Based upon the story by Punam Farmah from the Peace Novella Series.
So here we have it! A poster for a project that I has been such an adventure to be part of. There are quite a few people who are part of this. Lots of people to thank!
To think that the screen play was written and completed during Lockdown 2.0. That was when we had to find a real life Devan, the rest of the cast and locations. We did it though!
The film is and was, made in Birmingham. The Cast and Crew are local to the West Midlands. As such, our locations are very local too. Part of the film was shot in the iconic Gunmakers Arm’s in Birmingham. A pub that has a special place in my heart and the Devan Coultrie Journey.
In just over 24 hours, The Commonwealth Games will open in the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
I qualify that as UK, as there is another Birmingham in the USA.
Anyway. The City of my Birth, welcomes athletes from across the world to participate in what are the dubbed ‘The friendly’ games.
Birmingham, is friendly to it’s core. Here in Birmingham, the city of a thousand trades, we all come from somewhere. The former workshop of the world has connections to so many places. It’s richness and diversity is what makes it tick.
The City of Birmingham is also a backdrop for at least four of my books. I’ve been thinking for months, how could I make a link with the games?!
I didn’t figure that bit out. Only that I like Birmingham. So whether we think about the Bull Ring, the BMAG, Gravelly Hill, the Jewellery Quarter or the canals; you’d be making a bingo card for all things Birmingham.
It’s not often that Birmingham makes it into books. That’s to say, I’ve rarely encountered it. May be in an Austen, or even Jilly Cooper’s Appasionata, where there’s a bit of ragging towards the CBSO.
(I love the CBSO, and one day, I’ll write a story around them)
I feel positive about the Commonwealth Games coming into town, I hope they happen well.
And if you get time between the events, why not check out the books.
The writing journey started with this blog. Recording my journey on the allotment was about learning from mistakes, about sharing the experiences with others and generally to keep developing myself.
This was a learning curve. How to write a book, taking the photos. Making a start on something, where I had no idea where it might go.
The first book was Playing with Plant Pots; Tales from the Allotment. Or, The Yellow one! This has bits pulled together about what I had grown on the allotment and then recipes based upon that produce.
The second is Sow, Grow and Eat. Whilst there is still some allotment and growing information in there. This concentrates on jams, jellies, preserves and chutneys. I mean, when you have that many courgettes. You have to work out what to do with them!
These books were written to demystify gardening, debunk some myths. Above all, they aren’t perfect. These are books to start gently with the gardening and to have a support hand guiding you. That, and you can also eat what you grow.
Well it’s been a busy spring. I am making small steps to go back to the allotment. Whilst teaching, being in private practice and also writing.
As for the writing, well!
I’ve attended two book events here in the United Kingdom. I attended Shenanigans Telford and also Tales on Trent. I have another planned.
Only this one is international!! Yes, the plan is to attend the Big Sky Event in Montana. More on that as I have it.
There have been two new releases in the last six months. These are Dragon Realm and The Battle of Gravelly Hill Interchange. Both are a bit different compared to the other books in my back catalogue. One has dragons, the other has zombies. Well, why not!
Having been to the book events and in planning for others. I have opened up the paper back order form again,
You’ve been on my mind. This blog, the readership. I know you’re out there. Somewhere, in the vast and varied echelons of the cyber universe.
I’ve not not been around as much as I could have been, or should have been. I can’t remember the last time that I sat here and typed up a post. There are number of reasons for that.
The one I always state. That life got busy. Well, that still stands.
I teach, I practice as counsellor. I write books. It has been a while since there was any gardening.
Today, I sat here and thought. You know what, Iet’s do a blog post. Before I get inky fingers, and do some writing. There’s a book to finish.
Teaching, counselling, and writing have in fluid quantities been three central themes of my life over the last year. Teaching is busy; colliding with counselling as a vocation. The counselling practice thrives; it’s going from strength to strength. That leaves writing.
I’ve had two creative projects simmering away over the last year.
One. was the development of a screenplay. For a short film. The cast was found, there is a whole crew behind it. It was a year this monday just gone, that I found my leading man. We’re on the cusp, of completing the filming process. This has been a learning curve! Especially, with a pandemic! I had learn how to write a screen play, adapt my own story. The one in question is Devan Coultrie is Unwell. A short story from Postcards from Peace: A Peace Series collection. I am also directing, so this really has been something. I can’t share much at the moment. Only that seeing the leading man become Devan, was a mind-blowing. Seeing the leading lady, become Aditi was the same. To work with two talented Make Up Artists, a Director of Photography who really knows his stuff.
We have to finish filming and then editing will happen. I have been blown away by the entire process. It has been an interesting process of skill acquisition and development. I’ve never thought and in a million years, that I would be a director. I still might not be! This isn’t finished yet.
