Sunday, 24 February 2013

Two Nice Surprises

I've neglected this blog recently, but that’s set to change. It’s not so much that I’ll neglect my other blog –hopefully I’ll continue to review plays - but current projects will  take over.

 A busy week brought two surprises:  I learned I’m to teach a day course on Pride and Prejudice, and, for the very first time, one of my short stories appeared in a magazine.

The latter is the more tangible - I can turn to page 42 and see the story I wrote last June, called 'In at the Deep End' . Although not specifically written for the event, I 'performed' it at the opening of the new swimming pool in Forest Hill (to an audience of five). It's about a young man who rescues a swimmer in distress at on his first day as a pool employee.

It's hardly an overnight success. I've attended classes, read books about how to write short stories and written them, ever since I gave up full-time work in 2005. It's only in the past three years I've concentrated on women’s magazines. About a year ago I took out a subscription to The Weekly News.

Earlier, I was thrilled by a letter to say I’d been appointed as a part-time Lecturer in Film and Literature at Bromley Adult College. It sounds grander than it is; in fact, I'm to trial a one-off day course that I offered to several colleges. It’s to take place on May 28th: 'Jane Austen: From Page to Screen'. If successful, it could lead on to greater things. Maybe the whole six novels!

I got the idea from an article I read in the Saturday Guardian. Modern novelists commented on characters in Pride and Prejudice, to mark the 200th anniversary since publication.

 I emailed my 'pitch' to about five colleges and had interviews at two. Writing the 'blurb' was a lot less stressful than attending interviews.
‘We’re all Jane-ites now’:  Jane Austen from Text to Screen
Are you a ‘text-is-best’ purist or a fan of all things Austen?    ‘Pride and Prejudice’ celebrates its bi-centennial in 2013 and regularly tops the polls of most-read novels. The author’s wit and wisdom, her very human characters and stories, are even more widely known to TV and cinema audiences. We will consider the challenges and effects of adapting Jane Austen’s works for the screen.
I haven't heard back from City Lit but the interview got off to a bad start - they weren't even expecting me. It never really got any better. But now I'll offer the course to a few more places.

I'll have to  brush up on my presentation skills. Lewisham Library wanted to charge me £175 for a PowerPoint course. Fortunately, I found a book on the shelves.