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Whispered Conversations

Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote a musical about the movie Sunset Boulevard. One of the songs, has the line “The whispered conversation, in over crowded hallways”. For some reason I’ve had it stuck in my head all morning. Whispered conversations, over crowded hallways and the attempt to keep things private when you have an overwhelming need to talk.

During a recent telephone conversation I made mention that I heard my fathers voice come out of my mouth. Not so much his voice, but his words, and it dawned on me that I am finally becoming him. The way he thinks, the way he acts, the way he uses words. Slowly I’m morphing into a younger version of my father (while looking like my mother) and it’s a strange place to be.

I was talking about something to do with the house and I said “someday, when I’ve got the money”. And I just froze. I realised I use that term “when I can afford it, when I have the money etc” all the time. It’s not even just about being able to afford it financially. It’s about being able to afford the emotion, the time, the energy, the commitment. I seem to live and operate from a place of deficit.

Now I will admit that I’m sort of flat lately. I have been since I lost my job and didn’t get another one within the week. As weeks stretched into months, it became harder to find the motivation to get out of bed, let alone actually do anything. It actually reached the point where a couple of glasses of wine, became my “teaspoon of sugar” to help the medicine (job hunting) go down. It wasn’t a good time.

Every thing changed when I made the decision to no longer wait till I could afford it. Tired? Too Bad. Sad? Get over it. Lonely? Tough.

Over the time since I put the “don’t talk, just do” plan into action there’s been a couple of strange occurrences. I’ve stopped smoking – again -, I’ve stopped drinking again. I’ve thrown away the fizzy drinks and the cup cakes. I’ve chucked out the chocolate and the chips & dip. I’ve taken to walking and riding my exercise bike. I’ve stopped eating fattening food and have replaced most of my meals with healthy fresh salads and meat. I’ve lost 3 kilos in a week and my chest hurts from muscles strained I forgot I had.

And I bought a notebook.

I know, of all the most exciting things I’ve done of late, it is buying that notebook. It’s a cool notebook. With a red phone booth on the cover. I bought a new pen. What can I say, I’m a writer at heart. Notebooks and pens and all those new stationary items make me happy. Actually I sort of thing of them as Writers Porn ;).

The notebook is for my next writing project. In my last post I talked about taking away the protection of the safety blanket. Removing all those ideas I’ve been working on for a decade and clearing the back log so I have nowhere to go, but to the ideas that may actually be written.

I’ve been lucky enough to undertake writing courses with two of Australia’s best writers; Kate Forsyth and Pamela Freeman. Both have inspired me in different ways. And while the notebook isn’t an inspiration, it is a suggestion from Kate Forsyth.

Over time I became more likely to tell you my story than to actually write it down. I’ve always said I was more a story teller. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in a past life somewhere, it was my job to entertain the villagers of an evening around the fire, weaving stories of adventure and action. Frankly, if I could do that now, I probably would.

The whispered conversations between friends, the story lines aired before they were ready, the adventures and the laughs already had before words hit screen, have led me to place writing in the “when I can afford the time” bracket. I’m unemployed. I have no job, nowhere to be, no one waiting on me. What’s the hold up? What else am I using my time for?

So I have a new notebook, whose job is to take the place of those whispered conversations. I’m sure I’ll talk about the idea too. I’m a talkative writer I guess. But for the most part it’s about the story. It’s about the whispered conversations between me and a blank page. Just as it should have been all those years ago.

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