crazyjane: (moondark)
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.

John Clare
crazyjane: (Default)
THE JOURNEY - Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

from New and Selected Poems, volume 1
crazyjane: (poetry)
- Serena Mithane

you cannot grow daffodils
between brittle bones-
in ribcages worn down
from a heart beating against it
to break free. you hum
bluebird melodies to yourself
make-believing morning dew
makes it better. you have mistaken
eyelashes for the meadows,
fleeting visions running barefoot-
carelessly, spinning - hoping
spring will come early this year.
your fingertips have never learned
the meaning of earth: discovery
of digging nails deeper into surfaces.
trembling, underneath shifting skylines,
blanketed in wisps of dandelions-
early morning light will not heal
the frostbite creaking in your joints.

he is not coming home today, either.

via deviantart
crazyjane: (poetry)
Continental drift
- Marian Weaver

He started wearing new suits
and leather shoes.
She cut her hair.
They read different books,
and faced away from each other in bed.

Published in NFusion 50
crazyjane: (Default)
let the dead rise
by Raya

paper sits on the wooden table & doesn't know what touch feels like.

& what of touch — indelicate, I didn't intend to cocoon it beneath a shell
conditioned not to break. a pen, I am thinking, touching: I can write

mother's body is not a sunday dress an ambulance collects
& hauls down the street for the examiner to unstitch, for the mortician
to suture back & breathless. I have to believe that

I can write:

mother's body is not a dead thing I watch others gently pack into soil

where above, someone erects stone that reads: she rests in peace.

my grandmother calls peace heaven, & I say what she calls heaven is earth
swallowing a person. I say we are Abraham sacrificing the son without lamb.

via deviantart
crazyjane: (poetry)

There's a star in the sky
that makes me think of you

That star shines so bright
that it light's up the entire night sky
Just like you shine so bright
that you light up my whole life

But then your life started to fade
you light becoming so dull
and you said that you knew that your time had come

As you started to go, crystalline tears flowed down my face
wishing that this was all just a dream, but it wasn't

Now whenever I look at the stars
I find myself trying to find that one shining star

When I look a that star I find myself starting to smile
remembering all the times you made me smile

So now that you're gone
here's my poem from me to you
a poem to let you know
that even though you're gone
and that your light may have faded
there is one little piece of that light
that still shines so bright
one little fragment that of your light
that I keep locked inside my heart

Untitled poem, by my daughter Megan
crazyjane: (poetry)
The Mortician, by ~crooked-clockwork
(via deviantart)

january: when i was stupid
enough to embark down the
path of death.

mortician, teach me the ways
of understanding death
& listening
a bit too close
to the broken clock
springs nestled
in your equally as broken
mind. i have grown
quite fond of the
smell of formaldehyde,
of the citrus oxides
you deploy to
deter suspicious neighbors.

i want to sleep
& dream of a body all my
own (& maybe for you too), to forget the
scars that caress me, but what i
isn’t always death’s
cup of tea. however, it always
seems like it’s your pleasure
to show me the books on
burials & committals & cults
skirting the ideals of the bible
to better under the world’s
bible of empathy.
so i sit,
split in between an existence
bent on our nirvana,
or an afterlife sewn
into the paper-thin-morale of
you, mortician.

july: when i finally realized
that love is real
even in the presence of death.

mortician, teach me how to
smile without my
skeleton wilting under
the moon’s
courage-crushing grasp. i want
to know,
i long to break ties
with the leviathan
we call God. to rejoice with
your idea of
warmth, with
your idea of mortality.

the art of embalmment? you’ll
have to forgive me
if i flinch,
if i shy away at first;
i’ve only ever known
the familiar sting
of a needle piercing my own skin,
not forcing a tube
into the veins
of a child
blessed with escape.
why do we all have to be so fragile?
“it’s simple,” the mortician responded.
“because we are not meant
to outlast our forefathers. we, as humans,
are not meant to age
alongside the concept of time,
nor are we meant to
live through the war, the battle
we call life.”

