marcus westbury

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Not Quite Book Notes

July 31st, 2008 by marcus

I am stuck in Singapore for a few days. There is nothing quite like being bored and away from the constant series of distractions that pepper my life to focus the mind a little. I’ve decided to spend at least some of this time productively by digging through some old notes I’ve compiled and posting them to the fine pages of this blog.

I plan to dig up, and minimally clean up some fragments, pieces and notes that I wrote earlier this year for a book that may or not eventually appear. All going to plan (i.e. if i can make the software work) I will set them on a timer so that they are published here about twice a week over the next few months. Even if the ideas are crap at least I won’t feel so guilty about not updating this thing more regularly.

These posts have a history. Earlier this year the good folks at Melbourne University Press asked me whether I was interested in writing a book for them. I was keen but hesitant given that a book can be quite an undertaking. While I am pretty good with team based projects, I am notoriously unable to finish massive tasks that rely on being self motivated and not distracted (see the above about a life peppered with distractions) so I decided – before finalising any kind of contract – to take some time to compose some notes about to myself about the areas that i was interested in writing about.

In March I took a couple of weeks away from my daily life and went up to Halls Gap in country Victoria. I indulged myself in a rather massive and poorly thought through brain dump. The result was about twenty thousand odd words of what you could loosely describe as not quite book.

By that i mean that it is not quite a book yet in the practical sense and not simply in the “how many times can he overextend the same bloody Not Quite / This Is Not / Ok maybe it is series of titles” sense. It lacks vital ingredients for a book like structure, word count, editing, consistency of motivation, intelligence and a sense of it being a project that might eventually edge towards completion.

The pieces that are being posted here are plucked straight from those notes in that draft I made for myself.

They need a cleaning up. They aren’t finished, or finalised or nuanced enough to capture the intent of what i was trying to get at. Some of them are in desperate need of qualification or explanation and some will ultimately be abandoned or at least vehemently denied. They have barely been spell checked, let alone edited but are posted here in the hope that they will lead to opportunities to discuss them, clean them up, or argue them over late night beers somewhere.

If anyone is interested in publishing them or works based on them in places other than a book then drop me a line. I’d be more than happy to elaborate, clean them up, rewrite them to your needs or whatever else may lead to finding another audience or context for these ramblings.  MUP have first dibs on that eventual book but all other platforms where they might find a life are actively sought.

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