Saturday, 31 January 2009


Re-writing is fun, I think. But it's bloody tiring. I keep going to bed with stretches of dialogue in my head and waking up with them in the morning without seemingly having resolved anything at all. In 10 days time some actual real live actors are getting up on stage and saying some stuff I've written and I just have to sit there and hope to god people laugh, because of course I've invited everyone I know, of course, and so no bloody pressure.

Right, I have to go and sort that scene with Luke and Lady Violet and the hedgehogs. It will be funny, trust me. It will be funny if it kills me. Or at least makes me an insomniac... 

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


After a brief foray into the wider world with the last post, it's back to some writerly navel gazing. Oh yes. 

The comedy competition I entered is about to kick off... It's on over a series of nights - mine still hasn't been scheduled. But just reading the synopses of the first four is getting me fired up in a mix of apprehension and, well, more apprehension. Frankly, it's terrifying that some people are going to get up on stage and say something I've written and god only knows if anyone will laugh. It could be absolutely awful on every level. 

Good job I'm also trying to redraft my play like a mad person. That's keeping my mind off things. 

Done something slightly radical and changed the name of my main character. She started off as 'woman' (I know, I know, but it makes it easier to write if you don't have a name when you're starting). But I needed people to call her by her name, and so I had to find one. And so I settled upon Jane, as a name that's relatively free of baggage. I wanted a nothing-y name, that didn't instantly and obviously betray age or class or any of that business. (No, I don't think class is dead, btw, but that's a topic for another day). 

But something strange happened once I started writing for Jane. She become a bit limp and passive. Not all kick-arse and angry how she started off. 

So I've called her Claire. And Claire is quite different. Pricklier. I have released my inner prickliness to write this, which is not very difficult at all as it turns out.

So it's all going on. 

Sunday, 11 January 2009


I went on the Gaza protest march in London today. It was very cheering in all kinds of ways. There were thousands of people, and  I've never been around such a polite bunch in all my time in London. The slightest jostle brought apologies and smiles. You don't get that on the average commute.

At the end of the route, there was a rally, where various speakers, well, rallied the protesters. It was a timely reminder about this power you achieve when people come together. I nearly didn't go today, it was freezing, and I was worried about getting caught up in violence. (I didn't see any at all - only people being very peaceful and reasonable, albeit angry, and rightly so. I know there was some throwing of stuff etc towards the end). 

It's all too easy to think what does one person matter, to feel like one presence among thousands isn't going to be the deciding factor. But then if everyone thought like that... 

Perhaps you can tell I've been working for a trade union lately. That's all about collective action, standing together, solidarity. And even though I know, in reality, that things are never perfect, that governments don't listen, that it's really hard to achieve positive change... Despite all that, it's really important to try. 

Of course, coming back on the tube I got my purse nicked, so that brought me quite back down to earth. Fuckers. But the essential message of hope and positivity is not lost. Honest.

Monday, 5 January 2009


Aargh! So I just looked at my play for the first time in a couple of months. It was quite scary: last time I looked at it I was still a bit in love with it all. And I hoped that a few months away from it would bring out all the flaws, like when you bump into the badboy ex and wonder what you ever saw in them in the first place. 

Reading it again sort of did that. There are lots of bits in there that I still like, but it's hanging them all together which is the problem (and quite a serious one at that). I mean it's all very well being innovative with your structure, but I don't seem to have a structure at all. I'm all for blagging it, but even I don't think I'll get away with proclaiming grandly 'oh, it's Beckettian' and hope to get away with it.

Also my main character is more annoying than I remembered. This is ok. I don't think characters have to be likeable, but... But I'm not sure what. It just changes the whole thing is all. 

So anyway, I have these 54 pages and I know they're not quite right, but I'm not sure I'm any further along on how to make them better. I'd sort of hoped a break would just present the answers to me, which I now realise was hopelessly, stupidly optimistic. 

OK. I'm going to read it again and see what happens. 

Thursday, 1 January 2009


I've lost my voice. Not in an arty, literary, don't know what to write kind of way.  I've literally lost my voice. And I'm a bit fed up. I feel like Gromit, forced to communicate through a series of shrugs and eyebrow raises and the odd bit of mime. I can just about whisper, but that doesn't help. I can't go out to meet friends and I can't even ring people without them thinking I'm an inept stalker and/or ghost. 

I had to venture out to Morrisons yesterday for supplies, and entirely failed to communicate to the checkout person that I didn't want the satsumas because I'd just noticed they were mouldy. She didn't understand, and looked at me quite pityingly, which made the whole supermarket experience even more depressing. It was already pretty depressing, since everyone else was buying champagne and party snacks for new year, and I was buying orange juice and broccoli and planning a not-very-wild-night in. Sigh. 

Och. This time last year was considerably better than this but had gone significantly to shit within 5 weeks. So let's hope that the opposite will happen in 2009 and it will be absolutely splendid. There's nothing like a bit of optimism to start the year with, non?