Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Responses to My Name is Stephen Luckwell - a big thank you.

It's now a couple of weeks since Stephen was the Afternoon Play on Radio 4 and I have been surprised and touched by the response. Completely surprised in fact. I never expected complete strangers to e mail, tweet, and phone me to let me know how the play affected them.  Parents of kids on the autistic spectrum. People on the spectrum. Even the National Autistic Society thought I'd got it right. So this is a big thank you to everyone.  You do the research, then you find some characters, and do your best to tell their story and most of the time you keep your fingers are tightly crossed in case this is the time you get found out.  This is the time it doesn't work.  So once again thank you for liking it, thank you for telling me it meant something to you.
Right, that's quite enough self satisfaction, I think.  Time to get back to the real world, staring at the blank screen and despairing of ever having another creative thought.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

It must lead to inevitable disappointment.

When you have a blog like this you are able to look up and see who is contacting you, mostly you see a list of search engines,.  Lately some odd things have been creeping in.  I clicked and it took me to a review of the Suzuki Swift.  What have I written that could possibly have any resonance for someone looking for a review of the Suzuki Swift?  Another one was a job seeking site.  The most bizarre was a site about windmills. Actually that's not true, I made it up, because the most bizarre one was too bizarre to mention.  What do they hope to find? 
Normally I get about two people a month popping up to sample my self pitying rambles but the traffic has increased.  There are some easy ways to increase it.  You can slip in a mention to the Premier League, steam trains of the 1950's, or Britney Spears does the housework.  But that would be very silly.
No, the reason it's increased is yesterday's Radio 4 Afternoon Play My Name is Stephen Luckwell. I've had more traffic than ever before, I've even had e mails from strangers who found something in it.  So if you've just logged on because of Stephen Luckwell, or because your a follower of Ms Spears, I thank you, or apologise, or both.  Either way,it's nice to know there's someone out there.

Friday, 5 August 2011

A trifle pathetic but I don't care.

I bought last week's Radio Times on Tuesday. Turned to the schedule for Monday's radio and saw My Name is Stephen Luckwell, there, as I was told it would be, 2.15, right after The Archers.  Yes, I am excited when I see it in print, but also I have to see it in print before I can really believe it's happening.  A part of me wouldn't be surprised if on Monday afternoon an announcer - in my head it's always Celia Imrie -  told the listening millions 'This afternoon's play will not be as printed in the Radio Times as fortunately we've listened to it again and frankly it's not up to standard.  Believe me, you've had a lucky escape.'
Can't avoid it. The fear.  Is this time I'm going to be found out?
On the stairs up to the office we've built in the loft are posters from different shows of mine. On the wall behind the computer monitor alongside photographs of my wife, my daughter, Brecht, Max Wall, and the bare grass of the running strip at Olympia ( the Olympia in Greece, not the one near Earl's Court) are the tickets, programmes, and brochures from my first play at Derby Playhouse.  It's not ego, not entirely, more the exact opposite.  I need these props to my confidence to remind what I did once in all probability I can do again, hopefully, with luck and a following wind.
Absurd. Yes. But I haven't met a single writer, no matter how much confidence they have in their work, each time they start a new piece, isn't half paralysed by the conviction that this is the time it goes completley tits up.
So I'll have my radio on at 2.15 on Monday.  When it's over I'll feel pleased and grateful to the producer, the actors and the techies who made it possible, and next week's Radio Times will be placed carefully into the wall I keep building to shore up my tottering confidence as I move into the next project.