Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sean Bean But Not As You Know Him

I must admit I'm enjoying the dramas which have started recently.

Ruth Rendell's Thirteen Steps Down, a physchological thriller based on a man obsessed by the killer John Christie, was chilling and I'm looking forward to the conclusion on Monday.

An old favourtie - Celebrity Masterchef - has returned to brighten up my days, and a host of other cookery programmes have ignited my desire to cook "proper food" again.

Then, of course my guilty pleasure X Factor, is due to start shortly.  I vow every year that I will not get sucked in, and every year I do.  I tend to get bored half way through the live shows, but I love the auditions.  It's the car crash syndrome I suppose.

But I think the jewel in this week's TV crown was definitely Sean Bean in Accused.  Now I've always enjoyed his performances in Lady Chatterley and Sharpe but I can't say I expected to ever see him dressed as a woman.  In this week's episode, written by Jimmy McGovern, Sean plays a transvestite Tracy, who finds herself on the wrong side of the law. I don't think that he made an attractive female - well you wouldn't expect him to, but he did bring a sensitivity to the subject matter which just proves what a fantastic actor he is.

Tracy's male persona, Simon, is as boring as Tracy is flamboyant and that was another surprise.  I never imagined the day when Sean Bean would remind me of Roy Cropper from Corrie.  An excellant programe and performance and I'm looking forward to next Tuesday's episode.

Happy viewing everyone.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

All Over Now

The country seems a quieter place now that the Olympics have ended. Even though they were centred in London, the "vibe" was certainly felt up here in the north.

I'm not the most sporty of people - not even the armchair variety - so my cup wasn't exactly running over with excitement in the run up to the big event, even though I was proud, and a little nervous, that it was being held here.

I have to admit, even though I wasn't glued to the tele - unlike some members of my family (namely youngest son) -  I did enjoy the bits of it I watched, especially the women's football which was a bit of a surprise. I also caught a bit of the tennis and watched Tom Daly achieve his bronze on the edge of my seat. I'm so pleased that he got a medal, and whilst people were hoping he'd get gold, I think the bronze was an amazing achievement and I'm looking forward to seeing him in Rio, when I'm sure he's going to be even better.

The sport I enjoyed most though was the equestrian. Now, I don't understand dressage, so I didn't find that particularly entertaining, but I just loved the three day eventing and the show jumping. I took me back to my teenage days when I was horsey mad, and I have a sudden craving to re-read my old Jilly Coopers.

I'm delighted that Zara did well and that we got two more golds. The show jumping team event had me biting my nails down to my knuckles. I was a bit sad for Nick Skelton though, as it would have been nice for him to get the individual gold. What an amazing person, to have come back from a broken neck, a hip replacement and now due to have an operation on his back, and to ride so well. It just goes to show that people can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.

I've read a few writerly blogs recently, comparing our craft to training for the Olympics. And whilst we may not have the physical endurance and stamina it certainly takes a lot of dedication to get that book or books on the shelves. It's easy to become envious when you see those shiny spines on the bookshelves, just as it might be to see athletes on the podium, but it must be remembered that its the tiny steps which are taken each day which lead the end result. A poignant reminder to keep slogging away.

I'm pleased that the Olympics have gone so well, both from an organisational point of view and that we bagged so many medals. Britain has shown itself in its best light this year, and it's definitely been a year to remember.

But on a more personal level, whilst part of my is sorry that its over, I'm quite pleased to get
some decent drama back on the TV, of the none sporting variety.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Up, Off and Away

Well, by now my RNA New Writers' Scheme script will be winging its way to the reader, courtesy of Royal Mail.

I say winging, but judging by the weight of it, it might be bumping along rather slowly.  I thought I might have to take a second mortgage to post it, but if the critique is anything like last year's, it will be worth it.

I thought I had finished the final edit when I realised it was over the preferred word limit, so rather desperately I went through it again.  In the end I managed to cut 9,000 words to bring it well below the upper level.  I was actually shocked that I managed to cut so much out without affecting the plot, it just goes to show how much of my writing is superfluous. It taught me alot and made me aware of words I repeat which just aren't necessary.

I'm sure the novel is still too long for the market, but I'm hoping the critique will show me where it could be reduced.

I do feel that at the moment it is the best that it can be but will obviously reflect on this later, when I have the critique in my hot little hands, and have let it rest for a while.

For now though, I'm catching up on my reading and then it's back to writing some new short stories.  I've had a few rejected recently, so I'll have a look at those, see if they can be recycled and then start writing again.  I'm looking forward to doing some writing rather than constant editing and I'm also looking forward to writing some shorter pieces of work.

But for this weekend, I think I'll just enjoy the sunshine and hope that it lasts for as long as possible.

Have a good weekend everyone.