I was there

I was there for my friend, Thao Nguyen’s book launch earlier in the month. It was a lovely celebration in Bankstown Arts Centre, and a milestone that was foretold many years ago.

I was there when she told me about the seeds of ‘We Are Here’, back in Bankstown Hotel in 2011. She said she was going to work on her story of how she came to Australia, bit by bit. I gave her a nickname, Thao 5000 because she had a goal of writing 5000 words every week. She was going to do it. I knew she was going to do it. I kept telling her that she had a story brewing inside her, that was destined to be a writer.

She was there for me in 2009 in Gloria Jeans in Bankstown Central, and she told me the same thing. Back when I had my Thai-riffic! manuscript finished and ready to go to Penguin, she said that I was going to be the Asian Paul Jennings or Morris Gletizman, that Thai-riffic! was going to be a smash hit.

She was there for me in 2007, when I made the RAW comedy semi finals in Newtown. She encouraged me to start writing out these crazy stories that were inside my head. She’s one of the few people who spurred me on my cHEwY journey and I cherished her encouragement each step of the way.

I was there when she did a short ten minute performance about her life at Parramatta Riverside Theatre, back in 2004. I told her that she was capable of anything and everything. Who have thought that little snippet would be played out in words on a page someday? I did.

We were there at a writer’s workshop, back in 2003, brainstorming ideas for a multicultural sitcom revolved around soccer. She was bubbly and creative, dabbing in plays, short films, stories and other things. She was a bright spark and we caught on fire with crazy ideas and silly stories that still make me smile.

And just as my cHEwY journey is twisting and turning, Thao’s next chapter as an author is going to be fun and exciting. She will spread her own energy everywhere she goes. The bookshelves will be better for it, knowing that a wonderful new voice up there now.  I can’t wait to catch up with her again, as we share our writing adventures. I know it won’t be waiting that long for her follow up book and as for that upcoming launch…

I will be there 🙂



About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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