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BLEEDING WITH MOTHER written by Sarah Cassidy My debut stageplay Bleeding with Mother will be laid to rest in May 2016. Staged in my hometown of Manchester, Bleeding with Mother is an opus kitchen …

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Collaborative writing team

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I thought it was time to write a brief update to follow on from a series of blog entries that I posted last year about collaborative writing.

I joined a Manchester community radio station exactly a year ago after seeing a call out for writers for a new soap that they were launching.

Initially approximately 15 people were at the first session. Everybody was very keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project. After all, we’re all human ad our very nature is to want to be part of a group with a common interest.

As the weeks passed by the numbers began to dwindle until after three months it became a core team of six, including myself.

We had a list of characters with their own biogs and back story, we had a map of the road and various areas of interest such as a pub, cafe, bistro, farm and garage. Now to come up with a name.

We settled on the name ‘Station Road’ given that our radio station is next door to a train station and the fictional world that is our soap is meant to be local.

The next part was to now start writing the thing.

The team comprises of various writers from short story experts, comedy, theatre writers, novices and me.

Luckily I’d written a radio drama in a group for one of my modules on my masters degree so I was able to share the tools that we used in terms of

 

 

My life and love affair with Facebook

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facebookFacebook can be a real bitch of a site sometimes. I would save so many hours of my week if  I could just deactivate my account once and for all. Delete the app from my phone and iPad and get a life. But then I would have to make an effort and actually talk to people wouldn’t I and how else can I  keep up to date with the gossip.

Oh yeah – I would talk to people again….. (gulp!)

Where else except for The Jeremy Kyle Show could I observe the bizarre behaviours conducted in the public forum. Bitching, moaning, backstabbing, men-haters, a constant stream of baby photos and that one person who updates their friends list on absolutely everything they do – whether it be picking the kids up from school, making a cup of tea, what they are watching on the television and wishing the world of Facebook goodnight. We all have them, those friends that we wish we could delete from our list, but for some perverted reason they just make us feel a whole lot better about our own lives.

It is also the perfect haven for seeing which kids were spoilt rotten on Christmas morning. Oh yes – those parents who overindulged their children had the photograph of  those unopened presents on facebook before the kids got up, and whilst ripping that festive paper into shreds. Dear oh dear me….

A few thoughts that puzzle me about the world of Facebook.

Why do men never rant about how crazy women are on Facebook?

Why do I have to read what my friends are commenting on other people’s status’ now? If it wasn’t all time-consuming keeping up to date with my timeline, now I can see what my friends are commenting and liking elsewhere. Mark Zuckerberg won’t be happy until we are a nation of social media stalkers – will he?

Does anybody really care about relationship status’?

Why are people extra sensitive about status updates. “Ooh the bitch, that one was obviously a dig at me!” etc etc

Stalking is never more apparent. The person who comments or likes your photograph or status only five seconds after you have posted it. facebook like

When did it stop being about how many facebook friends you had, and turned into how many comments you can generate on a post?

And, finally why does it notify me every single time somebody posts a comment which I have previously commented on. Annoying and time-consuming it is, but of course Zuckerberg knows that  I will be reading those comments to check if  I agree or not with what is being written.

I hate it, yet I love it too.

I love it in summer when friends post their photographs from their holidays, and I go green with envy everytime one of my friends visits the Big Apple. When it is my turn, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be posting mine as well. I enjoy reading good news about promotions. engagements, people falling in love, having babies and passing exams.

Yes more falling in love please. It certainly makes up for the moaners on there.

Oh, and by the way – did I say that I am the biggest culprit when it comes to Facebook.

I try not to bitch, comment on everything I see, check the profile page of my son’s latest girlfriend, update when drunk or upset and also to tell the world how much I love my husband and children (errr I think I did that in my last statement right there!). To be fair, I do end up deleting a lot of posts before I hit the send button and open my twitter account instead.

But, I can safely say ( I think) that I have never put Xmas Day present photographs on facebook. There are just some-things (not many these days) which should remain private.

Twitter is a whole separate blog post, but safe to say that I am more obsessive about checking twitter these days than Facebook as I would hate to miss out on a tweet.

Yes Facebook is for friends and family who barely speak to each other, and maybe even dislike somewhat – but Twitter is for the strangers that we grow to love and who amuse us no end.twitter

So “yeah” to social media and I will carry on embracing it until the next thing comes along.

I hope nobody is offended by these comments. A few hundred friends so chances are it may be you*/ is not you * (delete as appropriate).

Linked In though – what is that all about? If anybody knows please enlighten me.

linked in

That was the year that was……..

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 new year

Happy New Year to one and all. Having spent the past couple of days procrastinating over what my first post of the new year should be?

A review of 2012?

A list of resolutions for 2013?

Discussing my experience working as a radio drama collaborative?

A round up of my favourite television programmes of 2012?

A prayer to say thanks for the world not ending on 21st December 2012, which would have been devastating for my youngest wee cub as it was his birthday.

Or quotes from my current favourite show Breaking Bad?

So, instead I just decided to write and see where it gets me.

I was reading my timeline on New Year’s Eve and 2012 wasn’t the greatest year for a lot of my facebook friends. For me, I felt quite sad that it was coming to a close, as firstly odd number years just don’t seem to work out that great for me. 2011 started off promising before a car accident, and a slipped disc ruined the rest of the year.

So 2012, started off pretty grim too. I was put on 90 days consultation at work and then forced to be interviewed for my job. This was one of the most stressful times at work that I have experienced in a long time. I was competing with my colleagues for a job, the threat of redundancy was a daily occurrence and at times it was difficult to carry on providing a first class service when you felt like a third class worker. Even more so stressful, is the fact that for the first time in many jobs, I actually really enjoy the job that I have, and working at MediaCity is wonderful too. Luckily, with a lot of preparation and my poor husband sitting night after night asking me interview questions I was prepared, and nailed the interview and tests.

The rest of 2012 was a breeze. I carried on with my MA in TV and Radio Scriptwriting and through that have met some of the most interesting people. I’ve sat through writing workshops, attended the London Screenwriters Festival and managed to attend the BBC Fasttrain event in November. I also had the most fantastic adventure in Europe during the summer, which saw husband and I experience our first holiday together with just the two of us.

All in all it was a good year and I was sad to say goodbye to it. But, odd number year or not I will be embracing 2013.

I don’t have any resolutions this year. The only thing I could think of tackling which I found problematic last year was trying to please everybody, and therefore over committing myself when I was busy. This year I will say no to friends and family when I am trying to meet deadlines, or am going through a busy period at work. Having the break at Christmas has been fun, but it also made me realise how exhausted I was.

I will carry on with the writing, not only for my MA, but other projects which I have got ideas about. I want to write a piece featuring a young protagonist (my Hollyoaks calling card perhaps?) and will write another radio drama.writing

I am also going to try and write in my blog more often. I didn’t want the blog to just be a self-indulgent thing, so will carry on attending events and blogging about them later (although that contradicts the rule of not spreading myself too thinly this year).

On that note – I am signing off to take the young cub to the Musuem of Science and Industry in Manchester. He needs to feel separation from his PS3 for a few hours.