Lighthouse

By Danielle Bennett

April ran me down,
left me looking at the backside of a pig herd.

At the end of the month, mud thick as thighs
was smeared across my eyelids and lip corners,
and all over my spirit.

So tired, this voice I am losing is both a red and white flag
that tells a more honest story than my mouth does.

I’m tired of the discipline it takes to say no.
Of the daily quits and the daily asks.
Each message a jagged skip and whatever groove I had finally slid into.

Tired of being a thread always pulling through.
Of showing up to a keyboard, unimpressed by anything I have to offer.
I, too, am unimpressed by my own biography.

Tired of wanting to claw my way through skin until I am an indistinct skeleton,
slinking out unnoticed.

Perhaps then I wouldn’t be held by the fire of my own splintered dreamboards.

Shrink me tiny enough to escape failure by any on of my hundred definitions.
Help me believe that this art was only ever an experiment

I’m tired of doing my best.
Of telling the sugar to let me go.
Of being looked at like the next shiny trophy.
A feeling like a ladder rung, like an empty promised land.

I’m tired of what it takes to get clear,
of how heavy the fighting heart weighs in.
Of the “not quite, almost, just wait here”.
Of the questioning of my own aloneness, of my own enoughness, of my own too-muchness.
April reminds me that I am a six-figure grave and whoever taught me what that would mean.

Where is the triangle of blame that promise me relief one day?

Where is the relief in any of this one day?

 

The truth is, I am only bothered when I think or I know I have completely lost control.

My reputation, the feels, the knowing.
I have chased and begged them home, but I never learned to lasso.
So I’m doing my best for the thousandth time to actually let it go.

And everyone who’s actually nailed crow pose or hit five miles
know that repetition expecting a different result isn’t always insanity.
Sometimes it’s just a way of growth.

I am flaking mud.
Really I am left in no one’s dust.
I am miles behind and I am still winning.
I will never forget my own name.

I am letting us all off my hooks.
I am showing up, even when other people don’t.

I am not forcing resolve,
because I’m not sure that’s the way life folds.

But I’m reconciling versions of myself,
because I want them to meet one day and laugh at how right we swore we were.

I am not made of formulas, so I can no longer respond on your cue.
I’m gonna start asking questions that may make me seem slow,
but I am labeling that a good four letter word

And I figured out that two pieces of dark chocolate a day are not adding more inches to my waist,
than nearly three decades of stress I asked this body to stomach.

The manna has come enough to know that I will not be buried alive.
And I’ve never watched, but I can tell I am beautiful when I’m writing
and I know there is a humble man saving the rest of his fourth of July’s for my firework giddy applause.
And I don’t know where he is, but I know he doesn’t play hide-and-seek.
And I know I want to tell him that I haven’t been waiting.
I’ve been creating a hotel of stories he can thank for the shameless, crooked smile I’ve become.

I am flaking mud.
I am waking up.
Praise!

April is gone and I think May was a new sun and I’ve never loved the sound of crumble as I do now.
Under all that earth, I got soft, somehow.

I got a second draft biography.
It says: I’m not much of a sailor but I’ve built some sort of boat.
If you judge me by my crew, I am thoroughly good.
If you judge me by results, I am a two-time world champion of facing what I feared the most.

I have been published by several renowned atlases, for my work repairing lighthouses using only sound.
You’ll know they’re mine when you see them.
How the lights loop haphazardly like they’re completely out of control.

 

lighthouse
“My Guiding Light”; by Caitlin Robinson
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I Miss You

Friend, relative, lover, almost lover, stranger.

No matter how far apart and how long it’s been, I miss you.

Every time someone walks down the street and they have the curl of your hair or the scent of your cologne and I remember the last time you held me in your embrace – truly held me, unhindered by tension or anger or the weight of goodbye – I miss you.

 

I remember the conversations we used to have, late into the night.

The dreams I would dream you would catch and save for later. I remember the curve of your smile and the sound of your laugh – the gasping giggle, the impolite guffaw. Every moment went slow enough for time to take a break from ticking and yet impossibly way too fast. I can’t forget the way your eyes crinkled because my heart wrinkles in the same pattern every gasp as I realise I miss you.

 

And there’s a hole you forgot to fill.

