Living in Fitzroy amongst other things.

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I'm housesitting in Fitzroy for just over a month. It's so interesting to live in someone else's house, be amongst someone else's things and stuff. The location is amazing (just near Smith and Gertrude - come visit!) and I like living alone. It's a novelty after living with my family for so long. Also, it's an apartment and it's nestled up against other apartments. I've never really lived so close to other people before.

I've made an October resolution, which is like a New Year's resolution, only made in October. It's to take more photos. So here are some photos of Fitzroy.

Last night I went to the launch of The Reader which is an anthology published by the Emerging Writers' Festival. Estelle gives a good run down on the contents here. The launch was fun and filled with interesting people, and the book is filled with stuff an 'emerging' writer should read. Although Aden Rolfe read some of his piece from the book about what 'emerging' really is. Am I emerging? I don't feel like it, I've only ever had one piece published, maybe one day soon I'll start emerging. Maybe.

Tomorrow is another of the Creative Writing Workshops at the City Library. They are still really fun and you should still come. Especially if you haven't before, if you feel stuck or stale or if your writing needs a boost. Come and play.

And afterwards come to the launch of Neon Pilgrim by the awesome (she really does inspire awe in me) Lisa Dempster. Her book is about the pilgrimage she made through Japan, it's honest and so funny. It's the kind of book that makes me laugh out loud and want to turn to strangers on the tram and read them bits to make them laugh too. The launch is tomorrow at Readings. See you there?

17 blog posts in 1.

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What a crazy couple of weeks. I feel like I should be writing about 17 blog posts, but instead I'm smooshing it all into one.

Went to Newcastle for This is Not Art. The festival is an umbrella festival for 5 smaller festivals, the main one I got excited about was the National Young Writers' Festival. It was intense and exciting, at times really overwhelming and it rained a lot of the time. Thank goodness for my new umbrella. I think the festival is really important for young writers' to feel a sense of community and to learn and be excited about the possibilities. That said, I've attended the festival three times now and still find it overwhelming and sometimes a bit cliquey. I think you have to go with determination to get involved in things and start conversations with the person next to you and go to launches and parties and that's how you have a really exciting NYWF.

Anyway, today on Textual Fantasies we are talking about online writing and blogging and all such stuff. It's stuff I don't really know a lot about, so tune in and listen to me learning stuff! That's today on your radio, SYN 90.7fm.

About a month ago I applied for a post on the Editorial Committee of Voiceworks magazine and I found out last week that I got it! I had my first editorial meeting on Tuesday and felt equal parts terrified and thrilled. I've never edited anything, though I have selected work for an anthology before. I've loved Voiceworks ever since I first heard of it back at uni, and for those of you who don't know (but should), it's a magazine for writers and artists who are under 25 years of age. It makes me love being 22. I went to the launch of the new issue Fluid on Thursday night and felt more and more excited. Especially because I won the raffle!

Something to be addicted to for a while is here at 12Words. And you could win a writing mentorship!

Textual Fantasies!

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I received a call last night from Dom, the radio manager at SYN telling me that Textual Fantasies will be! That means we'll be on air, Saturdays 1pm-2pm, every week until around the end of the year. How exciting!

If you have any suggestions for themes, content or guests let me know.

Ignorant Children and Billowy Beds

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Dearest sticksandstones, since naming you how I have neglected you!

There is one last Textual Fantasies show left! Which makes me very sad. Radio has been so invigorating and inspiring to do. Hopefully we'll be back on air in some form soon. We've talked to amazing people, just last week the kids from stop drop and roll and Harvest magazines. They are such down to earth people and they make me think that I can get somewhere with this writing stuff. Maybe. With lots of hard work.

I've been attending a Short Fiction course at the CAE for three weeks now. And so we have two weeks left. It's run by poet and author Claire Gaskin. Before the first class I was so nervous. In my head I'm really good at tackling new experiences and place and people but then my body reminds me that I do get scared. I workshopped in the second class and felt good but again, didn't realise how nervous I was until afterwards when I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw that my neck and chest had gone flaming red. But I got good comments and feedback, and more importantly I wrote something! Something that resembles a whole story and I quite like it so far. With a little more work it could be ready for submission.

