Tuesday, 15 November 2011


What have I discovered this morning?

About an online Christmas wishlist-
A script that won a place on a talent showcase-
A merchant ship sunk in the South Atlantic by the Admiral Graf Spee.

I'm following @RealTimeWWII on Twitter, a six year project by Alwyn Collinson which updates the events of the Second World War in as close to real-time as you can get.  The tweets run from the chipper British public reaction to a failed Lufwaffe bombing run, to the disappearance of patriotic scouts in Poland - you don't know what to expect, but you know it's not going to get any better for a long time.

And because I follow lots of different people, @RealTimeWWII sits alongside tweets about people's 21st century news, plans, loves, hates.  It's strange and fascinating to see these glimpses into the past in this context, and I get the feeling this is how Penny experiences her life as a time traveller, desperate to keep her skill a secret in Hidden Daughter.

And on a slightly less fantastic scale, it's how we all live our lives - parallel strands of existence from horrific to wondrous to humdrum, all mixed up to make us who we are.  Our challenge, like Penny's, is to make sense of it all.  For me, like Penny's continuing story, it's a work in progress.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


As a writer, I'm pretty dedicated to putting words (or at present, changing words) on the page.  But as I continue with the rewrites for Coalface, and begin to write the follow-up to Hidden Daughter, I know there's more to it than that.  Because writing only refers to the process I use for what I really do; which is storytelling.

Part of my new 'to finish reading' pile-
don't even get me started with
what's on the E-book reader...
Getting an experience of storytelling from the outside looking inwards is as important as being inside your own story; a timely reminder that whatever you think of your story, the audience/reader will probably be thinking about it from another perspective.  In a very real sense, your story becomes their story. 

It was great to experience storytelling from both perspectives when Sent/Received was performed alongside works by other writers at the Word of Mouth's horror event recently.  Now I'm going to continue the experience by actually finishing the pile of novels I've started reading during 2011, then misplaced when the spectre of work tapped me on the shoulder.  It's a bad habit, and it's going to stop.

So here's the plan: if we bump into one another and I can't tell you what I was last reading, I owe you a coffee/tea/beverage.  Because like writers, readers finish.  Or wind up buying a lot of coffee.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sent/Received at Broadway Nottingham

Rachael Pennell & Jonathan Greaves
performing 'Sent/Received'

(pic courtesy Mayhem Festival)

Another great performance of Sent/Received on Monday night - my thanks to Andrea Milde for directing, Robin Vaughan-Williams for his tech skills and to Johnathan Greaves and Rachael Pennell for bringing my strange little tale of text messaging to life.  And a special thank you to everyone who came to listen to our work - I really appreciate it, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Now it's back to my rewrites for Coalface - a very different world of thrills and suspense...