Festival Feast And 500 Words

And we’re back.

After an extended break over the festive season – slave to the demands of “the world of real things” as author John Birmingham describes it – Waxings is back in business.

This weekend, yours truly and Tamara Hunter are sucking the literary marrow from the bones of the Perth Writers Festival. The festival features a great line-up of speakers and writing-related topics and we’ve been running hither and yon, gathering the tastiest titbits to share with you. Reports will be posted anon.

But first, the 500-word challenge.

The first challenge for the year is now open. Write 500 words around the theme ‘intrigue’ and send them to waxings.blog@gmail.com by midnight on 1 April 2012 (AWST, GMT+8) to be in the running for a copy of The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.

We are also taking new submissions of writing for our poetry, tasters and short story sections for community feedback. If you haven’t read the latest offering, Tangled Lines: The Prologue, by Kimberlee Akimoto and Mark Cunningham, stop by and tell us what you think. Then take a cruise around the rest of the site. Constructive comment is both welcome and encouraged.

Have to dash to the next PWF session now but I’ll leave you with a few noteworthy quotes from Day 1.

On research:

I needed to know whether you could use a vacuum cleaner to suck out an eyeball. So I took the vacuum cleaner at home and put it to my eye and gently turned it on…it seems you can’t suck out an eyeball. – Jo Nesbo.

When I went down the storm drains of Capetown…it was really interesting to me just doing research in terms of the stuff you can’t imagine, the details like, I didn’t realise there were so many cockroaches everywhere and they are congealed in lumps on the walls. – Lauren Beukes.

On writing about sex:

The reality is that most of us, lots of us, spend a lot of time thinking about or pursuing or failing to get sex. Given that I write about the whole human animal, it is inevitable I am going to write about sex. – Glen Duncan.

I like to consider myself as a pornographer rather than a writer of erotica because I prefer the whole chicken to the feather. – Krissy Kneen.

On genre writing:

I was a completely accidental crime writer…it was only when I was asked by my publisher what I was going to write next and I had this great idea for a romance and they said: ‘You can’t do that, you’re a crime writer’. I said: ‘Where does it say that?’ and they said: ‘It’s in your contract’. – Michael Robotham

There are some really, really brilliant writers that are writing at the moment. Down the track, they will look at this era and say it was a golden age for crime writing. – Michael Robotham

On repeated rejection by publishers:

It boils down to a degree of talent and persistence. You need both.  Even if you are a genius, if you don’t get off your backside and persist, forget it. – Leigh Hobbs

On character creation:

Just because Mr Chicken has no head and looks like something you would cook, there’s no excuse for him not to look nice. So I gave him a hat. – Leigh Hobbs

On writing about dark matter:

It’s cathartic for the writer and the reader which is why readers are so often drawn to really dark matter and to tragic stories, because there is a sense of coherence you get through having it put in a story form.  – Elliot Perlman.

On blogging:

I didn’t join for the community, I joined because I wanted to show off – Marieke Hardy

On output:

I try to write 5000 words a day.  – John Birmingham.

Gulp.  On that note – get to it people!

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4 Responses to Festival Feast And 500 Words

  1. Hazel says:

    I look forward to reading more of your writer’s festival coverage..you and Tamara did a great job last year..much more indepth then anyone else. The next best thing to being there!

  2. Hmmm… “So I took the vacuum cleaner at home and put it to my eye and gently turned it on”…

    Gotta love research. I hiked the Milford Track for research, and I thought that was pretty-well nuts, but clearly I’ve got nuthin’ on these guys.

    Love these quotes, thank you! 🙂

  3. So great to have your posts from the festival. Aim for 2013 – to be there! Now for those 5,000 words!!

  4. 5000 words a day, eep! I need to up my game.

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