Another Belated Update (23rd December, 2009)

Happy Christmas, everyone!

I thought today might be the last opportunity I have to update this, my writing journey ramble-blog, since it’s been so difficult to find a spare moment lying around during the busyness of the season and, since also, I leave for my trip to Israel pretty much as soon as the new year begins. After that there’s Waicon (where I’m cosplaying Nami from Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece. If that didn’t make any sense to you at all, please don’t worry!) and then, before you know it, it’s February. If I have access to a hotel computer or an internet café or something in Israel, I will try to blog/communicate something whilst abroad; we’ll see …

Right. Well, (haha, yes! It is very good to ‘write well’, isn’t it? Heheh …)

Please excuse me. I’m slightly insane and an idiot.

Right. Well, since I last wrote, THINGS HAVE BEEN CRAZY! I finished my zine just in time for the launch of dotdotdash issue 2: Ugly. I called it Of Teabags and Tadpoles, and it’s chock-full of haiku, haiku and more haiku. There’s even a haiku story in it. If you’re not already sick of haiku from hearing me rave and moan about them all the time, you might like the zine. I’m going to try very hard to post a preview of the zine below this entry. If all goes successfully, you will be able to read a snippet from The Tragic Tale Of The Lady Who Could Only Speak Using Haiku. I hope you like it. Oh, and it’s definitely not autobiographical! I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was writing about myself – certainly not! Me? Obsessed with haiku? Never! (Editor’s Note: Denial.) Unable to escape? Pah … don’t make me chortle excessively until the pain is so bad a rib pops out! I’m fine! (Editor’s Note: If you are reading this, please send help. I have issues. It may already be too late for me.)

Anyway, yes: I wrote another zine. If you would like one, they cost $4. You can either buy them from The Perth Zine Collective if you find them at the weekend markets somewhere outside PICA (Or so I’m led to believe …) or from me somehow. If you’re interested, we can talk. Message me.

And while I’m on the topic of zines, it wouldn’t be right for me to promote my own without giving mention to a few others that I really like. Without trying to be (inevitably) biased here, I want to say that you simply must get a hold of A Zine about Monsters with Babies Hugging Them: Melodica Zine 1. It’s printed in full-colour and has juicy illustrations from emerging artist Mel Pearce that are bound to delight or tickle the fancy of any fan of monsters, or babies, or babies hugging monsters. Oh, and while you’re at it, I hear Justin Pearce’s I Hate The Bird is also a riveting read! Come with the author on a journey of soul-searching in which he digs deep and explores fear, love, hatred, and revenge – a bargain at only $2 a copy. Then there’s The Reason for Eleanor’s Miserable Childhood, written and illustrated by Elizabeth Tan. You might already know her as the writer and illustrator of Instructions for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse In Rhyming Couplets, a fantastic zine which is just that. Eleanor’s Miserable Childhood is about – well, I won’t spoil it for you! You’ll just have to read it yourselves. All I will do here is nod in agreement with Pat Johnson’s observation about Tan’s illustrative talent when she said a few months ago, ‘It’s amazing how the careful placement of two dots determines Eleanor’s expressions.’

And while I’m still on the topic of zines, if you live in the Perth area, please do pay The Perth Zine Collective a visit. They have such wonderful goodies on sale; Andrei Buters’ Dead By 30, Anna Dunnill’s Okay Ampersand … I could go on, but I can’t remember everything. I just know that when I had the opportunity to peruse the tasty collection The PZC were purveying outside the bookshop I work in last week, I wished I had lots of dollars in my pockets. There were so many beautiful zines … oh!

And they were also stocking dotdotdash. The. Best.

Enough about zines. (Editor’s Note: For now …)

Mel and I were given the opportunity to help out at the dotdotdash launch on the 12th of December. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a cozy evening of couches, Naama’s Wonderful Homemade Tahini, readings, cute commissioned creations from seamstress Bo Ra and just fabulous music from the likes of Li’l Leonie Lionheart, Namoowolf Downs, Triangles, Reverse Engine Ear , and Apriry Ly. Mel and I had a great time. The pretty coloured lanterns swaying above our heads in the warm breeze made us nostalgic for a night in Darwin, putting us in the perfect mood to sketch/haiku for dotdotdash donations! Oh, and editor Elizabeth Tan asked me to read my creative non-fiction piece Green Ants on the stage, which was awesome to do, if a little nerve-wracking and personal since it’s about a memory of me at approx. ten years old and being self-conscious about various body features. When she was introducing me, Liz said some things that will stick with me forever – some of the kindest words anyone’s ever said to me about my writing. Truth was, I felt so incredibly touched by what she said that I would rather have tottered off the stage and had a little cry instead of reading about my tummy and face, but I’d promised her … so I read.

