Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rambling About Writing

I just finished reading a book— Minding Ben by Victoria Brown. 

It's about a young woman, from Trinidad, who comes to NYC and gets a job working as a nanny for an absolutely awful family.  

I glanced at the acknowledgments at the end of the book, and Brown mentions, The Hunter College Fall 2009 Workshop Class with Peter Carey at the helm

Like always, I was delighted to see something Australian mentioned in a not-Australian book.  

I looked at the Hunter College's site about their creative writing program.  

It made me think of my creative writing classes in college. I don't think any of my professors had impressive publishing credits.  Well, I mean impressive to me. And that would be getting a novel published, winning awards, getting on bestseller lists, etc.

I would be mildly impressed with someone who had a few short stories published in literary magazines...magazines that are probably read only by other people who write stories for literary magazines. 

Or maybe I'm wrong. ARE there people who read these literary magazines just for fun?

I guess there might be? Some people like short stories.  And maybe they like discovering new writers?

Plus.  What am I thinking?   Is there anything wrong with writing for other writers?

No, of course not.

I'm being a snob.

And a hypocrite. I pretty much have NO publishing credits to my name.


I was thinking what it might be like to have Peter Carey as a writing professor. It would be theory.  But I imagine I'd be negative about it since I'm not a fan of his books. Every time he'd give me criticism on my writing, I'd probably think,  Well, I don't like YOUR writing So there

Then again.  What would be worse?  Being critiqued by a writer whose work I love.  Then I might go home and cry a bit.  

Maybe that's one of the reasons I'm disgusted with Stephen King for being nasty about Stephanie Meyers.  What if she had once been a fan of his work? How awful it would be for her to hear him say such rude things about her.  

And what he said about her was definitely NOT constructive criticism.   It was insulting, nonconstructive criticism. 

Speaking of Meyers.  I read her other book, this week—The Host  I thought it was fantastic. It's like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but through the eyes of the actual snatchers.  Or one snatcher, actually. 

I just thought of something. When Stephen King insulted Stephanie Meyer, he not only insulted her, but people who like her books. That includes me, and I used to be a huge fan of Stephen King's books.

I'm not anymore.

Well, I haven't stopped liking his books.   But I don't like him anymore, and I don't plan on reading any of his other books.   


  1. Try as I might, I cannot get into a Peter Carey novel. Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer's genres have no appeal to me. That does not make them poor writers. In fact they are all three undoubtedly much richer than I am.

    But I took a peek to see what King said, and I agree. It was rude and uncalled for.

  2. Fruitcake,

    Stephanie Meyer's book had some blurb along the lines of Science Fiction for people who don't like science fiction.

    I think that was a good description. And I think Stephen King writes horror/supernatural for people who don't usually like horror/supernatural.

    I mean he doesn't write it for them...probably. But I can imagine people who aren't fans of the genre, liking his books.

    His books are very character driven; and I think different from most horror.

    I can imagine you liking Stephen King. I can't imagine you liking Stephanie Meyer. (But I think you'd be more nice about it).

    Not that I'm pushing you to read King....since I'm mad at him, and all.

    Did you ever see Stand by Me? That was based on a Stephen King story, and has no horror.

    Also...Shawshank Redemption. Although maybe that did have some supernatural elements? I can't remember.

  3. The only thing that saves me here is that I did not can Stephen King I just suggested his books are not for me.

    Okay, I recant - partly. Stand By Me was a very good movie, and Shawshank Redemption is probably on my top ten list. I had no idea they are Stephen King stories.

    I think Misery is also a Stephen King story. I can see the funny side of the plot, and Kathy Bates is a great character actress, but I think that story is about as far into the darker side of humanity that I would like to go.

    So now I have to make allowances for him, but probably won't be reading any of his books.
    Ironic, though, that Misery is about whether or not a writer has to provide readers with what they want.

  4. Fruitcake,


    Part of my purpose in writing this post was to diss Stephen King.

    Now I'm wanting to sing out his name with a hallelujah.

