195. READ. LOOK. THINK. (and my novel is out!)
There’s nothing inside me that isn’t in you, friendship in midlife, U.G.H.Z., a novel structure spreadsheet, you don't need to take it slow. Plus: please come to my Zoom launch!
Cake from my tiny book party on the weekend. Luckily I didn’t make it so I was not offended by the children saying yuck.
I’ve talked a bit more about it at the bottom of this email, I’m not made of stone.
'I never feel exposed because there’s nothing inside me that isn’t in you. All writing is about all of us, so it doesn’t feel like I’m saying anything that isn’t just about the human experience.' Sheila Heti
'[Iris] Murdoch decided that she could just stop worrying about pattern – her unconscious, innately tidy and cerebral, could take care of that. What required planning was the sense of flow, events that don’t show the hand of fate or plot or even signify very much, behaviour that seemed erratic or inexplicable. Her swiftly written drafts were executed within a framework of painstaking mess. “Since reality is incomplete,” she wrote, “art must not be too much afraid of incompleteness.”
R: I’m worried once we wrap up our dialogue our friendship will be useless, therefore done.
E: Nope. We r deeply in dialogue for long run I think. Unless U want to not b. Does our friendship feel useless?? …
R: No I want to be friends forever
E: Then we will b
— On friendship in midlife.
'Read some queer theory, Alice! Or better yet, put the books down!'
'…Sackville-West had altered Woolf’s mind. The author had used every ounce of the affair to propel her own writing, and to alter how fiction could be written...'
Station Eleven was such a good book (I always remember reading about Emily St. John Mandel’s structure spreadsheet). I wondered if maybe it would be too close to the bone to watch a TV show about a pandemic flu that wipes out most of humanity. But actually I found it beautiful, like the book, and cathartic.
Melbourne traffic light pedestrian crossing.wav.
'… love is a connection, characterized by a flood of positive emotions, which you share with another person—any other person—whom you happen to connect with in the course of your day.' (I should say I found this through Even Cleveland, one of my favourite blogs for years and years.)
You don’t need to take it slow.
'At one point I was so deeply invested in our physical connection that I registered it as a faint disturbance when we ate different food from each other.'
'Sometimes it feels like young women are taught to only think of sex on this black-and-white scale of being great for you, romantic, perfect, or an instance of abuse.'
All boyfriends should be offline.
Are you mentally ill, or very unhappy? Psychiatrists can’t agree.
Covid was an accelerant, but the match was already lit: the age of anti-ambition.
Multicultural London English, created by young people for young people, brought home to my house in surprising and delightful ways.
‘In stark contrast to the most compelling demands of contemporary climate movements, which emphasise a moral obligation to future generations and the non-human world, today’s emergent fascism is a political programme that indicts the present as a crime against the past.’
This brought tears to my eyes, I hope it helps you too: in the future, even with worst-case scenarios, there will be good days.
A GREAT HOPE.
Obviously writing my book was so hard: it took four times longer than I expected, my neck and entire posture will never recover, and my personality, already quite bad, became for vast swathes of time even worse. But I can’t tell you how much I loved doing it. I really hope you enjoy. Please @ me on IG if you read it or even see it in a shop: @dailydoseofjess.
Here’s a really nice piece about it by Sally Pryor in The Canberra Times!
Please come to my Zoom launch kindly put on by Readings! It will be me chatting with my friend Sophie Braham, the head writer of Gruen and Reputation Rehab. There will be time at the end to ask Qs, please do! It’s Wednesday March 2, 8pm AEDT / 9am UK time.