hansom-cab

‘Ello Guvna!

* Yesterday I checked out The Independent Type exhibition at the State Library of Victoria. If you’re a word-nerd you will probably enjoy it as much as I did. Highlights were Marcus Clarke’s notebook (c. 1853) where I could make out the line ‘A great deal of middling intellect’; Henry Handel Richardson’s gorgeous typrewriter; Bernard O’Dowd’s handwritten treatise ‘Be a poet by making your life a poem’; the chunky laptop on which Peter Carey wrote The True History of the Kelly Gang; portraits of familiar local booksellers; heavily edited manuscipts (wonderful to see how many mistakes famous writers make); and the uncanny similarity of Alex Miller’s handwriting to my own.

There’s plenty more to discover – discussions on the walls of storytelling in Victoria from its Indigenous roots, through to different movements (modernism, etc.) and genres. It reconfirmed my love for this city as a literary and creative one. I also enjoyed seeing some of the great first-edition books, including The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume, which you can read as an ebook here. I love all the familiar places in the opening chapters – St Kilda Road, Grey St, Acland St (then Ackland St) etc. The book also has an interesting success story.

Tied-in with the exhibition is a huge array of special events. Check out the program.

* The Melbourne Prize for Literature is now open, for published books.

* You can now RSVP on Bookface for the 15 Minutes of Fame events that I’m hosting at the Emerging Writers’ Festival…

Mon 25th May with Tom Conyers (his book Morse Code for Cats is fantastic, I’m really looking forward to our chat); Mickie Skelton; Jessica Rashcke; and Cher Chidzey
Tue 26th May with Daniel Ducrou (top bloke, great writer); Adam Wallace; Si; and Helen Hagemann
Wed 27th May with Anthony Noack; Amelia Roper; and Jennifer Scoullar
Thu 28th May with Tiggy Johnson (also awesome); Jenny Blackford (just read her book The Priestess and the Slave and enjoyed it); Peril Magazine (I’ll be talking to a computer screen – no, not really); and Helen Ross

Get googling! And remember, these nights are free, and there’s wine.

Also I would just heart it if you came to The Revolution Will Be Downloaded on Saturday the 30th of May. Book tickets now.

* Yesterday I participated in a podcast recording with my favourite film-blogger Gerard Elson aka Mr CelluloidTongue, and his friend (and my new friend) Kenneth Erickson. Films on the table were Star Trek, Samson and Delilah, Mary and Max, and Synecdoche, New York. Now, anyone who follows me on Twitter will be quite aware of my love for the latter film. And basically we ended up talking about SNY for over half the podcast – we yelled, we wept (almost), we interrupted, we got raw and honest and emotional. We drank scotch. We talked about our feelings people. And it was so fun and refreshing and probably as absurd as the film and won’t change anything about our condition, but I’m happy to let you know when it’s up on Gerard’s blog – probably in a few weeks.

* Some links I like this week:

Slow TV – Alain de Botton on the pleasures and sorrows of work God, I so badly want to do video blogging
50 useful Twitter tools for writers and researchers
James Bradley’s incredible essay ‘On Depression and Creativity’
New online journal Wag’s Review, including an interview with Dave Eggers
The Self Publishing Review (thanks Tim!). This is a really refreshing site. I encourage (dare) anyone who has self-published to send your book along
A really interesting article about authors who blog. A lot to ponder (via QLD Writers Centre blog)
I was looking for Scotland-themed books to recommend to my sister (as she’s travelling there soon) and found this great site. If you guys can recommend any, that would be great too. She loves the historical/fantastical, but has pretty broad tastes. And yes, she’s already read the Diana Gabaldon novels – in fact, they sparked her interest to travel there!

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