Tuesday, September 28, 2010
What was I doing at the time? In 1978 I had entered into a screenwriting partnership with Terry Larsen (who had written the script for Michael Thornhill’s movie The FJ Holden). We worked all through this period until I started teaching in 1983. Screenwriting was a weird experience: working at subsistence level for producers who would jet off for the States or Europe at a moment’s notice. Over the period we made a living, more or less, through the odd film grant or production deal though in the end nothing we worked on together would ever become a movie. Still, it was a useful experience. Without it I might not have been able to structure a long work. In 1979 I started work at the WEA Library with Librarian Barbara Brooks and worked there part-time for eighteen months or so. In between gigs I was funded by the poor person’s Literature Board (a.k.a. Social Security). Then in late 1983 I worked for a semester at what was then the Canberra College of Advanced Education (subsequently the University of Canberra) as a lecturer in Media Studies (I had previously taught Media, in 1976, at Swinburne, home of Australia’s first media theory course). After that position I advanced in the world to be the cleaner at Gleebooks, a position I held until late 1985, broken by a few months when a Victorian government grant sent me off to Gippsland to research The Ash Range.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Over the Coalcliff years I was mostly living in Sydney, though in late 1983 I spent most of my time in Canberra. In 1978-79 I lived by myself in a small house at 67 Newman Street, Newtown. From December 1979 to March 1981 I was in a share house at 240 Church Street Newtown with, among others, Hayden Keenan (film producer). Then from March to May I was briefly in a small room at 9 Fort Street Petersham - a house that Greg Maguire, Jann Chambers and Morgan Smith (Gleebooks) lived in at the time (John Forbes was an earlier tenant). I returned as a permanent resident after living by myself again in a house at 156 Wardell Road, Dulwich Hill for five or so months. By that time Morgan had moved out of Fort Street and artist Ken Searle was there. Ken and I both moved in to the house Greg and Jann bought around the corner at 83 Palace Street in September 1983. I lived there until October 1985 when I moved back to my home city, Melbourne.