My Keyboard Is Sticky: One Blogger's Guide To The Confessional Memoir

25 September 2007
The thought has crossed my mind lately that I should write a confessional memoir. Confessional memoirs are taking over the world. Visit the Biography section of any generalist bookstore, and as many as half of the titles on the shelves will be confessional memoirs. Never having been one to blindly follow trends, I realise that in order to get ahead of things, I should have published my memoir ten years ago; the problem with this being that ten years ago, most of the juicy stuff I'd want to reveal to the public to boost sales reveal my inspiring journey to readers, hadn't happened yet.

Nonetheless, if I do decide to bare my venal soul to the reading public, I know exactly how I need to do it. These are the four elements you need to turn your confessional memoir into this year's Must Read Book:

1. An Intriguing Title

You need to grab the audience's attention as they stroll through the bookstore, so that they feel a warm inner glow that if they choose your volume, it is a Very Important Book. Best if this mentions a colour, an element or something meteorogical. (However, I think we can all agree that for a title, The Vermillion Tsunami is just too, too much). There's some more inspiration here.

2. A Subheading

This is much easier than the title. All you need to do is pick from the following options: One Man's/Woman's Journey Through/Tale Of Survival of (fill in the blank as it applies to your own personal circumstances).

3. The Cover Photo

Again, this is easy. It should be a sepia-toned picture of the writer as a toddler. If this isn't possible, then a stock photo of clouds, a single flower, or empty child-sized shoes (symbolising lost innocence, of course) will do.

4. A Quote From A Celebrity Reviewer

This needs to feature prominently on the cover. Find an actress who won Best Supporting Actress in the late 1980s and hasn't been heard of since, or an author whose sole writing career seems to be comprised of doing celebrity reviews, and get them to throw in a pithy quote about how your book changed their life. Make sure they don't spare the adjectives, whilst at the same time not actually saying anything. ("Stunningly evocative symbolism, this book is deeply, powerfully transcendent". Translation: "It faffs on a lot and I didn't really understand.")

Okay, now that you've got these four tickets to success, what do you actually write about? Whatever the hell you want. Just because you've written this year's "Must Read Book", doesn't mean anyone actually will. Sure, your tome will be discussed at dinner parties, but that will just be everyone praising you whilst hoping no one catches on that they haven't read your book either. Still, it can't help to insert a few titillating anecdotes for book reviewers to pick up on. This is where you get to have some fun. Myself, I'd write about my struggles with addiction (to cheese), my enormous emotional problems, and my steamy affairs with various celebrities.*

The last thing you'll need is to choose what pictures to go in your mid-book photo section. Get a good progression of photos of yourself as a cute little kid; an "awkward teenager" shot; pictures of yourself looking wretched during the "difficult times" that will form the bulk of your prose; and finish with an airbrushed photo of yourself looking vaugely tranquilised to show how you've finally arrived at a good place in your life.

No, Goddammit, I'm inspired now; I am going to write my memoir. Sure, I've shared all my best tips, but being nice, all I ask is that you give me a few day's headstart in the marketplace once I publish - a few days being all the time that any of these memoirs are actually remembered for.

*Dramatisation. May not have happened.

Can Anyone Spell Beat Up?

18 September 2007

A woman in the ACT is suing her doctor after she gave birth to twins, following him incorrectly impanting her with two embryos during IVF treatment when she specifically said she only wanted to have one child.

Oh yes, and the woman in question happens to have a female partner.

Here's the headline from ABC News:
Mother Sues Doctor Over Twin Birth

And from NewsCorp's Finest, Sydney's Daily Terrorgraph:
Landmark Lesbian Twin Suit
(Be sure to check out the enlightened "reader" comments!)

I don't know why the Tele doesn't just change it's name to FoxNews Sydney and be done with it.

As If Monday Mornings Weren't Bad Enough

17 September 2007

  • Watching the Liberals crash and burn is not bringing me the malicious glee you may imagine. I need to somehow become less compassionate - right now, I can't help feeling sorry for them. John Howard is counting on this kind of sympathy, hoping people will be kind enough to re-elect his government. Well, Australians may well feel sorry for them, but from here it seems they'll act on this by putting the Liberals out of their misery.

  • Apparently, the Australian Navy is using Our Tax Dollars - these things must always be presented in such terms - to pay for breast implants for female sailors. What is going on here? When I was in the Army, I was never offered plastic surgery (although my commanding officer did once say he wanted to rearrange my face).

  • O.J., O.J., O.J. What could I possibly add to this?

  • I admit to having judged Britney harshly in the past. So, I must thank this guy for completely turning me around on her. I promise to count my blessings to be living in the same Universe as Britney more often from now on.

  • Also in the "what exactly is this person famous for?" category, I saw a newspaper headline yesterday saying Lara Bingle - Happy At Last! Well, that's a relief. I can't tell you how many times I've lain awake at night, worrying about the poor girl.
  • "Life" Under APEC

    04 September 2007

  • It's amazing how quickly you get used to all this nonsense - helicopters buzzing around the office blocks, for instance. Apparently there's some new terrorist threat from middle management. I mean, what the hell do the security services think we're doing up there - preparing pipe bombs along with status reports? (How many of the "security experts" who plan these things have ever had real jobs?)

  • Apart from "The Wall" though, the most obvious sign that there's something going on is that there are police everywhere. There's 1500 police on patrol for APEC, and most of them seem to be around the couple of blocks near my office. Right now, they're just standing around in groups of four and five, looking pretty bored. I can't help but wonder if any of them secretly want something to go wrong, just so they'll have something to do - as well as the possibility of appearing as a hero on international television. I guess we'll have to wait to see if there's a loud bang followed by 50 police yelling in unison, "Stand back everyone, I got it!"

  • Proving, however, that the NSW Police let none of the latest counter-terrorist technologies past them, all the rubbish bins in the CBD have been covered in black plastic garbage bags and sealed with police tape; the idea being that no one can then place a bomb in a bin. Even the most hard-core of terrorists or violent protestors will be defeated by thin black plastic garbage bags - I don't know why they don't use more of them in Iraq.

  • For those of you who aren't happy about Bush being in Sydney, but aren't of a temperment to incite violence, this cold snap is good news. I can just imagine Bush calling Howard last week, during Sydney's warm spell, and asking what he should pack for his visit. Howard would have told him, "The weather here lately is beautiful! You probably won't even need a sweater".

    And so Bush will arrive tonight, Sydney is back to coat-required weather, and he'll be woefully underprepared. He could send his Secret Service guys out to get him more clothes, but with so many shops shutting for the week, all they'll be able to find is I ♥ SYDNEY! t-shirts. So he'll freeze, and look like an idiot.

    There's always a silver lining...

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