Radio Silence

WordPress are still threatening me with that editor coming to level up my layout and I wish they wouldn’t as I have no idea what that means or when it will actually come.  Oh wait, apparently it’s here and I have to select it.  It tells me I can now use ‘blocks’ and I have no idea what that means either.  Why does everything have to use such technical language?  Why can’t they just say ‘if you click on this thing which you will find in the top-left corner then it will create a box for you to type in’?  I seem to have created such a box here and I don’t know if I want it or not but it’s academic because I can’t tell how to undo it.

Phew!  Now I’ve switched back to Classic Mode which is fine except I’m still getting those annoying messages about a new editor…

I don’t know about you (I expect it’s probably my age) but these days I find that there are just too many things for me to get my head around.  No sooner have I got used to an app than they go and change it, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes just for the hell of it.  Well I guess at some point I’ll try out this new editor, but preferably at a point where I’m not actually trying to write a post.

I’m still off Facebook so there will be radio silence from me on there, but none of this is what I was intending to blog about.  It was this: every six months or so the BBC in her infinite wisdom has a Window; and when this window appears it’s the time for drama writers of all colours and persuasions to submit to the great Clearing-House of Drama called Writersroom:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/

Doesn’t matter what it is; whether a full-length play or a short drama, a series or a sit-com; whether it’s for TV or radio, it all goes to Writersroom.  A great sifting then occurs and if you’re lucky they’ll pick up your contribution, give it a shake and send it to the editorial team to be half-baked, whereupon it will be sent back and forth endlessly before being (if you are exceptionally lucky) Actually Produced, at which point you may finally see some dosh for your efforts (though I’m not entirely sure they don’t pay on broadcast.)  Is it worth it?  Financially no, not at all.  But in other ways yes; the idea of telling a story through radio drama intrigues me.  I have a good ear for dialogue and whereas I have no sense of ‘theatre’ in the physical sense I do have a good sense of what works aurally, so I think I’m in with a chance.

This is not my first attempt at writersroom.  I have previously submitted at least one radio play as well as a sitcom called Waiting for Theo (no prizes for guessing that Theo was based on OH).  With sitcoms you send an outline of the series (usually six episodes to start) plus one full episode.  It didn’t get commissioned but I did get a letter back saying they quite liked it, so that was something.

I’m not starting from scratch with this current project either: I had previously laid down the bones and written some scenes, so the story and all the characters are in place.  It’s coming on quite nicely.  And to help me I’m listening to as many radio dramas as possible, including this one:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0000z5g

Kirk out

Brexit: A Farce in Two Acts

Here’s a summary of my latest creative endeavour, a fifteen-minute radio play entitled ‘Brexit: a Farce in Two Acts’.

Act 1

Scene 1: The f*** up.

Dodgy Dave wants to screw Britannia, whom he fancies.  Urged on by his mate Nigel, manager of thrash metal band ‘The Kippers’, he asks her out and decides to sleep with her.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Scene 2: the consequences

Dave has had his fun and goes whistling back to No 10 for a good night’s sleep.  He’s so sure nothing can go wrong, he refuses even to consider advising Brit to take a morning-after pill.

Scene 3

Unfortunately, 52% of Dave’s sperm were fertile and Brit has a positive result to her test.  In one year she will give birth to a child who will be called Brexit.

Dave refuses to do the decent thing and support Brit: appalled at the news, he scarpers and is never seen again.

Act 2: Brexit

Brexit is born, but it is clear that she has multiple handicaps.  Misshapen, misbegotten and malformed, her mere presence divides the country in two: those who think she should be strangled and those who think she’ll be absolutely fine in spite of everything.

Brex is an unhappy child, forced at a very early age to go to Brussels and negotiate with the EU even though she doesn’t know what she wants apart from three words written on a piece of paper: strong, stable and hard.

Seeing the state her child is in, Brit is devastated.  She is diagnosed with acute schizophrenia and sent to lie down in a darkened room.  Brexit comes back from Brussels with another piece of paper, though what is written on it is not yet clear.

I’ve written this into a fifteen-minute play and will look for a suitable slot on which to perform it.

Kirk out

Ken Doddery

I never was much of a Ken Dodd fan, but you’ve got to take your hat off to the guy.  He’s in his eighties now and still performing, still touring and even giving Celebrity Mastermind a go.  He still has all that (electric) shock of hair, though it must be dyed: they’ve managed to catch him looking totally ga-ga here but he did quite well in the quiz.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04wtrs2/celebrity-mastermind-20142015-episode-2

The only woman contender (they always use the word ‘contender’ on MM, rather than ‘competitor’; I guess it gives the thing more gravitas) was a bobsleigh athlete who really should have stuck to her field (or slope) of expertise; instead she got baffled by the sheer vastness of Ambridge from 2002 onwards.  Here’s a question they should have asked:

Why the hell did the BBC appoint the editor from hell (sorry, Eastenders) to control The Archers?

She was also very slow in answering questions, which made me wonder whether people who practise super-fast sports make up for it by being super-slow in real life.

I always count the number of general knowledge questions I get right.  It’s usually between six and nine, though it does depend on how fast the competitor (or contender) answers.  Too fast, and I don’t get a look-in; too slow and I don’t get a shot at enough questions.  I really must write in and ask them to fix that.

Holly is due home today, so sanity will return to the house.  In the meantime, I shall be starting on the radio play I’m writing for the Beeb.  They have a drama window coming up in the autumn and so I’ll be working on something about Mark’s trans stuff.  I think I’ll call it ‘Lost in Transition’…

Kirk out

PS  I heard another noxious compound verb this morning: ‘to risk-assess’.

Ugh!

So This is All Good

It’s been a beautiful day here in blogland and I’ve been as busy as a pollen-gathering insect.  This morning I wrestled with the novel whose first two chapters I intend to send to Cinnamon Press

http://www.cinnamonpress.com/competitions/annual-debut-novel-or-novella-prize/

then I wrangled somewhat less successfully with the Sing for Water poem, before remembering that I needed to fix my bike for tomorrow when I shall be at Westcotes Library to protest its possible closure.  Come down if you can – the Mercury will be there:

http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/education-lifelong-learning/leicesterlibraries-home-page/locations/westcotes-library/

Having fixed an awkward puncture and discovered that the inner tube of our wheelbarrow is beyond repair, I started to make soup while listening to the Afternoon Play.  This was based on the TV series ‘Silk’ which I enjoyed and probably mentioned on here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040hx6n

Then at three o’clock a sadly diminished Spanish group turned up for their first session.  We learned to say ‘hola’ (hallo), ‘soy Liz’ (I’m Liz), ‘quien es?’ (who’s that?) and to count to ten with the help of Sesame Street.  Sadly I can’t find out how to do the upside-down question marks on here, but they practised writing those at the end of the session and seemed to enjoy it.  So that’s all good.

Damn, I must stop saying that!

I then dashed to the Co-op to buy cheese, Gromit,* and managed to squeeze a couple of lemons and some sugar into my shopping basket.**  These are to make my first batch of wine this year, which will be nettle: the blackberries and elderberries will have to wait until I can get some raisins.

Mark did a herb walk on Aylestone Meadows which apparently was successful – and he’s had a couple of people take up his offer of weeding their garden.

So that’s all good.

Argh!

Oh, and I’m slightly concerned about how the neighbours will react to being invited to tea.  I saw one of them today and she looked a bit embarrassed and didn’t mention it.

So that’s me up to date.  How about you?  How was your day?

Kirk out

*Gromit wanted to come in there so, in the true spirit of Winnie-the-Pooh, I let him.

** not literally