jo-case-boomer-and-me-720x1118Short Reads:

Oh my goodness! This week, I found this quite extraordinary article from Jo Case, pondering whether her memoir ‘Boomer and Me‘ killed her marriage.

Recently, I wrote a small memoir piece about a 40th birthday weekend away, which I showed to my husband to read.

Let’s just say that he was left wondering if he had attended the same weekend away. Our interpretations of events could not have been more divergent.

This is why I have such admiration for memoir writers. ‘Truth’ is such contested territory. No two people will ever view the same event in the same way.

As Jo writes, You can only write what you see as the truth at the time. Sometimes that means hidden truths, the ones you sense but don’t see, are unearthed in the process. And what happens next can be unpredictable. 

In Jo’s case, what happened next was the breakdown of her marriage, something that is apparently not uncommon when authors publish a novel.

Eeek! Read the whole thing here.

On a completely lighter note, I had an absolute ball reading the tweets coming out of the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference, this year held in Melbourne.

For the first time, the keynote speaker was a MAN! Not just any old fella, but romance royalty himself, Graeme Simsion.

I’ve heard Graeme speak before, and he’s a total gem. But on this occasion, he outdid himself with pearls like this

simsion tweet

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re on twitter, it really is worth having a read of all the tweets. Just search under #RWAus15. (Should be #Someofthemostpracticalwritingadviceyou’llevergetataconference)

confessions of a once fashionable mumLong Reads

If reading has ‘seasons’, then I am certainly in the spring. After a series of beautifully written but dark and ‘wintry’ novels, I have emerged into a season of light and fun.

This week I finished off Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum. My goodness – does Georgia Madden have an eye for a joke and a pun. Fingers crossed I’ll have an interview with her later this week where she might share some of her comedy writing secrets.

Now, I’m deeply ensconced in The Bit In Between, by Claire Varley. My 6 year old asked me the other day why I was laughing out loud, for no apparent reason. Yes, it’s that kind of book. An actual LOL, and not just some stupid thing you put on a text message so that people understand not to take you seriously.

Writing

Well, if my reading has entered spring, then you could say that my writing is still firmly stuck in winter.

I’m deep into re-drafting my full-length novel, and the saying ‘it’s always darkest before dawn’ keeps popping into my head.

Right now it’s a mess. But I read this fabulous interview with the author of In My House, Alex Hourston, who spoke about so many things I could relate to (like that weird moment, when you’ve been hanging out to sit down at the computer, then you do, and you think ‘no, I can’t actually do this AT ALL!) and finished her interview by talking about the importance of tenacity.

So, that’s gonna be me.

Tenacious-C

(with apologies to Jack Black and the gang)

 

 

6 Comments

  • Deborah
    Posted 24/08/2015 6:20 pm 0Likes

    A blogger friend of mine was at the RWA Conference and was v.excited to meet Graeme Simsion.

    A couple of familiar novels there. I didn’t find The Bit in Between laugh-out-loud funny, but I did enjoy it.

    • cassandrahamer@hotmail.com
      Posted 24/08/2015 7:22 pm 0Likes

      Yes – I had no idea about the RWA conf until I started seeing this fantastic tweets. Definitely on my radar now. As for TBIB – Oh my – I really laughed in the scene where Oliver joins the band and ends up playing the wood blocks too loudly. Something in it just appeals to my sense of humour, I think. Have a good week Deb, Cassie

  • Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    Posted 24/08/2015 7:32 pm 0Likes

    im surprised to learn so many marriages fail after a first book though perhaps not so much when the subject is a memoir. Sill it is sad for Jo and her son.

    Have a great week,
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    • cassandrahamer@hotmail.com
      Posted 24/08/2015 7:58 pm 0Likes

      Thanks Shelleyrae. Yes – funnily enough, now I think about it, I’m pretty sure I heard Helen Garner say something similar, that with each book published, she lost a husband… It’s a huge price to pay. Cassie

  • Glen Hunting
    Posted 25/08/2015 12:18 pm 0Likes

    Hi Cassie,

    Here’s another piece you might enjoy about the vagaries of truth and memory:
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n15/jenny-diski/why-cant-people-just-be-sensible

    Just read your interview on the Margaret River Press website. Good stuff. Sounds like you’ve got the routine down pretty well. Probably a lot better than I have! 🙂

    • cassandrahamer@hotmail.com
      Posted 25/08/2015 2:41 pm 0Likes

      Hey Glen. Thanks for reading and commenting – and I look forward to reading that piece you linked to. I’m thinking about memoir a lot lately, mostly because I know I’ll never write one. Some interesting comments on Q and A (ABC) last night about how a memoir really is just one person’s version of how something felt to them. This comment was made in the context of political memoir, so I guess you can imagine just how ‘truthful’ they are.. Cassie

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