Author Archives: Glen available

About Glen available

101 things you need to know about Glen Donaldson. Probably. Allright, possibly. His favourite movies: - The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (1974 version) - The Fountainhead (1949) - The Pledge (2001) - Alone in Berlin (2017) - The Lovely Bones (2009) - Which Way to the Front? (1970) - The Woodsman (2004) - The Circle (2017) - Insomnia (2002) - Harry in your Pocket (1973) - The Admiral Crichton (1957) - Breaking Away (1979) - Hang 'Em High (1968) - Deathtrap (1982) - Unlawful Entry (1992) - Houseboat (1958) - Holocaust 2000 (1977) - Training Day (2001) - One Hour Photo ((2002) - The Rain People (1969) - United 93 (2006) - The Wooden Horse (1950) - Beverly Hills Ninja (1997) - A Cure for Wellness (2017) - The Silent Partner (1978) - Victor Frankenstein (2015) - Capricorn One (1978) - Stalag 17 (1953) - Copycat (1995) - The Score (2001) - The Last King of Scotland (2006) - Annie Hall (1977) - The Wild Geese (1978) - Ghost World (2001) - Criminal Law (1989) - Deliverance (1972) - Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - Demon Seed (1977) - Chinatown (1975) - Get Out (2017) - The Atomic Kid (1954) - Logan's Run ((1976) - Apocalypse Now (1979) - The Day the Earth Stood Still (2009 version) - Saturn 3 (1980) - The Star Chamber (1983) - King Kong ((1976 version) - Seal Team Six (2013) - Glengarry GlenRoss (1992) - Valkyrie (2009) - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) - Breaker Morant (1980) - The Bounty (1984) - The China Syndrome (1979) - The Final Countdown (1980) - Gallipoli (1981) - The Blue Lagoon (1980) - The Thing (1982) - Escape from New York (1981) - Misery (1990) - The Shining (1980) - The Mechanic (1974 version) - Magnum Force (1974) - Heat (1995) - Spartacus (1960) - The Boys from Brazil (1976) - Evil Under The Sun (1981) - Death on the Nile (1978) - Disclosure (1994) - Falling Down (1993) - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Blood Diamond (2006) - Little Voice (1998) - The Big Boss (1971) - Von Ryan's Express (1965) - Harry Brown (2009) - The Game (1997) - Chinatown (1974) - Klute (1971) - Clambake (1967) - Devil Girl From Mars (1954) - The Gift (2015) - Lake Mungo (2008) - Harry in your Pocket (1973) - Mad Max 2 (1981) - Fargo (1996) - Single White Female (1992) - Run Lola Run (1998) - Urban Cowboy (1980) - You Only Live Twice (1967) - The Gaunlet (1977) - The Theory of Everything (2014) - The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) - Rear Window (1954) - Burke and Wills (1985) - The Nutty Professor (1963 version) - Planet of the Apes (1968 version) - From Russia with Love (1963) - Frenzy (1972) - Blowout (1981) - Rocky (1976) - The World of Suzie Wong (1960) - Breezy (1973) - The Omen (1976 version) - The Terminator (1984) - Aliens (1986) - First Blood (1982) The Shadow List - From Russia with Love (1963) - The Great Escape (1963) - Speed (1994) - Mommie Dearest (1981) - Primal Fear (1996) - The Coolangatta Gold (1984) - The Aviator (2004) - The Omega Man (1971) - Groundhog Day (1993) - Seven (1995) - Platoon (1986) - The Money Train (1995) - Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) - One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest (1975) - Hang 'Em High (1968) - The Final Countdown (1980) - Goldfinger (1964) - Way of the Dragon (1972) - Taxi Driver (1976) - Carrie (1976) - The Exorcist (1973) - Jaws (1975) - Natural Born Killers (1994) - The Jackal (1997) - Just Cause (1995) - Blade (1998) - Fight Club (1999) - Eye in the Sky (2016) - Working Class Man (1986) - Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - The Stepford Wives (1975 version) - Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) - The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016) -The Bunker (1981) - Lucy (2014) - Rocky 2 (1979) - Flatliners (1990) - Young Frankenstein (1974) - A Kiss Before Dying (1991) - Goldfinger (1964) - Hidden Figures (2017) - Wolf Creek (2005)

Best of 2019


Best of

It’s been a year of growth around here at ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED.

