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17 September 2006

pointing over there

I'm going to be the Writer in Residence on for the next few weeks. So you can find me blogging there. With pictures.

14 September 2006

Singing and dancing and making people happy

Over the past two nights, I've been lucky enough to see two West End musicals. The two best musicals I've ever seen, in fact.

#1 was Wicked, the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West became Wicked. It's a truly heartbreaking story, made all the more so by Idina Menzel's amazing performance as Elpheba, which she made her own when the show first started on Broadway. The name Elpheba, by the way, was coined by Gregory Maguire (who wrote the book on which the musical is based) in honour of The Wizard of Oz's first author - L Frank Baum. L F B. Elpheba.
The audience was wild. When Idina first walked on stage, the whole production had to stop for a minute while the crowd whistled and stamped and cheered. I can't imagine an Australian audience responding so vocally to a musical.

#2 musical was Avenue Q. For those of you who aren't familiar with it... well, it kind of defies explanation. It's a musical. About a bunch of misfits living all the way out in Avenue Q in New York. They fall in love, get their hearts broken, struggle with sexuality, wonder about what their purpose is, get drunk and have sex. They sing songs with names like "What Do You Do With A BA In English?" and "The Internet is for Porn" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist". The superintendant of the building is child-star Gary Coleman. Oh, and half the gang are muppets.
Again, one of the best things about seeing the show was feeling the buzz from the audience. You could feel the uncertainty at the beginning, it was clear that pretty much nobody was familar with the show. When the lead guy walked on stage for the first time with a muppet on his arm, the audience squirmed and looked doubtful. Then he started singing. The audience started laughing. They kept laughing for much of the first act. They cheered wildly when one of the characters came out of the closet. They threw coins into hats in the Money Song. They loved it. I loved it.

(This post is dedicated to Jellyfish, who introduced me to both musicals, and is probably now as green as Elpheba with envy.)

13 September 2006

London: Like/Don't Like

I like... the way that the train conductor tells you exactly why you aren't moving.
I don't like... the way he tells you it's because there is someone underneath the train.

I like... the way barmen kick very drunk men out of pubs.
I don't like... the way the very drunk man "accidentally" groped me. (casing him to get thrown out of said pub)

I like... that it's not raining.
I don't like... the fact that it's 30 degrees and I only brought three tshirts. Who knows where to buy cool tshirts in London?

I like... the view from the top of St Paul's.
I don't like... the way my legs no longer work after climbing to the top.

I like... having a semi-spiritual moment in front of Randolph Caldecott's memorial in a crypt.
I don't like... being looked at funny for crying over some dead children's literature illustrator.

I like... the St Paul's audio tour. Highly recommended.
I don't like... the Globe guided tour. Ripoff.

10 September 2006

So if you care to find me, look to the western sky

I've packed my bag. I've bid farewell to my loved ones. I've checked in (love online checkin. also love seatguru).

See you in London...

09 September 2006


Some Joan reviews:

A remarkable story... What are we to make of this Maid of Orleans? Fascinating!
(New Life Christian Newspaper - which is so enthusiastic in its book reviews that there are at least four exclamation marks per four-paragraph review)

A must read... a very accessible medieval history...
(I don't know what this is from, I just have a photocopy. But I think it's a Queensland Christian publication of some sort)

The author takes the reader on a journey through Joan's life... very appealing... a bit emotional at times.
(Gabrielle, aged 14)

Wilkinson's book is very exciting: I had to put the book down a number of times when the tension she created became too much... I thorougly recommend this book.
(Insights Magazine)

The reader is always eager for more... The effect is to immediately engage the reader... tension and excitement... This book is a rejuvenation of the legend of Joan, which is a part of our common civilisation and of the canon of young people's literature. It will make young people want to read about it.
(Viewpoint Literary Journal)

right, back to packing...

06 September 2006

5 Reasons Why I am Lucky

1. I lost my mobile phone at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards on Monday night, but Optus is giving me a new phone and sim because they love me.

2. I got wet today in the rain, on the way to pick out some funky marmoleum for my new bathroom floor.

3. I got a tummy-ache last night from eating too much free popcorn at the Macbeth premiere.

4. I missed two days of work last week to do stuff at the Melbourne Writer's Festival and Ivanhoe Grammar. For the first time in my life, teenagers think I'm cool.

5. My bedroom is an absolute disaster area, because I'm packing to go to London on sunday.

04 September 2006

In 20 Years

I wrote this in August 1991, 15 years ago. I was 10.

In 20 years..... I am a famous author and I travel around the world to get ideas for my stories.
When I am in Australia I live in a farm house in the country. When I am not writing
I act in films musicals and operas.
My books will be very long and very interesting. My daughter goes to a lovely school taught by Nikki Michell, who was my best friend in primary school. My daughter is called Hazel and is very talented. The ozone layer was fixed last year so thats one less worry to worry about. My new book 'Luckbearer' is very popular.

Hazel??? Where on earth did that come from?