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took me forever to wake up today – something i absolutely love is lying in bed on a rainy morning, with the option to go back to sleep if so desired. but, despite my body whingeing about it, i forced myself to get up and get dressed. i did my bible reading as i ate my toast and kept gazing out the window at the rain – so was distracted both from galatians and getting to work at a decent time – but eventually i got my act together and left the house. i don’t mind walking through the rain, in fact i quite like being out in the elements. but after about twenty minutes i was starting to get over it…about the time when my socks started to feel wet. so i sat at work with wet jeans cuffs and bare feet, hoping my sneakers would soon dry out. i’m just glad i don’t work in a place where i have to wear a suit, high heels and stockings.

i’ve been mulling over the following for a few days…it’s from karen and requires much thought and consideration (sounds like karen’s regretting ever releasing it into the wild … i love this sort of thing and can’t help perpetuating it). it’s taken me a while to formulate the answers, but here goes (i’ll probably change my mind later).

1. If you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?
this took me a while to answer; i just can’t decide. but really i think for the moment i’m settling on eloise in eloise at christmastime by kay thompson. she is 6 years old, is wild, ratty, endearing, energetic, sings loudly, is completely precocious and has a pug dog named weenie and a pet turtle named skipperdee. these may not seem like desirable attributes, but when i wish i could indulge my ‘inner child’, i think she looks a lot like eloise.

(i have a 1958 first edition of this book that was given to my mother when she was a child. apparently, according to the eloise website

A first edition of Eloise at Christmastime can go for as much as $500.00.

probably not this one, given its well-loved state and besides which, i would never part with it.)

2. Which book do you wish you had written and why?
neverwhere by neil gaiman. because…i love the characters, i love the settings, i love the slight twisting of the familiar, i love the dialogue, i love the black humour, i love the grandness of scale and the intimacy of richard’s and door’s stories. i think you could say that i quite like this book.

3. What book(s) have you wanted to change the ending of?
i tried to think of an example but generally i don’t want to change the endings of books…i just have to put them down respectfully (or throw them across the room) and agree that we will go our separate ways. this is possibly also linked to the fact that i find it really hard, almost impossible, to throw a book away, even if i hated it.

4. What is most important to you in a book and why?
* Story/Plot?
* Character?
* Language?
* Ideas?
* Other?

i have to come back to 4. i haven’t decided yet.

5. In your opinion, who is the writer who is best at:

  • story/plot?
    phillip pullman in the his dark materials trilogy
  • character?
  • ruth park’s and tim winton’s characters can be pretty amazing – they somehow get into your brain without much effort yet they are very hard to get rid of

  • language?
  • margaret atwood in her fiction, helen garner in her non-fiction – both appear to use language very simply but as any writer will know it’s hard work to make it look that simple.

  • ideas?
    at the moment i’m enjoying jasper fforde’s ideas, just because he seems to be galloping along on the edge of the ridiculous but manages to create a world that is real enough and delightful in its implausibility.

6. Which book(s) have you most wanted to burn/obliterate the memory of off the face of the planet?
love and vertigo by hsu ming teo (and not just because i wrote about it in my thesis)
billy by pamela stephenson (SO self indulgent)
how to be good by nick hornby, which shocked me because i loved high fidelity and about a boy
dead air by iain banks, which also surprised me because i loved the business, whit and espedair street

7. Describe your favourite place to read (plus essential accompaniments, etc. tea).
late at night in bed in winter, curled up in piles of blankets, with stacks of pillows, a pot of peppermint tea and possibly some chocolate biscuits. simple and predictable tastes, really.

8. Which books are your “comfort” books? (ie. the ones you keep coming back to to read over and over again because you enjoy them so much each time)?
nothing at all noble here. but in the interests of honesty…
bridget jones’s diary (1 and 2) by helen fielding (because sometimes i need to know that other people are as hopeless as i feel)
anything by terry pratchett but especially thief of time (because susan sto helit rocks)
the harry potter books (because they’re easy and satisfying)
and if i’m feeling really sooky, the adventures of milly molly mandy by joyce lancaster brisley (because she is just the loveliest child (not at all like eloise) and her family is so sweet and brisley’s little illustrations are marvellous) 🙂

there are 3 more questions but that’s enough for now (also i can’t settle on answers to them yet and this post has been sitting in draft stage for too long…). more questions and answers soon.