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My first uploaded spoken word piece.

Time has been unbearable.

Damning.

Fleeting.

I’m so tired. I have yet to start my journey.

To hear Daisy in audio 😉 click on the link below

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I’ll be back after a few long messages.

 

 

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SINK,SWIM,FLY,CRAWL-how I fought social services to get my child back

First posted 2015

Content: How I got my daughter back-  and issues of control/ being out of control

Well bloggers we are already into week three on blogging101 course. Today’s topic is about when you hit writer’s block and using a prompt and to make that prompt personal to your blog.  Let me know what you think.

MY PROMPT:’SINK OR SWIM’ 

This morning I woke up with a feeling of loss and  a heavy anchor weighing me down. I should have been buzzing. I was three hours away from meeting up with a girl who works with a mental health charity and to work together on a one off workshop to close the stigma between the volunteers and the people they help. Below is all I had to type this morning: warning alert: very woe woe woe is me and not WOW WOW at all. BEFORE I CONTINUE: It came about that THIS LOVELY LADY has recently launched her first novel. How amazing is that? I can’t wait to read it. 

THIS IS WHAT I MANAGED TO WRITE  YESTERDAY MORNING :

Why do I only see ugly? What is wrong with me.I can’t love my cat or daughter or partner cos I have trouble accepting me. Why is outer beauty so important to have when I see the beauty of people in all their different guises. My heart has been rung out . The salty ness stings increasingly as it courses through my veins. pumping –you are ugly  you are not good enough.Why now? why these feelings now? My next challenge – like a bull waiting , snorting – A Red mist descends. Red mist that at the end will be..  I had writers block I couldn’t think of anything poetic to say. All words seemed shit and I felt shit.  

So let me get real and tell you what is really on my mind My head has been doing 360 degree turns lately like that possessed chick in every movie about hauntings and possession.  Except it has been me not some movie.  My weight has been going up and  up – I have had no control. Even with me eating healthily. The numbers have  kept on  going up. I have been getting a  daily beasting from the  Goddess of hard core exersises -Jillean Micheals. No bullshit. No pansy-ing out. No quitting. I am no quitter.Not a sinker. No Titanic. Why is this fucker in my head fucking with me now. I’m finally getting somewhere with myself and what I want to invest all my working time in.

Yup, so I have really been struggling with my mind for a few months Isn’t that crazy? Me wanting to help people who are struggling? I’m struggling. . I had to let go of the figures on the scale. I’ve never done that. How did I  do it?  well,  I decided  I like eating (yes, Anorexics can like eating)  and I eat healthily  already so, I was not about  to go hungry and become ill again. No, this is my time. I wasn’t going to start taking overdoses to cope with the madness inside me – skewered. grilling me .It was bedlam in my head. True bedlam.

I stopped weighing myself every day. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER.  I carried on with 40 minutes of  an intense cardio workout . I didn’t carry on doing 3-4 hour workouts like I have done previously. I did not start monitoring my fluid intake.  In fact I did the opposite and btw  my skin looks the best it ever has. I had to get moving. Get out the house and live.  The critters inside jittering and chattering and  fluttering  chaotically in my mind could carry on.I  carried on with life.

I got out there and I followed through on my next goal. I have my daughter back . I’m already a student with full BA(hons) in Arts and the humanities. I’ve booked our wedding for next year. The one I was never ever going to have. I am finally in a place to help people.

I don’t care if I don’t get paid I’m getting so much back from this.

You know what is even more chaotic than my recent state of mind?  okay -ready?  The training I have been put on to do, is all stuff I worked out on my own and with my family when social services wanted to put my daughter up for adoption.

Why didn’t they get HOMESTART in first?

Or THE FAMILY INTERVENTION TEAM?

How come they didn’t tell me about a 12 week course called called WRAP ( WELLNESS RECOVERY ACTION PLAN)  that helps a person put together a support package if a person’s  health starts to get distressed?

This is not some new concept or specialised training. It’s been going on for years and being taught in prisons and schools today. Why didn’t any of the social workers I know signpost me in these  directions?

