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The Monster that Ate Constitution Avenue

By Skyring - 15 November 2009 12

Down at the bottom of Campbell, a monster is being created. Perhaps we created the monster when we elected representatives to draw up legislation and approve regulations that could see a five storey security precinct placed unstoppably in parkland, but nevertheless, it’s a blot on the landscape.

And speaking of plots, it’s also the focus of a serial novel being written about some unlikely residents of Campbell, from Colonel Kern at 147 Monash Drive, to Quint the bookscout living in the flat at 2A Monash Drive, on the Constitution Avenue corner.

Each day, a fresh chapter. A twist in the tale. Shots in the night, red-light taxis and the best rock cakes in Canberra. And the government-toppling talk of magpies.

I’ve got a pretty good idea of where my story is going, and I don’t think Quint is going to slay the monster across the street, but I’m looking for comments, looking for suggestions, looking for people to tell me what a goose I’m being and of course there is no bookshop at the Campbell shops, let alone one run by a Californian cougar. Point out errors and typos, suggest ways for the plot to develop, help me out with research. The RiotACT is a resource of knowledge, wit and talent impossible to ignore.

In return, I’ll do my best to entertain my readers with the tangled stories of Kim the shady office jock, Ann the bookseller, Quint in a class of his own, and Harley the cabbie with a bottomless barrel of rotten jokes. One chapter a day until we get to the end, and then I might look at what Ann was doing in Texas on a certain grassy knoll in 2005.

The novel is at http://monashdrive.wordpress.com/ – one chapter per day. Comments welcome.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
The Monster that Ate Constitution Avenue
Skyring 3:21 pm 17 Nov 09

astrojax said :

one critique: do you have an audience in mind? it seems a little self-indulgent and i wonder if you considered an audience and wrote for that rather than for you, you might develop the ideas a little better?? just my impressions – good upon you and am enjoying it, fo all that picky critique! ; )

Not really put much thought into an audience, though I’m not going to get too explicit about sex when it rears its ugly head, keep it cleanish. At the moment I’m more interested in telling the story in my own voice. Canberra is a character in the novel as much as Harley or Ann. And I guess I am, too.

Thanks for the comments – I’m really too close to the work to see what’s good or bad at this stage.

astrojax 2:03 pm 17 Nov 09

i love offal! rarely enough of it, i find…

though i found aubergine a little over-done when i was there; too little excellence for too much cost (and too much pretension). prefer rubicon if i am over that way – but good choice in the setting of the novel. have delved into chunks and am as yet ambivalent, but will await further delving and seeing where things are taken.

one critique: do you have an audience in mind? it seems a little self-indulgent and i wonder if you considered an audience and wrote for that rather than for you, you might develop the ideas a little better?? just my impressions – good upon you and am enjoying it, fo all that picky critique! ; )

Skyring 1:53 pm 17 Nov 09

Yes, but last time I ate there I wanted wine that was my choice. In fact it was Moet and I prefer buying it cold at a grog shop and a few dollars corkage, rather than at two or three times the price in the restaurant. I dined at St John once and my companion brought a couple of bottles of red all the way from Adelaide because it was a lot cheaper than drinking anything the restaurant could come up with. I supplied a couple of duty free bubblies from CDG and it was a grand night if you like offal.

Aubergine is a great dining experience, by the way.

Pete, not your average cabbie

astrojax 9:55 am 17 Nov 09

your fares to aubergine stop at the excellent campbell liquor store – but isn’t aubergine fully licenced?

bd84 8:45 pm 16 Nov 09

Too much time on your hands?

Skyring 7:59 pm 16 Nov 09

Devil_n_Disquiz said :

Harley wouldn’t drive a Ford Fairlane in the Silver fleet by any chance 😉

He’s not that elite. Just drives a regular cab. Keeps it clean and tidy, has a heart of gold, and likes his women buxom.

Devil_n_Disquiz 5:11 pm 16 Nov 09

Hey Skyring,

Harley wouldn’t drive a Ford Fairlane in the Silver fleet by any chance 😉

Skyring 2:31 am 16 Nov 09

Cancel
Skyring 2:19 am 16 Nov 09

housebound said :

Tried to read the ‘novel’ but the reverse order of the chapters made it too much. An index might be helpful.

It’s just a blog in WordPress – like RiotACT. Every day a new chapter/blog post. The structure forces the most recent entries to the top. Presumably one reads a serial novel one chapter a day – it’s not intended to be one great big slab of text. There’s a Calendar widget on the right showing the days where posts have been made, and I’ve just added an Archive widget, which takes the reader to a page of excerpts.

I’m trying to find ways of customising the format:
1. [Next Post] [Previous Post] buttons
2. Larger font size, better initial line indentation, uniform font.

Advice from established WordPress gurus welcome here!

housebound 9:27 pm 15 Nov 09

Tried to read the ‘novel’ but the reverse order of the chapters made it too much. An index might be helpful.

JC 7:08 pm 15 Nov 09

What drivel, in particular the whinge about it being built on parkland. It always amuses me people who use this argument to stop or complain about developments, if only they stopped and thought they would realise their own precious bit of Canberra was once parkland too. Well not parkland but bushland actually.

You should go and have a good look at the territory plan you would be surprised how much so called parkland is actually land that has been set aside for a very long time for development, it just hasn’t been done yet.

MrPC 11:11 am 15 Nov 09

Canberra will still have no shortage of parkland/open space, both within it and around it. Further, Constitution Avenue is one of the city’s most accessible places by public transport (not counting the town centres).

I still don’t see the problem here.

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