Talked at the youth conference last week- where I was first after lunch- a bad position to start from. They didn’t stop chatting until I started reading them a story- which I guess shows me what they are more interested in listening to!
I have been mentoring another writer Heidi Ch’ng and we have been talking about the ending of novels. Like Ursula Le Guin I believe that drama and narrative is about change and so by the end of the novel I expect some change or transformation to have occurred at some point.
I’ve also recently spoke at a Victorian Writers Centre gig about writing culture. I found it really refreshing to listen to Alice Pung and her take on writing about her culture of origin. Gorkem Acaroglu a Russian-Turkish artist also talked about defying stereotypes and respecting other cultures. As for me writing about Vietnamese culture and Buddhism is part of my milieu at the moment- because I’m still fascinated with ghosts, spirits and madness.
Alice Pung has asked me to write for the Asian-Australian book she is editing. I have found to my surprise that my rage has gone. I don’t know where it went- it may be because I have now found a home in Vietnamese Buddhism and amongst the younger generation Australian-Vietnamese so I’m not so displaced from my culture of origin anymore. Maybe that story of transformation is what I can write about for Alice’s book.