Wednesday, September 02, 2009

the roarin' forties care far too much


The Fringe Festival is imminent and YOU MUST SEE VIGILANTELOPE'S SHOW "THE TALE OF THE GOLDEN LEASE", and no, that is not a recommendation, it is a fucking ORDER the damn world will END IF YOU DO NOT SEE THIS SHOW and do you really want that on your conscience NO YOU DO NOT.

We saw this at the Comedy Festival last April. It was a last minute 'what the hell' ticket buy, based on a passing recommendation. I think we saw around five comedy shows all up, Danny Bhoy and Jason Byrne included, and this was the best show of the whole festival, by miles and miles. In fact, it remains the best show I've been to all year. It was spectacularly funny, clever, absurd, with dancing and singing and tomfoolery and, and, you know I am not capable of the lyrical waxing necessary to do these guys justice. It was that fucking OARSUM. Quotes have stayed with us and randomly tossing them out is enough to reduce us to tears STILL.

Tickets are cheap. Opening night is 2 for 1. 2 for 1! Take your friends. Take your cat. Just do something in character and go. Do something out of character and go.


I also discovered that Mono will be playing at the Hi Fi in December. This is not the Mono that released Formica Blues, this is the Japanese instrumental Mono that puts me in mind of Explosions In The Sky and the new album by Jónsi & Alex (part of Sigur Rós which I discovered by accident when I foolishly entered Polyester Records just to "look around" - you'd think I'd know better by now).

I also discovered the Hi Fi has a bar in Brisbane. This discovery occurred when my browser had a hissy fit half way through buying a ticket, and in the process of starting over I ended up buying a ticket for the gig in Brisbane. Which should hopefully be refunded, but anyway, Brisbanites, they're heading your way too.


Mammals Underfoot! An Interview With Emerging Writers

conducted by Jeff VanderMeer, featuring Jesse Bullington, N. K. Jemisin, Meghan McCarron, Shweta Narayan, Jeremy C. Shipp, Angela Slatter, Genevieve Valentine and some other muppet.

I like the idea of 'emerging'. It puts me in mind of the headhuggers in Alien. The egg peels open, I extend my creepy-arse legs over the lip, I emerge, and then I leap at you, shove my gonads in your face and ram my proboscis down your throat and lay eggs in your chest, and then those eggs hatch and a wee bebe alien emerges. From your chest. At velocity.

I would like to one day write a story that has that sort of effect on the reader.

It would probably put me in gaol. Oh well. Totally worth it. You suffer for my art!

Jeff sez:

Every once in awhile, it’s good for a fool like me, entering mid-career, to check the pulse of what’s going on among the emerging writers who will one day call you a curmudgeon. Keeping tabs on this unruly, diverse lot not only lets you see the end of the road coming from much farther away and softens the often abrupt transition from “young turk” to “old fart”—it also re-energizes you and helps ensure that your reading patterns don’t get too predictable. Usually, I keep up via blogs and online fiction, but I thought it would be interesting to interview a few emerging writers about subjects like their connection to the larger community, where they see themselves in five years, what they’ve been reading, and their take on mammals versus large reptiles. A kind of core sample, if you will.

Last week I received my ARC of Booklife, which I read in manuscript format. It was an interesting exercise, seeing as I've never attempted to offer constructive feedback on a work of non-fiction. It evolved from comments into a conversation, and bits of me scratching my head and saying "well, wot I think is-" have been quoted throughout (introverts and socially-disinclined hermit crabs of the world, represent yo!).

(Being an introverted and socially-disinclined hermit crab I find the 'Private Booklife' section - looking at the various internal aspects of being a writer, strategies on dealing with the emotional pitfalls and psychological traps most of us find ourselves in at one point or another - much more interesting than the 'Public Booklife' section - excellent strategies and tactics on PR, marketing, career goals and being a real go-getter. First read through, the Public section left me feeling inadequate. I am not the type of person capable of networking, promoting, or doing anything that, to me, smells like coming on with an agenda, all of which are becoming increasingly important in the current market. But everything I read has been stored and percolating in the backbrain for some months now, which is time enough for me to see what I could conceivably do without making a wreck of myself. Time enough for it not to be scary. It's an incredibly interesting and (depending on who you are of course) useful book - hermit crabs, I know you're out there and staring at the idea of PR and marketing with the same horror that I am. Read it, feel horrified and awful, go away and don't think about it...and later, when you need them, you'll find the ideas have already been planted in your head, and they're not so scary any more.)

