Sassy Trump is so good

Insurance on this Peter Serafinowicz brilliance a co-worker called to our attention.

More on his Twitter.  So wonderful.

Brushing up on New Zealand politics


John KeyJohn Key is the prime minister:

In November 2012, Key told students at St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin that football star David Beckham was “thick as batshit”. The comments were picked up by UK papers The Daily Mirror and The Sun. On the same day, there was controversy over Key’s comments to a radio host that his shirt was “gay”. “You’re munted mate, you’re never gonna make it, you’ve got that gay red top on there”, he told host Jamie Mackay on RadioSport’s Farming Show. The following day, Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen said in a blog entry that Key should “watch his language”.

It would appear from a brief scan that Key’s nemesis is internet pirate king Kim Dotcom:

The event causing perhaps[original research?] the most embarrassment to John Key was the arrest of Kim Dotcom and the subsequent revelations that the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had illegally spied on Dotcom.

Richard Price

Into The Night Of, reading this Richard Price interview in Paris Review online.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Just the first question and answer:


What started you writing?


Well, my grandfather wrote poetry. He came from Russia. He worked in a factory, but he had also worked in Yiddish theater on the Lower East Side of New York as a stagehand. He read all the great Russian novelists and he yearned to say something. He would sit in his living-room chair and make declarations in this heavy European accent like, When the black man finally realizes what was done to him in this country . . . I don’t wanna be here. Or, If the bride isn’t a virgin, at some point in the marriage there’s gonna be a fight, things will be said . . . and there’s gonna be no way to fix the words.

How about this?


Do you want to keep writing both novels and screenplays?


Every screenwriter loves to trash screenwriting. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. They trash the calculatedness, the cynicism, the idiocy, the pandering. But if they’re really honest, they’ll also admit they love the action, the interaction. Depending on whom you’re working with, screenwriting is fun up to a point. And movies have such an impact on people. Thomas Kenealy once told me about a time he was with the guerrillas in Eritrea during the civil war in Ethiopia. They were sitting on the cusp of the desert under the moon. They all had their muskets; they were about to attack some place. Wanting to chill out before they mobilized, they watched The Color of Money on video. So every once in a while the hugeness of Hollywood gets to you—the number of people who see a movie compared to the number of people who read a book. So as a screenwriter you keep hoping against hope—just because they screwed me the last time doesn’t mean they’re going to screw me this time. Well, of course they will. They’re just going to screw you in a way you haven’t been screwed before.

The first draft is the most creative, the most like real writing because it’s just you and the story. The minute they get a hold of that first draft it ceases to be fun because it’s all about making everybody happy. Raymond Chandler said that the danger of Hollywood for a writer is that you learn to put everything you’ve got into your first draft and then you steel yourself not to care what happens because you know you’re going to be powerless after that. If you do that time and time again, the heart goes out of you.


Virginia Thrasher

Virginia Thrasher

First US gold medalist at Rio and fashion inspiration.

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 11.04.13 AM

Miles Franklin

Miles Franklin

Brushing up on my Australian history and culture in advance of a trip there to promote my book.  Australia’s premier literary prize is the Miles Franklin Award.  Miles Franklin, seen above, nailed it with her titles alone:

  • My Brilliant Career
  • All That Swagger
  • Old Blastus of Bandicoot
  • Bring The Monkey
  • My Career Goes Bung

If you are in that part of the world, I’ll be at the

WORD Festival in Christchurch, NZ on Aug. 26-27

Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane on Aug 30

and the Melbourne Writers Festival Sept. 2-4.

Come on out!