When I was in grade 2 I went to a different primary school for one year. It was the primary school where my dad was the Acting Principal. We would drive together in the little brownish orange Renault 12, which had one of those fold out arm rests in the middle of the backseat which formed an excellent border between two squabbling sisters, though of course on those days I sat in the front, except when we were driving Stuart Mitchell from across the road. He would get out at St Virgils and then I would climb over from the back seat into the front. It was 1982. The school was in Glenorchy, a suburb north of Hobart (actually its own municipality). On the way to school Dad would often stop at News'n'Chews, probably to buy cigarettes and a newspaper and I would get a "chew", a Whip or a Nudge, which were small then (the same size as a Milky Way), or a Caramello Koala, which of course you must always eat EARS first, then nibble the head until you reach the caramel, suck the caramel out, then consume, feet last. This is the only way to eat a Caramello Koala, and if you have been eating it the wrong way all this time then consider yourself edumacated. If you are from overseas and do not know what a Caramello Koala is, or if you are from the 90s onwards and do not know what a Nudge bar is, then alas.
Anyway, this is a newsy sort of post, so here it is:
Only Ever Always been shortlisted again! This time for the Western Australian Premier's Awards. My brother-in-law recently relocated to Perth after joining the Navy - he wants to be a submariner. Anyway, this seems a fair deal to me: a brother-in-law in exchange for a shortlisting. Thanks Western Australia! Crow Country, by my mate Kate, is also shortlisted, so are we officially a power couple?
The Melbourne Writer's Festival and me. I shall appear. It is coming up fast and I have dates. Would you like to date me? I am interviewing (Morris Gleitzman and Melina Marchetta!) and doing panels and even more daunting there is one session that is simply called Only Ever Always. Just me and my book. Woah. I would really love it if you come. Details to come about the interviews, but the three panels are available for booking. Remember to come by the signing table and say hello.
I have a story in Island 129, out this month (launched by Karen Pickering on Wednesday 18th in Hobart). For those of you interested in the relationship between life-writing, blogging, creativity and fiction, especially anyone who has been reading this blog for a while, you might like to know that the story has strong roots in the blog. This post here (about Snappy - ah Snappy) forms the backstory, and the actual incident the story was based on happened during this period, and some of the imagery from that poem ended up in the story, as well as this conversation with Una. The other thing that happens in the story is true too; I never quite got around to writing a blog post about it (though I wrote and rewrote it in my head). Anyway buy a copy of the magazine (or better still subscribe) here. I wonder if News'n'Chews stocks Island Magazine.
*When I googled to see if News'n'Chews was still there, I discovered I had used this title, and this anecdote, in 2007 for a similarly newsy blog post. Sheesh. We authors are always plagiarising ourselves. We need a refresh button.