I stayed up into   the early hours of the morning for weeks. Researching online to find an answer to convince  social services that I could be a mom and  have times when my mental health isn’t all that cracking.  In my research I came across something called ‘ the circle of protection’ (very Lion king – the zulu bit -youknow what I’m on about? an epiphany or something.

Why had none of these highly qualified social workers, guardians of the court, these professionals.. but me thought to put a contingency plan in place?

When my daughter  was put under an interim care order. obviously, I  attended court. The letter for the court date arrived days after the court hearing. I was lucky that I had my family to give me the heads up. I didn’t know that the  alleged assault charges against me , that had been dropped (because their was no physical evidence to suggest that I shook my 12 week old daughter) was only the beginning of  an incredibly long fucken journey home. I was like Hercules and his 12 labours.

Back to the morning of 14/12- Confused, in a state of panic -The former manager of social services – I like to call her Miss Hannigan-you know from ‘Annie’ the movie?  I swear she looks and acts like Miss hannigan – every professional I described her too- could not keep a straight face.

Do I hear happiness here?
Do I hear happiness here?

They knew exactly who I was on about. Anyway, so after court, the wooly and rather snivelly  cardigan came into view- like a red flag. Her voice was the second thing I noticed ,she sounded like one of Marges sisters from the simpsons.

I was like : Where is my daughter going? you can’t just take her from me!

She spluttered in that voice.  

Stop the drink- stop the shit and sort your life out . I wish she could take her own advice.

I found out about a 12 week group called the  FREEDOM PROJECT that was running in my neck of the woods. In a nutshell it is a 12 week group that helps women understand why we  enter and stay in abusive relationships. I took Miss Hannigans advice  and self- referred myself to my   LOCAL SUBSTANCE MISUSE TEAM and  I  engaged with a wonderful woman to work out what my drink issues were and how I could manage them. We tried various plans until we  both agreed  that whilst all this was going on, drinking was probably not going to be drunk for the ‘right reasons’. I went to every mother- baby group I could could go to.  I could only see my daughter 10  hours per week. I missed 7 contact sessions in 12 months. There was  a local contact centre only 5 minutes up the street from where I lived. I had no problems with anybody in that contact centre. Lots of positive feedback.  The contact worker who had become emotionally involved told us she had been taken off  as  our contact worker. Social services and my ex felt that the contact worker was being biased. It is not my fault that every other person who met him thinks the same thing. Whatever that may be.

So,a new contact lady comes on the scene. We did not mix well. It happens in life. I can’t love everyone 😀 Next thing I know and I was now taking  two buses to go and see my child – in a contact centre monitored by cctv like a criminal. This is how the dynamics of our relationship went. If I got on with spending time with my child and didn’t talk much with the contact worker-  she said I was being hostile. If I did chat with her -she said I was distracted and not mentally focused on my child. This contact person has no mental health qualification. Her job  is to collect children from carers/family homes and take them to  a ‘neutral’ meeting/ contact centre and to make sure the child or children get back home safely. She is a fucken flawed human. All her notes ( she was a fan of all the disney songs – those notes were just as agonizing to hear)  were being gurned  into the social workers reports.This is one opinion from someone who was not even qualified. It felt like she was there to prod and provoke a reaction out of me.

I asked the court to authorise  a hair strand test for alcohol and drugs  to be done. The test was only done 7-8 months after my baby was taken into foster care.  It came back negative that I was an alcoholic and drug taker. I am on prescription meds  so that obviously came up.  The non alcoholic levels  of drinking found in my hair proved to them I had drunk alcohol but not at the levels they were making out.From  the period  I decided  to go teetotal the levels had reduced even more.  It all  came back negative.

I was in a very violent and manipulative relationship. This  ahem.. man treat me like something he found in the gutter. He warped my mind.  My mental health was exacerbated in that relationship. I dealt with this issue and I don’t want to say more on here out of respect for my daughter. He walked away when he lost control. When my daughter is at an age she can make and formulate her own opinions  that will be the time I decide to give her the information about her paternal father and seek him out and ask him whatever questions she wishes too.

