The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

Finally coming out of the weeks of holidays, workshops and travel, which means I’ve got an uninterrupted week to sit down and focus on some writing for a while. Primarily, this week, this means working on a short story draft I’ve got perculating and (return of the laptop willing), finishing off some layout work that I owe the Altered project.

What’s inspiring me this week?

Incredibly spoiled for choice this week, since I’ve both read and watched things that have spectacularly knocked things out of the park (including Joe Lansdale’s novella Briar Patch Boogie and Josh Radnor’s film Liberal Arts, which includes a fantastic Allison Janney performance and some reminders of why How I Met Your Mother was actually great, in its earliest incarnations).

Ultimately, though, the most inspiring thing that I saw this week was John Favreau’s Chef, which snuck in under the wire when it became my Saturday night treat after flying back from Gladstone. Chef is…well, fantastic. Favreau has always been a good film-maker who crafts enjoyable, entertaining cinematic experiences, but there is not a single part of Chef where is isn’t upping his game. There are some spectacular cooking sequences – and I love a good cinematic cooking sequence – but the real appeal is in just how fresh the story comes off (when it should have felt…well, tired) and little things like the films treatment of Twitter as a visual device.

As one of my friends commented on Facebook, after I posted there: CHEF IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

I find it hard to disagree.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve sustained writing work for longer than two days in a row, which means I’m woefully out of practice and in some serious need of focus. I also need to sit down and make some hard decisions on the finance front, in order to pay for laptop repairs and some of the unexpected bills that come with three weeks spent travelling.

  11 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

    • 13/03/2016 at 10:41 PM

      That quote by Aristotle is gold! And from a mile high view, that’s exactly the tone I’m working towards with an audio drama project I’m in early stages with at the moment. I find grimdarkness or complete whimsy to be flavours too rich and overpowering by themselves, so a little gallows humour and occasional tension-draining wit in the face of high stakes feels just right.

      How much of a technical background do you need to appreciate The Martian? Curious because I’ve been thinking about diving into the book before the movie…

  1. Karina
    13/03/2016 at 9:38 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    The big goal this week is to keep powering on with the new project. That said, I’m also looking at an old project with fresh eyes thanks to feedback from Kathleen who has managed to note narrative weak points in such a way that I’m excited to fix them. It’s a knack I’m grateful for because I was dreading the Return Again to this piece.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    It’s been a dry week for inspiration from a movies and books perspective. That said, I’ve been following Kim Wilkins advice and have been putting the iPhone away during those awkward, useless points of downtime (school pick ups being the main culprit) in order to gaze at trees and clouds. This has been surprisingly refreshing.

    What part of my project an I avoiding?
    Not actively avoiding anything at present – just trying to squeeze it all in! There do not seem to be enough hours in the day… and there are three weeks of school holidays starting this week over here as conjoined parts of St Patrick’s Day, Easter and the Centenary of the Easter Rising (Proclamation of the Irish Republic).

    • 13/03/2016 at 10:36 PM

      If it helps at all (and this week, this is as much me speaking to myself as it is to you) one of the best pieces of advice I got from the coach I worked with over a year is that it doesn’t matter how much time you have, but rather the quality of that time and what you do with it. I’ve been struggling with the same thing this week – feeling like I’m not making use of stretches of hours available to me, and then using the timer app I use and a focus on a specific goal, and blowing myself away with how much I can achieve in 30 minutes.

      Sympathies for the school holiday gauntlet you’re about to run!

      • 13/03/2016 at 10:41 PM

        So much this! So little in a day, so much in half an hour.

  2. 13/03/2016 at 10:33 PM

    YAY FOR ALTERED LAYOUT WORK (that’s the vested self-interest talking) And we’ve pretty much got the trailer finalised too now!

    Glad to hear that you’ve had a rich banquet (pun possibly intended) of great culture you’ve consumed, too. Boo for the necessity of laptop repair.

    How hard do you find it to build the muscles back up once you’re getting back into the regular regimen again?

  3. 13/03/2016 at 10:40 PM

    I’ll watch out for Chef on the plane. Also I’ve had cause to read some Lansdale work recently and was suitably impressed – a lovely command of tone and mood.

    What am I working on this week?
    Finishing this research pass on the Regency so I can send it to Karina; roughing out a TERRIBLE picture book idea but I can’t stop until I get to the end; finishing the first draft of a very old partially-written short story.

    What’s inspiring me? Hanging out with MPhil and PhD candidates, librarians, lecturers. It took ten years but I finally missed uni (and postgrad beats undergrad hands down) and I am just so happy a lot of the time! I went for a drink with the professor who was my honours supervisor, and we had an absolutely delightful talk – all books and literature and things we loved. I also need to read or watch a bit more widely this week – at the moment I’m mainlining Lewis while I do art prep, and admiring the low-key approach it takes to some of the personal dramas in the show. I’m also going to catch up with some writer and illustrator friends in Melbourne this week, and watch a play of Picnic at Hanging Rock, some I’m pre-emptively inspired by that.

    What am I avoiding? The art side of the MPhil, and clearing out more physical working space. Well, I’m not technically avoiding the latter, but every time I do something towards it, the situation deteriorates. There’s a bookcase traffic jam in the living room now.

    • 13/03/2016 at 10:45 PM

      What makes the picture book idea terrible in your eyes?

      • 13/03/2016 at 10:53 PM

        The story, the art, the idea… This is why I was talking about haruspicy earlier in the week: I’m just disembowelling the idea onto paper and then poking around in the viscera for anything salvageable.

  4. 13/03/2016 at 11:09 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    For this week coming, it’s mostly preparing for a milestone birthday shindig. So that wipes out Saturday with revelry, and Sunday with regret. But the week after that, I’ve got leave, so I’ll be doing work mostly on my own practice and projects. Meetings for an audio drama project, renewing an attachment for an animated series project, and progressing getting a new commercial demo to chase more financially lucrative work. Need to sit down and do a proper review of regular rituals, as well. They’re gummed up with a lot of ‘shoulds’ that don’t happen regularly which is making me go numb to what’s in my daily schedule software.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Definitely catch-ups with smart friends. Found out about the Order of the Good Death talking to a lovely friend via Skype, and it’s such a great concept. Making death more a part of our regular experience of life again.

    What am I avoiding?
    I’ve still managed to ignore signal chain problems, which happily haven’t reared their head this week. Doubly-happily, a much more knowledgeable sound engineer friend will be in town for shindig next weekend, so will likely be able to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve also pushed a proper GTD review away again, so that really needs to happen. Not comfortable at the moment with what I’m not doing, and that’s draining energy and focus.

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