I wrote the 80 word “intention to submit” statement for my masters in creative writing today- free at last- almost! I’ve found the journey really interesting, without Kathleen Fallon I would have quit all together. I have learnt that I can write academic discourse in english literature at postgraduate level and I’ve read a lot of interesting texts as well. The creative process for my novella has been a bit painful, the gestation period was long and it was an effort to write. But in the process I’ve learnt about layering my drafts and playing with voices in the text so it has been useful.
Silence was workshopped and redrafted over the weekend which was intense but also a great process lead by Melanie Beddie the dramaturg and Gorkem Acaroglu the director. With their input the play is now more stylised and less naturalistic which is fantastic! Bring on the hungry ghosts I say (with the aid of fog machine and projections).
So now I have some head space for the Footscray Arts residency and my next new work. I’m reading Women Native Other by Trinh Minh Ha which has a great prologue about story telling and ancestry that has resonance for my next theatrical work.
Peril’s inaugural Board meeting is happening in August- more excitement with three people flying in from interstate. I’m thrilled that Peril is getting bigger- and maybe well get funding soon- applications TBA.
I’ve just got a residency at Footscray Community Arts Centre for the second half of this year. I’ll be residing there one day a week on Thursdays. Pleased that I can dedicate at least one day a week to artistic stuff for a change…I’m working on the 6th draft of Silence at the moment and it’s filling my mind. Being this stimulated and engaged with my work is what I like and theatre definitely has more interaction than novels. I’m thinking of just accepting that my preferred mode of writing is short fiction and plays, and adapting my finished work to that aim- themed short stories that turn into novel length works seem to work for me better than the slow painful evolution of my novel for my masters.
I’m having another story published in the upcoming HEAT magazine titled “The Daughters of Au Co”. It is also the title of a short story collection that I’m massaging into shape. Joy of joys my writing group is having a dedicated writing day this Saturday! I’m delighted- the first bit of concentrated creative writing I would have done since returning from the US.
Went to the Asian/Australian Values Workshop in Wollongong on Asian-Australian Literature which you can read about in Peril Issue #4 at www.asianaustralian.org.
Once upon a time in the West a series of short films of which I made the first- Remembrance- is being shown at the Big West festival this week. They are really good short docs (except mine which is a fiction) portraying life in the West, The sort of hour that I would like to sit John Howard and Pauline Hanson in front of and make them watch.
Kathleen Fallon my creative supervisor is leaving Melbourne Uni. I’m currently doing a masters in creative writing and this throws things out a little. I really value my creative life and want to make it more of my life- and it appears one of the ways to do that is get a Phd and move into academia/creative writing. The other is to move into psychotherapeutic story telling which there isn’t the space for at RMIT Counselling Service. I could do more community orientated art work, and group projects- Caitlin Nunn is doing a Phd which involves getting us (meaning the Vietnamese-Australian artists I hang out with) to interview our families and talk about the return home and home and produce themed art from it. It may lead to production at Big West festival 2009. I had initially thought that I would concentrate on getting a book out or in process in 2008 and this is already happening to a degree.
Silence has got production dates 21 May to 1 June 2008 at La Mama Theatre. This fulfils another one of my dreams and I’m thinking of converting it into a film script.
There is so much I could do- and not enough time or money to do it all at once. I tried to draw up a life plan for the next few years to sort out what I want to achieve (and the best way of doing it). I did this two months ago and I’m already roving all over the place!