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Dear Readers, I know that lately you have only been hearing from me doing movie review. I’m really enjoying posting journalistic(ish) entries but I thought maybe it was time for a bit of an update on where I’m at with some other stuff I’m doing.

Firstly, I’m almost finished my second edit of my NaNoWriMo novel from last year. I’ve given it to a few people to read any they have enjoyed it, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m hoping to start submitting it to publishers in the next few weeks. This is ahead of the schedule I made for myself in my New Year’s post, so yay!

Sort of related to this I went to a workshop yesterday held at Richmond Library called ‘Writing Sex and Intimacy’, facilitated by Narrelle M. Harris. Narrelle is fabulously knowledgeable about writing (and writing sex/intimacy), she knows how to write and she knows how to explain what she’s doing to others (she is also a massive Sherlock fan, which helps). I went into the workshop hoping that I would learn something, and even if not that I would have some of my beliefs/practises validated by someone who gets paid to write. Both of those things were achieved, I’m really pleased that I decided to attend. I also had a bit of a chat with Narrelle after the workshop and I now have a couple of new small scale publishers that I might submit my work to.

Secondly, I’ve been working on adapting this second novel into a screenplay. It has actually been a lot more difficult than I first imagined. For example I’ve had to lose a lot of the backstory because I couldn’t work out how to get it in there without flashbacks which are awful. I’ve been aiming for it to be a feature length film script, usually between 90-120 pages, and so far I’m about three quarters of the way through the novel and I’m already at 108 pages. I’m going to have to go through with a massive red pen to get it to an industry accepted length. I considered trying for a mini-series or something, but I think the story works best as a single feature. I’m sure I can tighten everything up with some editing to get it to a reasonable length. However, I’m going to have to revise my deadline for this to the end of Feb, which is later than I had planned but it’s just taking longer than I thought it would.

Related to this, I’ve been trying to make some contacts who are working in, or hoping to work in, the film industry around Melbourne. On Saturday I attended a meetup.com gathering of aspiring film makers which was a good opportunity to meet and greet some other like minded individuals. I must admit that it was a bit awkward, the facilitators of the group didn’t seem to have a very solid structure for the meeting, so there were some mildly uncomfortable moments. None-the-less I now have contact details for a few screenwriters so I’m hoping to use them for their brains at some point in getting feedback on the screenplay when it’s done.

Finally, I attended a fantastic spoken word/performance evening at Hares and Hyenas as part of Midsumma, called ‘Trip the Word Fantastic’. There were six performers; three poets and three singer/songwriters. There were three sets, the first set was Madeline Radke, a beautiful singer down from Brisbane and poetry from Rebecca Maxwell, who I know through the Boroondara Writer’s Group and who has kindly been helping my with editing my novel. Rebecca’s poetry is extremely evocative and had at least one member of the audience in tears. The second set constisted of poetry from Marion May Campbell and music from Phoebe Jacobs. Phoebe’s voice is deep and dark and rich like honey, her guitar playing was stripped back. Marion’s poetry had a real energy to it, I hesitate to call it manic, but it was definitely driven. The third set was poetry by ReVerse Butcher, who organised the evening so props to her for fabulous event management skills, and music by Essie Thomas. ReVerse’s style seems to be reminiscent of William S. Burroughs, it seems to be cut up and mixed up and put back together in interesting ways. She also had multimedia accompaniment for her reading which added another layer to her complicated work. Essie Thomas finished up the night with a wildly passionate set of original songs. Essie has a growly, powerful, throaty voice and the most beautiful, intense blue eyes; I was mesmerised by her and by the end I’d fallen in love with her a little bit.

I know that’s a bit of a shitty review, in the sense of doing no justice at all to the experience and hard work and brilliance of the performers but I hope it gives you a sense of the event. If you have the chance to see any of these people perform in the future – DO IT!

Well, that sort of wraps up my update sort of post. I’ve been keeping busy, trying to be sociable, trying to get some work done, keep up with exercising and generally do all the things. I’m not sure how I’ll cope when I go back to uni at the end of February, but I’m sure I’ll muddle my way through, I always do.