In December, I went on a trip to Brisbane for a conference and took some extra days off either side, to be able to further acquaint myself with the city.
Even though I’d been to Brisbane a few times before, it had been years and the city has changed into a sprawling modern metropolis with more things to do and see.
I found my time being spent walking around the city most mornings before the mercury got too high. I would then retreat to the comfort of my hotel room in the afternoon to read and write.
During one of my daily flaneusing trips, I came across the “Literary Trail” scattered throughout Brisbane which I thought was quite beautiful and a great tribute to the city’s poets:
These walks were just what I needed to reinvigorate me with my passion for poetry and short story writing.
(c) T. Altman 2017
Up until recent years, I used to walk around the city, alone – all the time.
I used to work in the CBD (Central Business District) and other than walking to and from my office building, I would spend lunchtimes and after business hours walking around the streets of Melbourne.
I was engaged in the city whilst observing it – two polarities joined.
Sometimes I felt like the untethered explorer, whilst other times I felt a foreboding danger and retreated to the safety of a heavy populated cafe or shopping district.
During these times I would sometimes jump on and off trams and trains to see what I could find. Sometimes, I would discover some well known artist’s graffiti on a brick wall or an independent retailer selling exotic homemade wares and even a budding musician busking in a underground train-station.
Now, I make an effort to go into the city and visit certain landmarks with purpose. I am more aware of my surroundings as I take precaution whilst observing as much as I can take in, for inspiration. I never knew how important it was for me to walk, observe and use that to fuel my imagination until I stopped and then went back to it. I didn’t realise that like some of my favourite authors, I am a Flaneuse and my hometown is my muse.
(c) T. Altman 2016
It was Virginia Woolf who in her essay “Street Haunting” said:
“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books”
Well they can come home with me and be tamed because I absolutely love second hand books – they have so much character!
When I have the chance I like to peruse though second hand bookstores. Due to my addiction to books, I rarely ever leave a second hand book shop empty handed.
I especially love coming across books with dedications at the beginning of the book as well as personal annotations on the side of pages which highlight some important point to the reader. I find these even more precious the older they are and it makes me wonder why and how these books with so much personal attachment to them, made it to me.
If you can, visit your local second hand book store and rescue a wild book!
(C) T. Altman 2016
Other than my mother who greatly influenced my love of reading, growing up – I was surrounded by people who didn’t read for pleasure or personal growth. I, however spent a significant amount of time reading for the love and knowledge.
I know people who say they haven’t read a book since they were forced to in school and that boggles my mind because I couldn’t imagine that myself. A couple of these same people have then gone out and read the Twilight or 50 Shades trilogies due to the hype in the media and think its the best literary creations they have ever come across (simply because they haven’t exposed themselves to reading anything else). I completely disagree but the way I look at it is that at least they are reading SOMETHING!
I personally believe you need to exercise your brain and reading does that.
Regardless of the book being good or not according to best seller lists, reviews, recommendations or the like – just do it – read a book and expand your mind as its never too late to do that!
When I was a teen and young adult I found, I was attracted to pretty emotionally intense books with female protagonists.
Some of these books included:
The Girl Who Knew Tomorrow by Zoa Sherburne
The Girl in the Box by Ouida Sebestyen
People Might Hear You by Robin Klein
As a “grown up” I find that I still love to read YA books featuring strong female protagonists, here are some I have loved:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Harper Connelly Series by Charlaine Harris
Immortal Beloved Trilogy by Cate Tiernan
Do you love YA with strong female protagonists? If so what are your favorites?
Taken from the Modern Mrs Darcy website I took up the following challenge for 2016 and here is my completed list:
A book published this year:
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling
A book you can finish in a day:
Alone by Beverley Farmer
A book you’ve been meaning to read:
The Hollow of the Hand by PJ Harvey
A book recommended by your local librarian or book seller:
Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey
A book you should have read in school:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF:
Imajica by Clive Barker
A book published before your were born:
Aesop’s Fables by Aesop
A book that was banned at some point:
The Flowers of Evil by Charles Boudelaire
A book you previously abandoned:
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R by Carole De Santi
A book you own but have never read:
Ordeal by Linda Lovelace
A book that intimidates you:
When the Wattles Bloom Again by Shirley W Wencke
A book you’ve already read at least once:
The Complete Words of Edgar Allan Poe
This week I went and saw one of my favorite bands of all time – The Cure.
I discovered this band as a teen and truth be told it was the poetic lyrical genius of Robert Smith who engaged and enamored me.
To me he’s like a modern day Gothic romantic and his words are dark yet illuminating.
One of my favorites, is the title song from the album “Disintegration”:
oh i miss the kiss of treachery the shameless
kiss of vanity the soft and the black and the
velvety up tight against the side of me and
mouth and eyes and heart all bleed and run in
thickening streams of greed as bit by bit it
starts the need to just let go my party piece
oh i miss the kiss of treachery the aching kiss
before i feed the stench of a love for a younger
meat and the sound that it makes when it cuts
in deep the holding up on bended knees the
addiction of duplicities as bit by bit it starts
the need to just let go my party piece
but i never said i would stay to the end so i
leave you with babies and hoping for frequency
screaming like this in the hope of the secrecy
screaming me over and over and over i leave
you with photographs pictures of trickery
stains on the carpet and stains on the scenery
songs about happiness murmured in dreams
when we both us knew how the ending would
so it’s all come back round to breaking apart
again breking apart like i’m made up of glass
again making it up behind my back again
holding my breath for the fear of sleep again
holding it up behind my head again cut in deep
to the heart of the bone again round and round
and round and it’s coming apart again over and
over and over
now that i know that i’m breaking to pieces i’ll
pull out my heart and i’ll feed it to anyone
crying for sympathy crocodile cry for the love
of the crowd and the three cheers from
everyone dropping through sky through the
glass of the roof through the roof of your mouth
through the mouth of your eye through the eye
of the needle it’s easier for me to get closer to
heaven than ever feel whole again
i never said i would stay to the end i knew i
would leave you with babies and everything
screaming like this in the hole of sincerity
screaming me over and over and over i leave
you with photographs pictues of trickery
stains on the carpet and stains on the memory
songs about happiness murmured in dreams when we both
of us knew how the end always is…
how the end always is…