Thursday, 3 September 2015

My Contribution to The Writers Festival

I got published! I know it was just a small section in The Bendigo Advertiser, but this is one of my first pieces of work ever been published.

I chose to write my 300-word piece of writing on what I learnt about ‘The Good Life’, which was of-course, the theme for The Bendigo Writers Festival.

The idea of The Good Life appealed to me straight away. I mean, all I want to do with my life is live it! You know? Anyone who knows me would know that I put family and fun first before my studies, and I know that sounds bad but you know what? If you feel happy and enjoy your life, you will get what you want out of it. That includes writing. In fact, writing should be coming from the passion in your heart, it comes from your own experiences, a love of certain things like music or art or travel. Live your life to the fullest I say, and don’t let the boring aspects take over.

I love food, family, wine and happiness. This is what I believe makes up the good life.

After being entangled in the world of The Bendigo writers festival I have been able to observe what other celebrated authors think about what ‘The Good Life’ means to them.  

I went to The Gourmet Farmers event on the Friday night. Where before the stage interview with farmers Matthew Evens, Ross O’Meara and Nick Haddow, there was a little assembling of stalls full of local produce to taste and try. Everyone there I noticed had a glass of wine, I was thinking there had to be a wine tasting stall or something but no. Turns out the wine had just been purchased from the bar, which was a little disappointing actually. Anyway after struggling through the masses of people in the smallest area of the Ulumbarra theatre, I did decide I needed a cheeky Shiraz before going in to find my seat.

The conversation between food writer Dani Valant and the three men was interesting to an extent, I think they got a bit carried away with talking about unknown fish varieties. I wanted to know more about what they perceived as ‘The Good Life’.  To my knowledge of what was said however, ‘The Good Life’ to them is what you produce yourself and then cook into a great meal, knowing it’s come from you. Yes I do agree that food and cooking with fresh home made produce is key to ‘A Good Life’, but you know what? I really wished the conversation was turned around to let Dani talk about how she got into the food writing business to start off with because let me just say, that would be an amazing career! and one I would gladly like to know more about. 

When I excitedly attended the Sunday 10am event at the Capital Theatre entitled ‘The Good Life – The Language of Food’ I thought, now here is another great opportunity to find out what passionate food critiques and chefs have to say about ‘The Good Life’.  Emma Dean I knew from watching MasterChef in 2013 and she is a lovely down to earth person. She finds bizarre things to cook with such as weeds with equally bizarre names like ‘Fat Hen’ and ‘Pig Face’, which are actually types of herbs and bush tucker apparently.

From this I learnt that ‘The Good Life’ is again about producing what you eat yourself and foraging your backyard to discover beautiful ingredients that have been forgotten about. Rowan Anderson stated that “for the food I grow, I must get my hands dirty’. He’s the one who cooks animals from scratch, right from the killing and plucking individual feathers with tweezers bit. Wow. Now that’s devotion right there.

After Sunday, I was very inspired by what I’d learnt and gained at the festival, and whilst being in this inspired state-of-mind I went home and wrote my article on ‘The Good Life’.

I decided that I’d figured out what ‘The Good Life’ is about. It’s about the friends and family around you, the wild plants and herbs growing at your doorstep. It is the aspiration to improve the world you live in…
That is what makes up ‘The Good Life’.

I am so grateful for having had this rare opportunity to contribute and be part of a writer’s festival. It was my first time going to one, and I think I will go to more from now on. Not only that but I can put this experience of being published in my resume and hopefully with a bit of luck, one day attain my dream job of writing for food/travel magazines.

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