Sunday, December 30, 2007

swimming and scriptwriting

At this time of the year, I'm down the local lido as soon it opens every morning at 9 am. I love swimming and the water temp now is around 22 -24 degrees - perfect. I take my daughter - who can't swim yet - but at least she's big enough to stand up and try in the shallow end. In between, I get a chance to do a few widths. I only do widths because I won't swim in water that's over my head (i.e the deep end). I won't go underwater and I only do breast stroke - I'm terrified of drowning.

There are two distinct types of swimmers - those (mainly women), who like me, only do breast stroke and never go underwater. We take life easy and even chat while we swim, we don't get swim-rage when others cut in - in front, we tread water, pace ourselves and we don't over exert. Maybe we're scaredy cats?

Then there are those for whom swimming is a mission. They get irritated with the laconic widthers slapping across the pool. They do front crawl, back crawl, they pound and pummel the water with their fists. They do underwater stuff, they dive, they jump in, they race. I admire their tenacity and verve.

Maybe there's an analogy to be drawn with scriptwriting? Something about daring - or maybe about finding your own way...

Well my swimming is probably not going to change but the writing always can..


After a bit of bloth I've managed 2 posts in one day - must be something in the air! Post on 'future' coming soon..


One Christmas eve a long time ago when I was sharing a nice woody house in West Norwood with other lodgers, the live-in landlord decided to treat us all to a traditional Polish festive dinner and told us not to eat at all that day because it was going to be 25 courses (!). Earlier in the day, my sister had phoned to wish me season's greetings before she caught a train somewhere down south. It had just started snowing lightly and as the day went on, the snowfall grew heavier until several inches lay on the pavement.
We started eating around 8 and my main memory of the food was the texture rather than the colour or taste. There were things like herrings in jelly, a sort of sago pudding, a thin black sausage in lentil paste and jellied eels and such like. Hmmm. Happily the courses were small and they kept on coming, dish after dish. Luckily there was plenty of wine to wash it all down. At midnight we were finally finished, inebriated and attempting a few Polish phrases. Then the call came. My sister now 200 miles away had just remembered that - before she had left her flat in Tulse Hill that morning - she had put an apple pie in the oven fairly high and wanted me to go over right now and switch it off - because she was scared the house would burn down.
Furious, I slammed down the phone. Ten minutes later she rang again. But I was already out the house - muffled up to the eyeballs in hats and scarves, cursing her. I'd climbed on to an old bicycle and was pedalling through the blizzard straight down the middle of the empty main roads. I reached her basement flat and as I didn't have a key, I clambered first over the side gate and round the back. The windows were all steamed up and the kitchen was full of smoke. I broke a pane of glass in the window and climbed in, switched off the cooker, took out the pie which was just a black crust, wafted out the smoke for a few minutes, climbed back out, pulled the window shut, staggered back to the bike and cycled back home.


The template has changed because I tried to add falling snowflakes to my blog (didn't manage it) and then went back to my old one to find it had gone all back to front - so I had to get this new one and now I've lost my label cloud... grrrr

OK so next post - the future

Sunday, December 23, 2007

wherever you are...

Season's greetings and may 2008 be the best year ever!

Thanks for dropping by and a special shout to those who have left comments, (however sporadic) - because you make it all worthwhile - including Potdoll, Pillock, Lianne, Lucy, Elinor, Verging Writer, Martin, WC Dixon, James Whyle, Jon Peacey, Oli, Facety, Sal, anonymous and anyone else I've forgotten!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seasonal sloth

Seem to have turned into a bit of a blog sloth of late (or should that be bloth). I think this is probably due to seasonal factors or the subliminal trans-atlantic effect of the strike or even possibly that I have nothing writerly of interest to report.. My time has been consumed by holiday-schooly things and following the political goings-on over in Polokwane.

I wondered why my blog was still getting a fair amount of hits lately (peaking yesterday) and it seems that its all to do with the
Amarna princess again. Another piece of the Bolton trio's fabricated art turned up in the US last week and has re-ignited interest in the story.

Now for a couple of bits and pieces. Here's information about Pangea Day an online film competition/award with a script development grant for the winner. Deadline is Feb 15th 2008.

PARTICIPANT PRODUCTIONS AWARDS & GRANT. A grant and awards program has been established through a partnership with Participant Productions, the production company behind such socially conscious films as An Inconvenient Truth; Syriana; and Good Night, And Good Luck. For the "Outstanding Filmmakers Awards Program," Participant Productions will select five filmmakers, each representing a different continent (North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia [including Australia]) to receive a $5000 filmmakers grant to both reward outstanding achievement and provide support for these filmmakers to continue making films. In addition, Participant will invite all the filmmakers whose films appear on Pangea Day to submit a treatment for a feature film or documentary. Participant will then reward one winner with the "Filmmaker Grant" which includes $20,000 to continue the development of the treatment and a non-binding first look deal with Participant for the treatment.

More information can be found on the website by
clicking right here.

Plus here's a heads up for
scribomatic - a useful site where the most recent posts from a range of screenwriting blogs and websites can be found all in one place. This is now my starting point for scribosurfing. Those with blogs can install the widget.

With everything now shut down for at least 6 weeks here, there's not much to report on the writing front - so am catching up on a few films, reading and taking it easy until the new year.

Plus of course I'm busy sticking glitter and sweet wrappers onto my beautiful blog greeting card ready for the next post...


Monday, December 10, 2007

Doris Lessing

from Nobel Lecture December 7th 2007

'The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise ... but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill. It is our stories, the storyteller, that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, what we are at our best, when we are our most creative.'

Read full text by clicking on this link here.


Sunday, December 09, 2007


In times of strike or stalemate, who better to turn to than Thoth - the ancient Egyptian patron of writers (and by extension scriptwriters)? Diplomatic Thoth who was credited with inventing writing and numbers, was also God of the moon and magic.
In art, Thoth was usually depicted with the head of an ibis with a beak resembling the crescent moon.

"Thoth the Scribe, wrote the story of our reality then placed it into grids for us to experience and learn through the alchemy of time and consciousness."


Friday, December 07, 2007

video messaging

So I noticed the other day ( just before LAN went down) that there is a little 'create video' icon in the menu bar of my inbox. Probably always been there but I've just never clicked on it - well I found that when I do, it triggers my webcam and I can send email video messages - just like that! So of course I've been sending them here, there and everywhere, one to my sister on Wednesday wishing her a happy birthday. This week, I was making a promo and I booked the edit via video message.

Then, getting bolder, I did a video pitch of my latest script and emailed it in to drama at the local broadcaster. The same day, I received a reply directing me to the film portfolio.

So it seems to work. Perhaps - in a sea of correspondence - the recipient welcome a real person popping up in their inbox - who knows? Maybe it is also the shock value. Anyway I say give it a go....

Today I might even try the bank manager..


Monday, December 03, 2007


when short of things to post about - there's always keywords. Here's a list of the top keywords & phrases that have brought people to my blog lately (highest number of hits - those at the top of the list... etc)

amarna princess/ princess amarna
scriptwriter on strike/ scriptwriter strike/ strike action scriptwriter
xhosa initiation ceremony
give yourself a pat on the back lyrics
talk to me cheadle
scriptwriting opportunities
skokiaan blogspot
internet cafe claremont wynberg south africa
treasury tags
registration code snail mail
how far away is nigeria from the UK?