Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Perth Writer's Festival, plus a day at the Show

Okay, I know, I'm a bad blogger. Sadly the last couple of weeks have, thanks to a combination of sickness, work and preparation for a writer's festival, been a veritable catalogue of exhaustion.

Still, here I am now, in my parent's house in Greenmount (Toby and I got here yesterday to discover that, thanks to a freak storm which had swept across Perth the previous day, mum and dad hadn't had power for more than 24 hours. Luckily my dad, who is perhaps the most resourceful bloke I know, had managed to borrow and rig up a generator, so at least we had cold beer (for me) and icecream (for Toby)) The trip across was actually pretty good. Toby was voted best child on the plane by everyone sitting around us, which was gratifying, and we both basked in all the help and attention that a lone father travelling with a garrulous two year old can generate.

Tomorrow, I launch into my programme at the Perth Writer's Festival, starting with their schools day. These are always a great deal of fun - I had a ball earlier this year at the Sydney Writer's Festival schools days, and I'm sure that the Perth day tomorrow will be just as good. In the afternoon, I'm doing a session with New Zealand Writer Bernard Beckett, who I met a couple of years ago at Reading Matters in Melbourne, and whose novel Genesis is still one of my favourite YA speculative fiction novels ever.

On Saturday, I'm lucky enough to be chatting with my friend Margo Lanagan, who continues to make me horribly jealous of her capacity to write the most imaginative, gut wrenching short stories (and novels) I've ever read. We're going to be chatting along with Will Elliot, who I've never met, but am really looking forward to crossing paths with.

That's one of the things I love about writer's festivals, actually - I always meet new and interesting people. In Sydney last year I met another Kiwi, Brian Faulkner, and we had a great time doing our panel session there together. On Saturday, Margo, Will and I are talking about The Magic of Oz - is there an 'Australian' Fantasy voice? (And does it matter...)

I'm also taking a workshop that afternoon, looking at fantastic worlds. There are still places available, I notice, in case you're, you know, in Perth and bored. I'll be talking about Freud, Asimov, and Isobelle Carmody, among others. It should be a lot of fun.

In any case, the evening is fast approaching here, and (now that the power is back on) Mum and Toby and I are heading up to the local pool for a little bit of a dip. So I'm going to leave you with a few photos taken last weekend, when Min and I took our little boy to the Canberra Show. We did well this year - we managed to spend four hours there, and left without any showbags, and after only minimal junk food consumption. We walked about ten kilometres. We got dusty and thirsty. There were donkey rides. And fire engines. And facepainting. Fun was had by

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