Why go out when you have the interwebs?

I had planned to go to Footscray today. I’ve been wanting to write about Footscray ever since I saw someone dangle their toddler over the gutter. Unfortunately, it’s already nearing ten and I’m still in front of my computer, playing on the interwebs.

It’s hard to leave home when there are so many links demanding one’s attention. There’s The Lifted Brow’s upload of some of its sixth issue material. Someone had one too many bongs and uploaded a fifth of the content, which is shit but kind of funny at the same time.

Lisa Dempster has been forthcoming with ‘Money: how much I earn’ about how much she actually earns. She’s also followed up with a more reflective ‘Mo money, mo money’. I really hope someone from NYWF throws her onto a panel about mullah. *bangs her head against the desk for failing to submit an NYWF application*

Black Rider Press has released its April 10 issue of The Diamond & The Thief. April 10 features my story ‘Renovations’, which I have been pimping at Read You Bastards and Storytelling. The Diamond & The Thief always showcases a surprising amount of poetry, so I’m too intimidated to review it, but maybe I will bribe some poetically-orientated person to do it for me.

Island has created a beautiful home for its online journal Islet. They have also developed blog-like setup at Conversation.

And Twitter: I have finally succumbed to peer pressure and got myself a Twitter account. Follow me at msthuylinh and I’ll try not to spam you.

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April 12: What’s happening, Melbourne?

According to my personal assistant, Facebook, there’s a poetry gig going down at Readings Carlton 6.30pm tonight. It’s free and it’s featuring Jodie Albiston, Jennifer Harrison, and Josephine Rowe.

The launch for Miscellaneous Voices: Australian Blog Writing # 1 will also be held at Readings Carlton. Miscellaneous Voices # 1 showcases writing from writer bloggers such as Angela Meyer,  Lisa Dempster, and A.S. Patric. Things start happening at 6pm on Wednesday, 14 March.

Storytelling @ Dog’s Bar is now free and we like free things. We also like the starving artist’s specials in the restaurant next door. The likes of Angela Meyer (Literary Minded) and George Dunford (Lonely Planet) will be in the comfy armchair this Thursday, so have your $16 meal+wine and listen to some quality rambling.

The leather armchair at Dog's Bar (courtesy of Storytelling).

For all of those people who prefer swimming to jogging, drinking to eating, and drowning to spontaneous combustion, Waterproof’s performers will be splashing about in the Melbourne City Baths, starting Friday 16 March. Prose is by Read You Bastards’ Bastard Simon McInerney, aka ‘that guy who reads about murderers disposing body parts in Williamstown and the Maribynong River’, so it should be dark, fascinating stuff.

And, for those in a monogamous relationship with their computers and aren’t allowed to see other people, Elena Gomez has reviewed Issue One of Kill Your Darlings. It’s interesting comparing other people’s reviews with mine. Ditto in regards to Gideon Haigh, girl!

NYWF 2010 Wishlist

Dear TINA,

For this year’s NYWF, I would like a spelling bee with words in it like phenolphthalein, scissile, dhoop, and bivouac.

I would also like free wifi at Festival Club. Internet cafes are expensive in Newcastle; some of us bloggers can’t afford to blog every day while we’re at TINA.

An electronic graffiti installation would be neat too. NYWF punters can scrawl words and diagrams onto tablet PCs and have it projected onto a wall. It would be just like Perth’s Street Art project. Or, if electronic graffiti is a no go, at least can we have a tweet screen similar to Eat Drink Blog 2010’s?

Finally, I would like a ‘Money is not a dirty word’ panel with Lisa Dempster, Tom Cho, and Chris Flynn discussing money, an important but often neglected part of independent publishing and early writing careers. Lisa would talk about freelancing and making money via web publishing (as per her articles in The Reader and Unwakeable), Tom would talk about the grant application process, and Chris would talk about his experience running various journals. It’s something I haven’t seen before, and TINA, if you make this happen, you’d make me so happy, and I’ll promise to be the most enthusiastic festival punter ever.

