In the morning I woke up and looked at tweets on my phone while lying in bed. One tweet I looked at was by Tao Lin, who was in Australia for the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Writer’s Festivals. Tao Lin’s tweet said, does anyone in Brisbane have marijuana email@example.com. I copied the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and wrote Tao Lin an email.
You are so cool! You look so nice today! How are you doing? Are you doing swell?
Gosh it feels like we’ve been apart for so long, and we HAVE, because we (Sian, James, and Sam) are all together in Melbourne for the Emerging Writers’ Festival! Wow!
Along with attending some rad panels and getting saturated with inspiration, we’ve been ~networking~ and ~repping the mag~ all over the show but mostly at the SCUM X VOICEWORKS BOX SOCIAL on Saturday afternoon. Boy howdy that was a fun time! It was a delight & a pleasure to meet all the cool cats from the Voiceworks editorial committee and all the other talented and charming guests—thank you SO much for coming along, and thank you as well to everyone who participated in our #boxsocial Twitterfall–wow! 2013!! We had readings from Jessica Alice, Broede Carmody and Oliver Mol (Sam said some junk also) and the whole thing was facilitated by the v. outstanding Kat Muscat. Everyone is so clever and beautiful and patient with Sian’s chicken stories and we’re all still blushing about it.
When we get off the 109 tram, the families in their Sunday sunny-day spring clothes flock to Ikea for meatballs and the promise of home improvement. On the other side of the road, a cul-de-sac is trying to swallow a footbridge inconspicuously with minimal success. Dry, dusty bushland circles the footbridge as the Yarra slithers and wiggles beneath our wooden floorboards like a cheerful Slip ’n Slide in a summer backyard. If it rained for a thousand years and the Yarra rose to meet us, I think, this footbridge would make a fine raft. I imagine sliding down the bend of the Yarra, sliding for years, and the conversations I would have with everyone else crossing the bridge with me when the water rose. I would learn the names of their families and where they went to school. When we finally made it home, we would write postcards to each other, and be friends for the rest of our lives.
Last year, at the annual National Young Writers’ Festival in Newcastle, I was asked to be an emergency addition to a debating team made up of writers arguing the topic ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ The debate, hosted by the awesome Scissors Paper Pen collective, was designed to unearth the biggest arguments for either staying in smaller towns or leaving them in pursuit of bigger cities when it comes to pursuing a creative career. As we sat there formulating our arguments in the bar at Newcastle’s Great Northern Hotel, our fingers sticky from cider and wedges, I realised that the topic couldn’t have come at a weirder time for me.