Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I keep putting off my Happy Jewish New Year post because I want to download photos of my mother's Rosh Hashana feast, and yet I don't have the patience for downloading photos. It's all too much I'm afraid. Meantime, I'm forgetting what I've been meaning to write and share with you. Generally, I think things are very different this year. My commentbox runneth over with different stuff this year.

So here is a list of some stuff:

I felt absolutely no guilt this new year, I enjoyed my mother's beautiful and delicious food without (for even one moment) feeling that I should have cooked something.

The above may well be connected to the fact that I have reached my maximum meal preparation capacity. Yes, that's right, I have a low cooking threshold, what can I say. Ever since I left my parents' home I have been cooking my own meals, and that has continued to be my unofficial role as wife and mother. That would probably add up to...I don't know...a million meals or some such. It certainly feels like that. So, anyway, I just can't go on any more. In fact, this has extended into a terrible allergy to supermarket shopping. I can't tell you how many times I have driven to the local shopping centre, only to be physically unable to steer my car into the parking lot.

I'm spending a lot of time at the moment working with my dad and writing in the local library. I'm also putting together an application package for a course I want to take next year, and there's a lot of work involved. The librarians all know me, and some are friendlier than others. The friendliest one is a middle-aged man who is clearly somewhat mentally handicapped. He cheers me up every day because he greets me with such gusto, "You're here already! Earlier than yesterday! I love it when you're here because I can come and chat." He gets distressed when I don't sit at my usual desk, and on Thursdays he arrives with a bottle of Spray'n'wipe and a rag and he cleans my desk for me. He says to me, "You sit and you type so much, all that typing." He's an absolutely gorgeous man, you'd love him.

I'm working on some script evaluations, and last week I finally met a writer whose work I've admired from afar. Half way through our coffee meeting he took out what looked like a very large purple fountain pen, I was delighted, until I realised it was an injecting pen, he's diabetic and he injected himself right there in front of me.

Mr. Commentbox and I decided last week to start walking together on Wednesday mornings. We started this morning and left so early that it was still dark, we continued walking for an entire hour as the sun rose and we were completely oblivious to the orange dust-storm around us. We honestly thought it was just a strange orange mist, and it was only when we got home and noticed our clothes were orange that we realised that, yes, we are indeed the most stupid couple in Sydney.

This is Miss Commentbox's last week in school. How did that happen? I have no idea. I thought it would be very exciting, but actually it is mostly just confusing. So I won't be buying her school uniforms any more? No more packed lunches? Obviously no more after-school activities because, ahem, there's no more school!! There won't be any more homework, lifts to and from school, parent/teacher meetings. I cannot comprehend how this is going to work out, it's just so strange.

The good thing is that now that Miss Commentbox will be driving, and the boy across the road who was in my carpool for 10 years will be driving, I reckon they owe me about a gazillion lifts. I will demand they drive me to all my appointments, and I will always be late, because I will always remember at the very last minute that I forgot something, something very important. I think I might call them throughout the day to alert them to changes in my plans, and request lifts from far-off locations, late at night, for myself and my 3 other friends whose children refuse to pick them up. Yes, I'm going to have fun with this.

I discovered two weeks ago, when shopping with my daughter for shoes for her Graduation Dinner, that I'm not the type of mother who likes shopping with her daughter. We spent 4 hours looking for shoes which ended up being a half size too small, and so needed to be exchanged the following day. It got ugly, I spat the dummy, and now Miss Commentbox insists on going shopping with Grandma Commentbox. I don't blame her.

There's more to tell, but I think that's enough for today. Hope you're all doing well, I think of you all the time and send you my love. Exxxx

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Play Misty For Me

Sexy psychological thrillers, when done well, can be fabulously entertaining. Watching a good thriller is a type of meditation for me, I forget all about myself and my petty worries, allowing myself to be transported into a state where I only care about one thing - the plot of the film.

You know it's silly, but you just can't help yourself, you're scared and intrigued and completely engulfed in the world of the film. How hard would it be to create that in a script through structure and dialogue?!! You'd have to keep asking yourself "Is she scary enough?" "Is that frightening enough?" etc etc. My teacher told me that if you want to write a thriller then you have to commit to the genre 100%. The audience will expect to be thrilled, and you'd better deliver on that, or else. Ahem.

I really like the idea of sitting down and trying to think of the scariest scenarios, and then writing them down in some sort of story form.

But you know the best thing about studying thrillers? You discover that Clint Eastwood, when he was young, looked EXACTLY like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine:

Monday, September 14, 2009

All About Eleanor

It's so wonderful to receive your comments dear friends! I thank you so much for your company, I must say that you are such a warm, witty, wise and hysterically funny bunch of bloggies.

