23 December 2005

Idea, books, summer

I've started a short story! Yay! Ideas feeling like they're flowing again. Not surprisingly, I had story ideas running around in my head while I was having a facial (not that kind, the massage kind). I get a neck and shoulder massage as well which is essential if you write a lot. But as I was lying there, the woman doing the facial was called out to some minor emergency at the foyer and I got to thinking about what I would do if if something happened to her. That sparked off a whole train of thought about being trapped with no clothes on and green gloop on your face in an emergency. We'll see where it goes.

In 2006 I’m going to keep track of what I read. I admit this is partially because my memory is not what it used to be (neither are various parts of my body – gravity is kicking in big time). But I also want to pay more attention to why some books work and others don’t.

I finished Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro a few days ago. I found I couldn’t put it down, but I’m hard pressed to understand why. The bare description sounds sensational – a group of young people bred as clones to be organ donors, gradually discover the truth of their situation – but, really, nothing much happens. Their lives are pedestrian and ordinary. The minute depiction of this ordinariness is what makes the book so compelling. Every gesture and glance are events of major significance to the protagonists and Ishiguro is able to make this both interesting and believable.

From that to Suzanne Brockmann’s Over the Edge is quite a difference. I was reluctant to read Suzanne Brockmann, not sure that I’d like her brand of gung-ho American military heroes, but it’s a rollicking good read filled with action and romance. Her heroes are alphas without being jerks, a fine line which some romance authors cross. Mmm, sounds like the subject of another post.

This being the time of year that it is, I’m off to the Big City today to see friends and family and do last minute shopping. And it’ll be hot. Summer Solstice kicked in yesterday with a vengeance. Water restrictions are still in place so my garden is a little wilted, which is my own fault because I haven’t mulched it enough. When I get to Sydney today there’ll be a smoke haze over the city. Typical Sydney Christmas. At least drinks by the sea at Bondi this afternoon should be a blessed relief.

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