Friday, August 10, 2012

Appy days

You won't believe this because you know me, but if strangers ask, then I will tell them and convince myself that I don't like posting incessant details online about me and what I'm doing. No, listen. I don't. On twitter or Facebook, I am more interested in you than in me. I have one filter: is the thing I fancy saying going to make me look like an eejit? If yes, but only me and nobody else, it goes up.

I am regularly, persistently, vocationally an eejit so I say a lot online. But you'd have to work hard to find me saying I was checking in at the All-Night Wicker Store. I love finding out something and rushing to tell you but sometimes if it's work, I don't because I can't. Sometimes even I draw an eejit-line. And I don't post photographs of me taking photographs everywhere I go. Maybe you do, maybe you love it, probably your photos are better than mine, but it doesn't appeal.


I have been aware, lately, that quite a lot is going on: a surprising number of projects I've worked a long time to get to do, I'm getting to do. And just day to day stuff is rather good at the moment. So I am finding that days go by where I've simply had a great time, where I've learnt something, where I've actually seen me improve as a writer, and while I would sooner show you a slideshow carousel of my last eighteen holidays than bore you with it all, I am aware that it's going by. And I don't want to miss it.

So I bought Day One.

This is a journalling app – lots of people don't like the word app; I'm not keen on the word journalling – and it's been around for ages. Entirely unnoticed by me. Until this week when I must've been in the mood for it because I caught news of its newest update and was sold. You can write in it like a diary, which is nice. You can just take a photo and caption it, not caption it, whatever you please. And whether you write or photograph, Day One stores that and adds location details. Also the current weather.


This is a terrible idea. I got an app that lets me record all that's going on and since I bought it on Monday, it's been hell.

Monday morning I delivered that script, which is a good thing obviously, but then I spent Monday evening directing actors in a cold reading of a stage play of mine and that went unexpectedly well. It was in a script development kind of gig and I was expecting, well, criticism. I was assuming I'd get criticism and that if I were lucky, some of it would be really useful. Instead, it went down tremendously.

But that was Monday, that's ages ago. After Monday – you won't believe this either but I promise it's true – there came Tuesday. I took part in a spoken-word cabaret at the launch of Birmingham's Mee Club event. (It's a very good event: next one is August 21.) It was a particularly friendly, happy crowd but such a rush having people laughing when you talk – er, and when they were supposed to laugh. Met some terrific people, every one of whom was engrossing and fun to listen to, but shush now, this is about me, not about them.

Wednesday and Thursday: I finally get to the BBC Written Archives. I've read about that place for years and never had a job that meant I could go but there I was, lapping the place up.

And then on Thursday night I get home and the first advance copy of my Beiderbecke Affair book is waiting for me. Ages early. You can't buy it until 28 September (in the UK, where you can get it from Amazon) or 30 October (in the US, where you can get it from a different Amazon).

That's quite unreal. Most of what I write is ephemera; I still have the first issue of Radio Times magazine that I got a byline in but if I ever lost it, I'd be stuck trying to replace that. But Doctor Who audios, now books. Honestly, I've now read my own book in paperback and it still feels a bit unreal that it's here.

I will get used to it. But that's the fun of Day One: I've just captured this moment of unreality in it.


I've captured it here too.

And you saw this one.


Yes, but apart from that... Day One is a smart way of flooding myself with the torrent of things I want to remember and don't want to flood you with.

And of course it is because I got a journalling app that I began to find I had something to journal.

Next week: I buy a Print Your Own Money app.


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