Saturday, July 31, 2010

A life chosen

I like to tell myself there is no such thing as Writer's Block. Sure there are days when words don't seem to want to come, when it would seem easier to pull your own wisdom teeth with a pair of pliers than to get a few words down on paper. But I tell myself, this is my job, this is what I have chosen to do. Writers write, so start bloodywell writing.

Wouldn't it be nice if that always worked.

Right now I am working on a short story. I can see the scenes in my head. I can hear my characters laughing and talking. I can hear the thumping music of the bar they are in. I can smell the spilled liquour and cigarette smoke. But what I cannot seem to do at the moment is get the damn words to come out properly. None of my usual tricks for kick-starting the right-brain into gear seem to work tonight.

This story is bouncing around inside of my head like an ant nest after petrol has been poured on it. But something has it well and truly bottled up inside there.

There are times when I really do wish I got my thrills from something easier, like wearing boxing gloves to sort fly crap from black pepper. But to plaigarise and butcher Mario Puza, this is the life that I have chosen. Still giving me the shits though.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

REVIEW: True Logic of the Future - Boho

Boho present an interactive steampunk style science-fiction theatre work based on the 19th century economist, meteorologist, logician, musician, programmer, 3D photographer, philosopher and cloud-maker, William Stanley Jevons.

The above is a quote from the advertising for True Logic of the Future by the Boho Interactive performance group. I was quite puzzled about what to expect. Seeing as I work in the centre where the play is being performed, I had an early sneak peak at the set which was enough to convince me this was going to be something different.

Things start out differently from the moment you walk through the door of the 'theatre' (actually it's a dance studio that sometimes doubles as a performance venue). The bulk of the area is closed off by a wall and you have to walk around the outside of it in growing darkness until finding a doorway that lets you into the performance area. You then actually walk through the performance set to get to your seating.

The first impression is of a nineteenth century setting, yet the electronic music playing unobtrusively and a crackling, distorted voice-over, gives a steampunk feel to things. From here I have to be careful what I say lest I be guilty of spoilers.

Despite the nineteenth century appearance and dress, it soon becomes apparent that the play is actually dealing with a near-future scenario. Even my nemesis, my former employer, the Awful Bloody Shithole - sorry, I mean the Australian Bureau of Statistics - gets a mention. The consequences that the characters are dealing with are decidedly dire.

The audience becomes part of the performance, being a truly interactive experience. A lot of work has been put into developing this very interesting, thought provoking and well presented performance - definitely worth checking out either at its season at the Belconnen Arts Centre that finishes on July 18, or next month at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Never give up on the dream

Last weekend I saw a valuable and practical lesson in action.

One of the first editors to publish my fiction was my colleague in Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, Nicole Murphy. Nicole was an author of short fiction and had been working at a fantasy trilogy for a looong time.

Last Saturday I attended the launch of Nicole's first novel, Secret Ones, the first of a trilogy purchased by HarperCollins. This was the reward of a lot of years' work, pushing on through all the self-doubt and conquering other problems.

This was a lesson for all of us - don't give up on the dream.

Good on ya Nicole