Wednesday, 28 December 2011

It's that time of year again

I'm spending the Christmas/New Year period with my family down at Phillip Island. Mum, Dad and I arrived here during the afternoon on Christmas Day -- our first 'Christmas' spent at the island, even if Christmas lunch was a ham sandwich and Magnum icecream in the car, and dinner cold meat and salad. It's been a very low key Christmas for our family, particularly after last year's German extravaganza, but I've enjoyed it all the same.

Boxing Day heralded the arrival of my sister and her two boys, my nephews, aged 20 months and 3 years. Their presence here is both delight and distraction. Usually when I come down to the island my aim is to write, read, walk and go out for breakfast. In truth, I nearly announced a few days ago right here on this blog how I was going to do all these things, which have been neglected in the past couple of months (except the going out to breakfast part). A good thing I didn't, because I would yet again be eating my words. When two little boys are present, the days inevitably revolve around their eating and sleeping and entertainment. I love it, but it does mean adjusting my activities and expectations.

The break is nevertheless good timing for me. After nearly two months in a new job I was going a bit mental, and this has given me the chance to stop and catch my breath, if not all the other aforementioned activities . . . and in two more days I will have a car to make my life easier (more on that later).

As the new year approaches, I find myself in yet another new place. The transitional year of 2011 is over and my path seems fairly clear: make new job work for me, carve out writing time, keep fit and healthy. My aim this year will be to not let work consume me, to keep a healthy work-life balance, to write an entire novel. I'll be satisfied with that. I'm not going to make grand plans to get my bathroom renovation done (as I've been saying for about 5 years now) or fool myself that I'll finish all the books on my to-read pile. One novel written. That's the plan.

As always, I find it fascinating to look back over the past couple of years and remember my state of mind as one year faded and another dawned. A year ago, I was in Germany and contemplating quitting my job of ten years. Little did I know then that I'd enjoy nearly a year of leisure. The year before that, it was all about Trailwalker -- training and fundraising. Every year it's something different. There's always a common theme, though: write more, work less!

5 top highlights of 2011:
  • Quitting my job and taking a career break
  • Finishing the rewrite of that first novel (even if it proved to be bottom drawer material)
  • Inaugural MTC subscription
  • Weekly writing in the pub sessions
  • World Fantasy Convention, San Diego

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Blog Hole

I really haven't felt much like blogging over the past six weeks. I haven't felt like writing either. My muse has completely abandoned me.

As far as blogging goes, sometimes I can find interesting things to say about the most everyday things. Sometimes I feel driven to share and document things that happen, or things I think about, whether they're interesting or not!

Every so often I read back over this blog and marvel at June 2007 when I posted almost every day . . . I wrote a lot of fiction that month too. Back then the words bubbled out of me and whipping up a post was a breeze. I couldn't stop writing.

For some reason the regularity of my posting on this blog has been down this year. One might have thought I'd post more regularly with all the leisure time I've had. Ironic, huh. I think I slipped into a dreamy drift of days.

But the past six weeks (since I rejoined the workforce) have been different. I haven't wanted to write. I've had nothing to say. I've been exhausted and very time poor. Even when I've done something I might once have blogged about, I simply haven't been able to rouse the energy to put the words together. It's very sad. I feel like there's something missing.

My other blog has been neglected as well. All the words sucked into the great Blog Hole.

And so now I've resorted to stupid posts like this. Just for the sake of posting something. Pathetic!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Gotta love Earnest

Last week I saw Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, staged by the Melbourne Theatre Company. This really is the most amazing play. It's so well plotted and scripted that even a children's production would have the audience on their feet. As one reviewer put it: The brilliance of the play is in the dialogue. I emphatically agree.

I enjoyed the MTC's production, particularly the staging, which utilised an enormous pop-up book that was opened by one of two marvellously funny-but-very-different butlers (played by Bob Hornery) to reveal each of three backdrops. Geoffrey Rush played Lady Bracknell in a more understated fashion than I expected, which in hindsight was probably a good thing!

I was really looking forward to seeing the play, which caps off my inaugural MTC season with friends, and it proved to be the perfect play to finish on. Light-hearted, hilarious, brilliant.