Over the last week or so, I’ve been diving deep into I’m Your Man, the recently released biography of Leonard Cohen. Like many artists of singular genius, Cohen was nowhere near a saint, and the book doesn’t flinch away from his compulsive womanising, heavy drug use, and long litany of broken personal and professional relationships. But it also works hard to distill and analyse the brilliance of Cohen’s lyrics, and musical style, and the stories and methods behind them.
Naturally, the reading has inspired some serious musical bingeing, as I listen to the songs discussed over, and over. Frankly, I’ve been in heaven. So, by way of sharing the love, here are five of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs.
Turn the lights off, pour yourself a glass of whatever floats your spirit, silence the house, and drink in the words, the beautiful, glorious, words.
Five for Friday: Leonard Cohen
Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY: LEONARD COHEN”
Just your friendly, monthly, reminder that you can enjoy a huge swag of rewards every month by dropping the teensiest pledge of fine Australian dollars onto my bowed head over at my Patreon page.
Coming up on the 1st of March, patrons will receive:
- Secrets and Masters: a new, exclusive story that proves the old trope that just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you,
- A writing exercise designed to take you inside unfamiliar buildings, and turn them inside out,
- A new Vlog post in which I answer questions posed by patrons, and discuss the methods behind giving unique voices to characters,
- An exclusive cartoon about being careful what you wish for, especially in lose-lose situations,
- An 1000-word peek into the unfolding story of Ghost Tracks, my current work in progress,
- An exclusive journal, in which I talk about working in isolation, the unique environment of the Northern Sunlands, and recommend a couple of top-notch literary biographies,
- An opportunity to vote on upcoming 5 for Friday posts, and set the direction of the very blog you are now reading, and
- a whole cornucopia of froody, funky, Patron-only goodies.
To get your hands on this swag, and interact directly with me in a way we don’t normally get to do, head on over to my Patreon page and check out the list of rewards.
Come on in, the blood’s lovely and warm!
Daleks are the single best thing in the entire Universe for so many reasons, but here’s the one most appropriate to today: There is nothing you can’t make funny by changing the protagonist to a Dalek.
TV dating shows are the single worst thing in the Universe. And yet, add Daleks…… see what I mean?
“I choose contestant number two, Greg.”
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters
20 years after humanity is driven from Earth by kaiju, the remaining 4000 survivors return, determined to destroy Godzilla and reclaim the planet. A planet that– due to time dilation– has spent 20,000 years evolving into a perfect environment for the species’ that now inhabit it.
So, essentially, 4000 humans set out on a deliberate campaign of environmental genocide out of a hubristic sense of entitlement (If I had a dollar for every time a character cries “It’s our planet!” I could afford a really nice lunch.) and somehow the audience is expected to side with them.
Nobody watches a Godzilla movie because of its intelligent, nuanced scriptwriting. But this is as stupid a movie as I have ever seen. Not even the beautiful graphics– and the big G is beautiful— can save it. This movie is simply too dumb to live.
6.45, sitting watching telly. Knock on the door. Pizza guy with an order for this address. Not us, mate. We didn’t order any pizza. He goes back to the car to check, comes back with a live phone call.
Erin’s friends, 1500km away, ordered her a dessert pizza for Valentine’s Day.
Shutup, *you’re* crying!
Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s obviously a huge task to establish, narrate, and then wrap up a cohesive narrative in a single graphic novel, when that narrative has been the basis of a massive, company-wide story line that has run for a significant amount of time over a wide range of titles. Even so, this feels truncated and somehow lightweight. It breezes across all the major story points without given any weight or time to anything, leaving the result feeling like a series of random team-ups punching on without any coherence or consequence. Characters act without logic, turning points breeze past without any importance, and the climactic solution, when it arrives, pretty much happens within two panels, isn’t explained our expanded upon, and leaves the reader wondering what the whole point of anything was. The whole thing is tied together with Bendis’ usual character weaknesses– everybody is witty, snappy, and ultimately, sounds exactly the same as everybody else. The whole thing is fun, in a kind of guest-star-of-the-week kind of way, but for the climax of a major story line, it all feels rather inconsequential.
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“What does a nobleman need more than anything else?”
“I don’t know.” Paul considered the question for a second. “A big castle?”
“No, stupid. An heir. He needs an heir.”
First Karratha writing session achieved. 1000 words on Ghost Tracks. Not a marathon effort by any stretch, but the first new words I’ve typed in months, so it’s a positive start to my new working arrangement. I’m aiming to hit 2000 words a day for the remainder of my time here, so I’m giving myself one week just to get back into the swing of things, and then it’ll be head down, bum up and working hard to make this new writing life pay off.
If you’re a Patreon patron, this is the work you are supporting. If you’re not a Patreon supporter, consider hopping over to my Patreon page and pledging. Apart from helping a fat, middle-aged author attain independence from Der Man, you’ll receive a rogue’s gallery of writing-related goodies every month.