Friday, January 29, 2010


When did you first become aware of a desire to write?

I didn't invent this question. It was asked on Miss Snark's First Victim blog (see the link to your right).

But it's a good question.

So, fire away. I'm interested. Pretend this is an interview and lay down on my analyst couch.


You are now hypnotised and will reveal all your deepest darkest secrets...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tickling Funnybones.

I’m a natural comedian. And my writing reflects this. I am not a dark character and personality wise I’ve that kind of nature with the glass half full.

But I’m also dramatic. I think the two go perfectly together, hand in hand. There’s something about pathos, like black and white, ying and yang that combines the overall effect together.

Irony also lends itself well to comedy.

(Charlie Chaplin knew this so well.)

But comedy needs to be well done. It’s dangerous ground unless you are supremely confident because it can so easily descend into the grossly ridiculous.

Perhaps that is why I love Jane Austen so much. She had such a sublime sense of comedy. Subtle, like pearls with a little black dress in that Audrey Hepburn way. And one of the best opening pieces… which I had recourse to refer to only yesterday, which is both enlightening, as in summarising the essence of her novel and loaded with the subtle promise of an ironic and light hearted romp… promise being the key word because at no point in the ensuing novel does the promise let the reader down, and now just look at this little gem, the jewel in the tiara:

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Then in a supreme little spoonful she nudges the reader further into her novel:

However little known, the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood,

In other words the poor bastard won’t know what hit him and look at this slam/dunk:

This is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

Signed, sealed, delivered to the slaughter.

Isn’t it funny, but Austen still fits in today. Comedy can be a victim of it’s time because what we find funny in one generation, can be lost to another. I think people in today’s world have lost a lot in the current politically correct atmosphere of overcautiousness not to touch sensibilities of elements of society.

But then good comedy, well done, perhaps doesn’t have a use-by date.

Google “Who’s on first base” and you will see what I’m getting at.

So what's next?

I admire people who can do the cryptic crossword. They must be very clever. But then...?

I get to write THE END to a long manuscript full of my imaginings.

IQ is like art. It's so subjective.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Endings for New Beginnings...

Happy endings. Funny but two of my favorite things don't have any endings at all - other than perverse...

George Bernard Shaw went out of his way to disappoint me by informing me in no uncertain terms that the glamorous Audrey was going to pursue her ambitions for a flower shop, spawn dozens of rug rats and ankle biters to the flop, totally on-the-street-where-you-live Eddy. Why? She could have lived happily ever after with crusty old 'enry. Oh Audrey. How could you, when you came to fetch 'is slippers, think Eddy could be a happy ending.

And there's Scarlett. Well you silly fool, you mucked around all that time pining for Ashley and missed the Gable charm...

But never mind, whenever she promised to think about it tomorrow, Rhett better have a good excuse to resist her onslaught, altho' he did quite well avoiding her in the awful attempt at a sequel which is about the only book I've ever gladly disposed off at the second hand bookstore. (I cannot throw out books but I'm happy to dump them onto somebody else's shelf.)

Why do I love happy endings? There is something satisfying about happy endings. There's an awwwwwww factor. GMC + HE = happy me. Hopeless romantic soul.

But there are people who consider happy endings to be tragically trashy. Sure they win Pulitzers and probably qualify for the Nobel, and the New York Times will write extensively about them with varying degrees of angst and praise...

... but little old me, she who loves Jane Austen with a fervor of a Beatles fan in the sixties is happy with Miss Lizzie's happy future with Colin Firth. And I ask why not? He was such a hunk they recycled him in Bridget's Diary.

Me and millions (This is a note for my mother - YES! Me and -) of other people are quite content to tuck our toes next to the fire and to awwwwwww our way out of the worries of the world. Earthquakes in Haiti and the horrors of the nuclear threat in the hands of terrorists.

If you happen to trip over my simple musings for this day, let me know if you agree or disagree and why.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's time.

No matter what, the cocoon must eventually turn into the butterfly. No matter how cozy the cocoon was, nature demands we move on to the next stage. In this case the cocoon is cozy against a blitzkrieg of heatwaves beating down on this, my city of Sydney today.

But we are waiting for the inevitable southerly buster which will come like the hero of the south and drop the temperatures to a liveable extent and then life will go on as normal.

And so must my writing activities.

Over the holidays, my son was visiting with his new wife from London. It was lovely to see him, meet my new daughter in law and to try to revitalise my drooping spirits, to be teased back into being inspired.

Yes, my batteries have been sputtering lately. I'm like a little car which is needing a jump start.

Batteries are my problem. Just ask anyone who wants to ring me on my cell phone. I'm the original forgetful charger. But maybe that should be my New Years Resolution. Charge your cellphone, your internal battery and get back onto the track - no excuses - head down, butt up hard work, determination, focus.

I've been treadmilling with determination this week. No excuses treadmilling. Exercise works It works on the butt and it works simultaneously on the head. The power of being positive so watch out manuscripts here comes Penney Positive...

Lean and mean Zara Penney is going to edit you all to within an inch of your word counts... because...

It's time!