Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Office / Cruise Night / Remarkable Keep / Shrapnel

This is where it all happens, IV

So we bought a house, which means a new writing space for me.

[For a peek at previous writing possies since I started blogging, see here (Edinburgh I), here (Edinburgh II, aka the time I considered writing in the toilet) and here (Wellington). You can also see my old Wellington writing space video-styles on this episode of TVNZ7's The Good Word (toward the end of part two).]

As with out old flat, my office doubles as the guest room, and we had two sets of visitors for the first two weeks in the new house, so I set up camp in our bedroom.

But now I'm in my office and starting to make it my own.

Perhaps I should have subtitled this section: This is as clean as it will ever be.

Right now (late afternoon) the sun is starting to pour into the window. I've heard bellbird, tui, silvereye, grey warblers, starling and seagulls (the dump is the next ridge over, though there is a sea view if you stand on the roof of our garage) in recent days. I heard a morepork the other night while taking the recycling out. It's pretty sweet.

Song o' the day

[This is a pretty sweet live version from 2009. The studio version appears on JKS's 2012 album Provincial and is also on Youtube.]

What I've been reading

Same as last time I posted about my reading, it's all been novel research or short story judging. The only fiction for fun comes in the form of audiobooks.

The KeepRecently I finished Jennifer Egan's 2006 novel, The Keep. As when I read A Visit From The Goon Squad last year, I had initial qualms about voice and the showier aspects of the narrative structure... but ultimately its charms won me over. Will The Keep make it on my end of year top ten list like Goon Squad did in 2011? I hope not, coz if it doesn't make the list that means I get to read eight or nine great books over the next eight months... but if it makes it on, it'll be hard to be bummed.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable ThingsI'm about 2/7ths of the way through Jon McGregor's 2002 novel If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (the audiobook is seven CDs, hence the odd fraction). It's a bit harder to get into that The Keep, down to the style of the book (very heavy on the minutae, light on the plot) which can be difficult to follow while riding the bus home after a long day at work. Also, the one female narrator makes it hard to differentiate the first and third person sections... So I'm tossing up whether to ditch the audiobook and pick up the physical book. It happens.

What (else) I've been listening to

Low Times Podcast #9 - Interview with Dave Wyndorf

Highlight: Dave Wyndorf describes playing a concert (back in his days with Shrapnel) at Norman Mailer’s house, with Woody Allen and Kurt Vonnegut in the audience... 

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