december: when i noticed a child
trying to kick out my ribs &
i felt comfortable in the arms of death.

mortician, finally i ask
for your hand in
under the sun of that
monster we call our guardian,
under the forceps of
a distinct, medicinal glove carving
out my philosophies that
you never taught to me. i’ve never
loved a man so
much, nor as violently
as i have you… entertain my
for all i have ever wanted
was to fall victim to your hands,
to your needles,
to your teachings of death
& to learn from you
how to deal
with dying.

the ice we tread is
weak, as we are,
as you have taught me
through the many nights your hands crept up
my thighs,
through the many times your heart beat
separate from mine
& you would let me
cry. but mortician,
can you explain life to
me? just this once
i’d like to know why my thoughts
go faster when you’re coiled around my mind,
around my body
like a disease weaving cancer
into my bone marrow.

“it’s merely because you are human,
you want to understand life.
i cannot explain, because i am a fool
that life never wanted.
i found solace in the dead,
in the art associated with the occasion
of death. but, with my child
beginning to live
inside of you, protected by
your bones,
& by your love,
i can admit:

death no longer needs me.”

The Mortician, by crooked-clockwork
crazyjane: (Default)
We are well into the second book now, so behind the cut ...

lies madness ... )
crazyjane: (Default)
I resisted as long as I could, but finally I succumbed to the pull of the gravity well that is A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones, if you're watching the TV show). Now, this is a series that - like Twilight and 50 Shades - put the 'fanatic' back in 'fandom', so you can understand my wariness to actually pick up the books and start reading.

The thing is ... I like these books. Really, really like them. They've rekindled my love of fantasy fiction (almost killed by the likes of Terry Goodkind and innumerable vampire/werewolf/fallen angel romance (retch) spin-offs).

This didn't, however, stop me from coming up with a merciless parody. So here it is - hidden behind a cut for those who might want to read the books or watch the shows first. Just remember ... unlike my other parodies/rants/reviews, this one is done with love.

A long time ago in a fictitious world that isn't modelled on anything in our history at all, honest ... )
crazyjane: (bitch_please)
Holidaying in far north Queensland does strange things to one's brain. At least, that's my excuse for picking up my sister-in-law's copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and actually reading it. I may never be the same again - and so, because misery loves company, I intend to take you all with me.

If you haven't yet heard of this 'phenomenon', you've probably been hiding under a rock in Antarctica with your fingers in your ears going, 'La la la'. Everyone's talking about the smash hit bestseller that's sparked a wave of 'Mummy porn' novels hitting the bookshops.

Hold up a second. Mummy porn? Just what is that? Before you get intrigued, though, I've got bad news for you. This isn't some ancient Egyptian fetish bandage-wrapping technique we're talking about here. Nothing so interesting. No, 'Mummy porn' is, apparently, an insult on a par with 'Mummy blogger'. It's not real porn, you understand, oh no - that's for guys. This is soft porn for sad-sack housewives who don't get no lovin' and spend their days pining for a tall, dark handsome stranger. When they're not washing their husband's dirty sweat socks and running the kids to soccer practice, I guess.

You know what? I'm a Mummy, and if I'm going to read porn, it's going to be the real thing, thank you very much. But I digress. Let's get to the review.

First, the title. It's evocative. It's provocative. It promises a delicious tussle with moral ambiguities surrounding sexuality. Is it sick? Is it 'normal'? Is your kink my kink? I can hardly wait to get my teeth into these issues.

Oh. That's not it at all. The title's a pun. It's all about the gorgeous, assured, yet somehow conflicted Christian Grey. Grey, get it? Get it?

Sigh. Okay. Right about then I knew this was going to be excruciating.