I paid nearly £400 to do a parenting course online because social services stated I could not do a certain group because my ex was attending it and my daughter had to be over 5 years of age.  He got on it because he has two sons under 18. I got my daughter back under a  full care order -on the 28/04/2013 .  She was not even three  years old and all of a sudden I could attend this 12 week government funded parenting course for free. I had THIS IRO ‘professional’ come into my home and threaten me. She tried to wind me up because I made a comment about her not even having met my daughter and she was the person to ratify the adoption plan. She sat on my living room suite and re-iterated that it was her that ratified the adoption plan and still held that view.  If I had a problem with her then I could change  IRO’s.

I looked her straight in the eyes and I said “NO, you and me are going to see this through to the end” -It was like something out of a western movie. Eyeballing one another.

“Yes. we will” she puffed out her chest and chuckled to her ‘henchman’ .The person she brought with her to intimidate me. What makes me want to poke out her eyehole is at the final LAC review meeting she was hugging me and saying I had taught her something about people with mental health issues and  she realised how ignorant she had been. This woman works with dozens of cases like mine everyday. Mental health is not a new endemic in society. I hope ,you the reader can see why I am ranting at this..

I always say ‘ I hold up my hands  I am far from being perfect‘. I would actually like this to be emgraved on my grave. I have said the phrase so many times.  The thing is  but I put in the effort in and they did not want to own up that they fucked up and I wasn’t what they read on paper and what they thought I would be like. ALL PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE DELUDED RIGHT? HAVE NO SENSE OF REALITY..

Here is my point, It didn’t have to go straight to adoption but it was easy for them to place  my innocent  12 week year old child. Blue eyed  with blonde hair and  not soiled and tainted from being ragged around a defunkt system.  No behaviour issues. An easy adoption case. They call it ‘twin tracking’

Ha , you should have seen the  guardian’s face when I told her that the chances of my daughter being adopted after being told that mental health issues run in her paternal and or maternal family drops. She was 25% less likely to get adopted.  Oh they loved me. My legal team were ace. I communicated and I asked questions and I researched.

As a volunteer I have a ticket to go to this PARENTING AND MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE

I hope a few social workers will be there to learn something about mental health .

I’m not angry. I finally know why I went through all this shit. now I  can do the professional training and help other people.  I’m not bitter- AM I FUCK?  Thank you social services for giving me such a hard time. It has led me to take the actions to   where I am in this new chapter in my life. I am strong and empowered and passionate and every time I have fallen in my life,  I get up.  Everytime. These other less invasive  helpful  services should  be taken into account and be brought to the attention of a person before they start taking kids off their parents and family without the full facts. I’m not talking about the families where abuse goes on. I’m telling you what I have experienced  There is so much wrong with the system. I’m gonna volunteer my heart out.

Thank  fuck for silver linings. I not only have my daughter and my partner and my beautiful  family and friends  to live for but I have been given a gift of knowledge and I will be trained to help people who need some support and advice. I must share this knowledge of how I got my baby girl back and how much I have changed and how fucken exhilarating and terrifying   it is but it is worth the fight. I’m not the only one. There are so many more who are terrified to talk because they feel threatened and bullied by social services. CHANGE  must happen and I will do anything I can to be a part of that.  If you have read this far. Thank You. Never give up your right to speak . I had a  ‘gagging order’ imposed upon  me when my child was a ward of the courts( This is the law in England) . I don’t anymore and I am well within my legal rights to post this.  I want to use my skills and my creativity in writing and acting to help people remember  how to communicate again and it is a right of theirs to have a voice…

P.S. I still am partial to a cocktail or two  when I’m not looking after my health  for one thing or another -usually for a dress to fit in to  go somewhere.

P.P.S. I have written a stage play inspired by these events with a Brecht like influence. I wrote it for my final end of module assignment for my degree at the Open university and I got a 1st for it.  I might put it up sometime . I might not.

Short story- The order of the black Dog

THE ORDER OF THE BLACK DOG

My family. Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold. Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran. I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog. I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me.  Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune in to the conversation-taking place.

‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault.  I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears. A cry out for:

 I need attention I’m suffering the most.

My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.

‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.

‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’  Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.

‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’

 My husband throws a warning look at Ma,

‘Marie, for Poppies sake.  Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’  Poppy shakes her head.

 She doesn’t look at us.  I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy. Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes-, veiled shadows betray her youthful face. She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.

