Love is a Battlefield. Life is a Highway. Death is a Mirror. Metaphors abound in songs and poems, and in literature. We love to draw metaphoric comparisons, and today I am a Raisin, desiccated and flattened.

The challenge continues. The 2000 gig almost broke me today. I was pressed to the limit of my typing speed, my brain refused to spell, and I think I may have RSI (rapid story injury). Each day this is the drill: wake up early, go for a walk, have breakfast with my two villa-mates, then grab my laptop, walk off down the alleyway to a close by cafe, La Luz, order a cappuccino, plug myself into my phone to listen to Ours Samplus on repeat, get a new Word document open, and just type that thing, babe.

It’s really incredibly hard. But then again it isn’t. I suppose what I mean is that I’m enjoying it even though it’s hard to concoct good writing in 3-4 hours. I love my characters. They are alive and running with this story, they are running ahead of me in fact. It got to the point today that I thought I needed a list of all the peripheral characters as they are mounting up. How delicious to just add characters on the sideline, give them space to be part of the world I’m building, and not have to worry about how much that is goign to cost like a playwright does.

I’m up to 8,000 words.

Our facilitator asked the writers in our villa to lunch. She is setting up to do the El Camino as part of a walk and write songs trip. Sounds good, but how I would love to do that walk as a walk and write fiction trip.

The afternoon session was all about metaphor. I think in metaphor, and of course think that everyone else thinks in metaphor. They don’t. Surprise. The writing exercise—a list of 10 words for which we must match a suitable metaphor and expand the metaphor to include a description of why the metaphor is true. One of mine was Family are tattoos, indelible, unmovable and regrettable. Many people in the group found the exercise confusing or too hard. huh. To me it was so natural.

The other exercise amused me, Word Bombing; begin writing a story from a single prompt (The road was long….) and while one is writing the facilitator drops in random words every so often, that upon hearing the writer must incorporate the new word within the next sentence. The bomb words were all quite bizarrely out of left field, and so the quickest way to write that is to make as many as possible work as metaphors.

Dinner this evening at one of the other villas. We had an opportunity to read our work aloud to the group if we wanted. Of course I wanted. I read chapter 2. It’s quite funny. And tragic. Great to read it out aloud too. This, believe it or not, is the first time we have read work to each other at this writing retreat (apart form reading it amongst our own villa mates)

Tomorrow is….Once more to the breech dear writers, once more.

This project was made possible by the Australian Governments Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.

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