So I am back, having had an extended break from blogging. I went on a Vipassana meditation retreat for eleven days. During that time I could not speak, make eye contact, read or write. All I could do was sleep, eat (pretty much only once a day) and meditate, cross-legged, for over ten hours a day. Needless to say, this all messed with my head. This was probably a good thing as my head needed messing with. But it threw my writing out of whack a bit…. all that thinking about nothing…well not nothing….there was stillness, silence and a few loose thoughts but anyways….
NOW….I am off on a long-week-end of adventure and mayhem…I mean work and important writy business. Tomorrow I go to Newcastle, a place that is literally up the road but a city I have never ever been to or if I have I don’t remember it…at all. A new place. How exciting. I have had a short story shortlisted on the longest shortlist I have ever seen. My story THUNDERSTRUCK will be included in the Newcastle Short Story Anthology being launched tomorrow night after the winners are announced. Every finalist gets a spot in the anthology so I look forward to reading all of the 32 awesome stories. My piece is a graphic and pretty confronting piece about domestic violence. I don’t want to give a spoiler, but it doesn’t end well.
Then early, oh so early, on Saturday morning I fly to Brisbane for some real excitement. THE ROCK & ROLL WRITERS FESTIVAL IS HERE. Yes…it is a happening thing and it’s happening this weekend (April 2 and 3).
I will catch up with my imaginary friend Jenny Valentish (Cherry Bomb and millions of other great essays and bits and bobs) in the actual flesh after months of being virtual colleagues. I have friends and family coming along and hope to meet a whole lot more.
The program looks amazing. Panels of exciting people (and me) will regale audiences with lascivious tales of rock & roll madness, play some tunes, sign some books and CDs and boobs or whatever needs to be signed….etc. I will indubitably overshare and make a fool of myself but that’s okay because it’s what I do best and this is an over 18 festival so fuck it…I’ll say whatever pops into my head. Hell, it’s a rock festival…On Saturday night I’ll chuck the tele out the window of the hotel and sing on the rooftop in my skin-coloured spanx!
No. I won’t….. I don’t think I will .
The other panelists I can’t wait to listen to include writers like Nicole Hayes; my daughter is about to read her young adult book One True Thing; Andrew Stafford, author of Pig City, a book with an actual cult following and Noel Mengel whose novel RPM pipped mine at the post at the QLD Premier’s Literary Awards back in 2010.
Musicians coming along to share words of wisdom on the marriage/sordid affair between literature and music include Don Walker (Cold Chisel ohmygawd), Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus Like Wow – Wipeout!) and some great spunky funkies like Jess Ribeiro, Jake Stone and BC Michaels.
I’m an old washed up groupie….I now just go to my kids awful eisteddfods and talent shows at school, so it will be a nice change to be back around a bunch of interesting people who can actually play music and whatnot instead of squealing recorders! I pulled out my rock chick tie and thought about dressing up in the old school uniform…but we’re all politically correct apparently these days, so the rock n roll school girl groupie thing…. well we’ll leave her back in the eighties where she belongs….. unless we don’t.
It will be a whole decadent ….I mean informative and stimulating interactive play of words, lyrics, poetry, performance and a feast for the senses; a weekend of discussion, laughter, nostalgia and bristling energy.
If you are anywhere near Brisbane this week-end you would be pretty damn silly not to grab a ticket and get your groove on down to Fortitude Valley! The venue is THE BRIGHTSIDE. It has beer and stuff.
If you come along I will sign your boobs or whatevs. That’s a promise.
You can read the full program, see all the speakers and link to BUY YOUR TICKET here…
The above picture… may or may not be a groupie about to read A Catcher in the Rye!