Although I see you all the time – your bright eyed life on my screen, and the stories other people tell, the wind whistles as it whirls around the cracks around the hole you left, inconsiderately. When you left. You left and I never got to say… Well, it’s too late now. But I wonder if you’ll ever realise in your quiet moments that I’m still here and I miss you.

I’m sorry for that time I yelled.

I’m sorry for that thing I spilled.

I’m sorry for that gift I missed.

I’m sorry for that time you tripped.

I’m sorry for the times gone by.

I’m sorry I never got to ask you why.

And I’m just so sorry, but you need to know I miss you.

I miss you so badly.

And maybe I’ll never see you again. Or maybe I’ll see you in a crowd and not approach you because you look so happy. Perhaps I’ll see you sitting alone and not encroach because you look so sad. Dare I wonder whether you miss me? But oh my love, know this. I miss you.

For Arguments Sake

An open letter to those of an argumentative nature.
There are very few types of people on this planet whom I cannot stand. Those who resort to arguments because they cannot or will not express their opinion in a civilised manner are of that class. 

There is a certain type of person in this world who finds it difficult to converse with someone whose opinion they disagree without resorting to insults, degradation or raising their voice. I assure you, it is not that you are not being heard, but that no one is listening. If you are of this class of society, let me address you personally- it confounds me that you cannot grasp the English language well enough to manipulate it to communicate your message respectfully. 
In case you are not completely sure whether you are being spoken to, observe the following examples.
(Upon receiving a Gideon Bible): “what is this piece of shit?” 

(Upon understanding one is a Christian): “you disgust me; I thought you were smart.”

(Upon hearing one is an atheist): “you will burn in hell.”
I was the recipient of the first two comments, and a witness of the third as I watched the moment one of my dearest friends was to perhaps permanently decide to never return to church. I did not blame her.
When you decide to disregard someone’s feelings and your own humanity for a cause you believe passionately in, you immediately lead them to one of two actions, neither of which is listening to you as you are essentially presenting an offence which people are hardwired to ignore. You either lead them to complete shut down (flight) or violent retaliation (fight). Neither aid your cause, or your relationship. Thence, all you who are slowly realising you can be forceful, insistent (love persistently, do not present insistently) or just plain rude, heed my words- no one will heed yours. You cannot win someone to or against religion, politics, or on their opinion of a movie by fear. There is a civility in being able to present an argument without creating one. The question is whether or not the recipient will be affronted or what you perceive as reason will filter through by how you say what you say. 
At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion, which includes the person whose mind you are attempting to change. Pick your battles and do not constantly go for the low blow. Your opinion can be tolerated without being accepted. 
To conclude, understand this- no one will listen to you if you’re being a jerk.

Journaling

It’s something a lot of people want to try but have no idea how to get around to. We’ve all got a spare notebook lying around somewhere- sometimes it’s a beautiful one we don’t want to somehow screw up. Well, as someone who has been journaling for about 7 years now, I figured it’s something I know a little bit about.

Here are some things I wish I had known before I started journaling.