It seems like barely twelve months ago subscriber numbers were hovering around the 500 mark. Now inching closer to the 3000 milestone, word is finally spreading about what some of us veteran readers have known for a long time – Matt’s beastly fine little corner of the blogosphere is the place to come for swashbuckling great reads, supreme writerly insights and thrillifying analogies and turns of phrase.

Here’s a sweet sixteen collection of his finest posts from the year –

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# 1. Wordsmithery and Feelings of Inadequacy (July 19)

Pav’s sister said something to him many years ago that lit up his brain like a candelabra. It stuck. It grew. It played on loop. It shaped him. What did she say? You’ll need to read this acclaim-worthy post to find out.
Remember it HERE.

# 2. A Spring Thaw (February 12)

Is he a kindergartner refusing to eat his vegetables? Is he an adult wracked with doubt after reading one too many writing advice books? Either way its tools down for our budding pro-author while his path up Novel Mountain is temporarily halted by the feeling maybe he’s not doing it right. Holed up at base camp with his tent flap bared open for all to see, our momentarily oxygen-deprived story explorer confesses, in a moment of delirium, it may actually be comforting not trying to write every day. We don’t believe him. We know it’s not true. Fool us you don’t! Wrestling with your inner critic you may well be. Yet we know all the while you’re busy fitting steel crampons to your hiking boots and reaching for that trusty ice-axe. The next stage of the climb awaits…

This simply brilliant post includes what surely must be a strong contender for ‘Analogy of the Year’“I feel better when I write. It cleans out the mental pathways like running a Neti-Pot through your sinuses”.
Remember it HERE.

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# 3. The Dawdle (July 8)

Pav treats us to an original short story about an author who puts effort – a lot of effort – maybe too much effort – into setting up the perfect writing conditions. This includes having on-hand a 78 hour long, personally curated playlist of songs. Guaranteed to bring a knowing smile of recognition to every writer and would-be writer’s face.
Remember it HERE.

# 4. On Writing Advice (August 10)

For those who’ve ever been tempted to flip the middle finger at writing advice from successful, published authors and regard rules as something made merely to be broken, this thought-piece will provide pause. In a post-truth world where regard for authority and expertise is not as it once was, Pav wisely recommends the path of “assimilating a little bit of knowledge from the people who have gone before you along the way.” He analogizes about the perils of people deciding to throw the road rules out the window and drive on the left hand side of the road. In my region of the Planet, sorry to be the one to tell you Pav, that’s completely normal. Yet I know what you mean!
Remember it HERE.

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# 5. That’s A Wrap – Kind Of (September 21st)

Always one to consider the feelings and wishes of his loyal readers, Pav explains the reason he’s been feeding us all mere breadcrumbs on the blog of late (posting less) is that he’s been devoting all that writing energy to a higher cause – namely putting the finishing touches on his novel masterwork. Ok, sounds like a reasonable excuse. You’re forgiven – for now! There are greater crimes, I suppose, than moonlighting from your own ‘blarg’.
Remember it HERE.

# 6. Story-Matic #46 (October 17)

Nothing interesting happens in libraries? Wrong! This little short story gem from our master writer features librarian Alise, homeless Gary, and a stoop. Not only that… you also get a twenty year mystery about an unpublished novel that turns up in someone’s backpack. Breath in the musty air of this veritable mind-boggling boulevard.
Remember it HERE.

# 7. Anti-Social Socialites (June 15th)

The next sentence is true. The previous statement was false. But for a real paradox read this post. Pav deems the act of writing to be a type of self-imposed solitary confinement. Yet, as he points out, writers have to know, and know intimately, how people think and act. And in order to do that they have to get out amongst real people and mix with them. Hence the very apt title of the post.
Remember it HERE.

# 8. The Hideout Needs a Name (July 31)

What’s this? A sample passage from his novel-in-progress dangled unannounced for we readers to pour over like cheese morsel thrown to hungry mice? Well… yes it is! Features a character called Dina who opens a bag of tortilla chips by ‘gashing’ it with her ring.
Remember it HERE.

