Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Cheltenham Screenwriters Festival....

What a brilliant occasion this is.
Me and Sy have been a couple of times- him being a writer and all that-and would have loved to have gone this year.
But funds, sadly, dictated otherwise.
Loads of interesting people, writers well known and unknown alike, all mixing and sharing information and tips on the industry.
Hi-lites on past visits for me, include being at a fantastic lecture by Jimmy McGovern ( The lakes, Cracker, etc) and seeing Sy chair a talk by Debbie Isitt, who wrote and directed the British film 'Confetti'.
Isn't it funny though, how even if you are not a writer, you can get something out of an occasion such as this.
Sy had gone into a lecture that held no interest for me whatsoever- probably something to do with story arcs, or spelling (you all know me!)
I pottered off down to the tea tent -the real place for networking- and eventually got to the front of the queue, after a lot of people asking me what i was working on (my only acceptable answer being, 'i'm working on trying to get a cuppa'.)
A man slid into the queue next to me, and heads were bowed in awe.
This was obviously someone who,
1; Everyone there knew, including the people serving the tea.
2; Himself knew he was important enough to be able to slide into the front of a queue without any questions or threats of throat slitting or knee-capping.
The gentleman smiled at me and then asked the girl behind the counter for a green tea.
'I like to try and stay healthy' he murmered.
In the same breath, he whipped a pipe out of his top pocket.
'But one has to have one vice. do you have a light at all?'
I had absoulutely no idea who this man was.
But i did have a light.
'Would you care to share a table with me?' he enquired.
I looked around at the Screenwriters who were all muttering various things.
Manily, what had this girl got that this famous Screenwriter wanted?
I let him lead the way to a table.
We talked. A lot.
Not about Screenwriting, but about the area, the people, the scenery, and the house he was looking to buy a few miles from where me and Sy lived. I told him that my husband was a writer.
He then asked me what i was writing.
At which point, i would have given the earth to be able to say that i was actually a writer.
But i'm not. So i told him about being a housekeeper.
His face lit up.
'I need a housekeeper, when i move into my new house. Will you take my details and think about coming to work for me? You are exactly what i need- you know how writers work.'

He left me to my tea at that point, as he was due to give one of the biggest lectures at the festival.
Sy came and found me, and i showed him the scrap of paper with the Screenwriters details, and told him about my own little meeting.
I thought he was going to faint.
I'm not going to say who the writer was. But you would all know his work.
I gave his offer a lot of thought.
In the end, i turned it down. Why?
Because i know already exactly what it is like to look after a writer.
And no amount of money in the world would make me look after two of them.
I sometimes wonder if i possibly got more out of that festival than many of the writers.
Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

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Your words are every bit as important as Mr Shakespeares.
Put some of them together, and leave me a comment...but don't worry if it takes me a few days to get round to reading them- i have nine jobs and a writer who needs me!

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