One last thing about dotdotdash – submissions for Issue 3: Home close on the 15th of January, so send something in! Visit the website for details and submission guidelines …

Lastly, Indigo Journal will be celebrating the launch of volume 5 at 6:15pm on Saturday the 27th of February at the Perth Writer’s Festival, and I will be, too! I’m very pleased that my poem ‘Three years later’ will be appearing in the volume (and not just because it’s a paid gig!). The poem means a lot to me as I wrote it about the grief that lingers long after someone special has left us; in my case, my dad. I originally penned it for a Poetry at Pat’s ‘assignment’ as one of my first attempts in the pantoum form and it’s remained one of my personal favourites simply because writing it was a difficult but necessary response for where I was at in my own grieving process. I’m happy that it was picked for publication in Indigo because I know it will be treated with sensitivity and respect.

I’d better get off the computer now because Mel wants to pluck my other eyebrow. It’s quite sadistic. I had to run out to go veggie shopping when she was half-way through (plus I needed a break from the pain!). I combed my fringe over the unplucked brow so that I wouldn’t look permanently surprised …

Wish me luck … (Editor’s Note: SAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEE!)

Thanks again for reading. You are great.
~ Erin ‘Editor’s Note’ Pearce ~

Leave a comment »

Eccentric, Stupid and Insanely Last-Minute (19th of November, 2009)

(I wrote this entry in my diary the night after the Writer’s Night at Subiaco Library for Richard Rossiter …)

**********

Last night went a lot better than I expected it would!

Editor’s Note: The writer pens this in reference to the crisis faced the day before, whereby she decided that the piece she had intended to read for the audience was both too long and just too strange for the evening. In a fit of unprofessional and amateurish panic, she contacted the coordinator to inform her of this the day of the event. The response was, surprisingly, one of patience and unruffled understanding: ‘Just read something you feel comfortable with, Erin, something that you feel represents you as a writer.’ ‘Heheh,’ the writer thought to herself, ‘Something that represents me as a writer. That means I need to read something eccentric, stupid, and insanely last-minute … now where am I going to find something like that …?’ Suffice to say, she was, at this point, joking with her sister about reading from her train journal …

At 5:46pm, Mel and I drive into the City-of-Subiaco-Council-Place Car Park. We miss the (well-hidden) lane through to the library and I have to do a 7-point turn to get back out of the strange gully we find ourselves cornered in …

At 5:48pm, we’re laughing at the sign stuck onto the witch’s hat in a car bay directly outside the rear entrance of the Subiaco Library. It says: PARKING RESERVED FOR ERIN PEARCE (Boy, do I feel all embarrassed and important now!) Right beside my parking space is one for Mr Richard Rossiter, the author and star of tonight’s program. We press a green button beside the door and a man named Peter lets us in (Mel peeks over my shoulder and, reading my typing, asks, ‘How do you know his name was Peter? Erin? How do you know?’ It’s ‘cause his name badge said so, that’s how!). I’m not quite sure what to say since no one has given me a password or a code … so I say, ‘Hello, I’m Erin,’ and Peter smiles and says, ‘Yes. You’re expected.’ I say, ‘Oh, cool. And this is Mel, my sister.’

At 5:50pm, I’m shaking Richard Rossiter’s hand and he’s saying very nice things about My Scallywag Suit, which he read today because he found out that I would be reading tonight. (He tells me he was the fiction editor for Indigo Vol. 3). I feel sheepish because I haven’t read anything of his yet, and he recognises me from the Indigo launch last February. (Perhaps Georgia Richter introduced us?)

But he’s very nice about this. In fact, overall, Richard Rossiter seems to be a genuinely nice and kindly man. At this point, I’m very excited to be involved in his evening … but then I admit to him that I’m actually still not sure what I’m going to read. ‘Oh, Erin!’ he says, sympathetically. I tell him I don’t want to put a dampener on his night or detract from his work … and he says he’s certain I won’t let him down.

