Q&A Monday: Lorelei Vashti 0 Comments

Q&A Monday: Lorelei Vashti

Lorelei Vashti. Female. Lives in Melbourne (for the minute). Member of the literati brat-pack (my invention). Is regularly published in a whole heap of places, including The Age (as a weekly columnist), TheVine, Behind Ballet and is famous for her insane Courtney Love updates for Defamer. Also, her blog is chock-a-block full of excellent pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Absolutely crazy, in a hug-and-kiss-a-stranger way (not a knife-in-the-back-of-Monica-Seles way).

Writing: necessity or luxury?

Necessity.

So, Lorelei, what’s up? Whatcha been doing lately?

Writing about TV for The Age’s Green Guide. Blogging about celebrities for The Vine. Rhapsodising about ballet for Behind Ballet. Working on my Debut Novel™, which, if anyone asks, is about a young woman’s search for her identity in a world gone mad. Attempting to write a play and start a new blog about dresses. Trying to write and record my Debut Solo Acoustic Album™, which, if anyone asks, is about a young woman’s search for her identity in a world gone mad. And I’m preparing to move into my first permanent home for many years. By permanent, I mean I might stay there for six months or so. By preparing to move, I mean I’m getting psychological help to deal with the concept of committing to any city for longer than a sojourn. By getting psychological help, I mean I’m drinking heaps of whiskey.

You write for so many different mediums. How do you manage and balance it?

Optimism. Index cards. Meditation. Regular bouts of hysterical sobbing, followed by Rocky-like gym montages with this song playing in my earphones. Phone calls to my friends in the dark hours of night. A total naivety as to how careers are supposed to work, and therefore no limits. And no social life. That’s quite a crucial one.

You have heaps upon heaps of writerly and creative friends. Does this help, or hinder your own work?

I know I just said I had no social life but despite hardly ever leaving the house, you’re right—I have somehow obtained the most brilliant bunch of incredibly talented friends. And without wanting this answer to deteriorate into the realm of schmaltz, the truth is they help me beyond belief. They’re everything. They give me ideas and conversation and opinions and inspiration and wine and delicious food and reading material and music and their shoulders to cry on. As soon as they gauge from the growing pools of tears and snot gathering somewhere around their underarms that one side is soaked, they generously offer me their other. And then when that side is saturated, they gently pass me over to another friend’s shoulder while they hunt down an industrial dryer, and so on and so forth until I have ruined fourteen perfectly nice blouses but am feeling a lot better thank you, and we can finally all get back to work.

You’ve lived in many places on this globe. Running to, or away from something?

Running to. As those great philosophers, Eurythmics, say: ‘Everybody’s looking for something’. In my case, it’s a rent-free abode, which is why I usually end up moving back in with family, even when they reside in such far-flung corners of the earth as India or Queensland.

But I absolutely love running away, too. It’s definitely the most shallow and short-term way to solve any problem. Annie Lennox, once again, has put it most catchily.

If you could read anyone’s journal or raid anyone’s hard drive, through whose would you rifle?

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s. Not sure if she can even actually write yet, but can’t wait to see what she comes up with once she gets the hang of it. I think she’s pretty much the best thing on earth: that opinion is, of course, based solely on this picture and this picture.

The internet: friend or foe? Discuss.

Friend.

Foe.

Friend.

Foe.

Friend.

Foe.

Friend.

Friend.

Best, best, best, best, best friend.

You can punch one person in the schnoz and get away scot free. Who do you clobber?

Firstly, because I suffer from a barbarous variety of RSI that regularly sends shots of yowling pain down the entire right side of my body, you must understand that I’d never be able to actually hit a person hard enough to seriously hurt them. Which is fortunate for my exes but unfortunate for the dramatic potential of this question. Some days I can barely even lift a teacup to my poor, parched lips (please send flowers and sympathy cards C/— Virgule, The Internet). Despite my impediment though, I’ll try to answer this as best I can.

The thing is, I feel an obscure and irrational protectiveness towards Winona Ryder. Outside in the world, I act almost as if she’s my sister for some reason; maybe it’s because I spent every afternoon after school from the ages of 8–16 watching Beetlejuice, Mermaids and Heathers over and over. Anyway, she practically feels like family to me, and I feel compelled to defend her dubious name if anyone ever insults her by casually calling her a shoplifter or a mono-talented actress, for example. These “Winonenemies”, as I call them, are definitely clobber-worthy. As for everyone else though, I believe in peace. Except maybe in the case of that Liberian dictator who ate people.

You’re an exile, banished to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. You are allowed one book and one album of music (in a solar powered iPod) to last the rest of your days. Any preferences?

Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love. And We Tell Ourselves Stories to Live by Joan Didion.

Have you ever hit a cane toad with a golf club? Could you?

I’m from Queensland so of course I have, although as is the case with most childhood sports I seem to have blocked out the details. I think we used to do a bit of it after school at Brownies, which really goes against the “Do Unto Others” ethos of that organisation, wouldn’t you agree? The very idea of it horrifies me now, of course; I haven’t even been able to kill a mosquito ever since I did that Buddhist meditation course on the top of a mountain in Chiang Mai. So no, I could never do anything to a cane toad again, except run from it (see above Eurythmics film clip for preferred soundtrack to this scenario).

What are you reading?

You didn’t ask me this question; I just added it in myself right now because I think you should have. Not that I’m trying to tell you how to do your job. It’s mostly because I’m nosy and it’s something I always want to know about everyone else, so I presume you would want to know it about me, too. Right? So anyway, my answers, since I asked, are:

Daphne du Maurier’s short stories, Patti Smith’s memoir, Paris Reviews and New Yorkers dating back to October 2009, Harpo Speaks! and I just finished my brilliant, dear friend Benjamin Law’s book The Family Law which you simply all must read as a matter of urgency. Proust still has me in his ever so dainty and flowery thrall as well—I am seriously just one and a half volumes away from finishing In Search of Lost Time now, and I’m pretty confident I’ll finish it before I die, as long as I live for at least four hundred more years, that is. Like Dracula.

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