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Fragments From June

1. At the soccer with D. His father is the perennial optimist. D takes the stand that Kennedy is no good as a striker. At each moment that Japan attack, a girl several rows back shrieks like a siren. As we leave, Australia having won the match, I wonder if there a more odious sound than the chant of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.” I doubt it. How did we get here? I think of it inextricably linked with all those youngsters who wander around festivals with Australian Flags draped around them, saying, “It’s the best country in the world,” despite the fact that they’ve never been to another one.

2. I’m participating in a 20 000 word in a month challenge with a writing group. I’m keeping my end up, but it’s early days. I usually find the first four or five days fine, and then life impinges, things crop up, and I’m suddenly behind. One of the writers has drawn up a spreadsheet that works out your words, average words per day, hours and average hours, average words required for the remaining days. I can’t work out if it’s exciting or frightening. Am I a writer or a machine?

3. I love dinner parties, but haven’t had many of late. But I managed to have one last sunday, where political options were discussed. A is involved in the Greens. C advised against joining them. I grandly stated that it’s all falling apart and we’re staring into the abyss and that we had to do something. It was all quite fun and interesting. Nothing much was resolved.

4. I’m going to Robert McKee’s Story seminar, this weekend. I’m not sure quite what I’ll learn from it, but McKee is an interesting figure. I interviewed him last year as a feature for Inside Film and he won me over. I’ve always found his book Story somewhat taxonomical and laboured, and felt that you could follow all his advice and end up still writing an incredibly banal film or novel. The whole three act structure is what hollywood rests on, and in any case, my avant-garde tendencies tend to make me rebel against those kinds of fomulae. But then McKee proved to be interesting, engaging, and with great taste and opinions I largely agreed with. So I’m off to see his performance, as much just to see it as a performance as to see what he has to say.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Rjurik Davidson is a writer, editor and speaker. Rjurik’s novel, The Stars Askew was released in 2016. Rjurik is a former associate editor of Overland magazine. He can be found at rjurik.com and tweets as @rjurikdavidson.

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