‘When’s Mummy coming home?’

 Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart. I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers. She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.

-Answer her! Answer my daughter.

Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s  up to Eddie to mediate.  My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt.  It’s impossible to read his face. He clears his throat,

‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’

Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse.  Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,

‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’

 I roll my eyes. Of course I love her!  Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.

– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!

I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own.  Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.

‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’

 Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.

‘Aye, love.’

‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.

 Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.

 -There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves.  We were right to take the piss.  

Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.

 Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat.  I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:

‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?

He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.

My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts.  I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa. 

Unheard, I bellow continuously,

-Just let me go!

 Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me.  These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.

Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.

‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’  

‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,

‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’

 Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses

Vexed, I shriek

 – don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.

‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.

Another opportunity to get close to Ma again.   I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.

‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’     They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.

Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,

‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.

He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song:  twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze.  Before closing her eyes, she whispers,

 ‘I love you mummy.’

When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain.  I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.

– I’m powerless

. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.

-She must know I’m here.

Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.

-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.

 Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.

What kind of a mother am I?

I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.

Where will I go?

I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!

I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.

 The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.

The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down.  I told Eddie repeatedly,

– I just want to disappear.

– How can I help you?  His eyes pleaded for an answer.  I would always lash out,

-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!

 I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.

  -They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.

That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.

The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,

-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.

-Fine, I will!  I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.

My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front.  It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.

 What have I done? 

 What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?

Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,

– I don’t want to die.

I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up.  We walk side by side. I don’t look back.  I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.

This weed looks up & sees results

I think I am going to faint.

TMA 3  results back in for my Masters.

83% a high merit and incredible feedback.

Current score

  • TMA 1 62% (Script genre)

  • TMA 2  82%  (Fiction genre)

  • TMA 3 83% ( Script genre)

Here is the 700 -ish word commentaryI submitted for my  TMA 3 and the feedback.

I believed I couldn’t do this MA. I believed I was shit at writing but maybe…… with practice I can be a better writer and achieve great things.

Writing a book is less of a goal.

Using my words to change society -however insignificantly, is a goal of mine.

mahatma-gandhi-almost-anything-you-do-to-help-humanity-will-seem-insignificant-but-its-very-important-that-you-do-it

COMMENTARY TM3 Approaching script writing the Aristotelian way.

My challenge was to write a whole play in 18 minutes. I believe that there is too much exposition and would suit as a longer script. When I cut, or slowed certain dialogue-it’s original appeal became lost to a different type of play. The characters lost what made them unique.  This is where I rely loosely on morality play techniques. This story could have started in many ways. I felt it best to reveal the turning point and the how and why’s at the end of the play. It is linear and has a beginning, middle and end reminiscent of Greek Tragedy plays.

I often use a stream of consciousness technique to get into a writing zone. For scene 1, I started typing on a blank page and let characters come to my head and speak whatever they wanted.  This was how the first scene was produced. I was tempted to discard it until I received positive and constructive feedback on the TGF forum.

A possible subconscious influence for early drafts came from reading the chapter on David Edgars’ how to write a play, (chapter 2 page 17). In TMA 2, I focused on creating characters to reveal the plot and as exposition. Upon reflection, after reading the on-going debate about the primacy of plot versus characters, I think to an extent this true of, e.g., medieval genre morality plays.

Difficulties arose to make the characters more 3-dimensional when using archetypical/universal characters. I relied heavily on a strong plot to drive the narrative and the characters through to the conclusion of the script. TMA3-  plot informed the characters and their motives.

Other influences came from conversations with my blogger acquaintance, Clarissa Simmens( Simmens C. 2017) who is from Roma gypsy descendant, and my own great -grandparent’s lineage who fled the Russian 1918 revolution to live a life in the slums of Paris. The setting and background gave the characters more complex motives and inner conflict. Panacea is an old woman who was left with her second sight and not accepted by society or her Nephew.

In this world, it seems society is lured by visual aids. Vladimir was more ready to accept Eve’s gift of soothing people’s problems because of how she appeared outwardly. Vladimir is complex, he was left with third-degree burns from the 1903 revolution, lost his parents, went to live with his “strange” grandmother.

