Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our third day of the Sydney Writers' Festival

Our plan had been to busk every day of the Sydney Writers' Festival, but our plan was thwarted on Tuesday night when Stella put her leg through the floor of her flat, which is also the bedroom ceiling of the flat downstairs. Her bottom was sore for a few days, and I was relieved to have a break, because I was having a bit of a portrait-crisis. I did some soul-searching while Stella's bottom recovered. I resolved from now on to be more honest, and to worry less about people's feelings. My writerly reputation was on the line! Even just one little scrap of bullshit leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which, when I phrase it like that, is hardly surprising. I don't want to degrade the act of writing, even for one sentence. Though one healthy aspect of this portrait business is that when Stella yells, "Time!", I have to finish my sentence, pull out the page and let it go, mistakes, deficiencies, failures and all. I can't afford to fiddle faddle over a phrase. The next customer is waiting. There are plenty of published novelists out there who would be grateful for a paid gig, as Stella constantly reminds me.

But Stell's bottom was almost back to normal by Saturday, so we went down to the wharves and set up on Hickson Road opposite the bottleshop (Stella's choice). Stella's voice boomed out from our little alleyway, and once we started, we had as many customers as we could possibly want. We charged a Sydney Writers' Festival premium: $5 per portrait, instead of our usual fee of 50 cents or more. We RAKED it in!

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