August 31, 2009

Waiting for spring

We're having very dreary weather for the last day of winter, even by Melbourne standards. Hopefully it'll make it easier for me to stay head down and bum up working on the next round of revisions for Book 1 (which now seems to be called Finding Freia Lockhart).

I've been letting my editor's suggestions simmer in the back of my mind for the last few days, but must admit I haven't been brave enough to open the annotated manuscript yet. I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying the editing and revising process, but there's definitely an element of 'how can I make that work without completely rewriting the book?' and 'so you want 10 new scenes but I can't increase the word count?' dread to it.

Luckily a very dear friend came to stay for the weekend, so I was able to avoid addressing any of those questions for the last few days. We went here, and shopped here and here, and ate delicious food here and here. Needless to say, I overindulged in everything and spent yesterday moping around the house instead of writing :\

August 17, 2009

Review: Love is a Many Trousered Thing, Louise Rennison

LIAMTT is the 8th in Rennie's hugely successul Georgia Nicholson series (a series that seems to be heading for completion at book #10, if the plot progression towards what must be its natural conclusion is anything to go by).

I enjoyed LIAMTT, but I agree with many of the reviews on Goodreads that Georgia's diaries are getting to be a bit like reading the same book again and again. Not that that book's not funny enough to keep your attention for a few hours, but there is a certain ho hum-ness to the neverending Viking jokes, nunga nunga references and G's complete inability to see what's right under her nose. I'd also agree that while Georgia's self obsession can be vair vair amusant, it makes her hard to like at times (okay, almost all of the time), and impossible for me to feel any sympathy for her, and I do wonder why her 'best friend' Jas still hangs around her after so many years of being used and abused. That said, reading LIAMTT was a bit like catching up with an old friend after many years and slipping easily back into each other's company - very comfortable.

One thing I really admire about Rennison as a YA writer is that she doesn't shy away from her characters' (especially her female characters) sexual urges (aka red bottomosity and having the horn). Rennison treats horniness as a normal part of being a teenager, as it should be. (What's not so normal to me is that 8 books on the Ace gang are still only acting on these urges to the point of a long term boyfriend sticking his hand up their top, but I guess for mass market appeal/exposure lines must be drawn.)

Other things I love about this series are:

  • Georgia's psychotic but very loving little sister, Libby
  • Georgia's mutti and vati's adeptness at not buying into her self obsession
  • erlack, ditherspazz, nervy b and other great Georgia-isms that sneak into my vocabulary.

And even though I can already take a pretty solid guess at what's going to happen in book 9 (more Viking love traditions, another silly disco dance, a couple of Stiff Dylans gigs, and of course much dithering about whether to follow her heart), I know that I'll read it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy, and it'll make me laugh my pantaloonies off.

August 10, 2009

Everything I need to know I learnt from a John Hughes movie

Like so many people, especially those who were teenagers in the mid to late 80s, I was very sad to hear that John Hughes died last week. Even though my most recent re-viewing of Sixteen Candles made me feel a little less adoration for him (and since his death I've had to get over my guilt for feeling anything negative about the man who is being remembered as a the titan of teen angst), many of his movies hold a very special place in my heart.

Pretty in Pink will always be my #1 favourite because Andy is smart and she sews (let's forget the heinous prom dress for a moment), and Duckie is the sweetest crusher a teenage girl could hope for, and back in the day I thought Blaine was the most perfect boyfriend material ever (these days, Andrew McCarthy looks too much like one of my exes - rather takes the shine off). And also the soundtrack is fantastic. And there's a Smiths poster on the wall in the record store.

Of course, I also loveloveloved The Breakfast Club, in which I identified with Ally Sheedy's nymphomaniac/pathological liar character a little too much. I remember there was a huge buzz when TBC was released and it became the movie of the summer of year 10. So much so, that a casual fling decided that he'd go for the Judd Nelson look, dyed his (almost white-blond) hair black, ripped up a perfectly good flannelette shirt and took to wearing a leather fingerless glove. Needless to say, he looked nothing like Judd Nelson.

Sixteen Candles I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, and I do still love it even though some of its veneer has been rubbed away for me. Interestingly, I didn't see SC until I was in my 20s, so the whole Jake Ryan fascination passed me by the first time around. Maybe not having any teenage memories attached to the film is also how I'm able to be critical about it?

And finally, an unexpected (to me) JH film that I love dearly is Uncle Buck. I went to see it at Hoyts on George St with my then boyfriend and a mate of ours who'd taken to playing gooseberry. It was this mate's idea to see UB and to be honest I really wasn't keen; I didn't think John Candy was funny and, at 16, fancied myself as more arthouse than 'family' in the movie stakes. But I loved it, and it made me want an Uncle Buck of my own.

Vale John Hughes, a man who really knew hs way around teen angst.

August 3, 2009

Grumpy old woman rant of the week

I've been thinking quite a lot about the Kyle Sandilands/Jackie O lie detector debacle last week, and the more I think the angrier I get. Not only with KS, who is a known tosspot, and his 'don't be mean about me, I'm the nice one' sidekick, but also about the show's producers, who surely must have some say in the program's 'stunts', and the radio station management that endorses public humiliation of young people as entertainment.

According to this morning's news, the Kyle and Jackie O show has been suspended indefinitely. Not because someone at Austereo came to their senses and realised that it had gone too far and should be terminated, but because poor, sensitive Kyle is 'unable to perform his on-air duties at this time'. My heart bleeds.

It will be interesting to see whether Channel 10 allows someone with such blatant disrespect for young people, and disregard for their wellbeing, continue to front Australian Idol. If they do, I hope Australia's youth vote with their viewing figures and switch off in droves.

/end grumpy old woman rant of the week

Inbetween being angry, this week I've also:

  • finished reading City of Glass, the final instalment of the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare (yay for non-shiny vampires, werewolves and kickass shadowhunters with sexy scars)
  • sewn cushion covers for the couch with fabfric leftover from making the wardrobe curtain
  • cut out the fabric to make Lotta Jansdotter's everyday tote
  • finished knitting the little-hat-that-was-meant-to-be-a-cloche-but-ended-up-being-a-bit-too-floppy, but oh well it's quite cute anyway
  • watched season 3 of The Mighty Boosh (and have had Bouncy Bouncy stuck in my head ever since).