Sunday, 28 August 2016

Morning Glory, Tomatoes, and Late Summer Fruitfulness

Exciting News

First suggested back in, I think, 2006, it's gone on for far too long. I've touched on it, briefly, in blogs,here, and on my website, but couldn't go into more exciting detail because there simply wasn't any. The story is that, many years ago, a really good friend, and admirer of my work (and we all need those) suggested that "THE TIME TREE" might be promising film material, and prodded me into turning it into a film script, which during one of those all too many arid times when nothing else was happening, I did, using several of those 'HOW TO DO IT' books. I showed the result to my agent - she was not impressed.

Nevertheless, my friend was convinced that the book had 'legs', so I took it walking. I can't post the details of that walk because they're still under wraps, but know that finally, in 2016, I can tell you that a company is interested enough to offer me a contract, with filming to start in Spring 2017. Exciting news, but I'm still not excited - partly because my beloved David isn't here to celebrate it with me, but also because it feels totally unreal - I've had film deals before (who hasn't?) which came to nothing, usually due to lack of finance. This one looks as if it's actually going to happen, though, so watch this space.

Writer's Block?

At present, and for quite a while now, I have felt unable to write, although happy to edit. I'm not sure that this fits into the official definition of Writer's Block, which I've always assumed to be that blank period in the middle of writing a novel when the writer internally screams something like: I have no idea where this bloody thing is going, and wherever it is, I won't be able to handle it.

My personal one is down to too many rejections, and the conviction that anything I write is going to be rejected, so why bother? For the past few
years I've been in love with the picture book genre - the sparse poetry of the words (demanding, that) plus the eventual visuals. If you, like me, love this challenging, difficult, and 'when it's bad, it's very very bad' area of writing, pay a visit to 'Picture Book Den', always surprising, always stimulating. Recently there was a discussion around why picture books can't be a bit longer than the 600 word limit. Well, some are, but very few. I currently have a longer one doing the rounds - a mermaid story with even the offer of an eminent illustrator in the package. So far, one rejection, on the grounds that there are no children in the story. Well there aren't in Cinderella either, but kids still love it.

Academics Do It In The Summer


There's an interesting article in the current edition of The Author, examining the relationship between creative writing and the weather - apparently, academics tend to do it in the summertime. I'm an Autumn/Winter person who dislikes excessive heat and days that don't go to sleep until 10pm, but I've been growing things, and I do feel a childlike thrill when the growing actually works. Runner beans are a joy - they never fail to come surging out of the ground with their stout little stems so attractive to slugs and snails, but most survive. My North London tomatoes have really done me proud this year, but I think my favourite plant has to be Morning Glory, especially the purple variety. It grows, and seeds itself, like a weed, but such a welcome one; flowers briefly but gloriously, and then generously pops out a few more. I threw the remains of a well-dated seed packet into two big pots, along with other things, forgot that I did it, then, suddenly, one morning, purple glory.

Possession

I finally bought a copy of A S Byatt's novel "Possession", highly recommended by so many people whose opinions I respect, to find that, at least so far, it hasn't grabbed me. There are lovely pieces of writing in it, but for me, there's far too much scholarship and far too much back-story (I recently had a novel turned down, with one of the crits being 'too much back story holding up the action.') I don't like giving up on a book - always assuming the fault is mine - but for relief, I turned to Philip Pullman's re-writing of Grimms Fairy Tales (and I'm not wild about the Grimm brothers either, but I do like Philip Pullman).

Finally, and forgive me, but I must put in a plug for Pipeline Theatre's SWIVELHEAD, now in its final days at the Edinburgh Fringe. It's an innovative fantasy based on drone warfare, and also our daughter's theatre company (well other people are involved, of course, but she's the one I care about). If you're there, and can, do go.

 

 



1 comment:

Ann Turnbull said...

Keeping all available fingers crossed for 2017, Enid! Very encouraging news. The Time Tree is the first book of yours I ever read - I found it in our local library. I can't now remember much about it, but I know I enjoyed it and your name lodged in my memory long before I ever met you.

Picture books seem particularly susceptible to the whims of fashion and are very difficult to place - so good luck with those, too.