Posts Tagged ‘Books’


Here’s a tiny bit of book. My book. Yikes. 

Good grief, the last time I blogged was three months ago and I was ordering cheese for H’s exhibition. Well, the exhibition came and went and was a resounding success, and we have only just finished eating the thirteen kilograms of cheese that accompanied it.

My book is now at page proof stage, which for those of you not indentured to the publishing industry means the editing is more or less finished and the words have been laid (lain? anyone here an editor?) out into the design the pages will have when it is a real live bound book. It’s being proofread by a professional, and I’m reading it, and so are a few other people whose eagle eyes I trust. Next week I’m going round to an editor friend’s house to read it aloud to her, which will no doubt throw up a few more errors we can fix. It’ll be like audio books would have been in the olden days, before recording existed, when authors had to go from house to house reading their books aloud to people while they did the ironing, or sat in the back of the car reading to them while they drove to Canberra. (more…)

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Seven year olds can make their own fairy bread. That’s dinner for the rest of the year sorted. 

I’m a long way through the writing of this first book but I’ve hit a little wall. It’s not a big or hard wall, and it’s nothing to do with the book (which will be great and excellent so my publisher who reads this need not freak out and go into labour or anything), it’s just a wall with a sign on it that says ‘nearly there: reduce speed now’.

It’s to do with the fact that if I keep writing at the rate I have been I will finish it well before the deadline and then what fun will having a deadline be? For surely the only point of a deadline is for it to cause enormous trauma and misery to me and everyone around me, right? Like the deadline for my thesis at university, which was approached correctly, by doing bugger bloody all for months on end and then writing almost the whole thing the night before it was due. (more…)

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IMG_1674The countdown to May Blossom’s fifth birthday has begun. It is agony for the poor child. Six weeks out she started with, ‘It’s a really long time until my birthday. It’s too long. I don’t think I can wait that long.’ Sorry, my love, birthdays come when they come. And if you think this spring is going slowly, you should have been here five years ago, when the months of September and October took eleven years, I weighed the same as the average delivery of topsoil and the two sides of my pelvis were huffily turning their backs on each other and sidling apart, like siblings refusing to have their heights compared.

Three weeks out she started saying, ‘I don’t want to hear it’s anyone else’s birthday before mine.’ Now we’re down to four days and she is crying each morning because FOR THE LOVE OF PETE WHY ISN’T IT FRIDAY YET? I think the thing she is most looking forward to is breakfast in bed. She’s been begging me for it for months, and I finally capitulated and said that on the morning she turns five I will serve her breakfast in bed. Then I asked what she would like. Leek and potato soup, and baked beans on toast. I can’t think of a worse breakfast to serve in bed. Except maybe fondue, because that’s both messy and flammable. (more…)

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The next book we’re borrowing from the library is ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.

Right now one of May Blossom’s favourite books is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. It has been in painfully high rotation for about a month now, which means we read it to her at least twice every day.

To its credit, Bear Hunt is not yet shitting me to tears in the way some of her previous favourites have – the day she didn’t ask for Oxenbury and Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes as the last book of the evening, after SIX SOLID MONTHS OF IT, I wept with gratitude. But it has only been a month of the bear so we shall see.

May Blossom, on the other hand, is beginning to be seriously irritated by a couple of points in Bear Hunt. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, a thousand times, it’s the retelling of a traditional children’s rhyme about looking for a bear. On the way, we encounter obstacles, none of which can be gone over or under, and which we must simply go through, as hard as that might be. So we have to go through long grass (swishy swashy), a big dark forest (stumble trip) and a deep cold river (splash splosh) and so on. Rosen and Oxenbury’s version of the book stars a rather gormless father and his four children, who look to be roughly around ten, eight, six and one year old. They are accompanied on this fool’s venture by their dog, a border collie. They are, as far as the illustrations reveal, unarmed. (more…)

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Yesterday my mum made May Blossom a playhouse out of the box from the new barbecue. By sheer coincidence, it is an exact, full-scale model of our own flat, right down to the squashed grapes and bits of Vegemite sandwich on the floor.

But this squishy little flat will soon be a much-improved palace, because the Michael the Bathroom Man, Saviour of Hearts and Minds, is coming to see us on Saturday. He is going to quote on replacing our Emporium of Mould and Dryer Fluff with an actual bathroom. We might even get a toilet that flushes properly and that doesn’t have a wonky plastic seat so flimsily attached that if you don’t sit down very carefully you skid off the pan and out the door on it like it’s a bobsled. Sheer luxury. And two competing teams of air-conditioning installers (that is almost definitely the pitch for a reality show on Channel 9), are coming to decide who gets the honour of chilling out this little hothouse of ours. (more…)

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How funny, that's exactly the outfit I am wearing as I write this blog post, right down to the lipstick and earrings.

Mem Fox says in her book Reading Matters that we should read at least three books each day to our children. Roughly one thousand books a year will do. Repeating the same books is fine, although I am assuming it’s slightly more improving for everyone’s development and sanity not to just read one book a thousand times. (There’s a game for a long car trip: What book would you choose if you had to read it aloud a thousand times?) (more…)

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