1. No one is going to read what you write. If you have to show some things to people, then you can make them as rigid and boring as you want. However, for the majority of what you write, no one is ever going to have the privilege of seeing it. So if you only ever pick up a journal when you’re angry and it’s pages of scrawled expletives, let it be. If you write crap poetry, that doesn’t matter. When you write, be real and honest, feel free to express every little part of yourself and record every fear, because you’re doing this for you. A journal is a mirror, not a window.
2. Be honest and real. Following on from the first point, there is nothing worse than reading something you wrote a few years ago and knowing that you were lying. When I was younger, I would find myself writing a boring point by point account of my day, afraid to actually look into myself and express what I felt. As I’ve gotten older, that has definitely changed. I used to buy day to a page diaries so I’d feel accountable, but I’ve come to realise that some days are just boring. Now I’ve got a blank one which I can pick up on any given day and really let rip to. A journal is like a best friend who won’t judge you for gossiping. Write your true emotions so that if and when you look back on it, you can get the most out of it.
3. You never have to read it again. Journals are super helpful if you’re a reflective type. How have I changed, what was I feeling, how did I grow through that experience? But sometimes you can admit you will never read what you have written again. I have two journals that are just pages and pages of over thinking. Angry scrawls written in the heat of the moment and anxious scribbles analysing every detail of an issue, just so I could squeeze my thoughts out of my head. I’ll never go back and read those things- it would be pointless to- but at that time, I needed an outlet, and writing was really helpful.
4. You can’t screw up. I think the scariest thing about a beautiful journal is that we’ll write something and it will be “stupid”. A cliché teacher thing to say is that there are “no silly questions” because you dared to ask. A similar cliché is that you can’t write anything stupid because at least you actually wrote something. The first diary I was ever given [I’ve still got all of these, a good excuse for why my room is so messy] was a glittery, spiral bound notebook with daisies on it. In it, I wrote [in blue pen, an absolute travesty and my first mistake as a writer] the details of my day. My first ever diary entry was about a day trip to my Uncle’s place. The thing is, I don’t regret this. I was eleven! It’s what I was thinking in my eleven year old mind, and it’s what was important to me. I can see how I’ve evolved in my writing since then, because I just kept going, and growing. Your writing may seem silly now, but it’ll be precious to you when you read it again in twenty years.
5. Lastly, just keep going. If you don’t journal for two months, that doesn’t disqualify you from starting again. If you make a spelling mistake, DO NOT USE WHITE OUT [a weird little ism I picked up from an English teacher of mine- let everything in your journal be raw and imperfect, like it is in your mind. Also, he just didn’t like white out because it takes time and interrupts the flow]. If your hand writing is atrocious, you’re not being marked. As long as you can read it, or even if you can’t, the worth is in the writing itself.

How My Guitars Got Their Names 

 haven’t added anything to the White Elephant section of this blog in a while and today I got a new guitar which, in accordance to tradition, got a name bestowed upon it. So I figured I would narrate to you, dear reader, how exactly my guitars got their names, as each are equally interesting stories – then again, I make it my duty to make any story I tell interesting. 
Bindi 

When I started high school it was mandatory to learn an instrument for the first few years. Year 7 was the piano, which I had incidentally spent the last six years of my life learning at the insistence of my parents, and so I spent those lessons carelessly mucking about with their simple melodies. Year 8, however, ushered in the introduction of the guitar and I was fascinated. I think there is still the idea floating around that cool people play the guitar and as my year 8 teacher had been “warned” about me by my year 7 teacher (who was blonde, religiously wore pink and called me Book Club) I was anxious to prove myself. The sound of the strings as I brushed against them sent shivers down my spine and I had a feeling akin to Van Gogh picking up a paintbrush for the first time- this, I knew, was home. So, after I had learned four chords (that’s all we were offered and that’s all one really needs in the beginning), I went to the local music store with Dad and we bought a guitar. My dad is a drummer but I’m as good at drumming as I am at dancing (not very), so when I showed interest in guitar, he was all for it. (Since then we have played shows together and recorded a cd.) Despite his “strong suggestions” I walked out of there with a cheap, 3/4, blue guitar. 

Owning a guitar for the first time is like bringing home a new baby. It doesn’t come with a manual, everyone wants to give you advice and you don’t know what it needs to stop it from making that horrible noise. So when I was sitting with the chart I’d bought from a bookstore and figuring out how to play more than one string chords, it was tough but I loved it. The name came about when I was watching ‘the Amazing Race’ one night. The loveable Australian larrikins end up with an old bomb of a car that they need to fix and push but in the end gets them across the finish line, and that’s how I felt about my guitar. They named their car Bindi. 

  
Renwick

I would have to say my spirit animal is the acoustic. However, my dad likes to pick up odds and ends as he drives around and one day he came home with an electric, so I figured I’d do what has gotten me this far in life and give it a go. It originally had an eyeball on it- it took a lot of scrubbing to get it off the guitar but it’s forever stuck in my mind. The strings left my fingers white and I got to change my first ever string when one snapped and cut me in the middle of a church service. I wanted to bring it to church because Bindi doesn’t have a pick up, buts it’s dusty and a bit chipped and super heavy to lug around. It was a lot of work to get it presentable and to serve me. 

Well, at this time it just so happens I had recently read Dracula (there is a story everywhere and in everything) and my new guitar reminded me of his servant. Smelly, found on the street and rough around the edges, Renfeild was eager but used to eat cockroaches. Plus, I was attending school in Randwick and so, my new guitar was christened Renwick. 

