It was a lovely day for a dive in the country, the sun was hot, but the wind was cool giving it an autumnal feel. We had lunch at a hotel in Bacchus Marsh and arrived at the orchard just after two. Keeping an eye on the Nectarine pickers was a friendly bloke by the name of Pete. I chatted to him about fruit and the kids and then I got picking. I came close to chickening out and not talking to him about my screenplay, but I plucked up my courage and ended up having a good chat with him. He answered some of my questions and gave me quite a lot to think about. He mentioned that there was a pair of young girls working in the orchard at the moment that I might talk to. I plucked up my courage again and spoke to a women at the sales stand she was also very friendly and helpful and took my details to pass on to the owner. Talking to strangers like that was daunting and I had to push myself to overcome my shyness, but I was glad that I did and grateful for the experience. Going to the orchard definitely helped me to visualize one of the main settings much more clearly.
Something else crystallized for me today after talking to mum. She told me that she felt disappointed after reading my Synapses because it seemed like another story where the women is the victim. I completely understand her point and it is true in a sense of Barbara's story. However I certainly don’t want to write something which is that simplistic. Instead I want it to raise the question. If Australia in the 1800’s was no place for women, is it a better place for them today? Taking my inspiration from Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, I also want the subplot to illuminate the sometimes difficult and dark realities of motherhood. If this story takes a torch and shines it in the dark corners of Australian culture, if peeks under the rug at how women are treated our society, if it pulls the sheet off the mirror so that we are forced to look at ourselves and wonder, what is our role in this? Then I will feel satisfied that I have achieved my goal.