Friday, November 10, 2006

The reason I've been commenting on fashion - and various other ridiculous moments in life and not mumbling on about writing is cos I haven't been doing a whole heap of writing lately.

First draft of the novel is complete - and I'm putting off getting back to a full re-reading and editting session. I'm kidding myself that it's because I need the distance. I do need the distance.

On the short story front I've got two stories that have been needing a re-write for I don't know how long. But I seem stalled there too. Let's blame long work hours and overall fatigue for that.

Another thing I suspect about my writing is that if I'm not reading lots and regularly my own creative well tends to run a little dry. It's almost like I forget how to write. If I'm ready regularly I get inspired by the smallest of things. A nice word, a lovely turn of phrase, a clever plot turn or nicely penned character.

Often when I'm in the middle of something, if I get lost in how to express myself I'll rush to the bookshelf and find a book and scan through it until I see how that author punctuated a linked piece of dialouge, or how they described something. Then my mind goes 'ah... that's how it's done' and I take up again.

Things of Beauty - which has received some nice feedback - I wrote after reading China Mieville's (sorry about the spelling) Iron Council. It was a book which I didn't always enjoy - but threw language and ideas around in a way that I hadn't read before. My own story is nothing like China's work - but is inspired by the way he played with language.

So when I run to the bookshelf - I'm not looking to copy - I'm hunting for words that connect, or grammar or something.

So I've bought a few new books and I'll spend this weekend charging my creative batteries up again and see what comes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's all about the fashion.

Oh yes, that's a fact.

I have recently acquired a new pair of heels. Strappy heels, with a tiny little strap over the top of the toes and then a little noose (with a diamonte on it) over the big toe, strap around the ankle and all at a ridiculous height. In fact I think these are the highest of the high heels I've ever owned. Higher than my brown suede calf length boots that I only wear when my back is out.... cos that way they can't inflict any further damage.

In my job I sometimes go to swish evening events. Not that often. And often not as swish as the invitation. But I go.

So this morning I packed my zebra dress, which is actually all about the push-up bra - but if you're looking at my clevage I'm hoping the tummy won't get noticed (despite those black and white zebra lines pointing to it!) and I thought 'What a great opportunity to try out THOSE shoes'.

So I did it. I didn't pack another option (at least other than my sneakers and the shoes I wore to work).

Half way through the day I realised I should have washed my hair. That which had looked so shiny and sleek as I bounced out the door in the morning was looking greasy and lank by lunchtime. DISASTER! I'd packed my hair straightener... just in case... but no dryer, no product, no shampoo....

You can rinse hair - and I shamelessly stole some conditioner from the bottle someone had obviously forgot in the work shower. I then dryed my hair using my hair straightener. Not as easy as it sounds. And it didn't give me straight. I ended up with this very eighties Farrah Fawcett soft wavy thing happening. Which was better than greasy I guess.

Then put on relevant underwear, zebra dress, make-up and THOSE shoes.

Within minutes the big toe noose had come into play, tightening with every mincing, hobbling step. I tottered my way down the ramp at the back, across the gravel and with some degree of relief hit flat tarmac! Lesson no. 1 Strappy numbers and cross country don't work.

Lesson no. 2 Strappy means slow. I walk at a good pace. A surveyors stride - learnt as a kid trying to keep up with Dad as he paced out the distance from one end of the street to the other. I'm athletic, I'm impatient. I move quickly. Nope, not tonight.

In fact the best pace for these toe jobs was a slow staunter - it was the only thing that eleminated the hobble.

Getting to the swish function venue I parked my car and stauntered down the street to the door. Bad news and lesson no. 3 Tiny, weeny little ankle straps that are almost invisible to the naked eye can still give blisters.

Finally, I'm in the door, standing one leg slightly in front of the other, pelvis slightly forward, handbag over shoulder, champagne in hand. Business Associate A rocks up, "Ohhhh," she coos, "What fabulous shoes!"

"Aren't they," I say, noncholant, at ease. I wait for her to leave before hobbling to my seat.