Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Golden Opportunity.

I had a meeting today with a friend of mine who runs a youth drama group. He has asked me to come up with a script for about five-six characters, something upbeat, which will last for approximately fifteen minutes or in writer's terms, eleven sides of A4.

I'm quite chuffed about this.

There is no financial gain before you ask but what it does present is a chance to show myself and others what I can do and see it played out in front of an audience. I have known this chap for ten years plus, he's been an active member of the local amateur dramatics during that time and when he mentioned a year or two ago that he thought eleven to sixteen year old would benefit from a group of their own which he would run, I took a certain amount of interest but no more than that. It's his thing, like trying to write is mine. We have a lot in common on many levels, his kids attend the same school as our eldest, but we don't tread on each other's artistic toes.

Thinking about it now as I write this it seems ridiculous to me that we didn't venture down this road before now. We've had many conversations in the past about books and writing etc, but never put our heads together on a combined project. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the hands on experience of seeing my words brought to life in fact ideas are already starting to flow. I've been so busy concerning myself with trying to come up with the next big thing in terms of writing that a golden opportunity almost slipped through my fingers. Even Alan Bennett had to start somewhere and so I'm more than happy, honoured, to make my start right here on the doorstep.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Journals and Diaries.

This was actually written for another forum but I thought it would be an interesting subject for discussion here too.

I've just been catching up with the wonderful series, 'Dear Diary' which is showing on BBC4 in three parts. (The final part is next Monday so you can still see the first two if you're quick on BBC iPlayer.) Mariella Frostrup presented this week in a bid to discover what it takes to write a compelling diary, noting that the best ones became compulsive reading simply because they were never written to be published therefore allowing the reader unlimited/uncensored access into the author's private world. As an aspiring writer I have always jotted thoughts down but never managed to keep a diligent daily record of events in a particular order. There have been attempts at 'morning pages' and moments that demanded to be recorded with time and date but these are patchwork and scatty at best.

So I wondered how many of you do keep regular dates with your diaries and journals and if this was helpful to you in terms of dividing your writing between the personal and creative? Do you allow yourselves to write freely and unhindered knowing that nobody else will ever read what you write, or is there perhaps a fear that the words will somehow leak out and you can't help but edit as you write on the off-chance that one day they might find their way into the public domain?

Monday, 4 January 2010

House of Eeyore.

I've been having a virtual holiday as well as one from the normal routines of daily life by spending time looking around at other web sites to see what the general feeling about writing might be. My ears are now clogged with the buzz of thousands, millions of conversations going on all over the Internet, all over the world. It truly is an amazing thing. Everyone has something to say on the subject and there are a few who like to push their point home in a very determined manner whilst those with a quieter, softer approach are in danger of becoming lost in the melee. I'm not sure just how much the former hope to endear themselves to would be agents or publishers but they do appear to practice the 'he who shouts loudest' philosophy rather freely, verbally bashing anyone who stands in their way or dares to disagree unless they prove themselves to be a worthy adversary. Not an easy task for the frail and vulnerable.

Something else that has struck me is how difficult it is to read/understand the comments that people from different cultural backgrounds make. What could be deemed as light hearted here was taken very seriously elsewhere and vice versa. It makes me wonder just how much time the individual spends in front of their computer screens, as oppose to engaging with the world in the physical sense, for minor details to become such major issues?

On the plus side, the challenges can be rewarding. Being alive in the world, having an opinion and somewhere to put it without undue risk to one's personal safety, encourages a healthy attitude towards debate and respect for the views of others. Something I have always felt was practised here to be honest and although I may wander abroad from time to time to see what the other fella' thinks, these few sticks of virtual furniture will always be home to me.

Friday, 1 January 2010