Cool Stuff Sunday

The bloody Oscar nominations are out and I am SO HAPPY because Tanna has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film! I’m also stoked for Land of Mine, a Scandinavian film on the clearing of landmines from the coastlines of Europe after the second World War, and the fact that Arrival (a genre film) has been given a nod for Best Feature. Literally cried that Lin-Manuel Miranda has the chance to become the youngest EGOT recipient ever for his track How Far I’ll Go from the Moana soundtrack, and that Lion–an Australian film!–has been recognised across multiple categories. Speaking of Lion, are you wondering why Dev Patel has been relegated to the Best Supporting Actor nominee when he is clearly a lead? Take a look at this piece by Stephen A Russell for SBS on the push for a new category to recognise the contribution of stellar casts

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I grew up listening to a pretty eclectic collection of music thanks to my punk Dad and my hippie Mum. Van Morrison was on frequent rotation, and I know that my mum will weep desperately when he stops making music (ie dies because he’ll never stop tbh). Anyway, BBCRadio ran a program last week on the influence of Van’s incredible career, and it is magic (Glen Hansard is my foreverking and I never tire of his rendition of Into The Mystic). If you’re a Brown Eyed Girl like me, catch it before the link expires on February 20!

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Adaptations are swell when they’re done right. But with such a wealth of top-notch literature coming out of Australia, why aren’t we (or any other filmmaking country for that matter) optioning more of it for screen? Mark Poole looked into this over at The Guardian back in 2014, but it’s just as relevant today.

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Anne Gracie is by far one of my favourite romance writers, and all-round excellent human being. Over on her blog, she’s got tips on procrastination, beating perfectionism and getting on with your writing. Thanks Anne!

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Cool Stuff Sunday

Okay so I’m gonna caveat this link with the statement that some of the opinions in this article about self-publishing in order to live as a veritable nomad are laughable (traditional publishing is not dying, you utter bellend), BUT, I read this and felt semi-inspired to get back into my writing projects, so thought I’d share.

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On that, are you looking for more opportunities to spend some time focused on your writing projects? Aerogramme Writers Studio have collated this maaaaaaassive list of writing residencies and fellowships in 2017 from around the globe. BRB, applying for all the things.

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YouTube came the fuck through for me with this UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE Hollywood Reporter roundtable with two of my husbands, Donald Glover and Lin-Manuel Miranda, PLUS Damien Chazelle (of Whiplash and La La Land directorial fame), fierce kween Issa Rae (*dies*) and everyone’s favourite dad, Jon Favreau. Holy HECK this was the best hour of my week BY FAR.

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And lastly for today, over on Junkee, Rebecca Varcoe takes a look at the disparity of experience in the arts. So much of this rings true, but, I don’t know what’s next. Lots to ponder.

Cool Stuff Sunday

The Hamilton Mixtape is gonna drop real soon, and I’m dying with anticipation, but in the meantime, I’m spending every available moment on Lin-Manuel’s soundcloud account. It’s an incredible insight into his writing process. One of the most mind-blowing tracks (aside from the haunting demo of Satisfied) is this early draft of My Shot, complete with extended HERCULES MULLIGANNNNNNN (soz had to) verse:

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Looking to travel somewhere there are fewer crowds or less tourists to combat in queues at beautiful landmarks? NatGeo have put out a great list of 10 places that need more travellers. A couple of spots out of left field, but Armenia looks pretty freaking lovely, and I’ve always wanted to see Nepal.

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Continuing with the travel thing, now that I’m itching to get on a plane again now, here are some practical tips to saving your hard-earned cash for your next trip, thanks to my pal Tofu Traveler. I really am going to have to say goodbye to Apple Music, aren’t I?

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Silverchair is one of the best bands to come out of Australia probably ever, and I was stoked to find Triple J have done a huge retrospective on the J Files podcast. Catch the episode–featuring a pretty in-depth chat between The Doctor and Daniel Johns, and the accompanying four-chapter breakdown. Epic.