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# 9. The Pill Problem, Revisited (April 25)

The reasoning goes like this: when you have a headache you take a Tylenol. You then have a lie down and the pain goes away. Logically after the pain has gone you don’t keep on taking the Tylenol. All on solid footing so far, right? And yet… he’s getting the skeptical eyes from his wife, which, as he puts it, “is usually a sign that I need to pump the brakes.” Should he take his thumb off the scales or leave it on? Are these bathroom scales or kitchen scales? And will he opt for name brand or generic? The answers to all these questions and more are contained in this fascinating and as usual, brutally self-honest post.
Remember it HERE.

# 10. Early-Man Ennui (June 24)

Two caveman, Dag and Thop (both with British accents) contemplate the very possibly ‘spiritually icky’ meaning of life. Hunger takes over and their stone-age navel-gazing comes to an end. They go out and hunt for antelope.The whole shebang is downright pre-hysterical if you ask me!
Remember it HERE.

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# 11. Story-Matic #63 (October 20)

Two body builders in a gym. In the right light, both with enough popping veins to make them look like human road maps. One’s named Dimitri. The other is Kurtis. Kurtis decides to play a trick on his buddy Dimitri. The trick involves superimposing a certain image over the weights on each end of a barbell Dimitri is lifting in a video. It’s kooky. It’s funny. This fiction piece has ‘Personal Best’ written all over it.
Remember it HERE.

# 12. The Theory of A-Holes (October 15)

We’ve all traveled that rough stretch of human highway; the one populated with inconsiderate, self-centered mooks who irritate like sandpaper. Its part of what it means to be human, no matter what part of the world you live in. Pav puts forward an anthropological theory to try to account for why there seem to be more annoying nitwits around these days than ever before. His thesis references big fish, small ponds, the film A BUG’S LIFE and toilet paper. Searching for profound meaning? The Dalai Lama has nothing on this.
Remember it HERE.

# 13. The Inevitable Pain of Football Season (August 31st)

As a writer, Pav and pain have naturally been companions for some many years. His life as a teacher has no doubt also brought him face to face with a variety of… ahem, for want of a better word… pains. Yet it is the highs and lows of footy season fandom that occupy his thoughts on this occasion.
Remember it HERE.

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# 14. A Superpower You Didn’t Know You Had (July 4th)

Episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale have Matt questioning “Who’s driving the bus?” Who indeed. The answers are bona-fide bristling and certainly worth the re-read.
Remember it HERE.

# 15. A Quick Monologue (August 24)

He feels the need to spell out to his readers that this bit of spice is ENTIRELY fictional. Read it and you’ll see why.
Remember it HERE.

# 16. Signs, Signs Everywhere (February 23)

When does a restroom sign look like a dude putting a baby on a grill? When it looks like this….
Remember it HERE.

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Best of 2018


A disclaimer: Glen over at the Scenic Writer’s Shack wrote this up for AI a solid month ago, and due to some truly epic foolery and lameness on my part, well, it sat in the posting queue for all the intervening time. So while it’s a little bit late for a year-in-review post and we should be on to the bigger, better things 2019 is sure to bring, the fault here is entirely mine. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t do to have a voice singing my praises go unheard, so — here’s Glen!

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It’s time again to unfurl the star-spangled fan-flag and heap praise where it’s due.

I’ve always believed every five-star, Michelin rated blogger deserves their own personal cheerleader. From 14 000 km’s away I just happen to be Pav’s. The U.S / Australian alliance has been going strong since at least as far back as World War II and there’s every reason to think that a list such as this one can only further bolster those relations.

Matt, the Atlanta-based chief notions officer and gifted scribe behind ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED, and I have never met. It’s also unlikely we ever will meet. But that hasn’t stopped me two years running now (read last year’s honour roll list HERE) from honouring him and his Halydron Collider of Ideas superblog with a pick of what I consider his twenty finest posts during the year.

Ready?

Time to enter Matt’s hallowed sandpit.

Let the countdown begin… 

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1.  (Sorta) Safe landings, or Hell Week in the Theatre (April)

In the kind of truly majestic extended metaphor only Pav himself could conceive, we are treated to a white-knuckle cockpit view of the staging of a High School theatre production – complete with all manner of organised chaos including actor’s laryngitis, sprained ankles and ill-fitting costumes. Trying to land a rickity Cessna light aircraft during a violent thunderstorm seems a walk in the park by comparison.

