Sunday, November 19, 2006

Radio Gah Gah (Radio Kills the Video Star.)

What a week! Have been some what out of the normal swirl of things writing and recording a radio play. What a joy and a pleasure, and yet another week of 'doing things that I've never done before'.
In homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's and being paralysed age twelve, 'doing things I've never done before' is quite a favourite past time of mine, but this week was exceptional. (Well taking part in the world Paper Plane Throwing Competion as a result of cheek and a good blag in Prague was close, but that's another story).
Have emerged from the week with a supreme sense of achievement and something verging on love for the group that I worked with. Group writing pushes you to the absolute limits but is such a rewarding experience.
Writing can be a lonely occupation, it takes me so far from my patient son and boyfriend - as I voyage off somewhere to get in touch with the random voices in my head. I do love it for that. But, I also love the process of collaboration and absolute challenge that writing with a group offers. The play we produced from five connected but disparate monologues is testemony to that.
This week has also renewed my interest in radio writing; mainly thanks to Paul, who was an amazing teacher throughout the week. I had somehow placed radio writing as 'lesser' to the God of TV, no reason I guess it (TV) just plays such a dominant role in mass culture. Paul pointed out that when the mix of story/character/music etc is 'right' then radio creates something that can be far more filmic than the screen; no need for elaborate sets or extras. You can create a 'whole theatre in the listeners mind'. How true. How I long to put a lot more time and energy into the quest for getting that 'right'.
I still want to pursue the screen writing, but after this week will put a lot more time and thought into radio writing. In many ways I think it might suit my 'style', such as it is, far better; a good arena in which to send the voices into. (All writers live with them, I'm sure, this is not an alarm call for a section!)
I don't think the memory of the writing process this week will leave me for a while. On Wednesday Bernie, Janice, Besty, Gordon and Camilla took flight and joined forces with five equally stong willed writers behind them. There were moments of such intensity and concentration behind that, not least in the library when all five of us were thinking so hard that we all became totally dehydrated. A strange image, but perhaps you had to be there..
The end result might seem far from professional in years to come, but for now I'm dead chuffed. I do think that we should record it ourselves, just to see what happens. Not that the actors were not great, they were, but I think it would be an interesting experience. Gordon's voice needs Tim's dry comedy genius behind it and it would be an honour to hand Bernie over to David's Glaswegian lilt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

little house

little house on the prarie

Post this here as a comitment to love my bloger self.
This just makes me grin, no reason, it just does.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Feeling proud

It might not seem much, but I feel very proud to have just posted a Youtube video on here.
This time last year life was so very different.
In the past month I have pushed my technical capabilities further than I ever dreamed possible. I've started a blog, helped to make a podcast, edited an online writers website and finally mucked around with Youtube.
It's a lot, to me. but more than that, it is just all so very exciting. There's a whole world out here that feels very Alice in Wonderland and I love it.

Blank Verse

I feel slightly Bridget Jones about this blogging; as though the intention to write it everyday almost by definition keeps me away from it. Like many a New Year resolution, it fails simply because I put that expectation there. The irony is that once I remember the resolve to write it at a sensible time, like now, I really enjoy it.
The bigger irony is that in so many other, I'm writing more than ever. The self discipline that was so lacking has emerged from some where been a long haul but I've never been happier.
Finally wrote my first piece of blank verse.
After years of teaching Shakespeare and demystifying blank verse to Years 7 to 13 it was my turn. I remember bouncing up and down in the classroom and getting very excited, whilst explaining just why we 'still read some dead bloke' because 'he's a genius' and 'blank verse is great'; so when asked to write a soliloquy it kind of seemed rude not to at least try it.
Well, it was a challenge and I'm still not entirely convinced that my iambics were not occasionally trochaics, but I kind of had fun. Reading something back in blank verse creates a real sense of achievement; there is a beauty in the challenge of the form. i worry that it may come across as slightly pretentious to even try it - but what is this year if not a time to stretch everything that I know about writing to the limit. I know what motivated me and that is enough.
Whether or not it was 'good' blank verse, is open to speculation. What I do know is that there is a beautiful alchemy that takes place with words when you approach them with such precision. They take on a life and shape when placed together so carefully that has really surprised and delighted me.
Such random things words; they have so much power. Stretching a little further in to find ways to make them dance in a certain pattern is a joy.