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The Stoop

I was made, created by the greatest and the best – Willy Loman. My God, My Creator, I’m a stoop.

I’m made of sand brought over from other buildings and I’ve seen a lot over the years. Biff and Happy bringing more sand so Willy could make me better. One day there was a loud noise about the time they came back, everyone was distressed and Willy saying “They weren’t stealing. Don’t ask me about stealing,” I don’t know what that is but I do know I was bigger and better than ever after that.

Happy and Biff used to play hoops after school. Bernard came in yet again to get Biff for study, can’t think why study is important. Willy is important, he’s the best, I know, he made me!

Willy’s outside again, sitting on me and enjoying the fresh air. Breathe deep, Willy, breathe deep, get that fresh air into your lungs.

But there he goes again. Can’t enjoy fresh air but has to start talking to no-one. No, Willy, Ben’s not here, he has not invited you to go back to the jungle. Don’t spoil a lovely day by talking to Ben he’s just not here. Talk about how you made me.

***

There you go again, talking to that girl. Willy, you are outside on your stoop, the stoop you made so cleverly, look at Happy, he’s lost weight and you can’t look at him?

***

Here’s Linda, without Willy…so that’s why she looks worried, he’s not here. I know I’m always worried when Willy isn’t here, he’s the best and makes me look fabulous. But why is she talking to Charley? He’s never here during the day when she is hanging out the washing. They’re talking about Willy.

Linda: I’m so worried about Willy.

Charley: How long has he been on the road this time?

Linda: He left the day before yesterday so everything must be okay so far.

Charley: He came to me before he left to get $50. I’m going to offer him a job, it would be better than having him begging off me each week.

Linda: I do appreciate you and your money. A job would be much better, make him feel like he’s doing something useful and earning his money. Thank you for being such a good friend to him.

Hmmm, Charley’s gone now. I know there are problems, Willy’s changed so much over the years. He used to come home all happy and excited to be back, sharing his stories with the family but over the years he’s changed. He drives in looking pensive and unhappy. Sometimes it feels as if he’s back too soon and that’s always the time when Linda is more worried.

***

Happy and Biff are back, sharing a room together like in the old days. Ah…it is good to have everyone here again, pity Willy doesn’t look so happy, he’s talking, no arguing with Biff again. Used to think Biff was an Adonis but now he just wants him to be well-liked.

***

Biff’s here shooting hoops, doesn’t really look as if his heart is in it. Willy should be home…here he is! Hey Biff! Your Dad’s here, you talk and be happy. But…but…they’re arguing. They’ve never done that before. A buyer in his room. Oh I’m sure it was innocent Willy says so, she was just having a wash.

***

Willy, you don’t plant in the middle of the night. I’m sure things will grow better planting during the day. You made me during the day. And why are you discussing twenty thousand dollars with Ben? he’s not even here. I know it sounds like a great proposition but I don’t think it sounds so good.

***

Willy died. I don’t really know what that meas but they’re talking about him as if he’ll never come back. That can’t be right. Everyone who dies seems to come back and talk to Willy so why can’t he come back and talk to me? Biff is very upset, keeps saying Willy had the wrong dream and that he should have stayed with making things. Then he said the best thing to Charley “…there’s more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made.” Yes, that’s my Willy!

Friday Photos

One of the areas of books in the Chapel Street Bazaar

One of the areas of books in the Chapel Street Bazaar

Couldn't resist a photo of these John Grisham's in the Chapel Street Bazaar, you can guess the language.

Couldn’t resist a photo of these John Grisham’s in the Chapel Street Bazaar, you can guess the language.

Maybe if you say patron with an accent it'd work.

Maybe if you say patron with an accent it’d work.

G is for Mary Gentle

I decided to write about Mary Gentle as I love her name and then in doing more research I found a very interesting blog, the author positively loves Gentle and thinks she’s awesome, the article made me want to write about her for much better reasons.

Born in the UK in 1956 Gentle started writing fantasy but became known for her Orthe sequence. The protagonist comes to Orthe to try and open up the planet for exploitation, sort of like the early days of Avatar.