    I forgot about Misery. I guess that's more suspense than horror. Although I guess horror doesn't have to be supernatural.

    Holy shit! I just saw that there's going to be a sequel to the Shining. I'm going to have to give up this boycott.

    Sorry, Stephanie Meyers.

    I'm a woman of principle, but even I have my limits.

    Did you ever hear of The Shining?

  5. Yes, I've heard of The Shining. I have absolutely no idea what it is about but for some reason when I hear the name my brain says "Nuh". Must have decided quite some time ago it wasn't for me.

    The important thing from my point of view is that a scriptwriter can make or break a movie. Did King write the screenplays, or did someone else create gold from his base material?

    Stevie Wonder, according to a friend, said something stupid about homosexuals having to pay for a crime in a previous life. I don't know if it's true or not but my friend certainly boycotted his music.

    Mel Gibson, on the other hand, likes to diss everybody. Can't say I've ever swooned over his looks. I have not boycotted his movies, per se, but have sometimes enjoyed movies despite him having been one of the cast members.

    I did try to watch that thingy he made about Christ because of the subject matter. Couldn't stay awake, but what I saw of it, and his involvement, confirmed my own impression that he is not only an enormous hypocrite but also cracked. Which is really unfair I suppose, because everything I've ever "learned" about him has been mostly hearsay.

    There would be no compromise of principle involved were you to continue dissing King's arrogance and disrespect.

  6. Fruitcake,

    I think in some cases Stephen King's movies are much worse than the books. In other cases, it's about equal. I don't think there's any in which the movie is BETTER than the book. But that's just my opinion.

    Can you think of any movies (based on books) in which you liked the movie better?

    I couldn't find the quote from Stevie Wonder. But I did find something where he said some gay people are confused...meaning they think they're gay and they're not.

    Sexual identity can be a very confusing thing; so I can't argue with him there.

    What's offensive is he said this in direct response to rapper coming out of the closet.

    I think that's a bit insulting. It's invalidating.

    But it's less offensive than saying gay people are paying for something they did in a past life.

    Mel Gibson hasn't done anything lately to tempt me out of my boycott. I did like his 1990's stuff, and I did swoon over his looks...a little bit.

    I can't imagine going out of my way to see anything he's in. But if he guest-starred on one of my favorite TV shows; I probably wouldn't skip that particular episode.

    What about the Passion of Christ confirmed to that Gibson was cracked? What was it like?

  7. Movies vs books. Hmmm. After I answer this I will probably think of other examples /categories but here goes:

    Firstly, I prefer to read a book before I see a movie version because e.g. I might imagine a character to look act in one way, and then on screen they will seem completely different.
    Seeing the movie first kills imagination. When I read the book 2nd all I see is the actor/ character as in the movie.

    The Power of One I first saw as a movie. It was well made, compelling, and worked well. Then I read the book which is much much better, but it was a success as a movie.

    Now here's a conundrum; I don't read a lot of Australian books, and I don't read so much fiction now as I once did. Hope you will have some idea what I'm talking about.

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was 110% better than the book. Muriel Spark creates a good story but her writing can be a bit plodding. The only book she wrote that I really enjoyed was her autobiography.

    Some of Edna O'Brien's [who?]books were made into telemovies. Both the telemovies and the books were good but each in their own way.

    Movies based on plays rarely work. If a play is properly re-worked it can be good, but this is rarely done. A really good example of film wasted would be The Telephone [Whoopi Goldberg]. Shocker. One or two sets are fantastic on stage, but in a movie it can seem claustrophobic.

    Books based on movies are rarely interesting. The only books that have really worked for me were based on a Brit sitcom "The Good Life" - 400 years later the books still have me ROFLMAO.

    Yentl is a good example of a story properly reworked. Singer's writing seems a bit dark, or even inaccessible to a younger person such as myself, living in a completely different world. Yentl the movie is one of my faves because it has so many themes which all work well together. There's a depth to the movie the written version never had - and that's even without the music. And of course, some gentle humour.

