25 December, 2008

Merry Christmas

to everyone, and a happy day and season for those who don't do Christmas. I'm heading off to Melbourne tomorrow until New Year's Eve. There'll be computers around, but I'm not sure about the time to blog. We'll see.

19 December, 2008

Can't remember. Is this my first meme?

Things you've already done: bold.
Things you want to do: italicise.
Things you haven't done and don't want to—leave plain.

1. Started your own blog. 

2. Slept under the stars. 3. Played in a band. 
4. Visited Hawaii

. Well, just the airport. 5. Watched a meteor shower. There were so many shooting stars when I slept under the stars, it was almost a shower. 

6. Given more than you can afford to charity. 7. Been to Disneyland/world. Brrr, horrible idea. 8. Climbed a mountain. (Kilimanjaro) 9. Held a praying mantis. 10. Sang a solo (in the shower). 11. Bungee jumped.

 12. Visited Paris. 

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. 15. Adopted a child. 16. Had food poisoning. 

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. 18. Grown your own vegetables. 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. 20. Slept on an overnight train. 
21. Had a pillow fight.

 22. Hitch hiked. 

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. Probably; been a looong time since I had sick days to toy with. 24. Built a snow fort. 

25. Held a lamb. 

26. Gone skinny dipping. Very long time ago. 

27. Run a marathon. 28. Ridden a gondola in Venice. 

29. Seen a total eclipse.

 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. 

31. Hit a home run.

 32. Been on a cruise. Just a weekend one, up the Hawkesbury, which I won in a competition. The tour, not the whole Hawkesbury. 

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

. 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. One or two of them. Plenty more to go. 35. Seen an Amish community. 36. Taught yourself a new language. 37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied. 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

. 39. Gone rock climbing. 40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke. 

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. 43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant. 

44. Visited Africa. 

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. 

46. Been transported in an ambulance. 

47. Had your portrait painted. 48. Gone deep sea fishing. 49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. 

52. Kissed in the rain. 

53. Played in the mud. 54. Gone to a drive-in theater. 55. Been in a movie. 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 

57. Started a business. 58. Taken a martial arts class

. Tae Kwan Do, for a year. 59. Visited Russia. 

60. Served at a soup kitchen. 61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.

 62. Gone whale watching. 63. Gotten flowers for no reason. 64. Donated blood. 

65. Gone sky diving. 

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. 67. Bounced a check

. 68. Flown in a helicopter

. 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

. 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

. 71. Eaten Caviar

. 72. Pieced a quilt. 

73. Stood in Times Square. 74. Toured the Everglades. 75. Been fired from a job. 76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London

. 77. Broken a bone

. 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

. 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. 80. Published a book. 

81. Visited the Vatican. 82. Bought a brand new car. 83. Walked in Jerusalem. 84. Had your picture in the newspaper. 85. Read the entire Bible. 86. Visited the White House. 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

 88. Had chickenpox. 

89. Saved someone’s life. 

90. Sat on a jury. 91. Met someone famous. 92. Joined a book club. 93. Lost a loved one. 94. Had a baby. Two of 'em. Li'l cuties. 

95. Seen the Alamo in person. 

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake. 97. Been involved in a law suit. 

98. Owned a cell phone. 99. Been stung by a bee.

15 December, 2008

Happy review

Here's a nice review of Tender Morsels on Garish & Tweed. Talking about the Grimm tale at the bottom of it:
It feels as though the book is the original, and the story got boiled down and down until it was only that short, odd fairy tale, with all of the important magic and questions and depth of character left out of it.
And this makes me think that it's pitched just right:
In some ways it feels very YA, but a lot of the characters are adult, and although it could be described as a fairy tale retelling, it’s not at all for the same maturity level as something like Beauty or Ella Enchanted - although teens and adults who love stories like those, and can handle a more intense story, will find this very satisfying.

13 December, 2008

Wrong. Just...wrong.

In The Courier-Mail today:

Charming the way a hatful of razor blades is charming, when you sit on it.

11 December, 2008

Thursday frills

Lynne Jamneck interviews me over at Suite 101—for two whole pages.

Allen & Unwin's legendary Christmas party was on last night, so today I'm vair-vair tired and my froat is a little worn out, because the rain forced almost all the guests inside for long spells, and we had to yell a bit. Justine and Scott were there!, freshly jetlagged from New York. Jodie was there, and Sarah, and Sarah, and Susan and Jose, and Mandy and Louis (though I'm just name-dropping there—I've never met them), and Tom, and David, and Richard and Aileen—we had a top time!

09 December, 2008

Perm and set

Awesome author Kelly Link makes Tender Morsels one of her year's picks at Salon. (via Judith—thanks, Judith!)

And Justine recommends it as a holiday read (bwa-ha!)—better buy copies for all your pals too. 'Can’t describe it. Beautiful, poetic, ferocious, excellent,' she says.

I can describe it. It's the monkey that is now off my back. And boy, is it cute—I saw it face out at eye-level at George Street Dymocks today. A decent slew of copies, they had. Walk in the front door, take, ooh, 8 steps and turn left.

08 December, 2008


both Jonathan and the Alien Onions are recommending that you buy Tender Morsels for your nearest and dearest this Christmas.

