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.
I recently signed up for a creative writing course, and as part of it I have to keep a writing journal, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and use some of entries as blog posts.
We did a speed writing exercise last night, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed them. If you haven’t done them before, you take a few prompts and write a short story in ten minutes. The prompt for this one was an out-of-control pet, the fall of a king and climate change.
I haven’t written anything on this blog for a long time, for more than a year in fact. Mostly, it was become after I got back in 2020 from living in the US, after for months of lockdown in LA, straight into the series of lockdowns in Auckland, I didn’t have much to say.
I put it down to lockdown induced lethargy, but about six months ago something astounding happened. I started on a migraine preventer, which I’ve always avoided because I was worried about the side-effects, and I have been migraine free since then. But more than that, I understood for the first time the ongoing damage chronic migraine does to your health and personality.
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.