Monday, March 09, 2009

Will I catch up?

Spring already, and the period I set aside for my series of short stories is rapidly running away. Not much time for it lately, or for blogging. I did finish a story the week before last, but I haven't had time to give it a final look over, so it's still languishing on my desk. I spent last week writing a chapter which I was thrilled that Vanessa Gebbie invited for an exciting book she is editing for Salt on writing short stories, based on one of the answers I gave when she hosted my virtual book tour. At the same time of course there was the usual distracting task of keeping up with the latest leg of the tour (and the pretty head-stretching questions Charles Lambert asked me about my writing). The weekend was taken up in answering the questions for this week's upcoming leg (Wednesday) on Debi Alper's blog (more probing questions which I've had to think about really hard - mainly about the difference between writing prose and drama, and about adaptation) and reading scripts for the 24:7 Theatre Festival. I've read quite a lot of scripts for the festival this year, and I've come across some I'm sure are absolute winners, but of course I'll have to wait to see if other readers feel the same...

I feel as though it's all work and no play, but I did get out for a walk along the river on Sunday afternoon and into Fletcher Moss Gardens to photograph the crocuses (above). And I did go out twice in the week, once to hear Jackie Kay and Joe Pemberton read at Manchester University, and the second time to MMU to hear David Edgar talk most interestingly about translating Brecht. A really interesting thing about that last event was that it was attended not only by theatre folks but also by people I normally only see at poetry readings - usually, I find, these are separate constituencies. And afterwards a group of us went out for an extremely enjoyable meal and catch-up on all fronts - so really, what am I complaining about?

There's more excitement this week - and travel, that real thrill for the desk-bound writer! I'm off to Liverpool on Friday to take part in the workshop of a play by Ian Moore - something I love doing, and which is such a great break from the desk work. And on Sunday I'm off to Huddersfield to take part in a reading at the literature festival with fellow Salt authors short-story writer Carys Davies and poet Mike Barlow. (Details here.) Then next week it's the final stop of the virtual book tour (18th March) on Tania Hershman's blog, which is bound to be interesting, since she is the editor of The Short Review.

And then maybe I'll get a chance to put the writing cap back on...

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