“It’s not your expertise that counts [as a writer]; it’s the quality of your wondering.”
- Mark Tredinnick, The Little Red Writing Book
Made my day.
This last weekend I’ve been in Canberra for my brother’s 21st (it was a dress-up party; I may put up some pictures when I get them from Mum — I did my usual trick of forgetting to take any). To get to Canberra from Sydney, there’s a three and a half hour bus trip each way, which I often look forward to. I love staring out the window, musing over things in my life, making plans or just playing make-believe. I also often use the time to catch up on my podcast listening.
I subscribe to a few, but hardly ever listen to them. I’ve probably got about fifty episodes of the Book Show left to listen to, for example.
So on the trip back yesterday I got through a couple of them. In one episode Ramona Koval was talking to Sarah Waters, who is known for her novels set in the Victorian era, usually with some kind of lesbian storyline. They were speaking about her then-new (the episode was six months old) book, The Little Stranger. I’ve not read the book, but its gothic nature appealed to me and I suddenly remembered the books I devoured as a teenager: Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, Northanger Abbey, Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
I loved gothic literature. As Waters mentioned in the interview, the supernatural is a wonderful space to explore anxieties and uncertainties, dysfunction and, possibly, mental illness. Of course, these are things I am obsessed with in my own fiction, albeit in a more realist way.
But as a teen I wrote creepy little gothic stories, which were probably really very bad. Unexpectedly empty houses with all the lights on, stormy nights, taps turning on by themselves, steep hills to walk up in the dark, footsteps coming from nowhere. All these things appeared in my stories. And they were fun!
I feel a return to the gothic coming on, at least in my reading. Now if I could just find my copy of The Woman in White…
Cross-posted at avocadoandlemon.
Okay, in an effort to be more active here, I'm going to try to post here, and on avocadoandlemon at the same time. Sometimes these will be simple cross-posts, but I will try to make them unique as much as possible.
Today, however, I'm going to post a slightly modified version of what I've got over there at the moment.
Last night I was really looking forward to a night in, and it ended up being a lovely one. All my housemates were away for the weekend, or out for the night, so it was just me and Astro the monkey-cat. I put on a podcast and my apron and cooked away.
Tomato, lentil and vegetable soup seemed like the perfect dinner on a rainy Saturday night. I made this from a recipe out of my favourite cook book, and added a few things here and there. I love it when I modify a recipe and it works!
The only way this could have been better was with some home-made bread. One of my favourite bloggers, Claire, tentatively tried this recipe and had great results, so I’ve been inspired to give it a go myself tonight…
I’ll probably be writing a whole lot more about my cooking adventures on here for the next little while, because I’m researching a food essay I’m writing. If anyone’s interested, I can start posting up recipes for these things I’m making.
Oh! Please check out the latest theme here. Which reminds me, I really should send out the email that’s supposed to accompany new themes…
(PS. I have no idea why I included the peeler in that shot. It’s not like it was all that important in cooking this… let’s hope my food-photography improves.)
So, here we are.... back again... can't get rid of us that easily! Sorry to have been away so long but alas we have returned!
Both Soph and I have had some big exciting changes in our lives over the last couple of months which have kept us pretty busy - we've both cut back or left our jobs, we've both travelled overseas for awhile, and we are both starting some new study this year!
It will be an interesting and exciting year for both of us, but we are both excited and ready to get back into The Monday Project type projects, and see what interesting and different responses everyone can come up with.
Also this year we are thinking we would love to get some people playing along to come up with some ideas for monthly themes, so let us know if you are interested!
The first project for the year is going to be finishing on the 29th of March, so all photo's, stories, sketches, jewellery, drawings, songs, and interpretative dances will be due in then! As always, submissions can be emailed through to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for us to put up, or just post it on your link and let us know so we can link back to it!
The theme is..... (drumroll) ........