Trippy exploding ideas

Sunday, 15 May, 2005

Today was my second creative event in two weeks. Last weekend Ben and I went along to Create, a group associated with FEVA which brings together creative people to work on ideas for spreading the gospel or furthering the work of the kingdom of God. We met in the city at a member's workplace—it was this really cool location with a huge screen and a data projector, tall chairs and funky tall wooden tables and an awesome view overlooking Darling Harbour. We played a game using Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats, brainstormed a heap of ideas and prayed together. I met someone who is interested in collaborating with me on a comic/graphic novel (but she has never read any Sandman so I will have to indoctrinate her).

I also had the “brilliant” idea of having a writers' retreat (mostly to do something about Haoran so he too can live the dream). It could be a weekend or a week-long thing (I'm in favour of the latter)—a concentrated time where you can just go away and write. It would have to be somewhere where there is enough room to write (because writers are usually solitary creatures and deal with their writing dilemmas in different ways; some like to switch on music, some like to go for walks, some like to read their work aloud ...) We would need to have someone who wouldn't mind being the cook for us. Mealtimes will follow a strict military schedule. We'd start the day at breakfast with devotions and prayer to make sure that every day we submit ourselves to God and his word. Then the morning and the afternoon would be spent writing/wrestling with the blank page (break for lunch though some, who are on a roll, might want to take their lunch away with them so they can keep going). All writing must cease by dinner however participants are permitted to talk about their projects and even read/feedback/workshop to each other (though that might be overkill—I wanted to build rest into the routine. Perhaps I should have workshopping time in the late afternoon before dinner with conversations continuing into the dinner period and rest following). We could watch movies together, play music, chat—do something other than writing anyways. I have no idea what sort of costs this would involve but I have a vague idea how to do is on a small scale (ie. no more than three or four participants plus a cook). Anyone want to be the cook? Elsie?

Today's writing group went well, I thought. Altogether, there were twelve of us and we met in the rectory of Christians in the Media church. (NB: the rector doesn't live there. A bunch of other young people do and they graciously let us use their house for the day.) Matt demonstrated his MTS skills by bringing along to our gathering three contacts of his own (I was always hopeless at motivating people to come along to stuff). Ben led us in a short study on the nature and definition of “goodness” in the Bible; we did a writing exercise in which we used the story of the rich young man in Mark 10 as a springboard/inspiration for a piece of writing; we had a go at writing our own “Paragraph of Power”; I led a short session on writers' block (not sure how helpful it was and I always get the feeling I'm not very good at leading sessions); we broke for lunch and then spent the afternoon workshopping. (Greek is showing its influence over me—I kept picking out excessive uses of participles and passive constructions all over the place.) I also had the pleasure of meeting Joseph Smith who writes for Southern Cross (he wrote a review of Alien vs. Predator with Mark Hadley). Apparently he was at Ian Cox's induction at Brighton-Rockdale so I actually could have met him a couple of years ago. He remembers I was there (how strange).

I had a go at writing my comic but I am frustrated by my pathetic attempts to draw. What is good enough for Sunday school is not good enough for what I want to do. Perhaps I am too much of a control freak to do any sort of collaborative work.

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You were just around the corner and I didn’t even know! I had a fairly quiet day - I should have come along.

Who from CITM is in your writing group?

I thought the writing day went well too!

In terms of evening activities for Writer’s Retreat (Retreat sounds really negative, like we’re running away - maybe we should call it Battlefront, or CHARGGGEEE!!!), we could fold in the activities from the once-proposed but never held Writing Adventure, especially the dreaded Eye of Argon.

Hahaha…I just saw my name on this post after I suggested I cook in the post below!

OK I’ll cook, but I’ll only cook fatty foods - dunno how to make healthy food taste delicious ^_^ Most “healthy” food I try to make turns out to be a disaster (its got to do with substituting ingredients I think).

Don’t really know how to make a salad though. Maybe we can bring along Mary (ie Mrs Guan) and she can co-cook with me smile Or would she prefer to write as well?

How does lasagne and cake sound? I’ll make sure there’s lots of vegies and fresh fruit too. And jelly! Ooh…how about mango pudding!

Posted by Elsie on 16 May, 2005 6:23 AM

Oh! Can we go away to a beachside town and go during summer! Then it can be a summer holiday smile Cook and swim, while you guys write ^_^

Nah…doesn’t have to be beachside and summer smile If you’re serious about doing a writer’s retreat, pick a date!

Posted by Elsie on 16 May, 2005 6:26 AM

Re: Writers’ Charge

Can I come to?

But can I spel? (sorry about typo in last comment smile

Can Lorien and I come, too?

Huzzah! Writer’s Party! I told you they’d wanna come, Karen!

I heartily second the public reading of the Eye of Argon.

Bringing along cooks is an excellent idea. Perhaps we need some sort of auditioning/screening process smile

I think we need food-for-thought sessions where we springboard off each other.

And I’ll need to steal a laptop from someone for the week.

Will we have a printer and a fast internet connection? smile

PS: How were you going to indoctrinate this young artist into Sandman without my Sandman collection, hmmm?

You may need to share her around a bit smile

BTW, do you still have my Blankets?

Guan has your Blankets. You’re right about Sandman and I definitely won’t be stingy. Anyways, if Kathleen comes, maybe she too can be persuaded into comic-dom ...?

I’m glad so many people want to come and it would be heaps cool to hang out with you guys! I just don’t know how I’m going to organise it - this many people means my original plan of using my parents’ holiday house might not be viable.

CITM people: Matt, Haydn, Hannah and Jo.

Blankets is a book, in case anyone was wondering why we were sharing bedding around.

H: Um, a fast internet connection may be detrimental. Remember it’s a Writer’s Charge!, not a Writer’s Procrastinate By Surfing The Web.

M.‘s parents have a holiday house that can sleep a fair few, but the main problem is that it’s about 5 hours drive north.


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