Sue Wallman: One Second a Day
Sue Wallman is the author of award-winning YA thrillers Lying About Last Summer, See How They Lie, Your Turn to Die, and Dead Popular. She also works in a school library. How do you make a video diary feel real in one second a day? Sue says:
There’s always a point of view in diaries as well as stories. There’s always a choice between what you decide to put in and what to leave out. That’s one of the things that make them fascinating
"My three daughters are curating A Second A Day video diary, where you upload a second of video a day to an app, and you view it back as a series of memories. They started it on 20th March 2020, when the older two came back from uni for lockdown.
It was all starting to look a bit perfect – homemade cake, spa sessions and doing Joe Wicks' workouts. Once we added a second of me prodding my eldest daughter with a mop and calling her a lazy slug, and a second of our leaking boiler, it looked so much more real.
The fact is we’ve hardly done any baking on lockdown (it’s not just because flour and eggs are hard to get hold of), the hair dyeing ended up with bleach on the bathmat (again), and there was hair everywhere after the fringe cutting, the whipped coffee tasted vile, and we failed to complete Joe’s Seven Days of Sweat.
I once found a load of photos taken by my middle daughter on an old digital camera. They would never have made it into my precious album – there were close-ups of her little sister’s snotty face and saggy nappy, dirty clothes on the floor, her older sister looking really annoyed, and me looking super tired with terrible hair.
There’s always a point of view in diaries as well as stories. There’s always a choice between what you decide to put in and what to leave out. That’s one of the things that make them fascinating."