Yours Sincerely,

Thuy Linh

I want to ride my bicycle

I finally got my bike back from the old man who fixes bikes down the road. It’s been three months or more since I last saw it, and more than three months since I last rode it. I nearly cried as I clambered over the skeletons of less fortunate bikes: it had been so long and over the phone, it sounded like he wasn’t sure what had happened to it exactly, and ‘no, it hasn’t been fixed, yet’. I should have harrassed him to fix it earlier but he looked like an old man who might visit my pharmacy, and I hate conflict; I just couldn’t bring myself to throw a long overdue ‘I want my bike back’ tanty, after having been on the receiving end of many a ‘I want this medicine without a script, and I want it now’ tanty.

But the bike is back, and it’s time to celebrate with some Queen:

Anyway, Storytelling is on again tonight at Dog’s Bar in St Kilda. I went along to last week’s gig and was surprised by the small turnout. It seems that not many people know of it. Well, I’m telling you about it now: this week’s tales will be provided to you by Lisa Dempster, EWF director and blogger extraordinaire, and Kalinda Ashton, The Danger Game novellist and associate editor of Overland. The stories start at 8pm and there will be a couple of open mic spots for anyone who wants to sit on stage in the comfy leather airchair.

Excuses, excuses

I’ve been very bad with the not posting lately. Blame Labour Day long weekends and hail the size of golf balls (not that I got to see any of Melbourne’s freak storm, since I was raining it in Macedon). I’d like to think that you’ve missed me, but you probably haven’t, and now after the dispensing of my uninventive excuses, I have some photos in the style of Read You Bastards for your viewing pleasure:

March 1: Debut Mondays

There’s something imposing about the Wheeler Centre’s set up for Debut Mondays. Big stage, giant lights and scaffolding, minimalist coffee table crowded with a jug and glasses of water, and rows upon rows of chairs. Most of the rows filled up and the writers were herded up on stage for the slaugh…er…reading.

I had seen Andrew Croome read before, in the bowels of the Empress, but I hadn’t been able to concentrate there with the eating and the drinking; it was much easier to conjure Canberra suburbia  in the hush of the Wheeler Centre. I finally got to listen to a passage from Lisa Dempster’s Neon Pilgrim, and was introduced to LK Holt’s fantastical verse. Tom Cho, on the other hand, is comfortingly familiar like a favourite film with his AIYO!!! An Evil Group of Ninjas is Entering and Destroying a Call Centre!!! He also read Counting Rhyme, which translates well as spoken word, and a section from Look Who’s Morphing.

After the readings, wine was consumed, conversation was made. We relocated to Section 8 after getting kicked out of the Wheeler Centre (boo!) and Lisa had her first drink(s) after a month of sobriety (yay!).

Debut Mondays runs fortnightly at the Wheeler Centre. Check out www.wheelercentre.com for more details.

March 1: What’s happening, Melbourne?

I told somebody I was Tom Cho-ing the other day; they laughed and said Tom would be pleased to find out that he’s now a verb. (Tom Cho-ing – v. 1. going out to see Tom Cho at the Wheeler Centre on 1 March 2010 for Debut Mondays.) Other writers who might also be turned into verbs today will be Lisa Dempster, Andrew Croome, and LK Holt.

Read You Bastards is getting Lifted this Wednesday at the Empress. (Lifted – adj. 1. Lifted Brow-ified and therefore awesome.) Guest readers will be contributors from The Lifted Brow’s Atlas issue, including Nicolas Low, Angela Meyer, and Lorelei Vashti. No Atlases on sale this Wednesday (sold out), but there’ll probably be some back issues available at the door or you can preorder an Atlas reprint at www.theliftedbrow.com. I will also attempt to encourage/bully open mic newbie Christine Priestly into doing another reading.

