The Joy of Faux, by Theseus Muchmoore Comfortable

Faux-fur!  Warm, soft, comes in electric blue and what’s even better, faux-foxes combine the abundance of lemmings with the cache of semi-extinct Siberian snow-leopard!

Faux-meat!  Delicious, salmonella-free, and you don’t have to stuff things up its arsehole to get it to taste nice!

Faux-sex!  You can tell just how good it is by the way Sally goes on about it over lunch.  No one ever enjoyed the real thing half as much!

Faux-apocalypse?  We’ve watched Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Later, we’ve cleaned out the basement after Y2K and chopped up the ark for firewood after 2012.  Now life seems kinda flat.  Where is the danger, the adrenaline, the arguments about what to pack for the Big A?

NEVER FEAR, Fauxpocalypse is here and it’s WAY better than the real thing.

Fauxpocalypse

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Fauxpocalypse is a collection of stories about what happens when what’s going to happen doesn’t happen.  Scientists, bless their little hearts, predict that a comet will strike the earth and obliterate all life upon it within twelve months.  Humans react as humans do.  The fatal night comes.  And goes.  Life on earth is still here.  Now what????

Perfect reading for that suspiciously warm summer’s day, that’s what.  Guess which story is by a thirteen year old?  My tip – it’s the best one (and I have a story in it, so I can say that).  To find out what kind of twisted authorial minds came up with this scenario, stop by the talented Paws4Thought at:

http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/meet-kate-i-foley/

http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/introducing-matt-blashill/

And on a slightly different note, I’m pleased cause I finished the first draft of my next novel.  I mean ‘faux-finished’ it.  That means, finished except for a complete re-write, and then another complete re-write, just to make sure.  But still, good work, me! (I’m working on my affirmations).

A story of love, betrayal…and fish!

deeper2Deeper – a dark, modern fairytale of love and revenge…

Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (you’ve maybe seen the totally unrelated Disney film of the same name), DEEPER is the story of what really happens when a curious mer girl rescues a self-obsessed writer, living alone in his lighthouse by the sea.  What happens when she makes a pact she can’t go back on, for love of a man she barely knows?  If you think you know how it ends, you probably don’t.

Deeper is available as an e-book on Amazon and now as a paperback If you read it, don’t forget to review it – it helps!

Here’s the latest review – with thanks to the reviewer.

Mermaids. A book about mermaids, for grown-ups. Really?
Really. And an extraordinary book, too, a book full of wonder and sadness and violence. A world under the sea and on its shores so beautifully drawn, realised in such detail that you’re ten minutes into the book and you’re there, with Melur and her sisters, her misfit friend, her brutal father, the terrifying “grandmother”, a mer-cast that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading their tale.
There’s everything here, there’s magic, there’s coming-of-age, there’s clash of civilisations and Robinson Crusoe and humans, too, drawn warmly and wittily and economically and mercilessly – drawn the way that other great Australian writer Peter Carey might have drawn them.
And finally, there’s prose so smooth you don’t even notice it passing through you until you’re caught by some detail, some word or phrase so good it sits there like a rock in a stream, rippling, reflecting, making you pause, and smile, and carry on past.

A wonderful book. Read it.

Jeez I hate colds!

Day 1.  Nasty taste in throat.  It’s nothing. French kiss boyfriend like before – after all whatever it is he’s already had it. In fact, he gave it to me.

Day 2. Singing-in-car voice a little off today.  Boyfriend is left to carry ‘Brown Sugar’ all by self.

Day 3: Romantic snuggles interrupted by sudden jerking motions, no not those ones.  I need to cough.  Is that a piece of lung coming up?

Day 4: Feel like shit.  Don’t care if I die now.  Want to stay in bed for the rest of my short existence.  Look like shit too.  Nevertheless help boyfriend with furniture removal.  Regret it.

Day 5: Work colleagues back away holding up crucifixes.  Am chased home by pitchfork wielding mob.  Don’t care.  Back to bed.

Day 6: Boyfriend away for weekend.  Am glad!  I need sleep, tissues, tea with honey in it, and the whole bed to self.  And sympathetic texts, which I do not get, as boyfriend doesn’t understand the fine art of whingeing.

Day 7: Feel pressing need to clean house.  Things must be looking up!  Glance at body in shower mirror, realise bed not greatest fitness regime, despite what some say.  Go for walk in sunshine.  May even write something – suitably dark, obviously, considering that my last week has been spent practically at death’s door (note that, boyfriend – it may be a common cold to you but to me it’s more like Wolf Creek with snot).

