Hi, I'm heading west next weekend to the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival. I'm really looking forward to catching up with the sisters and other writers and everyone who comes along. Strangely, I don't feel nervous or apprehensive about public speaking this time around. One festival I appeared at, the organisers had me slotted in for two hours, talking on my own! I drove there with a pit of terror in my stomach. I lasted an hour on stage and by then the crowd, who'd been wheeled in from the local nursing home, had mostly fallen asleep. I generally have a great time at these gigs and often, after a festival session, I walk out of the room and can't remember a thing I've said.
I'm in good hands at MRRWF it seems, and there will be friendly faces in the crowd too. It's being held at the grassy, grapey expanse of Voyager Estate. Germaine Greer is speaking at the launch on Friday night and oh my god I am so bloody gonna be there.
Friday morning I'm doing a session with novelist Holden Sheppard (see the side bar for a link to Holden's blog) and poet Elizabeth Lewis about what makes a writer want to write. And more importantly, keep writing. Oh dear. That's me, stalking around my lap top like it's going to bite me if I get too close. Maybe it will bite me, or maybe I'll just produce a mediocre bit of writing. Self loathing or self doubt is both poison and fuel for writers. Then there is laziness and a house to clean or possibly even restump. We are introduced in the program as a motley mob, which is kinda funny as I gave the programmers my scruffiest but favourite author photo:
Things get salty in the afternoon when I get together with the brilliant Amanda Curtin.
Her novel Elemental begins in the early 20th century with the herring girls, girls who followed the herring fishermen as the fish ran down the coast of Ireland. Their job was to gut and clean the fish. It's a wonderful novel that ends up in Fremantle. Amanda and I have done sessions together before and both of our books are oceanic with all of those myths and superstitions attached to that way of life. Fellow inlet-dweller and fisherwoman of legend Ms Mer has my copy of Elemental and won't give it back, it's that good.
On Saturday, I get together with Liz Byrski, Jodie Moffat and Susan Sullivan to talk about the anthology we produced Women of a Certain Age:
Also at the festival will be Kim Scott, Germaine Greer, Anna Funder, Michael Leunig and Germaine Greer and heaps of others and Germaine Greer. Here's a link to the program: