After a Glass of Milk

Did my laundry this morning. I had one white shirt among colors. I didn’t want to wait for more white clothes to come in and spend another $1 for them, so I just hoped for the best and chucked the white shirt in with the rest. Bad choice of course. The shirt colored slightly from the denim pants, and it suddenly has faint black spots all over it, and I didn’t even have any polka-dot clothes. Natch. And it’s one of my favorite shirts too.

(One thing I like about my new room is that it’s close enough to the laundry room so I can hear if someone is using the laundry and I can always poke my head out of the window to see if the dryer’s done with my clothes.)

Classes have started. I’ve begun writing two new stories (unrelated to class, but it might come in handy in the face of an incoming deadline). Noticed that I seem to have been going for very plot movement-centered stories lately, so I wanted to do something more character-oriented. My (perhaps not-so-wise) structure is one of those things where you have two people in a room trying to resolve a conflict, and that’s all you have to work with. It can get pretty painful trying to squeeze out as much as you can from it.

Talking of stories, congratulations to Tim for finishing his manuscript of 15 short stories and having the mind to send them to publishers in Singapore to have it published as a collection of short stories.

As for class, I don’t think I made a very good impression to the lecturer. I was a little dazed and unfocused, from just having dinner and having the blood rushing to my stomach instead of my head, and the impromptu piece I had to write and read out loud was all over the place, to say the best. On a happier point, one of our assessments for that class could come from co-editing Rubric, the UNSW journal of Creative Writing which our lecturer is trying to revive. I’m really looking forward to that.

I’m reading Julian Barnes’ Arthur and George (laaate!) . It’s set in late Victorian England and the author has done away with the booming Dickensian narrator and has opted for a more modern approach to it, both in diction (it can pass for contemporary…or at least the early half of the 1900’s) and style (no chapters at all. It’s just one long novel with intervals of Arthur and George being the objects of the point of view). I like those new approaches to Victorian setting, like Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, which turns the Dickensian narrator on its head. The book itself is actually a personality in the novel and engages the reader to participate in the story, which entails so many possibilities (i.e. the book calls itself “I” and the reader “you,” and tells you to “watch your step,” or something to that effect.) I just read the first chapter of it as an excerpt from my classes last semester; I still have to buy the book.


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