Tuesday, January 19, 2010

hums from the hammock

Still humming from the hammock and the lovely summer days that are like giant hammocks in the way that just 'hang' there, cupping me: dappled, loose-limbed, a little sleepy, doing that thing - that single thing - I want right then to do, or doing nothing. That's fine too. I am three-quarters into my children's novel - and writing there in that summer place was exhilarating. But more on that later. With the discordant clutter of 'real life' calling, oh yes I am back and only humming like wires do after the wind's blown through, here's a quick rundown on a couple more of my a lovely  'hammock' reads:

I haven't read much Marquez and am entranced by the cacophonous, energetic, lush world he builds.

This week's Listener [16-22 Jan] has a fantastic feature on NZ music that has given me a list of stuff to listen to next time I'm in Real Groovy. I especially liked the Chris Knox article as I got 'Stroke' for Christmas with its covers by Knox's musician friends to raise money for his recovery from the disabling stroke he suffered last year.  It's a great tribute to this musician who is not dissimilar to Marquez in his magnetic [manic?] blend of energy and lushness and cacophony. There are some felicitous pairings enjoyed from the depths of the hammock : Boh Runga with 'Not Given Lightly', Will Oldham with 'My Only Friend', the Finn family as The Pyjama Party with 'It's Love',  and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats with 'Brave' are some of them.

Last week's Listener was stacked with summer reading by NZ writers such as Kirsty Gunn on the Wellington zig-zag as a metaphor for a life lived away from the place she grew up, and Lloyd Jones on the detective work he did in Berlin on the trail of a much-loved children's story. The full text for these goes up online at the end of this week. Recommended. The latest Listener [23-29 Jan] has illuminating interviews with crime writers PD James and James Ellroy, and Tina Makareti's  award-winning essay, Twitch, which struck me as having a singular and astonishing voice.  All credit to Arts and Books Editor, Guy Somerset, for all this.

Here's another book, I've enjoyed dipping into and plan to read properly one day. It's given me the wonderful word 'crepuscular', told me how Mantegna snuck people and animals into his clouds, and explained how only stratus comes down to meet you. Good to know, since we've been waking to fog every morning this week.

Hmm, speaking of mornings, must get on.


Rachel Fenton said...

I love cloudspotter's guide - my husband's a paraglider pilot so it's one of the first books he thrust at me when we met! There's a wee handbook, too, with tick boxes for you to mark off the clouds as you see them! Geeky but fun!

Great that you've got so much writing done - a sure sign that you're loving what you do and a good indicator that it will be a wonderful read!

Claire Beynon said...

Hi Mary

"Cacophonous, energetic, lush" - someone (you?) should let Marquez hear this terrific description of his work! It brings to mind the whole gamut - city, garden, inner & outer landscapes...

Glad to know you're still humming from your hammock days! Long may the hum last...

Oh, and I keep meaning to say how thrilling that you're immersed in writing a children's book!

A friend send me this bon mot yesterday (from the mouth of the ever-inspiring Ben Zander) - "When you're in the world of possibility, the word yes crops up a lot, and you don't get tired."

Good on you for saying YES to a new genre/project/inspiration. All good things to you, Claire

Vanda Symon said...

Ahhh, I long for hammock days. I haven't managed any of those these holidays.

Great to hear your new project has gripped and inspired you!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Hi - I *love* Marquez and i also think that your description of his world is rather wonderful. I really enjoyed "Chronicle of a death foretold". thanks for your blog - I have enjoyed discovering it. Hannah