Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Effective advertising....

1.30pm and my stomach was grumbling, a lot. So I headed to the kitchen, and idly glanced out of the window as I-- -- totally lost my train of thought.

There was a black Dalek blowing up the shop window across the street!
... Sorry, I'll try that again.
It wasn't quite that exciting.

There was a blow-up Dalek, a black one, in the window of the shop across the street.
- New shop, old premesis. - Made me forget everything. - Took me a moment to realise it was an inflatable Dalek. Not a real one.
Whoever heard of such a thing?! (Well, probably all of you. But muggins here doesn't get out much.)
My shocked and numbed brain managed to mumble "Great advertizing!" to me*.
Note to self: Utilize someone else's well known and eye-catching brand to more effectively promote and advertise your own services.

Then I wondered why I was in the kitchen, and my body reminded me "LUNCH, YOU BARBARIAN! GET ON WITH IT!" - - "Um, you'll be hungry, then?" "GET ON WITH IT! FOOD! NOW!" "Okay, okay. Keep your hair on."

Highlight of my month.
I'm trying to work out how sad it is that I can admit that...?
No, don't answer.

Back to writing!

*What? I'm a writer, I need to be able to compartmentalise bits of my personality.
Well, that's my** excuse.... Anyway, Nothing to see here! Move along!

** See: *

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Solar roads for electric cars


Check out this post by Jim Henshaw which includes a You Tube vid that you need to watch.

I'll just try to.... - -

Woah! Neato! It worked! Sorry, I shall just pass out from shock.

Anyway, well cool - why ain't the UK leading the way with this? Huh? Huh?

Saturday, 31 July 2010


BUM! If I do that, all the characters are going to have to wear filter masks all the time, and it'll look pants on film.

Drat, and double drat.

Where's that bl**dy drawing board got to...?

Or maybe some kind of powered (unnoticable) nose plug/filter....? Hang on a min, I need to go away and think about this. *gnashes teeth*

Blinking stories! GRRRRRRR!!

Monday, 26 July 2010

UK Film Council to be axed

UK Film Council is falling under the axe? This is a huge mistake, surely? They are killing off one branch of an industry that stands a chance of getting us through the financial mess we are in by creating investment and, theoretically, profit.

If Tim Bevan thinks it's a bad idea, that's pretty much good enough for me. I suggest that Working Title have their finger on the pulse, so if he ain't happy....

Well anyway, what ever you reckon, in my book it's a bad move.

When they could save 2 billion (yeah, count those zeros) in the NHS per year, every year, by scrapping the Anti-cholesterol campaign - run by a bunch of nutters with no evidence but a theory they think sounds good? [Lower your cholesterol and the evidence suggests that you are wiping out one of your body's main defense systems and raising your chances of death, from all causes!] Well IMO, the powers that be are nuts for backing such madness.

Want to know more? Read: the Great Cholesterol Con, the truth about what really causes heart disease and how to avoid it by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, ISBN: 978-1-84454-610-7.

Or you could read the books on the subject by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov.

Or if you prefer a layman's take, you could read the works of Barry Groves - although you may find his Trick And Treat, Why Healthy Eating Is Making Us Ill a little too full of scientific references and studies, and disturbing information to be the easiest read in the world, Natural Heath and Weight Loss is a much easier ride.

Personally if you like a dark, mildly sick sense of humour with your science, Dr Kendrick's book is very accessible to the layman, and has a tonne of medical facts and references. This dude knows his stuff. Check it out.


We're are all being taken for a huge ride by big industry, who want to sell more statins - You think you suffer from paranoid conspiracy theories, check out the way these guys operate - It ain't paranoia, and it ain't a theory. They are the dudes that fund the flawed studies by organisations like WHO (not the band), that the government take their expert advice from. !? W.T.F.!!!

Sorry. Platform. GRRRRRRRRRR!!! Anyhow, read the books. Check out http://thincs.org/

I'm off to grind my teeth.


EDIT: 27 Feb 2011
The need to rant some more has raised it's ugly head again, so, just to add to the who cholesterol debate - for passers by who may want to know:

The mortality tables show that low cholesterol is linked to a higher death rate from all causes.
You might want to think about that before tucking into your cholesterol lowering death-spread?

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Bit like Doctor Who, but different. ?
I really enjoyed it. Gold stars to all involved. :) MORE, PLEASE?

And we were all thinking, "What you do not smell is called iocane powder. It is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadlier poisons known to man...."

And the best thing is, we'll never know! (Unless they reveal it next time? I hope not.)

*evil laughter*

What? It's waaay passed my bedtime.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Grim - Update


The very nice gentleman who agreed to read my script, is back from his trip, and has just declined. But I thought that what he said was very interesting, so I am going to share part of it with you:

"I can see what attracted you to this idea, updating a local legend and giving it a novel twist.
Unfortunately I don't think this is right for us at the moment. Part of the issue lies in the sheer volume of supernatural/horror scripts that are in circulation and are being made. With that in mind, it's critical that any additions to the genre have some aspect that make them noticeably stand out or distinguishes them from other similar stories."

