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Writing workshop

June 8, 2008

My writing in the 50ks in 30 days challenge has continued steadily during the work week and I passed 20,000 words last night.

20K in a week. I’m pretty happy with that.

Although I’m drawing a lot of the story from my own life, things keep making their way into the story that didn’t actually happen. The characters appear to be developing wills of their own, deviating slightly from the actual events, but I just shrug my shoulders and keep typing. While the story and action is flowing, I’m going to go with the flow.

For the entire manuscript, I now have 45,511 words and estimate I will be finished at around 75k.

No new writing today as yet for Hold the Anchovies (but the night is not yet over). I spent the day at a memoir writing workshop with the lovely Alice Pung.

And at the workshop I wrote the following about my birth:
I was anxious to see the world. I was supposed to be an Aquarian but I had decided that twenty-two minutes into Sagittarius I would make my appearance. Freedom-loving, independent and above all spontaneous: no quack was going to tell my mother my birthdate.

Mum was already in hospital with a kidney infection. Lucky! Because I didn’t give her much warning. It was probably the infection that stirred me into action.

In the middle of visiting time, my grandmother clutched my mother’s hand. ‘You’re having your baby.’ She turned to my father. ‘Tell the doctor.’

The doctor dismissed her claim. What would my grandmother know after giving birth five times herself? But they quickly realised that she was right.

Half an hour later I was born. Mum said I looked like a skinned rabbit. Three months premmie.

Years later I told her I was trying to teach her a lesson about being early. She never learned that one.
Afterwards, my father caught the train back to my Nana’s house and ran down the street announcing my birth to all the neighbours. ‘It’s a girl!’

Alice commented that my voice is meta-fiction — fiction that is self-aware. I guess it’s like the Seinfeld episode where they start pitching the idea to NBN and turn their lives into a sitcom. Self-referential.
Anyway, it was a great workshop. Good company as usual and we did a number of various writing exercises but now I’m brain drained and wonder if I will get any more words out for my couple who keep rebelling against their author.

But it’s cool if I don’t. Tomorrow is a public holiday!
And you gotta love that.
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