Meet Anastasia Steele. Steele, get it? Get it? (Oh god.) She's a lovable literature grad student who is so socially awkward that it's a wonder she can order her coffee at Starbucks in the mornings. She's good-hearted, pretty in an understated kind of way, and klutzy.

Hello? E.L. James? Stephenie Meyer called. She wants her character back.

Through a truly amazing set of coincidences, Bella Ana meets the aforementioned Edward Christian Grey. While he doesn't exactly sparkle, she's mesmerised by his commanding presence (and not a little, erm, moist, as she tells us). On the basis on this one meeting, Grey decides that he must have her. Oh yes, she will be his - but there's nothing romantic about this desire. It's all about - gasp - BDSM. He wants her to be his submissive. He even wants her to sign a three-month contract giving herself over to him.

Hello? E.L. James? It's probably a good idea to learn some kink terminology before you go cutting and pasting a 'sample slave contract' from the internet. Grey doesn't want a submissive. He wants a slave. Someone he can control utterly - what she wears, what she eats, how much sleep she gets, and even how often she gets her 'down there' waxed. (Yes, Ana refers to her vagina as her 'down there'. Over and over again.)

Ana is titillated, but frightened. Seriously, if this were a Harlequin romance, her bosom would already be heaving. Suddenly acquiring the negotiating skills of an international diplomat, she talks him down to one month, and no controlled diet, but still won't sign. Wow. What a tease. She actually castigates herself for being 'cowardly'.

Now, your kink is not my kink, but everything surrounding Grey and his proposed 'contract' is just damned creepy. This isn't a loving relationship in which partners agree to adopt roles that satisfy deep sexual urges. This is a domineering man using his force of will to pressure a naive young woman into sexual slavery. Urgh.

We're about 100 pages in, and still no sex. C'mon, I was promised porn, dammit! All I've got are a few description of Ana's nipples tingling. Get to the good stuff, already!

Finally, it happens. Finally. Ana visits Grey in his opulent apartment and is morbidly fascinated by his 'Red Room of Pain'. AKA his BDSM dungeon.

I pause for howls of laughter. Red Room of Pain. Oh, dear. But hey, at least we're seeing some kink here.

Oh, but wait. No kink yet. First we're treated to Grey's announcement that he will 'make love' to Ana. Yeah, it's probably worth getting that out of the way before we get to the real stuff, right? And so he sets about this with workmanlike precision. I mean, really. It's like reading an IKEA manual. All it needs is the alun key.

This is where James drops a bombshell. Ana is - gasp - a virgin! Not only that, she's never been to second base! She's never even masturbated! She bleeds on the sheets and everything. Apparently Ana has never gone swimming, ridden a horse or had a vaginal exam. But that's okay. She still gets two mind-blowing orgasms, and is only 'a little bit sore' the next day.

Oh, and for a virgin, she gives mighty fine oral, it seems. She could probably be an instant star in the adult video indusry - if she could get over her obsession with Daddy Grey.

Ah. Now I know what's going on here. The book was obviously mis-classified. It should be listed as 'Fantasy'. Seriously, this is unbelievably embarrassing. It's every stereotypical description of the 'perfect woman' for misogynists - completely untouched until the 'right' man awakens her desire, which is insatiable and only for him. But I plough on. I've crossed the Rubicon, there's no going back now.

It's the last third of the book, and still no kink. We've had an attempted sexual assault by Ana's 'best friend', for which she blames herself. (Hello? Ms James? Stephenie Meyer wants her plot back.) We've had ample evidence of Grey's wealth and power, complete with personal helicopter (which, of course, he flies himself). We've seen how controlling Grey really is, after he buys Ana a new car and has her beloved old VW bug towed away. We've had the IKEA sex. But no kink. Not even a handcuff, or a light spanking.

What we did have was one truly mind-boggling moment where Grey 'sensuously' pulls out Ana's tampon.

Yeah, you read that right.

