Friday, 18 May 2012

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

All this wannabe writer malarkey is really quite funny.  Almost three years ago, I had the sudden inspiration for the plot of the book I am now writing.  Like all best ideas, it came whilst I was drunk.  I thought about it, planned it out, and then had to wait for another two years (after leaving that pesky time-consuming career) before I could actually start to create the ideas I had been brewing all that time.  Nine months on, and I have completed a decent chunk of a first draft, but it is a slow, steady slog.  An enjoyable slog, but a slog nonetheless.  There are days when I have no idea what is going to happen next – I sit in front of my laptop perfecting my Pacman score so as to feel some sense of achievement by tea-time.  But then there are days when the smoke is metaphorically billowing out of the keypad with the ferocity of my typing, and the ideas are flying around so quickly, I have to make bullet points just to harness most of them for later.  All in all, however, it is a very solitary pastime.  This works well for me, as a silent house is still something that feels unique.  Growing up in what can only be described as the craziest house in all of Christendom, I would escape to my bedroom and to my books, only to have the peace shattered by a crying baby, a carpet-wetting emergency or a fisticuffs brawl between whichever siblings had sneaked additives that day.  Silence was my preferred state then, and it still is now, even though it is far easier to achieve in my current life.

And yet, for the other writing project I’m working on at the moment, silence is not so good.  No, you see, I have a writing partner!  This may not seem too unusual to some, but it is unbelievably out of character for me.  I have always preferred to work alone.  At job interviews, I would spout the usual guff about being a team player, but I never really was.  I liked to have control of my particular area of stuff and just be able to get on with it.   When we had to work as a team on school or college projects, I would feel either hampered by the weaknesses I perceived in others, or massively intimidated by cleverer people.  Either way, I just wanted to be left to my own devices to get on with whatever collaborative activity had been assigned. 

But now here I am, in a proper grown up collaboration!  After a Christmas night in the pub last year (and once again, alcohol played its necessary role) it dawned on my friend, Lisa McMullin and I that we should write something together.  This realisation followed hot on the heels of an overheard conversation from the adjacent table of men that disappointingly (yet oh so predictably) stated that ‘women aren’t funny’.  The immediate response from us, after the sharp intake of breath (and after having a Scrubs fantasy moment where we stamp on their heads in such an amusing way they can't hold back their mirth) was to list all the women we found hilarious, both past and present, ultimately culminating in a spontaneous re-enactment of an obscure Victoria Wood scene from a late 80's playlet thingy that most people have never heard of, but that me and Lisa knew word for word.  It was then that we decided to do some writing. 

It is still early days yet, but so far it has been immeasurable fun.  Best of all though, the regular trips to London to meet up and create a work of beauty have resulted in me buying a writer's bag!  Look, it makes me appear arty and intellectual.  (You need to nod at this, even if I can't see you.  Humour me.)

Look at it's beauty!

I also feel I deserve your rousing claps for having worked out how to put photos into the blog.  Go ahead and clap away!  You could even cheer if the mood takes you!  I am so panicked that I am going to get sued for using a picture whose copyright info I have misunderstood, that I am only going to use photos I have taken myself.  This means there will be an abundance of headshots of me with a variety of hairstyles, and several pictures of objects around my house.  Look, not only have I given you ‘bag’, but, brace yourselves, here is ‘bedside table mess’. 

Stare at it's might!
I am spoiling you!  Enjoy.

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