Interestingly, I'm listed in the acknowledgments as a "constructive curmudgeon". Now, taking the above excerpt into consideration, what do we get when someone who has attained the state of curmudgeon calls someone who should be calling them a curmudgeon a curmudgeon?

Paradox! The universe is going to collapse in on itself! Run to the hills!

I have no idea what I was on when I wrote those answers, by the way. I don't think anything I said will be out of the ordinary to those of you who've been reading for a while, which probably isn't a great thing. I'm being a twat in front of a whole new audience. To those of you who have arrived here from Clarkesworld - there's just more of the same here, yep, years and years of mental diarrhea. I would apologise for bringing down the standard of a fine quality publication, but, er, well...

Heh. Hehe.

Tessa, I hear you say, Tessa, you used to post actual content. What is all this NEWSFLASH! you have going on?

Dude, I say, dude, I am still not capable of writing. Still. I don't want to. I just don't want to. I don't even want to think. I am not processing. The end is nigh, truly it is, and the cracks are showing, and I'm beginning to transition from whole person to loose swarm of neuroses, and I just don't want to.

(Totally the perfect time to answer questions about writing.)

I've just finished baking triceratops biscuits. It must be bed time.


  1. So wif I said "Tessa, I have this idea for an anthology. It will make you tear out your guts and microscope your soul. I want a story in three weeks time."...

    Except I won't. Twice in twelve months would kill the friendship, I suspect. It's so very tempting though.

  2. Nice interview!

    I love Mono. In fact I like both Monos. But probably particularly the Japanese Mono.

    Maybe I shall go see them. If I can tear myself out of my own curmudgeonly hermitcrabshell.

  3. nice one, i enjoyed the read.

  4. I suspect the 'public' part of the book is there for them as wants it? Taking what you need or can use from it sounds like the sensible approach.

    Dude, I'm sure you have lovely kidneys.

  5. Anonymous4/9/09 01:07

    yah--i think anyone who did all of it would go insane. I know I have. - the curmudgeon

  6. ArthurMiller@OUSalesperson4/9/09 01:57

    Thank you for the Mono tip. I see the Necks whenever I can (much to the bemusement of the people I drag along) so this is right up my alley.

  7. You are a bad bad person, Gillian.

    Very kind of you to say, Ben and Andrew, but that interview was daft. With a capital WTF.

    When I looked at all the 'whooo!' on the event page for Mono, I had to wonder how many people thought they were seeing the Formica Blues Mono, heh. The new Decoder Ring album is in the same vein too, going to see them at the Hi Fi tonight.

    (My kidneys are blushing.)

  8. Introvert hermit crabs are cool!

    ...but are in the minority. The extrovert to introvert ratio is approximately 3 to 1; so the world is geared to extroversion (and to loud, crowded parties). And introverts are thought of as anti-social, self-absorbed weirdo's because we don't want to go to the extroverts parties. I've been to extrovert parties and there were plenty of anti-social, self-absorbed, EXTROVERT weirdo's there.

    I'm reading a book called "The Introvert Advantage" by Marti Olsen Laney, which is kind of a self help book - but an interesting and useful one - which is all: "be proud of your introversion", "acting like a psychopath doesn't mean you are a psychopath", "introvert good, extrovert bad"...I may have embellished a little with those last 2 "quotes".

    Apparently, according to neuro imaging studies, the brain physiology of extroverts and introverts is significantly different. There are differences in dominant neurotransmitters and neural pathways - which cause introverts to become tired and cranky when too much is going on and to need alone time. And conversely, extroverts become tired and cranky when they spend too much time alone.

    (Sorry for the length of this comment but I just had so much to say, having not spoken to anyone in 3 years, due to my introversion)


    PS. Kidneys are obviously a very important internal organ as we have 2 of them.

  9. I think that is one of the hardest things about being an introvert; not assuming that it is because there is something wrong with you, that you are at fault and to blame for the fact your behaviour is in the minority.

    Interesting though that it can be attributed to various transmitters. Makes you wonder if you could flip those switches. All of them. And make everyone extro-intraverts, so we're all perfectly well adjusted.

    Heh. Yeah, right.

    We have ten toes. Surely that makes them even more important.

  10. I bought my first Japanese Mono album thinking it was Formica Blues Mono! Luckily it was awesome.

    I should check out Decoder Ring. I heard their album on spinner and it sounded pretty cool.

    Re: introverts... I always knew I had to be part of some kinda minority! How else to justify my ennui?

  11. waitwaitwait ennui requires justification now?


  12. Well.... half-arsed justification :-)