I had to stop for a bit after that one. Just how does one 'sensuously' remove a tampon, anyway? Does a guy with a saxophone appear and improvise a soulful solo while Grey fumbles between her legs? Does Grey take a leaf out of the Old Spice Man's book and do it while on horseback? Does he wax lyrical about how beautiful the blue string looks, glowing against the creamy white skin of her thighs?

Nope. Can't see it.

Ah, but James has been teasing us. She's saved up the kink for last. And what a doozy it is. Grey takes Ana into his 'playroom' (snicker) and ties her up to a complex apparatus of ceiling track that allows him to push her around the room in much the same way a meat carcass gets moved around an abattoir. He indulges in a bit of sensory deprivation, including making her wear headphones that blast classical music into her ears. And then choreographs his playtime to the music.

Okay, that's kinda interesting. I could see how that - oh. He's just tickling her? Never mind.

Ana, of course, is incredibly turned on. Guess once that hymen was broken, years of pent-up orgasms are just clamouring to get out. But then comes the whipping, and she doesn't like that at all. Except she does. But it's wrong. But she feels so good.

Bitch, no one is interested in your moral wibbling. You alienated all of us about the time you got upset at your hairdo, back in Chapter One. Just shut up and let us get to the good stuff, already.

Sadly, the good stuff never arrives. Ana 'arrives', several times, loudly. So does Grey. But the rest of us? The train never left the station.

The porn is terrible. Just awful. People who write in to the Penthouse Forums can write better porn than what's in this book. Hell, I've read fanfic that's turned me on more than this apparently 'scorching' book. It's not just that it has all the passion of an anatomical textbook. It's also Ana's inner monologue. Honestly, if she'd thought 'oh my,' one more time ...

Oh, and Grey himself is prone to crying out hackneyed lines when in the throes of orgasm. 'Oh, Ana, you feel so good!'

I shit you not.

At long last, the awful kink scene is over - whereupon Ana, despite her clear enjoyment and love for Grey, realises that she can never be his submissive, and runs back to her tiny apartment to cry. It's all over. It's not the life for her. She'll just have to curl up in her bed and wait to die.

But wait. There's a sequel. Two, in fact. And here's where I admit defeat. I started Fifty Shades Darker (otherwise known as 'Fifty Shades Worse'), but I just couldn't make it. I foundered about the time Grey's ex-submissive escaped from a psych hospital, obtained a gun and concealed carry permit (I know, I know), and started stalking the (naturally) reunited couple. I just couldn't go on.

I was in danger of losing my will to enjoy sex ever again.

So, if it's so bad, just what's with this 'phenomenon'? And yeah, I'll go with that word, because it sure ain't 'literature'. It all boils down to on word.


This book's had an incredibly effective publicity campaign. It's been marketed as 'new', 'naughty', 'dark' ... hitting all the marks to guarantee curious readers will give it a try. And let's not forget, it's written by a woman. Sex written by a woman. Gosh. Guess people have forgotten Jacqueline Sussan by now ...

In conclusion, I really only want to say this - if you're tempted to read this book, just remember one important fact.

Fifty Shades started out as Twilight fanfic.

That should tell you all you need to know. Don't risk it. Don't endanger your sex life. There's much better porn around to tickle your 'down there'.

Oh, my.


Feb. 7th, 2012 08:28 am
crazyjane: (Default)
Yesterday I finally had the linework on my tattoo done. (And thank you thank you thank you to everyone who contributed to funding it!)

My original design idea was for a simple quill pen and inkwell, symbolising (quelle unsurprise) my writing ... but over the months, it evolved. This was partly due to a developing love affair with Victoriana - the aesthetic, not the morals, mind you! The rest came from a lot of soul-searching and general introspection that's been going on in my head.

