ms_prue: (waving)
I have finally typed up my reading notes: 6 A4 hand-written sheets, because the odds of my getting hands on this book again are slim.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
was written during WW2 by Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw, published in censored form in 1947 and republished uncensored in 1983. I discovered it through The Censor's Library which I read late last year and managed to get a copy of the 1983 uncensored edition through interlibrary loan in June. It's considered a work of science fiction because the authors draw the novel's action through to an imagined conclusion to WW2; they finished the work during the war, submitted it for publication but it didn't hit the shelves until the war was over, so you can guess how apathetically it was received at the time.

The structure of the book is a novel-in-a-novel. 400 years in the future, Knarf reads through his newly-finished novel with his archaeologist friend Ord, and they're so engrossed in the read-through they barely take any notice of the election being held that day, on whether a lay council should have input in public governance in the highly technocratic socialist agrarian civilisation that Australia has become. Knarf's novel begins in 1929 Sydney and traces a family and their community through the Depression and WW2 and the cataclysm that followed. It's a story about the big picture and the little picture, desire and reality, and cause and effect. Many notes in page order under the cut, spoilers one and all.

Read more... )
ms_prue: (Default)
 Another late Saturday night zine-ing (also babysitting, thank goodness young people also enjoy papercrafts) and another jam-packed Sunday of stallholding! There were so many people at Marrickville Town Hall that we didn't catch much of a glimpse of the people at the tables opposite us the entire four hours of the fair. We were further from the entrance this time, and I think our audience engagement suffered a little for it, but we more than made up for it by our head editor networking the heck out of the Canberra zine scene (I can't wait to see what amazing things will blossom in good time out of that meet and greet).

We had three new zines, including one geographic exclusive zine that might make another appearance (along with us) in Brisbane at ZICS, 18-20 August if you want to save the date.

Zine and Indie Comic Symposium (on Facebook)

Most common question from OtherWorlds browsers and shoppers: "What are they?"
Our incredibly high-end low-quality 8-page booklets folded out of a single sheet of A4 are a diverse mix of
  • poetry
  • perzines (apparently this is what the cool kids call personal zines now)
  • short stories and sci-fi
with a couple of manifestos and a little geographic dogpiling too. Our little collective has 7 authors so far and there will be even more authors and even more zines by the time we get to Brisbane!

SagneZine (on Facebook)
ms_prue: (happyface)
 What a great zine fair! It was packed, our SagneZine stall had a lot of readers and a lot of people were charmed and amazed by the giant pair of googly eyes one of my fellow authors brought with (BEST stall merchandising ever, completely outperformed the free lollies for audience engagement and conversation-starting, highly recommend). Thanks to a particularly late Saturday night and an early morning print run before the fair, we had 3 new zines available for the first time, 2 with variant art editions.

The weather, contrary to predictions, was not torrential rain after all, just uninterrupted sunshine over the harbour, very light breeze that picked up a bit in the afternoon but didn't carry any of our little zines off with it, thank goodness.

Our editor-in-chief went to the panel and enjoyed it immensely - she reported the panel topic was about the inception of the MCA Zine fair, its complicated relationship with the Sydney Writers Festival, and included the founder of the fair as a panellist who spoke frankly about how the fair was basically stolen from them after a successful first year (incredibly high-stakes drama for the zine scene).

Happily for mostly everyone else, one of the consequences of stealing a zine fair is you just end up with another zine fair somewhere nearby, hence next weekend is zine fair #2, Other Worlds, at Marrickville Town Hall. Come and say hi if by some fluke you are in the neighbourhood! By happy coincidence I am also in the neighbourhood (Inner West more like Inner Best right?) and will be helping run the stall again. Also we'll have more new zines for your reading pleasure!

Other Worlds Zine Fair on Facebook
SagneZine on the interwebs

ms_prue: (taking notes)
A friend who is also on Goodreads had read this book recently, and we were having a bit of a convo last weeked about the general awfulness of life and how the internet is exacerbating things, and he said, "please be the first of my friends to read this book". So I tried and failed to get my hands on a physical copy Monday lunchtime at the Only Bookshop In Geelong and instead, after much research into the most author-friendly way to make an immediate purchase, settled for buying the ebook on the train Monday after work instead.

1) If you can get your hands on a printed copy, do, it will be totes worth it to stave off at least half a gut punch's worth of guilt over the everyday reality of living your life under capitalism.

There is no plot, really; there is a narrative wound in it, and a mini counterpoint narrative, and some character sketches, but it's scaffolding off which the commentary and info-dumping is whorled and looped, rather like when you're reading a longish post about something and you keep wandering off and opening different tabs in your browser to read other things tangenitally related to the original post, and you're interested in all of it, you've been reading for hours without stopping but you're only three-quarters of the way through that first long read post and meanwhile you've skimmed maybe twenty, thirty-odd pages and however many thousands of words of news articles and Wikipedia pages to go with it. Except it's a book. So you don't need to put it down and go anywhere. From the perspective of any self-respecting literature critic, I'm sure it must look like a mess. For me, it was like catnip.

