Tag Archives: lisa heidke

On the dangers of running (how I found myself enrolled in a stand-up comedy course)

2 May

There’s something about running. It’s the endorphins, I suppose – they’re supposed to be like morphine, aren’t they? Obviously one should never make important decisions while under the influence of mind altering drugs, and yet my morning run on the beach is the time when all my brightest ideas strike me. Well, they seem bright at the time…

The other week on my beach run, it occurred to me that I should enrol in a stand-up comedy course. I’m not sure what brought this to mind, and even less sure why it seemed like a good thing.

I’ve known people who have done stand-up comedy before and it has always seemed like bungy jumping to me (which I’ve never done). Why would you do that to yourself?

But last week, on my beach run, somehow it seemed like an excellent idea. I needed to challenge myself. I’d been in the comfort zone for too long. I’ll just have a look on the web when I get home, I thought to myself. There probably won’t be a course on, or it will be on when I’m away. And I’ll be off the hook – another brilliant idea that I just couldn’t get around to. Drats!

But no, when I looked it up – horrors – there was a course starting in two weeks, it had vacancies and, incredibly, it didn’t clash with anything else I was doing. I had no excuses. The combination of endorphins and internet shopping was too much for me to handle. Within five minutes, I had whipped out my credit card and enrolled. You know what they say, enrol in haste, repent at leisure…

Every Wednesday night for six weeks, I will be facing my fears with my tutor, the amazingly talented Mandy Nolan. Hopefully I’ll get some laughs out of it. Whether anyone else will, remains to be seen.

Has anyone else done this, or been tempted to do something else really scary? Any sage words of advice or condolences to offer?

 

I will be talking about chick lit at the Gloucester Writers Festival this weekend with the lovely Lisa Heidke. This is the ‘before’ case study. By the time I get to the Byron Writers Festival in August, I will be much, much funnier, I promise!

Book Review: Fall Girl by Toni Jordan

7 Apr

What’s not to love about a good romantic comedy? You know that the girl’s going to get the guy and there’ll be some laughs along the way. Toni Jordan has positioned herself as the thinking woman’s rom com author of choice. Her first novel, Addition, was a best seller and Fall Girl is a worthy follow up.

The plot centres on Della Gilmore, part of a family of con-artists, as she attempts to pull off the biggest con of her life. Her ‘mark’ is Daniel Metcalf, a millionaire with a penchant for the Tasmanian Tiger. Enter Doctor Ella Canfield, evolutionary biologist. Boy, has she got a proposition for him.

Della is a loveable character who carries the story. Her supporting cast of con artists are also fun as they pretend to be PhD students in biology. I found Daniel Metcalf a little undefined but I was enjoying Della and her gang so much I didn’t really care.

Della’s masquerade as a field hardened researcher is hilarious. Take this dialogue, when faced with a river in need of crossing. ‘This is a minor problem. When I was at Harvard researching I walked all day to a skunk research site, then I had to wade a raging river carrying my tent over my head. Alone. In the dark. If I remember right, it was raining. That was fairly hard.’

The plot unfolds with twists and turns as Della suspects that Daniel, too, is not who he seems to be. Her growing interest in Daniel is nicely drawn. ‘I watch the way his shoulders tense and flex through his shirt… It is somewhat compelling, the sight of him, merely because this part of the trail is boring and there is nothing else to look at but trees trees trees.’ The reader’s expectations are playfully subverted; ‘I catch a glimpse of Daniel’s face and am not surprised to see desire etched there. He’s also looking at the water.’

Jordan’s writing is fresh and original. It is also very, very sexy. In fact her sex scenes are some of the best I’ve read.  I was tempted to quote from one, but this being a family blog… In short, if you want a light, humorous read that won’t insult your intelligence, Fall Girl is for you.

‘Fall Girl’ is the fourth of my book reviews for the Australia Women Writers Challenge

I will be on a panel at the Gloucester Writers Festival on the 6th of May with another Lisa, Lisa Heidke. The topic we’re discussing is… ‘Chick lit is not Dumb lit’. Indeed! Love to see you there if you’re in the vicinity.