Mon 3 Nov – blog posted Sudeep’s pics before work. Rode bike to work (environmentally friendly). Quiet office on the day before Melbourne Cup. Sweat at the gym after! Finished reading Ian Rankin’s Doors Open (will review at some stage). Jumped on the email and there was lots of great feedback from Nam Le blog post. Flatmate’s best friend came over – pizza ensued and a long, nostalgic night of Triple J’s Hottest 100 Volumes 1-7 (which I’m using for novel research of course), lots of Jim Beam w/ coke zero and great conversation.
Tue 4 Nov – After last week’s Black Dog Books Christmas party I woke up to another publisher Christmas/Melbourne Cup party – that of Ford Street Publishing. Met up with two of the lovely ladies from work and one of their friends and found the 1850s house in Clifton Hill. We were the first to arrive but it wasn’t long before we were mingling with friends of Paul Collins – Ford Street Publisher – including many children’s authors, editors, screenwriters, illustrators, non-fiction writers and so on. I was very excited to meet Rolf Heimann (y’no, the maze guy?) but apparently made him feel old by saying I did his mazes as a kid. He said (in a gorgeous German accent) he would love to get some of his novels out there but publishers (generally, not Ford Street) want more mazes and puzzles! I had many great conversations, didn’t win anything in the Cup pool – but my B+P publisher did (go Tim!). I enjoyed far too much champagne and a variety of snacks, including wasabi peas that had been in the sun too long. The garden was gorgeous and I wanted to take the dogs home.
I did drag one young lady, a Ford Street editor and a sci-fi writer, Sue, off to my friend’s Gra-beque (his name is Gra) back in St Kilda, where there were more writers and strange connections to the writers from before… it’s a small world. Had another couple of drinks but was home at a respectable hour.
Wed 5 Nov – Woke at the usual time and didn’t feel great about it. Posted my Tania Hershman interview and got into the office before anyone. Sucked down many litres of water and caffeine during the day. Had delicious dim sims for lunch. Was distracted from work (like everyone) by the election – followed on Crikey’s liveblog and BBC. Cried when Jesse Jackson teared up. Forgot the hangover and was in love with life. Started a story for the Weekly Book Newsletter on the delegates coming to visit our fine UNESCO City of Literature next week from England and Scotland. Can’t wait to meet them. Managed to still go to the gym after work and them zombie-rode my bike home, smiling still. Crashed out.
Thu 6 Nov – Busy day at work, WBN out. Post Obama-bliss around the office. A strange sight when I went to get sushi for lunch – three black dudes in a bright white cadillac. Gold jewels. No music. Exchanged glances with them as I crossed the crossing. Looked like they’d teleported from California, circa 1982. Contemplated asking for a ride. Wondered what their story was. Called Nanna on my break. My sis also got the books I sent for her birthday and loved them! Was pleased and excited. Shimmied by the gym on the way home, got dressed quickly and met my friends at ‘The Hive’ (they live in the same apartment block). Went to Sean M Whelan’s book launch, with great performance by Sean with The Mime Set. Book is Tattooing the Surface of the Moon (Small Change Press – do click the link, there’s a smaple poem!). Audience did Queensland-style ‘yawp’s. Excited also to hear Graham Nunn read – a poet whom I’ve read much of. Decided to experiment with LiteraryMinded YouTube channel:
Unfortunately I only got 3/4 of ‘Seven Day Dream Journal’, a wonderful piece. I’ll tell you more about Sean on LM soon. Got home and crashed out.
Fri 7 Nov – Posted Louisiana Alba review in the morning. Finished Nathan Curnow‘s chapbook No Other Life But This on my break at work. Had been putting off finishing it for so long because I loved it too much. Went right back and read over some again. More on that soon. Went hardcore at the gym and walked out and it was pissing down raining. Lucky I hadn’t ridden but my umbrella is shonky and I walked along, STARVING. Nothing at home so I stopped by the supermarket. Rain eased slightly. Bought a few things then decided I craved naan bread. Crossed road to Indian restaurant and ordered two naans. Started to walk home, still STARVING. Shopping bag broke, rain came down. Felt annoyed and silly and oh well thats life etc. Got in the door and jumped on the foil. Naan bread went too quick. Hung out with flatmate and drank more bourbons. He showed me an episode of Entourage. Enjoyed it because I’ve always loved film/Hollywood stuff. Amusing. To bed…
Sat 8 Nov – Woke up early, a little nervous and excited about Page Seventeen launch. Go on train with friends, beautiful trip and the furthest I’ve gone in Vic thus far (I’m a Coffs Harbour girl for you new readers). We had delicious lunch, bought second-hand goods (like a 50s/80s black dress with pink underlay – only $25!), had a quick beer, then got to the Queen of Tarts Cafe. Lots of great readings. Wasn’t too nervous in the end. Read half my story – a teaser – will have to buy to read the rest. In my favourite shirt:
Got to talk to Lee Kofman whose short story ‘Floating above the Village’ I read in 2007 Best Australian Stories. Remembered that I adored the ending and told her. She said she thought my story was ‘mature’. Stoked. Many lovelies came (thank you!). A beautiful day – trained home, and spend Sat night alone (in a good way), watching a movie, drinking a little, writing a bad poem about one of my (four) crushes (all unavailable for different reasons, but maybe I do that deliberately). Obsessed over a Nick Cave song. Bed at a respectable hour. Woken up by flatmate and best friend at 3am who came home via trolley. Remembered a great Christmas Eve back in Coffs which involved a trolley. Good times.
Sun 9 Nov – worked on blog stuff (review drafts, questions for interviews, ideas etc.). Met Josephine in St Kilda Botanic Gardens for relaxed reading and writing session in the shade of a tree. Made notes on a short story I drafted a while ago (bad ending), read more 90s mags for research, started reading new novel (set in New York which is always a plus). Came home to chill, blog, and look forward to another busy week!