    Then there are books which read like scripts and are only later put on film - they are highly visual and use a show don't tell method of storytelling, without a lot of introspective internal dialogue. A prize example of that would be Love in a Cold Climate [Jessica Mitford].

    At the risk of sounding disloyal, I have to say Australian scripts are rarely well written. If the acting seems wooden, I usually put it down to the script. There are lots of Australian movies I love, but a rare one which works well because it is well constructed is Sunday Too Far Away. Oh, and The Castle, and The Road to Nhill.
    I think these work because they show a uniquely Australian sense of humour that simply wouldn't work if they had any kind of complex subtext.

    For me, the same applies to a lot of Australian writing - especially by baby boomers or younger. Just doesn't work for me. Tim Winton I have to avoid for fear of gagging so often I would develop bulimia.

  8. Have you not seen the Passion of Christ?
    Does the expression "fundamentalist Catholic" sound like a tautology?
    I think I might have already mentioned I couldn't finish watching it.
    Firstly, what's to prove by having all of the dialogue in Aramaic? When the Church used Latin in every service all around the world people presumably understood what it meant, and therefore it was a common or portable language [to a point]. Who in heaven's name speaks/ understands Aramaic. Okay it had subtitles. Whatever.

    Why would I want to sit through 2 hours of extremely gross violence? If it's based on the stations of the cross
    this is over the top. These are 14 acts in the final bit of the Christian story, about the part where christ carries through gods plan that he sacrifice himself for human kind.
    In a catholic church [building] they are presented as 14 pictures placed at intervals on the church wall. Each event is something someone might want to meditate on.

    "The passion" i.e. his sacrifice of self story, is only a small part of the total gospels/ catholic dogma, and lifted way out of context. Well okay, it's a Good Friday thing. Although it's a relevant portion throughout the year, GF is the one day out of 365 when there is no mass and the passion is the sole focus. Even then it's just the prelude to Easter.
    Forgive me for saying this so bluntly but it's a good way of being succinct:
    Shit happens. You die. Then you are born again and get to have a fresh start. Forgive yourself because you are human, then try again.

    2 hours of gross violence totally has nothing to do with the point /main messages of the religion.

    How can you meditate on the meaning of something when you are too busy being grossed out to detach yourself so that it acts as a prompt?
    How can you meditate when you've got a song with lyrics telling you what to think?

    Sorry this rant is not in a logical sequence. Did I mention the film is gross?

    Well, it was a box office hit and some people love it. But if this is what clogs up the guy's head 24/7 no wonder he has a drinking problem.

  9. Fruitcake,

    I get your point about the movie being too violent. That makes sense.

    I didn't know much about the movie outside of it making some Jewish people angry.

    With all this talk of adaptations. I feel compelled to ask. Did you ever see the movie Adaptation? It's the one with Nicholas Cage? javascript:void(0)

    But yeah. I think I get what you're saying. It's a mix.

    Often the book is better. Sometimes it's not.

    Sometimes the original product is the best; and sometimes it's not.

    Other times, it's just very different.

    One example that comes to my mind is The True Blood series. The books are so different from the TV show. I liked both for different least in the beginning.

    I love the Walking Dead TV show. I mildly like the original comics

  10. In answer to a question I'm pretending you asked - It surprises me that some Jewish people were angry about The Passion. That might not be surpising if I'd been able to watch it all and look for the relevant bits.

    It would not be surprising as the tired old "Jews killed Christ" argument [spurious in itself] was one of the so called justifications for the worst of the Inquisition.

    If the Passion follows original versions of the story as closely as it is claimed to do, then here's my approach to the original:

    *Christ claimed to be the Messiah. Well, that goes against Jewish belief. An annoyed response should be no surprise there.

    *The gospels refer to some distinct schools of Jewish practice which already existed 2000 years ago. [I'm no expert on this, but which religion does not have splinter groups?]