I have two poems in my handbag, as well as a copy of ‘No Place Like Home’ (which, by now, I’m 100% convinced that I will not be reading. Earlier on, I said to mum, ‘I’m not reading that story tonight’, and she looked at me and said, ‘Are you sick?’ I had to explain that I wasn’t cancelling the reading … just that story!) I have one more thing in my handbag: my train diary, containing 4 episodes of ‘This Is The Story Of Levi Livewire’

At 5:57pm, Linda’s ushered Mel and I over to the drinks table where we grab some orange juice. Mel disappears into the children’s library to gawk at the beautiful mural by Shaun Tan. I join her.

At 6:09pm I’m talking to Maureen Gibbons and Deb Hunn, and it’s so nice to see them … but now I’m 10 times more nervous than I was before because now there are now recognisable faces in the crowd I’ve been attempting to avoid/ignore/pretend isn’t there.

At 6:13pm I’m in the ladies toilets, pacing while my hands flick dry. I trip over my bag and say, ‘Oh Lord, please help me with this!’ I stare into the mirror and determine that I will read Levi Livewire, despite what I said to Mel minutes earlier (which went something like this: ‘Mel, we’re the youngest people here. There’s no one close to our age. They’re all nice old people. They won’t understand ‘Levi’. This is gonna be bad. This is not gonna go well… I’ll have to read my poetry instead.’)

At 6:15pm The ‘Emerging Writer’ finally emerges from the toilets having psyched herself up with some form of plastic confidence. We take our seats. Richard and I sit in the 2 of 3 plush red chairs at the front of the room, off to the side. I am so nervous I could spew. Everyone looks so clean. What will they think of me?

At 6:35pm Linda makes a really nice little speech about me and my writing life so far. She mentions my Honours, my novel, my being published in Indigo and dotdotdash, and my being selected for FAWWA’s (hypothetical) Young Writer in Residence Program in 2010, and after each thing she mentions all the ladies in the audience give a pleasant little gasp and I hear someone say, ‘Oh, well done!’ (I’m not sure if they’re saying that for me, or for Linda, who’s doing such a good job of hosting! ) Because everyone knows who I am and are all smiling and looking really expectant of me now, my nerves have reached a pinnacle/point/peak so I won’t remember much of what happens next, but … it goes a lot better than I think/thought it will/would …

I walk to the front and say that I’m nervous. I hold up a little book and say, ‘I’m not going to be reading what I thought I would be reading for you tonight. I decided to read from my train diary, from a story I’ve been scribbling on lately called ‘This Is The Story Of Levi Livewire’. Levi is a simple bloke who has a girlfriend named Bryony H. Marker and a brother named Flintley and he lives with his parents John and Alice. I’ll read from episode 4 …’

**********

When I asked Mel how she thought it all went, she looked happy and said that they all seemed enjoy the reading. There were chuckles after most of my ‘jokes’ and a healthy little round of applause afterwards (and that same lady said, ‘Oh, well done’ again so I knew it was for me!) When I asked her what I said before I read, she said, ‘You basically put it down and said how bad it was gonna be. You need to stop doing that.’

Anyway, (Editor’s Note: Man, this writer is longwinded!) overall it was a lovely evening! Richard read ‘Painting’ from Arrhythmia, a very endearing and bittersweet story. I loved his character, Emily. I wish I could have talked longer but time did not permit. I bought his book – autographed and all! I still can’t believe I unleashed Levi on the public. I had to explain to quite a few people (who thought they were being given a sneak-peek into an upcoming novel, that I was reading from a manuscript or something …) that Levi only existed in my scribbles so far. Deb said she thought I should ‘do something with him’, so did other people who came up to me and patted my arm and were full of sweet compliments and encouragement.

One lady asked, ‘What was your last name, again? So that I can look out for you …’ I told her ‘Pearce’ … and that she should also look out for Mel Pearce (who was standing beside me at the time) – the brilliant budding illustrator and emerging artist. It felt surreal to be introducing ourselves like that. I guess I felt just a little bit famous or important. Maybe it’s a little taste of what it might be like when I eventually launch my first book, whenever that may be …

**********

This has already been a gigantic entry, so I will keep other writey-news brief:

I ran another Free Haiku Sale last week. It was a lot of fun. I will probably compile my favourite ones in my new zine, which I intend to print in December sometime.