Sketch is launching their second issue on Thursday night at Chaise Lounge. After hearing them talk about their lack of (wo)manpower at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, I volunteered to help proofread their second issue. I haven’t seen the final proofs yet, but hopefully Sketch 2 will be good. There’s this amazing story by new writer Clare Kitada in it and I’m looking forward to seeing it in print.

Friday will be Domestic Rock ‘n’ Roll night for Sospeso Readings. Derek Motion and Nathan Curnow will be performing, along with a whole lot of open mic peeps. I won’t be able to make it because OHMIDOG I AM SEEING RICHARD DAWKINS, but I really really liked the last Sospeso and I think you should like totally go to this one, like yeah.

Signing off for now, lots of photos soon,

TL.

Lifted Brow’s Atlas Launch

Atlas liasons at Bella Union Bar:

gaijin geishas and short shorts ninjas

suicide bombers who can’t be farked after a beer

tie skirts and kilts and (hopefully) underwear

Angela Jolie with a basketful of babies

and fur stole translations

on a bright blue sea.

England represent (Laura Smith). (22/1/10)

Norweigan (Angela Meyer) and gaijin geisha (Lisa Dempster) at The Lifted Brow's Atlas launch. (22/1/10)

Read You Bastards 3

On Thursday, I finished my random pharmacy shift and headed down to The Empress for some Bastards action of the non-Tarantino kind.  I was bummed for missing out on the first set, which included a reading from Lisa Dempster, but I did get to see (and record) Allison Browning’s performance of an untitled piece. 

The sound quality isn’t great, so you might want to read the written version here

Spoken word nights are a bit hit and miss. Read You Bastards 3 isn’t an exception to the rule, though I do enjoy the mash of curated/non-curated prose/poetry and the ambience of The Empress, but Ozlem Baro’s ‘Hotel’ was the highlight of the second set, its vulnerability silencing the crowded room.

I also performed my piece, ‘Patrick Bateman’, a homage to American Psycho. I had consumed American Psycho during my Deakin years; the novel is a fascinating study technique-wise and I had wanted to reconstruct its style and write about the act of. Anyway, I performed the first half of ‘Patrick Bateman’, got feedback from Lisa (yay!) and ate some of her vegan birthday cake before trundling home. Lisa, I owe you a birthday drink…possibly two.

Reading 'Patrick Bateman' @ Read You Bastards 3 (photo courtesy of Read You Bastards peeps)

Reading 'Patrick Bateman' @ Read You Bastards 3 (photo courtesy of Read You Bastards peeps)

No. 3 was the last Read You Bastards for Visible Ink, but the 2009 editorial team may continue the Bastards tradition in 2010. Meanwhile, Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 is launching on Monday, 9 November 2009. The cover’s beautiful; lets hope that the words are equally gorgeous.

Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 (image courtesy of www.visibleinkmag.wordpress.com)

Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 (image courtesy of http://www.visibleinkmag.wordpress.com)

Getting Friendly with Read You Bastards

In August, intrepid me decided to check out the inaugural Read You Bastards night at The Empress Hotel, and despite the lack of entourage, I got up on stage to read my one and only poem, ‘Red Den Beauty’. Fast forward a couple of months: I still only have one poem worth reading, but at least I won’t be reading to strangers. Ohmidog, I have friends who are word nerds and not doctors, pharmacists, or salsa dancers.

Yep, Lisa Dempster will be there, reading from her latest book, Neon Pilgrim, as well as Allison Browning and Anthony Noack (those cool Vis Ink kids from NYWF), and a dog and a cat and possibly a horse and some baked goods. I wish I wasn’t working but I am, so I will be late but hopefully I’ll be right to read. Time for some Patrick Bateman, perhaps?

Suit A has a theory about emergency departments after seeing his share of waiting rooms, those beige-coloured boxes filled with beige-coloured plastic chairs full of ‘medical emergencies’ who get up and jingle about on their two legs (or maybe a wheelchair)…

Who knows? Come see. Read You Bastards 3 happens this Thursday. Words start flying at 8pm.