Monday, June 14, 2010

And... relax

Today's the first day in a long time I haven't had a massive deadline looming over me like a great big looming thing. Feel as if I've been running to stand still since - April? March? Whenever. Little shards of stress and worry, nagging away. Don't get me wrong, I want to be busy and writing and learning and being challenged. But it's good to get a respite, however brief.

The radio play is done and dusted, I've even got an advance copy of my ep on CD. Now I might have a chance to actually listen to it. The online game that complements the radio play goes into the studio tomorrow, so my contribution there's done [barring any last minute tweakages]. Legacy kicked off properly in January, has been a constant presence ever since. Not now.

What else? The CBeebies Lab finished on Friday. We all got brief feedback on the scripts we'd written since the previous session. [I wrote mine while on holiday in Madrid, getting up an hour early everyday to write. Needs must when you're a professional.] Then we had guest speakers, lunch, and an afternoon of pitching our ideas to significant folk and the other Lab writers.

I was meant to be pitching second, but had to do a live phone interview after my script DANNY'S TOYS won a prize tied to the Leith Film Festival. Plus I was talking to my in-house producer at the BBC about the online game for Legacy. I missed the first pitch and ended up going last out of the 12 Lab participants - just as well, it game me more time to prepare.

There were some amazing pitches. People had put incredible effort into preparing their pitches, with amazing props, artwork, Powerpoint presentations, music. Deadline pressures meant I had from 5am-6am on the day of the Lab to pull my pitch together - yikes! Happily, teaching Creative Writing has made me good in the room and that saved the day. Aces.

We'll be having one-to-one sessions with CBeebies Scotland next month to assess the way forward for individual projects developed during the lab. I've few illusions that my putative show DINOSAUR NEXT DOOR will go far, but loved the process of coming up with something new. It's been too long since I did that, and it felt good to scratch that creative itch.

I've now got a DINOSAUR NEXT DOOR pitch doc, sample script and loglines for 25 further episodes. Even if nothing comes of my concept, it's an original calling card script I can use to demonstrate my range. A big thank you to Sara Harkins at CBeebies Scotland and Caitrin Armstrong at Scottish Book Trust for this amazing opportunity.

I'll be back tomorrow with details of a new commission. Contracts have now been signed so I can talk about it, at least in general terms. In the meantime, I've got long-neglected errands to run. Onwards!

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