    *The story is focused on religion because that was its purpose. Little mention is made that Palestine? was occupied by the Roman Empire. [The Life of Brian does though. A masterpiece!].

    *Detaching myself from the religion angle -The bit where Jews are blamed for Christ's "murder" serves two functions. a) it's a plot device because Christ had to die to make the story of self-sacrifice work, and b) If the Romans asked the occupied Jewish population to decide who would be murdered [Barrabbass or Christ] that was just the old strategy of "divide and conquer" in practice.

    So while I know sod all about who was angry with what part, the movie is just more of the same so... so what?

    By the same token it surprises me that any Muslim would find that film whose name I've already erased from my mind would make people angry - it's laughably bad.
    Not surprising that extremists would, but then, they are already angry and it was just another excuse for bad behaviour.

  11. No, I've never even heard of the movie Adaptation. Movies with Nicolas Cage or Meryl Streep or Tylda Swinton are often very good.

    Thanks for the heads up. It sounds rooly excellent.
    TO loves finding new/ different movies. I fully expect we will possess a copy soon.

    Sorry about True Blood and the Walking Dead. Don't know them, but that's probably no surprise for you.

  12. Back to your post. Do you read literary magazines for fun?
    There are few here, way out of my scabby price range, and wanky.
    I know they are wanky because I've been rejected by them.

    There was even one very popular not so wanky publication years ago that published short stories. I've been rejected by them too. Obviously they had no taste.

    I couldn't /wouldn't bother writing for them, because apart from being sensible about not sending a comedy sketch to a detective story magazine sort of thing, I can't imagine how I could write for a particular mag.

    Come to think of it I've been rejected by quite a few editors.

    There are oodles of writing courses here, but I was lucky enough to get into one with a really good rep. Many of the teachers were very good, successful writers in their field.

    Some writers I admired said my writing was good. Some I didn't admire were scathing. Or maybe that was the other way round and I formed my opinions of them after the critiques.

    At some point I realised I was only giving Australia Post money and gaining little in return.

    How about you? Decided to save postage? Discouraged? If so, has it robbed you of hope? Made you question your talent?
    Made you feel relieved to have an excuse for becoming undisciplined /lazy?

    Yeah, if I was "successful" in a marketing sense I would be chuffed. Then I really wouldn't care what 'experts' think.

  13. Fruitcake,

    A few days ago I tried reading about why the movie was offensive to Jews. I skimmed a bit and I was bored.

    Your response was more interesting.

    Like you say....Was the movie really saying anything new?

    Was it saying anything that's not in Jesus Christ Superstar?

    I LOVE Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Do you?

    But yeah. Same idea. If the Jews killed Jesus, we kind of did a good deed. I mean we helped Jesus die so he could save people from their sins.

    In a roundabout way. Judas is the hero.

    As the lines of the song go:

    Cut out the dramatics! You know very well who.

    You want me to do it!

    If you knew why I do it.

    To think I admired you.

    Now I despise you.

    What if I just stayed here and ruined your ambition?

    It really IS a fantastic story. But I think I like the Tim Rice version more than I'd like the Mel Gibson one. Or the Bible itself.

    Do you like the Bible? I mean not in a religious sense; but as literature?

    And just for the record, you didn't pretend that I asked you the question.

    I DID ask you the question. I used my magical American Jewish telepathic powers to send you the question. It's quite strong and can reach across oceans.

    I'm sending you another question now. Do you hear me?

    Please answer it in your next comment.

  14. As for the movie....if you see it, I hope you like it.

    What are your favorite movies...besides Shawshank? I mean what else is in your top ten?

    And how about TO's favorites? Do you two have the same taste in movies?

  15. Fruitcake,

    What about people who do NOT write? Do any of them read literary magazines?

    I think the whole purpose of reading them is so you know you're submitting to magazines that are read. If writers aren't going to read them; who will?

    Or maybe writers read them so they know what the magazine is looking for.

    And of course they're awful once you've been rejected by then.

    I think THAT is one of the reasons I quit submitting to publishers.