The book the blogger thinks is so awesome is Ash, it’s alternate history and the protagonist has been genetically engineered so she hears a computer in her head.

So, onto the blogger. She’s quite enthusiastic and almost makes me want to read the book. She’s meant to be talking about Black Opera but starts gushing about Ash and how it’s choc-a-bloc with excellent female characters, those who do stuff and kick butt and basically don’t need men around to get stuff done for them. In case you want to read this article you can find on Tor.

I couldn’t find Ash for you but here’s Black Opera and Grunts which seems to be a parody of fantasy novels with orc heroes and racist elves…although most of the elves I’ve read about are racist.

If you’re reading this…

it means I’m about to fly off on a jaunt to Israel. We’ll be away for three weeks and at this point in time I can guarantee pickings will be reduced on this blog. I have typed up something I submitted to my English teacher but she didn’t like it enough so I gave her something else and have scheduled it for next Monday, it’s along the lines of Mondayitis. She thought it was about a 7/10, solid and capable but lacking the va-voom of the top level responses. The second thing I handed in speaks to her much more and ignores Mondayitis completely. At the time I write this I’m planning on having my regular Thursday column and have enough planned but not scheduled for Friday Photos to get me through.

I will have internet connection a great deal of the time but most of the time is filled in already and writing on the iPad on my blog can be challenging so I’m not certain how much I’ll be publishing here while I’m away.

I’ve sort of been rather challenged for time due to my studies and also some Australian Discworld stuff that happened yesterday. Those of you who have been following me will know that we held a Victorian Discworld Klatch event yesterday in Carnegie Library, with many thanks to the Glen Eira Council for letting us invade their space and create madness in their Storytelling Festival.

On my return I’ll tell you my impressions of Israel and include photos. One of the tours I’m doing is to visit an archaeological dig, the description says we’ll be participating but I’m not sure at what level. If they give me a brush and tell me to brush incredibly carefully I’ll be stoked, anything else is a bonus.

Friday Photos

I dub thee Sir Dragonlance Blue as I can't read the language. Found in the Posh Op Shop corner Grange and Glen Huntly Roads, Glen Huntly.

I dub thee Sir Dragonlance Blue as I can’t read the language. Found in the Posh Op Shop corner Grange and Glen Huntly Roads, Glen Huntly.

I dub thee Sir Dragonlance Red as I am remiss in not being able to read the language. Also found in the Posh Op Shop.

I dub thee Sir Dragonlance Red as I am remiss in not being able to read the language. Also found in the Posh Op Shop.

I know this needs an apostrophe but is there any point in pointing out the problems with their English?

I know this needs an apostrophe but is there any point in pointing out the problems with their English? Won’t and wont are two different words, as in want but I won’t try to confuse myself any longer.

F is for Leanne Frahm

When I first started researching this letter I thought I’d have great trouble as I couldn’t find females writing science fiction. Where are the women authors in the science fiction genre? Then I found a list, clicked on all the authors and whittled down the 30 something entries to eight likely suspects only to have to go to bed.

Another day, another few words. I’ve finally settled on Leanne Frahm, an Australian author born in Queensland who lived in America for a few years before coming back here to find her fellow students going to school in bare feet, what a strange concept to her.

She tends to write short stories and has has quite a number published in anthologies including one by Paul Collins, Distant Worlds. I hope to read a novel by her one day.

Frahm has been nominated and indeed, won, several awards including the Ditmars and Aurealis. This link is an interview by Lucy Sussex published in Borderline and the entire website looks to be a fascinating place to spend some time.

I couldn’t find any place to buy Frahm’s works so will just have to rely on waiting and watching the books that come past me to find one of her stories.

Sticky Institute

Every time I go to class I go past a shop that looks just so exciting with lots of words hanging in the window  just like I’ve seen people hanging their Christmas Cards. The day of my GAT it was open so I popped in and bought something. Wish I’d taken photos on the inside.

Fortune Scroll from the Sticky Institute

Fortune Scroll from the Sticky Institute

This is what I bought. It’s much closer to art than writing as what’s inside is a scroll with fortune cookie words and I’m quite happy with that. It’s very cute and I’ll need to find somewhere to put it where people can open it and look inside. I bought it for the colour, it’s a lovely purple that doesn’t quite show up in the photo.