Hopefully, a writer will get a true sense of Vladimir’s character by the end of the play. He did what he had to do to survive. He is human. Flawed. He didn’t stop and analyse whether he should save baby Eve in the Revolution; instinct took over.  My inspiration for how he and Eve arrived in Paris (maintaining a high-status life during and after WW1) is taken from George Orwell’s book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ set in 1925.  There is reference to espionage and a secret Russian society, whom, paid people to convert to communism after the war (Gutenberg.net.au. (2017).

The music in the piece serves as a device to vary the pace of the play. I hope that the melancholy moments of when Eve/ Panacea plays will give the audience a time to pause, or at the very least, vary or change the pace of emotion.

Genre: this play is not one type of play. I describe it as experimental, immersive drama with elements of morality play themes because, the characters do indeed impart the audience with a strong message.

Humans are complex. There is a clear theme of choices and consequences.

I don’t want to ignore any doubts about this piece: H.R. made constructive comments on the language and the exposition of the piece (refer to XX FEEDBACK (2017)).   I hope that the timelessness of dialogue and language could very well take place in Paris, or indeed a modern society setting of today. My choice of setting reinforces to emphasise that these stereotypical characters still function inside time. Does Eve deserve her fate? Probably not.

Time has moved on, wars still occur yet society still seems to dwell on escapism i.e. Piano music metaphor to deal with life, dwelling on people who seem to have the illusion of the perfect life/ status. Society still struggles with acceptance of identity, race, ethnicity, mental health status etc. We’ve made advancements in technology/society but what about advancements in what type of human we should strive to be?

 

MY TUTORS FEEDBACK –I have kept her name anonymous for obvious reasons.

PT3Thank you for handing in TMA03.

This TMA accounts for 35% per cent of your continuous assessment mark for the module.

There are three parts to TMA 03:

a creative writing element;
a commentary;
extracts of peer review contributions.

Write a stage script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a radio script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a film script ?18 minutes running time.
Please state clearly on the first page which medium (stage, radio or film) you are writing for.

Your script can be either a stand-alone work, complete in itself, or it can be part of a longer play or film. If the latter, it should be structurally resolved (e.g. it might be a complete act from a larger piece; it should not finish mid-action or mid-scene). If providing a section, provide a summary of the larger project ? no more than 200 words ? situating the submitted section in relation to the larger work and offering some context. This summary will not be assessed in itself, and it won’t feature in the word or page counts.

Your script should not be an adaptation of work by another author or an adaptation of a piece of your own work which has been submitted for an earlier TMA.

This part constitutes 15% of this TMA?s grade.

Write a commentary (700 words) about the process of creating your work, the context in which it was developed, and your relevant further reading.

WHERE YOUR TMA SUCCEEDED

A Fair Wish World is powerful piece about loss, vision (actual sight and second sight), mental health and how war and conflict shapes or rather twists people.  It’s full of big ideas and you work within a very imaginative immersive theatre setting.  Also you have two people, one of whom has apparently saved the other, when it turns out that Vladimir is more reliant on Eve.  History is full of unusually talented women who have surrendered their power to a man (Doris Day’s third husband was abusive and stole her money, Billie Holliday was permanently attracted to abusers).  There’s a link here to the depressing litany of young women and their exploitative lovers, so this theme has a timeless resonance (although Vladimir isn’t a villain).

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-music-industry-men-who-got-away-with-exploiting-female-pop-stars

There is an interesting piece I’ve linked below here about Peter Brook (he’s 91!!) and his latest production – how stripped back and bare it is and how for example a single piece of cloth can represent several things, eg a piece of cloth is twisted into a snake at one point.  This is, in my opinion, a true sense of live theatre, where the audience invests their imagination as opposed to being passive observers – as we are a bit with television. (Also it keeps costs down!)  So your idea of the immersive, promenade production is a good idea as well as showing that you are using the medium of theatre as fully as you can.

https://dctheatrescene.com/2017/03/31/peter-brooks-vision-battlefield-stage-kennedy-center-review/