Mel and I collaborated for the dotdotdash DrawRites collective. Our entry ‘Debris’ was accepted for publication!!

I heard back from the John Marsden Prize for Young Writers this morning. While I didn’t win a prize for either of my entries, ‘No Place Like Home’ was among those shortlisted, so I am one happy little lady today! This is the second time Mr Marsden has read my work, although I doubt he would remember (or probably care!). The first time was when I was in year ten and entered a National Youth Week fiction comp. with a story titled ‘Imprisoned Ever After?’ and got into the top ten. (Heheh … why do I write such embarrassing titles?)

dotdotdash is accepting submissions for Issue 3: Home. (What are you waiting for?!) Go to dotdotdash for submission guidelines now!

Thanks for your patience and support … you really are cool friends to have!

~ Erin ‘Eccentric, Stupid and Insanely Last-Minute’ Pearce~

Leave a comment »

Quieter and Louder (5th November, 2009)

G’day, friends!

I just realised that the last time I wrote one of these was just after the launch of dotdotdash Issue One (Quicksand). I guess this was just because things simultaneously got quieter and louder after then …

Things that make life quieter:
– finishing another draft of the manuscript
– waiting for publishers to contact me re: said manuscript
– posting off a bunch of submissions
– being without internet for a whole fortnight(gasp!)
– changing jobs

Things that make life louder:
– borrowing my brother’s iPod
– that weird high-pitched whinging machinery sound that woke me up 2 hours and 15 minutes earlier than necessary this morning
– writing/collecting snippets of thought/dribble/ponderances/haiku for my next zine-thing
– changing jobs

Since I started work in the city, my daily existence seems to have taken on a whole different colour or shade. Or flavour. It’s exciting. I love being in a bookshop, love being around people who love books; it’s a love-fest, really. And I won some money yesterday in the ‘Melbourne Cup Day Office Sweepstakes’ since my horse came third, which was thumbs-uppy and made me grin a lot, much to the annoyance of my new friend Kylie who actually knew stuff about the races, and was the one who bullied me into entering the sweepstakes in the first place, and whacked me on the bum with a mislabelled Y.A. science fiction novel when she found out.

On my first day in the bookshop, I bought a new journal – I’ve been filling it with scribbles ever since. I’ve set myself the challenge of writing something every time I get on the train to-and-from work. Since I am saving for a trip to Israel in January and need all the money I can get, I’m picking up any work shifts I can get, so I don’t have a lot of time at home at my desk right now. I’m actually feeling quite okay about that, because my manuscript is out of my hands and I’m not currently working on a large project. Interim scribbles are better than nothing at all and perhaps something lovely will come out of them …

I got an exciting email from the dotdotdash editorial team the other day; they want to publish some more of my stuff! I’m really very humbled and thrilled to be involved in the project a second time, especially since the first issue was so breathtakingly wonderful. This time dotdotdash would like my creative non-fiction piece ‘Green Ants’ (which I wrote with the magazine’s theme of ‘Ugly’ in mind), and also a short story which is currently untitled since the dotdotdash folks deemed the old title ‘too juvenile despite, or in spite of, the story itself’. I agree with them wholeheartedly and, frankly, was glad/relieved for their reaction to the title. I just haven’t gotten around to renaming anything yet …

Which reminds me, at the kind recommendation of a certain Deborah Hunn, the folks at Subiaco Library have invited me as an ‘emerging writer’ to read some of my fiction on their ‘Writer’s Night’ this coming Monday evening (9th November, 6pm). Richard Rossiter will be discussing and reading excerpts from his new book Arrhythmia which, I’m told, is a collection of short stories exploring desire and what lies beneath the ‘apparently normal, even mundane, surfaces of people’s lives’. I’m a little daunted by this opportunity to read since I don’t yet consider myself to be an ‘emerging’ writer (or should I? When has one begun to emerge, and when have they actually emerged? Can anyone help me with a definition?) I’ve decided to read from the untitled story I mentioned above, so I hope that it’s not met with blank stares of bewilderment and doesn’t detract from Mr Rossiter’s evening. (If it is met with blank stares of bewilderment and Mr Rossiter gets sad, I may have to learn what it means to be a submerging writer fairly quickly …)

If you are interested in attending the Subiaco Library Writer’s Night for either Richard Rossiter or myself, it’s probably already too late to RSVP. The flyer tells me that ‘numbers are limited’ but if you are still keen, and wish to try your luck, you can phone 9237 9222.

