Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 November 2016
Okay, okay, so I sort of stole partially borrowed the title of an Adele song for the title of this post. I added ‘The’ between ‘Turning’ and ‘Tables’. Original, I know, but bear with me because the title works well with the gist of what I want to write about today. So, onward ho! And no, I’m not calling you a ‘ho’, I simply mean let us get on with the post. Wow, you lot misconstrue practically everything online, don’tcha? 😉
So, I started thinking about . . . stuff . . . earlier today. As I do. Y’know, just stuff. And I had this sort of revelation. Realisation is probably a better word. I had a realisation that I have been gravitating towards particular singers, actors, writers, artists, performers, comedians, characters in works of fiction, for the last couple of years. Not in any sort of weird-a$$, creepy way, but in a ‘I’ve really started to appreciate their talents and skills’ kinda way. Not that I didn’t appreciate their talents and skills previously, it’s just that now I’m conscious of the fact that I do, and I’m wondering why it took me so long to realise this. It’s women.
Up to this point, I’ve been consciously aware that I always enjoyed listening to male singers and musicians, that I always had a favourite actor as opposed to actress, that I enjoyed reading the novels of male writers, and in a non-fiction, non-literary, non-arty way, I always preferred having male friends over female friends. And hey, I’ve never been a girly girl. Ever. In my entire life. No siree, Bob. No, no, no, I’m still not a girly girl. Give me pants and shorts and t-shirts over dresses and skirts any day. My point being though, is that I used to appreciate the intricacies of works created by males more than I did those created by women. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing the work of men now. Give me a Jeffery Deaver novel over a Danielle Steele any day!
The thing is, as I’ve aged . . . God, that sounds so formal and old-fashioned, sadly though, it’s true, I’ve aged . . . I lean more towards listening to the narratives created by women. I enjoy watching movies and TV shows more when the protagonist or antagonist or both are women. Especially when they are strong, independent female characters. I’m not into those victim types in my telly shows or movies. And female writers – holy sh!t, there are so many incredible women writing for TV and film these days, and the stories that they tell are so much more colourful and intricately woven than what I think men are producing; it’s f*#king glorious to view their work. Of course, all I need to say about female singers is covered by . . . oh, come on, I’ve already covered this one a number of times. Especially my current musical love.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m gravitating towards women in the arts; maybe I’m subconsciously trying to balance all the years I spent listening to male singers and musicians, reading books written by males, admiring actors over actresses. I don’t know. And I repeat: I’m not ignoring or dismissing the work of men in the arts. Maybe it’s because it’s women who are producing the best of TV, film, theatre, music, and literature at the moment. I still read, watch, and listen to men, but I find myself wanting to write more female oriented stories and scripts. And I’ve got more ideas crashing about in my head than I know what to do with, but unfortunately for you, I don’t want to share those stories yet. I want to flesh them out, and write them properly before I let anyone else in on them. Although, that being said, I did have a student ask me what I was writing in my journal the other day, and I did happen to explain to him the gist of the story . . . but only because he rather gorgeously said to me, ‘Why don’t you tell me what you’re writing about? Maybe I’ll be able to give you some ideas to add into it because I love writing too.’ Too cute to ignore. Turns out, he wasn’t fussed with my idea. Apparently, it was too grown up for him. 😉
So, Sally Wainwright said something in an interview that’s currently resonating with me. In fact, it’s a quotation from her that I’m having some difficulty getting out of my head because it just makes sense. She said, and I’m paraphrasing of course, ‘Women are heroic. Women are emotionally articulate. They talk about their feelings more.’ And of course, all of that goes towards making better drama. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of drama in a scene between two blokes if they’re not going to talk about their feelings. The fly, however, in Sally’s ointment are the women who don’t talk about their feelings, and who aren’t emotionally articulate. The ones we often hear described as reacting like men. And hey, I have to admit that I actually quite enjoy writing those female characters too. What’s not to love about an emotionally closed off character coming face to face with an emotionally articulate one? The conflict, the awkwardness, the skin-crawling embarrassment and humiliation that can come out of a scene like that is something that I find fascinating to write. A scenario like that lends itself to an injection of comedy to temper the awkwardness and embarrassment, and to punctuate the seriousness of whatever the characters are trying to discuss.
Mind you, the fly in the ointment scenario and enjoying writing that kind of scene likely says more about me as a writer and a person than it does about the characters that I’m writing. Yeah, you’ve probably guessed by that part that I’m not necessarily someone I’d consider to be emotionally articulate. Well, not in person . . . but perhaps more so in my writing I am somewhat emotionally articulate. Hey, I’ve made myself cry with some things that I’ve written. Okay, fine, maybe not in the way I’d want to cry, maybe more out of frustration than anything else. But I am emotionally articulate enough to know when I think something I’ve written is going to resonate with others. Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. See what you do to me? You distract me, and get me discussing things that aren’t the primary point of my post. You cheeky lil buggers . . .
Oh sh!t, I’ve just realised that there’s another reason why I’m finding myself enjoying the work of women. I’m. Growing. Up. That’s got to be it! I’m growing up, and starting to act like an adult. Oh, oh, that’s just not any good at all. Damn. Now I don’t know where to go with this. What the hell am I going to do? I can’t grow up and act like an adult. It will only lead to other adult type things, like wearing adult shoes, and exchanging concert T-shirts for button up shirts, and next thing you know, I’ll be wearing skirts and dresses!* What will people think? My life will be over . . .
Yes, it’s all highly unlikely, I know, that I’ll ever grow up. To be honest, I was struggling for an ending for this post and the growing up gag seemed to work in nicely. *Insert me awkwardly nodding my head at the computer screen about now* Right. So. Off you pop, and read the rest of my blog.
* Yeah, that’s never realistically gonna happen. Pffffft, me and skirts and dresses . . . as if!