All the characters resonate, but none more so than Panacea (I’ve got this image of Coco Chanel in my head) and Vladimir, the Russian aristocrat.  Panacea because of her contrasting powers and down to earthiness but Vladimir because it was only a few years since the entire Russian imperial family, the Romanovs with their five children were murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918.  The British royal family offered mealy mouthed excuses for not offering them shelter but the real reason was they were afraid of a similar revolution in England, as I’m sure you know.  I read the play a couple of times before I read the commentary, so I wasn’t pre informed. I really like the way that Eve can ‘see’ certain things and how when her sight returns, it becomes a curse.  You may to have to indicate this quite strongly to the audience but it’s a bold and exciting idea.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT DRAFT

I have a few suggestions for the next draft (and I really hope you continue with this play).  Firstly it would be to add some more movement to scene one it as it’s currently a little static.  I’m wondering if Eve could get up from the piano and be doing something – getting dressed perhaps in her evening finery?  Panacea could offer to help her lace her boots or maybe at some point she could loosen Eve’s corset so she can breathe or brush her hair?  You could even have Eve trying to find things which have been placed among the audience – depending on whether you want the audience involved or not.

(I recently went to a promenade production of ‘Jane Eyre’ in a stately home.  At one point, the actress playing Jane had placed the sketches she was going to show to Rochester on a piano and an audience member was leaning on the piano without realising.  There was an awkward un-Bronte moment as Jane tried to yank the sketches from under the audience member’s elbow!)

Because Panacea comes across as a slightly mystical character who just shows up, I wonder if she could be slightly earthier, in contrast to Eve’s more romantic language.   She does have some lovely moments such as her laughter over how useless mirrors are to her, but as much of the play is between her and Eve, and she is a magical creature, perhaps making her the more down to earth seeming would contrast more brightly with her supernatural gifts.  See my L4 comment.

In the final scene there is quite a bit of explanation and it feels just a bit squashed.  With maybe ten or fifteen minutes more you could find a way to blend in the back story a little more but I understand the difficulty of covering an entire play in eighteen minutes.

Overall, I think you’ve written a big, brave play, which tackles big subjects.  It has flaws and needs some development but it’s part of your development as a writer that you take some risks, and personally, I don’t think you can really tell whether a play has legs until you’ve heard it spoken out loud by other people.  But I’ve read it out loud and it packs a punch.

You’ve probably already heard of the London Playwrights Blog but if not, they publish opportunities every week.  There’s no substitute for

http://www.londonplaywrightsblog.com/

COMMENTARY

In your commentary you discuss the process of writing the play, in comprehensive detail including the difficulties, and with references to course materials and a commendably large amount of outside reading.

As this is an MA, a high level of both analysis and presentation is required, and your presentation is fine here.  It can be helpful when you are sick of the sight of your script/story to give it to a trusted friend or at least leave it a while to give yourself some space.

You don’t have to agree with course or outside materials, either, just show that you have reflected on the ideas within and show how they might have affected your own creative choices.    It’s also helpful to explain briefly what you intend to reflect on – such as characterisation, structure and dialogue (maybe picking one area you feel confident in and another where you may feel less confident).  Your tone is good, in that you are aware of your own style and what you are trying to achieve without adopting the I-have-achieved-a masterwork-and-now-I-will-reflect-on-aspects-of-its-awesomeness. Instead your tone is curious and questing and always willing to learn.

Thank you for the peer group references.  You have always been very active on the forums.  Also your references are very good.

I’ve given you a high merit for both the script, and the commentary, an overall high merit pass of 82%  As mentioned, scene one is a little static, and the final scene has a slightly ‘expositiony’ feel, but these are very fixable.  What I would suggest now for the script is to read out loud and perhaps workshop it as the most difficult bit is letting it out of your head and into the mouths and bodies of actors.  You’ve done really well Tasha and taken risks with your writing.  Well done.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.

Kind Regards

MY  TUTOR

I can’t believe it’s Easter already. This will be the first Easter where me and my family don’t go and see my Gran in her care home. I’ve mixed feelings about this.

I don’t get to see my gran – 😦

I don’t have to go into a care home this year 🙂

credit to all the care workers out there who deserve a hike up on their wage. We should invest gratitude and time and resources to the people who look after the vulnerable people in society – in my opinion- of course.

We are all going to my Ma’s house on Sunday (family tradition). Gran will be in our thoughts.

