Tuesday, 30 June 2009

And On the Third Day, She Rose Again

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!


  1. Geez Eden you would have ended up with more than trachealitis if you had eaten the sandwhich that had fallen onto Oxford st!!
    I hope you are feeling better soon. Glad the weekend was all worth it.

  2. I hope you get some rest and feel better soon.

    "He only went under twice!!" made me laugh...

  3. this is not about your post, but i'm just letting you know that you are one of my favorite bloggers (dug) and I have had nothing buy shit to spew out in response to anything, so I have not been commenting or even reading. I've been trying to keep up and skimming, but I'm trying. so please forgive me!

  4. I can't wait to see the film you write. Can I be an extra in one of the London scenes? Sending love.

  5. so very glad u made it through the weekend and realized what a lucky girl you are!

    As IF you're stupid Eden! You were one of the CLEVER ones at school! (at least I thought so!)


  6. WTF is wrong with those people? I thought Australians were friendly. I'd have thrown my sandwich at the girl, and asked the guy if he'd never seen a woman eat chocolate before. Or, I'd have run over the desk clerk.

    I'm glad you were able to overcome missing your boys and get something good out of the seminar. I've never seen Casablanca either (and I would totally have admitted it because I like to laugh at people who look down their noses at me - and then I would call them sheep).

    Anyway, glad you're home safe!

  7. If I was writing a story based on your weekend, I would have had you throw a piece of ham from your sandwich at those snide bitches and it would have clung to her leg for a few paces before slowly peeling off and dropping down to the pavement.

    You are my hero - what you did this weekend is so fucking brave, it rocks my world.

  8. Glad you had a wonderful time- so sad you are sick though. It always works that way, doesnt it?


  9. Is sick code for "I'm so busy writing the movie of my life and including G$ over in Seattle with all her great (albeit crass with a side of fucking fuckers fuck em in the eye language) wisdom?"

    Glad the weekend went ok and Rocco only went under twice lol. Yay for big brother Max, taking care of R and ratting out D :)


  10. Dude. Only you could be my twin. Seriously, I'm pretty sure we're related.

  11. "Rocco only went under twice." made me spit tea all over the laptop.

    I wish I had been there when that pretentious bitch laughed. I would have punched her in the throat for you.

  12. I like areyoukiddingme's response. I'm glad that the trip went well for the most part. Sounds like you got some good useful information and homecoming was great. Sorry you're sick again. That sucks big time. Hope you feel better soon. Hugs to you.

  13. I really wish I'd met someone like you at a writing conference -- it would have revived me and resuscitated my belief in people. I would've totally dropped the sandwich, blushed furiously and wished I could have eaten it.

    You amaze me - your writing amazes me. You make me remember and believe in the power of the written word -- and for that, and for so many many other things, I am indebted to you -- truly, forever.



  14. Hooray for your brave weekend! Those stupid sandwich women will get theirs - karma, baby.

    And that desk clerk! What charm school did he flunk out of?

    Glad you made the best of it and had fun in the end. Believe in yourself because we all do! (Believe in you, that is, not necessarily ourselves)

  15. I'm SO glad you had a great time and am so glad you had a wonderful welcome home.
    Enjoy yourself and take in everything you learned. Let it all sink in. You can be all three! You're worth being all three *wife, mom, AND writer*

  16. I would totally have eaten that sandwich too. Possibly I would have turned around, taken a huge bite right in those girls' faces just to show them how obnoxious they were. Honestly, people can be so RUDE. And what was up with Hotel Guy? Wish I could have popped out by your shoulder just at those moments. Grr! (I am obviously not in a kind mood tonight.)

    Heh, I get you about storytelling and your personal life. I sometimes think about writing a book about Sarge and all that's happened to us and then I think "No one will ever believe all that could happen in one lifetime, let alone six years. No one will buy it."

    "He only went under twice!!" HAH! Your boys are beautiful. I'm glad you're home safe and loved. And that now you have some new (relatively okay) memories of Sydney. Take care of your throat, okay? Peppermint & chamomile tea and some chicken soup.

    Going to stop hogging your comment section now. Really. Here I go.


  17. Woohoo Eden!!! Glad you made friends with Sydney and had a good learning time.

    Oh that motel smell, Terrible Things, I know that smell too. Ewwww. Fonz dog rocks.

