I haven’t forgotten about you, dear blog. I’ve just been very busy.
So, updates. The Story Engine in Newcastle went swimmingly – very interesting Q&A sessions with David Peace, Denise Mina, Tony Grisoni and the wonderfully self-deprecating Mike Hodges (who signed his novel for me and lamented the state of modern British publishing, agreeing with so much I have already said – can’t break in unless you’re Oxbridge, they won’t market you when you do, and they won’t pay for a proof reader). I met a few lovely people up there whom I spent the conference sitting with – students both, but who knows, they could be the next big things – and then had a far too long coach ride back home. I did read Little Dorrit though, which has jumped to the top of my Dickens’s best of list (with Nicholas Nickleby and Dombey and Son.)
The script writing then: The Story Engine left me with a few ideas for a crime series that I came back to Oxfordshire with buzzing around my head. I started writing one of them up but discovered something quite interesting in my writing: I can’t write formulaic material. Writing a straight forward police procedural I wanted to shake it up, find something new to do with it. I came up with something exciting: and then, day two into the writing of it, discovered an even better twist on an old idea. So I started writing that. Then the next morning I woke up with a rock solid idea for a radio play and that consumed me. Then my brother came to visit and I couldn’t work for two days, then Mum got sick, so more days. She’s still sick now, nothing serious though, and I should be writing: but look outside, it’s glorious. Not a day to be stuck inside. Which is exactly why I should be writing. I might, in a bit.
I’ve also wasted much time lately ploughing through three seasons of Being Human. I’m in love with this show. I admit it. I’d been avoiding it – the premise, though clever, sounded like a one trick pony to me, but what Toby Whitehouse has done with it is nothing sort of exceptional. He’s mined deep into the darkness of these three figures and found real depth and heart. I’ve found myself thrilled, scared and moved. Who knew werewolves, vampires and ghosts could be so. I’ve watched it all in pretty much one week (I gorged on three episodes alone last night). It is shows like this that remind you that when TV works, it works really well.