I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?

This week I went back to 2 short stories that I’ve been developing since late last year. One I’ve submitted a couple of times and had rejected so I took a closer look. I ripped out the middle section of the story and rewrote it, and rewrote the ending. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a slow writer but I don’t mean this in terms of word count. It’s more about how I need time to let a story develop and work out what is really at the guts of it. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I’m an impatient writer because I like to feel that I’m submitting work without, perhaps, considering its readiness on a deeper level. Or maybe I just like rewriting.

This weekend I’ve taken a look at the first draft of my sequel to Rat City, which I’ve been letting rest for around 7 or 8 months. The good news is that it’s fast-paced and action-packed. The bad news is that it’s too fast-paced and jumps from event to event with no time for the characters (or the reader) to catch their breath. Overall I’m pleased with what I’ve got down on paper, though, and I’ve written a chapter by chapter synopsis to identify gaps, issues and major problems. The synopsis has highlighted the major areas that need work and also helped me to prioritise what needs to be worked on first.

What’s inspiring me this week?

This week it’s more  a case of being intrigued rather than inspired. I was at Brisbane’s Powerhouse this morning and had a look around an exhibition of  small paintings on wood by Ben Ely. Ely is best known as a member of Brisbane’s iconic band, Regurgitator. Disclaimer: I love Regurgitator and have been a long-time fan.

I didn’t mind Ely’s quirky  paintings. A few of them appealed to me in their simplicity and use of colour and I’m considering buying one (they’re quite reasonably priced). But, would another artist of similar calibre have got an exhibition at the Powerhouse? I honestly don’t know. And I’m also not sure if I would have had the same response to the work if it had been by an artist  I knew nothing about.

It’s an interesting question, the history we bring with us when we look at a piece of art. Ely’s style is like a naive street art, quite childlike in some ways, with strong elements of graphic design and pop culture references. In that way, it’s the sort of art I like for its simplicity and freshness. Ely is having fun with his work, that’s obvious, and I like that about it too. I suppose what I’m questioning is if he would have got a solo show (this isn’t his first) without already being known for his music. So that’s what’s got me intrigued this week.

What am I avoiding this week?

No avoidance. I’m happy with my output for the week.