    In 2007, I got my query emails rejected from several agents who work with young adult literature. It made me jealous and resentful of all YA publishers and writers. I lost my love of reading those books. That lasted for about a year...maybe?

    I hated that feeling.

    And I realize reading to me is now SO much more treasured than writing.

    I can't afford to lose the love.

    In my earlier writing years, your comment about postage had some truth to it. I hated all the printing and posting.

    Like I've told you, I'm very very lazy about mailing things.

    I used to feel some sort of relief when I got query letter rejections. Oh good. No trip to Kinkos and the post office.

    As for you though.....

    I thought about you while reading my Outback magazine. They have some little thing in the back where you can submit very short writing pieces. Funny stuff. It reminded me of your duck tale.

    Have you ever submitted to them? Have you ever read the magazine?

    I don't know if there's any prize in getting your story published.

    I can look later if you're interested.

    I just read your comment again. I like what you said about forming opinions after the critiques. Or maybe doing that? How can we go on liking someone's writing after they've given ours a scathing review?

    Well, it's possible. I think I've done it before. But it was definitely grudgingly.

  16. If I'm starting to get American Jewish questions by telepathy, just as well I've already excommunicated myself. Plain old American would otherwise be safer.

    But I supposed you had to use some sort of telepathy as a randomly generated comment might not make the question clear enough.

    Do I like the Bible [as literature]?
    I suppose I like it most as metaphor.
    I'm also rather chuffed that I had so much of it pounded into my head that I can perhaps understand more about more things. Like history. Or law. Or the way people think. I think.

    If memory serves, I quite liked some of the songs from JC Superstar. I never saw the stage show, and saw a movie version that did not appeal.

    I did see and thoroughly enjoy the stage version of Hair, but thought the movie sucked big time.

    Now, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the movie, made me cringe. The only reason I later saw the stage version was because someone sent us free tickets. The stage show rocked, and we even paid for tickets so we could see it a second time.

    But the definitive story of Christ, for me, is the Life of Brian. If I could truthfully say "I wrote the life of Brian" I would insist on being buried [after I croak] just so I could have a headstone which says Here lies Fruitcake... 19XX-2XXX. Author of the Life of Brian.

  17. Top ten [not necessarily in order of preference]
    [reserving the right to keep fiddling with the list]

    The Life of Brian
    Hello Dolly
    Crimes of the Heart
    Mr and Mrs Smith
    Sunday Too Far Away
    Freedom Writers
    Bringing Down the House
    Oh Brother Where Art Thou

    Well, it's hard to stop at ten, really. There might be 10 in each of several genres.

    Action with a decent story e.g. The Long kiss goodnight; getting away with it e.g. The Inside Man; Drama e.g. Mississippi Burning; Suspense e.g. Deceived.

    I'm getting an AJT message that you want more.
    Comedy; anything by the marx bros; Miss Congeniality 2; Connie and Carla; Diary of a mad black woman; and a hundred more;

    Musicals; more recent stuff [i.e. my lifetime] Cabaret, Chicago, Yentl. TO also likes all that Oklahoma type crap I can't stand. Loathe The Sound of Music. Never been able to sit through the wizard of oz.

    TO also likes a lot of dreadful old B&W movies, though sometimes if they are bad [as many are] we might watch together and hang shit on how bad they are. She usually beats me by coming up with funnier comments.

    I will never get sick of the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame; Tree of Wooden Clogs; Les Enfants du Paradis; Life is Beautiful;

    Okay, enough already! I "hear" you.

  18. Outback Magazine is hideously expensive, though often interesting.

    The greatest problem with trying to freelance for mags is that many of them by syndicated articles/stories. Obviously mags like Outback can't get by with syndicated stuff, but they [quite reasonably] want photos. If you don't know by now that I can't take photos, then you really are just using a random comment generator.

    BTW when I said I have become discouraged and lazy I was not saying too lazy to go to the post office, more like too lazy to write anything at all.

