Bookshelves, Write Club, and Interesting Things Said About Cities

I wasn’t going to spam you with dodgy phone-camera records of the Great Bookshelf Reorganisation of 2011, but I got a phone-call from my dad and at some point he asked for an update, and I like my dad enough that I’m going to oblige him.

The photograph above contains the first seven shelves of the reorganisation – top left is the brag shelf, the first two on the right are the selected nonfiction shelves, and the rest are just books by writers that remind me why I wanted to be a writer in the first place. The vast majority of books on those shelves were written by about a dozen authors, and in a year I’ll have to reorganise the whole thing because many of them are still releasing books.

I’m still not entirely sure what to do with the bottom shelves, though. I tend to fill bookcases based on a theme, but bottom shelves ruin that by being the place where no-one (well, me) goes looking for things. It’s usually where I hide folders and old RPG  books and other stuff that doesn’t get used terribly often.

That isn’t going to work this time around.

I suspect the bottom right will  be given over to art-books and comics and really big hardcovers, although I’m not entirely sure I have enough of them to make an entire shelve work because it’s a deceptively large amount of space that’s also very narrow. The bottom left may remain a haven for folders, should I figure out a way to keep them looking neat.

Tonight I start work on the noir and pulp bookshelf, then figure out where I’m planning on putting the rapidly growing pile of YA novels and short story anthologies in my collection.

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Last night there was write-club with Angela Slatter, who is normally there, and Kathleen Jennings, who is one of the new write-club recruits that we keep forgetting to talk about. As befits the write-club tradition ate chilli and drank coffee and put  a dent in the chocolate supply while nattering about writing.

Not a large dent, since more people means more chocolate, and the uneaten candy will now sit around the house tempting me until the next write club.

Somewhere amid all that we admired Kathleen’s home-made paper doll that can be eaten by butterflies (she’s giving away prints to those who donate to the various natural disaster recover funds), Angela found her books sitting next to my Kim Newman collection on the bookshelves and was summarily pleased by the location, and we sat down and wrote a couple of thousand words apiece.

All in all, it was a pleasant kind of evening, and a short story that’s been plaguing me for the last month finally snapped into focus and became writable.

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There’s a fascinating and brilliant interview with China Miéville over at the BLDGBlog that covers the use of cities in his work and the way inhabiting a space changes it. There’s something endlessly fascinating about the intensity with which Miéville approaches things like this; the way he thinks about genre and narrative, drawing inspiration from academic theory without being bogged down with it, is phenomenal. If he’d been around back when I was an undergraduate, it’s entirely possible I would have paid more attention in University.

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