Saturday, 25 July 2015

Welcome to my offices

Dearly beloved,

I hope your Saturday got up on the right side of the bed and you're enjoying the weekend! Great news first, the Kickstarter campaign I was banging on about in the previous entry has reached its goal! Yes! This means we'll receive all the backing you so generously have donated to The Nightingale Collective for the production of my play Victory at Theatre503 in August. We couldn't be happier! Thank you! Thank you! And don't be sad if you were planning on donating but hadn't gotten around to it yet, we still have several days left to raise money on the campaign website, so do feel free to push us as far over the goal as you like. Everything helps!
An amazing raspberry muffin ton start the day.
Now what? Well, having spent much of spring and summer working on the script together with my lovely director Claire, it has now reached the actors and the rehearsal room. I can't wait to join them soon, but until then, I'm keeping myself busy (and shooing off the nerves) by diving into new projects. Never stop writing!
A tad empty Park Theatre café after the false fire alarm. Nice space though.
By the look of the photos you'd think I was writing coffee shop reviews, but they're actually pics of my "offices". I'm quite happy to edit and "transcribe" (from long hand) at home, but when it comes to the original writing, those very first bits that come from your heart or your gut, I need to get out of the house at the moment. It's incredible how it all just starts flowing as soon as I step outside the door.
It's not a library so I do have to buy something ... (I tell myself as I tuck in.)
I'm also reading a lot. I want to know as much as I can. It makes me feel more confident when I write. When you don't have to worry about the facts anymore, you can focus on the emotions. (And gosh does the research get emotional at times. Yes, I confess, I'm that nutter in the café corner who's silently crying into her latte. Don't mind me.)

Anywho, I'm hoping to share slightly more exciting photos with you soon, once I'm back in Victory-land. Until then, I'm wishing you all a lovely weekend and if you are crying into your latte, I hope they're happy tears!

Cheers!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

A message from the air (almost)

Hello everyone!

Greetings from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport where you need a mortgage to get a cup of tea but otherwise it's quite nice. I'm on my way home after a couple of lovely days with family and friends. As always it felt too short but at least this time I could focus fully on enjoying myself. Last summer I spent a hot week emptying my Helsinki flat and it was both physically and emotionally tough. I couldn't have done it without my brother and sister-in-law!
We found just enough sunshine to eat outdoors. 
But now it's time to go back to work! And speaking of work, things are fast moving forward on the play front. We have a talented cast! We have lovely artwork! I keep hearing exciting things from the director ... I feel blessed to be surrounded by people who are so dedicated. Unfortunately doing ambitious work can cost a lot of money and we are exploring all kinds of funding, including crowd funding where art loving people like you and me can back projects we think deserve some extra financial support.
Leaving a place and then coming back always makes you re-see things, like some of the lovely Helsinki buildings.
We recently published our Kickstarter page and it would be wonderful if you could visit the page, watch the video and maybe consider backing us (and/or coming to the play!). Just click HERE. And like I said with the charity run, I know money is short for many of us and there are many who need help, so even if 5 pounds is all you can spare, it means the world to us. Thank you!

Anywho, I need to get this published to I can then dash to my gate! (If the tea is expensive, the free wifi does make up for it somewhat.)

Have a lovely evening and I'll see you soon!
Cheers!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A dream coming true

Hello all!

How are you?

Another week has taken off and I guess I could say I'm living the dream (sorry if that sounds terribly cliché)! Those of you who have read my blog for a while know I moved to London in 2012 to study playwriting and screenwriting at City University London. You also know I received my MA late last year and now scramble around in this thing called the real world.
The script moments before I handed it in as my final assignment at uni.
Becoming any kind of scriptwriter is hard. (Heck, calling yourself a writer at all can feel intimidating.) There are set backs and knock downs and (unintentionally) cruel comments that will haunt you (day and night) for the rest of your life. But if you keep at it, enjoy it and just stubbornly chip away, you do hopefully start to notice a change. One baby step at a time. And these steps are incredibly important because they show you you're making progress and at some point you might even sit back and think "Wow, I just reached a milestone".
The full poster will be revealed soon!
I've just reached a milestone, and it's important to me because it's my largest one so far in playwriting. In just over a month I'm going to have the great honor and pleasure of seeing my first full-length play, Victory, on stage at Theatre503, one of London's best known theatres for new writing. It's small, it's fringe but it packs a punch that makes people sit up and notice.
Without Theatre503 I wouldn't have seen my short play Nineteen on stage and I would never have met Claire. It just shows have one thing can lead to another ... 
And if that wasn't enough, I get to collaborate with people I truly care about and trust. We enjoy spending time together and staking out our own way of working. I'd be extremely surprised if The Nightingale Collective, Claire Mullane and Brian Fenton, didn't bring great theatre to the world for decades to come.

