Tag Archives: self

Novel


Novel

Around 4 years ago, I wrote a novel in the modern literary style. It was a rambly roadtrip pastiche of memory, time and all round earnest seriousness. I finished it in just under 2 months of obsessive 8 hour writing stints in Darwin’s state library overlooking the bay. I did two further drafts, made a couple of half hearted attempts to get it published, had a look at it a year or so later and decided that it required so much work, it would be better to write another entirely different one.

A couple of years later, I joined nanowrimo and in a month of obsessive keyboard pounding writing 2000 words a night for 30 days, produced ten chapters of grand space opera. Being grand space opera, the finished work would be roughly another 60 chapters. I didnt bother doing much more but to this day, I think it has more potential than my first mod-lit-fic work. At any rate, it was a lot more enjoyable to write.

I’m thinking of starting another novel. In fact, I’ve been thinking of another novel for the last three years and have two or three reasonably well worked out plotlines and themes.

The problem is not so much time or energy but will and the loneliness of writing when there’s a million other things out there I could be doing. What I need is a novel writing group – a small collection of other people who are writing, who can offer support, who are willing to read occasional bits of each others work. So, I’m having a poke around the net to see whether there’s any such group around.

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Past


Cleaning out my yahoo account which I’ve had for ages, I discovered an old zip file that contains all my personal mail between 1996 to the end of 1998. It also contains about a year’s worth of journal entries. There’s over 900kb of pure text in that zip file and it’s well organised enough in folders that the conversations make sense.

I’ve been reading bits of it. I’d forgotten how turbulent a period it was.

Reading stuff I wrote back then is a strange experience. My style and the way I express myself hasnt changed that much but with the benefit of hindsight, it’s pretty obvious when I’m trying to be clever and when I’m trying to communicate as clearly as possible.

Trying to be clever really does come across as that. Smug, pratty, pretentious.

However, my clear communication style isnt bad at all. He seems quite a nice guy. And thankfully most of the letters appear to fall into that category.

edit:

Thing is, having decided not to allow the personal to do anything more than lightly shade my LJ entries, will I ever read these entries in the future with any amount of interest? Will what I write now illuminate the person I am now (to the person I will be) in any significant way or will it just be a collection of stale and insufficiently worked through ideas?

Heck, will it even matter? I’m not rushing to read that archive with all that much interest really.

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blog


Lots of interesting comments from my last entry and thanks dangerfield23 for pointing me to moodgrapher. What a great concept!

Anyway, rather than responding individually to each comment, I thought I’d post another entry with some of my other thoughts on blogs, especially with regard to possible professional consequences of blogging in the public domain.

I’d first intended my blog to be a notebook and a way of breaking out of my writer’s block. It rapidly became an op-ed column and I’ve been enjoying writing it enough that I am still writing at least a couple of entries every week.

I did think about the consequences both personal and professional of being in the public domain. But in retrospect, it was the uncontrolled nature of public domain publishing (even if my audience would be very tiny) that attracted me to blogging and which maintains my writing interest today.

However, one of things I hadnt quite taken into consideration was the friends functionality and that the content from their blogs would invariably form a refrain to my own entries. As my friends list grew, it became obvious that there would be a bit more crossover than I’d first anticipated, that in fact, as uncontrolled and anarchic self-publishing filter free is, the linking of journals through friends list made it even more so.

At that point, I thought about the convenience of the friends list function, the social affirmation trading aspects of it and weighed it against possible professional repercussions. Having given up a long time ago on ever being accepted by the mainstream corporate Australia (or indeed mainstream Australia) as one of the boys, it wasnt too difficult for me to shrug it off.

So, I continued writing and growing my friends list. There are evident disjunctions of course but I think the pseudo-collaborative mosaic that results from one’s friends list and one’s blog adds interest and depth dar more than a single blog on its own can.

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coffee


i just pulled my best double ristretto yet. One of those coffees that makes me wish i had my camera with me. two fingers of ambrosia, one width crema, one width guiness darkness, all silky smoothness.

the second-hand commercial grade semi-atuo espresso machine at work is old and tempremental. the secret I’ve discovered is to overfill the double filter basket. So, it’s fill once as per usual, tamp down gently, then fill it again and then tamp quite a bit harder then is generally recommended.

The other trick is to run the pump out for a few seconds before. otherwise the machine hasnt had a chance to heat up enough yet. unfortunately, i still havent managed to get the water quite hot enough yet.

Alternatively, I could reduce the grind, but I’ve discovered the machine cant quite get enough pressure up for finer grinds and ends up over-extracting.

This entry is probably of no interest whatsover to anyone.

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Film


I wont be posting this one to the screening room because of spoilers. I have no worries about posting it here though. As I said, spoilers.

Monday night at the MIFF was a documentary titled Three of Hearts: A post-modern family. In spite of the title, it was actually quite a good documentary. Possibly because it was filmed over 8 years and the participants who were friends with the documentary makers were remarkably honest and open.

Basically, two guys start a relationship while one is 19 and the other around 25 or so. The first, Steven, is easy going, gentle and self-effacing. The other, Sam, is extroverted, charming and wilful. Not long after they start going out, Sam decides that he would like to introduce a woman into their relationship. Eventually, after some persuasion, Steven decides to go along. Eventually they meet Samantha who after her own inital doubts is convinced by Sam also. After a brief period of adjustment, Steven and Samantha fall in love as well. Together the three start a health theraphy business and as their relationship thrives, it seems to thrive as well. Nine years later, they have their first child and it seems that life cannot be better for their family.

A couple of years later, thirteen years after the start of their relationship and just two days before the birth of their second child, Steven without any warning, tells Samantha and Sam that it is over and leaves. In the last half hour, the film documents the disintegration of each relationship, the growing bitterness between Samanatha and Sam towards Steven and the downgrading of Samantha and Sam’s relationship to that of companions and primary care givers to their children. Just before the credits, you’re informed that Samantha and Sam are taking Stephen to court over their shared business. At the end during the Q + A session with one of the producers, it seems that relations have become so bad that Samantha and Sam can no longer attend the same film festival sessions as Steven. It seems that everything they’ve shared together as a triad has crumbled away.

Fortunately, they appear to have kept the children out of their disputes, for now.

So what went wrong?

In the documentary, Steven keeps his feelings close but the few words he says on the subject seems to indicate that he wasnt ready for the responsibilities of two children and a settled down life. He’d entered the relationship at 19 and from all appearences, his relationship both at work and at home with the other two were so close that he must have started to understand in his early 30s that he had a fair amount of finding out who he actually was outside of the other two.

It seemed a pity to me that they couldnt have negotiated a leave of absence for Steven or opened up the relationship such that Steven could amicably live seperately for a while and pursue his own interests as a semi-single person. It seemed a pity that Stephen never considered that as a possibility and had to abandon everything.

Ok, perhaps a bit of overidentification here but there were scenes with Steven in it being an utter shit that I could recognise myself in from about ten years ago, where you have to be an asshole so that no matter what happens, you can never go back. Because going back will destroy the person that you’re trying to discover and at that point in time, it doesnt matter how much hurt you’re dealing out to others or yourself, the only thing that matters is that you become that new person. Birthing pains.

So, Steven Margolin, if that’s what was happening with you, then good on ya. You’ll not hear this from many who saw that film I dont think. I hope it was worth it and you found what you were looking for.

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