May 2009

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 72.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.

The First Week

Ways in which the first week of solid writing is like a hangover:

 

 

1. The journey from yay to ouch is far more rapid and unflattering than you expected. Being excited about an idea is so tantalising. Having to figure out how that idea works is a struggle akin to being vertical after a night of free vodka shots and eighties-dancing in an unknown bar with persons whose names escape you.

 

 

2. It feels all foggy and slow and headachey and you feel kind of stupid and clumsy and directionless and unmotivated and you resent yourself for allowing it to be like this. To fix this problem, you must eat unfeasible amounts of toast.

 

 

3. You cannot believe what a monumental dork you were last night, or, in the case of the writer, what a monumental dork you were when you thought this idea was remotely clever in the first place. Slices of your idiocy eclipse your brain, crippling all other neural pathways except for the neurone responsible for the consumption of toast. In this first week of writing, I rediscover problems. It isn't until week 2 that I can solve them.

 

 

4. Nobody else feels sorry for you. You knew this was coming. You brought it on yourself. If you didn't want to be here, you shouldn't have stood on a table at 4am shouting "dance-off!" while a sartorially splendid gentleman with a parasol over his elbow took down team names in a spirax notebook.

 

 

5. You will, I promise, wake from this. Refreshed, bright-eyed, keen and totally flummoxed as to what demon had possessed you. When that happens, please don't judge your former self. It isn't fair. I'm trying. Me, with my nutella toast and my earl grey, I'm trying here.

 

 

Great Social Upheaval. Again.

The Standing There Productions Diary - the one you are currently reading - was set up so we could track the creative progress and technical development of our projects, whatever they turned out to be. Well, that was about four years ago and lately I've been less than forensic in filling you in on those details.

 

It has, of late, been what my first year English Literature lecturer would have called "a time of great social upheaval". I've spoken of him here before, I'm sure. My first ever experience of being a university student came a year before I attended university. I was part of a program with the rather Orwellian title of "the Enhancement program", wherein year twelve students undertook a first year undergraduate literature subject on top of our normal curriculum and also on top of having crushes on, fights with, and, in one memorable case, an actual sword fight (the drama teacher took a phone call), with our peers and colleagues.

 

Anyway, point is, in our "enhancement class", our poor lecturer was immediately imbued with all of our ideas of what our university would become. We thought we were sophisticated, feisty and academically bold. We thought he, our lecturer, was absurdly educated, wrily amusing and probably directly descended from Plato. He was, and remains, a gentleman by the name of Kevin Foster (see? Even the name works! And here is Kevin on the actual internets, continuing to live up to his reputation as a widely read history freak with Stories To Tell). I still believe he is all of those things, by the way, although the descended-from-Plato thing might be slightly difficult ot prove.

 

But I digress. Within this context, Kevin Foster said to us, "If you decide to continue studying arts subjects at university, you will be told the following in every single subject you ever enrol in, without exception: this subject is about a time of great social upheaval".

 

Kevin Foster, let me tell you, was not wrong. It got to the point, in my arts degree as well as my law degree, where I would simply write at the top of page one of my exercise book: TGSU. They said it every time. There is not a time in history, nor is there a movement in literature or politics or legal theory, whose context is not able to be summarised as follows: TGSU.

 

So. It feels weak, somehow, and dishonest, to say that, at the moment, Standing There Productions is undergoing a time of great social upheaval. Even if it were possible to stretch the metaphor and declare this point in time as a Cold War - no stage show, no auditions, just writing and meeting people and creating potentially explosive outcomes - the TGSU label still applies, and it still means nothing, and thus I am lost in a cliche.

 

Therefore, here is something useful I can say: at the moment, gloriously, I am able to write. I am writing what I want to write - I have an actual aim in mind - and Rita and Stew and I are meeting regularly to talk our way through the kinds of questions we're usually asking ourselves over a wavering Skype video connection at 11pm (including things like: "Are you wearing GOLD pyjamas Rits?" and "Sorry, that's my knee, I'll move over. There. Now where were we?")

 

So. Let's see how this goes for us. I'll post a few bits about the writers' festival here next. In the meantime, yay for writing and reading and teachers who inspire you, and working with friends who wear gold pyjamas and don't think you're an idiot for leaving the keys in the front door of your house.

Writing

 

Good news for those of you who are me: I'm about to write for a while.

 

This is excellent news for me because it means I can concentrate on one thing at one time. And it's a thing I love doing, too.

 

Where the problem arises, you may have noticed, is when I have too many things to do and therefore write things like "wnat", as in "If you wnat something done, ask a busy person".

Well, apparently that is not always the case. The other day, par example, I almost sent the parliamentary member for the area I am visiting for work... a timesheet outlining the hours I had worked on the project I was MEANING to send him a running sheet for.

 

I am sure this happens to important people, such as that guy who runs the UN. I'm sure every now and then he fedexes someone his shopping list instead of the financial papers relating the Uruguay incident or whatever and I'm sure when he gets an opportunity to focus on one thing and do it, and enjoy it, he relishes it.

 

I intend to do the smae.

 

Just kidding. Same. I intend to do the same.