Monday, March 22, 2010

Planning and magic

Life currently is all about planning and looking ahead; namely planning for the first issue of the new quarterly magazine I will be part of in mid August and looking for a house to buy with all that entails. It’s tiring but inspiring and is often leaving me with that panicky feeling of a mountain of work to do and no idea where to start.

My neck is a stiff rod at the end of many days and I keep moving two things in my diary – write blog and do some Year of the Novel work – from one page to the next.

The Year of the Novel (YON) gang have kicked off a blog ... so I can now bang on there plus at Mrs Underhill and the new one for for the magazine ... overload me thinks!

Of course life in all its glory has continued amidst this with THE WORST HAIRCUT IN TWO DECADES arriving on my noggin, attendance at THE JUNES (with the wonderful Suzannah Espie) at The Caravan Music Club, a visit to Federation Square to see Spotlight’s event as part of the L’oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, boiled bacon and cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day, a full day at the Fashion Festival’s Business Seminar ( great line up – I took notes; let me know if you want them) and a trip to Docklands to Pier 21 to see the Harpers Bazaar runway parade with Ms F, a couple of house inspections, a houseful of wonderful overnight guests after mad dinner party and various other girly girl catch ups.

I am slaving away on planning documents, excel sheets and power point presentations for the new mag so my literary adventures have been on the lean, lean, lean side. I would point however to a lovely podcast interview I listened to with the author Dan Simmonds whose book, Drood: A novel, I am currently enjoying.

For those of us who carry all round white man guilt he has a wonderful passage in one of his books where a Native American character ends up in New York and is wowed by the Brooklyn Bridge and expresses the thought: “So ... they have their magic too”. I don’t know, just liked it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Elvis' daughter married Michael Jackson for God's sake

February passed by quicker than the bad dim sim my pal, Miss G, once consumed - then ejected - in the time it took us to drive around the block from the Chinese take out.

I often say that February is a crazy month. Following on from all the Christmas and New Year shenanigans I have always either had (in the old days) L'OrĂ©al Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) duties or, in the past six years, magazine duties as soon as the New Year kicked off and, so, Mr Underhill’s birthday would fly past, then mine would (Valentine’s Day in case you’re asking), then more and more festivities and celebrations. Finally, March arrives and I roll into a new size pair of undies and examine new broken capillaries around my nose and I start talking about “taking stock” and really making some life changes. Yada yada yada.

This year really has been crazier than ever and non work-related writing has not just hit the curb, it’s been washed down the drain and I’m not sure I can even find it now.

Quick re-cap … for my own purposes more than anyone else’s … there’s been the birthday bbq festival of the wonderful Mrs Peters, the completion of my company profile job for an architectural firm, Chinese New Year dinner at Bamboo House (tea smoked duck – an ABSOLUTE must), the final issue of the magazine as a monthly publication (it hits stands in May), dinner at Ichi Ni, the Fig Festival at Patsyfox’s house (3pm to 3am!!), renewal of yoga, the first (and really enjoyable) Mrs Underhill’s Book Club gathering for 2010, a night at The Greyhound watching drag shows, lunch with an old writing pal at The Botanical (she is going to finish her first novel this year and has good reaction from very weighty publishing reps already), Quan 88 with Ms O’B and baby Tessa, GEORGE MICHAEL, a suite of 27 press releases for a beautiful spa client, an article for Advance Global Australia (woo – an international audience AND Kevin's Rudd's the patron you know ...) and finally the long weekend at The Windsor. No wonder the back yard is full of weeds and my glass collection has disappeared beneath dust! Who’s got the time for God’s sake?

It doesn’t end you know. Last night was Donovan’s for the birthdays of Mrs Juckert and Mrs Jackson which was one of the most divine nights I’ve spent in a long time and tonight I am honoured to attend the launch night of Patsyfox’s LMFF exhibition.

The blessed life of a completely spoilt slapper – ME – continues.

Professionally I have just also powered through a complete contents breakdown for a new 176 page magazine and done an EXCEL SHEET!!!! (alert alert) for its production time line. And today I wrote my first blog post related to the magazine. My brain hurts, my neck is now officially on solid trunk (luckily I have Aurora Spa Retreat vouchers to cash in) and my poor old runners have not been getting the work out they so desperately need.

Excitingly, however, I think a new phase is genuinely about to commence with, FINGERS CROSSED, work matters becoming more settled and the commencement of The Year of The Novel (led by Sallie Muirden) with the Victorian Writers Centre commencing on Saturday. Again I will be thrown in with group of strangers all sharing a love of the written word and the aspiration to add their own voice to the world’s ever-growing library. I don’t need to write a book. I am currently reading Drood: A Novel by Dan Simmons and cannot get into bed fast enough to start consuming it. The world doesn’t need me but, when I read a book as FUN as this one, I want to join in the fun too.

Hell, we’ll see. As Mr Underhill says to me whenever I wonder if something unlikely will come to fruition: “Honey, anything can happen. Elvis’ daughter married Michael Jackson for God’s sake”.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mrs Underhill Book Club update

Alrighty, it's been soooo long since I posted. The Book Club had a WONDERFUL gathering, really illuminating, I've been to see Mr George Michael, two babies have been born (not to me), I've stayed at The Windsor, I've had joy, I've had fun, I've had seasons in the sun but now I have just recovered from a computer virus and need to get two huge jobs finished today so ....

Our next book, with TWO months to read it, is On Chesil Beach, a 2007 novel by the Booker Prize-winning British writer Ian McEwan.

We will gather in peson on the 12th of May. Make contact if you wish to come.

Or you are most welcome to submit comments by that date over the blog.

I'll be back on air soon.

In the meantime, check out a videod discussion of this book from ABC TV's Tuesday night book club here