Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reading, writing and finding you.

I have fingers sticky with glue because I've been putting buttons (I am a nerdy button collector) around my many pin-boards (I pin up ideas, images, character features, clothes ideas - for characters - story ideas, pictures of a dog who looks like Hound, a parrot who looks like Jock, nightclubs, all the stuff I rip and stick and have been doing since I was a teenager - there are four boxes in my shed filled with these ideas and images for future stories, characters, settings, scenes, etc - but despite sticky fingers, I wanted to post what has occurred to me in my thought times of the day (i.e in the bath/shower)
1) Everyone who responds to my blogs emails me directly. I don't know why, but I think I have shy readers. Anyway, thank you. I'm not making this up. It's a curiosity shop in my head.
2) I have been overwhelmed (actually not that hard to overwhelm me, as I'm so often underwhelmed by people, but still true) by people subscribing to my mailing list for the Cassidy Blair books and sending me nice emails about them. My last book was published over a year ago, and there's been very little publicity compared to the others, and yet suddenly, all these lovely people have let me know that they like Cassidy Blair, that they think her (mis)adventures are great, that they can relate to her and her friends and adventures and that despite now having to often order the books specially through their bookshops (my current favourite bookstore is Matilda's in Stirling. They have WONDERFUL stock - although not many of mine, which doesn't actually undermine previous praise), or on the internet, they tell me with many exclamation marks and smiley faces that they will still do so. I am so happy. You are nice people.
30 i dont know why I am so interested in my local bottle recycling place. I like taking my bottle s and cans there and getting my (spookily always between $8 -9) but I have realised some of it is because there are people there who take their ten cans there to get money to buy food. Also, there are huge containers full of empty bottle and cans and they look amazing. and the fellows there are so cheery even though they have a bit of a tricky job, going through bottles and cans all day, especially at the moment when it is so $%&*! cold here. I guess, however, that like New York (my comparison), it is nicer in winter than in summer. and smells nicer (still NY).
Does anyone know why only South australia pays 5 cents for their recycling cans. it keeps hte streets clean and poor people get money. It is wise.
Listening to: 'Lullaby for Cain' sung by Sinead O'Connor and my canaries. They are amazing! Everyone should have birds. If I was Queen of the World...
Eating: um... leftover MarsBar slice... And Frousse (strawberry)
Thinking About: why I have had a headache for a week. Sucky. Also about watching 'The Shawshank Redemption' again. Am in that sort of mood. and that now I have to take Marshall to Dog Training as Disco Stu is totally over it. I used to really like just sitting there talking to people about dogs and eating scones with Jam and cream for $1.50 on a Sunday morning. That's all fucked now. Still, Marshall is an excellent dog. But not worth giving up scones for. Am moody.
Watching: So you think you can Dance - only it's not nearly as great as when people auditioned with their truly original dance moves. Now it's all choreographed crap. i think I'll give it a miss as am most disappointed. I fell slightly in love with the dude who said that all he had was his friends and his dancing.
Wearing: Trackies, PETA T-shirt and hoody. I can't wear jumpers or socks no matter the weather, they make me feel weird, all bundled up too tight. So yes, cold, but not bundled at least.
Reading: Animal Liberation newsletter. Yes, I can be as square about how appallingly we treat animals in our lives as Mr Strong.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things I regret

1) Family of ducks on Rundle Street in Kent Town, pover the hackney Road - where ducks try to travel so much and there are no fucking signs anywhere warning drivers. They took them all down and for so many days in season I run around stopping traffic like a dickhead, while people beep and yell, trying to get these ducklings across the road. I do it a lot but it doesn't mean I feel any better because I failed one little family and it seems they were the ones that needed saving the most.
I'm worried this year because I don't live there anymore, and in my area, there are heaps of duck warning signs and mostly people drive pretty slowly anyway, because there are road-abouts.
anyway, I'm rambling. this is the story:
Because these guys were trying to cross the road, got distracted by traffic, sent down behind old houses in kent Town, i followed them, trying to guide them to the road where I'd hold back the traffic, the but noise must have been to bad and they got stuck in someone's back yard. i wish i'd done more, and known how to get them out, how to get her to the river, how to know who to call, how to get them to safety and to stop people in their pointless drives to get this duck to the river where she could look after her ducklings. The were so vulnerable, and she was too - she could fly to safety but she wouldn't leave her ducklings. and I couldn't help them. I'm learning a lot now about animals and animals rescue but it won't make up for not being able t help them. I can only hope that there was someone else that day who could do something more than I could. A hell of a lot more. I sucked that day and I can't go down that road without thinking of those ducklings and their mother's panic. As my post office was right there - the reason I saw them in the first place - I thought of them every day for three years. It made me really really sad.
2) My dear friends borrowed this incredible beach house at Wallaroo - it was right by the beach - PON the beach. the water would rush up against the concrete walls covered in shells and rocks - huge albatross like seagulls stormed about like bouncers. I loved it. We slept in camp beds and held hands across the space. We ate toast and read books and my friend and I lay about in pools of water created by sand and the drift of ocean while her boyfriend practised karate in the sand nearby. then a fishing boat pulled up on the beach and they showed us what they'd caught - a cat fish.
The saddest animals I've ever seen. Huge wise, sad, eyes. I looked at him and he looked back - no judgement, just sadness for me, for us. How crappy we were.
I wish I'd offered the fisherman some money to put the fish back in the ocean. I wish I'd just offered him money - pretended we'd kill it, and then snuck around and let it go, but I was frozen in misery. I let him down. I was crap.
I'll never forget that animal's eyes, so sad for us, for me. Pity, as he went off to be dragged in an old sack and stared at and mocked and teased. Pity for us.
And we deserved it.
I kept a photo from a magazine (I have four crates of cutting from magazines and newspapers of animals and things I might write about one day) and when I find it l'll post it here and you'll see what I mean, maybe. I hope so.

