At my bookshop event a young bloke in a white cable-knit jumper asked about achieving solitude. Afterwards he introduced himself as an only child at the start of his journey reckoning with his Dad’s mental illness. (“He’s an awesome bloke,” he said.) He eyes were tender as I spoke. I wanted to give him a hug, but didn't quite manage it.
Get Up Mum continues to be well received. I have had things happen like being contacted by people I went to primary school with but barely spoke to who have revealed they are in the same situation as me caring for a mentally ill parent and do I have any advice for them? It's kinda powerful.
I've also been contacted by the 2-3 organisations that exist specifically to support children of parents with a mental illness. This is after having gone through my own journey with that sort of thing some months ago and despite having a solid google not really finding anything. My book has acted as a distress flare. Only this week I went and gave a talk at a workshop for FaPMI (there is also Satellite & Kookaburra). There were kids there just like me.
Another day, another insanely personal interview. The Myf Warhurst ABC one went well. For prep she read half the book in two days (as in 'preparation,' not that she was in a classroom with six year olds) and was awfully caring.
On the one hand it's all slightly confronting and exhausting but at the same time it's the kind of conversation I've wanted to have with people for years, so I suppose I'm unlocking the moxie to make up for lost time. Also, the wildest, most fascinating thing about art completion is probably the manner in which your brain adapts and gets used to doing so many interviews in a row. What used to be truly terrifying eventually becomes second nature. I dig it. There is grace in repetition and power in showing up.
RADIO PRODUCER: I hope this doesn't seem insensitive but what state is your Mum in now?
IN ART NEWS
Congratulations to my pal Yvette Coppersmith who won the Archibald! (She painted the portrait of me on the BP website). Her winning entry was a self-portrait inspired by NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. What a class act. She's in a bunch of exhibitions at the moment, for more details check her website at yvettecoppersmith.com
GET UP MUM
“The lows in this tale are always complemented by affectionate highs. Heazlewood displays wonder at the world and its possibilities for delight – in his grandmother’s garden, in salty fish and chips, in swims in the sea. Littered throughout the novel are lines of poetry that almost startle, asking to be read and re-read…Get Up Mum is a warm, humorous memoir about coming of age, and the deep love between two individuals who need each other equally.” Caitlin Cassidy, Readings.
LOOKING FOR A GIFT IDEA FOR YOUR CAT THIS CHRISTMAS IN JULY?
Thanks to everyone who rocked up to church. I wasn't sure if everyone would do the 'communion' but it worked a charm. Afterwards lots of people came to sign books and I thought I was Amanda Palmer or something. An older woman offered to tie up my shoelaces. It was terribly intimate.
I had 'Test Match' set up as a decoration (the 'new school' one with trigger operated batsmen and oval mat), but didn't bring a ball. I sent some friendly hipster dudes off to the shop to find a lolly or something.
REVIEW OF LAUNCH BY DAMIEN LAWLOR:
"Hey, sorry I didn't say hi yesterday, but once the popcorn ran out the young one got a little hyperactive and wanted to start trashing the church. So did I, actually. But nice work and thanks for the popcorn. And no thanks for getting that Cars song stuck in my head for the past 24 hours."
REVIEW OF LAUNCH BY KELLY CHANDLER:
"I came along with my four year old because childcare fail, and i surrendered early on, like after buying a book and my kid eating the kool mint from a test match game! how are you feeling? It looks great and publicity has been ace too! xx"
REVIEW OF LAUNCH BY BEC (not Bek Chapman, the other Bec):
"Seriously the best book launch of all time."
Supermarkets should show this to shoppers to help them with the grieving process.
"Our business is not in marketing a product, our business is in being in touch with the world and the human heart and our dreams and reminding people there is beauty in truth. So don’t be all fussing over who said what, and who thinks what, and how many thumbs-up your latest poem got – these are not the right questions to be asking as a creative person."