You have syphilis 2 days early

It’s been a few days, courtesy of me not writing anything. I could blame the longer weekend I had, virtue of a flexiday, and argue I was busy relaxing. Truth is though I opted not to write. I had plenty of time in which to do so, but I preferred the company of Netflix on a lazy Friday, had a roadtrip to New Norcia for a writer’s festival on Saturday, and just read a lot on Sunday.

This was all time well spent, but I could easily have added a blog post here and there.

But I’m back now – whoo!

New Norcia Writer’s Festival. It was not that festive, but I guess that’s what you get for holding an event in what is effectively a giant monastery. I’m not sure I gained a great deal from the event, but it was relaxing, and there was the pleasant enjoyment of a picnic lunch with the missus and resident beagle.

There were four sessions over the day. The first was poetry, but unfortunately I didn’t realise that at first. This was partly due to the readings and their delivery I think. It’s obvious you’re reading poetry because of the way it’s presented, but some poems are difficult to discern when read out. Pity really because it seemed to be about country and landscape in Australia, my favourite subject photographically speaking.

The second session was quite annoying. The author, who is also a script writer, asked members of the audience to read out sections of dialogue from his book. I get what he was going for, but seems lazy to me. Audience participation should briefly supplement a wider presentation, or just be on its own as a separate event. In this case it seemed like laziness. I think the book was something to do with an arsonist being hunted by a fire psychologist/investigator (pretty sure it’s the plot of the film Backdraft). I couldn’t tell you anything about the author.

The third session was from an author called Natasha Lester, promoting her latest book. I had heard her speak before, and saw a sample of her work. I was less than impressed with the writing style. Don’t get me wrong, credit where credit’s due for getting published, but something about the style of writing I find really off putting. One line I particularly remember is “his tongue tunnelled it’s way into her mouth”. How, exactly, does a tongue tunnel it’s way anywhere?

In this particular case, she opted to act out scenes with the event organiser. There was even a guy at a piano playing jazzy interludes (the book is set in 1920’s New York). Unfortunately, like the poetry, the text of the book was hampered by the acting. Having said that, perhaps the acting reflected the nature of the writing. At least she spent some time talking about her process of writing.

The final session was for an author who had recently published a book about emigrating from Iran in the 1920’s. I don’t recall a great deal, being a little tired and distracted at that point. At a different time it might have been more of an interest.

That was the main thrust of that day. Yesterday was spent reading Chocolat, which is quite entertaining. I also made the decision to check my work emails briefly. Good thing I did. I realise it’s a bit like finding out your blood tests two days early – wouldn’t you want the ignorance to last a little longer? – but with work surprises are best left minimised. It paid off since I did all my frustrated exclamations and head shaking yesterday, and having mentally prepared for the workflow today.

See, the title made sense after all.


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