Wednesday on my mind

It is the middle of the week, and I am aware that I have been neglecting my fiction writing. The workshop with Patrick Gale last weekend was fantastic, but it left me a little scarred - ever so slightly - as the final exercise was to get into the head of someone we had wronged, or been wronged by. I chose to write this exercise in the first person, and it concerned someone I love who I had disappointed. It knocked the wind out of my sails, so to speak.

So I haven’t had much energy in the ensuing days for revisions to Strip Poker, which currently sits in a draft state over at Unfction, my short fiction clearing house. I want to recut the story, and I will get around to it - I want to introduce an element of tension and suspense into a story that is currently more like the slow-motion unfolding of a nightmare. The other day I had the chance to speak to someone who had actually read the story (a rare enough individual!), and they described it as ‘very dark’. This surprised me, as I thought it was blackly humorous more than dark. However, I am more than willing to let it be interpreted any way that people wish.

If you feel so inclined, have a read of the story in its current state; it will soon be updated to read quite differently. I will keep both versions up on Unfiction so they can be compared, just for fun.

Apart from that the week holds the promise of more writing, some of which I plan to do in a cafe the identity of which is to be determined. This week I am doing another freelance article reviewing a fancy house renovation for Houses Magazine, one of the Architecture Media stable of journals. The house is located on the delightful Saint Vincents Place in Albert Park here in Melbourne, an address I might aspire to if I thought I was, at any point in the future, going to be in the market for a $5 million house. (No chance!) Once the story is published I will thrown the link up here.


Six hundred and eight words

I have spent a couple of days working in several of my usual haunts, and I have a short piece of fiction to show for it. It is very short: 608 words, to be precise. It's a story about a betting streak gone horribly wrong, called 'Strip Poker'. You can find it in my fiction clearing house, using the Unfiction link at the top of this page. It won't take you very long to read! I am prepared to share the story in draft form, which is very brave of me; I have got it to the point where it now needs to be 'rested', and I will return to it in the future and no doubt rework it. It needs more work, but I need to ignore it for a month or so before polishing it up.

While I tried a couple of different venues yesterday and then again today, I finished the story at a personal favourite, the Federal Coffee Palace, at the Melbourne GPO. For those of my readers who don't know Melbourne, the GPO is a historic sandstone building that used to be the General Post Office. It is located right in the heart of the city, and has a picturesque colonnade along the street, beneath which is a café called the Federal Coffee Palace. The setting is very European. I like writing at this venue because you can stay for several hours and they don't seem to mind; they have a lot of seats spread out beneath the arches, and they are rarely all full. The coffee is good enough, too.

Not overstaying your welcome is an essential part of the café writing experience. One needs to pay one's way, and not take up a table that might otherwise be earning the café patronage. This is incentive to buy coffee, as if I need incentive. This is also why I gravitate to venues that have a healthy scattering of spare tables at any given time. I would never linger in a venue when people are waiting for a table.

Having finished a draft, albeit of such modest dimensions, I think I will now wander off into the city and get on with the business of a lazy weekend. Happy writing, folks.