REMEMBER IT HERE

2.  Bend One Over For Me (August)

The pro’s and cons of library book enrichment – the practice of marking pages by folding over the top corners or even inscribing words in the margins – are uproariously unpacked in this classic post. Matt admits his librarian wife may not share his enthusiasm for what he terms “marking the trail for others.”

REMEMBER IT HERE

3.  Canine Curling (April)

Because Pav’s dog follows him from room to room in their house she gets labelled an Attention Whore Dog. When the neighbours have a yard sale complete with all the accompanying noises of cars coming and going, doors slamming and muffled voices from the driveway – noises his dog associates with Matt and his wife coming home from work – the results are high-grade comedy.

REMEMBER IT HERE

4.  Word of Mouth (July)

Vampire flash fiction you can really sink your teeth into. Any story that includes a character named ‘Thierry’ is welcome by me.

REMEMBER IT HERE

5.  A Buffet on Cheat Day (August)

Our Matt finally sees the light does a glorious tango with the joys of non-fiction reading. In the process he rolls out perhaps his best analogy of the year – something about a salad bar, leafy greens and piles of mashed potatoes.

REMEMBER IT HERE

6.  A Foolproof Method for Decluttering Your Home (July)

Self-confessed clutter expert Pav details a nine-point plan to home-treat your inner hoarder. This post came with a picture of our budding pro-author’s bedside table playing host to nine books, a pack of highlighters, his keys, a tape measure, a pair of socks, two notebooks, a pair of socks and several headphones. Expert indeed.

REMEMBER IT HERE

 7.  Hammer Time (A Scientific Study in How Dumb You Can Be) (March)

While trying to drive in a nail he bangs his hand with a hammer. Accidentally. In front of a student. We shouldn’t laugh. But we do. A lot.

REMEMBER IT HERE

8.  I am Not The Target Audience (June)

Our Acccidentally Inspired ‘host with the most’ applys his considerable film critiquing abilities to that classic of children’s cinema The Little Mermaid (1989) but concludes he probably shouldn’t examine kid’s movies so forensically. He freely admits to messing with his son’s head when called upon to answer questions from him relating to the movie.

REMEMBER IT HERE

 9.   Honk if You… (August)

Pav gets honked at while he’s out jogging by an early morning motorist intent on delivering an unprovoked ‘thrill beep’ designed to unsettle and unnerve.

REMEMBER IT HERE

10.  Lots of Time, Not Enough Time (June)

Different surroundings and routines while on vacation play havoc with Matt’s writing process. Top shelf analogies come flying thick and fast including the restaurant reservation one, the swanky gym on the opposite side of town one and the behind bulletproof plexiglass one.

REMEMBER IT HERE

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Channeling his very finest Star Wars ‘Jawa’ chic, dress-up Matt posted this photo of himself early in the year. It’s mysterious, quirky and ‘awkward-author-ish’ enough to easily earn my Pic of the Year Award.

11.   It’s Still There (August)

Matt liken’s the feeling of getting back to work on writing the novel he hasn’t touched in a while to turning on a cobweb-covered tap around back of an old abandoned farmhouse and finding, to one’s relief, twisting the faucet still produces cool, fresh water.

REMEMBER IT HERE

12.   It’s Begins (Again) (August)

Eight years in the job allows Matt to reflect that teaching is an occupation with a built-in automatic renewal system called ‘Summer Break’ that allows employees to annually ‘degunk’ themselves.

REMEMBER IT HERE

13.   Just One More Page (August)

Our doyen of the priceless quip acknowledges some books are more sleep-inducing than others before going on to concede Stephen Hawking’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1988), though intellectually stimulating in the extreme, is, excitement-wise,  definitely no edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckle thriller.

REMEMBER IT HERE

14.   Kids with Guns (March)

Eight year old with a toy gun on the loose in a public playground. “BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD.” Scarey. Not Funny. Real.

REMEMBER IT HERE

15. Things not to Say to an Atheist (January)

Continuing to mine the more serious vein of ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED, this post impressed for its sheer degree of restraint in the face of one-eyed religious zealousy. Matt receives an intelligence-accosting comment on his post from a god-fearing church-goer who claims to pity him for his lack of bible-centred faith. Logic and a cool head win over flapdoodle every time. Praise be the Pav!