So, hurrah for dreams coming true! It's not always easy (I'm sure there will be plenty of challenges ahead) but I'm trying to learn from my characters' mistakes and not let fear stand in the way of happiness.

If you'd like to know more about the play, here are a few facts:
  • Its opening run will be August 18 - 22 (but hopefully it won't end there). 
  • It's a co-production between The Nightingale Collective and Theatre503 in London and you can buy tickets by clicking here
  • You can find out loads more about the production in the weeks to come by following us on Twitter @TheNightingaleC and liking us on Facebook The Nightingale Collective

Have I forgotten anything? Hope not! Let me know if I have. Until then, have a great week!
Cheers

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Ladies in Pink

Hello!

How are you?

So yesterday I finally did the charity race I've been banging on about. It was a hot, hilly 5k and a lot of fun! A big big thank you to those of you who supported me and helped me reach my donation target. You are all great!
Nothing is small in London.
I didn't go at it alone, 1846 women ran, jogged and walked the course at Hampstead Heath and together we raised 180 000 pounds for cancer research. Hurrah! The atmosphere was really nice, the main goal was to make a difference, not trample everyone else to get to the finish line first. There were participants of all ages and fitness levels. The runners lined up at the front and then us joggers and walkers followed. (And although it doesn't really matter, I was quite happy with my result considering the weather and the terrain.)
Complimentary temporary tattoos. What do you think, is it me? Should I make it permanent? ;)
I'll definitely do it again! It was both a rewarding and at times emotional experience. And if the money we raised does any good at all then it was definitely worth it!

Right! Next week I'll be blogging about other exciting things (not related to running) and I'll also be heading off to Helsinki for the weekend so look out for a Finnish entry or two. I hope you're all having a lovely weekend and enjoying the scorching weather!

Cheers!




Thursday, 11 June 2015

Too cool for school

Hello!

How are you?

I just received my super pink Race for Life laces and my running shoes are now even more neon than usual! They're also a bit grotty because I've been running in the rain a few times. I'm coming to the conclusion that I perform so much better in cool (bad) weather than in the summer sun. Maybe that's how my body works, or maybe I'm just not used to it yet, either way I'm hoping for a record cool July 4th!
While we're on the subject, does anyone have some great tips and tricks for blisters? (Sexy, I know.) I seem quite prone to them even though my shoes are fine, I have proper running socks and it's not like I run half a marathon each time. What can I do so I don't have to take breaks in between runs?

That's all for now. If you feel like supporting cancer research then you can still sponsor my charity run by clicking here. It's fast, easy, no amount is too small and it is very very much appreciated! Thank you. (I've written more about the race here.)

I hope you've had a good week so far and look forward to the weekend!
Cheers

Friday, 5 June 2015

Bird babies!

Hello!

As a Friday treat I wanted to share some cuteness. My local ponds are full of bird babies right now; ducks, geese and swans. I think H.C. Andersen was way off in writing that baby swans, (apparently called cygnets), are ugly. I think they are absolutely adorable!

The swan couple had seven cygnets in total and they were very protective of them. Apparently they didn't manage to get any babies last year so this time around they are extra careful. The black plastic things floating around aren't very pretty, but they help birds find a resting place and also get onto land where the edge is otherwise too high up.

I hope you have some cuteness in your life and look forward to a lovely weekend!
Cheers

Monday, 1 June 2015

Please help me

Hello everyone!

I have a favour to ask. In January I mentioned I'm going to take part in one of Cancer Research UK's charity races; Race for Life. The race is now 5 weeks away and to support the great research that is being done, us racers try and raise extra money that can go towards more life saving work.
It's a 5k race. For seasoned runners that might sound like a pitiful distance. But I'm not a seasoned runner so for me it's a reasonable challenge and the point of the race is not to win a medal or beat a clock, it's to raise awareness and allow any woman, no matter what her body is currently going through, to take part.
Most of us will have some personal connection to the dreaded disease. I will be racing for my mum, who died 5 years ago. I will also be running for anyone else who has suffered, as a patient or a loved one. And finally I'm going to race for myself, because one day I might be in need of life saving treatment and hopefully, through research, it will have been discovered by then.
I know most of us are strapped for cash and there are so many good causes out there that it's hard to help everyone. This is my first ever charity race so it does feel a bit strange to ask, but if you do have an extra pound/dollar/euro, then I would be eternally grateful for your donation.

The race is at Hampstead Heath (London) on July 4th, 11am, if you'd like to come along and cheers us on! More info and the online donation page can be found HERE.

Thank you so much and have a great week!
Cheers