This bemuses me no end. Because he’s been shortlisted five times but never taken final prize, Flanagan formally boycotts the Miles Franklin. Writing is writing, and reading is reading, and a writer wins an award because a certain group of readers admires his/her book. Surely luck will always play a large part, i.e. the precise group of readers doing the judging. On the other hand, I don’t intend to waste any more emotional energy fussing over this. It’s his choice and so be it.
Back at Kelby’s Cafe in Marrickville, after too long a gap. Thursday sang especially wonderfully but yesterday was also great, and I have high hopes for today. Inching through the plot points, making sense of it all, and hopefully talking sense to the world . . .
I’m reporting the same mixed bag as a few weeks ago:
- Writing Big Year: how disappointing can it be? I’ll never set up a “conquer the world” humongous Big Year again – only by pure luck will it work as planned. All that said, I’m inching forward with the book and without the pressure this Big Year has put on me, I wouldn’t be where I am. Smile, Andres!
- Fitness Big Year: I called it “fitness” and I’m markedly fitter. The discipline is, so weirdly, joyous!
- Rock Music Big Year: I’ve listened each and every day, and have conquered 110 albums. But I can report no epiphany, no new anchor in my life. Is music dead to me?
I’m investigating the notion of really focusing in 2018 on each day’s goals and outcomes. We’re not used to subjecting ourselves to such intense discipline, except in corporate environments where one might work on a project with a very detailed, day-on-day, person-by-person plan. Would such an emphasis on “do this, do that, have I been good” work? Would the effort be more than the benefit?
Anyway, here’s a playful experiment. Might I “express myself” with nonsense doodlings even as I complete the feedback loop at the end of a day?
When I’m working well and on song, a day vanishes. I glance at a baking hot blue sky and head inside to my desk.
A month ago, I’d have greeted this welcoming late spring dawn with a run or a bike ride. Now the early light means work. Sweaty exercise is relegated to the hot afternoons.
Am I mad?
No wonder I’m struggling. I’ve taken what happened – the facts, the dates, the commentary – and stuck it into date order. Then I read my chronology and dream up a plot: the major events. I draft the main plot points: the key scenes. But there are many other background scenes and facts that must be included, so I draft them. The order of events is wrong or the story doesn’t hang together. Out come the scissors.
But then . . . how do I put the mess back together again? Some chapters are straightforward, this one is not.