So I arrive home to a blossomy English Mayday and the excellent news that Carol Ann Duffy is our new Poet Laureate. She says she doesn't want the pay but will take the butt of sack upfront, please. That's 600 bottles, should be a good celebration party up there in 'leafy Manchester suburb of West Didsbury' where, surprisingly, this Scots working class poet now lives.
A month's worth of post takes a while to dispose of, mostly in the recycling bin, but it's nice to hear my first novel Frozen Summer is being reprinted again in the Netherlands. Googling the Dutch edition, I found this intriguing plot summary:
Forgotten Summer of Crys Morrison
A fall Kirsty is 10 years from her memory lost.
Although it does its best to its past back to get
Kirsty feels in her heart still twenty student she once was.
If the first is lost gradually reminders are rising to the surface,
Kirsty is also very relieved. But the image that looms up
as more loose puzzle pieces fall into place,
does it realize that amnesia may be preferable to the truth...
The new comedy drama Boy Meets Girl - which coincidentally is also based on trauma-created character confusion - was reviewed enthusiastically by Times online. "...really good. ITV1 has, almost unprecedentedly, given a total newcomer — the writer David Allison — three hour-long episodes." In fact the writer David Allison had a 10-year scriptwriting apprenticeship, according to his interview with Screenwriting Goldmine. This site is a great resource for any writer interested in the meeja, by the way, as you can sign up for a free newsletter which is genuinely useful and topical. Asked how he sold this rather cheesey concept, David is frank: Knowing people - like Head of Productions - helps. "I was going to have lunch with him and I was panicking, and I saw a friend who'd seen this awful film about a man trapped inside a woman's body and it was really naff. I thought, is there a gender story here that's not a cliché? And I pitched up. If Id been just someone off the street I don't think he'd have listened, but I knew him." (Martin Freeman plays Danny/Veronica, which helps too.) The bit that's 'not a cliché' is the notion that personality, not gender, is what shapes people. "If you try and sit down and write about things that matter to you, like the class divide, its really dull and boring. You need a vehicle, and then it takes off, so if there's something that you're interested in, go for it. You should never pitch what you think people want - it never works because you're not as passionate about those things."
And finally: the Writer's Blog, initially seen as the shell-suit of the publishing fashion world, has apparently found its Pride. The May issue of Writing Magazine features blogging as one of five key trends for success - a chance to interact in a more private-conversational way as well as a tool for self-promotion. I use mine as a kind of exercise in right-brain/left-brain dovetailing - what songwriter Bob Peterson calls negotiating between the engineer and the muse. Recently I've veered to the musey, so I'm balancing out with a few more oily rags this week.