Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Auckland aftermath

Sydney's cyclone stormed into Auckland over the long weekend and although not doing anywhere near as much damage as it had done across the Tasman, and much less altogether than the damage wrought by the man-made storm that was Gallipoli WWI for the ANZACS (Aussie and New Zealand soldiers) - the reason for the long weekend - it left its mark on the city and on me, drawing me out with my camera to photograph a city I live in, but rarely see.

Friday, April 24, 2015

In the moon

Is it...
a sail
a nail
a hammock
a buttock -
a boob?
No it's a moon;
you goon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Time for a map

According to this year's Time top 100 most influential people (Titans of industry, Leaders, Pioneers, 'Icons' and Artists), if you're born in North America you're approximately a million times more likely to be 'influential' in one or other of these fields, particularly if you're born on the east coast, and most particularly, New York. 

I exaggerate slightly, but only slightly. The map says it all. It's made to look like this select group of VIPs were born and live all over the globe, but that's only because there isn't room for aaaaall the Americans in America. Tim Cook of that famous fruit company is floating somewhere off the South African coast, which is not where he was born or spends most of his time, methinks.

In order to get the land mass of NZ on the map, even though it contributes NOTHING to world influence, according to the map -- which should please the Australians, except for the fact that neither do they, according to the map -- I had to leave off Barack Obama. You win some and you lose some. 

Time for a nap -- to dream about being on the map, possibly in the form of Reese Witherspoon.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Behold Beauty

'Summer sorbet' by Sandy Dooley

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
so Shakespeare said so well,
and yet...

This day of subtle sunshine,
of timid breeze
and tickled leaves,
reeks beauty in every breath,
seethes colour at its best,
shows shadows know
what light is for
to highlight hope in hiding.

What more could beauty do or be
than to give colour to the breeze
and set hope in hiding free?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shrew shmoo to you

I'm sorry, 'shrew shmoo' is hard to say, but bear with me; it's all in a good cause...

You see, I was doing a bit of research on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew -- as you do -- and came across this interesting article from a movie script assessor, a male movie script assessor
http://www.scriptmag.com/features/taming-shrew-writing-female-characters-archetypes lamenting the lack of likeable female protagonists in the 2013 line up of big films, a line-up he also notes is woefully short on female leads of any sort, compared with the line-up of big films with male leads, most of whom are redeemably likeable and heroic. Just a mirror image of the real world, basically: lots of nice, heroic, non-violent guys; lots of violent, shitty, shrewy women.

Indeed this seasoned script assessor reckons that ALL the female leads in the big films of 2013 were shrews of one kind or another (read the article to see just how many kinds of shrew there are, according to Hollywood film writers and producers).

So what's a shrew?

In the English language, the word shrew is used to describe a woman given to violent, scolding, particularly nagging treatment... The animals of the same name were believed historically to behave aggressively and with cruelty, and to have a venomous bite;[1] the term "shrew" was then applied first to a person of either sex thought to have a similar disposition, then to women alone.[2] (Wiki).

So the aggressive and cruel 'shrew' mice are male and female, but the human equivalent 'shrew' is only female, that's how history (men) decided it and that's how Hollywood (mostly men) reinforces it. Shrew shmoo to you, men; it's not good enough what you do.    

Friday, April 10, 2015

A room with 66,384 views

Two years of OWW today!

... and a few thousand more views this year, April to April, than last year, though I posted more than twice as many posts last year than this. So not a bad post-for-post result.

I'm glad you're looking in on me and my wacky world, even if you aren't FOLLOWING me in great numbers or leaving COMMENTS, which is a little less gladness making but never mind.

This here is the other end, the business end, of my little study from the book end shown in the photo taken last year of the little room where everything, or almost everything, happens, on this auspicious anniversary (see: http://onewomanswo.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-room-with-31615-views-oww-1-year-today.html). I'm sure there's a better way of sharing a link, in fact I know there is, but I've forgotten how. Never mind.