When the dark cloud sweeps over, this is what I think about. This stuff. I have loads of regrets, but these are the ones that stick to my ribs. This and a thousand others.
It's terrible to be alive. It's a joy to be alive.
Listening to: The utterly glorious silence of a Thursday night not living next to a pub
Thinking about: What the next chapter in my book will do to Cassidy.
Watching: My dog trying to unravel my Machiavellian knot of clothes tied over a liver treat bar he loves - he's going crazy trying to get to it. Excellent crazy, he's such a great dog.
Wearing: Chewed shoes
Reading: Last weekend's Sunday Age

Highbury rocks my tiny world

I moved from a lifetime of inner city living, sharehousing in eatern suburbs bungalows and semi snazzy Norwood apartments. I became thoroughly sick of all the fake crap that comes with these neighbourhoods. I got sick of people dressing up like hookers for their grocery shopping, of all the crap shops selling crap fake Louis Vuitton bags, all the crappy cafes that make you stand at the cash registers to order each part of your (crappy) meal, and all the concrete, and lack of sense of neighborhood. No one says hello on the streets, or the parks, despite me always saying hello - yes it's nerdy but it's nice too, OKAY! - and they don't even have headphones stuck in their ears. I know it's not me being a weirdo because in Highbury, everyone says hello, or at least gives me a George Clooney style manly nod.
Although my neighbours at my last place in Norwood were terrific, the wankers streaming constantly out of the Alma pub were so appalling it almost put me off the human race forever. Not being all that enamored with them in the first place, this wasn't hard, so I frantically looked for somewhere else to go before I grew too grumpy to write screw ball romantic comedies any more.
So I moved to Highbury, a 60s style ranch house. There are loads of reasons I love Highbury, I will list them all one day, but so far, here are a few:
1) Kids ride BMX bikes and hang out on the corner, and although they offer to carry your shopping and say hello, they also graffitit and seem to be skipping school. They are immediately my type of dudes. They think I'm an old lady who needs her shopping carried, but still, I feel at home.
2) My local post office doesn't make me wait hours to get my mail. In fact, they see my coming and have it ready on the counter.
3) The local 7 day deli has a notice board with lots of hot offers for accommodation, lost parrots, things for sale, and dog groomers. It also has a chinese restaurant next door that has milk crates for chairs, broken table and two dead cars out back. See attached pic.
4) I've never lived somewhere with so many hair salons and dog groomers. considering The Norwood Parade had a hair salon every second store, this is huge.
5) Linear park is amazing, a constant rejuvinating place full of ducks and finches and three types of herons and lots of people walking their dogs and saying hello or nodding manfully. Okay, so I used to be able to go to Linear Park through St Peters before, but so far i've not had anyone flash me, try to steal my bag, or ask me out on a date (in the bushes close by) like I did in St Peters.
6) People give way to me in shops. Sure, they tail gate like MF's in cars, but in person, they are seriously polite dudes. They open doors, say things like 'ladies first' and smile (and not just at my boobs).
7) People don't stare at me if I go to the shops in my pyjamas or tracksuit pants. In fact the latter is just normal in Highbury. If I did this in Norwood I'd run into three of my mums' friends and six girls I went to school/uni with and my mum would have called me by the afternoon in an outrage about my ''performance'. So I don't get so tense just trying to do the shopping and people don't stare at me if I talk to myself. They are polite about other people's differences. It's nice.
8) I saw a guy with a stocking over his head in the car next to me. He looked jumpy. And it wasn't even a Chaser style prank. I was very excited. and I didn't give chase because in Highbury we're polite about other people's differences.
Listening to: My conscience
Eating: most of the ingredients I bought to make slice for my niece's birthday party.
Thinking about: having some Quickeze
Watching: Twin Peaks
Wearing: Anything warm - tons of things piled on me like a mountain goat.
Reading: Danny Wallace and the centre of the universe - does this guy wax between this eyebrows or what?