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31 May 2007

Zzzz

So Reading Matters was over, and I was all ready to have a nice, quiet week. Go to work, go home, watch TV, eat mac&cheese, see my friends. Wear pjs a lot.

Then my editor sent me this email on Tuesday afternoon that said:

Scatterheart is going to press on Monday...

Monday.

MONDAY.

That's the day after the day after the day after tomorrow.

MONDAY.

So now my nice quiet pjs and mac and cheese week has turned into a CRAZY PROOFREADING AND LAST MINUTE CHANGES week. With a constant tirade of emails saying things like "I'm wondering if we should delete the possum scene, to increase narrative flow".

(But they wanted more sex! the possums were HAVING SEX! Oh well.)

Okay. I'm going to go and eat a banana now.

27 May 2007

Reading Matters

I've spent the last few days/weeks/months subsumed in Reading Matters 2007. Reading Matters is the YA literature conference that I organise with my colleague Mike Shuttleworth.

This week, we had a three-day conference of 350 delegates, 25 authors, 1300 kids and about 300 members of the general public. We talked about What Matters (more on that anon). I had the enormous privilege and pleasure of hanging out with Scott, Justine, David, Margo, Ursula and everyone else.

My head is so full of ideas and thoughts, but right now I am tired and emotional and perhaps a little drunk.

I love my job.

18 May 2007

Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander died yesterday, two weeks after his wife. He'd just finished his last book, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio. He was 83.

I consider the Chronicles of Prydain to be one of the formative texts of my life. I actually came across them in a very Gen-Y sort of way - when I was 7 or 8, my mum bought me the computer game of The Black Cauldron, based on the Disney film. It was the first computer game I ever played, and I seriously don't think one has ever been made to rival it. I didn't see the film until many years later, but I loved the game.

Around the same time, Mum was learning Chinese at Victoria College. She had an evening class, and instead of being babysat by some creepy neighbour, I usually opted to go with her, and hang out in the library. Luckily, it was the same part of the university that taught education, so there were plenty of children's books there.

I have such a strong memory of wanting something new to read, and thinking I'd pick something from the A section, and work my way through to Z. I went over to A, and low and behold, there was a book called The Black Cauldron! And not just one book, a whole five-part series! I borrowed them all and was immediately hooked.

As a tribute and a thank you to Mr Alexander, I'm bumping everything else off my to-read pile and re-reading the Chronicles. I will also re-watch the film this weekend, and perhaps see if there's some sneaky way that my iBook can run the game. I will blog with thoughts.

16 May 2007

Remembering


24 September, 1936 - 16 May, 1990

15 May 2007

Three good things for every (three) bad

This is my new tactic to not sound like too much of a whinger.

So first, I present three lovely things that I saw on the train this week, that made me love people.

1. An octogenarian reading a large print Harry Potter.
2. A man doing tai-chi alone, in the middle of a vacant lot, surrounded by early-morning mist.
3. An amazing piece of urban art, where lego-style men made from dozens of coloured milk crates scaled a large building between Victoria Park and Clifton Hill.


Now, three things that make me ashamed to be a human.
1. The Pentagon has decreed that all military in Iraq who blog must submit their posts to a superior officer for approval before posting. They've also banned YouTube, Myspace and a bunch of other sites. Their excuse is that their super-uber-mega-military computers are
being "slown down" by people watching stupid videos of cats playing the piano, and being exposed to viruses (I'm sorry, but if US military servers can be taken down with a virus you get from surfing MySpace, then Georgie, we have a fucking problem). Nothing at all to do with stopping stuff like this getting out. Oh, no.

2. This site. Just go there, and then hang your head in shame and take out the recycling.

3. That our government seems to think that the way to solve education problems in this country is to a) give more money to the schools who are already doing well, and b) give money to parents who have dumb kids.
Here's a conversation I expect will be happening in many an Aussie household if Our Illustrious Leader gets back into power:

Mum: Hi, kid. How'd you do in school this week?
Kid: Great, mum. I got an A.
Mum: You little shit. Couldn't you be a bit dumber? I could really use that $700.


Wow. That lowered the tone. Better have a cheezburger to cheer us all up.

Oh, alright. Just one more.

12 May 2007

09 May 2007

SEX

Apparently, my novel isn't actually about convicts and giant White Bears at all. According to my publishers, it's about SEX, and becoming sexually aware.

And all the bits where I tried to be subtle (like the man who has syphilis, but I never SAID it was syphilis) - they need to go. Just put it all out there.

HEY KIDS! THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT SEX!!*

AND DON'T HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX, CAUSE YOU'LL GET SYPHILIS AND YOUR NOSE WILL FALL OFF!!!

Seriously, though. It is unbelievable difficult to write sexual tension without it falling into a revolting pit of slimy, writhing, throbbing millsandboon cliches.

...her heart swelled...

...she felt a quickening...

...their eyes met...

...he touched her hand, she she felt a tingling...

Yech.

__________________________

(((*there is no actual sex in the book, though**. except for that bit with two very minor characters up against a wall.)))

((((**much like MY LIFE))))

05 May 2007

A Week in the Life of a Lili

I have no memory of Monday.

On Tuesday, I walked into a lecture theatre filled with about 120 year 8 girls. They all stood up and chorused 'Good mo-orning, Miss Wilkinso-on'. I nearly turned around and walked out again.

On Wednesday, I saw Keating! (musical about Aussie ex-Prime Minister featuring songs set in the key of Awesome), and will never be able to think of Alexander Downer in the same way ever again.

On Thursday, I did a double-take as I went through airport security in Sydney, when I saw a billboard advertising Schapelle Corby's book. Airport security. Yeah.

On Friday, I submitted some photos for John Green's Brotherhood 2.0 Happy Birthday Hank video. Which is also Made of Awesome.

Today is Saturday. It is the Munkey's birthday party tonight, and he is making us do something Weird and Creative involving Singing. I have busted out the crochet needles again and made him this, as a birthday present:


At the moment his name is Birthday Monkey, but I'm open to suggestions for a better name.

Happy Birthday Munkey!! xx