I’m once again using Kim Churchill as my music man today because his album, Weight Falls, is a thing of brilliance that I can’t get enough of. Today’s track, Can You Go On, is one that gets me charged up and pumping my fist every time thanks to heart pumping percussion and stunning vocals.
Current chain of writing days: 20
It’s been a busy few weeks for me, both work wise and socially. Summer showed its face here in Melbourne for one brief week and caused everyone to start planning things to do in the sun and the fact that we’ve now had cold and rain for the last two weeks hasn’t really halted that.
While the social stuff is fun it’s the work stuff I want to tell you about, and by you, I mean, you right now reading this (hello), as well as future me, the one who years from now will decide to reread this blog using the virtual reality implant in his eye to remember what he was doing in early November of 2017. That’s because it’s been a good few weeks, and whatever else happens career wise for me I want to remind myself of that. It all starts somewhere, it might be here.
Firstly, I got nominated for an award. The award in question is known as the John Hinde Award, and is given out by the Australian Writers Guild for scripts in science fiction. I didn’t win, which, bummer, but I did get long listed, which, amazing. Like most contests and submissions, I sent in my work months ago and promptly forgot about it. I do this deliberately as a defence mechanism, a way to stop me from becoming downhearted when the inevitable rejection letter pings into my inbox — if I’ve forgotten about it, I can’t be disappointed. Except, of course, this time it wasn’t a rejection. It was a, ‘Congratulations, Damian…’ which are some of the nicest words a person can read, even if their name isn’t Damian. My day was made. I shared the news with Holly, we had a drink that night, and then I turned back on my defence mechanism and told myself not to hope for the win. That one proved to be more prophetic. However, there was one more pleasant surprise. The outcome of the awards weren’t released until the day after the awards ceremony. Being longlisted I did receive an invite, but as they were in Brisbane had decided I wouldn’t go unless I was shortlisted. I did this assuming the short list would comprise maybe ten entries, and the long list would be made up of twenty or so. It turns out that assumption was wrong. The short list was in fact made up of the winner, the runners up, and a third place contender. The long list were the next seven behind those. This means two things, I could have made it as close as top four, and at the very least I was in the top ten. My day was made…again. While the win would have been great, what I was ultimately awarded with was validation. With writing you can’t help but need some level of outside validation. The point of being a writer is to share your stories, and for that you need a willing audience. This tells me I might one day have one.
Next on the list of cool things is the horror anthology I’ve been writing with pod-casting pals, Seasons of Fear, which is finally ready for publishing. I’m quite excited for this one. I’m really proud of all the stories the guys and I have written, each one is unique, each with their own style, all strong stories, and all scary as hell. Basically, we’ve told each other a scary story around the campfire, each trying to terrify the other, and then put it in book form. It’s been a lot of fun, and, as always, has taught me plenty. We’ll start by selling them exclusively at the podcast live shows, then after that will hopefully make it so people can order then online, or straight from us, it that proves harder than expected. Either way, hopefully sales go well because I’d love to do something like this with the guys again. Also, check out the cover.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to begin work with a mate of mine on what will hopefully be an ongoing kids radioplay series, if it gets picked up. I’m currently writing a pilot script for it, and then mate in question, Dan, will use the weight of his production company to pitch it around. I’m quietly confident. The idea is a great one that hits a niche part of the market, ABC have recently started a new audio department and are looking for submissions, and most importantly Dan’s confident, which makes me confident. If it does get funding then I’ll, in effect, be head writer and will be able to write a bunch more scripts that I’ll *gasp* get paid for. Fingers crossed, everyone.
Lastly in this tirade of bragging, this Friday I’ll be in a writers room brainstorming for an animated kids tv series. It’s in a similar spot to the project above where nothing is set in stone just yet, but again, I’m confident this series has a really good chance. The content it’s based on is solid, the characters are fun and flawed, and the premise is one that is not only fantastic but give us a lot of stories to tell. I won’t say more than that, mostly because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to.
The point is that it feels like I now have a few more irons in the fire, and only future me knows what they might turn into.