While the pots are bubbling away in the den of creation, as manuscripts start to pile up in drawers and projects start to weigh down the brain, there are times when the writer decides to shut herself off from her den – wandering like a lost soul. Nador had been finished in 2011, and although I published short stories regularly, in November 2013, a reply came from the CNC French cinema Association. It said: “the chair of the French national cinema and moving image centre has decided to award you funding to undertake the “Nador” project! The cinema doors open with the Cannes Film Festival red carpet as their backdrop! We will celebrate it at the Francœur cafe in Paris, a stone’s throw from the Fémis film school in the old Pathé Studios. Now with the film-maker and scriptwriter Philippe Calderon, names of actors to play Houria, Charles, and Gabrielle are doing the rounds. We are at the casting stage, and fiction is starting to be made into flesh!
We carry on in the same heady vein! In 2014 Monique Longerstay, chair of “The Green Country” cultural association asked me to write a theatre play on the history of Tabarka, this former Genoese stronghold on Tunisia’s north-east coast, right next to the Algerian frontier. “Romeo and Juliet in Tabarka” was performed on 22 April 2016 at the Skylantern Festival, by young people from Tabarka, in period costumes in the surroundings of the sumptuous Genoese fort. The play contributed to the Tabarka epic being included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage classification.
2015 was also the year of “An island… of authors” and its short story competition! On 10 August 2015, standing on the rear deck of the ferry, I saw Port-Joinville and its little houses looming up! With Yersinia, I won the collective short story prize.
My pen is sharpened and the weathercock of my lighthouse is pointing east, towards the Russian bear! As a schoolgirl, I had been amongst the first contingent of students to choose Russian as my second living language. It left me with a passion for the Russian language and culture – and in my creator’s den a great cauldron is brewing up with Slavic aromas. What if Lars von Trier were to taste what was inside?
Letter – and words – follow!