  
Enfys 

Spellcheck refuses to even accept this as a name. So we’re a few years down the track and Bindi is starting to fall apart. Her soul is purely Australian- hardworking, deep and unique- but her body is very much Chinese and the glue and plastic are letting go. Her strings began to wear thin, and I tried to restring her with some beautiful rainbow strings I had found at a second hand shop but alas, as her bridge fell off and her pegs began to wobble, I felt the end was nigh. The strings refused to calibrate (or maybe she just missed the comfort of the strings she had known for years) and in the end I restrung her, fishing her slightly sticky strings out of my bin. (Not kidding. Wish I were.) Then I had rainbow strings and nothing but the internet so I googled second hand guitars. I called up a man who had over 900 ads online, selling everything from 95 acoustic guitars to the gates on his house (seriously), and scrolled past a strawberry mandolin- novel but not easy to fit in a case. Eventually I stopped across a man selling a good quality guitar with two strings missing who would throw in a free DVD player (“shred and watch movies at the same time- winning combo” said the ad). I polished him up- the guitar, not the man- and put in my new rainbow strings. He tuned to a t and I sang to my hearts content. And so I named Enfys, a welsh name meaning “rainbow”. 

  

Five Easy Ways To Help The World

While we all try here and there to make the world a better place, it can often seem an overwhelming task. However, there are simple ways one can incorporate into their every day that will benefit the planet without breaking the pocket.
1) Take stock of your every day.

Every time you peruse the supermarket, you are faced with a choice of a dozen brands for everything. The thing is, even if it’s hidden in a corner or easier to get online, most things these days have a “green” option and it’s not always more expensive. Leading the market for cleaning products are brands like “Earth“, concentrating on making working products that won’t harm the environment your drains flow to, but there are always nifty recipes online for ways to solve every day mess with homemade ingredients instead of harsh chemicals. It’s amazing what lemons and vinegar can do. There’s a new idea for every room of the house, as well, such as wooden toothbrushes which break down faster than plastic ones, or recycled toilet paper with longer rolls so less cardboard is wasted. If you’ve got the right mindset, shopping doesn’t change more than picking something with the right symbols on it.

  

2) Eat less meat. 

Increasingly covered in the media, the animals that are made into our meat products aren’t treated well due to a strong demand. When Australia eats enough pork for three pigs per person (!), it’s much easier to cram them into a tiny pen than to adhere to standards set by animal rights groups such as the RSPCA. Furthermore, so many animals bred isn’t great for the environment, increasing methane levels (a greenhouse gas), ruining natural vegetation and fauna populations and often bred unnaturally to keep up with demand using hormones which isn’t great for you or the animal. Plus, eating so much meat isn’t good for you anyway, leading to cholesterol, weight and heart problems. So, if going vegetarian doesn’t seem the right fit for you or your family, just eat a little less. Try “meatless Monday” for a while. I recently went vegetarian cold turkey (haha) and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I wasn’t hard on myself for accidentally eating a panacotta with some gelatin in it, but just started picking the vegetarian option when eating out and staying away from the butcher. When you next go shopping, don’t buy meat. Be creative with a new recipe, or try a new restaurant.

  

 
3) Be creative with gift giving.

What do you get the person who has everything? Easy. Something for someone else. With organisations such as World Vision, Oxfam and WWF offering things like sponsorship for a child or endangered animal, or to supply someone overseas with something and providing a gift card to give instead, it’s easy. When you sponsor an animal, you get a gift pack as well, so you don’t have to go to the empty handed. It’s a great way to ensure your present doesn’t gather dust in a drawer, and it flatters the person to know you considered a cause they treasure. 

  
Alternatively, get them a physical gift that doesn’t badly affect anyone. Make sure the clothes you’re buying aren’t made unethically, which is usually easily accomplished with a quick search on Google. Some jewellery or chocolate that profits a fair trade organisation, or beauty products that aren’t tested on animals. “Lush” hand makes their beauty items and offer gift packs. Same price, guilt free. 

  
4) Feel good when you look good.

Retail therapy is often given a bad wrap, but there are two simple ways to make sure the next time you go online or in store, you can have no regrets.

