An Experiment With Space & Time

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Incidentally An Experiment With Time is a remarkably odd little book; I have an ancient copy somewhere.  What follows however, is somewhat more mundane; a review of my own little experiment as our first month co-working at The Custard Factory draws to a close.

It’s been an awesome month. It wasn’t an entirely smooth process at the outset; the room was actually being redecorated when we arrived because the previous tenant had left it in poor repair. We were offered a room on a different floor but much lower down the block and the light was terrible. I mean seriously – we’d have needed the lights on just to find the bloody kettle. So we said we’d wait for the paint to dry on the original one.

I am very glad we did wait as it is the light in the room which gives it the positive energy which makes it feel (without wishing to sound too wanky) like anything is possible. And it’s newly-painted. Yay. We painted one of the walls grey to un-fridgey-fy the room and that’s a win too. Double newly painty win.

On day two our IKEA haul was hoiked in, power tools and the charmingly named glue (pictured above) employed to make it all stay upright. This was followed by a mercy dash to get a mobile wireless hub, (the broadband provider on site being too pricey) and within three days we were up and running. Go team!  There is literally nothing that three women with power tools and industrial adhesive can’t achieve!  As long as the achievements are framed in terms of three IKEA desks and some cupboards.

Working in the office has improved my mental state a zillion-fold; as I was hoping, one of the things which makes me happy is the conversations – both writerly and gossipy with the other girls; their company is inspiring.

Anyway.  It was meant to be all about the writing – especially moving on my existing work, and I’d set myself some January targets. So how did I do? Hmm.

  • I have indeed made a hitlist of UK agents who can be persuaded to touch a script. Bloody hell there aren’t many of them. Some need a tutor reference but my old screenwriting tutor has said he’ll oblige.
  • I’ve made approaches to one of these agents, with two more lined up. This sounds slow but holy moly… Even making one submission takes for EVER – I had forgotten how time-consuming it is, not least as I don’t favour the scattergun approach.
  • Having bought a clutch of US movie magazines I did indeed trawl through them for tips on what is going on in the US film market and picked out the names of some hot production houses and directors who are working on projects with a similar feel.
  • In the process I got sucked into Portlandia, the Desus vs Mero podcast and the Red Rising book series amongst other cool new stuff.  So that killed off a week stone dead.
  • I’ve a (ludicrously ambitious) list of twenty or so of these US production houses now, and have an outline query letter drafted (just waiting for some Letter size paper to arrive so I can post them – I have prepunched Letter but not plain).
  • I have given a little thought to novelising Carrier but not made any progress whatsoever with that. So fail there.
  • And London Screenwriting Festival?  Still undecided.

In terms of the day job I’ve been able to be a lot more productive than I otherwise would – I completed the series on bioethics which was for Nuffield Council on Bioethics and mopped up various DAB project business too.

Bonus ball productivity: as Writing West Midlands are on the same site I took the opportunity to pop in with Sally this week to introduce ourselves. Jonathan Davidson was kind enough to give us a great amount of info on resources and avenues we might want to explore to further all our projects. Connected to this I’ve pretty much completed my Room 204 application – just the video to do which I’ll do on Monday in the office – because being evangelical about this shared space and moving my writing projects on is very much part of what I’m about. In case it wasn’t obvious.

Roll on February…

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