On Saturday morning I appeared in a panel at the Eltham New Voices alongside other bloggers, the eeerily familiar, don't-I-know-you-from-somewhere (he said it first but I was thinking it too) James Bradley of City of Tongues (also billed as international bestselling author - show off), writer-philosopher Damon Young and the ever delightful Karen Andrews, editor of Miscellaneous Voices, Australia's first blog anthology. The festival is organised by Mira of Eltham Bookshop, a lovely oldschool bookshop that stocks a goodly collection of poetry, short stories and children's books, and is very supportive of local authors and new talent.
The topic was blogging and new media, and ended up sort of being about its relationship to the book as well, considering we are all included in Miscellaneous Voices, which is, of course, as we experts like to call it, a book with a spine. And all of us are published authors who already have a public voice. It was fascinating and the discussion ranged from themes to do with community, identity, playfulness, direct relationships with the reader, writing in a populated place rather than into the void, habits of collecting, the flexible possibilities of writing online and finding new voices for ourselves.
It was a great event, lovely to see something happening out in the suburbs have such interest. The festival is in its fifth year, and clearly going strong.
The best part for me was hanging out with other writer-parents and talking about our bad habits and how we manage the work-life balance. And just making each other laugh.
Damon has a regular series of guest posts on his blog darkly wise, rudely great (what a great name) on tools writer's use and you can read my response here, fresh up today. I really recommend strolling through the archives of this series because it does make for fascinating reading.