2) If you are not reading the first US edition, then chances are that various snippets of the book have been very clearly redacted. The only thing that tempted me to put this book down was the impulse to immediately search the people mentioned whose parts had been censored to work out what had been suppressed.

The narrator of the book is basically a self-insert, and as he is quoted in the Guardian as saying: "Really the book could be called ‘I hate four companies and social media’ – but that is a bad title." He has carefully crafted summary phraselets for each of his bugbears that he tags each instance of the person/action/concept with whenever it comes up in the text, but instead of being annoying and repetitive it works more like its own call and response pattern inside the flow of the prose. He has also built in a beautiful meta-commentary method into the text. Along with all the titles of works referenced and non-English words which the reader will be expecting to see in italics as a matter of proper stylistic course, all the other fictional and made up words, concepts and sometimes even people's names are italicised. It looks better than scare quotes and implies a much more profound level of distaste.

3) This book reminded me of all the things I used to have Firm Stances on and gave me clarity on other things I've always thought were skeevy but could never really articulate why.

The conclusion was not as punchy as I was expecting, after the constant rattling punches of the rest of the book, but then again, dude is one solitary Turkish-American writer with a technical background railing against an entire global system of capitalism control over basically everything, including the internet, so instead let me link you to this DIY cybersecurity guide (ty for the link tumblr user canonicalmomentum) and let's all be as safe on the internet as we can.
ms_prue: (taking notes)
"It's an ugly world to look out on just now, and I don't think I'd be happy if you and I were away from it somewhere together. The most heartening thing that can happen now is for anyone to do progressive, constructive work in this chaos."
-- Nettie Palmer to her husband Vance, early 1919

This week I had to look up the rules of the internet because reading Exiles At Home made me think of that rule that if you could imagine it, it existed (on the internet), only it turned out on revisiting the rules that the rule I was thinking of actually applied to porn and not the existence of Australian women writers of the interwar period tackling themes of antifascism, communism and free love.

Read more... it's like self-censorship but with only half the fat! )

ms_prue: (waving)
 I declared my LJ abandoned back in September 2015, but yesterday I finally packed up and migrated the lot over here and hit the delete button over there. I will now congratulate myself on being so responsible and grown-up for cleaning up after my internet self that I continue to post nothing and interact with barely anyone for the next year. Probably.

Happy 2017!
ms_prue: (taking notes)
 Today was hot but the insulation kept things nice inside. I made gazpacho for dinner but forgot to put the red onion in it, oops. The cat broke her not-hunting streak, curse it all. And I wrote ~600 words on two different projects. Not including this post, obvs.
ms_prue: (Default)
 Shh don't tell anyone I missed the last two days of posting for no particularly good reason. Not much has happened beyond the usual, with the exceptions of teaching myself how to put up a bun with three bobby pins and no elastic (probably 18 years behind the rest of the development curve but I'm glad I got here, because my hair today was fabulous, at least viewed from behind) and reading the Patternist books. And now I'm going to go to bed and read some more, hooray.
ms_prue: (Default)
 Today we went down to Bunnings and got a roll of sarking for the sunroom, which is now more of a disco tent. THE HOUSE IS SO COOL NOW. It's incredible. And we haven't even done the skylight in the kitchen yet. Today wasn't particularly hot either, which is why the difference with the sarking in place was so profound. Husband claims to have found the remains of sticky tape up there, which might be traces of whatever dodgy insulation measures the last people who lived here did.
ms_prue: (taking notes)
 I have written over 4000 words today. Four thousand words! I also spent my many-years-worth stockpile of fictional space currency on a huge amount of what are essentially scratchies and did not win a single thing worth winning. This was before I started writing the 4000 words. I am not saying my sudden interest in writing original fiction about ladies in space is attributable to my poor spending decisions in the computer game where I run around playing a fictional lady in space, but it's probably not unrelated. Also it seemed like a reasonable way to distract myself from the anxiety of waiting for the email about the job (which did finally arrive this afternoon). I now have two 2000-word outline/sketch/plot summary thingies for books in a series, and a vague feeling about what the third book should contain but no actual plot for it, nor any details really beyond "chase scene" and "polyamory". But that is a good start y/y? Okay it's a rubbish start, but I feel good about the 4000 words at least.
ms_prue: (hallo thar neighbour)
 Got over myself long enough to make a phone call to Prospective Employers to check I hadn't missed an email from them with the job offer. I did have to start baking a banana cake before calling so that once it was in the oven I had no more excuses to delay. The cake is delicious so well done me.
ms_prue: (waving)
 I had a list of stuff to achieve today but I got barely half of it done. I like making lists, I make a lot of lists, and I sometimes stop myself from making lists because very often my list items tend to stay Not Done. For some reason list-making me envisages task-doing me as a perfectly functional, rational adult who revels in completing things to the best of her ability, despite decades of evidence to the contrary. Writing things down puts them in the domain of this mythical creature who gets shit done, and I the list-writer, my list-writing job completed, carry on blithely into the future to do fuck-knows-what and never look at the list again. Hence I managed to hand in the assignment due today, because it was not on the list, but not to tidy the house. I would like for the house to be tidy. I would like for my lounge room to look like a magazine photographer is due any moment to document its perfection for posterity, every single day. I would like to know what that plastic shopping bag of mystery stuff sitting next to the bookcase is and to be able to deal with it effectively but just not right now. Later. Maybe tomorrow.
ms_prue: (ugh)
 The chocolate in my pantry melted.

