25 March: Undertaking detailed writing or thinking at home doesn’t work for me – too many distractions – and the undone housework jumps out and undermines my resolve to ignore it. Instead today I’ve looked at competitions for short stories in the offing, and started to brainstorm ideas of potential topics. One is set – the Stringybark focus on the seven deadly sins. I’m trying to meld two incidents of anger (wrath) – one recent and local involving the vulnerability of an older woman, the other from 1981 in the midst of the hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, into a satisfying storyline. Something entirely other may emerge. The other two possibilities are open for content. Must get back to challenging the brain connections.
24 March : Not much editing / writing progress this weekend. Focussed more on networking in Cleveland on Saturday. Met a new group of artists intending to work on a major project using artefacts from the natural environment on Stradbroke Island in June. There is also intention to make use of up-to-date technology – an interesting mix. Talks were motivating. A speaker from Macleay Island told about their plans for an artistic and community event coming up soon. The group’s next meeting will have emphasis on writers. Interesting experience. Couldn’t help being overtaken by a sense of the romantic about the Bay Islands and those wonderful laid-back ferry rides to and from the mainland that feel so friendly. Had a wonderful week a few years back on Coochiemudlo where I managed to get the bones of my family saga (draft now completed) into some sort of shape.
Two candidates for the upcoming local council elections attended and spoke about their support for the arts and interests in promoting the values of community. No-one showed much interest in the State election that happened today – seemingly accepting the poll forecasts as a foregone conclusion, even if they were not pleased with that possibility.
All the time in my subconscious is awareness of issues for Freya (the protagonist in the family saga) as she starts to deal with the broader issues around humanitarian aid work (covered in detail in Parts Four and Six of the story). I completed the editing of the chapter mentioned in recent blogs, and emailed it to our Writer’s Group members for critiquing at the meeting on 3oth March. The later unfolding of the plot will bring Freya into contact with the war correspondent she met on the flight to Nairobi. She is intrigued by his venture into health reporting in Africa and rightly questions how he manages the comparative tameness of this in view of his obsession with being on the front-line.