READ: “Why should I embody the stereotype of ‘struggling artist’ if I don’t have to?” Art, selling out, and the audacity of wanting it all. | Colm Tóibín: “What you’re doing is you’re devising strategies for controlling information and emotion.” | “I just see an awful lot of people who believe that what makes a novel is eighty thousand consecutive words.” | “In one swift, startling gesture, the author defended both her private self and the primacy of her imagination.” | Enormous Eye watches writers watch their days. | “Am I an expert? Can I speak on this topic? What makes me valid enough to have a voice?” (part of the Guardian series women on women writing online. | Karl Ove Knausgaard travels through North America. Part 1 / Part 2.
LOOK: The Gannet visits food obsessives (like the owner of E5 Bakehouse) in different countries and rummages around their kitchens. | All of Nigella Bites seasons one and two are on YouTube! | Plant-based pho. | If your beloved stuffed animal needs a bath. | Born yesterday: mothers and their newborn babies. | Kitchen makeover 1: slow / 2: quick. | Still love The Rereaders, Australia’s Culture Gabfest. | “Be patient – even with chaos.” Lydia Davis’s advice to the young.
THINK: “The idea that women have a hair-trigger for jealousy, that we despise each other as a matter of course, is a toxic hangover from adolescence. I felt no envy when I saw Miranda nurse my son.” | “I looked at Penny and thought, ‘Yeah, she’s pretty attractive.’ And I love her.” Couples in transition. | “… the self-critical part of ourselves […] has some striking deficiencies: it is remarkably narrow-minded; it has an unusually impoverished vocabulary; and it is, like all propagandists, relentlessly repetitive.” | Medicating women’s feelings. | Motherhood: “You’re not going to become a new person unless on some level you want to become a new person.”
PS: Have you donated to the Emily Books Kickstarter? Even if you are quite skint consider giving $5 so you can share the link without feeling like an imposter; then someone you share it with might be massively rich and donate $200! That is how Kickstarter works I think, the precise donation is slightly less important than sharing the link and saying you made one.
READ: “Lose something every day. Accept the fluster/ of lost door keys, the hour badly spent./ The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” / Wasting time. | “You hope that the adults will read what you write. That way, they will have to listen to you without interrupting.” / “… the fascination dates back to childhood. I probably just wanted more attention from the adults around me, but that often manifested in wildly inappropriate crushes on adults.” (I cried when I finished The First Bad Man. I listened to it on Audible, read by Miranda July. | Domestic purging. (I bought the Japanese tidying book after reading this. It’s insane, but with the unmistakable ring of truth.) | “But Lerner is doing something different with his metafictional plot: he’s showing us, in good faith, how fiction gets written.”
LOOK: The car nap: an essay in selfies. | Favourite new tea: London Breakfast. / Lovely mug. | Music to test psychedelics to. | Chilly Gonzales’s Pop Music Masterclass. | Will I ever learn to use the manual settings on my camera? Probably not, but this is the best explanation I’ve read and half understood. | The backstory behind a tiny Melbourne home. | Updated, plunderable recipe page on Anna Jones’ website. | This recipe for a three ingredient pot roast really worked! But I had to ask for my receipt at M and S because I was so shocked by the price of the meat; I think I chose the wrong cut. | Poached and roasted quinces. | Chard fritters. | Chargrilled red peppers. | Simple stocks. | Seriously super cereal from My New Roots. | Cooking for artists by Mina Stone. | On Instagram, calming Nigel: @thenigelslater / Charming Nigella: @nigellalawson / “Things that go on and in my body”: @coconutfacepaint / Do you like the new look of this blog?! It’s by Natasha Mead. Her lovely instagram: @natashamead. Thank you Natasha!
THINK: On editing: “[T]he pay is rubbish and the most important aspect of our work practice is to efface ourselves completely.” | Multimedia bricolage. | “… a criminal, at least for a short period of time is free, free to do anything he wishes. Unfortunately it sound[s] as if I admired that, which I don’t.” Patricia Highsmith on murder. | “The conceit of people, to think that if they’re not reading about you in a newspaper or magazine, then you’re not doing anything.” Big Patti Smith interview.
READ: Did you make it up? Did it happen to you? Against explanation. | Notes From London In December: Vol. 1 | “She’s no longer a person with a body, but merely an obsessive mind.” On the work of Lydia Davis. | Since living alone. | “[D]ivorce is a kind of anti-story: It is the spectacle of narrative breaking down, both personally and publicly.” Rachel Cusk on the divorce memoir. / Fascinating review of Rachel Cusk’s ‘Outline.’ / (Heidi Julavits was a brilliant guest on Inside the New York Times Book Review, which I love.) | Couch features essays by psychotherapists, patients and others about the experience of therapy. | Excited for Muse: A novel.
LOOK: Photo essay of a Melbourne Christmas. | On repeat. | Australian Screenwriters Podcast (bless the modesty of Australians compared with the people on Nerdist Writers’ Panel!) | Deep style. | Why did I wait so long to get A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones? | Cruelly in the first trimester of this pregnancy I suffered two food aversions: my pregnancy vitamins, and kale. Thank god they passed. Ten best kale recipes. | Two beautiful food blogs via the wonderful In a Pavillion: Spasiba / That’s food darling.
THINK: What do we give up when we turn freelance? (“… offices provide a “holding environment” […] to contain our existential anxiety.” | “I’m relevant and I’m going to tell you my story before it’s even started.” | Kids, the Holocaust, and “inappropriate” play. | “Prosperous Australians, even those who’ve snuck under the wire like myself, forget so easily that others are still living over-determined lives in another economy altogether.” Tim Winton on class.
READ: Listen up, women are telling their story now. / The promise in Elena Ferrante. | “Once a work was done, I quickly arranged for it to be picked up so there was no chance of her destroying it.” Assistant for 30 years: Life with Louise Bourgeois. | Norman Rush’s Art of Fiction. “An agent sent it out and it elicited some rave rejections…” | Ana Kinsella’s week’s clicks are such good value. | Station Eleven is as good and readable as people say. | Quoting the genius blurb of this genius book in full so you know why it’s perfect: “An improvisation on a number of themes by Helen Garner, on one level this book is a study of literary semiotics and linguistic meaning. More importantly perhaps, it’s a careful picture of what it was like to be in Sydney, and living the life of the mind, during the Big Brother season of 2005.” I read this, somehow, in its entirety on Christmas Eve and Christmas day: Helen Garner and the Meaning of Everything.
LOOK: The tragedy of this food-heavy “LOOK” is that this week I have had a sinus infection that’s entirely deleted my sense of taste! It is even more horrible than I could imagine. Whole chicken poached in the slow cooker. (How good is Food52?) | Chez Panisse gingersnaps. | Delicious salad recipes on Salad for President. Did everyone know about it except me? / The beautiful home of Salad for President’s Julia Sherman. | Apple and cheddar scones. | I blogged some girl news.
THINK: “All my heroes are men who hated women…” | “When I scroll backward through my Instagram, I kind of hate myself.” | “When this sort of thing starts happening, it is difficult to keep your faith with pessimism.”