The Hearth (and an update!)

Hello!

I have been exceptionally quiet these past few months. I have been pretty quiet on the writing front, it is true. But I read at a lovely event called The Hearth on Thursday evening. It was the first time in a long while I’d read publicly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, I want to share some delightful photos (credit to Julia Henning), and officially welcome myself back into the site I set up some months ago (haha… ).

It’s been a funny old time of it recently. After the dizzying high of Sydney, the past few months have seen me take a bit of a beating, and some highfalutin ideas come crashing down to earth. A lot of things I had taken as constants (despite their relative newness) were stripped away, and I found myself back at square one. It is in that square that I am still somewhat situated; and whilst I am gently nudging my way back by creating a more consistent workload for myself, I do feel that this year has not gone on as it began, and it is highly likely it won’t end that way either (though, I do not want to cast speculations. I am, at heart, an optimist and a dreamer).

The Hearth, in many respects, represented a return to form for me. After months of silence, where my work never saw the light of day (and when it did poke out its head, it was rejected; I’m not complaining about that, it is expected, but it’s never nice), I experienced terrible nerves the day of. Like I said before, I had not read publicly in over a year. I did not doubt my ability, but equally, I wasn’t taking any chances. My pride had taken a severe beating, so I could not fail this time.

The feedback on the reading has been, overall, positive, and I want to thank the Hearth Collective – Lauren, Alicia, Mel and Emma – for not only giving me such a wonderful platform to kick myself off from, but also allowing me to share the evening with other such talented writers. There was a lot of love in the room that evening.

So, with a slew of unplanned days ahead of me, I will be doing (or endeavour to do) more semi-regular posts, on plays/films/TV I have seen, opinions I have, or updates on what I am working on. I imagine I’ll start out trying for once a week, probably on a Sunday or Monday, then fall back to bi-weekly, once a month, once every two months, and so into oblivion. But in all honesty, I hope I can keep it regular and plentiful. I have a few posts planned for the next few weeks, so watch this space. I may even have one by tomorrow.

Anyway, enjoy these lovely photos, and I’ll be writing soon.

Much love, CJ xx

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Holding an audience rapt by barring the exits and turning all the chairs towards me
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‘I don’t know what I want to say. But I’ll say it anyway.’ (I imagine whatever it was I was grasping for amounted to this)
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OK but I really like this picture. No scornful comments here. Just love.
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Q&A after the readings. It’s hard to hide when you’ve got nothing to say and a mouth that won’t shut up.
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Another genuinely lovely picture; sharing a laugh with the superbly talented Grace Chipperfield.

Published by: CJ McLean

CJ McLean is an Adelaide-based screenwriter and reviewer. His work has appeared in InDaily, Buzzcuts, Rip It Up, Glam Adelaide, ABC Radio National, as well as at the Adelaide Fringe and with ATYP. In 2017, his play The River won the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s Young Playwrights Award, and his short film won Best Film at the Adelaide 48-Hour Film Project. He is currently working on a screenplay for a short horror film and a new podcast adaptation of his Honours thesis.

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