Monday, March 31, 2008

Sound-bytes in Cyberspace

[Leonardo da Vinci, Analysis of a bird's wing
- looks a little like a digital soundfile, doesn't it?]

There's a new set of soundfiles up on the Titus Books website.

They include:

  • David Lyndon Brown reading from his novel Marked Men (Titus, 2007)
  • Bill Direen reading from his poetry collection New Sea Land (Titus, 2005)
  • Scott Hamilton reading from his poetry collection To the Moon in Seven Easy Steps (Titus, 2007)
  • Mike Johnson reading from The Vertical Harp, poems of Li He (Titus, 2007)
  • Alistair Paterson launching Olivia Macassey's Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Titus, 2005)
  • Olivia Macassey reading from her book during the Rakino launch (2005)
  • Olwyn Stewart reading from her novella Curriculum Vitae (Titus, 2005)
  • & me reading from my novel EMO (upcoming: Titus, 2008), with backing music by Padmanabha Fischlinger.

I don't know about you, but I really like the idea of checking out upcoming purchases online through sound as well as text extracts.

It makes me realise, yet again, how desirable it would be to complete my online listing of the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive (2002-4) with just such a set of soundfiles -- at least one extract from every author willing to participate in the project.

Alas, I lack the technical expertise (and, at least at present, the time) to attempt such a task, but how about it? Are there any people or institutions out there anxious to help out? Watch this space for further developments. ...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Orange Roughy Sold Out!

Yes, that's right - in under two weeks we've managed to sell nearly 150 books (not counting contributors' copies, National Libary copies, and a few other sundries). Only one shop stocks it (as far as we know) - Parson's Bookshop in Wellesley Street - but I suspect that their copies have already been sold on to libraries and special collections by now.

So I'm sorry if any of you particularly wanted a copy and were just waiting for payday. That is the way the cookie crumbles, though. I mean, how often do you get a line-up of authors like that, with a hand-screenprinted, individually coloured dustjacket, all for the bargain price of $25?

Never, that's when.

You can find further details about the launch on the Pania website here.

We're very happy - and very grateful to everyone who's helped with the project: our contributors (of course), my parents for volunteering their garden for the launch, Bronwyn's parents for selling so many copies, and all the rest of our intrepid sales-team (Greg, Sheryl and Fiona, I mean you ...)

This is Culture-Power at its best, I think.

[Michele Leggott launching Orange Roughy]

[Bronwyn reading out a message from Therese]

[Bronwyn & me outside the bach]

[A few of the "Orange Roughians"(l-r):
Emma Smith, Greg Lloyd, Anna Tozer, Mike & Margot Lloyd ...]

[Michael Steven in festive mood - Raewyn Alexander & June Ross behind him ...]

[photographs 1, 3 & 4 by June Ross / 2 & 5 by Greg Lloyd]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ways of Getting to Work

[Jason Mecier, Patricia Highsmith]

Her favourite technique to ease herself into the right frame of mind for work was to sit on her bed surrounded by cigarettes, ashtray, matches, a mug of coffee, a doughnut and an accompanying saucer of sugar. She had to avoid any sense of discipline and make the act of writing as pleasurable as possible. Her position, she noted, would be almost foetal and, indeed, her intention was to create, she said, 'a womb of her own.'
Andrew Wilson, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith. 2003 (London: Bloomsbury, 2004) p. 123.

My brother insists that no-one addresses him first thing in the morning, for fear of destroying his carefully-fostered aesthetic dream-state.

I don't go quite that far, but I do find that a lot of undisciplined playing around on the computer is required before I can really get down to doing anything. It's very important not to identify it as "work," I find.

What about the rest of you?

NB: This is in response to an interesting post of Martin Edmond's at Luca Antara.

This is what you do:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people: (soon ...)