Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry
Between Killarney and Kenmare

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I have a book out - the second this year!!

It's called EverydayEats and I am one of the food reviewers. See it here:

The other book is the Good Pub Food Guide 2011 and I am one of the reviewers for it too!!

Lots of eating and drinking in 2010 which I am now trying to get my body to forget!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Last Day at Varuna

I have been in a cave for a couple of days, which is a good thing.
Have written more than 90 pages now and feeling much better about how things have gone. Got over my ADD and that superglue from the hardware really works!

The one thing I'll miss from here is the evening dinners with the four other writers. They are all working on books and are such a diverse and interesting mix of folk.
On Friday night, we read to each other from our work. This gave the greatest insight into each of us. Biff is writing a memoir about her parents - her mother suffered from schizophrenia and her father was an academic and writer. Her work is delightfully poignant - I can't wait to read more.
Anna is an intellectually gifted concert pianist. She is writing her second memoir, about pregnancy and childbirth. She writes with subtle humour and great realism.

Gary is a Scot, originally from Glasgow, but he is writing a fictional piece about three generations of a Polish family. His writing is rich with description and texture.
David is a very warm and funny man from Melbourne and his work of short fiction was layered with rich visual imagery and mood. All so wonderful. Beats TV anytime!

So much talent in one room - I feel truly privileged to have shared time with these marvellous people - all of whom are just like you and me, dealing with families, the daily grind, work commitments and our own limitations - but still managing to create.
My own work has some way to go but was received enthusiastically by the others - the one remark I treasure was that "it reads like a film - I can see it". Noice.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Funny dreams in the Mountains

I have been having bizarre dreams. Night before last I dreamt I met Steve Martin - in my dream he was extremely tall, young and wearing a bright yellow shirt.
Last night woke up after dreaming that vampires were coming to get me. Too weird. Perhaps they were. I went back to sleep.
It's not in any way a scary house - it is just a roomy and very quiet place. Have written more pages..and done a lot more research. Read all about the industrial disputation at the opera house today. Jack Mundey - he of the famed green bans of the early 1970s, was orginally a scaffolder on the Opera House - so he had a lot to do with leading strikes for better wages and conditions. Very interesting.
I had breakfast at the Common Ground cafe in Katoomba this morning - very good coffee in quirky, earthy Rivendell-like surrounds - it is run by a cult after all. But the food's good. Three sisters this arvo as it was the most perfect Autumn day - glorious. Yesterday was just misty, foggy, light rain all day - great for writing.
Banjo playing has slipped as feel pressure to play softly (so as not to disturb anyone) - and that just does not come naturally!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 2: Am I in prison?

Minor freak out. Why are all the other writers so diligent and quiet? They all seem to be hunkered down in their bunkers - in my case a small room with a table and chair adjoining my modest bedroom, looking out over a delightful garden - working away studiously. Am I the only one with ADD?
Usual modus operandi when writing fiction is to set myself a manageable goal - such as, OK I'll write 5 scenes - and then I'll make a cup of tea. Or OK, I'll map out five scenes and then have a cup of tea, or OK I'll go for a brisk walk and then I'll read some more and then I'll have a think and then I'll have a cup of tea.
This results in some writing, some pondering, lots of gazing out the window and lots of peeing.
Being confined to bedroom-cum-study overlooking pretty garden feels too stifling.
Have resolved to take laptop downstairs into delightful roomy loungeroom or sitting room tomorrow to push on.
I wrote eight pages today - in fact, developed a sub-plot which involves two young people falling in love and then having their hearts broken as circumstances force them apart. The sub-plot intersects with the major narrative plot at the denouement and also (I think) will end the film. So, in fact, I might have written the final scene of the film today. Very moving - tears. Dinner time now. More writing tonight (I hope). By the way, writers have approved my playing of the banjo (quietly) in the evening. Hoorah!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back at it again

Well, about seven months has lapsed since my last post...and the screenplay has stagnated. But, true to form I am back at it now.

I am in Katoomba at a writer's retreat for a week to try to finish this thing off.

I have arrived at the 1930s? home of Eleanor and Eric Dark - she was a writer, he a doctor - to simply write my life away and nothing else - not even music - unless it's with headphones on!!

As I was driving up here from Sydney, an enormous thunderstorm with pounding rains poured down at Wentworth Falls. I was snugly inside a cafe eating Barramundi at the time but when I finished it was still bucketing down so I took my refuge in an antiques store while I waited for it to ease long enough for me to make it to my car. The only thing really startling about this antique store was a giant moosehead which was mounted fairly low on the wall, so not long after you cruise in you are literally staring this very large, lifelike stuffed creature in the face. It was mean.

Perhaps a fitting start to the week as the Dark's house is all very original (kitchen, decor, musty books, floral carpet, patchwork quilts - you get the picture) and, as it's necessarily very quiet (there are only 5 of us here) - I feel like I've stepped back into pre-war times. Sago pudding anyone?

Too bad I'm not working on a war-era piece. Still, lovely to have all this time to indulge in the world of my screenplay again. How lucky am I. Oh, and did I mention it has a winding driveway, tree-lined driveway....just like Manderley...(sigh)