I get by with a little help

OK, so it’s Thursday. The day Arthur Dent never really could get the hang of, and let me tell you - I hear ya man! Anyway, so I’m working away in the pixel mines, minding my own business when I come across a trailer for a new film which actually intrigues me. Unfortunately of late I have been staring in disinterested beta wave bliss at a whole bunch of movies and just longing for one to inspire some kind of excitement in. Something that is not the same idea rehashed over for the millionth time, or born again simply with the lead roles replaced by someone of a different gender.

So there I was feeling thoroughly uninspired today. Then this gem popped out in front of me, and tickled my brain like a happy feather tied to a brick. Swiss Army Man is like Weekend at Bernie’s meets Cast Away … and I have no idea why I like it because it’s essentially one long, sensational fart joke of emotion, but wait …. hang on a second - yes I do! It’s original, it’s silly, it makes you giggle but at the same time it tugs at the heart strings and makes you smile in that scrunched up sad kind of way that that is usually associated with the sound awwwwwww. I’m looking forward to watching this, and fingers crossed it’s as good as the short!

Timba Smits - Role Models

Hold on to your hats and stock up on bananas (a good source of potassium as any good Doctor Who fan would know) there's a new sheriff in town! My super talented amigo Timba Smits hits Melbourne this week with a fantabulous new solo show of epic goodness.

Lamington Drive is pleased to present Role Models - a solo exhibition celebrating movie culture with a series of fantastic portraits. Timba takes the celluloid images of his childhood and transforms them into exquisite corpses suffering from a colourful identity crisis. Expect to see film favourites such as Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Uma Thurman and, of course, Arnold Schwarzennegger.

So hold on to your socks friends - this is gonna be a live one!

Exhibition takes place from  18 May 2016 at Lamington Drive, 101A Sackville St, Collingwood, Australia.


Can I borrow a feeling?

As a writer you can’t help but empathise with just about every thing around you. Being empathetic is a very useful thing as a writer as you need to be able to get inside the head of the character you are writing about, to feel as they do, and anticipate their reaction to the situations you put them in. In effect you are borrowing feelings and channelling them into sentences. If you’re successful, then your readers will be hooked. They’ll fall in love with your characters and your story, villains and all, and keep coming back for more. Great writers are not always those who actually write the best (I mean look at the Da Vinci Code – terribly written, but obviously compelling to enough people to get made into a movie) but who create the best stories, with the most vicarious characters. 

However, there is a huge down-side to all this. Firstly, for me, it means I tend to cry in movies … a lot… because I feel what the characters on the screen do. Similarly, certain TV shows are now off limits for me, as I can no longer watch awkward shows, which sadly is a staple of British Comedy, one of my favourite comedy genres. English people are just so awkward, and the way they deal with awkward situations is hilarious, but I get so caught up in that awkward feeling that I literally want to crawl under the couch and die. Urgh! Even thinking about it now is horrible! 

Then there is the problem of empathising with inanimate objects, that obviously have no feelings. For example, you see a car parked by the side of the road and one of it’s headlights is smashed, and to you it might just look like a pranged up car, but to a writer it’s a sad, forgotten creature who has come to harm at the hands of some human ogre. OK, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but all I’m saying is there’s a reason the Herbie films were so popular, why KIT (the car in Knight Rider) talked and why kids and ‘grown-ups’ love the animated Cars movies. I also hate throwing out anything. I feel bad for it. Like Andy’s toys in Toy Story… Yah huh. Now you’re getting it. 

If you’re not a writer though, by this time I’m guessing you’re probably thinking, this lady is bug-arse crazy, and I would be the first to agree with you. I sound rather unhinged, but hey that’s why I write. All the crazy has to go somewhere and on the page is as good a place as any. Well, it’s either that or I start a 3-piece, cutlery-inspired, pots-and-pans folk band with the neighbourhood possums and come play out the front of your place. On Saturday mornings. Before you’ve had coffee…. Ya huh. Now you’re definitely getting it. 

Image taken from The Simpsons

Thirteen Bones media kit

As a writer, you become accustomed to her face.... hang on - that's My Fair Lady... I'll start again.

As a writer of fiction you become accustomed to creating characters, with complicated back-stories (whether they make it into a story or not - believe me, we create them), who live in amazing worlds or brilliantly mundane ones that we make up. Characters who live wonderful or terrible or boring or fantastic lives - and we create those for them them too. Sometimes the words fly onto the page in an ecstasy of cleverness... and sometimes you have to tear them from your brain a word at a time like chipping away at the folds with a blunt fork leaving you in a terrifying state of self doubt. However as horrifying as that is, nothing compares to the fear that grips a writer when they have to write about themselves - or worse their own work! 

And with that admission of cowardice out of the way I present you with the Thirteen Bones media kit in case you should have need of it.

Download the Thirteen Bones media kit



The Read Me Project kicks off

As a writer who has just self-published their first novel, I don’t want to be forcing my book down people’s throats via social media and blog posts ad-nauseam so I wanted to find a fun and creative way to share my book with the world and connect with my audience.

My first thought was, well wouldn't it be cool to just leave copies of my book around the city, tied up with string and with a little sign that said “Read Me” to encourage people to pick up and take home my book to read for free? It was also a bit of a cheeky nod to Alice in Wonderland.

I spent the weekend wrapping up copies of my book, and getting them ready to go. I couldn't wait to get these out into the world.

Then I thought, wouldn't it be great if others did this too? With their books or magazines, or 'zines? Or even if you had a book you’d read and didn't want any more – why not share it with someone else in a fun and engaging way?

The Read Me Project was born from this, and now here I am 6 days into it and the response has been fantastic. It’s a real hoot to see my books disappear from where I have left them and also to have people in the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter community messaging me to let me know they picked up a copy of my book or they just missed out on getting one but would love to buy a copy.

I'm sincerely hoping more people join this initiative and have fun with books.

Here’s looking at you finding a book #thereadmeproject
Jo Jette