And today the finalists for the Aurealis Awards were announced, and Tender Morsels is up there for the Best Fantasy Novel, together with Alison Goodman's The Two Pearls of Wisdom, Sylvia Kelso's Amberlight, Juliet Marillier's Heir to Sevenwaters and Karen Miller(hi Karen - yee-haw!)'s The Riven Kingdom.

Also...also...the alien-prostitute story I wrote for Jack Dann's Dreaming Again, 'The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross' is up for the Best SF Short Story Aurealis. And my mates on that list are Simon Brown, Nathan Burrage (go, Nathan!), Trent Jamieson (the thrice-finalised) and Tansy Rayner Roberts, who named her daughter after the Aurealises and is now being rewarded with the first of many shortlistings.

Congratulations, everyone! We're all over here.


06 December, 2008

And a clean sweep of...

...nothing, in the Saturday newspapers' Best of the Year booklists. So you can quit your skiting, Lanagan.

No mention by anyone best-of-ing for the Australian Book Review, either. However, there's a full-page review in the December–January edition, by Kate McFadyen, who gives an excellent plot summary (except for the sentence, where Ramstrong is running down the twitten: 'A careless stumble causes him to fall and hit his head.' I've just re-read the scene and I can't tell how she arrived at that conclusion.) and then says lots of lovely things, finishing off:
Lanagan revels in the magic and mystery that the genre allows, and is fearless in her descriptions of the violence and cruelty of which humans and animals are capable. She is interested in examining the morality of her characters' actions and motivations, but does so with a cool eye, not encouraging easy conclusions. many ideas are woven through Tender Morsels, but they are characteristically presented in a flash, almost peripherally, as the plot draws you on. These ideas about femininity and masculinity, sexuality and passivity, parenthood and childhood, are big and potentially cumbersome, but in Lanagan's hands they are flinty, sparking connections that remain with you long after you finish reading.

The Horn Book adds its Fanfare...

...to the week-long blowing of trumpets that's been going on over here. Look, look! And then Neil says how nice it is to be keeping such company, and I think, 'I am such an ungracious cow. Have I ever mentioned a single other person on any of these Best Of lists?' But this, I suppose, is in keeping with the me-me-me focus of this blog, that I told Perry about.

Speaking of which ( :) ), this Fanfare means that, as Nancy-from-Knopf says, 'every journal that puts out a “best of the year” list has included Tender Morsels!!'—and yes, she did put two exclamation marks. That's just how exciting I am.

Plus, it's the weekend. My cup runneth over.

This blog post...

...is to alert you to the fact that there's another blog post over here where I am talking about blog posting. If you read this blog, you probably won't find anything I say over there very surprising, but it's part of Perry's survey of blogging Australian writers, so have a look at the others, too.

04 December, 2008

And finally,

I've fooled the Gender Analyzer:"We think http://www.amongamidwhile.blogspot.com is written by a man (73%)." Their stats show them to be about 50% wrong. Which I guess you'd expect, eh.

And another nice one...

...over here:
Stately in pace and with few (OK, one) likable male characters, Tender Morsels is unlikely to gain a large male following. With its subtleties, unexpressed sorrows and mature themes, it might not even gain a large young-adult following. It's not at all a comforting book to read. But it is a quietly powerful and unflinching story that roots itself in your bones and weaves its world of sorrows and joys around you.
Aw, c'mon, you didn't like Bullock and Noer?

Tender Morsels—changing lives, all over town

This reader's impressions made me cackle, too—and then glow:
Wow, was that a read and a half! It was so beautiful, and the beginning of it so shocking and sad, and then it almost meanders along in this lovely story of three women growing up and growing old together and I remember thinking "Hmm, Margo hasn't ripped my heart from my chest yet" and then BANG! The last 20 pages of the book and I finished with tears in my eyes. I sat and hugged the book to my chest, like I didn't want to let it go.
And then she does some serious thinking about herself, her life.

What a privilege, to have someone hug your story to their chest. Yes, I know Justine, you did it first.

Jan Cornall's Arts Hub article...

...about the Berkelouw's launching of Tender Morsels is up over here. Not only did she break champagne over its prow, she also says nice things like:
There are many reasons why you should rush out and buy a copy of Tender Morsels. Margo Lanagan wakes up an old tale from an old world and brings it with exquisite relevance into ours. She has done it before. She has a knack for retelling the stories that sit in the recesses of our collective unconscious, for exposing the beauty and cruelty of life as one, for exacting the sweetness of revenge, and reminding us of the power of the (magical) feminine.
And she wants you to know that I am the new Angela Carter. Bwa-ha!

Just the Best (updated)

Tender Morsels has made the Best Books of the Year lists for both Booklist and Kirkus Reviews! Plus, it's going into reprint in the US, after just 6 weeks.

In other news, the novella that's due on Monday is nearing completion. That's good, isn't it.

In still other news, it's now official, although I've had to keep a lid on it for weeks and the money has arrived and been stashed in the shoebox under the bed: I will be able to afford 3 months' full-time writing next year by virtue of being the NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation's Writing Fellow—even though I am a girl, her-her.
“The Rees Government is committed to supporting our writers and encouraging the creative industries,” [Virginia] Judge said. “Margo Lanagan is a well-respected writer and deserving winner of this prestigious award, which will provide valuable support while she completes her novel.”
Well, begins her novel. :)