Until next time …
~ Erin ‘Train-Scribbler’ Pearce ~

P.S: THIS FRIDAY at the Rosemount Hotel 459 Bar (459 Fitzgerald St, North Perth), the state final for the Australian Poetry Slam kicks off at 7.30pm. It costs only $5 to get in on the slam-poet action … and you might even find yourself becoming a judge! I’ll hopefully be lending a hand at the dotdotdash zine stall, so I’ll see you there! (see WA Slam Heats for more details …)

Leave a comment »

How eloquent! 20th August, 2009.

Woah. How extremely, gut-wrenchingly annoying! I just wrote out almost an entire entry and then managed to delete it all. Darn it. I will try to remember it …

I think I started out by saying, ‘It’s been almost a whole month since I last wrote one of these thingos.’ Yeah. That was it exactly. How eloquent. Then I think I wrote a little something like, ’I’m terrible. This is why I’ll never be good at writing a blog …’

A lot has happened since the last update (including me turning twenty-three! Yay!) but the reason for me writing this particular entry was because on the 4th of September, dotdotdash was launched at a most superb party at the Rosemount Hotel. It was a huge hit. There were bands. There were slam poems and spoken word. There were typewriters, cakiepops and Bo Ra. There were zines, chapbooks, clothes-pegs, polaroids, raffle tickets, origami and textas. Best of all, there was a most delectable buzz generated by the eclectic crowd of art/lit-lovers assembled to celebrate the birth of a very funky publication.

It was great: Mel and I volunteered to help out by hanging at the ‘commissioned artists and writers’ table. I brought my green goose-feather quill. Mel brought her nibs and let me share her ink. We wore top-hats.

WE WERE COMMISSIONED.
A LOT.

We were originally rostered on to write and doodle between 7:30-8:30pm and 9:45-10:45pm, but we were enjoying ourselves so much (and, quite frankly, got so piled up with ‘orders’) that we ended up scribbling straight through from 7:30 ‘til midnight! Someone kind (I forget who!) made sure that the lemon, lime and bitters in our glasses was regularly replenished so that we didn’t get grumpy. There was also this charming little musical jewellery box that someone brought along and put on the table to collect money from the commissions – I was quite fascinated by it. Mel and I had to keep making sure that the ballerina was kept properly wound and ready to dance in case somebody wanted to make a donation to dotdotdash. I remember this one fellow who came along. I think he had stumbled into the ‘Playpen’ because he had drunk too much and was waiting for Boys Boys Boys and wasn’t really sure what all the fuss was about. He wobbled over to our table and said something like, ‘What’s this? What are you doing? Can you do one for me?’ To which I said, ‘We are the commissioned people. I am writing haiku (… hai-ku … it’s a type of Japanese poem? It’s three lines long and … never mind …) and Mel is drawing pictures. We can do something for you for a small donation …’ To which he responded by shoving a twenty-dollar note into the ballerina box. My eyes popped. ‘That’s … very generous,’ I said.

I leant over to Mel after we had sent him away grinning with a ‘I just got poem’d!’ sticker on his chest, a haiku in one hand and an illustration of something crazy with a big mouth in the other, and said, ‘I wonder if he realised that we would have put in the same amount of effort for 20 cents?!’

I saw so many lovely people that I knew. They visited me at the table. If I hadn’t been so caught up in the commissioned haiku, I would have liked to have spoken longer with many of my friends. It was nice. It was like a reunion party.

Also, I don’t know exactly how many were sold, but people seemed to like my zines! What does the wind eat for breakfast? sat in a little pile on the Perth Zine Collective’s stall, and I believe they also went along to Outskirts . I am very excited about this, especially since I consider that I ran off 52 copies and only have five left in my handbag (actually, only four, now: I left one on a table in the café of the State Library the other day just for kicks).

