I 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.