Solving problems and uplifting the heart – Mary Quant and Sand Talk

January 31, 2022 at 7:19 am | Posted in Indigenous knowledge, slow blogging | 2 Comments
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Slow blogging and fast tango

Have I put new meaning into the concept of Slow Blogging? It’s been quite a gap. In it I finished another novel and settled into a new house in a new town – a small town bristling with fascinating, friendly people and plenty of things to do (between bouts of Covid lockdowns). I can even dance tango, to some extent. (Between lockdowns and no partner-swapping, given that it’s palm pressed to palm and us breathing in each other’s faces.)

Haven’t written a blog for so long because they take a day or two to write, days in which I could finish or rewrite a chapter of my new novel, A Late Flowering, or read a whole book. And so many wonderful books to read! Most blogs are brief and not the book reviews mine essentially are, which I used to write for The Canberra Times and a few journals. Over the years I’d written about 100. Remember what George Orwell said about it? ‘Book reviewing is like pouring your immortal soul down the drain, one pint at a time.’

But writing them taught me much about the writing of books and gave me a chance to air my preoccupations publicly and engage in a dialogue with readers, which I enjoyed. And I was paid plus got to keep the books, which isn’t necessarily the case with blogging. The truth is, much motivation for taking this up again is so I can tell potential publishers I have one – they take a dim view of writers with not enough online presence. And the publisher’s publicist won’t read this – she’ll just want to know that I’ve got one. So there you are, dear reader, I’ve let you in on a secret but I do still appreciate you. I know how many other claims there are on your time.

Tim Ferriss (another tango dancer)

Should I take a leaf out of the blog format of Tim Ferriss, that entertaining young lad I’ve done blogs on before? (Interesting how some whizz kids retain that early prodigy ‘flavour’ into middle age!) He fills in a sentence or two under these headings:

‘What I’m Reading

Continue Reading Solving problems and uplifting the heart – Mary Quant and Sand Talk…

Tearing sentences to pieces

June 20, 2017 at 9:00 am | Posted in Tim Ferriss, writers' habits, Writing | Leave a comment
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Schine novel

They May Not Mean To

Your worst fears

According to Tim Ferriss, ‘the worst fears of contemporary men and women are getting fat and getting too many emails.’ Well, no wonder we’re all having anxiety attacks!

The Slow Carb diet in Ferriss’ book The Four-Hour Body should solve the first problem and spending regular time unsubscribing from unnecessary emails will liberate more time to spend on what’s important. Easier said than done, I know!

My subscription to the Literary Review (hard copy plus online) is as important to me as my subscription to the Guardian Weekly. I’d unsubscribe from anything before these. The Literary Review is ‘for people who devour books’ and the editors recently warned me that if I let my subscription expire I’d risk ‘missing out on everything relevant and stimulating in our society’. That kind of chutzpah can only be rewarded; of course I renewed. (Even though it eats up too much time!) Reviews are one page, in plain English and reviewers are clearly chosen, apart from their profound experience relevant to the book’s topic, for their wit and intellectual dexterity. You can subscribe at https://literaryreview.co.uk/

Continue Reading Tearing sentences to pieces…

How to be a gazelle – on health, fitness and match-making two writers

April 2, 2017 at 7:10 am | Posted in Anti-ageing, Cycling - health benefits, cycling - mental benefits, sarah wilson, Tim Ferriss, writers' habits, writers' health | Leave a comment
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The human guinea pig

Ferriss

‘The 4-Hour Body’ – definitely an uncommon guide

It was already hot at 8.30 on a Saturday morning. My nightie was on the floor and the sheet kicked aside when I glanced over at my reflection in the large mirrored built-in wardrobe doors.

I groaned and said, ‘Oh, God – I’ve put on weight. I’m a beached whale!’

And my companion said, ‘No, you’re not. You’re a leaping porpoise.’

I took this as a compliment.

But I’d still rather be a gazelle. American writer and adventurer Tim Ferriss promises me that I can be. Not in those exact words but near enough. For all my complaints about Tim Ferriss and the gender imbalance of his books (see January 14 of www.penhanley.wordpress.com ) I’ve been won over by him. His enthusiasm is infectious, he’s insatiably curious, and he’s funny. I’m gripped by the boys’ adventure style of his prose. In the idiom of his native country, what’s not to like? Continue Reading How to be a gazelle – on health, fitness and match-making two writers…

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