REMEMBER IT HERE

16. The Spell is Broken (March)

Pav slaps his own wrist for overusing the phrase – ‘The Spell is Broken’ in his novel. Bad Pav will need twelve umbrella drinks and a good lie down to get over his own chastisement.

REMEMBER IT HERE

17. Caveat Pre-Emptor (Or, Why it’s Okay to Brag a Little) (February)

Never one to toot his own horn, Pavman does the hard stuff, invents a way to claim significance for just about anything and cites one of his literary heroes Douglas Adams in the process. And as a finale worth reading to the end for, unceremoniously boos off stage so they never want to come back disclaimers, self-sabotage, false modesty and the pimple-faced rat that is the wholly wretched practice of knocking yourself down before you’ve properly gotten up. Empowerment came gift wrapped and placed neatly outside our doors in this grand post.

REMEMBER IT HERE

18.  It’s Like This (November)

A spot on a favourite jacket. A conspicuous spot on a favourite jacket. Into the corner it goes. Fhthump!

REMEMBER IT HERE

19. An American’s Guide to Canadian Food (May)

Fresh back from a vacation in Canada, self-confessed non-foodie Pav concludes the stuff to eat there is weird. Beware: this post comes with a harrowing account of what ‘Dulce’ is.

REMEMBER IT HERE

20. The Trooth Fairy (September)

Reading this post was like pulling teeth. A LOT like pulling teeth. Includes the completely glamorous use of the word ‘unmoored’. Because he can.

REMEMBER IT HERE

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Top 20 Posts of 2017


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Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…

My name is Glen Donaldson and I am a most regular reader of this blog. If that statement sounds even vaguely like some kind of soul-bearing admission usually reserved for the opening minutes of an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting, allow me to correct that impression and say it’s not at all meant to.

Before I launch into the detail of how and why ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED came to stitch a multi-coloured, metaphor-dipped square of appreciation and loyalty into my personal soul quilt, I should make a few things clear off the bat –

  • Matt Pavlak (aka Pavowski) and I have never met.
  • Living more than 14 000 kilometres apart on two different continents (I’m in Brisbane, Australia)  it’s quite possible and more than likely we may never meet.
  • It took  some serious arm twisting on my part to convince Matt to publish this post, which, if stripped down to its bare basics, essentially represents a fan’s glowing tribute to both the blog and its owner’s considerable writing talents.

Via ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED, Matt Pavlak’s been hitting literary jukeboxes to make them play beautiful word music just like Fonzie used to since as far back as March 2014. I joined the party as a follower sometime during 2015 and quickly realized I’d struck pay dirt as far as quality blog writing goes. Since that time I’ve grown even more convinced the blend of worldly wisdom and hilariously observed, downright Seinfeldian recall of life’s micro trial’s and tribulations that make up the content on ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED represents the very tip of the blogosphere spear.

This year Matt attracted his 500th follower. As he’s one blogger who would never think to stoop so low as inflicting anything approaching mediocrity on his readers, not even a single time and not even for a sentence fragment’s duration, I feel confident in saying the quality of his writing warrants easily twenty times that number of followers.

At the risk of labouring the point, if ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED ever decided to install a paywall and charge people to read his musings, I’d no doubt be one of the first to sign up. With thought pieces that hit like the shock wave of a concussion grenade plus channeled wordery that, frankly speaking, rises on very regular occasions to be things of sheer beauty, I can say, quite unequivocally and without word of a lie, he’s that good.

By his own standards, Pavowski claims to have had a somewhat less than stellar year as far as writing goes. Regular readers of this blog will know he’s put this down to a state of mild disorientation brought on by the situational insanity of house selling and moving as well as a slew of time and energy sapping work commitments. Matt’s so-called less than stellar year would be most other people’s Pulitzer Prize winning year, and trust me, he’s not paying me to say that.

Before I launch into counting down my pick of his 20 most memorable posts of 2017, selected from more than a hundred published on ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED throughout the year, I will address the question of what has moved me to cover myself so unashamedly from head to toe in brightly coloured nerd froth. Simply stated, in a world experienced by most of us as a never-ending series of mixed blessings (or put another way, quoting the insight of modern man’s answer to Socrates, Forest Gump – “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git”), it’s a revelation to come upon something you consider genuine quality. And it’s kinda fun to celebrate it on the rare occasions you do stumble across something like that.

