Thursday, November 11, 2004

Australian Synchronicities

The question about synchronicities is not whether they are real but whether they have meaning. I have no good interpretation for this one.

1. About a week ago I finished So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld, who splits his time between Australia and New York. (It's a very fast and funny book, by the way, and you should all check it out.)

2. Yesterday XRT played Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning."

3. Also yesterday, in class, our prof gave us an exercise dealing with the National Archives of Australia website. (I searched for kookaburras.)

4. Last night we were casually watching the CMAs (A terrible mistake: Patty Loveless was relegated to singing backup for Alan Jackson! Alison Kraus lost to Martina McBride!), and mediocrity Keith Urban, who grew up in Australia, won Male Vocalist of the Year.

5. Today my roommate bought us tickets to see Australian singer Kasey Chambers next Friday.

6. A double whammy: the other day I picked up my copy of Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, knowing nothing about it but that it was a YA novel that looked interesting enough to pick it up at the BEA. I grabbed the nearest bookmark, which happened to be the one that the polite man at the BEA had given me "all the way from Australia" -- see here -- and only after I was a couple of chapters into the book did I realize it took place in Australia; Sydney, specifically. (By the way, this is an INCREDIBLY GOOD BOOK, which is why I'm annoying you with the all-caps. It needs to sell a million copies. Buy a hundred. It's so good!)

7. Tonight on Lost I was reminded that Emilie de Ravin (horrible as Tess on Roswell, so . . . adequate as the thinly pregnant Claire) is Australian.

8. Both Monday and tonight I heard Men at Work songs at my favorite cafe/bakery/study spot.

So what does all this mean? My next trip is in quite the opposite direction, to another A-land, Alaska. I have no family Down Under, in fact I know no one who lives there in more than just a casual sort of way. Am I going to inherit a koala bear? Am I supposed to take lessons in handling a bullroarer? Shall I go walkabout?

Monday, November 08, 2004

First Lines Meme

Shows you how exhausted I am from mourning the election, that I can do nothing but repeat what others are doing . . . at least, this one gives me the chance to pretend that I am writing even though schoolwork leaves me about two hours a week to work on anything else. This one via E.L. Chen: "post just the opening lines of one's works-in-progress." Easy, too. However, I'm using the liberal interpretation of "opening lines."

From the untitled Bending Parlor story that Pam was interested in (I'm working on it, honestly):

When women told Martin they were not attracted to him--and they did so often, usually in an apologetic tone--he asked them to be specific. "Are my knuckles too hairy?" he would ask. "Is my chin weak?" Few women were comfortable with this line of questioning, but Martin was persistent. "Is it my shoes? Did I make too much eye contact? Do I exude restlessness and anxiety? Is there something in my teeth?"

From the story that used to be called "The Harriers" or "Five Hundred and Forty Doors," and which I'm hoping to finish for Susan and David's Short Epics anthology:

The second time I got shot, that was the one that done it. Killed me, ya know. That's how I got mixed up in all that Ragnarok garbage. But I guess before I tell that story I ought to tell you about the first time I got shot, and before I tell that one I ought to tell about the first time I saw someone get shot, if you want to know the whole story.

From the YA/children's novel I've only written a chapter of, tentatively titled Raymond, King of the Rats:

This story never happened, and you didn't hear it from me. It's a secret and a lie, except for the parts that are common knowledge and true. So be careful who you tell.

I have about a hundred beginnings somewhere on this hard drive, but these are the ones most likely to get finished.