Citysong at Soho Theatre and an interesting question about writing groups.

Fascinating day yesterday. First – I found a way to resolve problems in my new short story – previously named My Career as a Pianist. This story started life 7 years ago in a rushed and over-written way as a misplaced effort to respond to a call out from Manchester writers Sherry Ashworth and Anjum Malik. They wanted to bring out an anthology of writing by Jewish and Muslim women. Not sure what if anything became of it, but the characters in the story, as characters do, never quite left me alone. `What have you done to us` they kept asking me, or `And what will become of us, in the end?`

The story is now called Hazel Torrington, and yesterday I changed it from first person to third person. So fascinating – how that changes the entire perspective of a piece of writing.

On the topic of perspective. My new writing group, starting at Trinity Church, Nether Street, N3, on September 12th, is attracting interest. Yesterday a fascinating correspondence with a writer who has years of experience writing blogs etcetera in her mother-tongue, and wants now to branch out into short stories – in the mother-tongue, which is a very long way from English. Can she come to the group to learn about how stories are written, and then go away and write them in a language I can`t read one word of? I hope to meet with this would-be short story writer because her request seems so unusual, and so heartfelt. The person of course remains anonymous until/unless I get permission to use a name.

Finally – went last night to a stunningly colourful evening of performance poetry. Except that it was sold as a play, and one that has won the Verity Bargate Award. Citysong, at Soho Theatre. Dazzling acting, direction, music, language. A wordsmith from Dublin with a real future. The problem for me – call me old-fashioned, and you probably will! – was the absence of character-driven scenes, relationships, story-lines, that kind of stuff.

Now back to Hazel Torrington, to see if she objects to my distancing myself somewhat from her rather brittle personality and inadequate piano playing.