As we began to head out of the pandemic in 2022 (but have we?) I set myself a bunch of creative goals – to finally complete a novel that I’ve been mucking around with for years, to make a short film and to write my blog regularly.
After many years, I’ve finally learnt that I work best in creative mode if I have some form of structure around me, so I signed up for a creative writing course and dusted off a short film script, The Parrot, to put in the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Kōpere Hou- Fresh Shorts Much to my delight it made it though the first round to the final 18. Now I have to get into the final six to receive funding of $25,000 to make my film.
We are on day 10 of a Level 4 lockdown in Auckland because of the outbreak of the Delta variant. By now, a Covid-19 lockdown is a familiar routine. Huddle down, set up the home office and sort out things to do to keep the mind occupied.
Walking seems to be an activity that calms everyone down, and I was thinking back to my walk home from work in Los Angeles. Hardly anyone walks in LA – everyone drives, but I was wary of driving there. In fact, I was downright terrified. Negotiating the DMV to get my license, switching to Left Hand Drive, the traffic on the freeways, the crazy drivers and the drama and complications of insurance if you had an accident.
So I walked everywhere and took the Metro and buses. LA actually has a pretty good public transport system, although half the city doesn’t know about it. When I finally got a job, amazingly it was in nearby Burbank, only about 4kms from my home in North Hollywood. However, it was an awkward location as I lived in LA county, but Burbank is its own city, so the public transport didn’t link up.
I got the reminder the other day that this blog was up for renewal, and it has been so long since I have written anything for myself. The past year and a half has been so daunting, and somewhere along they way I lost the enthusiasm for writing. What did I have to say that was worthwhile in a world that seems determined to burn itself to the ground?
I’ve undergone a lot of soul-searching since arriving in the USA four months ago. I left behind a great job, an easy lifestyle, universal healthcare and a beautiful country to move to California. I’m also middle-aged and trying to build a career in a city which values the young. The shootings over the past weeks in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton certainly have made me question why I came.