    Blogging is satisfying on so many levels. Some I've mentioned before. Getting away with sloppy writing, and being able to lift videos or photos from other websites are also satisfying.

  19. Hardcopy of telepathically transmitted question [for your records]:



  20. Fruitcake,

    Thank you the hard copy of the telepathically transmitted question. I was going to argue that it's not a hard copy. But I guess compared to brain waves, the internet is hard copy.

    Interesting that the Priscilla movie made you cringe, but not the stage show. Is there a reason why? Did you feel the movie was bad quality? Was it too crude?

    Did you not like the acting?

    I haven't seen much of it. Just a clip here and there.

    Wow. You really DO love the Life of Brian.

    I'm looking at your list of movies. We have very little in common in that area.

    The exception is Life is Beautiful.

    And I think I sort of liked Cabaret.

    I LOVE Sound of Music.

  21. No, I wasn't thinking of the photos in Outback magazine. There's a thing in the way back called Laugh-Lines. I'm looking at it now. The prize for the winner is a $100 R.M Williams gift voucher. I'm not sure if you wear his stuff; or if you're interested.

    I guess I'm fortunate. I actually got the magazines for free. There was an Aussie store in San Francisco. I bought a few extremely expensive chocolate bars. The guy working there told me the magazines were free and I could take as many as I wanted.

    I took only two though.

    As for your writing question. I don't think the rejections made me lazy about writing.

    I got TONS of rejections during my teen/young adult years; and kept writing like a maniac.

    I DO feel discouraged these days from the lack of interest in my FREE fiction that's on the web.

    I start a project. No one wants to read it. Then I feel...what's the point?

    It's one thing to get rejected from a publisher. What do they know? It's another thing to be rejected by regular good old readers.

    At least a few people seem to like my nonfiction. That keeps my self-esteem afloat.

  22. Priscilla:

    Okay, I'll start with a dreadful confession: I'm shallow. Okay, I didn't say a surprising revelation. Just a dreadful admission.

    There is something about Hugo Weaving that ... I dunno. He's by no means an ugly man. I'm sure he's a fine actor. But you now how you sometimes want to see a movie because there is an actor whose appearance pleases the eye? Well, Hugo Weaving is somehow offputting.
    Neither rational nor fair.

    It might be a combination of a) the movie Proof and/or b) me just not being of sound mind at the right time when I saw Proof. Or maybe at the time I saw Priscilla.

    Moving along... when I saw the movie Priscilla it just seemed so sickeningly earnest. Yet it gained a cult following, so it was probably just me.

    But here's the diff between stage and film. Film language can be a pain. I vaguely remember close-ups head and shoulder style during earnest moments in the movie. [Admittedly, I might be recalling an hallucination.]
    This is a very soap/opera chick flick style. It seemed to clash somehow with the story.
    Okay, one of the characters was transgender, but not all drag queens are totally devoid of testosterone. In fact testosterone is half the fun of drag [for me, at least].

    So the first thing about stage shows is we don't have to deal with that film language/ style imposition.

    Then with live shows there is that whole shared experience thing happening that is just not the same on film, even if you are watching a movie in a theatre with 500 other people.

    Then there's the production thing. How do you take a bus on a round Australia road trip when you are confined to one stage? Well, the movie makers didn't have to rise to a challenge like that, so they didn't. The creative spark and humour were missing.

    Finally, drag is all about being over the top. What TO calls "big". The bigger the better, the sky is the limit. The stage production was "big". I can't remember if the movie was or not.

    But you know, I think I would rather be condemned to an eternity of watching Hugo Weaving highlights from Priscilla the movie, than just a week of the Sound of Music.

  23. So, which do you prefer? Movies or live shows? Movies or Books?

    Do you go to see many live shows? Any preferred types?

    Apart from Life is Beautiful, or the Sound of Music, what makes your top 10 list? Why?

    And a PS for the comment about priscilla the stage show... the other thing about live shows and set design is the audience's shared willingness to suspend disbelief. It's part of a giant conspiracy of strangers with a shared goal - to suspend disbelief in order to have a good time.

