Guess I should fess up before anyone gets too disappointed that, whilst this post has something to do with books and blogs, it's really got nothing to say explicitly about blokes or blondes. It's just that, when I was thinking about a catchy title for this little beast, the four words melded together, and then I tried saying them fast, and then repeating them fast ten times, and then backwards ... and by the time I'd amused myself doing this sort of thing for an hour or two they'd sort of grown into the title of the post, and there was little I could do about it.Seven weeks after starting the latest round of edits on The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore, I think I'm almost done. Problem is, though, that after a break of four or five weeks, I'll see things I want to refine further. And will keep on doing this until I'm told I can't do any more. Hopefully, when the printed book is in my hand I'll be able to stop and won't feel inclined to scribble out words, replace paragraphs, etc. Maybe I just need to lock myself back into the next project.Have been a pretty tetchy reader of late, and reluctant to stick with books that don't grab me early on. Either this, or I've just been unlucky in what I've picked up. Couldn't make headway with Burning Bright (see 16/9/07) and didn't persevere; it felt like it was a Young Adults book (which I often enjoy) but mis-pitched at adults. Something didn't work for me. So I was a little concerned that a collection of short stories that was written and pitched for the YA market, and which had been highly recommended by a school librarian, might also leave me feeling short-changed.Margo Lanagan's Red Spikes is a Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers and, as my librarian friend noted, is "seriously weird". However, it's seriously weird in the best kind of way, and I couldn't help but see parallels between what Margo Lanagan does (with the subject matter and her use of language) and everything I enjoy about Angela Carter's short stories. It may well be aimed at the Young Adult market, but these stories have a much broader appeal than that. What I like most is that they seem to take our dreams, rip out the innocence we might associate them with and transplant them with something more enduring and sinister. Quite fantastic---in every sense. I took this anthology with me when I went to Robe, South Australia, for a short break recently, and it helped make the holiday a delight.STOP PRESS: In Googling Margo Lanagan to see if there's anything else I MUST include, I note there is: she has a blog. So click away. I also note---and no prizes for me here---the comparisons with Angela Carter have already been well and truly established. Must get hold of Black JuiceWhite Time next. and Apart from this, I've also been interviewed recently by Mike French for his blog The View From Here. I discovered Mike's blog in July (see Comments 30/7/07) and the approach he was taking to get The Dandelion TreeThe Snowing and Greening specifically) for his blogsite and this will be appearing soon. Watch this site. published. He generously extended an invitation to interview me recently (about writing generally and That's all for now, folks! Almost. But, if you haven't already done it, try saying fast, ten times: books, blogs, blokes and blondes. And then say it backwards.