The only thing I feel like writing about tonight is screenwriting, and I'm afraid that my obsession with screenwriting is getting worse and worse...even as I type these words. I'm not sure if I can explain this rationally, because I am certainly not a film buff. I can't rattle off a list of classic films I love, I certainly didn't even go the cinema regularly during the last decade. My ignorance about films and what it takes to make them was quite shocking, and still is in fact. A lot of films bore me, I often forget plots mere moments after walking out of the cinema, and I have never managed to sit through that Matrix film without falling asleep, but I do keep trying.

Maybe what I love about this screenwriting business is that it isn't classified as literature, and a film earns its place in the world on the basis of mass appeal more than anything else. Oh sure, critics will analyse them, and academics may write theses about them, but when it comes down to it...we're talking bums on seats. Let's get a whole bunch of people into the cinema and work some magic on them. I like that. It's so refreshing after having been brought up in an academic environment which ignored popular culture. I studied literature at uni and never once did anyone mention to me that the point of the each book was really the STORY. You've got to have a really good story, and a really good story is practically the hardest thing to create. The WAY you write that story,well, can be "beautiful"...but you know what...your average reader isn't after that perfect adjective (is there such a thing?). Your average reader wants to be blown away by a really fabulous story.

You have to hook them in, and then you have to make them keep wondering what will happen next. It sounds so easy, doesn't it?

Can you hear me laughing hysterically, nay...maniacally?!!

Some scriptwriter, I forget who, said "Writing a script is easy, you just sit and stare at your computer screen until beads of blood form on your forehead." That's exactly what it feels like, I swear to you, really.

I thought that scriptwriting meant lots of dialogue. Hahahahah.....more crazed laughter. You have MONTHS of plotting (if not an entire year) before you can even begin to write a word of dialogue. You see, in my university-taught ivory tower I had completely forgotten that stories mean characters, that things happen to these characters, and then more things happen. What, what WHAT THINGS HAPPEN? That's what you have to come up with...from your imagination...all by yourself. I've never been more frightened in my life, honestly, because with scripts you can't hide behind "fancy" language, you have to know your facts and make them clear to your audience, otherwise they just walk out of the cinema and tell their friends that it was a crappy movie.

So I finished my 10-week course, and learned more than I learned in four years in uni. It also became clear very early on that I can be quite the difficult wife and mother when I'm trying to study and write something which means a lot to me. I'm using the word "difficult" with some hesitation because it's really quite an understatement.

Here is a scene from "All About Eve" which sums up my personality during the last two months:

So you can consider yourselves lucky indeed that I didn't post very much during the last month. I spared you a bumpy ride, although I'll tell you a secret, I don't think it's over yet. Endings are very difficult.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dedicated to Mr. Lush and Mr. Commentbox

Mr. Commentbox told me today that it's been "quite a while" since I posted something on my blog. It seems that Mr. Lush feels the same way about my sister Eurolush, for I just came across a remark he made in her latest commentbox regarding the exact definition of the phrase "I'm back."

Bloggers...we're just like that. We sometimes stop writing, then we can't seem to stop writing. At times we proclaim our overwhelming desire to quit it all. For good. Such a proclamation is, more often than not, accompanied by a desire to start a brand-new blog. We may publish this new blog, but it is more than likely we won't. Instead, we might concentrate on comments, although we might stop commenting altogether and simply call each other on the telephone.

The one thing of which you can be absolutely certain... the only certain thing in a blogger's repertoire... is that we are DRAMATIC. We LOVE and we HATE blogging, and we stop and we start and then we stop again.

This is the ART of blogging. We are blogue artistes - pacing in our posting studio, fretting at the keyboard, stomping off in a huff, returning with passionate affection. The life of a blogue artiste is nothing if not exciting. Although blog readers often do not realise this, because we don't always post about it.

It is the destiny of the blogue artiste's husband to suffer for his wife's arte. He will check her blog several times during each day, taking precious time away from his pressured and shockingly busy day at work, to see if a new post has been published. He may then take his life in his hands at the dinner-table that evening, mentioning "casually" that he would love to have "something new to read." It sometimes ends in tears, but that is his burden, and he carries it bravely and patiently.

Therefore, without further ado, I dedicate this post to Mr. Lush and Mr. Commentbox, who suffer for the sake of the arte of blogue. In their honour I give you Sherbert with their classic "Howzat," for no other reason than the fact that I do believe it will make them smile and give them hope that both Eurolush and I still have a hell of a lot more blogging fun ahead of us.

Or not.

Depending on how inspired we feel on any particular day.