If you’re willing to spend big, make sure it’s on something that will last. Fight the growing mentality that things can be thrown away as easily as they’re bought. There is a great new blog starting out called “Buy Me Once“, which suggests things that can just be bought once such as Doc Martins or good quality jeans that have life time warrantees. If you’re going to splurge, do it on one thing that you’ll still be wearing in twenty years. Buy one thing you love and stick to it!

  
However, if you’re counting your pennies, you can still do something to help out. Go to a second hand store, such as Vinnies or the Salvos, and get yourself a whole new wardrobe that you can afford. Second hand means it’s helping the environment because you’re reusing, you’re helping to support a charity, what you’re buying is often unique (and vintage is very hipster), and there is always something there for everyone. You save money, and your money goes towards helping save people. 

  

5) Remember that every little bit helps.

If you can’t do everything, don’t do nothing. Turn off the lights in a room you’re not using, time your showers, buy eco-friendly things when they’re on special. Be vegan for one day, treat yourself to one “lifetime” thing. Don’t worry and don’t be overwhelmed if it seems like you can’t support every cause, and help every person because the very fact you are worrying about it means your heart is in the right place. Just don’t give up, and keep trying. 

Dreams and Visions

Joel 2:28 and the again in acts 2:17, it says “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” I was encouraged by a pastor at my church once to define my vision and to never let it go. What is my vision for every area of my life? 
On the topic of relationships, I think that often we lose our vision for who we want to date. For some reason, it appears that in one of the most important areas in our lives, we can compromise. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much at stake- would I give up a part of my dream man to not spend every night alone, with no one to talk to? I let the answer, for a long time, be yes. I have come to realise, it must be no. 

May I encourage you to write down who you are seeking? Figure out what job you want, what you expect from God, what sort of partner you have on your heart, and pray about it. To challenge you to do this, I here post my plan. As you might write out the church you want to see, or the family you want to build, here is the guy I see myself being with, and who I refuse to compromise on. (Feel free to take the message and stop reading from around here.)
The husband I see
He loves God. I didn’t realise how important that was to me for a long time, and it was what spurred me to write about dating non Christians, because I tried it and it didn’t work. I was surprisingly surprised by that. I probably shouldn’t have been. Not half saved, or goes to church on Sunday’s saved, but someone who can challenge me. The bible says I need to find someone equally yoked, and I intend to. Someone who loves Jesus more than me, and can accept that I love Jesus more than him. 

Secondly, somebody with respect. While he needs to make me laugh and smile, not at the expense of someone else. He needs to respect others and me for who I am. Respect my friends, my choices, children, adults, parents, elderly, his neighbours. Respect runs deeper than physical attraction, and that’s what I see in the man I envision.
Honest, loyal, sincere. Spontaneous, and prepared to love me for better or worse. 

That’s the man that I see. 

Perhaps yours is different. That’s fine. But do not settle. You are worth much, much more than second best. 
😛

Home

Home is where the heart is, and as I look around, I see my heart reflected.I think my home has become more to my family than my parents ever expected.

My heart is written in the clothes on the floor and the shelves that are filled with books

In every little cranny that one has curled into, and in every little nook. 

  
My heart is thrown across the back of chairs and in the sound of joy

In every tinkling of music, the instruments, and the squeak of every toy

Our hearts are bared on the mantelpiece in every single photograph

Our memories printed on paper and put in glass cases bursting with each laugh

  
My heart is in the living room, where advice has been given as hearts break

My heart is in the kitchen, where my mother has cooked as I have tried to bake

My heart is in the bathroom, hours spent looking pretty as dad shaved

My heart is in the spare change jar where all our coins are saved

  
My heart is in the eyes of mum and in the smile of my dad

Our joy is spread through the most happy times and the saddest of the sad

My love is shown by my hugs and giggles and sometimes by my words

My spirit is displayed on my sleeve, even when it hurts

  
Yes, home is where the heart is because as I look around I see my heart

In this building, under this roof and in every piece that plays a part 

It’s somewhere to come back to, and somewhere to get old

My heart will be here long after every part is gone, in every story that is told.

Graffiti

I ask for a lot of guest writers all the time, and suddenly another one reached out to me with a piece. It’s written carefully and thoughtfully, and gives you good food for thought which is what I’m all about, so give it a read. Thanks for writing it, man. 

