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Melbourne Writers Festival

September 2, 2018

It is the end of the Melbourne Writers Festival for 2018 and its been a good one.  I got to see friends get poetry tattoos while i drank wine. I got to sing with a LGBTQI youth choir. But the most exciting thing to happen was the positive partying pagan of virtue Andrew WK  started following me on twitter. It was after I tweeted a few quotes of his during his key note address at the festival’s opening.

I have loved reading his weekly advice column in The Atlantic, where he writes beautiful and kindly articulate responses to questions like ”Does Heaven Exist?’ and ”How can I get my friend to chose bros before Hoes?” Andrew’s response to that particularly sexist and selfish question is a beautifully worded ‘fuck you, grow up and get some empathy’. he is of course better known for his musical career and has four albums under his belt.
Andrew opened the festival with positivity and self effacing modesty. Declaring himself an amature human being and suggesting that perhaps the true meaning of life was simply figuring it out in our own way and in our own time. To this little ex mormon it was very comforting to be told that being unsure and not a slave to religious conviction is not such a scary thing. Also at the end confetti exploded from the ceiling and scattered around everyones head in an uxepcted moment of magic. I was utterly charmed.
Then things got better.  Andrew tweeted about giving away some free tickets to his concert at The Corner the night after the opening of The Writers Festival. I retweeted the tweet and simply said I couldnt go because of lack of fund but that I hoped everyone who was going had a great time and partied kindly. Second later Andrew WK had asked for my legal name so he could put me on the guest list and a plus 1.
It was very exciting. Even though I only knew one of his songs. The show was great. It was energetic and the crowd was extremely enthusiastic without being dicks about it. They sang along to songs such as Music Is Worth Living For and She Is Beautiful  and the song about death that is celebratory more than defeatist entitled Ready To Die. 
This sequence of events is a great and serendipitous tale of good fortune but it is not quite as good as what came to pass at last years Melbourne Writers Festival. In my opinion. Last years festival resulted in me becoming the recipient of a small collection of clothes previously owned by British feminist writer Laurie Penny. A writer I have loved for years and was very excited to see in all her events at the festival. I  even gave her  copies of me zines when I lined up to get her to sign my copy of her latest collection of essays called Bitch Doctrine. 
She was in an event with a friend of mine and afterwards my friend said that Laurie had some clothes she wanted to leave with someone as she had too much in her luggage. My friend tells me that Laurie is almost as small as me. This is true. I had found this out when we had hugged at the Queer Lit Salon at The Curtain.  I approach Ms Penny and we exchange email addresses. I am asked to go pick up the package from the front desk at The hotel she is staying at. After she has left the country for another writers festival.
What is so wonderful is that I get an email that gives me a back story to each item of clothing.
Hello Jess! So a small package of loved and much missed things is at the concierge desk for you at the sofitel on Collins street- come pick it up in the next few days. I also passed to you some gifts of tea and notebooks that were gifted to me and I cannot fit 😦 
What there is:
-my best loved raggy red skirt which is a bit long on me but I have loved it (it has a story- I got it to survive the 100 degree heat at the republican convention last year so that skirt has Seen Things).
-grey jumper (I usually wear it backwards as a layering piece) 
-sparkly black summer cardi (it’s super designer and my favourite TK max find!) 
-diamanté black tshirt 
-little scarf (from a vintage shop in San Francisco)
-pair of black uniqlo pants that I customized with grey paint! (Well- I got a bit of paint on them and decided it looked good and did the whole thing deliberately.) 
-I can’t remember if I put my light Grey Steve miller band thumbhole jumpery thingy in there but if so please enjoy it.
Thse may be loose on you- but I tend to favor the drapey/oversized look anyway, so that might not matter as long as they stay up! No worries if not your style. Thank you for giving them a home.
Oh and please note- I’m really sorry I wasn’t able to wash these for you . The skirt and cardi have been washed since they were last worn- everything else will need a light run through the wash. 
Love and solidarity,
L x
Did I consider not washing the things that were not washed? Did I consider that perhaps if I wore unwashed clothes by a brilliant writer it would help me and up my skill level by a good few levels? Did I consider doing some form of witchy enchantment or spell to help transfere some creative aura from one human vessel to another?
But that would be creepy so I did wash the unwashed items.

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