Anyway, the dotdotdash launch was incredible, but the magazine itself is just … wow. I know I’ve raved before, so I won’t again except to say that you (yes, you!) can now purchase your very own copy of this sparkling new journal by visiting http://www.dotdotdash.org right now and clicking on ‘SUBSCRIBE OR PURCHASE’. Do it. Do it now. You will like it.

In other news, I wrote three new poems for Poetry at Pat’s (which was supposed to take place today but didn’t because poor Pat was sick. I hope she gets better soon … and not just so that we can play with her cheese slicer and drink all her tea!). I wrote a ‘shape poem’, a ‘translation poem’ … and a ‘fan poem’. The latter of the three was a challenge: I decided to write a Shakespearean Sonnet about my very favourite character from Dragon Ball. The poem was almost nearly an absolute disaster, but I’m fairly pleased now with how it turned out (I think Yamcha would be, too!).

Also, I am panicking because the 30th of September is the closing date for submissions for dotdotdash Issue 2, and I still haven’t finished writing stuff!! Eeek!

Oh, and Deb Hunn has very kindly agreed to read over the manuscript for my book before I polish it up and send it back to Fremantle Press. I got a few emails from the Children’s and YA Lit. Publisher lately asking about my book, which reminded me that I told her (months ago) I would email her a draft in July. Whoops. Great start, Erin.

Okay, I gotta lay down and sleep now, but thanks for reading. It means a lot to know you’re interested …

~ Erin ‘Crazy Haiku Person’ Pearce ~

P.S: These photos were taken by the wonderful Jason Boudville. He’s cool!

Chatting with Elizabeth Tan. Mel is busy drawing in the background ...

Chatting with Elizabeth Tan ...

Our strengths and weaknesses ...

Our strengths and weaknesses ...

Comments (1) »

Werrrrrrrrblerrrrrrrrrrmmerblle … 28th August, 2009.

Werrrrrrrrblerrrrrrrrrrmmerblle …

Good. Glad that’s out of my system!!

I am tired. Pieces of my brain are running everywhere and my head just feels … stretched …

Last week, a number of friends were very kind in assisting me as I practiced writing ‘commissioned haiku’. For approximately 2 hours, all I did was haiku! Thanks to the creative suggestion of my friends, I wrote about everything from angry geese to pimples …

((((WARNING!! PROMO ALERT! PROMO ALERT!)))

And you can read all about it now in my zine: What does the wind eat for breakfast?

I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to have the time to put a zine together, or if it was even one of my giftings, but I decided to knock up something to take along to the dotdotdash launch party next Friday (4th September!!!). I’ve never sold my writing before, so you can imagine I’m excited!!

What does the wind eat for breakfast? actually takes it’s title from a haiku I wrote whilst in Maureen Gibbon’s poetry class in 2007. The haiku was part of a collection called ‘The Confetti Meditations’, four of which appear in the zine itself. As well as ‘The Free Haiku Sale’ collection I wrote last week, What does the wind eat includes ‘The Haiku Diary’ – another collection of haiku written during my 2nd Honours semester in amongst thesis stuff as a sort of stress-relief. dotdotdash was kind enough to select one of the ‘Diary’ entries for the poetry section of Issue 1. (I can’t wait to get my hands on that magazine!!!)

As much as I would like to distribute these little booklets left, right and centre as presents for everyone, I can’t really afford to at this time. I exhausted my pocket money last week by purchasing the following assortment of things from the newsagency that I thought I would need to make a zine:

1. staples (which we already had)
2. paperclips (which I did not use)
3. a new notebook (which turned out to be extremely useful)
4. a big fat ream of cream-coloured paper which looked like it had been on the newsagency’s bottom shelf for at least 3 years and probably should have been sold to me for cheaper …
5. a roll of ‘cello-tape’ …

So, you see, until I cover the costs of making my zine, I will just have to demand a few dollars from anyone who would like a copy of their very own. Is that terribly greedy of me? :P Seriously, though, if you would like a zine, please let me know! I will reserve a copy for you …

I am still figuring out how to get our printer to print the zine properly … hmm …

On Tuesday, I participated in the 12-hour writing marathon (which actually became a 14-hour marathon .. with an extra 3 hours added to it by me after I got home) held at the home of SJ Finch. I’m still not sure why it was called ‘Birds Ate My Face’, although the avian reference may have inspired me to include a crow in the story I wrote … a crow NAMED ‘Crow’, who took a very long time indeed to enter my story … and the house IN my story …

ANYWAY, it was glorious. Together with SJ, Alex, Max and Sam, I spent the day typing away on my own little project. We were encouraged, if we had no current project to work on, to write a story for the John Marsden Prize, which closes today at 5pm.

