30/10/17 - Short Story: Dead End

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     The emergency light for Room 18 has been blinking red on the reception desk for the last eleven rows of my knitting.  A guest has got trapped in their bed again.  It happens all the time, particularly to Yanks.  They got distracted halfway through my welcome speech, insisting on snapping photos of each other posing in front of the foyer’s picture window with its impressive view of the ruins.  A loud couple, her with a lurid bum-bag and him with a camera lens so big he must be compensating for something.  I had to stand there, their key outstretched and my voice trailing off as it became apparent that they were no longer paying any attention.  Eventually they remembered they were only halfway through the checking-in process and I was able to give them the customary health and safety tips.  Even when they deigned to listen to me, it was clear that they felt I was wasting their time.  They just wanted to get up to their room and see what all the fuss is about.  I finally gave them their key and he wheeled their supersize suitcase towards our rickety lift, while she paused and rummaged in the bag at her waist for a moment, pulling out a crumpled five pound note.  Immediately my mood lightened.  Maybe she’s not so bad.  They’re just tourists after all, they don’t know any better.  She eyed me carefully and then slowly and deliberately changed her mind.
     “Oh, sorry, I forgot that y’all don’t really do that here.  Silly of me.”  The tip slid back into the hot pink pouch and I had to force a gracious smile to stop myself from leaping over the reception desk and ripping her stupid tanned throat out.  

05/09/17 - Pippin at Hope Mill Theatre

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While I am far from an expert, it's rare for me to head to the theatre to see a musical that I have absolutely no preconceptions of - I tend to be familiar with at least a couple of the songs if nothing else!  For this reason, I was very excited to head over to Hope Mill Theatre for the first preview of their latest in-house production, Pippin, without knowing much about it at all.

22/08/17 - 'Greyhounds' at the Kings Arms

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Manchester is an incredibly creative place and the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is a shining example of all the exciting things the city has to offer.  Running throughout the month of July, this year's was the biggest and the best yet with hundreds of productions taking place in a plethora of venues and I was lucky enough to attend Time & Again Theatre's sold out production of Greyhounds at the Kings Arms in Salford.

Picture credit: itslauracrow

30/05/17 - Write Like A Grrrl Manchester

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I want to write.  All I've ever wanted to do was write.  Other interests and hobbies and career aspirations have come and gone but the desire to write has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.  From the moment I knew that the stories I loved so much had been written by someone and that that someone could be me.  However, often it is merely that - a desire.  My commitment and motivation can be annoyingly changeable, but even when I'm in a writing slump (which has been more often than I would like recently) I'll still be listening out for interesting snippets of dialogue on the train or scribbling half-formed ideas on any scrap of paper to hand.  My notebook is full of opening lines scrawled on the backs of receipts, and phrases which seemed like a stroke of genius when I noted them down but have lost all meaning three days later.  But I keep them all, hoarding the words in case one day they come in handy. 

So when I spotted the Write Like A Grrrl course online, I was immediately interested. I was in the middle of a particularly long dry spell and decided I needed to try something different.  I've been to writing groups before, but I've never been on a course or had anyone 'teach' me how to write or what works best.  After reading the very positive testimonials and doing a bit of research, I decided to go for it.  Anything that might kickstart my writing spark was a welcome change.