Lizzie Lizard, Little Owl Press, Pipeline theatre, Bach and Tolstoy (grandiose or what?)
At the other end of the writing spectrum is an adult novel, COUNTERPOINT, which I'm currently editing and re-structuring. It's a novel I wrote twenty-five years ago, on a typewriter (remember those?) but a few weeks ago I had it re-typed and converted to Word. Thought I'd let it sit there quietly on my computer for a few months or even longer, but I took a peek, just to check on what exactly I had, and - you've guessed it - started working on it. As with many first novels, the plot evolved out of an intense experience in my personal life, so going back to it has been, and is being, both difficult and painful, like the most intense form of psychological analysis (well, at least it isn't costing me anything). Someone else in a previous blog was talking about music to write to. I couldn't do that - it would be a choice between working and listening - but running through this novel are Bach's Goldberg Variations, and I've once again been hearing them inside my head as I work.
One of the many curious things I've discovered in working on this is how my use of language has changed since then - well, obviously, you'd think, but I wasn't so much aware of it until now. It's in little things, like so much of the explanatory dialogue in the text beginning with: 'Look', which always reminds me of Tony Blair, and far fewer abbreviations for 'he/she will' etc, I think, than you'd find in a more contemporary novel. 'Would've', 'should've' instead of 'would have', 'should have' have recently crept in, and now feel normal ('would of', though, remains totally unacceptable, although so many kids and even their teachers use that form).
Our daughter's theatre company, PIPELINE, has recently received that rarity - an Arts Council grant, which means they can now afford to take on tour their very poignant, and already much-loved production: TRANSPORTS, written by playwright Jon Welch. They brought this to Covent Garden two years ago, and everyone I know who saw it was impressed (that's her on the left, on a windy day in Cornwall, and please note that I always say 'our' daughter in spite of the sad fact that David's not with us any more).
The plot links the Holocaust and Kindertransports with a troubled, 21st century teenager. The story is traumatic, but does have an unexpectedly joyous resolution. If it comes your way, do try to see it. The troubled teenager was originally played by our grand-daughter, Anna, but she's now at drama school, so they've had to audition a replacement. It must feel strange, quite uncomfortable, and challenging, to step into a major role played so successfully by someone else.
Talking drama, I, like many other people, have been impressed by the BBC's current production of Tolstoy's 'WAR and PEACE'. To my shame, I've never actually read it, and only just approximately know the story. My local bookshop's stocked the paperback which is immense - you could easily mug someone with it. I love the characters in this production, especially Pierre with his moony spectacles, and his shy clumsiness.
Finally, I'd like to apologise for the disparity of both fonts and text size in this blog. Blogger has gone up the creek, and keeps randomly fiddling with both, and I have now lost patience with it, so it's going out as it stands in the Preview. It was supposed to be composed using Times Large, and - who knows? maybe by January 28th it will have righted itself, or maybe pigs might fly (I've been working on a flying pig for ages)
My website's: www.enidrichemont.org.uk Facebook: Enid Richemont Children's Author