Little Disturbances

I am reading my story, "Indigo in Absentia", at the launch of Southerly – Little Disturbances in Sydney in a couple of weeks. It was lovely to have this piece accepted for Southerly‘s special short story issue, and even nicer to be asked to read it at the launch. I like reading my work aloud in public. (Preferably by invitation – I’m not one of those weirdos standing on the steps of Flinders Street Station with a portable PA system, although I’ve sometimes considered it. Someone needs to balance out the ill being done by the fundamentalist Christians who set up shop Friday and Saturday nights. I’ve often thought that an hour or two of reading Neil Gaiman stories aloud to the public would be a step in the right direction.)

But I digress. I like doing readings, mostly because it’s about the only situation in which writers – splendidly isolated creatures that we are – get to approach the sort of immediate feedback that rock stars enjoy. Unless you’re Neil Gaiman doing a reading, in which case you pretty much are a rock star.

Anyway, I’m reading a story. The launch is at the UTS main campus, in the Gallery Courtyard, which is somewhere near the co-op bookshop on corner of Harris & Broadway, apparently. Friday 28th November, 5.30pm – 700pm. If you’re in Sydney, come along and watch me pretend to be a rock star, sans the actual sex, drugs and rock’n’roll type stuff. I probably won’t get to sign any tits either. Sigh. Writers never have any fun.



"The poet A. Wilber Stevens once sent a manuscript to the editor of a literary magazine whom he knew slightly. When his self-addressed return envelope came back to him he opened it and out fell a little pile of ashes."

An anecdote from Rotten Rejections (Andre Bernard, ed.) one of my very favourite pick-me-up books. It does me no end of good to read that Dr Seuss was rejected early on with the reasoning that his manuscript (And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street) was "too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling", or that H.G. Wells was once dismissed as being "only a minor writer of no great promise", or that Emily Dickinson’s poems were considered "Queer – the rhymes were all wrong", or indeed that Anne Frank’s diary was thus described:

"The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level".

And of course, my favourite, written to Oscar Wilde in rejection of Lady Windermere’s Fan:

"My dear sir,
I have read your manuscript. Oh, my dear sir."

Yes, I am procrastinating. Yes, I have a million and one other things I shoud be doing. I blame the heat. Among other things.

Procrastination by any other name

The person for whom this is posted knows who they are.

Displacement Activities