There aren’t many British, Female Directors out there, of South Asian Ascent. I can name, one? So that makes this feel a bigger deal.
The second project, is no longer so new. Behind the Scenes has been out for a year. A collection of flash fiction, some short stories; a zombie apocalypse novelette. All of which is set in, inspired by Birmingham. Most of which, was written during lockdown.
As I step away from this blog post, I’m going to try and tackle the next creative project. I’ve been writing it since April, and I am trying to get it towards the end. This is best described as doomed romance. More on that, as it happens.
Hold up, wait. I need to to tell you about dragons. I got this far, and forgot to tell you about dragons. I’ve written another novelette. Again, set in, inspired by Birmingham. And there are dragons involved. There will be more on this later too!
A city of a thousand trades. Birmingham is busy and bustles. Everyday people go about their everyday business. Yet, there is something that lives within Birmingham. Something far more magic, than a city is mundane.
Brian is on the night bus, when he hears a voice call to him from the dark. Dave and his Lady Eleanor have a far from normal day on the canals. Linus and Gary might be friends on opposite football teams, but when half-time comes they have something in common.
Dale goes out for a Balti, and gets more than his dinner. A romance reader catches the attention of Eloise whilst in the city library.
A few people of Birmingham are sought out to do something special. To act as guardians to rather mysterious packages.
Five years, ago, about tea-time, I pressed publish. My book was out there. The first book, that I would write. I didn’t know what was about to happen.
No, it wasn’t perfect. No, I didn’t know, at that point, what I should have done, or how.
But man, was I about to learn.
I have continued to do so, too. Over the course of five years, I’ve learned a great deal, and will hopefully continue to learn. Learning, is never over; as teacher, as counsellor, I know that is true. The journey has been pretty interesting so far.
This blog, was the basis for the first book. Without this blog, without the support of the gardening world, both here in Britain and beyond, the book, probably would still be a pipe dream, Worse still, it would probably be a page of inky jottings that were going nowhere fast.
This book, has moved. It has flown to the US. As a paperback, it was stocked in an Indie bookstore; it was on a bookstand! In fact, a few of the books were. At least 3, of what is growing-oh, there’s an unintended pun-catalogue.
A few of the books. The yellow book, paved the way for the rest. There was green book, what with the chutney making. A blue book-not the content, but the cover-that was based upon a grief model. I made a foray into writing contemporary romance.
All because of this blog, because I carried out an experiment with chilli plants.
Today, I am proud. I am happy, to acknowledge that the yellow book, paved a way. Oh, there’s another reference. I get butterflies-not intentional-when the book is downloaded; when someone orders a paperback copy. When someone, decides to take risk, and engage with something that I have written. It’s magic, but altogether nerve wracking
That yellow book is special, it placed me on an interesting, ever developing journey. It is also a little bit of my soul.
Well, hello, everyone. It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been a very long while.
Over the last few days, the blog has been on my mind a great deal.
The last time that I checked in, I had been spending a great deal of time of the allotment. The weather was good; Britain was not only in the grip of a pandemic, but also a heatwave. I was able to go to the plot, and do a fair bit. I had dug over the beds, and even sown seeds.
Then life became busy, with my counselling practice and teaching. It has been a very fast, very busy ten weeks and my feet have bare touched the ground.
So, this week, I am playing catch up. I am also trying to have a rest, by shifting down a gear. I am trying to get some semblance of balance. I did have a fair dose of allotment guilt; a lot of sadness, actually. I popped down to the plot, to see how the plot had changed and to cut some roses. This, in itself, was a very grounding process. I even found some tomatoes. This was much needed. A bit of pottering, smelling the roses, to become grounded.
Social distancing still exists, and quite rightly so. And when not able to go the plot-there has been that much rain, when the sun isn’t shining. I’ve been otherwise occupied, beyond working and counselling.
Yes, at the beginning of lockdown, I learned how to knit socks. I started with flat needles, and have since graduated to circular needles. These, I do believe, make the process, easier. It is also a lovely opportunity to relax, experience mindfulness. To ground myself, and do something that isn’t energetically demanding; is wonderfully calming and therapeutic. As such, I now have four pairs of needles with as many cast on socks. As you can see, this are not boring socks. Colourful and comfy, I’m really very proud of my creations. I have enough wool now, to be really quite busy. It is really quite easy, to be seduced by pretty yarn. And the socks are all mine; there is no one to inflict them upon.
Talking of creations. There is a new writing project on the desk. All being well, that will be released next year. This has already spent a year in the pipeline, and is very different to what I’ve already written. A series of short stories, all inspired by the City of Birmingham. You’ll have to watch this space, for further details.