Writing is editing, so the saying goes. Certainly, it feels this way when you write in a 'fever' as DBC Pierre would say. I wrote the first draft of The Proving in six weeks and I am currently editing the sh*t first draft. I'm now counting my progress in fiths it's become that tortuous. It's become work. Admittedly, unpaid work but not volunteering. My reward should hopefully be an agent in the summer. I had to do some paid work last week which was very far removed from creative writing or editing. It reminded me that work is hard, especially if the creative element is removed. But it's necessary and gave me renewed impetus to keep going with the novel. Once finished I can create again!
In fact, I did a bit of creating this morning. It was such fun. I wrote a short film script. No dialogue. One actor (pretty much). Let's keep it simple. Its for the Bristol Film and Video Society. I'm hoping they may want to shoot it. It's called 'Sausages' and is based on a idea I had over a decade ago along the theme of 'You are what you eat.' I want to keep it simple becuase the other elements e.g. a work mate, added so little I could just remove them. I also have a soft spot for low dialogue shorts. One of my favourites is Desserts starring Ewan McGregor.
I went to see Basim Magdy speak about his new travelling exhibition. The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings. I do have a bit of an issue of people talking about art. I'm not sure how much it adds to the enjoyment. However, as a new writer I am interesting in the process of writing - hoping to glean any little tip. I'm a fan of Austin Kleon who is an advocate of not only sharing your work but how you did it. So I was interested to hear about Basim Magdy's approaches to creativity through research and experimentation.
On the beginning of the month I had the opportunity to help out with the final rehearsals for Messiah. I was met by Alison Hargreaves, the Producer in the wings. They had enough on stage volunteers - these were required to have their feet washed by the leader during the performance - so I sat in the stalls. The show was performed by the Erebus Ensemble and Baroque orchestra the English Concert with different actors playing the leader. On the day I was there it was Jamie Beddard whose agonised expressions as he was whipped was extremely powerful even in rehearsal. I spoke to the manager of the English Concert who explained how many of their instruments are from the period and each are strung with cat gut (actually from sheep most likely). She explained the innovative nature of the show.
I'm not a big fan of opera or choral music but it sounded fantastic. Harry Bicket was a powerful presence and had an extraordinary ear for musical detail. Of course, I was keen to watch Tom Morris in action. Dressed in shortened jeans and a Hawian top it appeared that he'd come off an 18-30s holiday but that's where the frivolty ends. Tom was totally focussed on the performers and worked in tandem with Harry. He prowled the pit and spoke 1:1 with the actors. He was always the first to applaud after each segment and was full of encouragement. It was a privelege to watch him and his colleagues rehearsing.
So while hanging colourful backs from wires sounds a great idea, someone's gotta make it happen.