The Queensland Writers Centre has been running an 8WordStory project on GOA billboards around Brisbane. This is one of mine! There is still time to enter until 24 November 2017 on 8WordStory.com or on Twitter, tagged with #8WordStory.
“A Hedge of Yellow Roses” is the story of Vermeille, a vagabond knight (perhaps), who bears three messages out of a kingdom torn by revolution, and on the way stumbles across an old farmhouse and its enchanted, enchanting residents.
The Year’s Best also has all these other most excellent reasons for buying it:
My bittersweet (and Ditmar Award-winning!) post-revolutionary fairytale “A Hedge of Yellow Roses” has been selected for the 2015 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror! The book is edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene and is available for preorder now from Ticonderoga Publications.
It has a great cross-section of current Australian writers, and if you’re looking to get a survey of what’s happening here then it’s not a bad place to start!
This is where ideas come from:
You mention on Twitter that you don’t know how you started following the local Hereford Breeders society but that you find it soothing. A friend asks for recommendations for chicken fancier accounts.
The search is unsuccessful, but when you sit down to warm up for some other projects with some watercolour painting, you have chickens on the brain.
You are taken by the idea of Fury-Road-but-with-chickens. But also you were thinking about eighteenth century dresses, because of Tremontaine, so you give a fancy lady a chicken.
But you aren’t sure you got the jacket quite right, although you want those sleeves, so you get into bodice construction and bowls of eggs because those are also hard to paint pleasingly. Since this is clearly a Cinderella-type, she gets a fancy dress too. You are quite pleased with these Daniel Smith colours and also with that shoe.
It seems likely Reynolds would have painted her godmother at some point, so another dress happens. Your dad was watching Pride and Prejudice in the next room so a bit of Catherine de Bourgh gets in there.
She’s a little too straightforward, and also accidentally stepping on her hem, although that is an effect you might go for deliberately another time. You like her skirts, however.
You are now enamoured of two half-seen fabric designs, and decide to sketch them out in more detail. A costumer friend would like to make one of the dresses, so these plans may coincide. You have the beginnings of a chickenful fairytale idea, and also that first dress just about captures the feeling of a story idea you had last night when you started transplanting the bits you like of Supergirl into assorted historical contexts. This is now half-outlined and has about 1000 words of test-scenes.
An author friend points out that the first lady should be wearing clogs, which leads to a discussion about pretend chicken farmers, and although you meant to refer to Le Petit Trianon, somehow you are led astray into talking about “fake cheep girls” and everyone agrees you should stop talking for the day.
The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry: Read on Peter Ball‘s repeated recommendation, and proving very practical as I sort out how this year is working.
The Black Sheep – Georgette Heyer: I’d forgotten I’d read this book until I reached the last few chapters (of which I’m rather fond). Mari Ness’s write-up of this on Tor.com (Almost Slumming It: Black Sheep) is, as usual, thoughtful and thought-provoking: “Miss Abigail Wendover, the protagonist of Black Sheep, is under the very understandable impression that she is in a Georgette Heyer novel.”
The Scarecrows – Robert Westall: courtesy of Kelly Link
Radiance – Catherynne M. Valente, with a Will Staehle cover which perfectly captures this “decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own”
The End of a Fence – Roman Muradov: I still have no idea what happened in this little graphic novel but I liked it, and the author has confirmed that is the point. It operates slightly below the conscious level, is very beautiful, and without looking in the least like it reminded me slightly of the world of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing.
Claiming the Courtesan – Anna Campbell’s debut novel
Assorted books in progress
Making Your Own Days – Kenneth Koch
Boy, Snow, Bird – Helen Oyeyemi
The Memoirs of Harriet Wilson – Harriette Wilson
Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks – Alan Coren
Movies and music
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
The Big Short
Joanna Newsome concert
A pattern I noticed across many books I read this month was that of lies, duality, falsehood and their power to create truth, or something new and true and separate from the truth they started off from…
Kathleen Jennings (@tanaudel) October 22, 2015
(Being a small Twitter diversion for October – the first title incorporates several Angela Slatter stories which prompted the exercise)
Second-hand and Antiquarian
– The Book of Spells and Skin and Words
– A Catalogue of Sins of Birds
– The Compleat Changer’s Almanack
– A Monograph on Rare Sea-Wrack
– A Treatise on the White Blood Moon
– A Guide to Whales (with Whaling Runes)
– The History of a Hearthside Ghost
(Inscribed: To She Who Haunts Me Most)
Of the books you requested, these
Are currently in stock, so please
Find them enclosed. We will retain
Your list on the offchance we gain
– A first ed. Necronomicon
– A Tour Guide On the Rubicon
(Please write, if others spring to mind).
Sincerely, yours, the undersigned.