So what I ended up with was a collection of objects ... the quill pen and ink well, a key (unlocking things, including creativity and old, old crap I've not been able to death with); a mask (always fascinated with them - the idea you can tell the truth about yourself while everyone thinks you're just putting on a persona); a pocket watch (my awareness of time passing, and the 'male' parts of myself); and flowers (a gift of beauty to myself, and an attempt to reflect myself as beautiful).

Which was a lot of objects. Which is an understatement.

Having determined what needed to go in the design, I needed to find an artist whose work was right for me, and who would be willing to take on the task of making all those objects fit together.

Eventually, I found the gloriously talented and wonderful Teniele Sadd, at Korpus Tattoo in Brunswick. These are some of the images that drew me to her: a strangely creepy Victorian couple; a delicately coloured hummingbird and flower; lovely, full-blown roses ... oh, just go look at her entire gallery, it's stunning.

So I fronted up with my mish-mash collection of images, and threw myself on her mercy. This is what she came up with:

Colouring will be quite delicate; French blue, dusky pink, old gold, lavender ...

I am so, so, so happy with this tattoo. It's far more beautiful than anything I imagined when I was trying to fit together the elements. The whole design just works.
crazyjane: (eclipse)
Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, died of cancer. She was only 63.

Sarah Jane Smith was the companion who spent the longest time with the Doctor. She started travelling with him during his third regeneration (Jon Pertwee), and stayed with him after he changed into Tom Baker. After she left, she appeared in a special episode, The Five Doctors.

In 2006 Doctor Who was rebooted in a major way - and much to everyone's delight, Sarah Jane was part of this new universe. She appeared in selected episodes alongside the ninth and tenth Doctors (Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant respectively).

Along the way The Sarah Jane Adventures was born, a children's show in which Sarah Jane struck out on her own against aliens who menaced the world. Along the way she acquired an adopted son and companions of her own. Tennant and the eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) appeared in two memorable episodes - 'The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith' and 'Death of the Doctor'.

A fifth season was planned.

I grew up watching Sarah Jane. Unlike most of the Doctor's female companions to this point, she was feisty. Although she often ended up the prisoner of the Bad Guys of the Week, it didn't stop her going off on her own to do a bit of investigating when the TARDIS landed on a strange planet where something definitely, wasn't right. She faced down the most frightening of the Doctor's enemies, including the Daleks and the Master - and even managed to pull the Doctor out of the odd nasty scrape.

For a young girl growing up in the throes of second wave feminism, she was a wonderful role model - determined to make her own way in the world, a career journalist, and just fearless enough to take huge risks to find out what was going on. I remember taking a picture of Sarah Jane Smith to the hairdresser, and demanding to have the same haircut. And we won't talk about the time I spent practising her accent ...

We introduced Lilygirl and Meglet to The Sarah Jane Adventures, and from there to Doctor Who. And yes, the big kids liked watching SJA as much as the little ones - it became a shared family pleasure. It was a wonderful thing for me, knowing that my girls loved the character as much as I always had.

I don't normally get upset when celebrities die. Usually, my reaction is much more muted - regret, perhaps, or a pang that quickly goes away.

I cried when I read Elisabeth Sladen had died. I'm still upset now, writing this.

She was a part of my childhood, my adulthood, and my children's childhood. There was no one like her - and yes, I know this is as much about the loss of a fictional character as the actress herself, but they're both gone.

Vale Elisabeth Sladen. As Nicholas Pegg wrote this morning, 'beautiful, talented, incomparable ... an idol, a heroine'.
crazyjane: (knowledge)
This semester I'm taking an English unit titled, 'Gothic Literature and its Children'. We get to explore the joys of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Monk and a smattering of Poe. Then we depart the Romantic period for some modern Gothic tales - or more accurately, television and film. These include Bela's wonderfully overacted (and constantly lampooned) Dracula, True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

We do get to study one purportedly Gothic tale, though, and herein lies the motivation for my cunning plan.

It's Twilight.

