Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hidden London: Madonna At The Supermarket...

Film premieres aren't exactly hidden, but, living right next door to a cinema which occasionally throws them, I've stumbled across them a few times on my way out to buy the dinner. Then hung around a bit to watch the pazazz.
They can be really good fun. It's a great way to people watch - completely and utterly unashamedly STARE at people, because that's what's expected on a red carpet. Gofugyourself come to life, with a lot more going on around the edges. People trying to look cool can be funny. Anyway: I'd wandered out to the supermarket for a few bits and pieces in the afternoon to see this: 

and the cinema completely fenced off with great big screens. The public area down the side of the building was already full, several people deep. I thought about taking a mini-ladder but there wasn't room to set one up. Skilled gatecrasher that I am, I went around the back and found the place where the cars would be stopping. There was nobody there at all except a few security guards. That seemed our best bet if we wanted a glimpse of her. I saw a moment in the presence of the Material Girl as a prime educational opportunity for my teen daughter so we set off for the back entrance. But on the way, as we passed the front screens, the cinema manager was shouting for all those who had stamps to come forward. Some fans had been there since early in the morning. They have a system of stamping their hands so that they can come and go to get food and go to the loo and all that. We hung around a bit and when they'd all gone in he said right, now there's room for a few more. And we got in! This is where they put us:

And the show commenced.
 Dress by Cos, daughter told me. Note the ever-watchful, coat-carrying, note-taking, water-carrying PA in b/g. That was me a few years ago. Daughter found that v funny.
The leading man. The interviewer lady was lovely too. "Wetting her pants" she said at the thought of meeting Madge. The buzz in the air just kept growing and growing... and then:
We were the closest fans to the interview!
 See how the lipstick exactly matches the gloves. And she Didn't Have A Manicure! Liked that.
NOT something I expected and all the more fun for that.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Harry Potter Plot Sheet

Fascinated to see J.K. Rowling's hand-written plot spreadsheet for The Order Of The Phoenix. Courtesy of The Story Museum:


Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Short Stories and Creative Writing Classes


Finally pulled a few of my short stories together over Christmas. Hauled the old box out and scanned some in. I wrote them at a creative writing class at RAAC - Richmond Adult Community College. The main attraction was the creche for baby and the opportunity to get some of my 'baby-brain' back to function mode.

A review for Starfish from the late, great Michael Legat, publisher and short story competition judge, was the first encouragement I received outside the class. "The writing has that quality which is to be found in good poetry of stirring the reader's memories and emotions so that they get added in and increase its effect. I wonder if you can produce more work of this standard and charm - a volume perhaps rather in the manner of Laurie Lee. Outstanding." There were no outlets for short stories at the time. The rule was, if you wanted to get published you had to write a novel. The exception in the UK being Helen Simpson who publishes the best short story collections ever. Because she's so brilliant. But now ebooks have arrived short stories - shorts - have had an injection of life outside the competition circuit.

I'd recommend a beginner's creative writing class to anyone, that half-day was the highlight of my week for 3 years. Classmates became friends and the seriously ambitious amongst us set up a small critique group. It's been going for 10 years now. We've all been through highs and lows, we still critique each others' work and the book deal parties are still coming in. There's another one next week. More about that soon.

Read The Smile In The Garden With The Starfish in a free Kindle sample of the collection:

Kindle USA


Kindle UK


Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.