good advice

19 Jan


Originally uploaded by adelaide writer.

“Students always think I am joking when I say give up the housework. You have the choice of a clean house or a finished story. The choice is yours. I am assuming you will make the right choice”.

Dear Writer
Carmel Bird’s most excellent ‘classic guide to writing fiction’


20 Responses to “good advice”

  1. Laura January 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm #

    Or the little-know third option, take a photograph of the mess! My favourite.

  2. ThirdCat January 19, 2007 at 3:34 pm #

    Yes, and then download it to your computer, upload it to flickr, blog it, check bloglines etc etc etc.

  3. elsewhere January 19, 2007 at 6:36 pm #

    An excuse I’ve tried on my disbelieving friends!

  4. suse January 19, 2007 at 8:42 pm #

    That’s a fine mess. The story must be superb.

    PS. You know how on the weather report they have frost warnings, etc? This morning I heard on the radio that the northern district is subject to a brown rot warning.

    And I thought of you and your tomatoes.

  5. ThirdCat January 19, 2007 at 9:26 pm #

    We are having a beautiful lot of rain (I think those words must be channelled from my grandma, and how do you spell channelled?) so I suspect the tomatoes are busy splitting.

  6. suse January 19, 2007 at 10:12 pm #

    channelled, I think.

  7. kilowatthour January 20, 2007 at 12:49 am #

    that is indeed a fine mess.

  8. Galaxy January 20, 2007 at 7:58 am #

    Looks like someone had a HEAP of fun.

  9. Kate January 20, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    Another option is to train those who make the mess to tidy it up, or to not make a mess in the first place.

    And then pigs will fly and we’ll all have ponies and solid gold toilets!

  10. elsewhere January 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    Just ran into a friend about to go for a swim with his partner in a rockhole.

    Thought: that’s what normal people do on Saturdays. Not put up a pretense of spending the afternoon gardening when they intend to write instead.

  11. ThirdCat January 20, 2007 at 4:17 pm #

    What will you say when they walk past tomorrow and the flowerbeds still have weeds?

  12. elsewhere January 20, 2007 at 6:03 pm #

    They won’t walk past. I live in a gated community. But a friend started pulling weeds out of the front yard while he was waiting the other night. I think they think I’m pretty eccentric.

  13. redcap January 20, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    Erm, what actually happened there? I presume it was an attack of teh exuberant childrens?

    I’m struggling to remember the quote and who said it, but it was something to the effect of dull people having clean houses. I presume it was said by the malicious and often accurate Mrs Parker. (I (try to) live by her words: “Are there TWO eight o’clocks?”)

  14. Helen January 21, 2007 at 8:29 am #

    “the cleaner the house, the angrier the woman ”

    I always remember that quote, but have no memory of where I got it from.

    My house is a tip.

  15. ThirdCat January 21, 2007 at 11:03 am #

    and you have a whole new excuse now, elsewhere for putting your feet up and tapping away.

    “erm, what actually happened there”. Erm, this is pretty much a normal day at the office. The cushions always end up on the floor. Drives me crazy, but at least the chilluns have half a chance of not hitting their heads on the floor when they leap from the lounge. The red thing in the corner is a quilt which is being used to line a nest for a rooster who is having baby chicks, and the crumbs around it are the leftovers of a red bean bun. The blue chicken is a leftover from the festive season. It is in better nick than I am. The rest of it is various flotsam and jetsam, and around the corner of the white thing are pyjamas; lego; paints; meccano and CDs all squished into a tiny space. You will see a twig from the Christmas tree which seems to have once again become part of the furniture and, if it’s anything like last year, won’t be taken down until March.

    My personal favourite of housework quotes comes from Phyllis Diller: “If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to your door, greet him with ‘who could have done this? We have no enemies'”.

  16. redcap January 21, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    Heh 🙂 I always liked Phyllis Diller. Every time I leave the house when it looks like a tip (ie, most days), I can’t help thinking that it makes good protection against burglars. They’d break in and say, “Well, I see someone’s beaten us to it. Nothing to steal here!” I have no excuses, though – there’s only the cat and me here at the moment.

  17. Ariel January 22, 2007 at 10:35 pm #

    I love this. It always makes me feel better to see and hear (but especially see) that I’m not the only one missing the domestic goddess gene. Yes – more to life than housework!

  18. cellobella January 23, 2007 at 5:18 pm #

    I think furniture designers have a lot to answer for – this cushion phase was a bad idea.

    She speaks from bitter experience as each couch has 7 cushions and when the cushions are neatly arranged… looks good but!


  19. Mummy Crit January 24, 2007 at 4:41 pm #

    Looks good until the ‘interior decorators’ get to it…friend I’m visiting has an 11 month old whose job it is to take everything from the coffee table, examine it, and put it on the floor. She takes it very seriously, to the extent that as soon as you put something down, she’s there to check it out, process it, and put it where it goes. Hours of entertainment. Same with the CDs and if you interrupt her and put them away you get the “but I’d just finished putting them on the floor, and now I have to start all over again” look.

  20. dogpossum January 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm #


    (from waaay up there in an earlier comment).

    I am liking this photo very much. I am using this entire post as justification for my not doing any tidying or doing anything other than saying ‘fuck our house is dirty’ to The Squeeze (I am ob-con; it’s not a gender thing, I swear it!)

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