Tag Archives: Performing

End of a busy six months

10 Sep

I turned on my computer last night to write this blog, and basically got distracted by trying to sort out my photos. I’ve been terrible at getting things printed and although I’ve been backing up my camera to a hard disk I’ve got nothing physical in case everything goes phut. Didn’t get very far with the photos as the phone rang, my son threw up etc, etc, but it did give me time to reflect that I’m at the end of what’s been a very eventful six months.

In my immediate family we’ve had a Golden Wedding, an 80th birthday, First Communion, Confirmation, Child 2 starting High school (after the trauma of leaving Primary, a wedding and a 50th birthday.  Added to that there’s been a couple of funerals  and all the humdrum things like birthdays that don’t end in a zero and well, you know the stuff.

Squeezing in-between has been lots of time at the computer reading, writing and doing lots of things to try to address the whole work/life/writing balance. Somethings are working, some others have potential, while there’s still lots of wait and see. But what I have managed to do, is another reading – thus the footering with the camera. Here’s me reading at Tchai Otna a small tea house in the West End of Glasgow. While the weather has been wonderful all summer, it was freezing and pouring on Friday night which accounts for the cardigan and the chattering teeth. Mind you, if there is one thing a writer needs it’s a cardigan – heaven only knows we can’t afford the heating!

So now, I’m looking forward to a bit of calm – although my mum is about to move in with me for a couple of months, so it will be a different normality – so that I can relax and get on with the hard slog of getting this next novel finished.

Colette Coen reading at Tchai Otna on 6th of Sept 2013

Colette Coen reading at Tchai Otna on 6th of Sept 2013

Taking Advice…

31 May

Over the past two weeks the G2 Writers have opened our doors a little and let the outside world in, in the form of writer Zoe Strachan and actress Bridget McCann. Both gave wonderful workshops, and the variety it brought to the group was really welcome after a long hard winter.

So, what did I learn. Zoe walked us through a number of exercises and I particularly liked the ones where we looked at how a character has to have depth – so the writer should be showing not just their public face, but also their private one; not just how they perceive themselves, but how they are perceived by others.

I think the phrase that I will most work with is ‘ambiguity brings narrative tension – vagueness does not’. There’s one to think about!

Bridget led us in a performance skills workshop on Wednesday, and I have to admit that I entered the workshop like a wrung out rag. My family seem to have conspired to have all their major life events in a very short period of time, and while all the celebrating has been fantastic I’m fairly knackered. But within about a minute of the workshop starting I was leaping to my feet, energised. Think it. Feel it. Do it. Wow. Oh, and slow down, you talk way too fast!

Having taught for many years and performed and presented lots I didn’t think I had much to learn – how wrong I was. Now I know about energy and focus and connecting emotionally and for God’s sake will you slow down.

Hopefully the next time I perform I’ll be able to bring all these things into play – and as long as I remember to turn my phone off, and not just to silent, I should be ok.


3 Apr

Really enjoyed this, despite the fact that my phone (which I had put on silent) started to sound an alarm just as I began to speak. Being the professional that I am ?!! I dealt with the matter and carried on. It did make a bit of a talking point at the end.

Read the review to the Scottish Writers’ Centre Speakeasy event here http://scottishwriters.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/well-spoken-2/