Monday, 7 February 2011


My life feels full to bursting at the minute. In an ideal world I would be able to organise my days in neat little lists, lots of straight lines and lashings of order. But it never seems to work out that way. I currently have several little nibbly bits going on that I can’t pin down in my brain, but still, better full than empty, better busy than bored.

Nibbly bit No.1: I have a new client. This is quite exciting as I have been gradually doing more and more hours for a local newspaper and, although this is great because it’s relatively guaranteed income and has become my financial bread and butter, I had recently started to feel like all my freelance eggs were nestling in just the one basket. So this new client is a glossy local magazine and I’m writing their property page for the next couple of issues. That’s why it’s nibbly. It’s not certain that after these two articles that I will get any more work from them. I hope I will, but you never know.

Nibbly bit No.2: I finally seem to be getting my writing mojo back – about flipping time! I hesitate to use the word ‘rattle’ as it sounds hasty and rough around the edges, but last week I did indeed ‘rattle’ off a short story as I surfed on a rocking wave of inspiration. I posted it on one of the writers’ forums I’m on and received great feedback. So I tidied it up based on everyone’s critiques and this afternoon will be sending it out to Take a Break to see if they’ll take if for Fiction Feast. I also have two other stories that I sent out last year that were rejected (leaving me not defeated but momentarily deflated), so I’m also posting those out to Woman’s Weekly and People’s Friend. So this is nibbly because nothing’s guaranteed and I have to sit on my hands and wait to hear from others. No control.

Nibbly bit No.3: I have joined a choir. Oh yes, because writing and theatre just isn’t enough for me, I’ve become a member of Rock Choir. It’s great fun, although there is an awful lot of ‘dancing’ – you know the thing, gospel swaying and clapping, and a little bit of salsa stepping thrown in for good measure. Thing is, I have two left feet. Try as I might, there is a connection missing between my brain and my feet, so any kind of dance movement invariably ends in me treading on a neighbour’s toe or simply falling over. But I’m prepared to stick it out because the singing is fab and the people are nice and the choir master is a talented loon, which I appreciate immensely, and in May we’re going to be singing at Wembley. Oh yes. But this is nibbly because at some point I’m probably going to have to stop choir so I can concentrate on Irma Vep rehearsals, but I don’t know for definite and I don’t know precisely when, and I don’t think I really want to.

Nibbly bit No.4: Speaking of Irma Vep, things are now truly underway. We have enlisted our costume maker and will be accompanying her at some point to a fabric warehouse in London – muchos funos. I have, I hope, also enlisted the talents of a young artist to design the artwork for posters and programmes, but we haven’t had full discussions yet. Jak and I have started making a list of set dressing and flats we need to order, and know a handy man with a handy brush ready to paint them and make them look glorious. And we have found a wig big enough for a man’s head – it’s not the right colour or style, but it’s progress. But this is all nibbly because auditions aren’t until May so we can’t firm up many of the things we want to firm up – actors, for example.

Nibbly bit No.5: Jak and I went to the 2012 planning meeting for the theatre a week or so ago. This is just all-round NIBBLY because we put forward six plays we wouldn’t mind directing, but we haven’t read any of them yet, and we haven’t even started rehearsals for 2011 yet, and it’s just really difficult to think ahead to next year when this one’s only just started.

Nibbly bit No.6: You may recall that last year Jak and I had a little sewing lesson, in order to know how to use a machine so we can fix costume boo-boos during Irma Vep rehearsals. Well, the other day I had another sewing lesson and learned how to make cushion covers, so now I have many cushion covers. And this got me thinking about making things to sell for a little bit of extra income, and so I spent the weekend making heart-shaped lavender bags, which are looking pretty good even if I do say so myself. But this is nibbly because I can’t decide where to sell them. There’s a website I found that I can set up a little shop on, and I could try to see if the lady who owns the gift shop I work in on Tuesdays would take a few, and if she did then I could see if other shops might take them, and I could also maybe get a stall at craft fairs. But I don’t know yet, and I need reassurance from someone in the world that they’re good enough to sell anyway. Nibbly, nibbly, nibbly.

So there you have it, my nibbly life. If anyone has any tips on how to un-nibbly it, I’d be more than happy to hear from you.

Also, on a little extra positive note - Darker Shores swept the board winning various awards at the theatre's end of year 'awards', including best set and best technical - I'm sure it won other things too but I can't remember exactly what, it did remarkably well anyway. And I won best actress for my role in Skylight! How thrilling is that?! So, all's well that ends well.