Last Wednesday, I went away for a few days to Taradale, to write. It was a productive time, if only because I made some decisions about book 3, wrote a few words, read (one of the new Black Inc Writers on Writers volumes, Erik Jensen on Kate Jennings; and Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, which I found sitting on the shelves in the accommodation. I’d not read it before. This is the beauty of no internet: Reading.)
On Saturday, I went along to the Newstead Short Story Tattoo. The venue was the AMAZING old butter factory: Butterland. Oh what a place. I will think about those rooms, that garden, that aesthetic, for the rest of my life as one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. But I got there early, for the event, so was swept along to the pub by the organiser, Neil Boyack. At the pub, in the garden, Phil Mac was performing. He did a poem/song with a saw and violin bow and the sound that it produced was so haunting and ethereal.
Back at Butterland at 2.30pm, and it was time for The Women Are Talking, including Jenny Valentish (her book Woman of Substances is a really good read. She is a terrific writer and the book is underpinned with citations from evidence-based research; important topics about girls/women, addiction and trauma) and a fabulous poet called Annabel Tellis. Annabel was a powerhouse of talent, humour and depth. Keep an eye out for her, I know she lives down the Great Ocean Road way… what a woman. She recited a poem that personalised Johanna Beach as a character, a shrieking, needy, rage-filled woman. So great.
[Click link to learn more about the space and people who bought and re-enervated Butterland]