It’s only a week away to Martini Bond at Manchester Pride. Rehearsals are going well, which is more than I can say for the props list…They are piled up in a corner and need checking – have we lost the meerkats? Where’s the gangster’s hat? And Suzi Bazooki’s bazookas? Then there’s the lighting to sort, tickets to sell, PR…Thank goodness for JMMcDowell and her Saturday Sit Down. She has very kindly given me a spot on her blog to talk about the play, writing, hopes and dreams. And it was great to be in touch with a fellow blogger. Throughly recommend it!
It’s all systems go again. Rehearsals are starting up, or rather the schedule for rehearsals is … most of the cast are on holiday. But if they’re not worried, I’m not worried about Martini Bond’s next outing (no pun intended…) at Manchester Pride festival in August. (more…)
Iain Pattison, who gave me a lot of comedy/editing advice on Martini Bond, has some helpful tips for anyone entering writing competitions this summer…
Iain Pattison is a successful short story writer, frequent competition judge and a writing tutor.
He has kindly agreed to share some of his wisdom with us today. He is pleading for more humour and less heartbreak in your competition entries:
You know, sometimes I think judging short story competitions should come with a health warning. Not that it’s dangerous – well, not if you can run fast enough from those who haven’t won – but more because of the awful things it can do to your state of mind.
It’s always the same. Each time a big envelope of entries drops through my letter box I grin insanely knowing I’m in for a reading feast. But then, moments later, I remember that 95% of them will be stories of angst, despair, betrayal, abuse, regret, anger and disappointment and I gulp and wonder if my poor ragged nerves will stand…
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“How’s business?” we asked the local taverna owner as we ordered our tzatsiki.
“Terrible. I’m closing up the end of June. It’s over for me. I’ve paid my taxes but no one protects me. The inclusive resorts have killed my business. We are a small town surrounded by three resorts. Few tourists come any more…” (more…)
“Governments play up the idea that a digital future creates jobs rather than eats them up. Culturally, there is now a fantasy world of start-ups and blogs and YouTube TV where a very few people manage to make money but most work simply for ‘experience’,” writes Suzanne Moore in today’s Guardian. (more…)
“There are two rules. I don’t cook vegetarian food and you’ve got to take us out once a month for a meal,” my Dad told me as I moved back in with my parents. (more…)
Peter Bazalgette, the new chair of the Arts Council, has warned against the cuts to arts funding in the UK and has called on business to do more for the culture – ie invest in it. I couldn’t agree more.
We are thinking about taking Martini Bond up to Manchester Pride in August, but this time we need some funding in order to do it. Profit margins are so slim for small theatre companies – and probably large ones too – that it seems you are fortunate if you cover your costs through ticket sales. Forget about paying the actors, crew or writer a living wage. They all need other work to subsidise their dreams (or, after yesterday’s Budget and if you’re George Osborne, aspirations).
We are thinking about holding a James Bond quiz night as a fund-raiser and we will look into applying for grants and approaching business for support. I’m fairly hopeful we will raise some funds. After all, Pride is for a good cause, raising money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities and organisations as well as HIV groups.
Local theatre, local bands or local comedy nights really need your support, though, because these acts are part of the culture of your town, and, as Bazalgette said, “are central to the life of the city and to the local economy”. Without bums on seats, the show can’t go on! So please go and see a local act on in your town.
When was the last time you went to see a local show? Were there many people there? Did you enjoy it? Do you care about arts funding?
Let’s talk about sex, or rather write about it. Usually badly. Take The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills for an example: ‘Down, down, on the eschatological bed.’
What does eschatological mean anyway? (more…)
I was going to blog today about how to write a sex scene. Thought it might be funny. But then my husband woke me up at 6am. “My car’s been stolen,” he said. “Check I’m not dreaming.” And I lost my sense of humour. (more…)
‘Hello, queen of the blogs!’ Ha! This is a friend who knows how to say just the right thing. She wanted some tips on how to start blogging – and it’s also my first anniversary of blogging – so what better way to celebrate then outline a few tips I’ve learnt. (more…)