Today I haven't felt like writing much, so instead I've been playing with words. There's an exercise I wanted to try for a while, which is really simple, just putting random nouns with random adjectives. Here's what I got:

Billowy Silence
Dusty Children
Eager Fighting
Ignorant Legs
Lopsided Bed
Obscene Failure
Tacky Honesty
Whispering Thrills

Some of which I quite like. Ignorant legs in particular. Changing them around I can make:

Ignorant Bed
Lopsided Children
Tacky Silence
Billowy Legs
Eager Honesty
Obscene Fighting
Whispering Failure
Dusty Thrills

Out of these I like Lopsided children and dusty thrills. Thrills that have been shut up in a cupboard for years.

There is a Writing Workshop this Wednesday at the City Library, 6pm - 7.30pm. Free and fun and informal and you should come.

sticks and stones will break my bones

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Not to name drop or anything, but last week while I was lunching with Cardigan Comics' Bernard Caleo and Express Media's George Dunford, I was asked what my blog's name was. And I floundered around a bit and finally said it didn't have one. Not really. And I went home, full of avocado and hot chocolate, and thought about what I wanted this blog for and why and what I should name it.

I came up with sticksandstones for lots of reasons. I like the alliteration and the way it sounds in my mouth. I like the image it brings to my mind when I look at the words. I like the association with the rhyme sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me because I've been thinking a lot about being tough and strong in a writerly world. Being ready and willing to be rejected and trying again. And mostly tough against my own inner critic. 

In other news, Textual Fantasies is powering along, this week we talk to Tom Cho and Callum Scott. It's hard when work is so busy and sometimes all-consuming to keep my head in the literary world and I'm so thankful and excited to have this blog and the radio show to help me.

Snippets

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Snippets from my journals:

We sit at the restaurant, our elbows touching, our plates pushed up against each other, wine glasses find precarious positions between them, and we wait for pauses in the conversation to talk. 

There’s a small scab on my arm and I want to pick it. I picked it once already and made it bleed but I’m itching to do it again

This is my rough copy. I’ll write it in greylead. But you might be able to see mistakes that I make. Rubbers never really rub everything out properly no matter how hard you rub.  

Snippets from my life:

Estelle and I had our first  Textual Fantasies show last week, and it went swimmingly. Amazing generous lovely guests, scriptwriters Lally Katz and Dan Giovannoni. Look them up. Tomorrow we have Ryan Paine and Jess Crouch to talk about editing. Radio is so fun. Listen in and text us to let us know if you do. 

I'm trying to work things up to submit, but the process is so scary and I end up reading and hating everything I write. How do you get past this? Mostly I just end up submitting and never thinking about the piece again until I hear. 

I want to start posting photos on this blog. Maybe I'll need to invest in a camera.



Bali and Radio!

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I got off a plane this morning at 8 o'clock. When I left Denpasar Airport in Bali last night it was around 34 degrees. This morning stepping into Melbourne, it was 3 degrees. But the sunrise was amazing. Bright rich orange lining the horizon, all stemming from the red rising sun in the middle. So that's the reason for the lack of blogs this last week or so, I've been sunning myself in Bali. Now I'm back and full of things to say!

First, impressions of Bali. It's so hot there. If Bali was a novel, the heat would be a character. Omnipresent, you wake and step out of the airconditioning to the heat. Sometimes the air cools, a breeze goes through and you feel like it's just that bit easier to breathe. But often the breeze goes, especially at night when you expect it to get cooler, it gets hotter because the wind has died.

Buildings in Bali are either tiny and crushed up against each other or oversized and enourmous standing next to open rice paddies. Kuta (the most touristy region and the site of the Bali Bombs) is crowded and full of people, hotels, hostels, dresses, souvenirs, t-shirts, stubby-holders, menus, signs, motorbikes, taxis, men, women. Everything pushes up against you, the heat, the people, the crush of words and signs and shops. I didn't like Kuta that much.

Driving to Ubud, further inland, away from the hyper-tourist scene of Kuta, it felt more like the Bali I wanted to explore. There were still plenty of tourist spots to visit, including the Monkey Forest (so cool!) but there was so much more space. Just driving felt so good, being able to watch Bali go by.

I had lots of ideas for stories while I was in Bali - we'll see what happens.

In other really exciting news, Estelle and I have been successful in our application to have a radio show on SYN! We'll be on your airways Saturdays from 1pm til 2pm, talking about all things bookish and literary. First show is on Saturday the 18th. Please let me know what you would like to hear about, who you would like to hear about - any and all suggestions will be entertained!