I went to Sydney for three days and now I am home. Sounds easy, right?
Driving in peak hour Sydney traffic on Friday, LOST, almost crying, cursing and freaking out because Robert McKee's Seminar was starting in twenty minutes and if you were late he has been known to call you out and humiliate you in front of hundreds of people ... I still had to park and buy a coffee and find the frickin place. I wore my cowboy boots which looked cool, but sounded like a horse, clip-clopping up the street to get there. Received a text on my phone from Tim:
"Hey Eden .... Michael Jackson died, LOL!"
Then waiting in line with other tardy people, a guy got a phone call from his wife. "Michael Jackson, huh. Farrah Fawcett too? Ok. Call me if anybody else dies."
Cue three days of the most intense learning ever. He really is amazing, and knows pretty much everything there is to know about what makes a good story .. and screenplay, and novel, and TV show. He believes that the ancient art of story telling has been lost, in the muck of lazy plots and Hollywood blockbusters. It was hard ... just sitting there, trying to take in all the info. I missed my boys straight away, desperately achingly missed all of them equally. All around me were hundreds of fucking talented people ... one woman I chatted with had been working on her novel for two years. I felt like a big fat fraud ... all I came with were some ideas I had. That's it.
Struggling to concentrate I pulled out something that was digging in my pocket ... Rocco's dummy. I cried, felt so bad, and text Dave that I wished I was back at home. He didn't reply ... probably because he was a bit busy, trying to look after all the boys. It was hard that first day ... who am I? A mother, a wife, or a writer? Can I try to be all three? As Robert McKee went through elements of what makes a great story ... he said that you must thrust the protagonist into uncertainty, an unknown world. It reminded me of Dave and what he got thrust into, last year. Except if I read that as a story I would snort and think how stupid that is, that would NEVER happen.
I pulled out my phone and read every comment on my last post .... thank you for bouying me about leaving my boys. I love Blogland. Right then, I decided to honour my family by making the best of the time I had taken to be away from them. (And by the way ... you guys all have desperately horrific imaginations too!! I think we are more alike than we know. Fucking love Blogland)
Later I was inhaling a twelve dollar toasted sandwich. Paddington is a mecca for snobs and fashionistas alike ... naturally I stumble in my cowboy boots and drop my sandwich all over the road. The girls behind me stopped talking, walked silently passed, and laughed at me picking it up. I threw it in the bin. If nobody had seen me I would have just eaten it, I was so bloody hungry. Later, sitting back in the course, I ate a family block of chocolate in one fell swoop. The guy next to me was incredulous, I just tried to remain dignified.
Late that night, it was time to check into my cheap motel room. Now, Sydney and I go waaaaaay back. I gave my twenties to her ... her busy streets and colourful crowds. I also have felt some of the biggest pain in my life in this town, and have not yet created new memories. In the safety of my sister's homes, I can relax and have fun .... but I was in Sydney by my ownsome, navigating my own path. Everywhere I went, was against the grain. Crossing the street into the oncoming football fans. Driving around in circles.
Checking into the motel scared the shit out of me. It had a sickly sweet, familiar smell. The smell of Terrible Things. I walked up to check in and the guy goes, "Oh, it's you! We were all just laughing at you trying to park on the video monitor."
Silly me - I had quite forgotten that June 27th was National Laugh At Eden Day.
He realised straight away how rude that was ... I just said, "Are these rooms decent or what?"
He assured me that they were ... and they were, I just freaked as soon as I walked in to mine. At that exact moment, Dave text me. "Are you there yet bub?"
He rang, and I blubbered down the phone that I miss him, I'm no good without him. He laughed, and soothed me, made me feel better. He knows me more than I know myself, sometimes.
The rest of the weekend passed in a blur ... I took so many artistic shots, to show you. Of course, one of the boys broke the digital camera before I left, and didn't TELL anyone, so no photos turned out. But, thanks to google images, here is where the seminar was:
Here is my motel:
And here is what I felt like doing after I walked into my motel room that first night:
Finally, by Sunday, I got my groove on. Stopped wearing makeup, and just relaxed and enjoyed myself. I made friends with Sydney, a bit. I learnt about text and subtext and subplot and the importance of dialogue. I heard stories of famous people, drank great coffee, got flirted with. Found my own groove and got it on.
It was time to come home ... my lungs were hurting, they don't call it the "big smoke" for nothing.. I left early on Sunday ... there was going to be a scene-by-scene "autopsy" of Casablanca. Robert McKee asked the audience who had never seen the film - nobody put their hand up. I haven't seen it - fucked if I was going to admit to it. It was also assumed that everybody there had been to university, which I haven't. I always thought I was too stupid. (You get told you are something every day of your childhood and you tend to grow up believing it.)
Writing runs deeply, in me. It was the one thing - the only thing, that I thought, during all the bad years, maybe I'll come though it and maybe I can write, someday.
And, I can and I have. Everything else - everything in my life from here on in, is just a big fat bonus. If dropping my sandwich on the road was my worst problem last weekend, then I'm doing pretty fucking well.
I kept worrying that I'd spent so much on his seminar, how dare I, etc .... but it was worth every cent to get to come home to these guys:
Rocco is just a little baby. Apparently I had no idea! And Max is a gigantor child! When did that happen! And I wanted to jump my husbands bones as soon as I got out of the car! Woot! I kissed Tim, told him how much I missed him, he blushed but I knew he loved it.
I am so lucky, so blessed.
AFTERMATH: Max tells me that "dad left me and Rocco in the bath by ourselves while he made dinner. Rocco only went under twice." !!!!! There was not one nappy, when I got home. Not ONE. I am so very sick - I think Sydney poisoned me. The doctor today said I have "trachealitis" which is just another word for "fucking sick AGAIN."
I just found this pic in my computer, have no idea how it got there. HA!