How do other people celebrate Easter?

Happy-Easter-300x182

❤ Daisy xoxo

Choice has always and forever.

Three days to start afresh.

2018 word reflection piece – -candor, heart spilling starch tumble dry fresh.

Ominous eyes on stalks can feel the tearing of flesh.

Lobster bisque – feel the pain- rubbing eczema flakes in the mesh.

Motivational mantras praying for imaginative depth.

A leap of faith from a dark quarry,   novels unwrap intoxicating pages saturated in meth.

White suits, red suits, black suits – jokester howls in lunatic tongue at his procurement of all laughter.

Voiceless, misunderstood, invisible  swan still morbid, unhappily ever after

Death scents not in lavender bursts, clashes with stale tobacco.

Steven Hawkins, robot voice stuck in a stench of staccato.

Future anxiety. Past Regrets.   Present lives in the moment -startlingly clear.

Blink and the eyes will miss it. Shut off all senses and lose the rest of the steer.

Grace be mine,   Ego ride away on a horse of jaded divine.

Little Mockingjay prepares Dame to release her idealized body conceptions. Babies speak in benign.

Selfish task force. Love to bind a new union.

Born addicted –   a chance encounter for a significant sibling reunion.

Selfish, marred acts of those who seek to atone for sins of Greed.

The world’s a lot smaller, fewer cards.

Time to make new memories in clear waters running with creed.

Tall orders,   cats mewling, and choleric baby withdraws from life’s order.

What a sappy mess they make.   Second chances don’t come with a promise.

Each soul has its own border.

The ring of education – judicators,  over boil in an over timed pressure cooker.

Hungry students ready to whore out the possibility they carry the pearl. Send out for the Hookers booker.

Close these scriptures. War wages paid out in illness.

 Mind cavernous in an unresolved mess.

Sales galore – glorified slave stitched clothing for all. Moral urges to make do with a Makeshift dress.

Recycle on thought- careless whisper – the banana flavored condom went in the wrong bin.

Karmic balance.

Next time buy the toilet freshener with the least amount of Carcinogenic properties within.

The future promise of a surge in over priced goods.

Planning for this new hood smacks of a drugged reality.

Low suspension thoughts, feelings soar through the milky way- lost in an energy of fatality.

Maternally skinny – nourished on a liquid diet, uppers, downers and 7 0f your five a day.

recoil in horror for the day expectant ghoul comes from it’s decided gestational incubation from its hostess.

Who deserves to pay?

A hike up in rent for turning out disabled and bent or, a life staring into the consequences of hitching up an unhemmed skirt?

Murderous plot.  Rumors of have not. Denial that life belongs under flowers in stalks covered with dirt.

There is always a choice, Never a right time to get to perfection.

One decision to make.  God willing, the next messiah is a fruitful resurrection.

*I dedicate this piece to thank Sudden Denouement Literary Collective A Forum for Divergent Literature for adding me as a member of their literary circle.*

Just ice cross- fire

Bang Bang, I’m going to shoot you  dead!

Electric convulsive shocks creating heightened velocity in her head.

Trigger words of mothers who have died, snowed, under morphine.

Malignant lungs charcoaled.

The death rattle  – gargles and fills up  the lungs ready to  drown every last Mercedes Benz  dream.

Bang Bang –  a Prayer  sent up to her envisioned maker with  every bad lead thought that scatters  across her  mind.

Know psalms off by heart. Guy Fawkes terrorism  paid  for this public bonfire – doesn’t make it right -doesn’t make it an act of kind.

Chug a glass of spirited potatoes – grapes squish out the thoughts that stain thy window.

Moderation is not what she seeks, she merely wants to come to terms with her grief.

 Such a sudden blow.

Patriarchs invades her  self-made sanctuary – no amount of sage can expel the plague he carries.

Itching, biting, scabbed. riddled with disease.

Blackened limbs fall off – ebony  hearted-trickster – outlawed  even the one  he marries.

Therapy Cluedo  in the south of France, – sewn up mouths and eyes , compassionless –  flesh hanging – bubbled , leathered  and well worn.

Every day he promises he will leave. He promises he will come visit his own mother – She can’t speak or talk – she is one of the frail old born.

