Tag Archives: creative juices

On Festivalitis

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.

Jane Austen

Busy nothings seems an elegant way of summing up my recent past. I realised that I’ve been battling  a severe case of the dreaded Melbourne festivalitis but had little knowledge of its impact until I discovered* that it’s been over three months since I last posted.

This dreaded lergy stealthily creeps up and strikes when Melburnians least expect it.  While some studies have shown festivalitis to be at its most virulent when latching on to hosts carrying the scent of chai lattes, salted caramel macarons and tofu tacos, festivalitis will (and can) hit at any time.

Festivalitis symptoms will manifest in many ways.  Some Melburnians escape the constant festival onslaught unscathed while others disappear for days or even months on end, lost between cross-town venues or crushed by the weight of Things To See And Do.

I thought I was hanging in there but on reflection, my case has resulted in the baddest blogging blues, compounded by a deadly dose of not-writing, and no-time-for-reading books. I have now traced my Melbourne festivalitis to:

  • a festival of birthdays
  • a festival of winter sport
  • a festival of international films
  • a festival of worldy writers
  • a festival of fine food
  • a festival of poisonous politics
  • a festival of fringe.

The path back from festivalitis has been painfully slow but the reading list has been reorganised, the laptop upgraded and new choc top flavours identified. It’s time to get myself back on the writerly track and overcome those busy nothings, by starting with this post.

*aka was prompted, thanks for dropping by my dear Reader.


On Winter is Coming

Winter is coming.”

Assorted Game of Thrones characters

and, the Bureau of Meteorology.

Recently I participated in a writing Masterclass where we discussed taking small breaks from writing that keep you thinking creatively. Whether an hour, a day or a week or two, for some of the writers this time was the space to do further research or reflect on what they were writing.

I nodded in class but really, I thought — phew! Those lost hours reading twitter, browsing bookshelves or watching my favourite movie are actually justified* as part of the creative writing process. And so of course I immediately excused myself for feeling guilty about switching on Game of Thrones and getting stuck fast.

I will say up front that I haven’t read any of the George R. R. Martin‘s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, from which Game of Thrones is adapted. But I am a brand sparkling new convert to the HBO series after my friend kindly gave me seasons one and two. And desperately trying not to read the reviews and updates about season three which is screening in that other realm — pay TV. A sneaky peak at IMDB gave me peace of mind: another set of episodes with the largest ensemble cast on television has been confirmed for next year. Season four is coming.

Shakespeare famously wrote (don’t believe that Marlowe hype) that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In Game of Thrones, we’re taken on a dramatic, rollicking ride as noble families play each other for control of the Iron Throne. The episodes are packed full of violent battles — on the field, for the throne, across the seas, and in the bedroom. Plots and intrigue consume the dynasties. Hatred and fear boil over into rage and revenge. And that’s just seeing family members pitted against each other.

The families are full of liars, cheats, thieves and monsters. I’m fascinated by the changing landscapes that define the battling families. Dire-wolves and dragons, lions, stags and white walkers, aka zombies. It is a magical, terrifying, beautiful space. A creative place to get lost and found.

Footwear appropriate as winter is coming

Lost under the covers would have been the perfect place to be today. Melbourne had its coldest day since 27 October 2012. Mid-Autumn and 16 degrees Celsius. So I grabbed my Christmas gift of individually heated wheat-bag slippers, wrapped myself in a woolly blanket and dragged out my electric blanket from storage. All because, as we Southern hemisphereans now know, winter is coming.

*btw, another ace tv series. With five seasons to watch and only one and half down, Justified is quite possibly my next ‘creative spacing’.