This re-writing phase has taken seven weeks of total focus. I tend to think of this kind of phase as a “writing bubble.” You know perfectly well that normal life is continuing around you (your bubble is transparent) but it is also irrelevant for the period in question. When you are in the zone, you stay in the zone – if you can and have any sense.
Then you burst the bubble when you send the screenplay away. The real world rushes in and and you look around somewhat dazed at the realization that the most important thing in the word, to most of the rest of the world, is not writing. Intellectually, you have known this all along, of course. Now you have to face the reality and its consequences. It can be quite a shock. There is a backlog of correspondence, and much more besides. The real world is distressingly demanding.
For all that, I feel immensely pleased and deeply satisfied with the end result of my work—albeit that the words “screenplay” and “re-write” are practically interchangeable (which is another way of saying that screenplays tend to be re-written multiple times often by a variety of different writers). It’s the nature of what is both a collaborative and cut-throat business.
The surprise of the day was to find that my sister, Lucy, has posted an old picture of my mother and first stepfather, Terrence O’Reilly, that I don’t recall ever having seen before. The date would have been 1945 or perhaps a year or two later.
Sadly, I have no recollection of him. If memory serves, he was a civil engineer who spent many years in Canada. He was quite a bit older than my mother—something like 20 years—and died of cancer in Ireland within a few years of the marriage.
My mother wrote a short book called THE HIDDEN GEM about their romance and Terrence’s tragic and premature passing. They seemed to have been very happy together.
Both my grandmother and my mother were widowed early. My grandmother never re-married nor showed any inclination to do so. My mother let a more complicated life—to put it mildly—and was re-married twice.