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salt and sydney

well, moving states really exhausts both energy and finances! i have been neglecting my blog in favour of scratching together some paid writing (i am very available for hire) and trying to find the old work-life balance in the new life. which has been pretty much upside-down since China. this week is the first time in about two months i have felt like i have the space to do some of the creative writing which is supposed to be my main work. That has meant finishing a short story, starting another one, and throwing myself into more book plans which will eventually i hope take precedence again – novels have a way of becoming the most important thing in your life, so while i am doing the rounds of funding bodies i am also making some pre-emptive apologies for emotional distance. at the moment it’s all writing and pickles. Yes, pickles. I am taking full advantage of living somewhere where things grow on trees. Making my own olives for the first time – that means three months of work and waiting for something that you can eat all at once, definitely some parallels with writing there.

from pickles to sydney: as soon as i sit down at my desk and get my focus back, what happens? it’s time for Sydney Writer’s Festival! i’m flying in tomorrow to do some much-needed visiting of friends and family, many of whom seem to be at an emotional crossroads at the moment, before i head into the fray to talk about Gone, regional writing, troubled pasts, and other such weighty things.

Here are my events:

Thurs 19 May, 1-2pm @Sydney Dance Company Studio 1
‘The past is a dangerous place’ with novelist Lyn Hughes

Fri 20 May, 2:30-3:30 @Philharmonia Choir Studio
‘Postcards from the frontier’ with poet Kelly-lee Hickey

As a bonus i’ll be reading at the launch of the NT writers’ anthology ‘Bruno’s Song’ on Saturday evening, keep an eye out for details, i believe it’s about 6 somewhere on the wharves.

AND i am even going to be on TV at some point, which is a little terrifying.

Sadly Liao Yiwu won’t be coming (see my article in New Matilda) – i am disappointed and also feeling pretty concerned for colleagues in China at the moment – but i will be checking out more of the festival this year (i have a plan!). i am particularly looking forward to continuing some of the discussions on gender that have been going on online (see also this piece on Literary Minded today) and looking forward to this panel on online journalism too.

if you come to any of my events or see me wandering around the wharf, please stop and say hello. I am very much looking forward to trading my kitchen brine for some salty harbour air and wonderful words.