I had a terrific day – so good to have so many laughs in one sitting. AND I was allowed a sneak-preview of dotdotdash (… man, it’s breathtaking!!) We ate spring rolls, and drank many cups of tea, and SJ made the most fantastic shepherd’s pie for dinner.

BUHHHHHT, I was disappointed that I still hadn’t quite finished my story by the time I left at 11:45pm.

I did it, though. I’m not sure how, or what possessed me, but I did it. I sent this email to SJ the following morning:

After driving Alex home, I got to bed (about 1am) and set my alarm for 6:15. I woke up, finished my short story whilst sitting in bed with my laptop (and while Mel snored along on the mattress on the floor beside my bed). At 8:40am, I was printing my documents and writing out submission forms. At 8:45 I was throwing on proper clothes and saying goodbye to Mel as I flew out the door. At 8:55 I was at the post office doing the whole ‘express post’ thing. At 9:10 I was calling work from the post office carpark to let them know I was running late (duh!). At 9:15 I was in the McDonalds Drive thru ordering a bacon and egg McMuffin meal (something I have not done in years … can’t remember the last time I ate a fastfood breakfast!) …

At 9:33 am I was clocking in at work. Blerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

I don’t know if John Marsden will like my story, but at least I gave it a shot. And the lady at the Post Office assured me that it would arrive on time. I do hope she wasn’t lying …

So, afhdklhdsfjhkl: I’m very tired.

P.S: On the 17th of August, I was invited to read the winning entry of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers Prize to the people gathered for the ceremony. It was a nerve-wracking, though extremely exciting, experience. I think it wasn’t the crowd that scared me. I was afraid, first of all, of getting Rachel Hao’s story The Piano Man ‘right’, especially since the author herself was watching me do it … but having Tim Winton sit right in front of the podium complicated things! I think I got a little awestruck and drifted away from the reading to a place where thoughts such as, ‘I should not have dyed my hair purple yesterday’ and ‘Please, Lord, don’t let me spit on Mr Cloudstreet when I have to annunciate my ‘ss’s’ frequented my anxious mind. It all turned out okay, though, and a few people said they thought I read really well, which was encouraging. Tim even gave me a wink and a pat on the back before he went out to get his picture taken with all the budding writers. Ms Harris gave me two bottles of wine, and it was then that I knew I had truly become a writer …

Joking, of course.

But I really must express my gratitude to Deb Hunn for phoning me up about the reading. It was such a great experience, and a wonderful opportunity (and we both enjoyed the free refreshments table very much …) I had a very nice chat with Mr Winton after all the kids had gone home. I tried to tell him that Dad played the role of Ted Pickles in a production of Cloudstreet at the Darwin Entertainment Centre in 2003, and that it had been my first exposure to his work. I tried to tell him I loved Cloudstreet, though I STILL had not read it … but, after humouring me for a while, he said, ‘Ahh … Cloudstreet … I’m bloody sick of that book!’ It was slightly humbling when he changed the topic by asking me what my ‘thing’ was – ‘young adult fiction, wasn’t it?’ ‘Erm … yes …’

I tried my best to explain my dissertation on uncanny verisimilitude to Mr Winton … but I was just too starstruck by the Miles Franklin Man Himself to tell you whether I was at all coherent. I shouldn’t have been acting like such a goose – Tim was so casual and friendly and I think he seemed more interested in the fact that I had grown up in Darwin, which was absolutely fine and wonderful and I’m going to stop rambling now because I’m really tired.

Erin ‘Werrrrrrrrblerrrrrrrrrrmmerblle’ Pearce

Comments (2) »

Dotting and dashing … 4th August, 2009

Alright, does anyone remember that weird story I kept talking about some time back? The one involving detectives/rabbits? No? Well, that’s understandable, and probably for the best, however dotdotdash sent me another email yesterday which said:

Heylo Erin,

We also loved your short story/prose poem ‘The Hare Affair’ and would like to publish it.

