Meet My Best Friend, Fear

On Sunday, September 15th, I was 4 pages away from completing my second feature-length screenplay; a psychological thriller called Two Smart. It was hard work, and many times I chastised myself for making things more difficult than they had to be.

You see, I wondered if I could write 90 pages of a screenplay, set in one location, with just three characters. I don’t want to give away anything just yet, but when I say one location, I mean ONE location. I challenged myself even further; for example, not simply a house – but one room in a house. So I set about my task to make a story interesting enough, balancing the right about of dialogue and action to maintain an audience’s attention for an hour and a half.

That Sunday I knew I was going to finish the script. I mean, I KNEW exactly how the movie was supposed to end. I had a scene by scene outline! I woke up at 6am as usual, smiling and messaging close friends that I was about to finish the script. I went on Facebook, read some funny statuses, went on gchat and before I knew it, it was 9am. I still had the whole day to write those final four pages, right? I spent the entire day running errands, responding to emails, watching videos online…until I realised that the sun had disappeared, and the CBC Evening News had just finished.

Ok Shakirah, time to write these four pages, and I opened the Final Draft Document.

But I became paralysed. I became cold all over, and my eyes looked wildly about the room to find any task to do but the one before me. What was happening? Continue reading

On Dialect – How Caribbean people supposed tuh talk in a story, eh?

In a previous post about how I met Olive Senior, I mentioned that I wanted to do a separate blog post on the Bocas Lit Fest session with Irvine Welsh, author of the very famous Scottish novel, Trainspotting. 

cocktail

Irvine Welsh -Scottish author

Anyone who knows me knows I have a very soft spot for anything Scottish, as I consider it my second home. The Scots are very similar to us here in the Caribbean; they are friendly, love to laugh and love to drink – can’t get any better than that.

Irvine Welsh was refreshing. He reeked of confidence. He sat on the stage chewing the life out of a piece of gum, not caring about the hundred or so eyes staring at him. He gave honest answers to every question; even the rather rude one from a nosy audience member who asked about the contents of his personal bag. I mean, come on! (All sane Caribbean people covered their face in shame when Welsh actually answered “a shirt and a pair of sneakers”).

He should also give lessons in how to read fiction to an audience. It was one of the best readings I have witnessed. He captivated us with every word and antic, he did not apologise for any of the cuss words which occurred every sentence or so, and his language…was brilliantly Scottish.

Did he get a standing ovation? I can’t remember. But we in the audience were glad that he read another piece, despite it being a questionable excerpt requested by interviewer, B.C. Pires, on the slaying of a dog. And I thought my humour was dark!

My friend (and excellent writer) Desiree, had just bought Trainspotting, and I, still  completely mindblown and impressed with this man who had perfected balancing on the line between confidence and arrogance, asked for a quick peek of the novel. Here is a shot of the first page: Continue reading

Too Many Ideas Syndrome (TMIS)

Last night I dreamed about a movie.

It was one of my favourites because it is so brilliant – a fantasy movie with poignant main characters, and twisted plots which shocked and angered me. The antagonist was so cruel that I skipped ahead of some of the worse scenes. I never remember the name of the movie, but when I was dreaming the plot came back so easily. It was an old movie – think back to a time when you watched a TNT movie on that old six-channel STV box.

While I was dreaming I said to myself, “I need to look up the name of this movie because I keep forgetting what happens. It’s been a while since I watched it.”

So I wake up, yawn, and turn on the computer. I look out the window – it is a sunny Saturday yay! Now what do I have to do today again? I go on Facebook, check the emails, read a funny Cracked article (I love that site) and then I remember about the movie.

I open the Google search engine, and then I pause. I realise I have no idea what to google.

Then it hit me.

DAMMIT TO HELL (not the words I used) IT ISN’T A REAL MOVIE!

IT WAS A DREAM! Continue reading

Etc Caraibe Playwriting Competition

Etc_caraïbe, whose goals are to discover, train, promote and support Caribbean playwrights, launches its third Playwriting Competition.

Prizes: grants, artists residencies, publishing and creation support.

Beaumarchais prize: awarded to a French speaking playwright (2 500€ grant, 1000€ publishing support, 5 000€ creation support)

Ville de Paris second prize: awarded to a non-French speaking Caribbean playwright (1 000€ grant subject to a month writing residency in Guadeloupe). Readings of the laureate’s text will be held in his/her presence on October 2014 , during the Festival de Limoges (France).

Marius Gottin third prize: awarded to a creole speaking Caribbean playwright (1300€ grant)
Submit your curriculum vitae, contact information, play synopsis and the first 20 dialogue pages of your script to :
Email : etc_caraibe@yahoo.com

*PDF
Artistic director: Danielle Vendé