World Mental Health Day

Every day is World Mental Health Day at my house. Take heart everyone. You are always stronger than you think. People aren’t thinking mean things about you. That’s just you being too hard on yourself. : )

Colour wheel

Aimee Mann released an album last year called ‘Mental Illness’ – the best name check since ‘Thank God For Mental Illness’ by The Brian JonesTown Massacre. This is a great song with a lot of cat in it.

 

 

 

Love Your Bookshop / Gado Gado!

I’ll be appearing at Brunswick Bound from 3pm today signing copies of Get Up Mum and generally looking well-read. I may even give away this educational basketball card.
I’m the “lunch” feature in The Age today. I can’t remember what I said because I was hungry. We dined at my favourite Indonesian restaurant Yuni’s Kitchen. (I studied Indonesian in grade 7 and can still sing ten green bottles: “Sepuluh botol hijau, di atas pagar!”) My favourite dish is Gado Gado (a rad salad with peanut sauce, egg, tofu and crunchy bits) – I like to sing it to the tune of ‘G’day G’day’ by Slim Dusty.
Why not kick off Love Your Bookshop Day by revisiting Bjork at her bookish best.
“A good book is the precious distillation of a master spirit, embalmed and preserved for the purpose of achieving a life beyond life – which is why it is, undoubtedly, a necessary commodity.” Florence Green, The Bookshop.
(Mate, I’ve been saying that for years.)
#loveyourbookshopday

 

Melbourne & Brisbane Writers Festivals

Get Up Mum has gone into a second printing. Thanks everyone for your support, retail and otherwise. 

Check out the latest promo video featuring excerpts from Montello Primary School Book Week 1992!

Get Up Mum will be relaunched at Melbourne Writers Festival Sunday September 2. I’ll be conducting a service in memory of my child self. Tickets available HERE. I’ll be appearing on a panel at Brisbane Writers Festival Sunday September 9. Tickets available HERE.

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A Tale of Two Bens

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It was Care Factor 10 & Golden Times at the Get Up Mum Sydney launch thanks to the genteel magic of host Benjamin Law. I coaxed another young Ben away from his game and we celebrated being in “dimples club.” I showed him a cassette and carefully explained how the magnetic brown ribbon captured sound. He asked “can you use it as a whip?”

Brisbane / Sydney launches

30167795_10155770252673992_3007421511662412908_oSnavel a possie at the Get Up Mum Brisbane launch at Avid Reader Bookshop this Friday and be wowed and dazzled. Come for the insight, stay for the Le Snaks. There will be mental health, show ‘n tell and quizzically handsome gentlemen. Hosted by David Stavanger. Click HERE for Facebook event.

And the winner is…SYDNEY when I rock up with my treasure-trove cavalcade of nineties delicacies. Featuring Moroder ballads, bickie n dip, Benjamin Law & my childhood. We’re taking it one memoir at a time and reading is the real winner on the day. Better Read Than Dead, Thu July 19, 6:30. Click HERE for Facebook event.

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Melbourne Reading events

Whatcha doing Tuesday? Do you wanna keep me company as I chat about Get Up Mum? Readings St Kilda will be hosting a show & tell. I’ll bring my tape deck.

June 26, 6:30pm at Readings St Kilda. You can find more info HERE.

“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.

Also, July 6 I’ll be taking part in the First Chapters at Brunswick Bound bookshop. Check out my hilarious Q&A for them HERE.

On June 26, 1993 I was doing this:

grade 7 diary june 26 (crop)

Get Up Mum is Go!

Meet my new boyhood memoir! 12-year-old Justin is keen to meet ya (but a bit shy.) Signed copies with basketball card bookmark available HERE.

Justin Heazlewood - Get Up Mum

Yessum possums, Get Up Mum is out and about. I’ve spent the past two weeks getting amongst it; speaking publicly about the thorn in my side and the chip on my shoulder and the monkey on my back. I suppose this is my ‘coming out’ as a heartbroken person. A determined artist with a good book, I might add.

It was a tad surreal sitting alone at my own TV news desk at 8am on a Sunday morning. I was doing a live cross for Sky News. We teamed up with ‘Schizophrenia Awareness Week’ and I had an earpiece in one ear and was talking to a big black lens. It was 1984 meets 1993.

That said, I felt centred, like I was in the right place at the right time. It’s not often I can say that. The interview before me was the Greens’ Adam Bandt saying how the royal wedding hadn’t really ‘turned him on.’

There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction so far (to my book, not the wedding), especially from social media. It’s not everyday you get tweets like: “Young carers really need more of a spotlight. There’s a twisted and persistent sense of guilt that comes with being a carer (and lingers long afterward) that isn’t well-understood. It’s like a side of mental health that hasn’t really been defined, but it desperately needs to be.”

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Thanks Stevie A.

Anyhoo, it’s also a ‘cracking good read’ according to ABC Hobart presenter Melanie Tait.

There’s been a splendrous response from media. I’ve been hitting the circuit, check out the smorgasboard of links below:

  • I make my Guardian debut in this classic interview from fellow only child Elizabeth Flux.
  • A tender and compelling chateroo with Myf Warhurt.
  • Pseudo counselling session with excellent psychologists on Triple R’s Radiotherapy.
  • Lifestyles of the poor and infamous, or eloquent expose by one of Australia’s hardest working artists? You decide as I bare my artistic soul for Kill Your Darlings.
  • Rigorous pow-wow about schizophrenia on RNs Life Matters. Plus more radio action with ABC Adelaide & ABC Sydney.
  • Sunday afternoon driving home with Mum (excerpt on Soundcloud.)
  • Watch the trailer on YouTube.

REVIEWS

‘Unfortunately, this beautifully written, evocative memoir will only appeal to anyone who has had a childhood.’ Judith Lucy.

“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.

‘A young’uns tentative forage through a thorny scrub of filial love, written as postcards from the nestling.’ Tim Rogers.

“I’m halfway through this book and it’s GODDAMN WONDERFUL and heartbreaking. Justin’s writing voice is so phenomenal, such a perfect combination of funny and whole-hearted without being syrupy, woe-is-me and sentimental. I have a feeling a lot of people will find “oh my god that was me” relief in this book, especially if they grew up with parents who were dealing with any kind of mental illness.” Amanda Palmer.

… [Heazlewood] does evoke what it is like to live in a loving, if flawed, family. In particular, his nan and pop – the latter the closest he has to a father – jump off the page as beacons of stability. Ultimately, if Get Up Mum is about youth, it is also about growing up too fast. Told to be a man while still a boy, Heazlewood feels responsible for his mother. Maybe, then, this is his way of finally letting go.” The Saturday Paper.

“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.” Readings Monthly.

“Superbly written… perceptive account of what it’s like to grow up with someone who has [a mental illness]….written with no judgement – it’s just a simple recounting of his life and their lives but done in such a beautiful and perceptive way.” Book of the week, Burnie 7BU. 

Burnie postcard 80s