Friday, 28 November 2008

Baby's in Black and I'm feeling Blue

Any colour except Red it seems. Yep I got that dreaded letter too.

I'm still going to finish off the episode and send it out for feedback. I want to make it as good as possible. It does make you feel a bit down but these things happen.

Anyway congratulations to all who got through, too many to mention here except I will mention Caroline cos I saw her's and it was brilliant. You all worked really hard and deserve it. I don't want any scribofights mind. No disgracing us by wrestling each other to be first interviewed. We're watching you.

As to those who didn't make it. I offer a virtual shoulder to cry on.

Yay to fellow losers Lucy, Robin, Elinor (please prove me wrong on this one), Chip, Stuart, me and anyone I've not spotted yet. I suggest we all have a virtual chocolate fest to recover before knock our stuff into shape and beating them all next year.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Just realised that looks a very self-centred title.

Anyway I got tagged for some memes and I'm very overdue in replying. So...

Book Meme: Thanks to Chip. What would you advise people to read?
Name your favourite:
(a) Fiction book
(b) Autobiography
(c) Non-fiction book
(d) A fourth book of your choice from any genre:
Explain why the books are essential reads in no more than 30 words per book.

(a) Mort by Terry Pratchett. First of the discworld series I read and still my favourite. Read how Death steals the show.
(b) The Dynamite Kid by Brian Blessed. The title and author say it all.
(c) Rubicon - The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland and Andrew Sachs .I've been hooked on Ancient history since I was a kid. If you find Tacitus and Pliny a slog then give this a go.
(d) The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper. Read it as a child and the imagery is still so clear in my head. Ignore the film. Read the books!

Writing Meme: And even further back I got tagged by Sheikspear. In honour of his 101st blog post he wanted my pet writing hates for room 101:
1. Competitions that tell you what they are looking for then pick someone who gave them the opposite.
2. People who assume if they haven't read your stuff then you aren't a writer.
3. People thinking you are bored and need a distraction because you are reading or writing.
4. Soduku, minesweeper, spider solitaire, etc for sitting on the laptop and tempting me away from writing.
5. Your brilliant idea that no-one has thought of and you work on for months then discover two films and a TV series coming out with the very same story.

Film Meme: Finally I poached this one from poacher Chip (or should that be frier Chip?)
I visit your house/apartment, and you spot me looking at your DVD/VHS shelf.

1. What's on there that you instantly force me to borrow, because it's a great movie and you figure I haven't seen it?
Diner de Cons because it's subtitled and people seem to be scared of that. Wonderful characters and farce at its best.
2. What you do also lend me, because even though it's not considered a classic, it's a personal favorite?
Deep Rising. Gets panned a lot but I love it. Horror and humour that mixes gore with suspense instead of delivering it neat. Can't listen to The Girl From Ipanema in a lift ever again.
3. What movie is on there that you have no rational explanation for owning, and which you try to slide under the couch while I'm distracted?
Cabin Fever.It was going cheap in Woolies. I like horror. Someone told me it was good. Watched it then went out and shot the messenger.

Anyone fancy picking up on these and running with them?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Current Projects

I find it interesting reading about all the projects people are working on so I thought I'd do one. If you aren't interested then please feel free to skip to the end. There's a pretty picture.

The list is in rough order of priority but I like to be adaptable. The first three are pretty well fixed but the others may float about or pop up at a quiet moment ahead of schedule. As to deadlines. Well the first one is out of my control but the others I set a goalpost and work towards it but if it needs longer then I don't really fret about it. The joys of writing spec work.

So here's my little list.

1) The Gate (Horror) - TV Series for Red Planet Competition. I've missed decent, non-gloss horror on the telly so I thought I'd write one. Seems lots of others thought the same so a load of us have had a go. Well at least it shows there's a demand and the more the merrier. Anyway getting first episode completed before the deadline. On page 40 so the 1st draft end is in sight. Had been blocked on a bit I wasn't happy with. It felt like talking heads even though they were driving in a car. Found a way to make it more dynamic while also giving more information about the characters relationship so happy now. Until others read it and go WHAT? of course. Then I'll be a blubbery wreck and resort to the chocolate I've hidden away for Christmas.

2) Don't be Koi (Romcom) - Radio. I'm on 1st draft but it is going well. The characters are bouncing off each other nicely and it's got a wierd streak so I'm comfortable with it. I want to get the 1st draft finished this month.

3) Witch's Stone (Teen Horror) - Novel. An allegory for addiction in its many forms. I thought I had the full story blocked out but when I want back to it after a couple of years break I realised I only had half the story. I'm going to write what I've got then free-wheel the rest to get that dreaded 1st draft done. This is my big winter project.

4) Blood, Sweat and Tears (Black Comedy) - Feature Film. This is muck and drizzle rural life rather than chocolate box stuff. A nice bit of grizzly murder to boot. I'm done a page 1 re-write on this one after noting everyone banged their heads against the wall while reading it. My first attempt at a feature film and I just tried to put everything in it. It is very different from the original version now but still has the theme and tone I wanted. All the scenes blocked out so its head down to get this draft finished.

5) Life to the Full (Drama) - TV Special. It's about an old woman and young boy that have become dispossessed from society. Not as gloomy as it sounds. Again the story is all blocked out but I need to get the thing written.

6) Rain on My Parade (Comedy Drama) - Feature Film. Sex and drugs and rock and roll for the over 40s, 50s and 60s. A pet project that I've not got quite right yet. It involves three interlinked threads about some non-conformist women so I know it is harder to write. Keeping the balance but letting people keep track of them all. I have two of the threads in a form I am happy with but one still seems too obvious. Can't have that.

7) Solitary Sky (Science Fiction) - Radio. I wanted to have a go at an SF play. First draft half way throught but still needsa lot of work.

8) Under the Thumb (Horror/Drama) - Stage Play. Set in the near future in a totalitarian state where things get very nasty. The staging of this is integral to the play so I'm still experimenting a lot.

And I've got some more Thoughts for the Day to do of course and there's a lot at the knocking around your head and scraps of paper stage.

Some of you are now thinking (hope it isn't giving you a headache) that might be why I've been erratic posting recently. Yep. 'Fraid so. I found I'd got into a spell of posting to avoid getting down to other writing. Trying to be more disciplined so hopefully a bit less of flood and famine. Unless I get bored of course then I might sneak out a few more.

Oh and I met someone the other day who didn't know who the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were. What's going on with education these days? Clearly not read enough horror. I can recommend the Book of Revelations for bedtime reading.

And continuing the horror theme, here's a pretty picture. Enjoy.