Anyway here’s the story.

Sometimes life is more like a triangle than a circle.

For instance, a triangle has three points.  Clara stares at the map and draws a line between them.

“Four hours drive,” she says, spilling a little of her beer on the national park in her excitement.  “Sydney, Candelo, Canberra.  We could do it.”

Francis stares at her.  She feels his intensity and swallows a little too fast, choking.

“If we go we’ve got to really go,” he says accusingly, putting a heavy hand on the map.  “No coming back to Sydney for jaunts.  No visiting your…sister…in Canberra.  Just us.”

“I guess Amber and Ken can always come down,” she offers, avoiding his eyes. “There’s plenty of room in the house behind the café. “

“They could come down,” he agrees, “but not too often.  We need to get away from things, Clara, not bring them with us.”

She knows the things he refers to, wriggles self-consciously, and leans across to kiss his bearded lips.  His own lips are still.  She can’t get around him that easily.  He has not yet forgiven her, but quarantine should help repair the damage.

A triangle demonstrates convergence.  Like fate, two lines converge on a point.  Of course, there are three points – as we already said – and three lines, so there is some flexibility, in triangles as there is in life.  But not much.

Candelo is expecting them.  The thirty residents of the town have been discussing the move for weeks.   Bob at the garage says he met the man when he came down to look at the property, months ago.

“There’s something funny about him,” he says, as the blokes lean against the derelict verandah, scrutinising the Sold sign.  “Looks like one of our sort, but isn’t.”

“Our sort?” says Paul, his scraggly white dreadlocks tickling hoary cheeks.  “What do you mean?”

“Not your sort, mate,” says Bob equably, shooting Paul a glance of good humoured contempt.  “I mean, he comes in for petrol, starts talking utes and fucking fertiliser like he grew up round the corner  – and the next minute he’s going on about  the fucking universe telling him he’s got to move out of the big smoke or die trying.”

“More my sort then,” Paul sticks in, wondering if the dude plays an instrument, because they could really do with another band member.  Margie who owns the gallery sings alright, but her guitar is hopeless.   “What about her then?”

Bob draws a shape in the air, and even aged Paul grins lewdly.

“She only got out to go to the toot,” he says, “but she’s got nice tits.  Pity about the arse though.  Shouldn’t wear them shorts.”

In a triangle, like a circle, what comes around goes around.  Not with the smooth elegance of a curve, it’s true – more like a trailer being dragged inexpertly around sharp corners.  But still, follow the lines and you arrive back at the same point.

There are high words in the café after hours, and sometimes during, to the embarrassment of diners.  Clara makes pumpkin soup, which the locals pronounce to be shit, but passers-through consume politely.  She hangs local art (Margie lends it to her) and attempts to organise musical evenings.  Paul sings cracked folk songs and Francis plays bass, and gets stoned.  Clara cleans up alone.

“I’m going back,” she announces one night, staring with dislike at the borrowed art, which depicts the surrounding countryside and local flora.  “I miss our friends.  These people, they’re full of shit anyway.  Paul pretends he’s a hippy but really he’s just an old pervert.  Margie thinks she’s better than me just because she did a fucking art degree in Melbourne in 1901.  Those other guys just keep staring at my arse every time I walk down the street.  I’ve had it.”

“Well you could fucking cover it up then,” says Francis, downing another whisky.  “God knows I wish you would, and so do they probably.”

“Fuck you!”  Clara has some vague idea of leaving right there and then – but she’s stoned too and before she reaches the door she decides to collapse on one of the saggy couches in the café instead, and cry.  Francis is beside her in a second.  He likes it when she’s weak.  He wishes he could keep her on a leash sometimes, like a dog.  She is a dog.  A fucking bitch.  He offers her a drink and she takes it, leaning against him hopelessly.

“You’re not leaving,” he says, holding her wrist, hard. “This is it, we said.  The last time.  We’re here for good.”

Clara jumps up, befuddled but suddenly furious.

“I’m going back to Darren,” she announces weeping.  “I talked to him on the phone yesterday, and -“

“You fucking what!”

Frightened, she stumbles for the door.  He sticks out his boot and she falls headlong on the rustic wooden floor, scrabbling to get up again.  He slams his foot into her head, and she is still.

By 2pm the next afternoon, there is a cordon around the café.  The inhabitant of Candelo stand around the striped tape and talk in low voices, as the police carry out the bodies.

“Why’s the street closed off?” asks a tourist, looking for coffee.  There is none to be had.

