26 August 2012

There's more than one way to skin a carrot

Carrots are very popular in Madagascar.
These are locally made from, for lack of alternatives, recycled materials.

Is there anyone who doesn't give authors advice? There is, there is!

I have a 'pet' flatworm—actually, a guest in a coliseum terrarium that I made for it and a leech that it was pursuing with it seemed, hungry intent, though I couldn't, to be honest, read the flatworm's eyes. It might have just been admiring the leech's upwardly mobile stance.

The leech is either history or hiding, but the flatworm is quite outgoing, despite me not having introduced any companions since that day about eight months ago. Some say that this type of flatworm can live for a year without a meal. Of one thing I'm certain. It has not written a single line of a guide to writing.

So I will.
Every story that has any power is just a glimpse into something that the author has the taste and reticence not to expose too much of.

Enough of that.
The Blue Planarian is a most fascinating creature, with slime that is both slippery and sticky as glue. It is also one of the most difficult of all photo subjects, its surfaces coated with inscrutable shine. This species, Caenoplana coerulea is getting a bad rap these days, enjoying foreign foods in lands far from the Antipodes. I don't know, however, if it has reached Tuscany.

25 August 2012

Save the right to silence

"You have the right to remain silent" has become merely an American cop-show line here in New South Wales, Australia.
Government proposals concerning the Right to Silence
As reported in In Brief earlier this week, the NSW Government has announced proposals to amend the Evidence Act to allow juries and the judiciary to draw an adverse inference against an alleged criminal who refuses to speak to investigating police, but later produces evidence at trial. The Bar Association has publicly expressed its opposition to the proposals and will be making representations to the government on the issue. Members may wish to contact their local member of parliament  or the premier to convey their views. Members may also be interested to know that an Online petition – “Save the Right To Silence”  - has been established to enable the community to register their protest against the proposed laws.
— In Brief bulletin, published by the NSW Bar Association, 17 August 2012
"Ironically, if the law was enacted, the people least affected would be career criminals, who would know they should stay silent anyway. The people most affected would be those charged for the first time, who are nervous or panicked, or who have a disability, language difficulties or other disadvantages."
—Justin Dowd, "Right to silence change is bad law", The Australian, 17 August 2012

"The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that silence can be used as evidence against defendants only if they had received legal advice before being questioned: how otherwise is a lay person to know what might harm their defence in court if they don't mention it to police?
— David Dixon, "On the right to silence, all the rhetoric is deafening", Brisbane Times, 16 August 2012

"Every parent knows that if you ask an errant child where he was in the afternoon, the child will mumble a deflecting lie or deception. Maturity does not erase human nature; in fact, it makes it more serious and its consequences more disastrous. Any suspect may choose to tell any police freely, after proper advice, after catching his emotional breath. The impact of a video interview played to a jury containing an error, mistake or fumble, mumble or flat-out mistruth on one issue - not the issue of guilt or innocence - is almost impossible to erase."
— Charles Waterstreet, "Shouting out our right to silence", Brisbane Times, 19 August 2012

Sign the petition:  Save the right to silence

A bookmark-lover's delight

A Season in Carcosa is kicking. Order now and get this cool bookmark delivered with the baby in September, which is almost now to almost satisfy instant-gratification addicts.

I do love real bookmarks. And this one, with the Pulver himself, is going to be a collector's item, as will this most unusual anthology.

Other bookmarks in my treasure collection:
 A sewn artpiece by Tansy Rayner Roberts, disgustingly overendowed with talent. She has perfect pitch as an often very funny storyteller. And she also wields a needle with a tail of thread.

(the memory of) Many Persephone Books' bookmarks, all of which I've given, nestled between leaves, to special friends. My favourite book from PB is still Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a delicious satire that PB has turned into a classic and that Hollywood turned into a simplistic simper.

Kaaron Warren's bookmarks. Each one is a small collection of disparates, and each one is as unique as the fiction that's come forth from Warren's very strange mind. You would never think to look at her, what lurks in that wine-bowl skull.

But for originality of thought, I'm afraid that no one in the field of fiction can beat the imagination of some bureaucrat, someone unnamed as a cathedral gargoyle. The bookmark: An Australian Initiative: The National Public Toilet Map, a Project of the National Continence Management Strategy. Now, that is something worth carrying into the writing field. Ten thousand words muddling what ten would say quite clearly? Call in the CMs!

20 August 2012

Lovecraft and the American election

Is there something as unspeakable as Super PACs playing with this election?

See KAL's August 4th cartoon in The Economist

Keeping up with Aylett

There is no writer today who is so wise and funny and tragically right at the same time, in so few words, as Steve Aylett.

So here are new ways to partake.

... STEVE AYLETT BOOKS NOW ON KINDLE – Novahead, LINT, Smithereens, Atom, Slaughtermatic, Fain the Sorcerer, Rebel at the End of Time, Toxicology, The Inflatable Volunteer, Bigot Hall, The Crime Studio, Shamanspace.

LINT THE MOVIE (Bill Ectric edit) will be screened on Sep 22 in Glasgow.
The movie stars Alan Moore, Stewart Lee, Josie Long, Robin Ince, DH Wilson, Bill Ectric, Andrew O’Neill, Jeff Vandermeer, Mr Solo and others
Introduced by Aylett himself, and for afters:
"Q & A", as otherwise as any Aylett interview. And comics as only Aylett does them.

Aylett will also appear at LITERARY DEATH MATCH in London on Oct 23.

To have and to hold
Your life is not complete without The Caterer. A favourite of mine.

10 August 2012

Je t'aime: typography

Lovers of great letters can go to Paris to have fun,
but there are many other places where romance has surfaced.

This script graces an otherwise disgraceful public toilet.
I'd love to turn it into a font, called  Je t'aime, or Joie.

There's something about Je t'aime though. 
It can dance with many partners, beautifully.