Just follow your gut!

After a spate of rejections for a bunch of flash fiction, I was thrilled to hear that a piece I sent off as an exercise in historical fiction under 500 words won first prize, the historical novel, Sophronia L by Tim Birdwell.

It was also the only submission, which goes to show that you never know. When the piece was published, I received lovely feedback from Tim and other writers I admire, several of whom write outside the usual boxes.

snoopySo now a bit of my L’air du temps has dissipated.

Around the same time, I signed up for an acting workshop run by Vienna Skill Smiths and led by the US actor, Jeanette Brox McCarthy.

No, I don’t want to get into acting, but I thought the course would give me insights into character development. Jeanette’s hubby, Irish poet Neil McCarthy alerted me to the event.

And what a terrific night it was. We were a dozen in the workshop that went over the scheduled 2.5 hours by about 40 minutes, and could have gone on all night.

Jeanette is a terrific teacher – knowledgeable, professional, passionate and fun. She taught us lessons for acting, and I guess ones for life.

  • On communication: your attention should always be on the other person not on the script. How often do we fail to listen in our efforts to prepare what we want to say?
  • Who am I? Where am I? Who else is there? What do I want? We all have opinions. Hide and seek?
  • Keep it simple, clear, most of all, keep it sincere.
  • Every moment is your moment. Finish one moment before starting the next.
  • What is my frame?

Now all these tips are from Jeanette’s acting world, but I’m sure she won’t mind if I hijack them for my writing one.

Jeanette will be teaching a summer acting course in Vienna in the Amerlinghaus starting 7 July, which is sure to be terrific.

And on 10 July, I’ll be participating in a poetry battle to raise money for Nepal. It’ll be comedy and there’ll also be art and dance battles the same evening on 10 July at Improper Walls.

Maybe what Jeanette taught me in her workshop will help me get a laugh or two and some funds for a worthy cause.

So if something sounds crazy and is out of your zone, but it still makes you curious, then just follow your gut. It all feeds the process. Onwards!