The chocolate. In my pantry. Melted.

The chocolate in my pantry melted.

Probably the blame lies with the pantry being on the wall between the kitchen and the dining room/sunroom, which is actually really a greenhouse that just happens to lean on the house proper. Inspired by Stephanie's advice we are looking into renter-friendly DIY solutions for insulating it, because I spent literally all winter avoiding it for fear of hypothermia and talking about how much I was looking forward to being able to use it as the study/sewing room in spring. Also if we cover the roofing with reflective insulation the ceiling will be shiny! I love shiny things. I also love not getting sunburned indoors. This insulation stuff is going to be awesome.
ms_prue: (up there! in the sky!)
It was hot! But I survived! Now to go to bed early and make it through tomorrow too.
ms_prue: (just no)
 Tomorrow is going to be 35 degrees, and the next day, and the day after will be 18 degrees because Melbourne. So I have to dress for sunstroke/heat exhaustion for field work tomorrow but keep the winter doona on the bed because it will get back to single digits by Wednesday night. I cannot express how deeply wrong it is to hear that it's cooler back home in tropical north Queensland than down here, halfway to Antarctica.
ms_prue: (taking notes)
We got husband a new phone today but he'll need to organise a nano-SIM from work before he can use it. First 30 degree day of the heatwave went fine - turns out the air-conditioner in the kitchen does work (yay) even though the ones in the bedrooms don't. In the morning before it got too hot to use the sunroom where the sewing machine lives, I got a bunch of mending done that I'd been putting off forever.
ms_prue: (waving)
 I almost forgot I had an assignment due today... well the note on Blackboard said today but the system assignment submission date said Wednesday. I am honestly out of shits to give re. assessment and due dates for this course. I just want to get out with the diploma and never have anything to do with higher education in this country ever again. I should also see if I can write a basic introductory surveying book for the Australian market because I reckon there's money to be made. One of my biggest complaints about the diploma is none of the poorly-formatted Word documents they've given us can be used in any way as reference material in future. And the teaching staff wonder why many of the students don't have a handle on the basics even after the better part of a year! There's nothing for the poor bastards to look up and barely any context given in class to make notes about. Half the stuff in the maths class last semester I had to reverse-engineer what they were trying to teach from my uni notes from 2013-14.

Husband spent this public holiday working remotely from home. I should be so diligent tomorrow and log into uni remotely to get all my drafting backlog done and avoid spoilers until it's time to watch Doctor Who.
ms_prue: (taking notes)
 I am five chapters in and heartily enjoying The Dispossessed now, after an uncertain start. My experience of Le Guin's writing has been pretty much confined to Earthsea - I think I tried to read The Left Hand of Darkness during high school and barely made it through chapter one. The Odonian conceptualisation of freedom is just lovely, I think I would feel right at home on a desert moon full of Odonian anarchists.

Friday is a public holiday for Sports, which is just ridiculous but Reliable Sources tell me it ties in with a construction industry rostered day off on Monday, and is not so much in honour of the football grand final so much as to thank the aforementioned industry's union for its support and hard work getting the current state gov elected. Not that this state has a corruption problem! Of course not! I am totally getting Victoria confused with states like New South Wales which have a functioning anti-corruption agency that has done a lot of good in the last two years actually tackling problems at state gov level. Victoria has no such equivalent entity with equivalent power to enquire into the dealings of state gov because it doesn't have a corruption problem, obvs.

Heard back about the job and I have a verbal offer with writing to follow next week, yay.
ms_prue: (ugh)
Today I declared my LJ abandoned and trawled Flickr Commons for raw materials for icons. Apparently women in archival photography throughout the ages have not been allowed to have facial expressions, so I branched out into fashion illustrations. I was not expecting so much graphic anatomy and body horror in the 'woman' tag of the Commons (tbh I was not expecting any). Anyway, I now have some new icons. I think this one is my new favourite.
ms_prue: (hallo thar neighbour)
 Today I finally wrapped my head around the subdivision design for the big project (yay!) and hopefully I've come up with a solution that requires no additional curves. Still loving the pilates classes at the gym and noticing lots of improvement in my strength and posture and flexibility, so that's making me happy. And I saw a neighbourhood cat on the way to the station this morning who was happy for pats and very photogenic in the beautiful morning sunshine, and the cat over the road on the way home came out to the gate to greet me but wasn't interested in actually being petted. I have yet to catch sight of the elusive Sheep Cat which my sister promises me lives between our house and the station too.
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