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As a lifelong Potterhead, it’s been interesting to watch the growth and expansion of the Potterverse since part two of The Deathly Hallows was released. This wonderful piece over on Buzzfeed really gets to the heart of how strange it feels to not be excited by more of something I have loved since I was 11. (FYI, I definitely, absolutely, unequivocally want a TV series about the Hogwarts Founders, so if someone at Netflix can run with this, that’d be super.)

With the Harry Potter franchise, it’s not an issue of quantity — it’s one of quality. The community around Harry Potter is used to being overwhelmed by material. They were revolutionary in that field, innovating what it meant to be a fan in the age of the internet, and serving as a gateway to many of what we consider the major fandoms and pop-cultural phenomena of the past decade.

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And to round off the day, here is my pal Simon Groth with the only response to Dylan’s Nobel Prize I care about. Absolutely spot on. A+. Five stars. Etc.

Cool Stuff Sunday

I have so much to say about this berserk video, but first and foremost, who puts the world’s saddest musical tunes on a karaoke playlist at a kids party? Shit kicks up a notch at the two minute mark onwards. and then the first second he opens his mouth in the second video. What an absolute killer!

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If there’s ever a week I don’t talk about Hamilton or Lin-Manuel Miranda, please check my vital signs. Anyway, Lin-Manuel did an interview with GQ this month and took a bunch of bangin’ shots and you should go read it because it’s full of great insight about being an artist and a bunch of cute AF Lin stories.

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Being bi-sexual in pop culture (or IRL tbh) is a bit of a bust, because people tend to think you’re confused or must secretly be gay or straight but just have strange commitment issues (yeah, no). The kids over at Junkee mag are doing a shout-out for a couple of new releases that explore the realities of bisexual characters. And considering I’m in the midst of writing a rom-com with a bi protagonist, I AM ALL ABOUT THIS.

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Go check some incredibly beautiful artworks by John Austen, who’s created a suite of pieces based on Shakespearean plays. I’d recommend following the link through to the full gallery ❤

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Cool Stuff Sunday

We are nearing the close of Brisbane Writer’s Festival, and I can’t believe it’s nearly over for another year! Yesterday I had the chance to interview the bloody marvellous Kirsty Eagar, who’s written probably my fave New Adult romance of 2016, Summer Skin. Set in Brisbane at The University of Queensland, Kirsty’s written a sexy, fun novel that takes a look at hookup culture, and the perverse ways social media dictates out interactions. Clementine Ford called it “the feminist love story girls have been waiting for” so you know it’s gonna be a fab read. Anyway, two feminist water babies talking romance? Yeah, I had a pretty excellent time at our session. Today I wanted to spruik Kirsty and her works (Summer Skin is her fourth novel), because she is awesome and you should definitely be reading her books. The end.

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Wanna see some awesome historical photographs taken in Paris? Head over to The Local and feast your eyes on these 15 magnificent images. I am completely in love with the bizarre leg heater (number 10), and why would you not do swimming training in a pool (7)?

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Continuing my Hamobsession, I am eagerly awaiting The Hamilton Mixtape (as are many!). To get you pumped up for its release, take a quick look behind the scenes with Tariq Trotter in this interview over at Entertainment Weekly.

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I’m all about people being happy, feeling good and loving themselves. It’s sometimes such a tough gig, but it matters so much to be able to look in a mirror and feel more than apathy. Over at the Greatist, Susie Moore gives us 13 things to ditch for happiness. Gotta say that a lot of these are primo joy-inducers, so get on it, babes.

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Ever heard of Teleport? This berserk website (link goes to AWOL for instructions etc) takes your financial situation, your travel preferences, and ideal rental requirements to magic an algorithm into telling you the best cities in the whole world for you to live. My top 3 were Prague, Vienna and Berlin so apparently I’m off to Europe, but secretly I’m gunning for my fifth best match, Edinburgh 😀 Take a look at the site and tell me your Top 3 cities in the comments!