I got a comment on a previous blog expressing disappointment with one of my sessions at the Melbourne Writers Festival, which in itself does not worry me: people have different responses to the same material, and I approach all of my sessions with the view that if I reach one person, I’ve done something worthwhile. However, one of the criticisms was that the students and teachers didn’t believe that most of what I said was true. I can assure you, dear audience, that everything I uttered was the honest-to-God truth, and to think anything else is, frankly, insulting. I am not in this business to sell a line: while I hope that I perform, I am not a performer (not these days, anyway). My aim, following EM Forster, is ‘only connect’. And the way I connect is through honesty: I don’t believe in soft-soaping intelligent readers and listeners, because that would be truly insulting.
The most ironic thing is that the critic did not leave their name, their email, or their contact details: for someone having a go at my honesty, I think that’s pretty rich.
But for an answer to how someone survives the trials of suburbia in adolescence, you can’t go past this from the superlative (as in, I’m running out of superlatives) Simmone Howell.