Backpacking in Greece, pre-internet, my boyfriend and I heard of a small island off the Peloponnese reachable only by a walking bridge. The island had no cars, no electricity, and no phones. On the south-east coast of this island, was a walled village of ancient stone houses and narrow laneways. The locals often moved to the mainland during the quiet months but those who remained would, we were told, rent rooms to travellers and, if both tavernas had closed for the winter, feed us. The island was the stuff of legend. A place of dramatic cliffs, with an eerie domed church, and a mysterious past. We circled it on our map, drew a line of our journey with a fingertip, and set off. How could we not?
We went to see Sufjan Stevens. On the way there, we argued about what time the show would start. Ridiculous. So maybe it was me, not him. I’d carried my life stresses into the concert hall with me, heaved them onto my lap and let them direct the tone of my night. My son’s illness, my sore foot, the moronic argument, all making it impossible to see beauty in the home movies screening behind the performers, to celebrate the poetry in Stevens’ love songs, to be moved by the profundity of his darker lyrics. While others nodded at the words ‘we’re all going to die’, I sighed. Come on, I thought. I tugged at my dress. My dress annoyed me. Continue reading
I’ve been asked to attend a protest march. Another one.
For years, and for good reasons, I marched for the rights of people, animals and communities, against governments, corporations, media barons. I handed out leaflets, held placards, linked arms, and chanted in three countries. I achieved nothing.
So, hell no, I won’t go. Continue reading
In answer to those of you who ask – kindly, sporadically – what’s happening when I go quiet online and in life, I’m writing a second manuscript titled Futureproof (85k and rising). Because the world can’t have too many unpublishable novels, yes?
Bee image: Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab
Australian writer and doctor Leah Kaminsky asked me to be involved in a game of online tag. Her friend Sophfronia Scott from the Vermont College of Fine Arts initiated the game. It goes like this: a tagged writer answers four questions then names another writer who answers the same four questions, names/tags another and etc. Which is fun to write. But what’s in it for you? Well, if you’re like me you enjoy learning how other people work and why they write. Maybe we’ll find some common ground…or you’ll pinch this idea and use it for your own purposes. Feel free.
If you live/work/study near the New York Public Library and can attend their literary events you’re very lucky. The rest of us can enjoy them as podcasts or videos. Here are two of the best (yep, three names, two talks).
Here are the best books and articles I’ve come across lately. They’re not all new; they are all interesting. If you’d read something you’d recommend, let me know. It’s good to spread the word with likeminded folk. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Create, Uncategorized, Write
Tagged Chuck Palahniuk, Clare Messud, Dangerous Minds, Guardian, Gwinganna, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Kirsten Krauth, Mark E. Smith, Rafael Epstein, Salon, Sheila Heti, Sylvia Plath, The Fall
Here are the best books, articles and podcasts I’ve come across lately. They’re not all new; they are all interesting. If you’d read or heard something you’d recommend, let me know. It’s good to spread the word with likeminded folk.
Posted in Books, Podcast, Uncategorized, Write
Tagged Alex Haley, Andrew Leland, Andrew O'Hagan, David Thomson, Grove Press, Jessica Mitford, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Kevin Kwan, Kurt Andersen, Lionel Shriver, Lydia Davis, Renata Adler, Roma Tearne, Sheila Heti, The Believer, Upton Sinclair
This is not about me. I want to recommend a book called The Exercise Cure to you. But I’ll tell you this about myself so you know the perspective from which my recommendation is coming: I don’t play sport, never have. I have no interest in watching sport or following a team. Competition in general is unappealing to me. If I’m with a group of people I’d prefer to be eating, drinking or watching a movie with them.