Friday 4 March 2011

Melbourne Literary 2: The Bookish Story Continues

This week's guest blogger is fantasy novelist Narrelle M Harris, author of the Melbourne Literary app for the iPhone and iPad. Last week she shared with us a few of her favourite literary things; here's a few more...

Sisters in Crime

In Melbourne, there is a group of fabulous women with murder on their mind. The members of Sisters in Crime are lively, funny readers and writers of crime fiction, and very supportive of local book folks.

They (and their male counterparts, Brothers in Law) have given me advice, support and fellowship and a darn good laugh. They’ve also introduced me to existing writers through their meetings, and to new writers through their Scarlet Stiletto Awards.

Magic Pudding Sculpture
Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Ave, Melbourne

It’s Sam Sawnoff, Bill Barnacle, Bunyip Bluegum and the Albert the Magic Pudding! As a gorgeous little statue! Hello happy literary childhood memories in 3D! The statue of these classic Australian characters is in the Children’s Garden at the entry to the Royal Botanic Gardens, and around the corner from the Observatory Cafe.

The Nicholas Building
37 Swanson St, Melbourne

One day, someone with enough money will buy this wonderful old building and refurbish it, and then all the writers, artists, publishers, artisans and generally wonderful creative people within will have to leave. That will be sad, because I will be one of their number.

I share my writing space (commonly referred to as The Garret, because every writer should have one) in this 1920s classic with three other people. I love my neighbours. I love Dimitri and Joan, who run the two manual lifts. I even love the rats who live in the alley behind the Nicholas Building. As long as they don’t actually try to move into The Garret with us.

Melbourne General Cemetery

College Crescent, Parkville
Ph: +61 3 9349 3014

I love looking for clues about the past lives of the people interred here, all these strangers I’ll never know. Some graves have a mark of their inhabitants’ former careers – jockey’s saddles, or billiard cues. Some inscriptions tell you about the person, or about the ones they left behind.

There are so many stories told in stone. Some statues remind me of the angels from Dr Who’s Blink and some make me think of zombie films. Some make me sad, some make me laugh. All of them make me think that I’d like my epitaph to read: Here Lies Narrelle Harris. Full Stop. With maybe a QWERTY keyboard etched into the marble.

Word and Way
Heffernan Lane, Melbourne

I stumbled across this installation during one of my forays into Chinatown to find the latest, hottest alleyway cocktail bar. The artwork looks like regular street signs, but offers philosophical thoughts on life, and translations of China’s Lao Tzu and Greece’s Heraclitus.

There are all kinds of wonderful, secret parts of this city, where art or architecture can take you by surprise. Before you know it, you’re having a moment of reflection on the street in the middle of a major city.  This is one of my favourite literary curios.

You can read part one of this literary guide here. If you're interested in finding out more about Narrelle's Melbourne Literary app, click here:

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