Saturday, 31 March 2012

The hens' chorus

This week, after responding to a tweet from Claire King, I took part in Michelle Elvy's collaborative writing project, which was the creation of a short experimental story in honour of International Women's Month in March. The 100 words collective was exciting, each woman wrote 100 words of the story, taking the narrative on before delivering it to the next. It was enchanting and powerful seeing how the journey, even over a few days, had developed. A woman's voice, acting on her own but with the collective strength of those around her is a mighty powerful thing. We should remember that.

Just for a change (that's sarcasm by the way!) I had a ridiculously busy week at work and looked forward to sleeping a little bit longer this morning. At 6am I was staring at cloud formations. Sometimes sleep is overrated. I'll keep telling myself that anyway.... Actually, it was lovely. So peaceful, the birdsong melancholic yet full of possibilities. Until my hens stirred, squawking to life in the back garden. They are beautiful, funny, and incredibly friendly animals but jeez oh they cannot sing. They don't do the morning chorus at all well!

Anyway, since the early morning choir I've been doing a lot of thinking. I came up with a fabulous idea for a 3-part TV series yesterday. I have so much confidence in my ability to sell it, it's a winner. Engaging, compelling telly. This week I also received interest in my novel, The Dandelion Clock, from a publisher. Subsequently we've had some chat about a 3-part series, although we each have a lot of thinking to do. Are we actually right for one another? We need to know that, and understand what our independent aspirations are before we can move any further ahead. Even if we're not the right fit I am pleased that there is positive interest. The Dandelion Clock was longlisted by Mslexia this year so that makes two happy readers so far!

As tempting as it is, when it comes to your precious work, your beautiful creation, it's not a simple case of take a deal and run. Compromise isn't something to be considered lightly.

I've always regarded my fiction writing to be something personal and exclusive, completely separate from the business 'me'. The softer, calmer, malleable me. And yet, when the words are ready to leave you and venture out with a life of their own to be greeted by (hopefully!) eager readers, business sense and understanding is the key to making that happen.

So, if I can broker and sustain multi-million pound deals at work, I can do it for myself and my writing. Shouting about yourself is easy right...? If the hens can do it, so can I. No problem at all....

I might just nip out to the coop for a wee vocal lesson.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mamo Margot

When my mother was the same age as I am now, she had five young children. The youngest came in a pack of two, metaphorically joined at the hip and emotionally inseparable were 10 year old twins of opposite sexes, the next, at the middle rung of the sibling ladder was a boy age 12, a smart young man, already a comprehensive thinker. At the next step was another girl, 14 years old and charming with every breath and every enigmatic smile. Just up ahead and convinced she was already an adult in embracing a motherly role, was my mother’s first born, a girl of 17.

A young family, full of possibilities, bouncing towards our futures. Five distinct paths lay on the horizon, one for each child to stumble upon or skip alongside as the peaks and troughs of life meandered and sometimes cascaded towards various junctures, some fascinating, others more haste than speed, many more sooner forgotten than remembered. We frequently crashed like the ebb along our various routes, here and there meeting at a crossroads, some of us sinking just a little, some of us overcoming challenges with bravado and some of us embracing life with a will that might have long since passed if we weren't so keen to remember that yes, it actually existed. We all got to somewhere fabulous at one or several points, and now, the five of us find ourselves as parents, with new paths and new possibilities and young lives all of our own to cherish.

However, at the same age as my mother was as she juggled her five young charges I find myself at a different place than she. My children, a boy and a girl, are now a young man and a young woman, each of them at the threshold of something incredibly beautiful and inspiring. They are both embracing the absolute joy of embarking on their own journey, with their own loves, in their own homes with their own ideas and zest for doing it their way. And whilst my mother dealt with schools and homework and teenage tantrums and hormones I find myself as a grandmother-in-waiting! In six short months my first grandchild will arrive into the world, with much aplomb, to be met with celebratory fanfare. My heart will burst with love and our lives, as grandmother and grandchild, will be new for both of us.

Women of my age have children but I'm ecstatic, thrilled beyond words that I am to be blessed with a grandchild. That said, I reckon there are enough "granny's" in the world so for that reason, and that reason only (!) I'm adopting the term for granny that is used in Connemara, Ireland - Mamo.

So, Mamo Margot it is. This is Mamo Margot's blog. Don't worry, it's not all going to be baby chat, this blog will be about life and love and work and making television. And writing. The wonderful, wonderful joy (and sometimes pain!) of writing.

And children and grandchildren! I hope you'll allow me to indulge, just a little...