How’s your year so far? I’m having a great time with this classics project, though it’s hard to know what to do with all the new books I’m being sent. Here’s a pile:
Of course, I’ll get as many as I can out to guest reviewers, and I’ll fit some in myself. At the moment, though, I’m busy working on the second draft of my novel and also preparing for some seminars in Sydney and Melbourne for the Australian Publishers Association, and for the Perth Writers Festival.
The Perth Writers Festival runs from 5 to 7 March and the program is out now. Check it out here. On the Saturday, I’ll be chairing a Masterclass with Kirsten Tranter and Sophie Gee, who will talk about classics and masters and the legacy of good writing; I’ll also be chairing a session called American Icons, with Andrew O’Hagan (hooray – talking about Marilyn Monroe on stage!) and Hazel Rowley. On Sunday I’m appearing on a panel called The Death of Print – uh-oh – with three fantastic, experienced critics and writers Lev Grossman, Geordie Williamson and James Bradley. In my dreams we go afterwards to a small bar with brown chairs, we drink whiskey and smoke cigars and discuss… well, books. And maybe the Coen Brothers and HBO TV shows. But really, I can’t get drunk because in the afternoon I’m chairing Desert Island Desires with Sophie Gee, Brenda Walker, and the person I’m stoked to finally be on a panel with, Toni Jordan. They will not be discussing their work (well, maybe a little bit), but discussing their favouritest books. Big authors like Armistead Maupin and Annie Proulx will be in Perth, too. I hope we all stay at the Duxton again, I loved the hotel so much I’m writing a series of short stories inspired by it.
* late addition* Also now chairing the whole publishing day on Friday. Lots of great guests: agents, publishers etc.!
The weekend of the 11 to 13 February is going to be a busy one. On Friday I’ll be attending the Wheeler Centre‘s Gala Night of Storytelling: Voices from Elsewhere. Hope to see some of you there. Over the weekend, Writers at the Convent is on, and I’d really like to get along to see Daniel Akst, author of We Have Met the Enemy: Self-control in an Age of Excess, and also UFOlogist Martin Plowman. Other writers in attendance include Kate Holden, Stephanie Dowrick, Michael Leunig, Meg Mundell, Angela Savage, Damon Young and Shaun Micallef. On Saturday, too, I’ll be going on a walking tour of Melbourne courtesy of the Hide & Seek Melbourne book series (released Feb). I’m sure that’ll be something to blog about.
While we’re on Melbourne, the Wheeler Centre have released their new program, and it’s a good’un. I’m particularly interested in The Late Great Patrick White, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Erotic Fan Fiction GLTBI edition, The Only Gay Book in the Village (both part of Big Gay Week), The Good Life: David Malouf & Raimond Gaita, and Ben Pobjie: In Defence of Offensiveness – but there’s plenty there for everyone, and mostly free! Armistead Maupin and Annie Proulx are dropping into Melbourne, too.
Did you catch me in the Age‘s Melbourne magazine last Friday? It was lovely of them to include me in their piece on Melbourne bloggers. I’ve put some dodgy pics of the article up on the Facebook page, if it’s of interest.
The other fun thing in my week was meeting artist Lily Mae Martin. Her work is really wonderful. See her website, and also her Facebook page. She also has a lovely, very honest, blog. And she has such a cute little baby. I have a major friend-crush on her and can’t wait to catch up with her in Berlin in August.
Oh yes – flights are booked! G and I will be in Europe from early June to late August. Not sure what I’ll do yet about all the books coming in… but of course I’ll be taking you all with me.