I found this both exciting and scary. I did not anticipate that any of my ‘rejected’ pieces could still have a chance at publication, so, of course, I was ecstatic to receive this news. Then again, how awkward! My weirdness is going to be unleashed upon the world after all. This is the first time any of my short fiction/prose poems have been published, so I hope ‘The Hare Affair’ makes a good impression and doesn’t frighten anyone too much … or mess with their heads as much as it did mine while I was writing it.

Huh? A very small bird just beak-butted my bedroom window …

Alright. Stop: Promo Time!

If you, like me, are getting very excited about this dotdotdash business, then today (or tomorrow, or any day until the 30th of September, really) is your lucky day!! I believe dotdotdash are now accepting submissions for Issue 2 of the magazine, so if you have any (previously unpublished) short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction or visual art, visit http://www.dotdotdash.org for a submission form and send them your stuff!

Also, the theme of Issue 2 is ‘ugly’.

Also, the Issue 2 Challenge is to produce a three-panel comic strip.

Awesome! :)

Other news … hmm … was there other news? Not really, but I have begun circulating my manuscript, emailing it to trusted readers/feedback-givers etc, which is a cool place to be but still leaves me twiddling my thumbs and feeling anxious. I don’t think the wearyness/fatigue which has been decreasing the amount of time I’ve spent writing recently is a reflection of my interest in writing, or a writer’s block, I think I’m just worn out. Bleurghhhhh … *lolls forward, forehead on keys* bgghfghgnjGGTVFTGYHUJNGbgvfd …

Happy dotting, dashing and … other stuff!
- Erin (is tired) Pearce -

Comments (1) »

Knuckles crack, hands hover over the keys … (from 22nd of July, 2009)

Hello friends!

So happy right now, for three main reasons:

1) I got an email from the Editor/s of dotdotdash on Monday night in which they told me they wanted to publish three of my pieces! It made me so joyful to know that they enjoyed my work enough to warrant it being included in the very first volume of their magazine. I feel very honoured, especially since I know how hard the dotdotdash team has been working on this project and the level of professionalism they are pursuing (and if any of you are reading this, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!). I am grateful and touched that someone believes my little clusters of words won’t detract from what is promising to be a fantastic collection.

2) I finished writing my ‘biographical note’ or ‘bio’. As I recently shared with Kevin E, I really don’t like writing them! Please don’t get me wrong – I haven’t written a whole legion! I’ve only had my work published once before, and so there’s not even really a handful of biographical notes about Erin Pearce out there, yet … which is a good thing, believe me! The thing is they make me cringe. My head thinks stuff like this:

Yay! They want me! They liked it and I’m so happy! Now to write a bio! *knuckles crack, hands hover over the keys … and type* ‘Erin Pearce is’ … no … ‘Erin is’ …wait. Should it be third person or first? Second?! No, you idiot! Fine. First person, then. ‘I like to write and’ … oh, this is ridiculous! Should I write where I was born? Where I grew up? Will anyone care? Will they think I think I’m so good that everyone should care where I was born or grew up?! Does anyone else wrestle with this, or am I the most paranoid idiot-freak around? ‘Erin lived’ … no … ‘Erin lives’ … um. This sucks. Help me. Someone else write something! Kill me now quickly/silently/I don’t deal well with pain!

And then I end up writing a bio like the one I wrote for dotdotdash which says something about how I don’t like writing bios. I think it’s alright. I hope so. I don’t want to seem egotistical, or overly self-deprecating, or boring, or like Ms. Lofty-Writey-Fluffy Head. Ew.

3) I finally changed my bedsheets into those warm flannelly winter sheets. Now I won’t shiver myself to sleep every night! Yay!

Okay … I think we’ve all heard enough from me now. Does anyone else have any writing-related Show-and-Tell? :P

Oh, I almost forgot. I’m excited about this month’s Poetry @ Pat’s challenge: collaborations! I’ve gotta co-write a pantoum with Elizabeth Tan and devise a rhyming couplets poem with Alex Kannis all via email!! O_o

Yours (well and) truly,
Erin Pearce

Comments (4) »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.