Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Oh Germaine. I felt I had to read your great work, The Female Eunuch. One of my workshopees recommended it aside from anything. And I understand it's considered to be a classic.
And I have struggled through the 370 pages fascinated by the chapter in which you collected together every disparaging word ever known to describe womankind. 
I stumbled over your judicious use of Anglo-Saxon anatomical terms.
I struggled much with your suggestion that men and women alike prefer a male doctor. 
I endured your hectoring, sometimes verging on vituperative tone. 
But you lost me once and for all (though by page 340ish, to be fair, I was far from being a paid up member of your school of vehement thought - even if you have done excellently well at being a woman in academia at a time when there really weren't very many - this fact made me want to like you) when you suggested (see bottom of the page) that you had not, prior to the writing of the book at least, been beaten in a relationship because it was "abundantly clear from my attitude that I was not impressed by it.". Oh Germaine, would that was how the world worked.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fifteen people came to the reading. FIFTEEN!

I couldn't believe it. Imagine fifteen people being bothered / interested enough to give up pyjamas and hot chocolate to drag themselves out to not quite toasty rehearsal rooms to listen to some woman fetching on about her thoughts about the plight of womankind (albeit through the voice boxes of others). 

To be strictly fair, one of them was Mother who I'm certain felt duty bound. (The plight of woman in action.) But notwithstanding, I am honoured and humbled and touched.

It was excellent to hear it read aloud. And more excellent was the subsequent chat about how it all hung together. As ever, it's extremely useful to get constructive feedback and now I can go chop chop chop and edit some more. 

Interestingly, it ran at 1 hour and 8 minutes. I'm after an hour and twenty. They read like the wind so I think I might even have a couple of spare minutes to play with. Luxury. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

D Day.
I printed it off last night.
So it's temporarily finished.
It's funny that this date has been hanging over me for months like a dark swollen cloud.
And there'll be a portion of the world's population who have equivalent horrors in store today.
A proportion of the population who have the usual daily horrors in store.
And a big portion who will just slump, slide and skip through another perfectly ordinary day.
For all my terrors, I'm in a comically cosy little bubble.

Monday, February 19, 2018

This was really brilliant. And then the Grads had a cracking couple of one acts in the SCDA play festival last week / weekend. It's been a fun few days. Bridged by frantic writing.

Monday, February 12, 2018

So then there was the fourth workshop. No pressure on this one as my ending had been cruelly blown out of the water only the day before. So I stepped into the fourth and final session with fear in my heart and panic in my eyes. 

One of my worst habits is only being able to imagine one possible outcome or solution to a situation. I do it at work all the time. And it seems I am the same when I write. If my first practical solution doesn't work, well, arrrggghhh, I must be an incompetent failure. It's an unconstructive habit is for sure. Imagine if Darwin had thought like that.

On the plus side, it brought an added fervour to the workshop on my part. I bought extra doughnuts in the hopes of spurring them on to extra greatness. And off we went.

All about the improvising of outcomes. Warming up on the scenes just before the ending where the screws are tightened on poor Becs. That was very helpful and interesting. And then and then the ending. 

Taking the cruellest of tactics, I flung people into the ring with a set of instructions. And WHAT DO YOU KNOW? I have the imaginative repertoire of a goldfish in a bowl. Purely with the contents of their heads and their clever imaginations and their horrifying experience of life to date, here are four different possible endings. For wily trickery, all were outstanding. For riling to the point of no return passion, the gold star to Penny who at the climactic moment of the scene did what women everywhere, mostly daily, yearn to do: screech out "screw you!" So this currently occupies pride of place in the script. Whether it will survive the cuts and recuts is another thing. 

The redrafted ending (courtesy of a frantic night of writing last Wed) is a sort of hybrid of all of the cleverness. I need now to do some tying up of ends. I realise I've left one plot strand hanging, untended. And a pigeon incident at the weekend may make it into the script too. But all in all, well, I won't speak too soon.

Anyway, happy Monday.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

I really really wanted to like this

Sorry, young ones.

Friday, February 02, 2018

I'm sure you're totally bursting to know how the fourth and final workshop went. But my bus time to work which tends to double as my blog time is filled this week as I'm racing to finish a book called The Women's Room by Marilyn French. I hated it to start with. A book about a hypothetical woman? What could that possibly tell me about life? But now, in fact, I see that it's a masterly attempt at tackling all (western) womankind's experiences in one small volume. In a wholly readable way. Simone can eat her heart out - if she were in a fit state to do so.
Anyway, pardon me. I'm reading.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

My longest standing friend came to visit at the weekend. Happily, relaxedly, we pranced around Edinburgh eating and drinking and having fine old times.
Until I decided proudly to tell her the ending of my script. I wonder if this moment will always stay in my mind. Walking along by the scraggy garage end of the Promenade in the evening (at 3:30) sun. And she says: "but they couldn't do that. It would be illegal."
Of course she's right.