Sunday, March 7, 2010

~ crystallised magpie

I ought not leave gloomy posts to sitting on my front page for long periods; I’ve had concerned friends ringing to find out if everything’s alright - which it is, now, by the way. Relatively speaking. And it’s heartening to be reminded how caring people can be. Thank you.

I’m buried deep in the meat of Ambergris, working each day, religiously, with the intention of completing this draft by the end of the month, if not by my birthday on April 2. I’ve reached that place where the world of the play - and it’s a complex one - is hovering always in my thoughts, like a shadow of the real world. That’s the main reason you haven’t heard from me: I’m living on a devastated island off the Queenland coast with a community of strange fictional characters. It’s only in this state that I can hold the whole play in my mind - and, in this state, I find that new ideas flow from the real world ... from the personal habits of friends, from weather events, from the contents of rubbish bins, from the attitude of cats ...

Yesterday I borrowed the idea of a crystallised magpie from a poem I was reading for an audiobook. For a couple of days each week, I’m working at Vision Australia, reciting the contents of The Best Australian Poems 2009 [edited by Robert Adamson]. It’s a really agreeable pastime. Though narrating Peter Temple’s crime novel was enjoyable and instructive, there’s something about reading poems I really like. The intrinsic theatre, perhaps. The density. And, of course, the focus on words.

Life at home is comfortable at present, and tranquil, but I’m holding my breath. I find it difficult to believe. Could all the troubles of years past have been solved? I’d be a fool to lower my defences on the basis of a week or so of domestic harmony - but I can always hope.

On the legal front, things trundle on. My matter has been elevated to the county court and will be heard on 24 Jan 2011. Problem is, the judge has asked that my financing be in place by August, so - even though the length, and therefore the cost, of the trial has been reduced (from five days to four) - I’m still under extreme financial pressure. On March 23 it will be a year since the police discovered the plants in my back yard - and what a year it’s been ...

Next weekend: the Global Atheist Convention. It’s been a while since I’ve looked forward to something so much. Richard Dawkins in the flesh ...

Also, it looks like we’re getting the Ears back in gear for a gig in April, I believe - more information forthcoming.

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