Saturday, December 5, 2009

In My Mailbox (14) + Thou Shalt Dance

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

Happy Caturday! First, a big hello to all my new followers. I got several #FFs on twitter from lovely bloggers which encouraged people to stop by. So now I'm over 100 and thrilled indeed.

I went secondhand book shopping in the CBD this week, hunting for retro novels to feed my new foray into sci-fi.

I bought:

  • The Lotus Caves, John Christopher. He's the author of one of my favourite dystopian reads this year, The Death of Grass. This book is one of many he wrote for young adults.
  • West of Eden, Harry Harrison. The asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs never hit Earth, and they evolved into bipedals right along with humans. Now it's WAR!!
  • The Once and Future King, TH White. A classic Arthurian retelling. I opened to a random page after I bought it and a cat was being dropped into boiling water. Kinda put me off a bit. Has anyone read this that can let me know if it's worth my time?
  • Storm Warning, Mercedes Lackey.
  • Deenie, Judy Blume. Been on the lookout for this one since that post.
  • War of the Worlds, HG Wells. I have seen and heard many adaptations of this so I'm keen to read the book.

From the library:

  • Shakespeare, Bill Bryson (talking book). Just finished this one. It was very interesting and Bill Bryson is a wonderful writer. Review shortly.
  • Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta (talking book). I'm constantly lamenting the state of speculative fiction writing in Australia. It's only right I should read this one.

In the background you can see my NEW, mostly empty, bookcase. There's another empty shelf up top that you can't see. This is my writing room. It also doubles at the dining room, lounge room, TV room ... we live in a teensy flat. Last night Zapp asked once again why he couldn't leave his chin-up thingy hanging above the door to the kitchen (which is just on the left of the book case). I said, "This is non-negotiable. It's not going to stay there all the time hanging over me like some symbol of masculine oppression. I have to write pretty books for girls in this room!"

Lharmell news: Nothing to report. I've been out on submission in the US for about two weeks now. Book two word count, The Harmings, at 48,400. I estimated it would reach 60k, like Lharmell, but now it's looking more like 75k. I aim to have the first draft done by December 31st, which means no more dance parties til New Year, but ...

Today I'm off to Stereosonic to have a good bloody dance! I'm rather fond of these all-day events, but certain things tend to stick in my craw. So I've put together:

The Ten Commandments for Organisers for the Summer Festival Season

  • Thou shalt not oversell thy festival/club event/gig.
  • Thou shalt ensure there are enough toilets for the ladies.
  • Thou shalt not put the lion’s share of these toilets in the VIP area. The people who actually paid to get in pee too.
  • Thou shalt not install taps in the bathrooms too low to refill water bottles. It’s just mean.
  • Thou shalt make pass-outs available at a reasonable time.
  • Thou shalt sell essentials, like gum and rain ponchos. We can do without bracelets and t-shirts. Just sell gum and ponchos.
  • Thou shalt NOT, repeat NOT sell coupons for alcohol, making festival-goers queue twice for their Smirnoff Ice.
  • Thou shalt not run out of vodka at two in the afternoon and have only Tooheys Light available for the rest of the night.
  • Thou shalt ensure music does not bleed from stage to stage.
  • Thou shalt not put the two best acts on the line-up on at the same time.

The Holy Parish of Dance thanks you for your thoughtfulness, obedience to the ten commandments, and cute bar staff.

The sun is shining, it's going to be a perfect 24 degrees and everyone's coming over to mine for pre-dance voddies. Happy Silly Season!


  1. T H White's Once and Future King is lovely. Disney made an animated version of (part of) this called "The Sword in the Stone" which has some gorgeous moments in it (I like Merlin's mustard pot best). This is one of a trilogy (I think - may be just two books) and the other(s) are not worth reading (I tried as a teenager)

    Wells' "War of the Worlds" is an excellent read. There have been a couple of movies (the 1960s one is just rubbish - haven't seen the recent version). Then of course there's the famous radio broadcast in the US in the 1930s that had people literally fleeing in panic.

    My favourite version is Rick Waiteman's rock opera - have it in my MP3 collection and the opening number remains a classic.

  2. Oh I'm so jealous you get to read (or rather listen to) Finnikin of the Rock, it;s not out here till February and we have to wait till 2011 for The Piper's Son :(

    Enjoy the festival. I haven't been for years. At UK festivals they are always selling rain ponchos and wellies and they make a killing because it always, always rains!!!

  3. I totes wanna read once and future king - will be fascinated to see what you think of it.
    And in the UTMOST agreeance with the Dance Commandments.

    In an act of semi-shameless self-promotion, my IMM can be found here:

    if you're interested ;)

  4. RobH---well I do love the Disney Sword in the Stone. Probably my favourite Disney cartoon. The Tom Cruise WotW film is pretty rubbish, but I do like the LP we had when I was a kid. Is that the Rick Waitman one?

  5. Gotta love those retro novels. I should absolutely check out The Lotus Caves too. Hope you'll be reviewing that one.

    Oooh, War of the Worlds. When I was a kid, my dad had the War of the Worlds LP and I was fascinated by it. It's just amazing.

    Loving those ten commandments, but not the fact that you are in summer festival season while I'm suffering through grey and miserable season. *So* jealous.

  6. Lauren--haha, I'm totally rubbing all your northern hemisphere noses in it!

  7. want an interview on my blog: Email me at

  8. Only book there I have heard of is War of the Worlds..but not ever read it. Looks like you got you some good ones.

    Enjoy your festival, we don't have anything big around where I live..I am a small town gal..LOL I am not one to travel for festivals..not much of a partier. :)

  9. Yay, you got Deenie! By the way, after that post I decided to be awkward and asked my mom how girls masturbate and she told me to go read it, so...there you go.

  10. You're a brave girl Dannie! (I had to learn it from a book too, shhhh don't tell!)

  11. Oh my gosh I love used book sales! Looking at your books makes me want to go shopping!

  12. I read The Once and Future King a few years ago. I have to admit though that I never finished it. For some reason, I just couldn't; and I hate to say that maybe it was because I was a bit bored by it. And I love to read about Arthur and the different ways authors write the mythology. Granted, I loved the Sword in the Stone when I was a kid, and still do to this day. Maybe I'll have to revisit it again one day. Happy reading AND happy dancing.

  13. I've been curious about Finnikin of the Rock so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    The radio broadcast of WotW is on cd at the JB HiFi in the shopping centre I work in on weekends. I really must buy it. I used to have an MP3 of it back before the great computer crash of 2006.

    I hope you had an awesome time at Stereosonic. I could not agree more with your ten commandments! Those are great!

  14. Love shakespeare! Have fun reading the books you got. How fun is it to shop at a second hand shop for books, they have great and i do have to say cheap books. Yippie. :)

  15. I loooove Once and Future King! Definitely give it a try!

  16. West of Eden looks great. Enjoy!!

  17. Excellent picks! I read The Once and Future King on college and loved it.

  18. OaFK is one of my favorite novels. It's sort of split into childhood/young adulthood/maturity, and it works on all counts. I reread it every few years and always find something new hidden in it.

  19. Deenie is my first and favorite Judy Blume.