Yes, you read that right. Possibly the single worst Young Adult novel I've ever read (and I've reviewed some howlers). For that matter, one of the worst books of any kind - it's a toss-up between Meyer's execrable effort and Dan Brown's misbegotten bestseller.

Apparently, the lecturer thinks it qualifies as a modern Gothic text.

Now, if I have to sit through lectures and tutorial on this piece of literary rubbish, I intend to take revenge for it. Having done some cursory reading in the kind of lit-crit most often associated with Romantic Gothic literature, I have formulated a strategy designed to break the brains of both tutors and the annoying little Twihards who will undoubtedly take this subject so that they can display their 'Team Wussbag/Braindead' t-shirts.

I'm going to queer Twilight.

With extreme prejudice.

[personal profile] emilyjane, I know you're destined for the same horror, so I suggest we team up on this. There's a certain satisfaction to be gained in a two-pronged assault.

And you too, O my flist. I know there are a lot of you out there with filthy, twisted minds, and I'm appealing to you now. (You know who you are.)

Help me come up with the most outrageous - yet plausible-sounding - possible queer interpretations of Twilight. I don't care how wild these theories are, as long as I can make them sound at least vaguely scholarly.

And I will report back to LJ when the havoc is duly wreaked, and the tiny minds of the Twihards are well and truly shattered, so we can all share the fun. Those of you who remember my occasional postings from the time I was tutoring know the sort of thing I mean.

So, please, let's go for it, what do you say?

My initial thought is to run the argument that the 'vampire' and 'werewolf' are symbols for outcast homoerotic desire in the oppressively heteronormative world that is northern Washington State. We can tell it's oppressively hetero-etc because it's always dark there, get it, dark? - and just look at how gender roles are reinforced. Why, poor Bella even has to do all the chores and become a surrogate wife for her Dad! In such an environment, the 'vampire' and 'werewolf' are the outsiders, both of whom seek to possess Bella in order to legitimise their existences and rejoin the hetero-etc world ...

You get the idea ...

I'm going to stop now, I'm giggling too much.
crazyjane: (Default)
Regretfully, I've had to cull my cross stitching books and magazines. Rather than dump them on the Op Shop, though, I thought I'd see if any of my LJ friends would like to maraud upon them first. All free, just come and pick them up!

Long list is long. )
crazyjane: (poetry)
So, tonight was the last heat for the Overload Poetry Slam, held at Northcote Social Club.

After rushing around like the proverbial chook to get there on time, it was hurry up and wait while everything got sorted. Our 7.30 pm start ended up being about 8.15 - not bad for Poets' Time, actually.

This Slam was run more like the US kind - five judges chosen at random from the audience who are not poets, or affiliated with poets in any way. In fact, they are preferentially insurance agents or bankers. These judges give a score from 10 to minus infinity. The top and bottom scores are struck out, and the remainder added. You are, basically, at their mercy.

Order of appearance is entirely random. The audience calls out a number, and if yours is up, you just gotta schlep out to the stage and pick up the mic. Going first is, of course, something that everyone prays will not happen to them.

Naturally, that's exactly what happened to me tonight. Argh. I got a cold room, new judges and a bagful of nerves. As a result, I wasn't too surprised when I ended up not making the top 3, who go into the Final on Friday night. Annoyed at getting the bum spot, but hey, it's the nature of the thing.

While I'm congratulating the winner (who has the best technique of dealing with hecklers I've ever seen - oh, didn't I mention heckling is not only allowed, but encouraged?), the MC came up to me and informed that the third-place finalist couldn't make the Final. I was only 0.5 points behind him so ...


Yes, it was a technicality, but you know what? To get that close, especially when I was up first? I'm not complaining.

So, now I'm just going to sit here and jitter until Friday night.

If anyone's bored then, and wants to point and laugh, it's at Dante's in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, at 9.30pm.

(Oh, and did I mention that there's a ninja? She attacks you with a pair of foam swords if you go over the three minute time limit. I shit you not. She's scary.)
crazyjane: (Default)
So, erm, I kinda outed myself as a slash writer in class last week.