Here then are my nominations, counting down in order, for the best 20 posts of 2017 as appearing on Matt’s blog ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED

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# 1.  Never Go Back to your Alma Mater (June)

A trip back to The University of Georgia evokes mixed feelings.

“Going back to your Alma Mater is a little bit like looking up an ex. You do it out of pure curiosity, with the purest of intentions. Just want to see what they’re up to, what they’ve got going on. But it can only end in depression”.

Remember it here

#2. PBV Syndrome (August)

Unpacking the highway phenomena of vehicles (particularly trucks and SUV’s) competitively speeding up when you attempt to pass them.

Remember it here

#3. Stupid House-Selling Stories : Stairs (May)

The sticking point for a prospective house buyer was “too many stairs!”

Remember it here

#4. Faking It (May)

With disarming honesty, Pav hints that easy interactions and an air of confidence may not always be his native tongue.

Remember it here

#5. Toddler Life Chapter 148: Because it’s Hard (September)

The joys of completing late night ‘Sprout’ homework (“The bloody firefighter presentation is tomorrow”).

Includes a reference to ROCKY and a quote from JFK.

Remember it here

#6. Toddler Life Chapter 68: Lack of Sleep Chronicles (June)

A guide to coping with alternative family sleeping arrangements while on vacation amidst “strange barometric pressure”.

Includes a profound use of the word “discombobulates” as well as a nostalgic reference to “planking videos from five years ago”.

#7. Fixer of Things (March)

Home handyman par excellence saves $300 and in the process baths in a warm inner glow of a job well done. Includes a contender for Picture of the Year.

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#8. Scrub Up and Slice In (May)

Narrative surgery.

“The problem is, like an insane spider’s web, every part of the thing is interconnected”.

#9. Watch out – There’s Girls Driving! (June)

An incident at the supermarket that perfectly illustrates why Pav and his family prefer to shop on a Sunday morning at 8am.

#10.  Splinters (September)

Giving praise to the Gods of Carpentry and what it takes to build a kitchen bench.

Includes maverick use of the word “perambulate” and Picture of the Year.

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#11. Cleansing the Stream (February)

A writer’s brain is compared to a mountain stream.

This majestic post boasted an inspired use of the word ‘panoply’.

#12. Can’t Complain (March)

Where Pav pops the lock on his formula for living a happy life.

Includes a quote from Ferris Bueller.

#13. Project Projections: 80% Chance of Bloodbath (March)

A gripping confessional where he admits the plot of his current novel in progress needs work.

“The plot needs work to be sure, but it’s more multi-knotted rescue rope with the odd loose end than formless hairball of half-digested tail fur.”

This is also the post where Matt comes clean on the worst kept secret on the blogosphere – that he loves a good simile or metaphor like he loves a third slice of cake.

#14. Spiderwebs (July)

Pavowski’s spidey sense tingles overtime in this classic post.

“Spiders spin webs because their spidery nature compels them to. They spin webs because if they don’t they will literally die. That’s writer-y”.

Includes sublime use of the word ‘topiary’ and another strong contender for Photo of the Year.

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#15.  A Burp of Inspiration (January)

Matt let’s on one of his favourite quotes comes from Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), the one about “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

#16. Who Ever Wanted More Deadlines? (May)

The motivating force of impending deadlines.

Plus a bonus: Matt reveals he’s accepted an offer on his (then) current house.

#17. WriterSpawn (June)

The day Pavowski’s asked his five-year old son if he wanted to go down to the beach and he replied, “No, I want to finish making my book. I’m so excited to read it to you.”

#18. Toddler Life Chapter 419 – Cite Your Source (May)

Where Pav observes his five year old son can craft an argument, make a literary allusion and cite his source. Admits also he grows to hate all books his son loves.

#19. The Fly (November)

The fly is that little idea that gets into your head.

Kenny Rogers is a quoted source of wisdom in this post that contained quite the buzz as well as the classic ‘a fly flew’ “obviosity”.

#20. Magic Signs are BS (June)

There’s no such thing as a sign that it’s time to write that novel.

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On behalf of everyone who regards ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED as blogging royalty, thank you Matt for a spectacularly entertaining 2017. Good luck with getting the agent representation we know you are seeking for your two novels and we look forward to reading another swag of true-life literary gems in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 


Metaphor Monday: Jumpin’ Jellyfish – it’s notebook time!