  18. I came back to catch up on you and read my last comment. I meant to say "duh" and I said "dug". What a word to screw up, eh? Heh. I'm not smart.

    Now I'm thinking of that old video game dig dug.

    Can I be more random?

    Miss. I need your address. Can you email it to me? I have something for you.

    So wow. I just read (duh. no, dug. no! duh!) about your time away for you and I'm proud of you. Yeah, it was great you did something for you and for writing and all of that, but you allowed yourself to have a few days without being THE ONE. The one who does everything. The one who has to do everything. The one who has to do everything right. Now. I am not talking shit here miss eden. I am just thinking of how terribly similar we are. And how hard it was for me when I first left my babies. I had to do it more often for work (fucking bastards) so I got used to it before you did, but you didn't have the opportunity. But now I am able to enjoy it. I miss my kids, of course. And I miss my husband. And everything familiar. But I also love being alone now too. I love calling home to say goodnight to the kids, even though all they do is complain how they didn't get ice cream from the ice cream man.

    I am totally rambling. I think what I'm trying to get at is I see so much of myself in your stories. How you are quite martyr~ish. Me too. And it was hard to go somewhere and leave everyone. Not because I had to do whatever it was I was doing while missing my family. But that they could get along without me. And I didn't get to say "I've been taking care of everyone, everday, for xxx long!".

    This is all coming out wrong. I don't mean to call you a martyr. You don't take on that role at all. It's just a feeling I get myself - especially times like my year so far. And you've had quite your own time too. Although I know you'd trade it in an instant, the fact you had a baby by yourself and then took yourself to see your cancer-ridden husband - that's a fucking war wound. And it's hard to change modes and NOT be that person after you were such a bad ass. To allow not only yourself to do something for you, but to NOT do everything for everyone else.

    My god. I feel like I'm making not a lick of sense. I hope you get what I'm trying to fucking get out of my brain.

    Bottom line - I'm happy for you. And glad you ended up having a good time. And I'm sorry you dropped your sandwich. Did you call that laughing chick a bitch? Karma will come back at her and she's going to end up starting her period while wearing white and she'll walk around with a blood soaked crotch for everyone to see - which no one will tell her and she'll see it for herself at the end of the day.

    You know what sucks? For me? I am drawn to girls like you and Pam and you are writers. Which makes my rambling and random comments stick out like a sore thumb. Ugh. A writer I am not. I write exactly how I would respond to you if I was talking, which makes for weird reading.

    Don't forget about the address. :)

  19. i think you are an AMAZING WRITER. i loved this post and laughed out loud when i read about the boys in the bath and then saw the photo of 'cool dog'. perfection.

  20. If you write it....we will read. (You won't understand that unless you see an old Kevin Costner movie, whose name escapes me)

    My middle boy keeps telling me I need to write a book about my life, because it has been a weird ride. Someday I may, but until then, I want to read yours :)

  21. oh crap...I want to read and catch up but it's 1 a.m. here and Owen is crying for...something. Dunno what.

    Just want you to know that I"m thinking of you and I'll be back to cathch up.


  22. National Laugh at Eden Day and I missed it! Making it up for it now...well, not at you but with you. The snide bitches are not only in Sydney - seen that behaviour over and over again. Brings out the worst in me, I just want to smack them hard to whack some manners into them. They are a waste of space and we will give them not another minute of our valuable brain time.

    And a favourite friend of mine who was a university lecturer for years, always says that a degree is not a sign of intelligence just persistance. And if it is any consolation, when I was at the point you are at now - age and parenting wise - I did not have a degree either. Now I have four...which is totally ridiculous. But once I started, I just wanted to know more. And so...I persisted.

    And a family sized block of chocolate? That bloody rocks! Much better for you than a sandwich.

  23. I've been struggling so much with the wife, mother, and writer bit. If you find the secret recipe, let me know.

  24. Found my way to you through Tara's blog... let's just say this one entry has pulled me in so much that I plan on reading your entire blog this week. I don't know what you paid for the seminar, but writing is an excellent vocation for you, Hon. Excellent. I went through at least 5 different emotions from this 1 entry. That takes talent, to evoke so much in such a small space. Rock on.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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