Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Updates, cryptic allusions and suchlike

Phew. It's been a madcap, running around with your pants on fire, too many deadlines and no enough hours in the day kind of life lately. I've just handed in the first draft of something significant, and am waiting for notes for the second draft. Haven't signed contracts so can't say any more. Call that cryptic allusion #1.

Got the commission two weeks ago, just before I was leaving for a holiday in Madrid. Thankfully that had been factored into the commission, so I still got to have my holiday. But the possibility of being stranded by volcanic ash clouds meant the laptop came in. That proved helpful, as I had another deadline looming, even more urgent.

Back in May I got on to a lab scheme for potential CBeebies writers. Four day-long sessions, spread out over six weeks, run by Sara Harkins from CBeebies Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust. It's been a fascinating experience learning about writing for a different audience, one for which telling a good story is even more crucial.

As part of the Lab all the writers have been developing putative CBeebies projects. No guarantees, but loads of helpful feedback and advice. Yesterday was the deadline to deliver a spec script for our individual projects - 15 minutes for live action, or 11 for animation. My show mixes live action with animation, so I wrote 11 pages.

With the paying gig looming, I had to write my CBeebies script while on holiday. Got up an hour early every day to chip away at it before venturing out into the blazing sunshine of Madrid ["Scorchio!"]. The result isn't perfect, but I think it's got some promise. I've got a new calling card script, albeit for a very specific market.

In the midst of all this I've been writing a radio play for BBC7. That's now been recorded, edited and sounds great. Next week all the dialogue gets recorded for an online game that complements the radio play. That's my deadline for the next few days, finishing off my script for the Legacy Project game. Quite a trip this one's been.

Plus I was directing an amateur production of Christopher Hampton's play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses [better known as its film incarnation, Dangerous Liaisons]. The cast didn't get the audiences they deserved, but still did themselves proud. What else? Stood down after 9 years on Biggar Theatre Workshop board, end of an era for me.

Not to forget my part-time teaching on the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University. Our full-time cohort are now working on their final projects, while we continue mentoring the part-timers over the summer. That means it's time to fine-tune the programme for September and interview applicants for the new FT cohort.

What else? Got back from a weekend in That Fancy London to an email with some lovely wee news. Don't think I'm allowed to say what it is, so let's call that cryptic allusion #2. Believe the news will go public this weekend or early next week. Will spill the beans once I'm allowed to do so. And that's probably all the news. Onwards!

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