Writerly Wednesday: Pablo Neruda

Short and Sweet: Pablo, Pablo! Excelente!

Pablo Neruda was a badass mofo the genius king of Chilean literature.

In what language does rain fall over tormented cities?

                                 – Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions, courtesy of GoodReads.

Why is he is king? For me it’s because he wrote some of the best poems I’ve ever laid eyes on. For some of his best can be found here and here. Celebrated as one of the best poets of the 20th century, his passion for poetry alone is enough to turn you on get your creative soul humming.

He apparently sold all his possessions to fund his début work ‘Twilight’ (not a vampire story); one of his earlier works caused controversy because of its erotic content, he changed his name because his father disapproved of his passion, he was forced into exile for his political affiliations, and he was a full-time disgustingly brilliant genius poet by his early twenties. See? Total badass. What’s not to love?

Oh, and he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971, you know, small details.

To get more Neruda in your life, you can pick up a copy of The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems on Book Depository for around $14.

You can also find his interview with The Paris Review regarding his pen name, political aspirations (and disbelief at himself as a candidate for the Nobel Prize), Samuel Beckett, his writing practice, and much more here.

Love for This Book – Pablo Neruda, courtesy of AntiqueThings on YouTube.

There is also a conspiracy theory that Neruda didn’t die of heart failure but was murdered for his political beliefs, more about this theory can be found here.


Mind Food Monday: Zimbardo and time.

Brain Bites – Professor Philip Zimbardo

As I’m off being an obnoxious tourist, this episode of Mind Food Monday will be slipped into your acoustic canals by Philip Zimbardo (@PhilZimbardo), professor of psychology at Stanford University. Here he discusses different attitudes towards time and how these attitudes impact our lives. Video courtesy of the gorgeous people at RSA. Visit their website to keep up to date with new lectures and articles. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel (highly recommended), follow them on Twitter or catch new content via their Facebook page.

Past, present or future orientated, which are you and how does it impact your quality of life?

Freudian Friday: Diablo Cody on Inspiration

Diablo Cody (Juno, United States of Tara)

As you are about to see, Diablo Cody is a badass. If you need more than that in order to click the little triangle then: Diablo Cody is important because she shows us creatives the value of writing the stories our parents warned us about.

Video coutesy of Artisan News Service.


Text Thursday: Mash-up, Shaw, hidden narratives and page X

Quick Lit shake up

This Text Thursday is brought to you by literary mash-ups. A mash-up, much like Austin Kleon’s Black out poems or Dada‘s cut up technique is about taking a pre-existing text and finding new narratives within it. Kleon’s poems are born of crossing out all but a few words to create a new text. The Dadaists cut up texts, re-arranged the words and formed new sentences. The mash-up takes a text and stretches it, filling the spaces between words with new words to form a narrative. It was first introduced to me by one of my poetry lecturers, Gareth Jenkins. He also pointed out that it’s a good idea to use non fiction texts as they are often the most unintentionally poetic (much like Kleon’s newspaper’s eh?).

But for copyright reasons because I happen to have a copy of Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah (1945), I’m going to use that as an example.

I picked this book up from a second hand bookstore for $2 a couple of years ago. Check out the cool inscription.

So, page x (10) of the Preface – ‘Political Inadequacy of the Human Animal’

Ten more years elapsed. Neo-Darwinismin in politics had produced a European catastrophe of a magnitude so appalling, and a scope so unpredictable, that as I write these lines in 1920, it is still far from certain whether our civilization will survive it (Shaw 1945).

and then stretch it, add a few words (and in this case I’m taking a few out) and it might become:

“Ten more years elapsed. Darwinism drove men to politics, lovers curled themselves around a European bouquet of love, catastrophes, explosions of hearts; petals on the cobblestones, a tapestry of such magnitude, so appalling, the scope of their spirits, the trickling sound as they slip their way through the gutters, unpredictable, a doctor, a wife, gushing out the lines of pavement into storm water drains, into 1920. Still and far from the certainty of each others’ pockets, a civilization of lovers, survived only by the city.”

It’s a lot of fun and sometimes you can even get some usable lines out of it, if not a whole poem.

Other great mash-up texts might include: religious texts, pamphlets, instruction manuals, menus, bills, and so on.

Lots of seemingly un-poetic texts contain narratives, you just need the tools to find them.


Shaw, B, 1945, Back to Methuselah, Oxford University Press, London, p X.


Mind Food Monday: Nod to the Classics – Salvador Dali

King of melting clocks

So this will be short and sweet because I’ve worked 3hrs and spent the afternoon cleaning and looking at someecards.com I’m exhausted. But I feel it’s a surreal and sunny kind of monday afternoon or maybe that’s the headache talking so let’s get all Dali up in here.

If you don’t know who Salvador Dali is GTFO you can find all his info at SalvadorDalicom. Sure, his paintings are amazing. Among my favorites are his early surrealist works. He makes the Mind Food Monday honorable mentions list due to being a fucking badass who was obsessed with ants this film:

*trigger warning – if your squeamish about eye related gore*

Un Chien Andalou (MTV Version) – video courtesy of MrPhilrand on Youtube.