    Encouraging the suspension of disbelief is harder with film - especially if the film takes itself seriously.

  24. Thanks for the Outback tip. I'll possibly go off to the library at some point and check it out.

    The story of the duck is not original. Well, the bones of it are not. It's just fun turning a joke like that into a yarn.

    Joke jokes, I can't tell. In all my years, I would say there have been 3 people I know of who can tell a joke: Danny Kaye; Dave Allen; and TO.

    The $100 RM Williams voucher you mentioned has reminded me of one day when I was at a fund-raising for something or other, and Denise Scott was MC. Somebody won a voucher for a children's clothing store. Handing over the prize, she said "What a fantastic prize! You should be able to buy one Reebok with that". [Maybe you had to be there].


    How widely advertised is the FREE fiction you have on the web? Man, there's a lot of competition in cyberspace.

    Are you advertising it in a space already frequented by people who are searching for something similar?

    Perhaps you need the assistance of those people who barely speak english but keep emailing me -so they claim- from the U.S. IRS. Well, I may not be frightened the US government is going to audit my taxes, but the emails sure as heck get noticed.

    Go viral.

    In fact, if you do work out how to go viral, don't keep it a secret from me, please. I'll give you commission if you help me sell something of my own.

  25. Fruitcake,

    I can relate to not liking a movie because of a certain actor.

    I can't relate to your specific dislike of Hugo Weaving. I think he's rather sexy. Although...I'm not sure I've actually watched a full movie of his. Unless you count The Matrix. And I don't think that would count.

    As for transgender. Are you saying the characters were too feminine?

    I think I get your point about shared experience Although I have that feeling when experiencing something alone if I know other people are experiencing it.

    I like reading popular books knowing tons of other people are reading the same books.

    I think there's something neat about that.

    I like your point about stage shows having more of a challenge then films.

    There is something neat about having limits and then managing to work within those limits.

    I rarely see live shows. I prefer movies. But I rarely even see those these days. My thing is books and TV shows.

    I don't have many recent favorite movies.

    Some of my favorites from decades ago: Poltergeist, Lost Boys, Stand by Me, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Jaws, 50 First Dates (fairly recent), Meet Me in St. Louis, Groundhog Day, Scrooged, Little Shop of Horrors, Parenthood, Pleasantville, Muppets Take Manhattan. Men Don't Leave, Hook.

    I do enjoy movies I've seen recently. Like Avengers and Toy Story 3. But I lack the passion I used to have.

    Oh! There was a great zombie one we saw recently. Shaun of the Dead. That was great.

    I also liked the the recent movie, Hugo.

    I think I get what you're saying about stage shows and suspension of belief.

    I think it's possible in certain types of films...ones with a satirical sense of humor. The recent Muppet movie might be an example. Although I can't think of specific examples within the movie.

  26. In case you don't want to go to the library...(do you go to the library often?), here's the address of RM Williams.

    Rm Williams Publishing
    Level 11
    52 Alfred Street.
    Milsons Point NSW 2601.

    I actually laughed out loud at your Reebok story; so I guess I did NOT have to be there.

    But do have a knack with storytelling.

    My fiction is not widely advertised.

    I've decided lately that I'm against...what's the word? My mind is blank.

    I guess excessive promotion?

    I believe if something is good and it is meant to be enjoyed by the masses; then it will happen.

    I think when people overly promote their crap; it doesn't make it more appealing. It makes it less appealing and somewhat pathetic.

    Or this could all be an excuse for my laziness.

    I don't think so though. I think I might truly feel that way.

    I find it tacky when people go too far in promoting themselves.

    I did list one of the novels in a web fiction site. That has brought one or two readers. I don't think any of them liked it.

    I have two ratings on the site; and my score is 2.5. That's not overly encouraging.

  27. I don't think I think Priscilla the movie was too feminine. Sometimes I'm not sure I even think. Perhaps I can't really put my finger on what bothered me about the movie, at all.

