Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Baby And Book

There are certain skills that nearly all who enter the wonderful world of the Arts in Australia must own or acquire.

I’m not talking about the drinking or the schmoozing or the on-tour adultery.

I’m talking about the juggling.

At some stage every single actor must be taught to juggle. Usually in drama class, usually while studying ‘street theatre’ or ‘circus skills’ or that most terrifying and loathsome of all acting courses ‘finding your inner clown’.

You dabble in Chekov, you move a little Mamet and then suddenly everyone is handed three bean bags or skittle things or those balls made with rice and balloons and then it’s all about eyelines and balance and G rated gags (unless you’re going to get one of those casino gigs which I hear are very lucrative).

We do this not because we need to understand the ‘coarse arts’ or are about to seriously delve into commedia but because the employment situation for actors is such crap that everyone needs to know how to busk and /or run a kiddy birthday party. Not everyone, I admit, but basically if your name isn’t Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman then you’ve got either an inner clown or a fairy and you’ve accepted money to brightly utter the immortal words “Time to cut the cake!”.

This is possibly why I became a writer.

I couldn’t juggle, no matter how garish my floppy pants were, how bright and cheery my braces. My inner clown inhaled her own rubber nose and died a horrible death and my fairy wafted too close to a birthday candle and combusted in a puff of glitter. This was a relief until I realised early on that writers juggle too. Not rice-and-balloon balls or bean bags, but deadlines which are infinitely heavier and far more spiky and dangerous.

So here’s the thing.

I have a commission to write a book.

It’s based on this blog or at least the bits of blog leading up to this.

There is a publisher. There is an editor. There is a deadline…February 15th

And there’s a whole lot of self doubt and worry and fear but also, also…great excitement.

Yesterday I said to C: don’t speak to me please, I’m working on my book.

There was a slight pause as we solemnly pondered over those words.

And then we both snorted like ferrets (yes, they do snort, some of them. The snorty kind) and silently shrieked because it was too brilliantly jolly.

I wasn’t going to mention it here but the thing is, writing this is becoming a huge part of my life. If I don’t mention it my posts from now on will be limited to Tricky’s burgeoning headsize and his antics with certain stuffed invertebrates.

And I’m juggling just as hard as I can – the book and the baby and a couple of other deadlines besides, but the book and the baby most of all.

I’ve got till February the 15th to complete the manuscript and if I don’t, well let’s just say they know where I live. The publisher sent me a Christmas card yesterday with a whole bunch of pink cupcakes on the cover. It sparked several thoughts, all at once… ooh card, isn’t that nice… sweet mother of god, is it Christmas already, fuck I’m running out of time… cupcakes mmm mmm…actually the gum drops on top of those cakes look like my gnawed leathery nipples…

and finally it reminded me of those long ago birthday parties, those will-clown-for-food-and-spare-change type gigs…

Would write more now but baby is screaming, clock is ticking.

Must go apply rubber nose and get those balls back in the air.


Anonymous said...

Wow, a book! That's awesome! I can't wait to read it. You must make sure it finds it's way over here to America.

Shall I ship you some cookies to help you concentrate?

sbs said...

Book book book book book. How nice. Do we get a discount if we've read all your
posts already? (only joking, look forward to clicking through to Amazon for it!...)

Em said...

Exciting! I am very much looking forward to reading it.

It sounds like you are mastering the fine art of baby and book juggling. A fine party trick! I'm struggling a bit with that. Any tips?

A nice card from your publisher? I'm jealous!

lucky #2 said...

Congrats, juggler! I am NOT surprised at all that you've been commissioned. Your ability to capture the IFer's desires, fears, and hope has been amazing. You put into words what I was feeling and made me keep coming back for me.

You are an amazing writer and I, too, can't wait to order your book!!!

Thalia said...

You are the one of us who can write the book that explains it all. Very excited to read it!

Anonymous said...

That's fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Well... for fuck's sake.. How great. Congratulations on your book deal...
And the breast feeding bit too. Not easy to stick with but sooo well worth it.
I'm a regular lurker to your blog so will keep up with your work in progress...

Lin said...

A Book!!!
A Book and a Baby!!!
A Book, a Baby and Christmas!!!



Anonymous said...

Great news! Can't wait to read it. Your blog has been a rare bloom in a mundane world for more than a year now, and has been especially interesting as my own experience mirrored yours just a week behind you until Tricky arrived early (my own screaming tomato arrived four days after DD, at the end of August). Please don't let the book bring your blog to a close though! Kxxx

Mony said...

Will there be time to make a nativity scene out of empty deoderant rolls?

They were so cute!

Anonymous said...

How very exciting - wahoo! I say don't worry about us - we'll wait right here if you need to do the writing instead of the blogging thing.

Van Dino said...

I so very proud of you! Knew you could do it. Love and hugs from Qatar.

frangelita said...

That's fantastic news! I will definitely buy it (if it is available in the UK, anyway)!

LL said...

Your book will be BRILLIANT!

Juggle away!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful--for you and us! I love reading your blog, and I'm sure your book will be even more enjoyable. Yippee and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you! I've been reading your blog since one week before my IVF Transfer, which incidentally happened only one day before yours.

Your IVF was wildly more successful than my own, but I haven't been able to tear myself away from the blog! Indeed it has become therapy of some sort. One has to laugh and cry about these things and you make that a wonderful experience.

So for all of those things, Thank you. And congratulations - you're possibly one of the best jugglers ever! I shall definitely read it cover to cover.

Nico said...

You are a most amazing writer, I'm definitely going to go out and buy your book too - and give it to all my friends on top of that! I'm impressed at your juggling - I've just gone back to work part time, and the one day of work I'm supposed to do at home takes me three!

granny p said...

Ooh: deadlines... I remember those. Not sure it would have helped to think it involved looking for an inner clown..

Anyway; I'm glad it's happening and hope to see the results one day.

PS. The juggling is also called parenthood....

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's one hell of a deadline... For quite possibly one hell of a book!

You go, girl!!

Think it'll be available in the Netherlands, or will I need to make another trip down under to score one?