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?

I’m fleshing out my notes on the first chapter of the thesis exegesis, refining the first act of the thesis novella, and doing a deep dive on the planning for a Brain Jar project, Hell Track, where I try revising the current plan and locking things down the how-and-why of all the character actors.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’ve been continuing my reading of the hardboiled detective cannon over the last week, picking up Mickey Spillane’s first novel, I, The Jury. The book’s copy draws a connection between Spillane’s Mike Hammer and current character’s like Jack Reacher, and there’s definitely something too that. On the other hand, it’s a book that’s incredibly problematic in its depictions of psychology and pretty much anyone who isn’t white, male, and a cop; that’s the kind of thing that gets me interested in seeing how it can be updated and subverted in other works.

What action do I need to take?

I’m rolling through the to-do list for getting Brain Jar Press off the ground and realised that I’ve been shuffling the question of a web presence down the list several times. Part of me is contemplating just keeping it as a landing page here, on my site, as an interim measure, but it will mean investigating plugins since they’re not a default option with my WordPress theme.

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

  1. 22/10/2017 at 9:57 AM

    I’ve been really wanting to read some more detective stories and mysteries lately as there’s a pretty large mystery / investigative thread in one of my current WIPs. Are there any you’d recommend in particular from your readings lately?

    And good luck with the Brain Jar Press stuff! It sounds really interesting. 🙂

    My Sunday Circle is here.

    • 22/10/2017 at 10:29 AM

      Hard to say without nailing down what kind of story you’re looking at. My default for the hardboiled stuff is always starting with Raymond Chandler’s short story collections and going from there. The novels are larger and more sprawling, but watching him nail down a story in 10 chapter and 20,000 odd words means that he’s really just hitting the key aspects of the story (and they usually formed the foundation for novels later). Dashiel Hammett’s The Thin Man stays interesting just for the tropes it subverts with its happy, married couple at the heart of the investigative team.

      But the hardboiled stuff isn’t necessarily good at the investigative side of things. It’s more about staying resolute in the face of corrupting forces and well-connected with the seedy side of the street, compared to the cosy or procedural parts of the genre where people actually puzzle over clues and draw conclusions.

      Good luck with the move.

    • 22/10/2017 at 8:31 PM

      As a bit of a sampler, you might dig Private Dicks and Feisty Chicks – I picked up a copy years back for a project that never got off the ground, but found it a really interesting read.

      Can you put your finger on where the hesitation is coming from with the edits & lesson plan?

  2. 22/10/2017 at 6:03 PM

    Love the name Brain Jar Press, Peter. I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce there..
    Here’s my Sunday Circle.

    • 22/10/2017 at 8:36 PM

      Eek. Kitchen renovations == major upheaval!

      Are you able to relocate a tea-making kit to somewhere near the bathroom in the meantime so that your daily ritual buffering between work and writing at home remains uninterrupted?

      • 23/10/2017 at 6:54 AM

        I live in a quite small 2 bedroom apartment so everything is close together! I don’t think my writing will be interrupted too much except that my writing room is now full of kitchen stuff, so I’ll have to write in the living room instead.

  3. 22/10/2017 at 8:34 PM

    Peter: regarding the web presence, would definitely recommend a simple WordPress install with a landing page and email signup form. If you’re still looking at this after this week, would be more than happy to lend a hand if that’s any use? There’s a few basic themes for WordPress that get you something super simple (logo, couple of sentences of text, signup form) and that gets you something done, and the domain out there starting to build up search cred.

    • 23/10/2017 at 3:28 PM

      Thanks. Web Presence is now off the list, at least until there’s a few more books put together and I can justify setting up a webstore.

  4. 22/10/2017 at 8:45 PM

    What am I working on this week? This week is the madness and overstimulation of Games Week in Melbourne. Packed with attending conferences and networking and drinking and catching up with friends, with only Thursday as the buffer between 3 days of madness either side.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    I’ve been playing short stretches of Pyre by Supergiant Games in down time at the moment, and been really enjoying it. The studio always have a deft touch when it comes to world-building and characterisation, and it has a beautiful feeling of slow disintegration towards the end of an ongoing cultural cycle, and deals with that in a really satisfying way. It’s a great example of how to build a palpable feeling of a world with relatively minimal set-dressing.

    What action do I really need to take?
    The last critical thing I need to do currently is some video preparation for a panel I’m talking on at PAX Aus on Saturday. Waiting for raw audio/video to come in from panelists at the moment.

    • 23/10/2017 at 6:57 AM

      Have an excellent time at Games Week, Kevin. Hope you get lots of inspiration & ideas.

    • maggiedot
      24/10/2017 at 12:23 AM

      Have a blast at PAX! Can’t wait to hear how everything went. 🙂

  5. maggiedot
    24/10/2017 at 12:20 AM

    All the best on the website wrangling, Peter! It always seems like it should be more straightforward than it is…

    My belated Sunday Circle (hopefully with accurate link) is here!

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