“Murder suicide, apparently,” explains Margie, wondering if in time she could make a bid for the café herself.  It’s bound to be cheaper now, she thinks.

“That’s awful!” exclaims the tourist, still annoyed by the lack of coffee and the slow traffic through the town.  Couldn’t they have waited till after the weekend, she thinks?

“Oh, they were from Sydney,” says Margie dismissively, settling her blonde plaits over her Mexican poncho.  “They had issues, you know?”

The tourist, who is from Sydney herself, nods wisely.  You can’t escape issues, she thinks – they travel with you, wherever you go.  She gets back into her car and continues on to Canberra, where she is visiting her aunt.

And Francis and Clara, they return to Sydney, side by side, in the back of a long black car.  It was fated.

The real dirt on how to catch your man

butimbeautiful:

Seems to be a topic of near-universal debate among those who still date

Originally posted on An Etiquette Guide for Sluts:

What do you think a man is – some kind of game animal?

When I was young my mum told me that you had to let men pursue you.  Your role was to act as if you didn’t give much of a stuff, and that would make them pull out a ring, eventually.

Robert Wright says, in his controversial tome Why We Are the Way We Are, that women instinctively know where they are on the Great Ladder of Desirability, and that girls who know they’re hot will hold out, while girls who know they’re not will grab it where they can.  Reading this, I instantly recognised myself as a girl who grabs.  The only men I hold out for are the ones I don’t want, and the ones who don’t want me (this last, obviously, involuntarily).

Moral ANimal

But after fifty-one years of puzzling over the correct way to catch a…

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Cultural Learnings from Movie Thor

Thor is a great movie.

Ok, it’s not Quentin Tarantino.  It’s what I like to call ‘biff, boff and eye candy’ – lots of fighting, lots of hunky chest shots, baddies, goodies, and it all works out in the end.

But at a deeper level, Thor has a lot to teach us about us, and it’s kind of nice (unlike, say, Chucky or Hostel, which also have a lot to teach us, but which are NOT nice).  Here it is, in a nutshell.

Whoever put together Thor thinks that people warm to the following concepts:

Love and loyalty.  Ok so she’s only a mortal, she’s going to be dead in two seconds, relatively speaking, but she’s the only girl for Thor.  No matter that he’s the most handsome man in Valhalla and some bronze-nippled immortal is giving him the eye – Jane is the only one for him.  Which is only right, as she too prefers being squashed to death to living without him.

Honour is more important than power.  Kings, like politicians, have to be rotten sometimes (from my reading of the news and historical novels, pretty much all the time).  Thor is a good guy and wants to stay that way.  Ergo, he makes a choice – not to step up to that top job in heaven (and that may be why we have such crappy kings and politicians).

The little people matter.  “Never mind those cretins, let’s just you and me sort things out between ourselves,” says Loki or whoever the arch villain is.  “No,” says Thor, “I stand with the people of Earth against tyranny and nasty shit.”

Well of course the little people matter.  The little people are handing over their money at the box office to watch this stuff.  If politics is porn, this is the money shot – “The only thing I care about is serving YOU the people of America/Australia/Outer Mongolia, the citizens of this Great Nation of Ours!”.  You don’t get Thor sticking up for the cows or the endangered species or anything though – they don’t vote or watch movies.

Anyway I guess you could say that if the producers of Thor are right about the general tastes of their audience, then humanity isn’t as bad as I sometimes think it is.  Which is why I quite like watching movies like Thor, and Batman, and Superman, and so on.  That, and the fact that Thor is simply the crumpetiest piece of crumpet I have seen since I was impressionable teen and fancied some guy in a bushranger serial whose name I now forget.

Where can I get a black leather zimmer frame?

On the weekend, me and the most beautiful man in the entire universe went to a Rock Concert and it was awesome!! (I use that word advisedly)

So, it’s in this little park in a small town on the south coast of Oz, and we get there, and about half the crowd are over sixty and fat as marshmallows, but that doesn’t stop them from rocking out, no it does NOT!  I see leopard print leggings, busting black bikini tops, black leather over arms with more tattoos than Angry Anderson, pink hair, blue hair, white hair cascading to cut-off clad buttocks, and a guy wandering round looking very serious with a roller cane trundling along in front of him!  Oh yeah!

