First event of Aussie tour completed!

W00t! Just back from chatting with Simmone Howell at the State Library of Victoria in front of a fabulous audience of students, teachers and librarians. It were good. I met two of my blog readers: Joey & Tez! Thank you for the note, Tez! Lovely to meet you both!

A whole bunch of genius writers also showed up to support us: Kate Constable, Karen Healy, Melina Marchetta,1 Kirsty Murray, and Penni Russon. Not to mention Sarah Tran and the Centre for Youth Literature who organised the event, also Lili Wilkinson who introduced us most eloquently.

I think the event went well. It was a little bit tricky because I am a blabbermouth and the fabulous Simmone Howell is not. Thus I had to work very hard not to eat up all her talking time. But I think I managed. I hope I managed. Mental note: MUST LET OTHER PEOPLE SPEAK.

I especially enjoyed hearing Simmone talking about going to a private school after she was asked to leave her public school. I wish she’d talked a bit more about that. I find other people’s miserable school days fascinating especially if they have a secret bogan past.

The audience was attentive and laughed at all the right places as well asking most excellent questions. If this is what typical Aussies audiences are like I think I’m going to have a blast on this tour.

In other news there’s some very very good advice from Cory Doctorow about how to be productive writing despite the dread distractions of teh interwebs. Particularly this bit:

Realtime communications tools are deadly. The biggest impediment to concentration is your computer’s ecosystem of interruption technologies: IM, email alerts, RSS alerts, Skype rings, etc. Anything that requires you to wait for a response, even subconsciously, occupies your attention. Anything that leaps up on your screen to announce something new, occupies your attention. The more you can train your friends and family to use email, message boards, and similar technologies that allow you to save up your conversation for planned sessions instead of demanding your attention right now helps you carve out your 20 minutes. By all means, schedule a chat—voice, text, or video—when it’s needed, but leaving your IM running is like sitting down to work after hanging a giant “DISTRACT ME” sign over your desk, one that shines brightly enough to be seen by the entire world.

Must disable IM. Must do it immediately.

How about that? One blog post but two resolutions. Wish me luck!

  1. We got to applaud her Prinz win. Yay! []


  1. Glenn on #

    Congrats on the successful evening, hope it isn’t too smoky down there.

    In regards to the distractions I think setting up a “writing profile” on a computer is a must. My writing profile has a clean desktop, no email configured, DEFINITLY no IMs, no shortcuts to games or anything else. Only Word, iTunes and internet explorer which is configured to have and as the homepages. Still a possible distraction with IE running, but I needs the webs to help me spells and work out different words for same same stuffs…

    Oh and links to favourite blogs, MAJOR distraction (dammit).

  2. Joey-la on #

    Hi Justine,
    don’t worry about talking too much, you did really well, it was great!
    Thank you so much for coming to Melbourne,

    Also, I forgot to ask, I was wondering, when you were a kid, did you ever try putting a barbie in the microwave? I did at my friends party, and she hit the edges of the microwave and started sparking! hehe
    – Joey

  3. Sarah Billington on #

    Hi Justine,

    I am a budding writer, playing the waiting game as to whether my first “by Sarah Billington” book is to be published, and I was at your event today. I love listening to how other writers do it, and the journeys they’ve been through, and also seeing how they relate to their readership. You and Simmone were vastly entertaining today as well as being informative and insightful. If I get my work published – scratch that, when, WHEN! – I’ll remember today and try and mimic your candor WHEN it’s me up on the stage. Eep.
    Thanks for a fun afternoon. Shame I had to dash off afterwards.

  4. Taran on #

    bonjour, mon ami!
    you and simmone were quite inspiring.
    it was wonderful.
    one might even say trippy.
    one might also say that i enjoyed it very much indeed, and upon purchasing your book, proceeded to read it on the train ride home. lemme just say, hasjhsdf! it was brilliant!

  5. Justine on #

    Glenn: It’s very dry here. The grass is dead and there is a haze in the air. It’s a little bit eerie. And it’s hard not to think about the bush fires.

    You are stronger than I am. I still haven’t managed to turn off IM, let alone create a profile such as you describe.

    Joey-la: You know if my parents had had a microwave when I was little I hope that I would have been resourceful enough to stick a barbie doll in it. Alas they did not have one so I will never know.

    Did the microwave survive the barbie doll?

    Taran: Wow, you must have a long ride home or be a really fast reader! So pleased you liked HTDYF!

  6. Justine on #

    Sarah: Somehow my response to you got eaten or something. It was just me wishing you luck and thanking you for attending the event. Good luck!

  7. Aimee on #

    I’m glad it went well. We’re looking forward to seeing you tonight at North Melbourne Library! 🙂

  8. marty on #

    I couldn’t find your book in a Dymocks.. Dymocks’s… Dymock’s.. bookstore here in the Adelaide suburbs which was annoying. I’m hoping I’ll find one in the city.

  9. marty on #

    Aww, it dropped the strikethrough formatting, even though it worked in the preview. Oh well.

  10. Justine on #

    Marty: The official publication date of HTDYF is today so it probably hasn’t reached most stores yet.

  11. Joey (in SF Bay Area) on #

    Yay for the successful Aussie tour!

    But another “Joey” – how can that be? LOL!

    I liked the first cover of HTDYF, but must admit I LOVE the hammer.

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