Guest post today, which means — rarity of rarities! — we actually have Metaphor Monday on Monday!

Make sure you double back to Glenavailable’s Scenic Writer’s Shack once you’re done here.

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Jellyfish evaporate in the sun.

So do ideas if you don’t write them down.

That’s why for a large number of years I’ve kept a series of what I ambitiously refer to as ‘writer’s notebooks’ Those saddle-stitch bound, dog-eared ones from three decades past are long gone now of course, but I still have in my possession two dating back to the early 2000’s. Both spiral-bound, one sporting a bubblegum pink cover the other aqua-marine, together they’re overflowing with what might best be labelled ‘fragments’.

These fragments include overheard snippets of dialogue from real life, television and movies, lists of unusual people and place names, beginnings or middles of ideas for stories, life quotes, mixed metaphors, creative insults, lifted descriptive passages from news articles and novels, jokes, self-deprecating remarks, even a couple of useful phrases to pull off a 1980’s era Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation (” I got my uzi-nine millimetre!”). And all of it written in a penmanship so poor much of it is bordering on illegible.

I was leafing thru ‘aquamarine’ just the other day.

In it I found the aforementioned assorted bric-a-brac wordery, including obituary type notes for the late English actor Dudley Moore (1935 – 2002). My scribble included the date he passed away (which, checking now, I realize I had gotten wrong), the fact he was only five feet two inches tall and the description of him as a sex ‘thimble’. Clearly at the time I regarded this quip as worthy of recording but up until this moment I’ve never found the opportunity to repeat it.

On other occasions however I’ve had cause to be thankful only a relatively short time down the track from the original transcribing that I made the effort to jot down, often in the dark while watching a television screen, of some overheard one-of-a-kind wisecrack or pearly good utterance.

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The 29 acre island of Little Ross (complete with lighthouse) located off the southern coast of Scotland.

One relatively recent example of this occurred while viewing the despair-ridden and blood-splattered nightly bulletin known as the six ‘o clock news. On came one of those lighter human interest stories they insert to dilute the ‘stiff whiskey’ of the other stuff. Mention was made of a remote island lighthouse near Scotland called Little Ross that was up for sale. Highlighted was the tragic backstory of the lighthouse which included the murder of a previous lighthouse keeper back in 1960.

A summary of this news snippet made it into my most prized black-speckled notebook. This in turn launched an on-a-whim research splurge conducted on-line and amongst the shelves of my local library which culminated in the writing of a short story about two lighthouse keepers who drive each other to distraction due to the late-evening piano playing habits of one of them. And in direct homage to the bits ‘n pieces power of the writer’s notebook, this story then went on to appear in a November issue of the digital literary magazine RUMBLEFISH PRESS.

I have another notebook (apricot orange with horizontal white stripes and multicoloured section dividers) I use to record names. Unusual names. Names of distinction. Class names. So when Sloane Stephens mercilessly crushed Madison Keys in the U.S Open Women’s tennis final back in September… notebook time!

Sewer police

Only last night I was looking at a documentary on the making of 1949 British film noir THE THIRD MAN. In it they mentioned the sewer police featured in the chase scenes filmed amidst Vienna’s underground canal system were not hired actors but real-life lawmen whose ‘beat’ was the subterranean depths of the below-the-city waterways. The words ‘sewer police’ struck me as  unusual enough to warrant recording, so once again … notebook time! (The black speckled one).

Might ‘sewer police’ make it into a piece of writing I embark upon in the near or distant future? Who knows? And that’s part of the mystery and charm of writer’s notebooks. You can never be certain if there’ll be any future use for the snippet you’ve thought worth preserving. But similar to playing the stock market, naturally you live in hope your investment will pay a nice dividend somewhere down the track.

Writer’s notebooks that are intended on capturing and recording random ear and mind candy comprising everything from flavoured phrases and witticisms to funny, touching and dramatic dialogue and quotable quotes (“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” came from a viewing of the 2016  Catherine Zeta Jones-starring DAD’S ARMY last week and it’s extremely tempting to remark that line was one of the few highlights of the entire movie) are at the very least a way of clocking in. They’re also a way of furthering one’s lifelong love affair with words and can always be surfed later for inspiration.

Viva la writer’s notebooks!

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