Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Calm before the storm [except if you're outside]

It's blowing a gale outside, real sideways weather. We're catching the edge of some severe winds, things are worse further north in the Highlands of Scotland. After a particularly pish summer, autumn is waving its hands for attention. Days are getting shorter, it's dark when I get up in the morning and favourite scarves are being dug out of forgotten hiding places. In short: the end of 2009 is nigh.

Right now feels like the calm before the storm. On Thursday the first cohort of MA creative writing students arrives at Edinburgh Napier University, fresh-faced and eager to learn what they don't know and enhance the talents they already have. The past eight months have been a blur of module prep, applicant interviews, plans, dreams and wonderings. Now it's all about to happen.

I've got no idea what impact teaching will have on my writing. There'll be a time crush as I struggle to balance the part-time university job with a career as a working writer. No doubt teaching will be creatively draining, especially mentoring the students on their writing. But it should also be rewarding. There's a claim that those who learn most are the teachers, so I hope to discover plenty.

Been turning down some offers of work to keep my commitments light in the first few months. That goes against the grain after nine years of freelancing, but needs to be done. I took this job to have the financial freedom from writing gigs that paid the bills but didn't feed the soul. If you want to create stories worth telling, you can't take jobs just because they have a four figure sum attached to them.

In other news, the second draft of my Doctors script is under consideration. Notes could turn up at any time, requiring a third draft and fast. The nightmare scenario is the notes arrive on Thursday, about ten minutes after that first cohort of students. All you can do is shrug and get on with things. What will be, will be. [Doris Day I can cope with, just stop that bloody kid from whistling, Hitch.]

Into Glasgow tonight for a Tori Amos concert. This singer-songwriter has a kooky US version of Kate Bush persona. She's been around since the early 90s, going in and out of fashion. Saw her in concert at the Royal Albert Hall once. She played while riding her piano stool side saddle, dry humping the seat into submission. Wonder what she'll do tonight? Knowing Tori Amos, almost anything's possible. Onwards!

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