Tag Archives: play

Working on Work (originally posted Jun 16/09)

From page, to keyboard, to stage...sometimes....

I’m trying hard not to be come a monomaniac here, but the subject of work is a constant one here in our house. It’s a bit like we heard about Canada before we moved out here: Canadians complain about Taxes because that’s all they’ve got to complain about. That’s true for us to, but about work. We’re healthy, the kids are happy and well-adjusted (in the main…Meeting with Middle Weasel’s teacher tomorrow may tell us different…), the house is nice, the neighbours are cool…but there’s more money going out than coming in.

Mrs Dim had a good interview the other day, and we should hear by the end of the week if she’s got that job – three days a week, but in her specialist area and working for one of the Universities she’s been aiming for. She’s also got an interview this Friday, for a new type of position, big salary, but more than full-time and high stress. Plus there’s a commute. And in the middle of all this, she got a call from one of the agencies she signed up with, inviting her to do some work this Friday…The same day as the interview, naturally. If she declines two more offers from them, she’ll be taken off their books. Nice to be popular.

Anyway, here’s me racking my brains trying to find ways to make my writing earn more. I’ve finished a real play for the first time in months, so I hope that’ll help sales. In truth, the panto season is about to kick off, so I’m not likely to make much in one-act sales until next January. Lousy timing again. The new reviewing service is sporadic, but well-paid when it comes in. I haven’t had any luck promoting it as a service locally, I should really think about that.

I did join the BWS, a local writing group, but it was as…challenging as I’d feared. They’re into short stories and novels, and though I have a history with both of those (I’ve written three novels, you know. They were all terrible and none of them, quite rightly, have ever seen the light of day.) I don’t feel the need to trot them out in front of this group to have them torn apart. I know I can’t write consistently in those formats, that’s why I’m a playwright. But I might keep going once the group restarts in September – it does you good to get out now and again, doesn’t it?

Busy, busy, busy…. (originally posted Jun 11/09)

I’m blogging when I should be childminding, because Tiny Weasel has decided that today’s activity is staying in her bedroom, listening to audio books. The reason she can get away with this is that Mrs Dim has been called away to another interview *Pause for general celebration* What’s nice about this interview is that it’s for a part time job, so we don’t lose Mrs Dim all day every day, but it’s in the HR dept of a major University, so she’s well-placed to hear about other jobs coming up. Also, if she gets the job she’ll be an internal candidate for one of those other jobs (like the people who’ve beaten her to the other jobs she’s been interviewed for) and best of all, she checked our accounts the other day and announced that we could survive at least another twelve months on the money we have saved (plus my meagre earnings, of course..)

I am not, of course, standing still on the job front myself. I’ve lined up a series of articles on Real Estate questions, which would be great if I knew or cared about Real Estate. I don’t, but I care about money and I WILL DO THIS! Probably. Unless there are cartoons on somewhere. I’ve sent out my application to the Professional Writer’s Association of Canada, which will allow me to pay them $250 membership fees every year, and in return they’ll…well, they’ll…I dunno, but you have to be a member of SOMETHING these days, and their membership wasn’t too high or too low…It was just right. They’ve suggested that I also join the Playwright’s Guild of Canada. That’s another $150, so I’ve said I’ll wait for a bit on that one. I’ve also renewed my appeals to the University and schools fraternity, asking them why they haven’t paid me to come and talk to the children about becoming playwrights. A sort of cautionary tale, perhaps “Look kids, this is your wallet when you’ve got a regular job…this is your wallet when you’re a freelance writer…” *Gasps of horror* Yeah, I could tell them my sad tale of deprivation. We don’t even have a Wii. And only one tv. And basic cable. Yeah, I know, shocking, isn’t it?

The funniest thing about my application to PWAC (What a catchy acronym! I wish it was the Creative Writer’s Association of Canada….) was that I had to send them copies of my latest plays. Well, all the ones that have been published in the last two years. So, I trawled through the great database my friend and writing partner Steve carefully maintains, and discovered that, for one thing, I haven’t written very much in the last two years. Very much a resting on my laurels sort of situation. For another, I don’t have copies of all the plays I’ve written. Now that’s weird, because you’d think I would have at least a rough draft, wouldn’t you? But no. I write them and send them off to Steve and David for approval and general proof-reading. They come back with comments and I make whatever changes are neccessary, and then, apparently, I delete the only copy on my computer. Since I wanted to send off my application good and early today, and Steve could only lay his hands on one of the two files I needed, I paid to download one of my own plays from my publisher (www.lazybeescripts.co.uk), which is the first time I’ve visited the site as a customer. I have to say, it was easy and cheap to get hold of the play, so I’m very impressed with the whole organisation.

On the local scene, there’s a big fire raging somewhere nearby. There were sirens going for most of the morning, and helicopters overhead. I know that somewhere in my cable listings will be a channel that should have local news, and there’d probably be a live feed from one of those choppers showing me the fire, like when you get a car on the run from the cops, right? But I can’t be bothered with flicking through the hundreds of channels. It’s funny, of all the things I was used to in the UK, I didn’t think the one I would actually miss would be the Radio Times. (Note for Americans and others of a non-UK persuasion: The Radio Times is a TV listings magazine produced by the BBC. It lists, in an easy-to-read and follow format, the programmes shown throughout the week by the five major channels on the UK digital service, plus programme times for another twenty or so interesting digital channels each day. It has weekly film reviews showing when each film is on, and which channel. By contrast, the only listing magazine I have found here is gibberish. The numbers listed seem to bear no relation to the channel numbers available on my digital cable service, and by the time I’ve found the channel and programme I was looking for, it’s usually the next day.) I have resorted to A: not watching as much tv as I used to and B: watching more dvds than before and C: complaining about it a lot.

Right, I’m going to go an drag Tiny Weasel out of her room and go out to get lunch at Subway. There’s one within walking distance (though Steven Wright says everywhere’s walking distance if you’ve got the time..) and at least I’ll be able to tell Mrs Dim we went out. That’s if she can get home past the raging fire. I still hear helicopters. Unless that’s another ‘Nam flashback….