Fool’s Day by Bryce Courtenay

44. Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett

45. Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind

46. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

47. Shadow Of The Wind by Ruiz Zaf

48. Briefer History Of Time by Stephen Hawking

49. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

50. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

51. Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man And Life’s Greatest Lesson

by Mitch Albom

52. Persuasion by Jane Austen

53. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

54. Atonement by Ian Mcewan

55. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

56. Animal Farm by George Orwell

57. Clockwork Orange: Play With Music by Anthony Burgess

58. Little Prince And Letter To A Hostage

59. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

60. Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

61. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

62. Really Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

63. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

64. Lion Called Christian by Bourke , Rendall , Anthony Bourke and others

65. God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

66. Tully by Paullina Simons

67. Time To Kill by John Grisham

68. Marley And Me: Life And Love With The World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan

69. Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

70. Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

71. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

72. Road – Cormac Mccarthy

73. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

74. In Turkey I Am Beautiful: Between Chaos And Madness In A Strange Land – Brendan Shanahan

75. Breath – Tim Winton

76. Jessica – Bryce Courtenay

77. Animalia – Graeme Base

78. Secret History – Donna Tartt

79. Godfather – Mario Puzo

80. Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

81. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

82. Stand – Stephen King

83. Bridget Jones Diary: A Novel – Helen Fielding

84. New Earth: Create A Better Life – Eckhart Tolle

85. Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly

86. Wild Swans: Three Daughters Of China – Jung Chang

87. Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

88. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

89. Belgariad Vol. 1: Pawn Of Prophecy; Queen Of Sorcery; Magician’s Gambit – David Eddings

90. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres and De Berni

91. Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta

92. Ps, I Love You – Ahern

93. Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving

94. Thorn Birds – Colleen Mccullough

95. Confederacy Of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. Good Omens – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett , Terry Pratchett et al

97. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream – Hunter S. Thompson

98. Chocolat – Joanne Harris

99. Princess Bride – William Goldman

100. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Borders 100 Favourite Books – Part Three

As promised earlier on in the week the final installment of Borders 100 Favourite Books – books 71 throught to 100. I will post the entire list later on in the week.

To refresh you on the legend:

bold – read    italics – intending to read   * – own the book

71.       American Gods – Neil Gaiman

72.       Road – Cormac Mccarthy

73.       Brave New World – Aldous Huxley one I do intend to re-read as it was a set school novel.

74.       In Turkey I Am Beautiful: Between Chaos And Madness In A Strange Land – Brendan Shanahan

75.       Breath – Tim Winton

76.       Jessica – Bryce Courtenay

77.       Animalia – Graeme Base

78.       Secret History – Donna Tartt

79.       Godfather – Mario Puzo

80.       Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice …Started this but never finished it.

81.       Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

82.       Stand – Stephen King

83.       Bridget Jones Diary: A Novel – Helen Fielding …Another I started and didn’t finish

84.      *  New Earth: Create A Better Life – Eckhart Tolle

85.       Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly

86.       Wild Swans: Three Daughters Of China – Jung Chang …the first book I read when I got back into read in 2007

87.       Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

88.       American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

89.       Belgariad Vol. 1: Pawn Of Prophecy; Queen Of Sorcery; Magician’s Gambit – David Eddings

90.       Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres and De Berni

91.       Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta … loved the movie

92.       Ps, I Love You – Ahern

93.      *  Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving …though technically Dave ‘owns’ it.

94.       Thorn Birds – Colleen Mccullough

95.       Confederacy Of Dunces –  John Kennedy Toole

96.       Good Omens – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett , Terry Pratchett et al

97.       Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream – Hunter S. Thompson

98.       Chocolat – Joanne Harris

99.       Princess Bride – William Goldman …Paul Anderson will be happy to see this on the list.

100.     Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

5/30 Cumulative total 27/100

This is the first time on ANY of these lists that I have read more than a quarter of the books listed. Feeling pretty good and penciling in a number of those ‘to reads’ to this years book feast. Thanks to Dan adn Chris for playing along.

Image from bp631 is alive via Flickr. Another crazy person who took a photo a day for a year.