We were having a discussion about writing romance and erotica, and watched an old episode of 'The First Tuesday Book Club'. In that show, there was a general agreement that erotica had become far more conservative in recent years. Try getting Lolita published these days, and see how far it gets you, for example.

Now, I do agree with this to an extent, but I piped up in the discussion afterwards with a few caveats. Firstly, you still find the taboo-breaking, boundary-pushing stuff on the shelves at the bookshop - but it's usually in the Crime, Science Fiction or Fantasy area (and I include that cringingly awful genre, 'Supernatural Romance' here, argh). Secondly, the world of self-publishing - especially fanfic - pays no attention whatsoever to the conservative leanings of the big houses or any perceived market aversion to such literature.

That, of course, led to 'FanFic 101 - a nOOb's Guide'. Slash, Wincest, non-con, the lot. And that led to me explaining that I knew about this stuff because I both write and read it.

At which point the teacher gave me a sunny smile and told me that it would be just peachy if I could bring in an example of my writing in that genre for next week's class. Specifically, I should bring in some taboo-breaking stuff, like that 'incest fiction' I mentioned. The whole class can then have a look at it.

Oh. My. God.

So here I am ... an hour until class, several pages of Wincest in my bag beside me, getting ready to die of embarrassment. I may well leave the room while they read it. (It's different when it's online - no one can see me blushing.)

Still ... once more unto the breach, as they say ... or perhaps not. My time in [profile] 17catherine's Shakespeare group has left me acutely sensitive to double entendre and innuendo.

crazyjane: (Default)
Thanks to the marvellous Loki, I now have huge numbers of cold war nuclear armageddon movies to watch online.

This ... pleases me.
crazyjane: (moondark)
Since I'm making a conscious effort to read much more poetry, I thought I'd post a few recommendations.

First up is The Fat Lady Sings by Doris Leadbetter.

Doris came late to writing - in fact, it wasn't until after her 'retirement' to Bendigo that she actually took it up on a regular basis, and then, quite by accident. Coming back to Melbourne, she began teaching creative writing at TAFE, and made a real name for herself as a poet, advocate of poetry and general poetry nut. After her death in 2004, her entire collection of poetry, literature and books about writing were bequeathed to NMIT. The collection is some 600 books long, and contains many obscure editions and signed copies.

The Fat Lady Sings was published by Flat Chat Press just after her death. It's a poignant read; many of the poems have a confessional air, where Doris talks frankly about her experiences with aging, and with cancer. There are poems which tackle the idea of body image, and fat and descriptive pieces about country towns which may or may not exist. A particularly marvellous suite called "The Mrs Arthur P. Craven Poems" gives us historic events from the point of view of a fifty-something woman whose holidays include Pompeii in 79CE and the Titanic's maiden (and only) voyage.

Doris' style is chatty, matter-of-fact, and - at times - her tongue is firmly planted in her cheek. She's not afraid to call it how she sees it, and her language reflects that. Even though her language is quite plain, the images she evokes are rich and sometimes startling. In 'Driving Through at Night', her abandoned town is summed up by the beautiful description of the petrol station: " ... the pumps are spidered and the prices long out of date".

As a sample, here's the poem from which the title of the book was taken :

'The Fat Lady's Song' - Doris Leadbetter

When I die don't let them keep the bones
to marvel at the load they bore;
nor the ashes to wonder at the quantity.
Don't offer them the parts that work,
so that others, nearer life, can share my pain.

Break the bones, and spread the ashes
under a lemon tree and roses.
Let me at last bring scent and savour
to the weary lives of those who loved me.
When I die I want to be an ordinary memory.

The Fat Lady Sings is available from Flat Chat Press, and from good independent bookshops. I highly recommend it. If you don't like poetry, give it a go. She'll surprise you.

August 2017

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