Sometime earlier this week, I suddenly started to get better. The back pain started to go away - just like that. It cleared up so much that Tuesday I made it along to a screenwriter's group that meets in the heart of Glasgow, fully expecting to have to turn back when the pain became too much. Or that I might have to leave halfway through the meeting because I could no longer sit in the chairs in the upstairs bar of the GFT cinema where both the sf writers and the screenwriters groups meet on more-or-less alternate Tuesdays.
Instead, I felt just fine. It was an interesting and informative evening. When I left to go home, I walked for a while. I even listened to music on my MP3 player. This is a big deal: I bought the thing about Christmas, and hardly used it because one thing you don't feel like doing when walking around in excruciating pain is listening to music.
I was hoping the screenwriter's group would be mostly about workshopping scripts. Although this is their central remit, it's become more of a networking thing. It appears to be run by John McShane, whom I remember from years ago as heavily involved in the local and national comics publishing scene (he was also behind a well-received comic called The Bogie Man). I can't remember the name of the chap who came along to give a talk about what he does in the film industry, but he's a composer for film and tv and played guitar with Deacon Blue before they became famous. The highlight for me, however, was the showing of a short movie called Fritz (on a laptop propped up on a bar), about seven minutes in length: a Gilliam-esque fantasy about a young boy who discovers a 90 year old German soldier living under his bed, tapping out morse code reports to a long-vanished Third Reich. It was made by a couple of students from Edinburgh College of Art for something like two hundred quid, and very impressive it is too.
I suspect I'll be going back along to this, mainly to keep my interest in screenwriting alive: it's easy to let stuff like that slip when you have things like manuscript deadlines looming. I'm tempted to give a 22-week screenwriting course a shot, but at two hundred quid, I'm nervous about spending the money given the drop in income following my back problems. But maybe.