A busy month of SWAMP

It’s been a busy SWAMP time this month: Scrivener-Words-Art-Music-Politics.

We completed our acting workshop with Jeanette Brox McCarthy with discussion of our videos and how we came over on film. What an eye-opener! And what a super workshop it was. There’ll be another next year, so we’ll be sure to meet again and one of the participants may even be wearing a crown; he is, after all, a finalist for Mr Austria!

The workshop was very useful in a practBright Lightical way, too, for I had to introduce a group of artists, Bunt Gemixt, at their vernissage in downtown Vienna to an audience of around 80. It was a lovely evening and all went well. One of the artists, Michele Karbassioun, raffled one of her works and we were able to raise money for Train of Hope, which welcomes refugees at Vienna’s main train station.

Then I just had to go to the Theater am Spittelberg to unwind and enjoy Ernst Molden and Nino aus Wien in action again. Always good, always inspiring, always leaves me on a high.

marrakesch_buchAnd last night I attended one of the nicest book presentations in a long while. Photographer Ronnie Niedermeyer launched his photo book Colours of Marrakech in the beautiful rooms of Safran&Cie. The Moroccan Ambassador gave a very moving speech, and all those involved in the production of the book were introduced. A work of beauty with text in eight languages with all proceeds from sales going to Alnour in Marrakech. And there were some words that I overheard: one of the guests had been out to Traiskirchen to pick up some of the Syrian refugees and show them a bit of Vienna.

It was a fitting end to an exciting week with the Vienna elections last Sunday. The far-right wing party, the Freedom Party (weird how political parties often belie their names, not just in Austria, but also in Australia) has been gaining ground, but only managed to capture one of Vienna’s 23 districts, although it was a close call in a couple of them, including the one I live in. I read somewhere that areas the most gung-ho against foreigners are ones where locals and foreigners don’t really interact and fear of “the other” reigns. There’s also, I feel, an added peculiarity in Austria that could make for a volatile mix at the national elections in 2018, and that is that Austria has never come to terms with its recent past, and it’s not just me who thinks so, as The Woman in Gold well knows. But for the moment things aren’t too bad: no Abbott at the helm in Australia; no Strache at the Helm in Vienna. All food for thought, though, for my opus, speaking of which …

I’ve just completed the first week of a 6-week Self-Editing Course with the wonderful Debi Alper and Emma Darwin, and a super group of writers. Stretching my brain and oiling my writing muscles will be the order of the days and weeks ahead. I’m also hoping to fit in a 17-day Scrivener intermediate course to help me with a semblance of structure for my opus in transition. Characters seem to be filling my day and night dreams, pushing, shoving, cajoling.

Still lots more ahead, so, as ever, onwards!