Eavesdropping Extravaganza

eavesdropping-1I love eavesdropping. On trains and trams, in the supermarket and the library, at the markets and in cafes and restaurants. CJ and I had a long (awful, and never to be repeated) train and bus journey from Melbourne to the south coast of NSW last year and I scribbled down an entire conversation I heard between an ebullient, self-proclaimed drug addict and dealer and his somewhat stunned (into silence) young nestlings. The drug dealer’s story was too good to be true (so very likely wasn’t), but it was the stuff writers’ dreams are made of: dramatic, unique, dark, thrilling. Did I use it? Of course I did

People intrigue me – more than politics, more than current affairs, more than the latest trends and fashions, more than science and even the arts – people get me passionate. Once I hear a snippet of conversation or see a sad expression I’m hooked, I’m dreaming up the rest of the story, giving them a name, picturing them at their highschool reunion and imagining what their bedroom looks like. I can’t help it. I’m not hanging onto that tram handle thinking about climate change and the current economic state in China. But you see, in my new job (as a speech writer predominantly for the City of Melbourne) these are exactly the things I need to be thinking about because I have to write about them and sound like I know what the hell I’m talking about. On one hand I’m struggling with this and wondering if I’m ever going to be good at it and on the other I can already see how much my writing (and my knowledge in general) is benefiting from the challenge. Challenge it is though, yes siree.

Before I sign off, I’d like to direct your attention to some great blog posts by the incredibly talented Di Jenkins at the Varuna Alumni blog. Check ’em out. Also, I’ve had a fantastic few weeks reviewing at the Melbourne Fringe and International Arts Festivals. You can read all my reviews here if you’re interested.



Filed under Editing, Fiction, Flash fiction, Melbourne, Political Writing, Reading, Short Stories, Speech Writing, Writing

10 responses to “Eavesdropping Extravaganza

  1. sandy

    Me too…some of my best ideas are from eavesdropping…strangers, beware.


  2. Oh, Simonne – that’s incredibly lovely of you. I’m feeling all flustered and type-tied now… Truly such a massive compliment, thank you!!

    I COMPLETELY hear you (arf arf) on the eavesdropping; I’m shameless. Can’t help it. Love it. And you’ve very neatly explained the important benefits of your new job. What pearl of wisdom did Charlotte recently pass on (one of many)? Scared is good. xx


  3. I walked past a father and son the other day and heard the little boy ask his father what the clouds were and how they were made. I thought, if I wrote that down it would seem like such a cliche, but it was unbelievably cute, especially to hear a bit of the father’s first attempts to explain water particles.


  4. Simonne people aren’t safe around you girlfriend.. You’ve taken eavesdropping and made it a cute thing, only a good writer can do that.


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