And the bands come out and it’s like, these guys are old…are these guys OLD?  NO.  They shout and they jump in the air and they belt out the lyrics to songs they wrote thirty years ago and songs they wrote six months ago, and they grin at the crowd and the crowd waves its arms (crowds are just one thing, you understand) and if it hadn’t been for my beautiful river god I would’ve been backstage like a flash seeking groupie privileges after the show (not really, but they were hot!).

And we go right up the front and we get our eardrums blasted off, I still haven’t found my left one yet, and we hug and we kiss and we go in the ‘misting tent’ – cause it’s about 35 degrees celsius and sunny as – and stand with all the other oldies and some youngies going ‘ahhh, that’s great, that’s amazing!’ as cold water comes down on our heads and I wish I’d decided to wear a white tee-shirt instead of a yellow one, because, you know, I’m (still) an exhibitionist at heart.

Then I drive home with my hero at the wheel, who handles a car like a pro (actually he is a pro) and we play our favourite songs, and he nearly dumps me because I accidentally hit something on my ipod while the Stones are on and it skips right in the middle to Shakira – but I get the Stones on again and am forgiven.

So for the record, here’s what we went to hear…for my money Joe Camilleri was the BEST……………

but the Angels were pretty damn good too (though a bit loud)- naturally we shouted NO WAY GET F’CKED F’CK OFF! at the top of our voices…

and you would not believe Suzi Quatro was a day over eighty.

Lotto Fever: a Faerie Story, pt 1

butimbeautiful:

When a faerie wins lotto it gets complicated…

Originally posted on Oh I DO Blather on, don't I?!?:

Danna couldn’t figure out how she was going to collect the lottery money. She hadn’t thought she’d win, but she had, and quite a lot to boot: Four hundred and ten million dollars, which, according to the people she heard talking about it, was some kind of a record, the biggest lottery winnings in California history.

That’s good. She thought. Right?

But how was she going to collect? What was she going to do, just march her way into the lottery office and demand her money? First off, she questioned, how am I going to get from San Francisco to Sacramento…fly?

That was ridiculous.

Secondly, she bit her fingernails as she mapped out in her head all the steps she would need to take to try to make this happen, secondly, I don’t have any ID, and I would need ID. They wouldn’t believe I was old enough without…

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The Rodent Whisperer

butimbeautiful:

So funny! Does anyone NEED a rat whisperer?

Originally posted on Oh I DO Blather on, don't I?!?:

Apparently…I’ve become a rodent whisperer!

It’s not by choice, oh not at all! But, choice or no, it seems it’s what I’ve become.

Either that, or, whenever I roll into a place to stay for awhile, the wily critters get the idea that I’ve just procured a gleaming, post-modernist condo for them, complete with water and waste facilities (i.e. my kitchen cabinets!) and, the finest of rodent dining experiences…all gratis, of course!

Last fall, at Casa de Fruta,the site of The Northern California Renaissance Faire, it was a rat…a large, sleek, dark brown rat with the biggest, blackest, most soulful eyes. I know this because he showed himself, one night while I was watching TV . Came out of the cabinet and looked at me. Maybe he was judging my movie choices, or maybe he was upset at me for disturbing his early evening nap (turn about fair play, I…

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Three weeks – the difference between life and death

Sometimes there’s no time to say goodbye.

Three weeks ago, Mr L (an old guy in a hostel whom I visit through a visiting program) was taking himself off to morning coffee at his local shops of a morning, nearly running down unwary pedestrians with his motorised scooter as he went.  Three weeks ago, he was still watching the Australian Football League (AFL) and keeping up with the tennis, and tottering down to the dining hall for a meal with his old friends (old in both senses of the word).  Three weeks ago I dropped in to give him a present, and as he always does he said “Give me a peck on the cheek will you dearie!” so I did, with a longer cuddle because it was Christmas.

Today his room is quiet and dark, the only sound the soft hiss of the oxygen with its tube forking up his nose.  He’s lost all the weight he ever had, his hands clench and unclench gently on the sheet.  His eyes are wide open but they don’t seem to see anything.  I say, hello sweetheart, it’s Jane, but there’s no sign he hears me.  His son, standing tall and stiff behind me, says he’s fading fast.  I won’t see him alive again.

It’s a shock, to come from my beautiful lover to this death bed.  I suppress the tears that come to my eyes  – though I feel like sobbing – because I don’t have a right to cry in front of this man, the successful businessman, who always introduces himself to me as if he’s never met me before.  I wait till I get to the car, and have a short cry.  That night I’m laughing at something Ms M has said, but dearest Mr L, I haven’t forgotten you.  I’ll always remember you kindly, kindly old man that you are.