Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Writer's Journal (exercise): Ban nuclear power

Yes please. We really have gone too far. It’s a bit like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, mind you, what with recent events in Japan. I don’t have to worry about conspiracy theories, I’m too busy worrying about whether nasty nuclear gases are invisibly infiltrating our space and causing us all lingering deaths.

Ah well, we are all undergoing lingering deaths of course from the moment of birth. But we’d rather those deaths be natural, not nasty; and we’d rather live out a goodly span of years, not have them cut short.

A friend of Andrew's is enraged by Rachel Carson’s book The Silent Spring which records the devastation of wild places by pesticides. Without DDT, he says, millions of people would have died of insect-carried diseases. Where do we draw the line, where do we find the balance? I like toilet paper and plane travel and being able to heat my house in winter without having to light a wood fire. Even wood fires have a downside — all those trees destroyed. I don’t want to die from malaria or Dengue fever, but I also don’t want the environment polluted.

Closer to home, I am all for banning coal-gas fracking.

Writer's Journal (exercise): Origami

Origami! I used to love the whole concept, but I was never much good at it. This bird is lovely, though I can’t really relate it to any living bird. First of all, blue and orange are not colours for birds, unless one includes birds of paradise, perhaps. And I don't know what bird has such wide wings, long neck, and this general shape. It’s an exotic bird, that’s for sure, and looks as if perhaps it can’t fly. I would think it might be a pelican, only the neck is so long and the beak too short for that. Also the tail sticks up too high.

I miss the pelicans on the creek, that used to swim with me when I lived in Pottsville. Real swimmers like pools with lanes, and to chug up and down increasing their fitness. I liked the good old creek with its treelined banks, and the pelicans sharing it with me, or roosting in the trees opposite. I liked the way they would fly so low, skimming the water, great ships in sail on the air.

Writer's Journal (exercise): Hunting

and shooting and fishing. Manly blood sports of which in theory I disapprove. But everything’s relative, and we can always make the exceptions that suit us. I used to enjoy fishing. Growing up in Tassie, most kids fished from an early age, even if it was only with the bit of string off the river bank. I liked being in a dinghy and trawling, or even just dropping a line over the side. I liked going out by moonlight to spear flounder. And hauling up nets full of crays. I liked getting oyster of the rocks. Later, when I was in my second marriage I liked sitting by a waterhole fishing for eels. Nice eating, eels.

My Uncle Ian asked me to write a poem for him about fishing, and the joy of fishing. I didn’t get it written until after he was dead, and then one of my vegetarian friends was horrified by it, but I still think it was a pretty god poem. It’s true, though, that I was not thinking of it from the point of view of the fish. Seeing a fish gasping in the air that suffocates it is not a pretty sight. Knock it on the head quick — that's what I was taught. Funny how that wasn’t a pretty sight, but gutting and filleting them didn’t revolt me. I’d still give a lot for a taste of cray, or a plate of oysters.

Writer's Journal (exercise): Pointing the Bone

I imagined a black man in tribal costume (loin cloth and not much else) holding a small unidentified bone in his right hand and pointing it across vast distances at some poor victim. The bone pointer could not be brought to justice for this form of murder, because he could be far enough away that no-one could say for sure he had anything to do with it, even thought the whole tribe would know who the witch doctor was.

That was when I was a kid. Now I have other notions. I think curses work best if the one cursed knows about them. Heck, they can work even if they haven’t been cast. A silly woman whose son is a pal of mine is convinced that, because I’m a witch, her son and I have been putting hexes on her. As if! It’s not actually what modern witches do if they’ve got any sense. But this lady is very good at getting herself into trouble and blaming others. She never puts the responsibility where it belongs.

I do think angry or hostile thoughts create energy, mind you, so some people might feel the effects even if they don’t know anything specific about where the bad vibes are coming from. And guilt feelings can also play a part.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Global Art Competition

I received this polite request which may, as the writer says, be of interest to some of my readers:


Hi Rosemary

Flink12, a new social networking site, has just launched its Global Icon Art Competition. I thought that you and the readers of Snaky Poet would be interested in this unique opportunity. We're offering $3,000 commissions to create icons for the site. This is a great opportunity for artists and graphic designers to promote their work globally and possibly win a longer-term contract with us.

We're looking for original, fun and expressive graphic icons to be used as status updates for the network. These icons will be used daily by Flinkers on their web browsers and mobile devices. I've put together a microsite with all of the info on the competition along with images, videos, banners and more. Please feel free to share any or all of it:

http://flink12news.com

If you are able to post or tweet about Flink12 and the Global Icon Art Competition please let me know. I’d be happy to answer any questions personally as well.

Thank you so much,

Brenda McEwan

facebook.com/Flink12
twitter.com/Flink12