Monday, June 30, 2008

50ks challenge comes to an end

I started June with a commitment to write 50ks in 30 days.

I hit 50ks on the 23rd June, so I took a couple days at a slower rate, and then pushed through to see exactly how much I could write in 30 days.

My grand total as of 10 minutes ago is 65,040 words. Woohoo! The story is not yet finished, although I'm sure there are going to be lots of words that will be left on the cutting room floor.

It's been exhilirating, exhausting and revealing. Literary revenge has been very satisfying and the writing has been cathartic. Seriously who needs to pay for therapy when you can write? There were times that I dredged my memory banks, and there were other times when I gave my imagination free reign.

But most of all, I was bouyed and motivated by the wonderful support of my fellow 50k challengers. What a great bunch of writers!

And no matter what word count we each achieved, we are all winners!

Tomorrow is a new day, a new financial year (three cheers for the tax return) and a new month!

Tomorrow is the beginning of an editing challenge, a commitment to finish Diary of the Future and submit it, and the annual pilgrimage to Byron Bay Writers Festival.

But first tonight, I need sleep.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Brilliant Pizza Career

My current work in progress is Hold the Anchovies, which is based on My Brilliant Pizza Career.
I won't mention which company I worked for as I don't want to suggest that their stores are a hotbed of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll but that's where I got my education.

And it's interesting reliving it. At least on the page

So far I've written 33,799 words in 15 days - add that to the 25,067 I wrote for Nano 2004 and I have a total of 58,866 words altogether. Not bad - not bad at all. I've pulled a few non-identifying photos from my photo album from that era.

Below is a 'pizza' made by my mother for the owner of the store. Look closely, the whole thing is made of icing. It was a farewell delivery.

I could not have done the job without my faitfhul companion Helga, my 1966 VW Beetle. She was famous amongst my pizza customers, and had a certain infamy amongst my fellow staff for breaking down. I loved Helga- she was my independence and my freedom and I was sad to say goodbye to her when she finally packed it in. (this pic and song is from my 1986 diary)

Thought I would include a photo of me from that circa. This is taken at a post work party, actually the farewell party that the cake pizza was made for.

More pictures of Helga - this time with my sister and cousins posing as car models. I don't think they got the car ad job.

I worked for the pizza place for a couple of years, but my brilliant pizza career ended not so brilliantly. My second delivery to the same customers late at night -- but I never made it back to the store. A drunk idiot coming through the red light made sure of that.

Helga was off the road at the time. Almost as if she knew something. I was driving mum's car - the yellow one. Lucky I'm a survivor.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Writing workshop

My writing in the 50ks in 30 days challenge has continued steadily during the work week and I passed 20,000 words last night.

20K in a week. I'm pretty happy with that.

Although I'm drawing a lot of the story from my own life, things keep making their way into the story that didn't actually happen. The characters appear to be developing wills of their own, deviating slightly from the actual events, but I just shrug my shoulders and keep typing. While the story and action is flowing, I'm going to go with the flow.

For the entire manuscript, I now have 45,511 words and estimate I will be finished at around 75k.

No new writing today as yet for Hold the Anchovies (but the night is not yet over). I spent the day at a memoir writing workshop with the lovely Alice Pung.

And at the workshop I wrote the following about my birth:

I was anxious to see the world. I was supposed to be an Aquarian but I had decided that twenty-two minutes into Sagittarius I would make my appearance. Freedom-loving, independent and above all spontaneous: no quack was going to tell my mother my birthdate.

Mum was already in hospital with a kidney infection. Lucky! Because I didn't give her much warning. It was probably the infection that stirred me into action.

In the middle of visiting time, my grandmother clutched my mother's hand. 'You're having your baby.' She turned to my father. 'Tell the doctor.'

The doctor dismissed her claim. What would my grandmother know after giving birth five times herself? But they quickly realised that she was right.

Half an hour later I was born. Mum said I looked like a skinned rabbit. Three months premmie.

Years later I told her I was trying to teach her a lesson about being early. She never learned that one.

Afterwards, my father caught the train back to my Nana's house and ran down the street announcing my birth to all the neighbours. 'It's a girl!'

Alice commented that my voice is meta-fiction --- fiction that is self-aware. I guess it's like the Seinfeld episode where they start pitching the idea to NBN and turn their lives into a sitcom. Self-referential.

Anyway, it was a great workshop. Good company as usual and we did a number of various writing exercises but now I'm brain drained and wonder if I will get any more words out for my couple who keep rebelling against their author.

But it's cool if I don't. Tomorrow is a public holiday!
And you gotta love that.

Monday, June 02, 2008

It's my story....and I'll write it if I want to....

Well, I'm off to a flying start on the 50ks in 30 days writing challenge.

Sunday (got to love it when a writing challenge starts on a weekend), I hit a personal best of 7,409 words and today, despite the fact that I had to work, I still managed a respectable 2,828 words. So my total 50k wordage is 10,237 - only 2 days in and I'm already 20% into the goal.

I've set the total wordage goal for Hold the Anchovies as 75,000 and now have a total of 35,304 so I'm almost at the half way point of the story.

Once I decided that I was mostly writing about a period of my life, I pulled out my diaries, and wrote up a timeline. I think this is why the writing is flowing so well. I know how the story goes, the plot points, and how the story ends. I have snippets of conversation and dialogue written in my diaries, which provide a pivotal point for scenes. I have no opportunity to deviate from the timeline or the cause and effect of the events as they happened. I might throw in a couple of interesting and fictional customers just for the fun of it, but by facing up to the fact that this is my story, and yes, indeed I'm writing a sexual memoir, then I have given myself permission to just write. And as a result, the words are flowing.

On the last attempt of the story, I freaked out. It got too close to the bone and I thought it was the wrong thing to be writing...that I should be trying to fictionalise the actual events. But all names have been changed to protect the guilty. But stories come from everywhere, and I know they come from real life...this time, it's just happening to be coming from my life. My last five drafts have all been fiction, with a few incidents and adaptations from real life.

This time it is is truth...well, my version of the truth. Perhaps the other characters in this period of my life would have a different version of the truth.

But then again...they're not writng the story.