Script Analysis and a peppermint tea

Three amazing things are happening right now:

  1. I’m in my final year of my professional writing studies (so much work…)
  2. I have a new role at work (sooooo much work!)
  3. I joined a script analysis workshop (because I didn’t think I had enough work to do)

Script Analysis

Script Analysis by Cracking Yarns.

This is the really exciting one: Script Analysis is a 3-hour virtual classroom every Tuesday night for the next five weeks. We’ll study two scripts a week, and pull them apart to reveal the stuff that works, and the stuff that bores.

It’s an extension of a 2-day Screenwriting Workshop I attended in Feb, only this one allows me to sit at home in slippers while sipping a peppermint tea. I know the next five weeks will be intense, but that’s what I loved about Allen Palmer’s workshop.

Meanwhile, in other writerly news, I’m battling through a creative non-fiction unit (personal essays and memoirs) and a professional research unit (corporate stuff – policies, briefing notes, etc). Quite the contrast. The latter is a bit out of my interest zone, so the challenge is just getting through them. And then there’s the day job which is ramping up in a major way, and that scares me a little.

In the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.”

Finishing my first short film script

I’ve been hanging out on Instagram a lot these days. I can’t get enough of photo prompt challenges, especially by Susannah Conway. You can find me at @alteredtype

I’m still studying – 8 months left and counting.

And still writing – a short story and my first 15 minute film script about a girl who meets a guy in a bookshop, but it doesn’t end well. For the bookshop.

And still hoarding stationery, which I don’t talk much about here, but I feel my ventures in art journaling and papery things will eventually feature more prominently on the blog (after studies are over).

And still getting over Christmas and various milestone birthdays, and a new role at work, and, and, and…

I may be away from the blog for just a little while. A wise screenwriter once told me, “If you’re writing a blog, you’re not writing your script.” Good point. Back soon.

Writing update: poetry and adapting Twelfth Night

I have been doing stuff, making stuff, and most importantly, writing stuff. Yep, stuff has been getting done. While the blog has been shuffled to the sidelines for about a month, here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. Writing poetry
I’ve been reading and writing all sorts of poetry for the last three months, and I NEED to keep it up. It’s invigorating, pushing me to use new words and phrases I haven’t dared use before. Plus, haiku genuinely keeps the brain sharp.

2. Re-writing Shakespeare
This is an incredible challenge for my Uni studies. Initially though, I was terrified about the project (being less than an expert on the Bard) until I learned that we were adapting one tale from Charles & Mary Lamb’s Tales of Shakespeare for a children’s book. And no, I didn’t choose Twelfth Night just so I could watch She’s The Man, but it was helpful. My adaptation of Twelfth Night takes place at an alternative rock music festival, where the twins’ tale of mistaken identity plays out among world famous rock stars: Orson and Olivia. Who would’ve thought I’d love writing a book for tweens?

3. Writing to pen pals
Three charming ladies from Canada, France and Germany have been sending their thoughts (and paper goodies) my way, and have hopefully received mail from me by now. Viva Snail Mail!

4. Writing as therapy
Again for Uni, I challenged myself to explore a very personal issue in my assignments. My first instinct is to avoid certain topics if I feel the writing process will be too negative or stress-inducing, but this time I’m taking a deep breath and diving into the trauma. So far, it has proven therapeutic. Thankfully, only my poor tutor has to read it.

On the topic of where to focus your writing, read this amazing post where three authors provide their thoughts on writing vs. blogging.

‘So you want to be a writer’ podcast

Image: So you want to be a writer (podcast)

What a find! I’m only up to episode 3 of this podcast for writers (and readers) and while it’s tempting to jump straight to the latest episode, I’m going to take my time with this one.

Image: So you want to be a writer podcast

There are so many reasons I’m loving this podcast:

1. It’s Australian 
Go us! It’s great to hear local voices talking about people, places and events in my own timezone. It feels more accessible than some other podcasts I listen to regularly, because I don’t have a hope in hell of visiting a Waterstones any time soon, or any of the other lovely sounding bookshops and events that are geographically so far away. Did you know that Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature? Which basically means there are so many events down here that could warrant their own podcasts (and I’m surprised there aren’t more).

2. It’s run by two intelligent, passionate writing professionals
Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait share similar opinions and experiences in writing and publishing, and they love to explore their differences; that’s what makes their conversations so interesting.

3. It is run by women
As an extension on point 2, I love listening to women in the industry talk about their experiences and their craft, and not just from an interviewee perspective. When you hear a voice (or see a person) that represents something you aspire to, you feel less invisible and are more likely to go forth and be heard yourself.

4. They talk about other stuff – sometimes.
I’m only three episodes in, but so far they’ve covered other very relevant issues in the world like coffee, typewriters and reading habits. They do cover everything remotely relevant to the creative writing life and interview some amazing writers in their Writer in Residence segment.

If you’ve been looking for a podcast that covers all writerly things, you should take a listen to this one. And naturally, if there are podcasts I need to know about, please leave me a note.

My writing To Do list

This time next year, things will have changed.

Study will be over and I will reclaim 24 hours in every week.

That’s a lot of hours.

Ten of them may be given back to work, but the rest will go back into the creative well: writing, art journaling, writing, exercise. Did I mention writing?

Day trips on weekends will become a guilt-free reality and my camera will be getting the workout it deserves.

I will no longer be afraid of green thumbs: I’ll be digging in the dirt and planting vegetable seeds, and getting a little colour on my skin. Whether a bounty of fresh greens will eventuate, I’m unsure; but I will be reacquainting myself with a garden that I have been ignoring for the past ten years.

There are so many other things, people, places I’ve had to ignore for the past two years, but with patience and determination, I know they’ll wait for me.

Only 12 months to go…

This is my first post in the The Daily Post’s Writing 101 challenges: Daily Posts.

Loving and lurking in libraries

You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

Ray Bradbury

There’s an urgency in this quote and I love it. I’m happy to lurk in libraries and climb library stacks, though I can’t say I’ve done much of either in the past decade.

It reminds me of the bucket list concept. If I had one, visiting ancient libraries around the globe would be on there.

I have beautiful memories of country town libraries from childhood. I’d be crouched on worn carpet or sitting in light-filled corners, surrounded by a sea of book spines and hoping to find that one book that was meant for me, that would change my young life.

We could all do with the occasional lurking in libraries.