Last week was odd: two days away with the birds, storytelling for Bird Week in a rather damp RHS HARLOW CARR GARDENS. And a day in between, visiting YORK CENTRAL LIBRARY in the morning - backing in to park just against the old city walls - and to ACOMB LIBRARY with its somewhat easier car park in the afternoon. Thanks to all who braved the chill half-term weather to come, and all who helped with the author visits.
Have been very early to bed this weekend, getting energies up for a very busy WORLD BOOK DAY week ahead. Helpfully, the weather forecast promises snow. More names and news as the days go by, and I travel amid the snowdrifts. Looking forward to seeing everyone! But for now, goodnight - and where's my hot water bottle?
So the Scratch Reading at Harrogate Theatre is over, and I can now see the cracks and creaks in my play structure, and in the balance of characters and the rhythm of the piece. Uncomfortable, but helpful. As ever with writing, it's a case of picking up a piece again, and plodding onwards - with a little more knowledge - towards the next version. After the first few groans, the going gets easier . . .
Yes, I am still here. Why the silence, the lack of words? Because I've been busily drafting and delivering off a short adult play, and tomorrow is its "Scratch Reading" day at HARROGATE THEATRE. So that will be an interesting if painful event. Will let you know, as they say at auditions!
It's strange. With a book, you know what's going to be there on the page - it's your writing voice, or a version of your voice. With plays, your "voice" is only a starting point for all and any of the actors, and the director, and the theatre cat. (I lied about the last one - I think!) Once I've heard & seen the play in action, I'm due to work on it some more, ready for the full production in early May, 2006. Luckily, I have just read "Adventures in the Screen Trade" by William Goldman, so am well prepared to be lowest of low.
Quick thanks to YORK WRITERS GROUP for welcoming me on Wednesday evening. Hope you ears are still fixed to your heads. Even I didn't know there was that much to say about children's books!
Here we go! As promised to St Paul's young writers, three story openings for you!
At the back of the cupboard was a box, and in the box was a key, and it was . . . . who found the key. (NB. Put whatever word or name you want in the gap!)
OUT OF THE SEA
All day, the small boat was hurled onwards by the rough waves. Finally, the boat was swirled past vicious rocks, and flung on to the sand like a broken toy. The next day dawned, and something moved among the wreckage.
Have you ever looked in a mirror, and not seen what you expected to see? Seen that everything has changed? If you have, then you'll know how I felt at that moment.
You may even find that none of these work for you, but do start off an idea for your very own story opening! HAVE FUN & HAPPY WRITING!
Okay, alliteration over-drive. But greetings all the same to everyone at ST. PAUL'S SCHOOL, Barrow-in-Furness.
Hello and a wave to Mrs Foster's Year 3 class, Mrs Graham-Kevin's Year 4 Class, Mr Guitar Thompson's Year 5 class, and Mrs McCullogh & Mrs Silcock's Year 6. I now know I was a bit wobbly with cold - and my rather early start - so hope I was making sense, and that you enjoyed the sessions. Today I'm definitely sniffling at my desk. Achoooo! Achooo! Have fun for the rest of your Book Week.
And watch this space, all you keen St Paul's writers, for the promised story starters!
"Well Done!" to today's wonderful and busy writers: Jack, Eleasha, Caitlin, Charlotte, Lucy, Niamh, Roshan, Michael, Adam, Chelsey, Laura, Rachel, Callum, Alex, Luke, Olivia, Victoria, Grace, Daniel, Ross, Ben, Rachel, Helen, Rachel and Tom, Chloe, Adele, Rebecca, Natalie and Zoe. Thanks for all your work, and thanks to Mrs Cookman and Miss Holmes for the help (and Kitkats. Yum yum!) And a hello to everyone else at Altofts Junior School, too. You were a great audience.