National Young Writers Fest/TiNA blogging 2009 #1
Oct 2, 2009
I’ve had three hours sleep, the internet cafe clock doth tick, and I may be wildly incoherent, but let me try and place you here in Newcastle.
I’ll go backwards.
The reason I didn’t sleep is because I have too much adrenaline, and though I was in bed by one I kept thinking about tsunamis and earthquakes and I thought the siren was an alarm. Obviously I’m just anxious about doing well on all my panels here and at Ubud and it’s manifesting as natural disaster fears.
Prior to the not-sleep, myself and several other people were ushered quietly into an exhibition space for the ‘Late Night Mystery Meat’ to draw the shadowed curves of naked bodies arranged under a life-size sculpture of f**king giraffes. I won a raw sausage.
Before that, a mixed-bunch of writers and drunks read letters (to celebs, unsent, and miscellaneous) and I got a bit lost in ginger beer/wine haze and was a bit shocked by an erotic love letter to Martin Bryant.
During the night I got to meet lots of people whose net-selves I have become fond of: Lorelei Vashti, Benjamin Law, Chris Somerville. I think I saw Derek Motionbut I wasn’t sure because I haven’t seen a whole photo of him. Only a dreadlock. Derek, was it you? We must chat.
In the Masonic Hall (the festival club) where we made up mysteries for the hole in the wall, bolshy girls in white button-up shirts no pants, and Clockwork Orange make-up, danced beside boys with concave stomachs and hats. The tang of young sweat, and some hip-hop beats and raps.
There was a man who looked like he’d ventured out from his Star Trek lounge room. Alone. Trying to make eye contact with someone. There were oily heads and knee socks and piercings galore and everyone here has that sweet edge of misfit, yet all fitting together.
Only one ladies toilet in the festival club, silver palm trees on the wall and girls adjusting their bums when they came out. Short-short girls in dangerous red lipstick.
For dinner, went to a Krishna restaurant, where the man lovingly and meticulously served rice and curried vegetables – just one more potato here, a blob of this sauce – with a genuine smile, welcoming you to come back for sweets you’d be too full for after the big meal.
The sun, the beach I ran to as soon as I came. Wanting the taxi driver to know I was a NSW coastal girl at heart. Why did I need him to know?
On the plane – nauseating bumps on descent. The alcoholic couple in front of me – weathered, bandy legged-and rough. I wondered where they were going and why. They kissed a lot. I wondered if they got violent too.
My first panel is today. I’ll try and get on when I can and give you updates. Do follow me on Twitterfor the occassional update or pic. Sorry if I take a little while to moderate or reply to comments. Good times. I need breakfast. (See how you’re my priority though?)
Unlock articles instantly and get Crikey in your inbox each weekday.
Sign up FREE for your 21-day Crikey trial.