    Thank you for your very interesting list of recent favourite movies. Why am I even talking to you?

    Back to your question about what cinematic tastes TO and I have in common. On reflection, I would have to say we have much the same taste in film/TV and this might be because we share much the same sense of humour. Plus a mutual thing about live shows [not necessarily broadway type shows]. Plus she has a fantastic sense of fun.

    On further reflection, there have been many times when we've had people staying, and found it difficult to pick a movie/TV series DVD everyone would enjoy. This is odd given that we have such an eclectic selection to choose from.

    I guess a soul mate is the only other person in a crowded room laughing at the same thing.
    Which sort of makes sense if humour contains a seed of truth ... by extension humour shared is some small truth shared.
    Which sort of means nothing profound at all if all you are laughing at is someone slipping on a banana skin.

    The Franger library is impressive. It's also a difficult place to park. On the rare occasions I've found books I've been looking for listed in the catalogue, some sod has invariably borrowed them five or six years ago and not returned them yet.
    I'm not good at returning things on time. I'm a minimalist - i.e. bone idle lazy. See, on Thursday afternoon I said "I will go to the bank tomorrow". Yesterday I said "I will go to the bank tomorrow". Now it is saturday and I am sitting here in my jim jams talking to you and 12 Noon has come and gone and soon I shall have to say I will definitely go to the bank on Monday.
    The thing I like most about the Franger library is that the toilets are clean.

    So how would you define excessive promotion? What is excessive?

    There was a time when I would have said Australians are suspicious of people who 'blow their own trumpet'. Tall Poppy Syndrome.

    Maybe it's just years of hearing Luke 14.11 "whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted". Nuns accusing me of the sin of pride. God forbid I should like one or two things about myself.

    Gosh the internet has changed the world. I love being able to google a few words and go straight to the original - especially the bible.

    I hate what the internet has done to humour: that when I tell a joke [to a larger audience than my blog has] several people will have heard it before via some viral email.

    The challenge of writing for Outback would be to come up with a story that is original. And once something is 'netted' it is instantly stale.
    Gone are the early 20th C days of working up one act and being able to use the same one year after year as one moves from one performance location to another.

    It makes sense that many of the movies you list would be ones you could share with Jack. TO loves Harry Potter and fantasy things and animated stuff. That's when I leave the room.

    Is there some rule of thumb for 'net popularity? Most of the visits to my blog are from people a) looking for a picture of the inside an old railway carriage b) people wanting to know what a knob on the knuckle might be [as in the spiderbite rivalry between TO and her sister].

    Not once has anybody left a comment since those first few days after these stories were posted. So a rating of 2.5 is good.

    Did you notice the non-narcissistic way I slipped some questions into this comment - then answered them for you?
    Talk about exalting myself. Shall go upstairs right this minute and look for my hair shirt.

  28. Fruitcake,

    Yeah. It's good you and TO have the same taste in humor/films/shows/TV etc.

    I think sharing humor is important in any relationship/friendship.

    Of course no two people are always going to share all interests; and they're not always going to agree on what's funny and not funny.

    As long as there's some stuff in common...things might work out.

    Good point about jokes and the internet. I guess the trick is to come up with something original; and then hope someone else hasn't coincidentally come up with the same thing.

    There are so many jokes though, and limited amounts of time. There's hope that the joke you're telling won't be heard by the listener.

    It's different if you're getting the joke published though. Then someone might call out. "Hey I've heard that one before."

    I'm not sure if the jokes in Outback magazine are supposed to be original or not. If it's an old joke and you've rewritten it; is that okay?

    I don't know.

    Excessive promotion: I've probably done it. Watch my video! Read my blog! Hear me sing! Read my novels.

    It rarely worked; and I started to realize I get annoyed when other people do it. For example: People on Twitter who repeatedly link to their recent blog post.

    It's funny to see the keywords that bring people to our blog.

    I hope people are appreciating your railroad carriage and spider rivalry story.