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No problem was ever solved by worrying about it. Either you can solve the problem or you can't. If you can't , then find a way to work around it.
All you get from worrying is ulcers.

Are you sure it's not your more paralytic passengers and their conversations with you that are making you go cross-eyed?

Like Dirk said, don't worry about it. You'll just end up with descriptors related to frustration and ire.

Your book will happen, Adrian. :)

Yeah, Dirk and BourbonBird are right Ade. But on a lighter note, here's a tip ... if you can't find it in the Thesaurus do what narrative writers do ... go the long way round.

Try crosswords. It worked for me. I have just passed through two, nearly three, very trying years. My mind was so scattered, at the end, that I could barely concentrate for 10 minutes straight.

Crosswords concentrate your mind and make you think - even if you have to use a thesaurus at first. It may work for you, as it did for me.

Yeah, try crosswords. Oops, shameless plug instead of serious suggestion.

Actually, why not short stories? They're not hugely popular in Australia from all appearances, there being so few magazines that will take one, but a collection might not do badly. (Tim Winton's latest, as I recall, was a collection.) And it isn't necessarily choosing the right word so much as saying well what you want to say, more bon mot than le mot juste, perhaps.

I support Greg's idea Adrian.
I think a book of short stories themed around your experiences as a cabbie would be a good read.
I have to stress that I know absolutely nothing about the publishing business, but perhaps an idea worth exploring with the industry professionals.

I have always enjoyed your "people" yarns here.


why not do a "Year in the Life of ..." type book. Describe both the mudane and the interesting events of a year. Sum up the changes through the year at the end of the year.

One of my favorite non-fiction books is "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets". A writer spent a year with the Baltimore PD's Homicide Squad. (The TV show "Homicide" was based on this book.) Of course it didn't hurt that Baltimore in the late 1980's was murder-town.

(Go to Amazon, enter "Homicide killing streets". The first book is the one I'm talking about. Under the author's name is the word "more". Click on it for an excerpt of the book.)

Dirk, I'm not so much worried as frustrated looking for the missing link. Working around the problem may be a solution, also offered by David Crawford. Thanks mate, a great link.

And thanks for the confirmation from others regarding crosswords. Sounds like the key to stretching memory and re-vitalising language range.

Ultimately though, my proposed book will have to have a specific direction, supported by my cab encounters. Rather than a straight collection of unrelated vignettes.

Still, I'm confident it's possible plus buoyed by the suggestions and encouragements. Cheers,

Take up cryptic crosswords Adrian! I do them onboard when I have time. You can learn how to do them online too. There is a set of rules and I find doing them SO satisfying and it always keeps you learning! Go on old guy! :) Don't lose you sex drive! :P

PS For sure, your stories will make a fab book! I don't think they need a theme. Or write them all and then arrange them into themes! :)

Yeah Adgirl, I've printed out some 120 stories to do just that and the dominant theme seems to relate to power. Maybe I'll develop that somehow.

Do the stories have to be entirely non-fiction? Could you weave some fiction into it to help with the structure. If not, there ar many ways to structure a book like this. Possibly catagorising them into themes, ages of passengers, locations, occupations, hours of the day, seasons........ you get the idea.

Personally I think people are despearte to understand what is going on in this country. Our civil liberties are being eroded, we're running out of water, Govt departments like Centrelink & Child Support Agency can demand repayments but scoff at refunds if it's their mistake, we're at war, we deport our own citizens, this generation cant afford to live in Sydney........ People are desperate to understand & someone who talks to as many people as you do may just have an insight or two. You can sense it in the attitudes and actions of your subjects, they are us.

There used to be a belief in fair go, is this country growing up or growing bad?

Carl, 'faction' becomes an entirely different animal, somewhat removed from pure cab stories and better suited for say, scriptwriting. Now you mention it...

Regarding socio-politico issues, the average cab ride is maybe around 10 minutes. Given people - how they behave and what makes them tick - is my first interest, I invariably end up with that sort of personal material.

However, your suggested topics came to the fore last October when conducting my Cabpolls, reminding me of a future source of material. A worthwhile suggestion.

Our customers are alone with us encased in our cab and for a short time away from the rest of the world. We get glimpses of their lives that they might not show to others. They can relax, take off their public face, tell us their fears and their joys. These little vignettes of life are just waiting to be told.

Nice to hear from a fellow cabbie Joann. Give my love to SFO.

Sodoku? It's a fad. Cryptic Crosswords is definitely the thing. I like yr blog. Will look forward to catching a ride with you sometime.


Adrian, you're about the same age as me, but I'm lucky, every night I get to correct others' literal mistakes. Nevertheless, I find I'm grasping more than in the past. Try to read something, anything, for at least half an hour a day. I've committed myself to learning a bush ballad by heart every month, as I reckon the mind, like all other parts, benefits from training. Agree with others on crosswords, but I find the Oz is too hard and I refuse to buy Fairfax. Finally, google for Wordweb, a great little free thesaurus/dictionary. After installation you just highlight the word, hit ctrl+alt+w and up comes definition, synonym and antonym. Hope this helps. In S&K in a fornight.

No worries Pete. Slatts I'm encouraged by your good memory news and will definitely take the advice. Thanks also for the great link and keyboard shortcut. Spoken like a true editor.

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