Process diary

Tuesday, 31 July, 2012

Time flies when you're not blogging! Since my last post, I've been working on my application for the Varuna Writers-in-residence mentor program, and I finally submitted it last week—well ahead of the deadline. For those who don't know (which is usually most people I talk to), Varuna is the former home of the writer Eleanor Dark and her husband Dr Eric Dark. In 1989, their son gave the house to the Eleanor Dark Foundation, and since then, it's been used as a retreat for writers. Varuna run a number of programs to help writers—from workshops to residencies to fellowships to mentorships. Bec stayed there a number of years ago. (Unfortunately her blog post about that experience is lost to the internet.) I noticed that their 2012 Writer-in-residence mentor program listed Tohby Riddle on graphic novels and “extending visual narrative”. So I decided to apply. I rang today to just confirm that they'd received the application, and the lady I spoke to mentioned that at this stage, they haven't received enough applications to proceed. So that's a bit disappointing. But at least I've written 50 pages of script, which was a good goal to work to for the first half of the year. I'd like to finish the thing before the end of the year, but we'll see how I go; I've got another rather major job to take care of before Christmas.

We have also been away on holidays for a week up in the beautiful Hunter Valley. I went there with George three years ago in the summer, and even though we were only there for a short time, it was wonderful and I swore I would come back and bring Ben with me. I want to blog about the holiday later (in a This-is-one-way-you-can-holiday-with-a-baby kind of way), so I won't say much more now.

Oh! Also, it was my birthday, and being my birthday, celebrations happened throughout the month (because we usually celebrate on the day, and then go to various family celebrations at other times, plus things arrive in the post until everyone is heartily sick of my birthday). Anyway, the only reason why I mention my birthday is because I decided to spend some of my birthday money by getting a commission from Jamie S Rich, writer of comics, reviews, novels and goodness knows what else. (I knew of him first from 12 Reasons Why I Love Her (which he did with the supremely talented Joëlle Jones; one glance at my Pinterest illustration board will tell you how much I love Joëlle Jones's work!), which was introduced to me by Dan. I knew Jamie is a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, so I gave him this prompt:

Nerdy girl in high school who gets bullied. She idolises Audrey Hepburn but feels like she is nothing like her.

(Of course I also had Spellcheckers at the back of my mind when I wrote that.) The result was a lovely little story titled “A girl called daydream”. It's just 500 words long; go have a read!

Most serendipitously the package containing both the story and the book I bought from him and Joëlle arrived just in time for my birthday: I picked it up that very afternoon:

A Girl Called DayDream and You Have Killed Me
A Girl Called DayDream and You Have Killed Me

The other thing that happened on my birthday was I had a lovely lunch with Paul Caggegi, creator of the webcomic Pandeia, who interviewed me for his Process Diary podcast. The podcast features creators from various disciplines talking about how they make things. We talked for about an hour (I think) about writing, editing, collaboration, new parenthood, and, of course, Kinds of Blue. Go have a listen.


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Kinds of Blue: Cover art



A way of funding writing in the future: pitch and idea and get people to support it.

Place where you can hire play equipment for parties, etc.

How to recalibrate the home button on your iPhone.

Unsolicited manuscripts accepted by Pan Macmillan with certain conditions.

Thought Balloon is a group blog in which the writers tackle a new theme every week? month? with one-page scripts. This URL is for their Phonogram ones.


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