They’re generally not open when I go past as they’re run entirely by volunteers and so only open on certain days. As you’ve got to take these opportunities when you can I went in that day. Wish I’d also taken photos on the inside, there were half a dozen or so typewriters and lots of ezines sitting ready to buy or look at. I didn’t ask but I do wonder if I could have created my own.

You can join the collective and receive ezines as part of your membership and also get a nice discount on your purchases. I’m really tempted but it has to wait a few weeks.

Footrot Flats: The Making of the Movie – Lesley Stevens

Footrot Flats The Dog's Tail Tale: The Making of the Movie - Lesley Stevens

Footrot Flats The Dog’s Tail Tale: The Making of the Movie – Lesley Stevens

I don’t remember a time without Footrot Flats, bear in mind it’s been published in newspapers from 1975 to 1994 and then in book form until 2000 so there haven’t been that many years of my life without.

I always loved Footrot Flats but didn’t manage to see the movie on the big screen when it came out in 1986, I suspect I had other things on my mind that year. When I came across the DVD it was a must buy but having seen it I don’t need to own it any longer. This book, on the other hand, is a must keep.

This book has a lot of detail about how the movie came about and about the creative process. It’s not a book about Footrot Flats but about the creative process, the animation and the administration behind making an animation feature. And also about the administration behind making an animation feature across two countries…thank heavens for fax machines.

In this book you can see the words for some of the songs and you see photos of the creative people hard at work doing what they do best. There are pages showing the actors who voiced the characters beside the characters themselves. Then there are pages showing the characters and their characteristics and later on reproductions of faxes showing how Murray Ball critiqued some of the animation work.

I loved this book as it shows so much of the work that goes into making an animated movie and how much dedication each person has to have to get it looking just right. I’m totally in awe at their talent and dedication.

And for some links. Here’s one to look at and never to buy, someone’s been very clever and is skirting the edges of copyright by downloading loads of free material and making it into a book. I repeat, DO. NOT. BUY. Here’s one you might want to consider buying, it’s the Essential Footrot Flats, the cheap one and has 450 hand-picked strips…they don’t say which hand picked them though.

Friday Photos

If you know what these are then you're obviously a Discworld fan and you need to join us at Carnegie Library between 11 am and 4pm Sunday 28th June! If you don't you might want to consider reading the books.

If you know what these are then you’re obviously a Discworld fan and you need to join us at Carnegie Library between 11 am and 4pm Sunday 28th June! If you don’t you might want to consider reading the books.

They're hedging their bets with the apostrophes and steak here.

They’re hedging their bets with the apostrophes and steak here.

They obviously don't know my foolproof method for spelling Wednesday. Just break it up into the syllables you can see not the ones you can hear - Wed-nes-day.

They obviously don’t know my foolproof method for spelling Wednesday. Just break it up into the syllables you can see not the ones you can hear – Wed-nes-day.

E is for Sylvia Engdahl

Introduced to me months ago by Jen when I wrote about William Ellern so here I am writing about Sylvia Engdahl. I find I’m fascinated by her. She has a Facebook page which she obviously works on, including responding to people. She has a blog which she doesn’t work on very much, and then a website which looks reasonably up-to-date. Engdahl is older than my Mum and seems to have embraced the online world very well…and they say the older generation don’t get these things…ha! I think Engdahl could teach them a thing or two.

Anyway, Engdahl has had an interesting writing career. She started in 1970, wrote for 11 years before stopping until 2000 when she started publishing again. One of her new books looks absolutely fascinating, lots of social commentary in there amongst a science fiction setting so I’m going to send you to Booktopia to look at it and consider buying. Stewards of the Flame and this is what she has to say on her blog about it

There are a lot of people who care about the issues this book deals with — society’s medical policy, government interference with free choice, mind-body healing, peaceful dying, personal liberty, the untapped power of the human mind –

I’m looking forward to reading it. Jen did offer to let me borrow some of her books so I wonder if she has this one.

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