Things are gonna get Festive … for a week or two

August 27, 2010

Regular readers may be wondering where Netty’s Revisited (or whatever it is we’re calling it… what are we calling it Netty?) blog entry is. So am I. She tells me it will be posted on Monday. I wait with bated breath. Meanwhile, back to me.

A couple of months ago I was asked by Chris Flynn if I’d be interested in writing an “unofficial blog” for the Melbourne Writers Festival. Chris Flynn is a mate of mine, a bloke who’s published a couple of my short stories in his magazine, Torpedo, a bloke who’s hosted me at his weekly storytelling event at Dogs Bar in St Kilda (during which he referred to me as one of the nicest blokes he’s met in Melbourne, which makes me think he maybe needs to get out a bit more), the only human being I’ve ever met other than my good self who will not – WILL NOT – eat anything that has ever lived in  water, be it fresh or sea flavoured (the water, that is). And – oh yes, he’s pretty heavily involved in the Melbourne Writers Festival these days. Hence this post, which has nothing to do with anything Netty and I have done for the past two and a half years.

The festival began today. Today I did not attend any sessions. Because I worked today, and also because none of today’s sessions really grabbed me, but mostly because I am a lazy, lazy man. That said, I spent about half an hour in Fed Square and had a number of rather interesting conversations that included such topics as Bret Easton Ellis and is he smarmy and overly self-assured or just not prepared to buy into the shit a writer of his stature is expected to buy into (not that I’d know anything about his stature, I’ve never read his books although obviously Netty has) and why is it that only stupid people think they have interesting questions to ask him, country Victoria (that town, you know, that… where was that town?), the Eurovision Song Contest, non-attendance at a bonfire in said country town as a result of said Eurovision Song Contest being on the telly that night,  China Mieville’s imaginative weirdness and propensity to just make shit up including words that no one has ever used before and never, ever, ever will again, and that thing he does where he writes a paragraph, four or five sentences maybe, and there are like eight or nine ideas in there that no one has ever thought before, any one of which most writers would rejoice in having and write a novel if not a twelve-volume sci-fi sequence around, and old China just chucks it away in seven or eight words and you read it and you have no choice, you just go “WHAT THE FUCK?”

So anyway yeah. This is my excuse for a blog about the Melbourne Writers Festival when I didn’t actually go to the Melbourne Writers Festival today. This weekend and next, though, I will be out there. I will have oh you know what’s that word? Oh yeah. Stuff. I will have stuff to say. A bunch of other people have stuff to say too, infinitely more interesting and intelligent than the bollocks that rolls out of my booze-addled brain. I’ve just done my googly damnedest to find links to those people and failed rather dismally but I’ll have them up in the next day or two. There are plenty of sessions I’ll be attending in the next day or two but unlike my younger more tech-literate colleagues I won’t be posting from the festival itself (OK yes that means I don’t own a laptop).  I’ll attend my sessions, I’ll come home and I’ll blog. Tragically this means I probably won’t be able to attend any of the many, many festival parties to which I’ve apparently been invited.

But that’s all right, because I’ve always been very firmly of the opinion that writers aren’t supposed to drink in public. They’re supposed to wear ill-fitting clothes. look slightly strange when people are nice to them, and then go home. Where they drink until they fall over.

Speaking of which, my glass is empty.


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