Tag Archives: writer

The Shy Erotic Writer (how do you explain to your mother that it might be best to skip a page?)

23 Nov

Monday was a very exciting day. A box of my new book ‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ arrived on my doorstep. So excited, so very, very excited. I felt like a kid on Christmas Day. And – this is probably going to sound a little pathetic – I took myself off to bed to read it. Yes, I have read it before… But not in a book!

 

So, there I was in bed, happily reading away until I got to page 34. And then I encountered a word that stopped me in my tracks. Here is the strange thing, the whole time I was writing the book, and even editing it, I somehow managed to convince myself that no-one else was ever going to read it. It’s funny the games your mind plays.

 

Because if I’d been thinking of all the people who might potentially read this book, I never would have left the ‘c’ word in. Yes that word. Only once. On page 34. And there is a context – it’s not gratuitous. But still.

 

And now, of course, I am thinking about my mother. And my mother-in-law. And all my mother-in-law’s friends who are going to get a very poor impression of me because I used that word. Not to mention the neighbours. And my kids’ teachers…

 

I’ve had a few people tell me that my last book ‘Liar Bird’ was a bit raunchy. That worries me because if ‘Liar Bird’ was raunchy, that would make ‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ the new ‘50 Shades of Grey’. Which it totally isn’t  Really, there’s just the odd bit of sex here and there and it all advances the plot. As much as I might like to get on the erotic fiction bandwagon I think it’s taken off without me.

 

I’m open to suggestions from anyone as to how to tackle this delicate issue with regard to my mother and my mother-in-law. I could:

 

a.. pretend that the book never got printed due to tough economic times.

b. get out the whiteout, or

c. add a note with an apology from my editor, explaining that she made me do it…

or perhaps

d. flee the country never to return.

 

What do you think?

Do I really need to ditch the tracksuit?

31 Jul

This year I decided to take a year off my community relations job in order to focus on my writing. Being a full-time writer sounds kind of glamorous. To me it evokes an image of a sultry looking woman in black beret, a cigarette holder hanging out of her mouth as she bangs away at her keyboard in a funky cafe. That woman may be out there, but she isn’t me.

As I write this I am wearing tracksuit pants that seem to have the remains of last night’s dinner on them, I haven’t washed my hair for at least a week, I am drinking Coles brand green tea and I haven’t shaved my legs since, um…  Too much information? Sorry.

I suspect that many writers are like me – we sink into total slobdom when not required to make appearances in the world. Which brings me to the Byron Writers Festival.  I have attended at least ten years of the festival, and this year for the first time I will be on the other side of the platform looking out. Yay!

I’m looking forward to it, but it also strikes me as being a strange thing – to herd a group of people who are more used to conversing with imaginary friends than real people onto a stage. While writing requires inappropriate thoughts to be shared – it’s called honesty – other forms of communication don’t always call for this. Perhaps this is what makes writers’ festivals good entertainment. Often you are watching someone who is totally unpractised saying whatever comes into their head. It can be refreshing.

So anyway, I’m planning to wash my hair in a couple of days and shake the dust off a nice frock. I think I might have some lipstick stashed away somewhere. And as for what comes out of my mouth? We shall see…

 

Catch me looking well groomed (or at least clean) at the Byron Writers Festival 1.15 Friday and 10.45 Sunday. 

Sometimes a banana is just a banana

6 Sep

The part of the world I live in is great for all sorts of reasons; surf, lifestyle, sun, people and… big things.  For obscure reasons, I recently did a tour of big things in my area. For the record, these included the big; Banana, Prawn, Knight, Avocado, Pie, Redback Spider, Pineapple, Macadamia, Cow, Shell, Pelican and Lawnmower, yes that’s right, lawnmower.

So, what was the highlight of this adventure? Well, there were in fact, many highlights. Sadly (or not so sadly) big things are closing down at a great rate. Ballina’s Big Prawn is just a shell and the Big Stubby, so fondly remembered by visitors to Tewantin, has made way for development. The closure of the Big Pineapple was breaking news on my journey. A local newspaper displayed a sad picture of a family who had driven all the way from Sydney to go to the Big Pineapple, only to find out it was closed. I guess they just turned around and drove all the way back again.

The Big Macadamia is next to the Big Pineapple, but it is hard to find. After much searching, we saw its peak, protruding over the forest like a lost Inca temple. This intrepid traveller trekked down through long grass for a closer look but got chased out by a tractor-riding guard. You can’t buy excitement like that.

The Big Banana is fabulous in a totally kitsch and, it has to be said, slightly kinky way. I felt like I might have lost my way and ended up in a Kings Cross sex shop. Is there really anyone out there who buys plastic moulded boxes to protect their bananas? How could you pull one of these out in public, without feeling like you were making an inappropriately raunchy statement? As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but usually…

All these big things gave me a nostalgic yearning for the 70s, a time when kitsch was big, when we were happy to be amazed by the view from the top of a pineapple’s crown, when a ride on a train through a banana plantation was the height of excitement.

Ah, the 70s; kaftans, flares, and strange food, but that’s another story.