It’s time for my monthly update on all things All Souls.
Today is a rarity for me, because I’m taking two days for R&R after some productive meetings about the television adaptation with Bad Wolf in Wales. Two. Whole. Days. We are all going in so many different directions these days. Just taking some well-earned time to rest, reflect, recover, recharge has become a precious luxury and rarity. Back in the early modern period, “free time” was a relatively novel idea. Until then, the need to survive kept a concept of leisure at bay. Then, in the 18th century leisure became the province of the upper classes, then the middle classes in the 19th century, and finally in the 20th century (LABOR DAY!) even the working classes were given some time to enjoy life. I think we might be going all medieval when it comes to our sense of leisure, thinking that working all the time is normal and that there is no such thing as down time.
Today I’ve planned some dinner menus, colored in my favorite Johanna Basford coloring book THE SECRET GARDEN, played with the dog, went out to lunch, and now I’m going to take care of myself with some acupuncture. I know that some time off now will inspire me and make life (and work) better in the days and weeks ahead.
So here’s the news at the moment:
ADOW TV: As I said, I just got back from three intense and rewarding days with the production and writing teams for the television adaptation of ADOW. Remember, I can’t share news about broadcasters, schedules, etc. That’s up to the production team. What I can tell you is that we are really diving into the nitty-gritty aspects of adapting the book to the small screen. We are having long discussions about what we can tweak, what has to remain exactly the same, and what we just can’t manage to do faithfully so we aren’t going to do it at all. Take the yoga scene, for instance. We all love the yoga scene. It makes us smile due to the absurd perfection of creatures doing yoga. Just try putting this in a script in a way that invites gentle amusement instead of eye-rolling and disdain. Not easily done. I’d rather we all kept it in our mind’s eye than ruin it with an awkward on-screen attempt. Every detail of the books has to be discussed in this way, which is why it is taking a long time to bring it to you. But it will all be worth it when the series is faithful in tone, feeling, and character to the books even if it differs in detail.
WRITING: I’m also writing. I’m writing all the time. I’m not always sure what I’m writing, as the Bishops and de Clermonts continue to be their own stubborn, elusive, and opinionated selves. But it’s an adventure every day when I sit down and find out what’s on their mind and what they want to share!
REAL-TIME READING: We started this year’s real-time reading on Sunday, and if you missed that you haven’t missed much. Tomorrow is the fateful day when Matthew and Diana first meet in the Bodleian, so there’s plenty of time to jump on the wagon and join in the fun. We are using tags #RealTimeReadingADOW and #deborahharkness across all major social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+) so take photos or share old photos of your experiences with the All Souls trilogy. Scroll through the previous week’s posts here for further information on the Real-Time Reading and my first post.
EVENTS: It looks as though there will be some upcoming events in London and Los Angeles and again in London that are tied to my academic life in October and December respectively. I’ll keep you updated here in case you are interested, once I have details. As you know, my academic and fictional worlds are closely intertwined! And of course if additional events get planned around my academic travels I will let you know that, too.
Meanwhile, be sure to rest and recharge.
Wishing a Merry Mabon to those of you who celebrate it, and a peaceful transition into autumn.