Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Time expands to fill a vacuum

Time flies when you're doing nothing stag parties, weddings, working full time for the first time in over a year, cutting down trees, watching television...

Looking ahead to next month, when the NBA season is in full swing and my hapless Kings are already floundering but still somehow compelling, I wonder how I'll find any 'free' time to write.

That list of short stories to write when I got to the end of THE NOVEL remains untouched.

The list of strange-but-not-that-interesting things that happened to me at work keeps getting longer.


Music. I didn't listen to much in September. My music consumption and writing time are directly correlated.

Here's my Spotify playlist for August:

I am listening to the new Tragically Hip album, Now for Plan A, right now (stream it free here for a limited time). Verdict after two listens: So it wasn't all Bob Rock's fault on World Container and We Are the Same. I'm sure there will be some songs that start to stand out in time, but it's all rather straight ahead rock to these ears.

But then I thought the same about Fully Completely the first five or six times.

I've been wrong before.


The day the tea tasted amazing. Like, really amazing.

The day the lifts went slow.

The day a dove landed on the ledge outside my window.

The day I wore prescription glasses for the first time.

The day they announced the Christchurch Education Renewal Plan.

The day I mentioned the day the tea tasted amazing and no one knew what I was talking about.


Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding CrowdAnother audiobook. Perhaps it's because I listened to Jeffery Eugenides' The Marriage Plot earlier this year, or perhaps it's because I'd just gotten to the end of my own novel which does not feature the marriage plot, but I felt conditioned to enjoy Far from the madding crowd.

And I did enjoy it.

I like the way it starts with a very static description of 'Farmer Oak'. I like the way he's had his shot at Bathsheba Everdene early on and the scene where young George drives his sheep off the cliff, reducing him to a shepherd once more.

At the time I liked Hardy's authorly theorising about men and women. The sort of things you could never really get away with in a book today. The sort of things quotation pages lap up, but has the habit of jolting the reader from the story:
"We colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in."
“Indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain of a man, is the basis of his sublimity when it does not.”

“A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”

“We learn that it is not the rays which bodies absorb, but those which they reject, that give them the colours they are known by; and in the same way people are specialised by their dislikes and antagonisms, whilst their goodwill is looked upon as no attribute at all.”
I think I liked these readymade pull quotes because they were so barefaced. Oh no you didn't. Oh yes he did.

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