Archive | April 2006

Inside a dog

Just a note that a new website for kids and books has gone live: the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library Victoria has launched Inside a dog. As well as the usual stuff about books it also features a writer-in-residence – Nick Earls – who is blogging for the site.

And in case you’re wondering: it’s a quote from Groucho Marx

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read.

Via Read Alert.



(Warning: mother post)

On Wednesdays, my son and I have a well-worn routine. He gets up at some point between 5.30 and 7.30. He comes into my bed and gives me a cuddle and before long says ‘I’m hungry, it’s brekky time.’ Sometimes I ignore him and pretend I am asleep, trying to get a couple of precious minutes with my eyes closed, but it never lasts long.

Read More…

Meanjin novella competition

I should have mentioned this before as the closing date is at the end of June but anyway: Meanjin are holding a novella competition. Entries are to be between 12,000 and 20,000 words on the themes of ‘love’ or ‘desire’.

What do you win? $1500 and consideration for publication in Meanjin.

Writers and football. Heaven.

One of my favourite shirts

A confession: I am a sports lover. Another confession: I love very good sports writing. I’m not talking about the everyday write-ups you get on the back pages. I talking about writers making poetry about football. So you can imagine my delight when I saw that Gunter Grass has had a go at football for being too commercial. Oh bliss. Oh joy. Of course, he is correct but he is also fighting a losing battle.

Some of my favourite bits:

“I find the commercialisation of football terrible. There is no fair competition any more in Germany’s first and second division. This makes the competition for the championship boring,”

“I played – naturally – on the left wing. Almost immediately my knees started hurting,”

“He looks so beautifully melancholic, even when he scores a goal,”

Naturally, he supports St Pauli.

UPDATE: More at the Guardian about writers and football from the founder of the wonderful Philosophy Football. (That’s where I got the shirt pictured above).

Why I don’t like films made from books and a list of good ones

I am not a huge fan of the flicks and I am very resistant to film versions of books, especially ones that I love. I read books, build up a picture in my head of how it all works, what it all looks like, and then some film blows it all out of the water and becomes the dominant image. (Ripley was NOT blonde, and he sure didn’t look like Matt Damon.) I hate this. So, I refuse, unless under extreme circumstances, to watch films made from my favourite books. (If they ever make a movie of The Reader I swear, I will top myself).

Anyway, despite all this, I would like to point out that the Guardian is organising some vote for the best film adaptations of books. They have organised a list of 50 that the (British?) public will vote on and a winner will be declared. The list is:

Alice in Wonderland
American Psycho
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Brighton Rock
Catch 22
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
A Clockwork Orange
Close Range (inc Brokeback Mountain)
The Day of the Triffids
Devil in a Blue Dress
Different Seasons (inc The Shawshank Redemption)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (aka Bladerunner)
Doctor Zhivago
Empire of the Sun
The English Patient
Fight Club
The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Get Shorty
The Godfather
Heart of Darkness (aka Apocalypse Now)
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Jungle Book
A Kestrel for a Knave (aka Kes)
LA Confidential
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Lord of the Flies
The Maltese Falcon
Oliver Twist
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Outsiders
Pride and Prejudice
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
The Railway Children
The Remains of the Day
Schindler’s Ark (aka Schindler’s List)
Sin City
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
The Talented Mr Ripley
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Through a Glass Darkly
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Vanishing
Watership Down

(Wot? No Puberty Blues?)

If I were held down and forced to choose a few of these I would have to plump for The Outsiders (I just borrowed the 20th anniversary edition DVD from the library), LA Confidential and Heart of Darkness.

Ramona the brave

Judy Blume, Anne Holm, Ian Serraillier and Beverly Cleary. These were some of my favourite things when I was a child. And now Cleary is turning 90 and she’s being interviewed by NPR. My, don’t I feel old.