Saturday, June 29, 2013 - new beginnings

This will be my last post on Stories My Mother Never Told Me as I'm moving to pastures new at I've been meaning to set up a dedicated website for a long time but somehow never got round to it but finally it's ready (though still definitely a work in progress).

It makes it easier to find information on my projects and scripts, and there's a blog news section for updates and potentially the odd ramble.

'Stories' will stay open, and I'm certainly not closing the door forever, but I hope you'll join me over at mandyleewords for the future. You can sign up as a follower to be informed of updates, and I'll soon be migrating over some of my favourite blog links.

See you there. Gotta wear shades. Change is good.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Spring (allegedly)

It's been a busy couple of months as I've caught up on things, and I've been very bad regarding blogging. There was nearly 2 inches of dust when I opened the rather creaky blog door. We have been going through the mill regarding the terrible weather - that's my excuse. Hell, it was snowing yesterday. April. Snowing. That's wrong.

Since the last time, I've finally (sound the trumpets!) finished my first full-length play for the stage. Developed and written on the Avalon Mentorship, a writing scheme with theatre company Siege Perilous, it's called TANTALUS, and is a 3-hander set in 1953 at the end of sweet rationing. That's all I can tell you at the moment. Or I'd have to shut you up. With sweets probably. Oh no I've said too much!

I'm really proud of the play, and very thankful to the whole Siege Perilous team, Tina, Andy, Caroline, and the actors involved with all the workshops for their great advice and support in helping me get there. Just finishing off a final polish, and then it's ready to be read.

My feature Masterbaker has been out getting read by some rather fantastic people whom I trust, so a rewrite is next. It's especially timely as in the meantime, it has been the lucky winner (1 of 3) of a serious script consult in a feature competition. Whilst the script benefited enormously from my time on the Playwrights Studio Scotland Screenwriting Residency - it was left a little unruly after my period of illness in 2012. It needs taming, and I'm raring to go now feedback has come in and I have renewed objectivity. I love getting my hands on a project that needs serious pruning after a break - scythe at the ready! Then it shall be ready to go to the ball.

Also in the interim, I was pleased to be shortlisted for a New Playwrights Award, with some positive comments about my work and ideas - rather thrilled to get on the shortlist, and congratulations to the awardees. In other playwriting news, I'm working on a collaborative theatre symposium later this month which will have its performance at the Traverse Theatre. Excited, me? Just a little!

Finally, this month sees my first anniversary of gallbladder-gate. RIP my little poisonous, painful and very sick little friend. I thank my lucky stars every single day that I had the NHS to help me in my moment/hours/days/weeks of need - and I still do as I get used to a rejigged digestive system. I hope it's able to survive whilst under the predatory government it currently finds itself in the UK.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Different Hats

Hat number 1 (FILM - probably a baseball cap): I'm pleased to be working with award-winning London Director Deva Palmier on a few film projects. We've already collaborated on the script for a short film set in London, and she's also attached to direct a feature film I have in development, and another short I've written. We share a taste for the dark, real and quirky, and actually met on Twitter - ooh how moderne!

Hat number 2 (THEATRE - something with feathers): I also started the Avalon theatre mentorship a few weeks ago. We began with a group session then a 1-to-1 which was a lovely, relaxed way of getting the 6 mentees eased in. Both meetings have left me feeling much less daunted, but it's strange how accustomed I am to writing in screenplay format, and how a little alien, theatre format feels. It's not that it's hugely prescriptive or anything, just outside my comfort zone. But with mentor encouragement and advice I've started my first rewrite. The play is set in the 1950s, and has a small cast of just 3 (maybe 4 at max). It feels exciting to be writing an internal voice as part of the story, something which you don't usually get the chance to do in film. There's a little more time and space to 'play' with words and the rhythm of language which I'm enjoying immensely. I've not yet decided whether the internal voice will be voiced directly or narrated but I'm hoping that decision will become obvious as I get further on. It's an exciting process and feels hugely experimental which is a bit of a buzz. And great to be amongst a group of other writers.

Hat number 3 (post-production - definitely a fez, don't ask me why): My short LOVE CAKE is finally out of the starting blocks and ready to be sent out into the world where I hope it will find an audience. Currently buried in festival schedules and deliverables, and planning a social media strategy - more to come soon for those who are interested. In case you haven't seen the sticky little trailer, here you go. Hopefully coming to somewhere near you in 2013!