Tuesday, March 2, 2010
What I am grateful for right now...
Hello everyone! I am sorry I have been away from the blog but as you know I’m on the road now with Lauren Lucas and Manhattan Dreaming. We’re having a great time, but it’s exhausting and most nights I collapse into bed as soon as I hit the hotel room. I’m in Adelaide now and its 7am (or 9.30am at home in Sydney). We’ve got the Indigenous Literacy Day launch today as part of Adelaide Writers’ Week, but I really wanted / needed to catch up with all the things I’ve been grateful for these past few days. So, here goes?
1. PWF: I had a ball at the Perth Writers’ Festival and aside from the chance to talk about books and writing, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to catch up with friends from all around the country. Some of them even live in Sydney but we are so busy we never see each other. I was/ am grateful that I spent some quality time with Gail Jones, Linda Jaivin, Archie Weller , Liz Byrski ,Tara Wynne (my agent), and my new friends literary blogger Angela Meyer , brand new author Sara Foster , and fabulous chair Helen Merrick.
2. READERS: Let’s face it, there’d be no point in writing books if no-one ever read them. I am always humbled when someone buys my book, not just because they have invested their hard earned money in something I have written, but because they will be investing some of their time in reading it. And time is the most precious gift you can give someone. So I am grateful to all those who came to my events at PWF, listened to my yarns and also bought copies of my books. Kudos to you all.
3. VERITY JAMES: The West Australian mob will know her well, and others may have met her here already on my blog back at Christmas / New Year time. Verity is a darling. A broadcaster, writer, MC and now funeral celebrant, and she’s my tidda. VJ did me the great honour of launching my novel Manhattan Dreaming at the PWF, and although I had asked her not to upstage me, she couldn’t help herself. Not only in a gorgeous dress with orange shoes and bag to match the cover of my book, but she wowed the audience with her brilliant and inspiring stage presence. I wanted to sit in the audience myself and just watch, listen and learn.
4. VOLUNTEERS: Most writers’ festivals rely on the goodwill of volunteers to usher authors to events, the bookshop, shuttles etc. And they do it with warmth, friendliness and interest. I am grateful to all those volunteers who give of their time to assist in making the festival run smoothly, and that writers like myself are well taken care of. You shine!
5. GOOD CHAIRS: Not the ones you sit on, but the ones that make a panel run smoothly. I was fortunate enough to have two great chairs in Perth. Helen Merrick on the panel about the renaissance in women’s writing, and Kristin Gill who chaired a session on Indigenous voices. I am grateful to them for being well prepared and for guiding the discussions to get the most out of all of us, which kept the audience happy also.
6. BREAKFAST WITH FRIENDS: Being a t festival means I get to catch up with friends over breakfast. And I’m grateful I did. Starting the day with some serious discussions, sometimes laughter, sometimes tears is all part of being on the road. Actually, it’s one of the best parts. And then we all get on the shuttle bus and off to work.
7. KARLA HART: Do you know her? You should. She is a rising Indigenous star broadcaster at Noongar Radio in Perth. I had so much fun with her last Friday on her drive program. A wide reader and an emerging performance poet Karla knows how to put on a show – and has a huge following. You can become a fan of Noongar Radio on Facebook and check out all their deadly work. [Pic of Karla and I above]
8. LYING UNDER TREES: All I really want to do most days is lie under a tree, look at the blue sky through the moving leaves, and just... be. I’m grateful for the beautiful grounds of UWA which gave me a choice of trees to have a spiritual moment under while I was in Perth.
9. COLLOQUIAL LANGUAGE: If I never hear the word epistemology again, I don’t care! Really. I hate ‘discourse’ as well, and the term ‘post-colonial’. I’m glad I’m not in academia any more and that I can speak the language of the people... and be understood. I’m grateful for those who also appreciate lingo that does not alienate.
10. SLEEP: I am SO grateful to be going home to Sydney tonight – if only for one night – to sleep in my own bed. There is nothing crawling into your own sheets and resting your head in your own pillow. It is the one thing I truly miss when I am on the road. And tomorrow night it’s another hotel and I’ll be missing my bed again. But life is good, and I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me so I can see so much of Australia and the world.