Robert Palmer was Acceptable in the 80s

Robert Palmer Pepsi Girl

I have a very old mobile phone. It’s so old that it has Snake on it. Anyway, while waiting for my husband I managed to flatten my battery (playing too much Snake) so I just sat there and waited.

Frantic husband: I called you a gazillion times, why didn’t you pick up your phone???

Calm wife: My phone died. You said meet at this spot at 4.30 so here I am… waiting…

Frantic Husband: But I could have been late! Something could have gone wrong! I could have been in an emergency! You could have been in an emergency!

Calm Wife:  This was fine back in the ’80s.

Frantic Husband: Shirley – it’s no longer the ’80s!! And you never even lived through the ’80s.

I lived through the mid 90s though. Same-same.

Anyway, because I have no new news to offer you about my current MS and also to answer the question of “how do you get your ideas?” (usually from my everyday life, the things that appear mundane to normal people, I try to make it amusing), here’s another raw, unedited snippet from my failed NaNoWriMo 2012 effort 🙂

You can find the first part here.

“Halloween can be dangerous, you know,” says Mum. “Do you remember in the news last year how some kids got given cocaine instead of candy?”

“Cool,” I reply.

“You promise me you won’t get into mischief, Kellie?”

“Of course not. Mischief is only what Enid Blyton characters get up to.”

“Why don’t I trust you? As long as you stick by Kimberley. Now that’s a sensible girl.”

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, but no one seems to care that Thursday is a school day. There are rumours that James Palmer’s emo band is going to playing a secret gig at the party.

“Did you see it on Facebook?” Kimberley asks me on the phone.

“I don’t have Facebook.”

“Who doesn’t have Facebook?”

I don’t have Twitter, Tumblr or Hipstergram either. In fact I don’t even have a mobile phone. My parents gave me one for “emergencies” but I purposely hid it somewhere I wouldn’t remember.

“People were fine without it in the ‘80s.”

“It’s no longer the 80’s Kellie! Life is a lot more complicated. And there are… cyber criminals, like cyber punks and things out there these days. I just want you to protect yourself.”

I’ve hidden that mobile so well that even if I had to find it, I can’t remember anymore.

The only communication I have is my own personal line in my bedroom to a pink Princess phone. Sometimes I imagine myself lying on my bed and painting my nails while I talk to girlfriends about boys, like in a movie, but do you know how impractical that is?

Sometimes I imagine talking to Robert Palmer on the other line. Maybe he’ll tell me a bedtime story or he’ll do some rhyming couplets with me. I think its awesome how in “Simply Irresistible” he manages to rhyme inscrutable with indivisible and also principle and mythical. That’s talent. All everyone else can remember are the backup girls with the boobs.

In my room I also have an old TV and a VCR that I “inherited” off Mum. Plus all her old Robert Palmer videos.

One day Mum just decided to put the lot out on the curb. I rescued it immediately, went around and through the back door put it in my room in secret.

“That was fast!” Mum exclaimed. “People take anything these days it seems.”

Mum spent her teen years sitting in front of the TV with her finger on the record button so she could tape all the music video and interviews. Life must have been so tedious I think to myself as I watch clips with missed beginnings and chopped off ends. Then again, half the girls I know these days spend all their time sharing around emo pictures of headless girls and dead girls and dead, headless girls in prom dresses on their Tumblr and I can imagine thousands of teenage girls furiously looking and then tumbling along the images, all trapped in their dark caged rooms.

I’m glad I don’t have Facebook. I don’t care about boys like James Palmer, anyway.

YA I’m looking forward to in 2013


I‘m into contemporaries with unique and quirky sounding concepts. These are the ones which fascinate me the most.

1. Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (Feb 2013, Hardie Grant Egmont) I confess, Melissa is my ex-editor. I knew she wrote, but was shy about revealing the exact details. I complimented her once on a short story, and said I believed in her, but I don’t think she believed me. Plucked out of 250 submission by The Ampersand Project, I just can’t wait to find out what makes this book a standout. Billed as a geeky romance with everything we love about 80s rom coms, this sounds unique and awesome.

2. All This Could End by Steph Bowe (Feb 2013, Text) I absolutely adored Steph’s debut novel Girl Saves Boy. It had such a fresh, indie voice that it got me questioning, why aren’t there more real teens writing teen fiction and being published? I’ve been waiting for the next installment ever since. Now 18, I’m hoping to see a maturity and growth and by the sounds of it – a story about a girl’s bank robbing family – also a new edginess. I’m hoping it’s Girl Saves Boy meets Pulp Fiction.

3. Sweet Damage by Rebecca James (April 2013, Allen & Unwin) I still dream about Anna London’s House. How beautiful and Rebecca-esque is this opening? I’m a fan of Rebecca’s debut, Beautiful Malice and it looks like she’s back with more sinister girls and a mysterious tale of intrigue. Rebecca does Toxic Girls better than anyone and yes, I am jealous of her in a second banana sot of way (it’s actually admiration, not jealousy). This looks right up my alley.

4. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (unconfirmed). Maybe this is wishful thinking. There is no confirmed date for MZ’s long awaited next novel. But one can wish. I’ve read some of the snippets of the novel on his Facebook fan page and the writing is absolutely beautiful, it’s like he’s gone to a total new level since The Book Thief. He’s come a long way since Underdog 🙂

5. The Howling Boy by Cath Crowley (Sept 2012, Pan Macmillan Australia). Cath Crowley’s voice is like no other and like Markus Zusak, her talent has slowly been building until it culminated in Graffiti Moon. Will she top that? I think it’s possible that Cath is going to take her writing to a new place and with hints to a stream-of-consciousness styling, things that happen in the subconscious, mystery and love, it all points to something exciting, experimental and amazing. That title is so evocative.

What books are you excited for in 2013?