I have just returned from the 20th Anniversary conference of RWNZ and my mind is still buzzing on overload.
What a fantastic weekend!
The workshops on writing craft were superb. Talk about spoiled for choice. My one complaint is that I actually had to choose. I would have liked to be able to attend every one of the workshops.
It was a tough choice to attend either Vanessa Johnson's "How Not to Loose the Plot" or the demonstration with "Swords". I sincerely hope the Swords return next year as I will be a definite starter.
I loved Vanessa's workshop and went home to read her book "Lush".
It was a great read and I have to confess not my usual type of book but from the first page I was hooked. Her characterisation was superb and I immediately found myself rooting for the protagonist and her struggle to overcome her propensity for over indulging in alcohol. It was also very timely. This book should be a compulsory read in all schools.
The message is clear but not at all preachy.
It depicts the reality of the struggle many young women are facing with alcohol and written in a language the young will understand and empathise with. Good on you Vanessa. I hope your book is read widely.
The other highlight of the weekend for me was the Friday workshop with Chris Vogler.
What a treasure! A script writer for film and television, his insight into the modern heros and how they are drawn from heros in antiquity was a light bulb moment from me.
But best of all, for me, was hearing him affirm that we are all first and foremost story tellers and entertainers.
In the daily grind of writing it is very easy to overlook this simple fact. And as a story teller we follow an ancient and honorable tradition. In every civilization, as far back as pre-historic times, story tellers have underpinned values and chartered the course of mankind's journey.
An ancient and honourable tradition indeed.
And one I am humble and proud to belong to.