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Monday, 30 January 2017

Mixing it up a little!


Although I've posted about my writing, it has mainly to do with my books or short stories, so this time I have decided to share another aspect to my writing life, play-writing.
Often through the years, I have written short stories that lent themselves to being a good plot for a play. I didn't know how to go about planning and scripting a play, but that didn't stop me, I shared my views with some writing friends and hey presto, I was soon writing plays.
My first play, a short 15 minute story was my introduction to seeing my work on stage. It was titled Something about Her and I entered it in to the Claremorris Fringe Festival for short work. To my delight it was chosen and it got shown along with others in the festival. I was thrilled to say the least. I got the bug for seeing my words come alive on stage and it was addictive to say the least.
Blessed is he among women!!
Then an opportunity came up to be mentored for a year by director and playwright, John Sheehy of CallBack Theatre, (http://callbacktheatre.com/ ). A chance not to be missed, I signed up along with Marie O'Halloran (http://marieohalloran.blogspot.co.uk/ )  and Mary Anne Bartlett and Mary Angland  (https://maryangland.wordpress.com/ ) 
We had a ball, meeting monthly at first and then weekly as our years mentoring came close to finishing. Each of us worked on our own individual plays. By sharing and reading each others work and listening to John's advice, we enjoyed the experience no end. The year ended on our four plays having a two night rehearsed readings open to the public at Friars Gate Theatre in Co. Limerick. My play was titled Forgive Me Father. The other plays being Coffee Break, Who won the War, and All Grown Up. Both nights had full houses, once more the buzz of seeing your words alive was thrilling.
The following year, under John's mentor-ship, we decided to tackle the task of writing one play by the four of us. Not an easy thing to make work as we had such individual styles in writing. It was time consuming but we were comitted to the project. A lot of editing, rewriting, talking, cups of tea and coffee, laughter, and misunderstandings. But all worth it as our play, Catching The Train, was performed in Friars Gate Theatre, directed by Mandy Donworth. It played to a full house for two nights.
I have since gone on to see The Bench, a 15 min play, be a part of the Kanturk Arts Festival theatre night. I hope to see another, Too Late, be read in the same arts festival in March of this year.
I would strongly encourage you to try other writing projects, even if they are outside your comfort zone. It opens up your mind and self to new ways of thinking when new characters and plots come knocking at the usual 2 or 3 in the morning, while you try to sleep.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

WELCOME 2017. ( Being Positive )



So far it has been a crazy start to the New Year but not because I made resolutions, I never do, but with planning some writing strategies. You see, I always have great ideas/intentions. Meeting with fellow writer and playwright, Mary Angland (https://maryangland.wordpress.com/ ) to share and toss around these ideas and listen to hers was the first thing, to kick-start the year.
I don't think strategies is the right word. Anyway, we sat and got out our diaries for 2017 and listed, short story competitions, magazines, and something else that we wanted to be part of. Plays! We are hopeing to have our plays performed again this year. Keep our Blog's up to date too, of course!
Mary A & Mary B
We have the names of the competitions and the closing dates, all the guidelines too for the places we want to submit. Now we just need to write the stories!
Mary and I also took note of the magazines that we must pen articles for. We are taking it, that the editors will want our work, its all about being positive and sending it out to the universe. Not worked for the lotto yet though. Plus I want to aim for two blog posts a month.
In between all of the above, we are writing our novels at present and also we both have a play each to write by February for an Arts Festival. Honestly us ladies don't do things by halves!
It shall be interesting to see if we can stick to our plans. If by some miracle we do, look at the wealth of writing we shall accomplish.
Entering competitions can be expensive so we set a budget for ourselves, €50 for the year. Usually it is €10 per entry, so allowing us 5 competitions. Which means we will be choosy about where we send our work. There are also a lot of free competitions which we hope to take part in too. Plus of course when our articles are published, the payment received will make us back our €50 plus profit. All about positivity, people.
I got off to a good start over the last two weeks. I've entered 3 story competitions, 2 of which are short stories up to 2000 words and 1 a flash fiction piece of 404 words. One comp. was free, the other two cost me €13. This is my blog post. My magazine articles are memory style pieces, so I have been thinking about those.
There you have it, part of my good intentions. Yes, part, because there are loads of other ideas rattling in my head that I need to attend to. Will share more in future posts. It will be interesting to read my last blog post of this year next December and see if my plans worked out.
What have you planned for the year? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy writing
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