Tennis training with “Bob” Caruana

Aiden (aka Bob) and I had a tennis session on Saturday. It was almost too hot to play but he hit some decent shots. Lenah also came by to say hi, looking beautiful and tennis Summery in a white dress.

And on Sunday we were walking the streets of Valletta and stumbled upon this declaration of love for Roger Federer covering a MEPA application. Nice to see fans of the Fed Express in full force also in Malta!

The Kardashians and a Chanel Tennis Racket

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Lenah and I watched a new episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians yesterday, an episode where a big part of the family and especially the “momanager” Kris Jenner got into their heads to start playing tennis. Something which, according to Jenner’s biography, they did a lot back in the days. The majority of the tennis segment was based around how much Kris Jenner moans when she hits the ball. They thought it absolutely ridiculous which can mean two things:

1. They had nothing better to work on for the show.
2. They have never ever seen women’s tennis.

I would think it’s a combination of both. This season of Keeping up with the Kardashians seems even more contrived, staged and made-up than previous seasons. My guess is that they’re running out of ideas and I can’t blame them. How long can a reality show last anyway?

I would neither blame them for not watching women’s tennis. Why? Well, it’s both slower and way more one-dimensional than men’s tennis. They have a distinct lack of interesting profiles (compare with Nadal and Federer for example) and they seem to have a new world number one every other day. The grunting is also an annoying problem (just watch any match with Maria Shaparova to see what I mean) which doesn’t seem to go away. To explain why players breathe/grunt it’s because it improves a player’s rhythm and concentration. You see it sometimes also in the men’s game, but not to the extent of the power shriekers on the WTA Tour.

But this post wasn’t going to be about women’s tennis, it was going to be about the Chanel tennis racket that Kim Kardashian bought for her mother when she realized (make empathy sound effect here) she had gone too far in mocking her moaning. Why would fashion and fragrance giant Chanel venture into tennis? I guess to please the likes of Kardashians and other people with fat wallets and very little imagination on what to spend it on (it’s around $900 on ebay, a pro racket is about $200). I don’t think it plays as well as a pro racket for example, but I haven’t “test driven” it, but it has a classy feel, much like the Slazenger racket that Tim Henman used to play with.

When I come to think of it, the post is not really about the Chanel tennis racket either, it’s about the Kardashians. Lenah and I have been watching the show for a while now and it seems like it’s on it’s final stretch. People usually make a face-cringe when you tell them you watch and sometimes enjoy the Kardashians, it’s looked upon to be in poor taste, especially by men who think football is an interesting sport (it’s not really if you think about it). I’ve had an excuse for it, calling it research for my upcoming novel about the Hollywood lifestyle (titled Hollywood P.A), but in all fairness, it can be quite entertaining. Especially the last season of Kim and Kourtney take New York where you got a glimpse of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries‘ fairytale wedding, which, we were not surprised, was over within a season.

Anyway, this whole post has become a digression. Let’s summarize:

1. Chanel tennis racket looks good but is not worth $900
2. Women’s tennis is not very entertaining and some players exaggerate the shrieking.
3. The Kardashians have been entertaining over the years, but are running out of ideas.
4. You need to watch this space, because my second novel, titled Hollywood PA, will be up here before too long.
5. Oh, almost forgot, football is overrated.

Now go and have a nice day. /JE

 

 

 

 

 

Writing can be lonely, but can’t be done alone

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Whilst working on my second book, Hollywood Ass., I’ve realized how lonely writing can be and how important it is to have someone to brainstorm ideas and discuss characters with, get feedback from and to help you with the thankless task of reading every word you write, two-three-four times or more. I think all writers need this, it’s essential to the process of creativity, where anything really good rarely comes out of one single mind. It has to be a give and take-process and it’s seldom (I would like to say never) linear, but up and down, ebb and flow, like a roller coaster where you’re sometimes on an amazing high and occasionally also in a deep, deep valley of doubt.

My first novel The Wake-Up Call was much like the book’s story itself, a very bumpy ride. Rewrite after rewrite and several breaks from the manuscript finally made it what it is, not Pulitzer prize winning stuff, but something which most readers seem to read and enjoy.

I thought I had learned a lot from writing The Wake-Up Call and that the second book would be a breeze to write. At first it felt exactly like that, words were jumping out of my head and on to the paper like lemmings. The story flowed and I thought for a while I could publish the thing in six-seven months.

Problem was, it wasn’t good. I didn’t feel good about it but I didn’t really know why. It was a nightmarish feeling to have worked on something for half a year and it turns out you’ve wasted your time.

But luckily the whole project was saved by my “first reader” and longtime girlfriend Lenah (Stephen King labels the term first reader in his excellent book On Writing), who provided me with the necessary tough, but constructive feedback. Suddenly I knew what I needed to do and things didn’t seem so bleak anymore.

I’m currently on my way to finishing it and I’m happy about it again, excited to soon have written my second novel and really looking forward to readers feedback. I have learned a lot from The Wake-Up Call, but I think I’m learning even more with this one; more about the writing process, what I need to do to jumpstart creativity and how I need to tackle obstacles in the road.

Most of all I’ve learned that I can’t write good books alone, I need my first reader, support function, muse and love, Lenah.

Instagram Socialmatic – A Cool Concept

It’s only a concept, but wouldn’t it be great to have physical Instagram socialmatic? The Instagram Socialmatic is a flat touch screen camera with a built in printer,  16GB of storage capacity, two camera lenses, AND Wifi and bluetooth! It’s an impressive idea based on the super popular Instagram app and I personally would consider buying one (for Lenah).

The concept is designed by ADR Studio. Let’s hope there’s enough interest to make it a reality.

Hollywood PA – Draft 2 done

Phew! The second draft of Hollywood PA is finally done. The book was going super smooth at first, but then I hit a wall with my day job taking all my energy and I got a bit stuck and negative. But now it’s finally ready to be read by my first editor Lenah who actually hatched the idea to the whole thing! We’ll see how she likes it. Sometimes I get a bit trigger happy with the delete-button and remove too much, but it’s hard for me to tell without letting the manuscript sink in properly and the feedback from Lenah and my group of “draft readers”.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. My official site for upcoming books is jonaswrites.com. It might not be much at the moment, but I hope to improve on it as soon as Hollywood PA is done and dusted.

Thanks for listening (and reading!).