So you remember when I committed to weekly blog posts back in July? Hello, September! Where did August go?
In my defence, I have been doing loads of writing but just not on here. Poor old blog, so easily neglected when I have writing to do that can and will earn me actual cash money. I am a capitalist at my core.
And I have been doing other things, too. I tend to check in with some regularity on Facebook and Instagram so come find me there if you haven't already.
Spring is here and not a moment too soon. Sadly, Melbourne has not received the memo but I am sure warmer weather must be around the corner because winter can't last forever – OR CAN IT?
And when I'm not bringing home the bacon, tooling around on social media or sheltering from the cold, I've been sucking up some pop culture. Let me tell you about it.
A LIST OF EXCELLENT THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF CLEANING THE BATHROOM
My Dad Wrote a Porno
I pulled up to school a little early recently and a friend was parked beside me. I waved but I couldn't wind down my window to chat because I was busy listening to this podcast. When we finally got out of our cars, I said, "Sorry I didn't chat to you. I was listening to a podcast." "A podcast," she said, "See, that's why you're so smart." And that was the point where I wished I'd been listening to a podcast about astrophysics instead of erotic literature written by someone's father.
But whatever. This is possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard and I can not for the life of me work out how the ageing dad who wrote this shit managed to even make a baby with his poor wife given his sex scenes involve people grabbing other people by the cervix and a penis poking around some ovaries. NOT ANATOMICALLY POSSIBLE. And hearing every cringe-worthy description read aloud by the son of the author while his two friends commentate is just so very special. If it sounds wrong, it is. And that's what makes it so very right.
So You Want to Be a Writer
An absolute must-listen for anyone considering a career in writing. For freelance, fiction and everything inbetween, this podcast by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait is the most informative and entertaining one I have found. I listen to it obsessively and then relisten when I've run out of new episodes. It propels me ever forward on my writing journey and some day I'll be dedicating a book to these two brilliant women. Or at least mentioning them in the credits…
Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie
Fans of writer Rosie Waterland, take note. This podcast is Rosie and her mum dissecting her memoir, The Anti-Cool Girl. Being born into a family troubled by various mental illnesses and substance addictions, Rosie's childhood was certainly a colourful one. It's both hilarious and wrenching to hear Rosie and her mum, Lisa, sifting through the mess of their past together. I'm three episodes in and loving it so much.
Two words: Ben Mendelsohn. Three more words: MENACING AS FUCK. This is the twistiest family drama I can remember seeing in the longest time, if ever. It is gripping in its intensity, and impeccably written and acted. Why do I enjoy watching it when almost every scene is uncomfortably charged with a sense of foreboding? A current of dread runs through the entire thing but I can't look away. Bren and I are both hooked and I think I speak for both of us when I say the actor who plays John is rocking his sexy dad bod like it ain't no thang.
Gossip Girl (Netflix)
Four words: not menacing as fuck. Instead, more of a fluffy marshmallow of nothingness that I just enjoy on the shallowest level. I primarily watch Gossip Girl for Blake Lively. For her clothes, for her hair, for her legs OH MY GOD HER LEGS. She is just the most delightful creature god ever put on this earth and the fact that she married Ryan Reynolds tells me probably laughs at fart jokes, too. What a woman. I'm up to Season 5 and someone gave Elizabeth Hurley another acting gig and WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT??? She's notoriously dreadful, bless her. But I want to go wherever she's had work done because she looks goooood.
The Real Housewives of New York City (hayu)
Sorry, not sorry. If you've never been treated to Bethenny's one-liners or Ramona's crazy eyes then to be honest, I just feel bad for you. If you don't want to invite true, unadulterated happiness into your life, then never watch this magic. Ever.
I've been making playlists on Spotify. Here's a new one that reminds me of Spring.
I don't typically read suspense or crime-based novels. They're not my jam. But this book about a little girl who might be missing or might be a figment of protagonist Tess's (inebriated) imagination was compelling from the moment I picked it up. The key characters are fleshed out well so that I felt I knew them and the plot has a compelling forward momentum that kept me turning pages. I also think it's fun to read outside my normal genre preferences now and then – although the heart of this book probably has more in common with the usual women's fiction I like reading but with a crime thread woven through.
This book is BONKERS. From the very first pages, you know you're in for a bumpy ride but you can't not take it. I laughed out loud so many times at the absurdity of what was happening and yet it is one of the most oddly moving stories I've read. The male protagonist is written so convincingly that for the first chapter or so, I found it jarring to think that the author is a woman. She has drawn comparisons with Jonathan Franzen so if you're into him, give this book a go.
Another book that's been drinking from the crazy fountain. I do so love quirky authors but this one is annoying given that he was around 25 when this book was published. In fact, Simon Rich was the youngest person ever hired to write for Saturday Night Live, so he was basically clever, funny and successful before he'd had his braces removed. That must be nice. I wouldn't know. I was proper losing my mind with self-doubt at 25 but this isn't about me, this is about Elliott Allagash which made me laugh even though it was probably written for a much younger audience than me.
So in summary, I spent winter in a cocoon and I'm ready to come out now so someone tell Melbourne to get its shit together because I heard it was SNOWING somewhere in Victoria and WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON????
What are you reading, listening to or watching? I'm always looking for ways to avoid scrubbing the shower recess….