Forlorn- A bus goes by – Sunshades hide the tears pouring out of her eyes.

Waving off a friend she once knew –  she may be safe under lock and key – it doesn’t make her feel better when they embrace with such passion, it could stoke  a field of fires.

Brazen- bewildered – lice infestation  and puffed up Eskimo  mess – Look at this  fragmented shell , she is in need of just  one caress.

Consumed with guilt – that is not hers to own. It is the cat’s fault your  home is a shambles and smells of piss , whispers biased loose lips, fresh off a scandelous printing  press.

Chased out of her very  -own home –  headphones firmly planted  in her ears to make her life monotone .

A spectrum of color and vivaciousness she has lost- who can silence the screams pouring out of  her mouth in tones of monochrome?

Safeguard her from inbred exploitation – cast back this tokoloshe to  his own devised theater of purgatory.

If Jesus wept – he didn’t do enough- a lake full of holy water can never anoint  his aimless  trajectory.

Justice is who she sides with ,in every battle – Ready for an outbreak of  war – she will evict Denial from her friend’s abode.

No more dossing about and ejaculating  scandalous words  – lies -that make justice’s head spin around so fast. Run Tyrant -she is about to  explode.

Remember,  what  a scrupulous enemy she can make  out of you.

Manipulation test- she scored well  above average –     The school of the gifted bestowed her with the largest milked  cash cow taken from mother nature’s personal  reservoir of dew.

She knows the rules, she knows the moves- instinct  and empathy are her winning tools.

She cares not for  his  sexist Judgment  increasing multiples of spore bacteria – frozen in  barricaded  transparent  igloos .

All it takes is one breath of hers to melt him into a little boy blue.   crying profusely until he is nothing but another muddled puddle in the tarmac.

A careless afterthought only remembered  if one is quick enough to look at the sole of the innocent’s  shoes.

* inspired by my own personal feelings towards something I have witnessed in silence  for far too long. My fuse grows shorter*

 

 

 

When OCD got messy

Shout out to LINDA G stream of consciousness   – check out what it is all about here

socsbadge2016-17

Caught out -over indulging on sexual delicacies.

Orgasming, glow in the dark visuals projected onto her Fantasia cranium mental ceiling.

So novel.

Walls cave in – was it just lust  that caused her to make up all this fuss?

Why did she do it?

once. twice. three times?

Her heart was consumed. ‘Rose-tinted glasses’ a voice shouts out  and presumes.

She thinks there was real depth to some of her proclaimed emotions. How can she even look at another confectionary when she already  has the sweetest deal?

Her dowry is  her  very own Wonka factory.

There was no excuse for her to set foot out of her mind and demand to feel more satisfactory.

Does momma know her better than she does ?

Always want what you can’t have!  5-year-old  drops to the floor.

Toys R us.

Not leaving till she comes outs with  a red, tanked up, M&M replica bus.

Ready to dice herself up and fling herself into a blender – sexting, texting -somewhat fulfilling,

but not having anyone  else to indulge with afterward, leaves her with a rebellious sense that can only be satisfied by means of  tangible  bondage style correcting.

Honest to a breaking point.

Target those she wants to anoint.

Commitment. Did  she truly know what she was taking on?

She realized her demise when she demanded the same form of commitment from some other, partly innocent feckless person in an ‘ I’m- doing -alright‘ disguise.

Bonfire night explosions went off in their usually tranquil  home.

He sat back too long ,let her spirit roam and defend its right to move within another astral zone.

 Kitchen sink drama screams ,sweeping up the spindly staircase.

Mother clocks eyes with her child, rubbing her slumbered eyes – runs to pick her up and wipe away salty tears from her face.

Heart beating wildly. What has she done.

The sickly cost of seeking out more affection afflicting her  startled young.

Time to move forward.

She has respect, love, honesty, faithfulness, a family, laughter and more than she ever thought she deserved.This place under the shady protective arms rooted to the spot – she truly earned

Time to act like a true woman, tend to  her man and family –   like one would a tree – keep those roses -tidy, pruned – this time the tree still stands .

May lightening strike her heart and torment the rest of her living days if this time she hasn’t  learned.