————————————————

Graffiti.
 What is graffiti, you may ask yourself at some point in your life? Well, let’s put this question into perspective. 
Imagine a room full of people and all these people are calling their names out, but their voices are very distant and hard to hear. Meanwhile, there is a different looking person that is calling their name out loud and it is coming out different to all the others. This name is being loud and clear, with vibrant colours and different sounds. 

 This image is represented in modern society, although it may seem hard to picture. Now let’s expand on this. You see, the people that are calling their names out but not being heard represent everybody that do nothing about their names. They just use them as their name. A name is far more than just a name, however- a name is who you are and what people will remember you for. When people use names they don’t respect them, but use them just like any ordinary word. A name is more than that. 
A name is you and what you stand for.  
Now, the person that is different from all the others represents a graffiti writer (we are called graffiti writers or simply writers.) This person uses more than just the simple English language to express their name- they use many tools such as colour, appearance, angles, shapes, locations, and style. A graffiti writer understands what a name is and uses it to get respect- when graffiti writers speak about other writers they do it out of respect, unlike normal people who just uses names as names. A graffiti writer goes the one step further which other people don’t. 
Now, using the English language is fine and I hold nothing against it. The thing is, with graffiti, it goes to a different level that then gets received at a different level. It can describe what words cannot. Different types of feelings and thoughts can be portrayed through graffiti, like all art forms. 
I’ll explain all the tools that were mentioned above. 

Colour can represent what kind of emotional state the writer is in, if they are looking for attention or just trying to get up in the outside world. It also can show how much the writer understands colours and how they mix, which also shows how experienced a writer is and how long they have been on the streets for.  

    Appearance is another major part of graffiti- this is a hard to learn technique that shows how skilled a writer is. If a letter is out of proportion it can lead to disaster which then makes the writer have a failure to his name. Generally writers get good at letter positioning and proportion size before they go out into the real world. If they don’t, it can show they are cocky or don’t know what is good for them. 

    Angles are a hard to learn technique also. This involves shadow, 3D, line structure and the points where lines connect. This is a more advanced technique that is rarely present in a writer that has just started doing graffiti. Fair enough, though, because if you fail while out on location it is very hard to fix without ruining the whole thing- all for a small mistake. 

    Shapes are a hard to grasp idea that involve implementing shapes into the format of the piece. If a writer tries to put a harder shape into his piece it can go lopsided quickly and not look right, but if the gamble pays off it can look a lot better than the original idea, therefore making it a risky technique to involve.

    Location is more for illegal graffiti where the harder, or higher places get more respect than the easier spots. 

    Style is the biggest part of graffiti. This shows what kind of personality a writer has and how they act. I used to use wildstyle but now I have changed to a different style altogether. 
That is enough from me now. 

Till we meet again.

SCZ

2015

Drama HSC Scriptwriting

Wondering what to do for your HSC drama individual project and aren’t too good at acting? Rest assured! Acting isn’t all there is for you, little thespian. There are plenty of options, from making posters to doing research projects, however, my personal least favourite is scriptwriting. And why? Because I did it! And therefore, if you find yourself drawn to it and realise there are no resources on it (there may be by the year you get around to reading this, but right now it’s 2015 and the syllabus hasn’t been amended since 1999, which makes it one year younger than me), look no further! Because I’m about to teach you everything I learned. So sit back, grab a notepad and take notes, but not really because this is a blog post and it’ll be here for a while.
So, how do you write a script?

This is the easiest part! You have a story in your mind, and have up to 25 A4 pages to write, all to yourself. You can write on whatever you want- one of the benefits of picking something no one has thought much about is that no one has thought much about it. I wrote an absurdist play after doing a few weeks on absurdism, and threw in some Brecht for fun. You may do whatever you want. 