If you want some Dali in your life – up close and sexy personal – and you’re in ze Florida USA, perhaps head on down to The Dali Museum. If only for the amazing Dali-themed merchandise in their Dali Store. They sell Dali themed perfume, wire sculptures, mugs, earrings, etc. I’m fairly certain I want everything in there.

They have an ant themed jewellery collection.

What’s a gal to do?


Text Thursday: Get Caught Out in the Sydney Theatre to Inspire Men in Bangkok.

Now I’m just getting ridiculous

FYI, the level of stupidity displayed in my titles is directly proportionate to how much sleep I’ve had. You’re all doomed.

First thing’s first. Congratulations to my American followers on #Obama2012.

Congrats on four more years of common sense and reason. Image courtesy of Obama’s twitter page, which I’ve already linked so lemme alone.

I can’t help wondering how MENA/Asia/any-where-else-in-the-world feels about both the outcome and the fact that the west never seems to pay as much attention to their elections as they do to the American ones.

Moving on. Ok onto some quick food for thought.

The SMH ran an article yesterday by Aviva Truffield entitled How to Inspire Men to Read Books by Women addressing some of the concerns people have about ‘women only’ writing contests.

She raises some interesting points. Image courtesy of SMH.

I’ll be interested to know what my femme followers think about the credibility and implications of gender exclusive literary competitions. Helpful or Harmful?

In other news, Travel Blackboard ran an article on Tuesday about Bangkok’s first literary festival.

Featuring 100 authors from around the globe including Australia’s very own Matthew Condon, it represents a step in the right direction for literary circles worldwide.

Image courtesy of Random House Books Australia.

Matthew Condon, in addition to campaigning for literary prizes, edits the Courier Mail. If you don’t believe me, check out his twitter page – @MatthewCondon2. I wouldn’t lie to you, honest.

Moving on.

More for Australian peeps (sorry non-Aus followers, I’ll post non-Aus relevant prizes soon I promise).

Entries for the Sydney Theatre Company’s Patrick White Playwright’s Award and fellowship closes TOMORROW. If you’re over 18 and have a full length unproduced play just lying around, get off your butt and enter. There’s a total prize pool of $35,500 to be had. Plus there’s a picture of Patrick White staring you down, I don’t know about you but that makes me want to enter, if only to avoid his posthumous judgement.

Now I have to get out of my pajamas and get ready for my day job do lots of important artistic things so I’m going to leave you to get Caught Out with the ABC’s 500 word story competition.

I’m not really sure if you win anything but hey, you can submit your 500 word masterpiece and feel chuffed when they feature it on their website. And this early in the morning that’s good enough for me.

Plus there’s a picture of someone in plaid looking shocked. You know that’s a good sign. November’s theme is Someone who shaped me. So get to it minions!


Mind Food Monday: Minxes in the Media

All the cool people are doing it

So I finished my degree. Zing! Down comes the confetti. No. This is not today’s confetti. Table-Talk Tuesday is for the personal stuff and hipster photos of mediocre things. Confetti tomorrow.

Long confetti. Confetti longer than my body. Because I make the rules and the rules say ‘fuck logic’.

Focus. Today is the day where I post the works of overachievers in order to dive into a pit of inadequacy  inspire you to live your dreams, reach for the stars and shine bright like diamonds in the sky (really Rihanna? Really? I’d like to think that diamonds are pretty damn shiny as they are but what do I know? Nothing about sky diamonds clearly).

Moving on. Since I’ve spent the last week putting as much distance between my grey matter and academia as humanly possible I’m going to avoid the high art and head straight for YouTube. So here goes my top three laydehs of Youtube and why they’re good for you:

3. Let’s get Hartosexual – Hannah Hart and My Drunk Kitchen

Yes. Just yes. Nothing in your mind should be saying no to this woman. She sings about cheese; she dances, she gets drunk, she tries to cook, and she makes puns.

Oh, and she swears. A woman after my own harto.

2. Two dogs, one Blonde: Jenna Marbles

Adorable voices, adorable dogs, adorable dress ups, and oh hey, she doesn’t give a fuck. Not one. She’s everyone’s favorite go-go dancer with a Masters degree – Jenna Marbles.

She impersonates celebrities and rants about things that irritate her. Oh yeah, and she swears… Anyone see a pattern here?

1. That’s Gracist: My daily dose of Grace Helbig

Number one because she’s my current favorite. Number one because she Vlogs every day. Every. Day. You’ve all seen what happens when I try a dose of the daily upload – explosions and sadness premature posting and Wikipedia level fact checking (I think there’s a nasal spray for that now). Even if you can’t stand her, daily content is no small task. 

She drinks, she sings, she makes weird noises and oh, she swears… I feel like this is important the similarities between my top three YouTubers says too much a lot about me as a person…

Moving on.

Awesome things common to these three women:

1. Lack of fucks given.

2. Swearing and general ‘unladylike’ behavior.

3. Ability to laugh at themselves and show vulnerability.

4. Commitment to their medium.

5. General sass.

All three Laydeh Tubers (not really a good description but roll with me here) manage multiple channels as well as several social media accounts, various side projects for sponsors, and guest spots for fellow YouTubers. What have you done for your artistic ‘brand’ lately? Hmmm?