Monday, 2 November 2015

My inner architect (could use some training)


How are you? I hope everyone transitioned into November without too much hassle.

I've been doing some drawing lately. (But you're supposed to be writing! I hear nobody scream ...) It's okay because it's part of the writing. I find it very helpful to to know my characters' surroundings. If they're in a flat, what's the floor plan like? Where would they go? How would they move? Not only do I draw the space that would actually be visible on stage, but all the other spaces too. It helps me visualize the story better and therefore (hopefully) make it more detailed and grounded. I also enjoy it. I'm not very good, nothing is to scale, Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs would take one look at my work and tell the camera team to go home, but then that's not the point.
2-bed, open planned. If only it was as easy to build ... 
Studio flat. Might come with a crazy landlord.
I'm not trying to do the set designer's job. I'm only using the drawings to support the writing process. If the plays ever get produced I'm certain someone much more qualified can look at the texts and come up with several great ways to stage them. It's always exciting when innovative set design can give a production that extra layer. But in my head, right now, this is what it looks like. Or at least, this is what it looks like when I tried to draw what's in my head ...

I hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Crazy colours and the everyday


How are you?

A few people have now asked why the blog's been so quiet lately, so I thought I'd pop in and let you know I'm fine and well. I'm just busy with things that aren't that interesting to read or write about. I have a new part-time job I'm learning the ropes for and my playwriting is in a phase where I'm just trying to reach a first draft. And then we'll see if it goes beyond that or not. (Oh the mystery of theatre.)

The most exciting thing I can show you (which for most of you isn't exciting at all) is a very colourful, double sided pot holder I finished the other day. As many of you know, I get a little bit yarn-crazed this time of year. What I actually wanted to make was a blanket that's also a mermaid's fin, but my yarn budget doesn't really stretch to that so I worked with some left over yarns instead. I originally bought these to make crazy socks for a friend. Like I mentioned before, the knit has two layers to avoid nasty burns and to give the slightly colour-shy users a less "in your face" option as well.
Not my best work, but it was fun. And I now have some free space in my yarn bag. 
That's it for now! I will return, I promise, I'm just struggling to know what might interest you and the internet. Call it a blog-crisis if you like. But considering all the other crisis one can have, it's pretty lightweight ...

Have a great week!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Writer's Date

Stephen King wrote in his book On Writing "Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough."

King is right, writing can be lonely but I am extremely lucky to have friends who also write and with whom I can work. Lotta and I used to have plenty of writing dates when I first moved to London, we'd just meet up in a coffee shop or at each other's houses and write (and drink cups of tea and gossip). At some point we both became quite busy daytime and we couldn't meet up as often but today we put everything else aside and got back to business!
One half each means double the goodness. 
No, not just eating cake. Although cake can be important. We spent a good chunk of time quietly working on our own pieces before spending an equal amount of time brain storming a new project which popped up somewhat out of the blue and slowly began to take form. Why do new projects always feel so much more exciting than the ones you're already working on? I don't know if it will ever see the light of day, but it was still fun to shoot ideas back and forth and to do it with an actual person! (Not just inside my own head.) 

So that was the main part of my Saturday, being social while still getting work done. I hope you've had a great day too!


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dozens of carcasses in my bath


How are you?

Living in an all Finnish flat means the occasional odd tradition, like the autumnal crayfish party. I'd never actually been to one before but my flatmates are fans and decided it was time to introduce local friends to this Nordic crayfish and schnaps fueled dinner. The critters (the crayfish not my flatmates) spent a few hours defrosting in the bath ...
... Before ending up on the expertly decorated tables. There were also printouts of traditional songs that are sung throughout the dinner followed by sips of schnaps. The songs in Swedish were slightly less expertly translated to English by google translate. Who knew a bad translation could be so funny?
 I was a moderately rubbish participant since I'm not a big drinker and I don't eat crayfish but it was still good fun. The non-Finnish guests really got into the singing and learned several more or less appropriate words in the process. And it's always a major plus when you can leave a party and just walk up the stairs to your own bed. (When's teleporting actually going to be a thing?)
So that was my Saturday evening, a new experience which includes plenty of cracking, twisting and sucking. I hope you had a good one too!


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Three Year Anniversary


How are you?

Today, three years ago, I chucked my bags on a British Airways flight and moved to London. It's been three years! How did that happen?
One of the first photos I took in London, not far from where I live now. 
It's been pretty great. A lot of things have happened. I started my MA, I finished my MA. I've had several different jobs, sometimes doing the most bizarre things. I've met lots of incredible people and made some great friends. I've fallen in love with London, been sick and tired of London (when can I buy that countryside cottage?), and then found my way back again. There have been moments of pure elation and moments when everything's felt just a little bit ... meh. But I've never regretted the move. I've written a lot (and could still have done more). I've had my first full-length play produced at a proper theatre. I've been pretty lucky!
London as I rarely see it. 
It's still unclear what my 4th year is going to look like, but I hope it will continue to move things forward, however slowly, and offer new challenges and exciting things. And if I have any say in the matter, it will be spent in London.

Big thanks to all of you who have read the blog for the past three years or have supported me in any other way. I hope you're all having a great weekend!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Starting Again


It's raining outside and I don't really mind. I can sit indoors with a good conscience while deciding what to do next. My next project. My next play. I have an idea. Sometimes it sits firmly in my hand but then it suddenly dissolves and escapes between my fingers. I have to remind myself that this is okay. Platitudes like Rome wasn't built in a day comes to mind, although I'm hardly building an ancient city. I just want to do the themes and the characters justice. I want to give something to the audience. I want to feel like I've learnt something from previous experiences. I want to write.
It's easy to get overwhelmed but then you just have to figure out one thing at a time. Art by Alina and Jeff Bliumis. 
I re-watched Elizabeth Gilbert's Ted-talk about creativity. I've had nowhere near her success or felt the pressure she's under (except maybe from myself) but the fear is still the same. A fear that can be crippling if it's given too much power. That's why I appreciate her message: work. Just work. Sit down and do your bit and at least you've accomplished something. Not everything you write will be golden, but you're giving it a go and that's good.
I received some wonderful flowers to the theatre last week and they still make me smile whenever I enter my living room. A spot of summer in this rainy weather!
I also keep reminding myself of something I might've written about last year. The words on the page are just that, words on a page. Nothing is sacred. They do not have some magical power over me. I have the power and everything can be changed. The only thing that can't change is something that hasn't been written yet. So I better get cracking. Here's to a first draft that might not be brilliant but can always get better!

Thanks for popping by! I hope you don't mind the rain too much,

Sunday, 23 August 2015

And finally ...


I'm going to keep this brief. I just wanted to share a few production shots from the past week's show. I feel incredibly lucky that so many of my friends and family came and saw the play, and also very grateful to those who don't have a clue who I am but still decided to give the show a chance. It wasn't ideal timing for everyone though, so this will hopefully give you some idea of what it looked like. All the photos were once again taken by the magnificent Mathew Foster.   
It's been an intense couple of months since we found out we'd been chosen to do the play at Theatre503 and the past few weeks have been incredible and terrifying in so many ways. We've had some lovely feedback from audience members and reviewers alike, and I'm proud of the work everyone's done. I've learnt a lot and hopefully that will help me with future projects, because the only way I get to do this again is if I write something worth showing.

Thank you so much to all of you who came to see the play or supported us in some other way. And thank you to the cast and crew who put Victory on stage! You're all brilliant. 

I hope you've had a great weekend!