Good Reading : December January 2006
writer’s desk Meet Indonesia’s glamorous young female writers Writers of the purple prose: bad ﬁction winners The great Australian road trip ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! NEXT ISSUE on sale 27 January Neat and tidy. Something in me hates those words. A friend of mine had a sign on the front door: ‘You can either have a tidy house or you can achieve omething in life.’ Cruel, but it resonates with me. Every few weeks I do the big desk clean-up. I ove chucking stuff out. Behind the desk is a big cardboard box for the recyclable paper. Over my left shoulder and into the box go the insurance offers from banks, the hate etters from Christians, government propaganda, cryptic messages I’ve writ- ten myself a week earlier and now can t understand, and the turgid letters from students doing class assignments (‘Dear Mr Marsden, I am writing to tell you what I thought of your book … I found the opening chapter interesting and well-writ- ten. The character I liked most was Lee because he was strong and brave. The character I liked least was …’). Yet the desk is always a big mess. A big mess that belies its careful organisation. My ambition is to have everything within reach, so that I need never get up again. Computer of course and pens of course, lots of pens. I love them and buy at least two of each new pen that comes onto the market. Stapler, dictionary, toy duck, Mortein, phone books, medica- tion, tissues, notebook, fax, sheets of blank paper, the TV remote … my secretary has just given me a vending machine for M&M’s that actually hangs on the wall, so it is now by my left shoulder. All I need is a cath- eter and a pillow and I can stay at my desk forever. The view is nice, but that’s not good. ing views are best for writing. My view oo distracting. I’d be better off sitting in are motel room, where there’s nothing to k at but the white brick wall, the framed nt of Monet’s garden, and the sign saying ease show consideration to other guests by eping noise down after 10 pm.’ curable, Book II of ‘The Ellie Chronicles’ y John Marsden, was published in November 2005 by Macmillan, rrp $29.95. The Ellie Chronicles’ is the sequel trilogy o Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow’ series — the highest-selling series for young adults in Australian publishing history. john marsden on where he writes Photograph of John Marsden © Malcolm Beasley 2005, taken from Literati by James Phelan, published by John Wiley & Sons, rrp $29.95.