Yesterday my first publishing contract came through and by this time next year, if the publishers hold good to their promises, my first book should be on the shelves of all good book stores in Australia, New Zealand and beyond -- presuming there are any left.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

First blood

Terry Jarrard-Dimond -Art and Meaning

I feel as though I am waiting for my life to begin. It's been seven, going on eight days since I was promised a contract to publish my first book, with a 'first option' for my second book written in.

It was an evening of much celebration when I received this last-minute promise by email, just before Good Friday and the Easter break, having waited since the Monday, when I was told by the publishing manager that they were 'pretty confident' they would be offering me a contract. That was a four day wait.

Before that there was a much longer wait between emails, about three months in total. All were positive messages, but some were edged with warnings that the market for memoirs by unknown authors was in a bad way and the book publishing industry in general was in an even worse state than that.

Am I being played and primed to sign any contract that comes along no matter the terms? The resurrection only took three days, after all.

We celebrated with First Blood the night I was promised a publishing deal. Why First Blood? Because Rambo IV or some such sadness was being previewed on TV when the good news came in and Stallone was looking so old, clenching a tired muscle in his forearm as he steered a limp ship while trying to impress a not young, but still-too-young-for-him 'girl', that I couldn't bear it, and even in my elation, not really watching, while pacing the room, sipping (slurping) from my topped-up wine glass, I recalled with fondness Stallone in Rocky, the film I had seen with friends at the movies for my twelfth birthday and mentioned briefly in my memoir. So I decided that on this night it wouldn't do to be shown how the mighty fall and time fucks us all while celebrating the promise of a contract for my first book, only ten months shy of my fiftieth birthday. We switched the TV off and got a DVD. We didn't have Rocky; we had First Blood. 

Speaking of blood, I am also waiting on my monthly, with tension building like the mother of all pimples ready to pop. And while I wait on that and the contract, I have picked a harmless lump on my forehead into a raging wound, just to draw blood somewhere. If the period and contract don't come soon, I'm not going to have a face left to present to the public when I'm interviewed on TV about the runaway success of my book. Then all you'll be left with is Stallone in his seventies, because that's what it's coming to.

Newsflash: Blood and contract arrived in one, and on the very day I wrote this! (on another file). What are the odds? Of course the contract's not flash; they want me to trim 12,000 words from the manuscript and won't pay me more than 10% for the e-book copies, the same as the paperbacks, but hey! I'm unpublished. I've got no leverage -- for now. This is only the first blood. Wait till I really get flowing.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Holydays in Hamilton

It's all happening in Hamilton... 

Here, the gardens of Roma, Old England, New Zealand, Japan, India, Australia and 'modernist' America, and many other countries and cultures, as well as mating monarchs, are to be found all merrily intermingling in microcosm down in happening Hamilton where we spent our Easter holiday this year, just the two of us. 

We, my good man and I, stayed in a mid-range hotel where these clocks were on proud, perhaps slightly ironic display in the foyer, and I was presented in bed with these mini-atheist eggs on resurrection Sunday. Worth coming back and going down to hokey Hamilton town, for. I also enjoyed one of the best desserts I've ever eaten on the Saturday night (and I'm not talking about sex), and I've been to London and New York, though not -- yet -- Paris (hint, hint, my good man).   

Friday, April 3, 2015


Well, it has happened; I have been offered a contract to publish my book by a relatively small but solid Sydney publisher, with 'first option' to publish my second book included in the contract.

Since deciding to focus on my writing two to three years ago, getting or 'winning' a publishing contract, as I believe they refer to it in the biz and rightly so, because it's just a little bit competitive, has been my goal, second only of course to my goal of writing a decent book. Of course.

It feels like a long slog to get to this point but it really hasn't been too long and in fact I think I might be one of the lucky ones, all things considered, though it's not quite in the bag yet. Indeed I am yet to see (and sign) the contract...  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seven April Fools'

Seven years ago today I submitted my PhD thesis to the University of Auckland. April Fools' Day, the day for embracing random acts of foolishness and pranks.

What could be more fitting than to submit my doctoral thesis on domestic homicide that took me ten years of hard mental labour, emotional torment, tranquillisers and therapy to complete on such a day for fools as this?  I can't think of much.
Even so, I didn't set the date.