Sunday, September 28, 2008

Soundtracks for inspiration

Had dinner with J on Monday, and he gave me a CD. Quite a fabulous CD, as it turns out, because it includes two of my all time favourite top songs - but apart from that, it is a CD with a purpose. J made it as a soundtrack to a rom com, with the idea that I would listen to it and then write the story to go with the songs. I've been playing it all week in the car, and have a few scenes in my mind, but no clear characters yet, and no solid story line. I'm wondering how long it will be before something becomes concrete, knowing at the same time that J not only has a story in his head, but also has a director's cut of the CD/potential movie. He has more songs than me!! Actually, I'm not sure if that's a god thing or a bad thing. The plan is, I think, that at some random point in the future, we'll compare our stories, and assuming I ever get mine written, that will be interesting, just to see how the same set of songs affect us. I suspect we'll write wildly different stories, but I'm not entirely sure ...

Anyway, the question is, what do you listen to when you're writing, and what would you play for inspiration?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To blog or not to blog?

Have been considering whether or not to keep going with the blog recently, since over the last few months my bloggy activity has slipped into near catatonia. Partly this has been because I've not been seeing much theatre - full time job + local programmes being fairly unappealing + Shefield Crucible being dead + not enough time to get to London/Stratford/other interestingly theatrical places = my theatre notebook for this year is alarmingly thin. So, there haven't been many reviews. Also, writing activity seemed to have hit a slump; despite little bursts of resurgence, mainly related to when I went away for a couple of days which seemed to free up something or other and lead to pages of handwritten stuff, I just haven't been very creative this year.

And the other major thing recently has been A going to University. On the one hand, this has meant short-sightedness - does anyone else get that thing where such a big event looms on the horizon that you can't see beyond it? I've spent so much of the summer thinking only of A going away, and then getting ready, shopping, packing ... how she's there, and I'm here, missing her of course, but also trying to think less about "empty nest" than the fact that this is a new avenue in life for both of us.

And then, the whole creativity thing seems to have sprung back into life. Maybe because we've jumped the hurdle of "A going away" so I've got that energy to use elsewhere; maybe because the film which has been a floaty idea for the last couple of months has sudddenly become much more concrete; maybe because finding someone to work with, and bounce ideas off in one sphere, has a kind of ripple effect. I know as writers we're supposed to be able to do isolation and solitude, and most of the time I'm pretty OK with my own company. But having started to work with M on the film, it seems that just hanging out and talking about creative stuff with him has sparked off all sorts of other things for me. We start from very different perspectives but overlap in so many ways, and all of a sudden I'm writing again. A short story, two poems, a story-board ... isolation/solitude is all very well, but having a creative collaborator seems to make all the difference for me.

So I'm writing again - perhaps I won't be killing the blog after all.