Bit of formatting rubbish- marks will be taken off if they can’t read whose saying what (I was here). If you’re a computer whiz, use “tabbing” (if you’re not, pay someone) to make sure everyone’s saying the right thing. Do this from the beginning so you’re not spending hours on it later on (I was also here). Once you’ve got a nice little draft with everyone’s lines, etc. don’t forget to add in some stage directions. There are a few differences between a story and a script. One is quote marks every time someone says something. Another is that, although everything is happening perfectly in your head, when people act it out, they won’t be able to see inside your head, so every little important detail, nuance and sly look must be documented. No emotive description, limited changing scenery. Use technical language like “cross stage right”, or “stand centre stage”. 
Now that you’ve got your draft, smile. You’re about half way there. 

Now go over it and comb out all of the spelling mistakes, add in every line you forgot, change everything, and cut the rubbish. If it’s too short, bulk it- if it’s too long, cut things out. Sad, but a must. 

Now you’re 60% there. Pat on the back. 
It is at this point that you may want to open it up to some public opinion. I knew things were going wrong when my teacher told me she needed to print all twenty five pages of it off because she couldn’t read off a screen. And then it came off not double sided. The trees that were killed in the name of my ATAR. However, no fear! It’s all in the name of a good cause. Ish. So, hand out, email, Facebook, a few copies to people. Give out as many as you can. Listen to as little as possible. Because if you know what you’ve got is good, that’s good, but other people may not realise this. I got everything from too much detail to not enough detail. From very deep, to too shallow a grasp of life. The common denominator was that it was too long with too many characters. Give a girl twenty five pages, she’ll take it! Anyway, so don’t freak out. Take it back to a teacher or someone with a good head on their shoulders and revise the notes that you can gleam from people’s opinions. Make sure you ask people who will give you more than “it was okay”. I asked specific questions about things I was worried about. Then take your baby and nurse it back to health after the beating it’s gotten. You want constructive criticism, but make sure you ignore the uneducated jargon that will get mixed it with it, as well as the shallow “wows”. You want pure positivity, not the praise of someone who gave it a once over. 
So, now that you’ve got notes, work at it. Recognise what doesn’t make sense to people who aren’t you. Add to it and take away. Everything is within your right to keep or discard, but remember that this is going to a marker who also may think like the general public. At this point I had a look at some scripts that I wanted my script to be like, and how they did things I was having trouble with. Samuel Beckett, for instance, barely describes where and how things were set out. A friend said they didn’t have enough information. Dorothy Hewett gives an entire page of notes on complex stages. Mine wasn’t a complex stage. I had to find a balance. 
Once you’ve added things, taken away things and once again spellchecked it, read it for yourself. Pretend you’ve never read it and start from the beginning. I read thirteen characters in my room in different voices. Insanity for art. You may have the luxury of some volunteer actors, however the problem is that unless they’re super talented, they’re going to do it wrong and you don’t have time to direct as well as listen and observe. Actually, by this point, you just don’t have time. So, you may want to do this part solo. However, super talented people do exist. Then again, most of them are in your class and working on their IPs, so play it by ear. 
Once you’ve gotten through a lot of drafts and late nights, and criticisms and ideas and dead trees, evaluate. How have you been going? What could you do at this point? You should have been doing your logbook, so check through for things you wanted to do later and didn’t do. Write your rationale, and write a lot more in your logbook. A helpful and fun activity a teacher set me was go fantasy cast my own play and set it on a real stage I’ve seen. I put together an Australian/British cast because my play was set in a country community hall. It helped me visualise things and gave them stronger voices, so I could change the language around a little. 
Okay, so you’ve marked everything off your list.

Table of contents

Draft 1-1,349

Logbook

Rationale

Actual script (!)
And now you put it in a big binder, or whatever you want and hand it in. There may be some last minute stressing, but the check list for the actual script is

Formatting

Spelling

Grammar

Punctuation

Good content (of course you’ve got that)

A character list is always helpful

Setting of stage

Stage directions throughout

A title is good too (on a separate page)

If there is more than one scene, it’ll start on another page.
And that’s how you write a HSC script. There really isn’t much time between trials and your HSC, but make sure to listen to comments and get hopped up on the marks- they’ll carry you through. 
After making a script, I gotta say that I do think it was worth it. I have no regrets, although I did go into it not knowing what I was meant to do and with a teacher that openly admitted she didn’t either. It was fun! And I got to tell a story, share a message and write a flipping script. Give it a go, even if you’re not in year 12 yet, and see where you end up. The best thing about scriptwriting is that you’ll surprise yourself and impress everyone else.