I can be a bit single-minded. All work and no play makes Madeleine super freakin’ boring. I have to remember to stick my head out of the writing cave and do other stuff, like talk to people and put shoes on. Today I’m going to talk about stuff other than writing and Evangeline.

Writing is not my only creative outlet. I like to make tangible stuff. After spending all day in my mind, it’s fun to make stuff with my hands – cook or craft.

At the moment I seem to be obsessed with cross stitch patterns. My mum used to be an avid cross stitcher and has some beautiful framed work around her house. For some reason in the past week, I’ve been drawn to the world of cross-stitching and I’m stalking various patterns and kits on Etsy. Maybe I’ve also been inspired by the cover of the Steven Pressfield’s new book on writing (Nobody Wants to read your sh*t). I’m seeing some cross-stitch action in the near future.

I also relax with a bit of knitting. I used to be an obsessive knitter (are you noticing a pattern here?) but over recent months, I’ve picked up my bamboo sock needles again. I’m planning to embark on another Clapotis scarf (a classic Knitty.com pattern)

Films are another creative outlet of mine but still story-related. I’m looking forward to the Melbourne International Film Festival in late July (I missed last year due to a US trip) and enjoy my sporadic attendance of Melbourne Cinematheque. Two striking films I’ve seen in recent weeks are The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne and Metro Manila

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne

An 80s French version of the classic tale with Udo Kier and directed by Borowczak, this film is disturbing and strange. Extremely violent (not for the faint-hearted), yet despite the horror and extremely confronting imagery, I could not look away. Jekyll is hosting his engagement party in his home. Hyde makes an appearance and terrorises the guests one by one. This version brought the suppressed urges theme of Jekyll and Hyde front and centre. But Jekyll’s fiancee, Miss Osbourne, is not like other people.

Metro Manila

Another disturbing film (but in a completely different way) is the Filipino Metro Manila. A young farming family moves to Manila from the countryside to look for work after their rice crop prices fall. The country mice face the brutal reality of a corrupt, crime-ridden and vicious Manila. Violent and heart-breaking.

I’d recommend both films but not for the squeamish.

What are your current obsessions and creative outlets? Who here’s a crafty lady?