I find this feedback extremely positive. Hoorah! - - He didn't tell me to eff-off, he said "at the moment".
But the thought provoking aspect of this is (a) That I write quite a lot of horror of various types, and (b) that it's critical that any additions to the genre have some aspect that make them noticeably stand out or distinguishes them from other similar stories.
Now I thought I'd at least partially achieved that with The Grim, okay it has some vampire-esque qualities, but this is a monster I've never seen before ... novel twist on the legend, and all.... [And IMO has a built in marketing strategy - which is one of the reasons why Producer No#1 got so excited about it (he said as much) before he fell off the planet while searching for funding]

So, what does make one supernatural horror film stand out from another?
Obviously the monster is only part of the story.
Maybe I am too in love with The Thing, and Alien for my own good?

Character - I probably need to watch it again (or even read the screenplay! Yes, I really should have done that already, very remiss.), but Kurt Russell's character in The Thing could have been any of them, he was the leader and had a bit more grit than the others, but no memorable stand out qualities as such (other than his beard? LOL). Kurt Russell is eminently watchable: Snake Pliskin anyone? Jack Burton? Pretty much everyone he's ever played - but those two are stand out characters.
My script doesn't have a Snake, or a Jack, or a Ripley - apparently. I was kind of heading towards Ripley, but I obviously didn't pull it off. *gnashing of teeth* Grr.
So, next rewrite I need to go back and revisit the characters...? (I'll add that to the back burner)

Noticeably stand out or distinguish themselves from other stories in the genre.
Other similar stories.
... *more gnashing of teeth*

Maybe I shouldn't have brought in my hunter? No. He's needed. Do I need to change him? Possibly.

Maybe I need to kill off one of the familiar characters up front - anything can happen! Make the red-shirts a lot less obvious.... ? (Another one to add to the back burner)

Setting? I'm totally happy with the setting. I don't think that's the problem. I could move it to a city, but that would be a different story. IMO Predator didn't work anywhere near as well when they brought it to civilisation, not like The Hidden. Predator's a hunter and needs a location we don't know intimately, somewhere where we feel vulnerable, where we don't know all the rules. Whereas The Hidden is a parasite that needs access to prey, the city is its natural stalking ground. Fallen, similarly needs a population in the near vicinity in order to allow the monster to hide.
So setting gets a tick.

The monster itself? One of the consistent bits of feedback I've had from the majority of people who have read the screenplay in its various incarnations is that they love the monster ... Which leaves me a bit stuck: I could reduce the vampire-esque and increase the demonic, but I think it would loose something if I made it less creature-feature and more spook central. I dunno.

Maybe I should just chuck the whole screenplay in the corner to laugh at me until a later date? - - Then there'll be two of the b*ggers smirking at me every time I look around the room. My Fantasy screenplay laughs at me hysterically every time I cast an eye into its corner. Can I stand two of them doing it?

B*LL*CKS! I'm off to get on with the Science Fiction screenplay.

Time to type.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Jigsaw

When you finally twig that you are missing a major piece of the plot, after the *facepalm*(*) you can make yourself another coffee and start some serious writing - the type that (as long as the characters are talking to you) involves actually putting words to paper ... or fingers to keyboard.

Darn it all! I wanted to procrastinate a little longer. F**K! That means I need to switch my conscious brain on. Pfft. Grr. *sigh*

*or *forehead slap* if, like me, that's what you prefer to call it (unlike every other b*gger out there - and yes, I'm not talking about insects: I'm using English rather than American, and being slightly rude.)

Chinese/Japanese SPAM?

I do not understand why these people continue to attempt to post comments in foreign languages on moderated blogs?

a) I can not read what you are writing so I am unable to easily tell if the comment has any relevence or value.

b) If I've deleted or rejected all your other comments, what in heaven makes you think I might not do the same to any similar new comments? Especially given that I went off on one when I first started getting foreign comment spam. I know that at least one of you has English capabilities....

GRRRR. Please stop.

If I can't understand your comment I am not going to post it, no matter how relevent you think it might be.

[What's the betting I still have to waste my time weeding through this cr*p!? My procrastination time can be used on far better activities than this. GRRRRRR!!]

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


"If only I had this, then I'd be happy."

Where does this kind of toxic, SELF-based, poisonous thinking come from?
What emotional quagmire does this particular sinkhole and accompanying noxious wellspring originate in?


I'll leave it there, for our consideration.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

I'm busy doing nothing....

Jason has a great post on THINKING. Which I discovered just now while I was procrastinating as I tried to avoid that very subject - or even as I was immersing myself in it. Not sure which. They tend to be the same thing with me.
You divide your brain up into parts and trick the smallest part into thinking it is actively engaged in something, while the rest of it mulls over stuff. And then suddenly the main part of the brain derails the smaller part, and you put down whatever crap you were distracting yourself with and THE WRITING starts to flow ... At the start of a project this is ideas and inspirations (which I have to write down quick before they vanish); and then later in the project the sieving, refining, focusing, initial plotting; then later again reworking, recombining, replotting, deleting, refocusing, and finally; I start the typing/scribbling part of the process, during which I usually go through all the previous stages several times AGAIN!
Which maybe is why it can take me FOREVER to actually complete a story*.
However when the characters start talking to you it can really speed all of this up, because you already have a 'lock' on the story, whether you realize it consciously or not.
*Or sometimes less than two months (for a two hour feature), start to finish, when the writing really takes over and your active brain has vanished into the mist of creation. And the majority of that two months is thinking time.

And now I must go write.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

What have I been up to?

You really don't want to know, but I'm going to tell you anyway!

Failing to get an agent.

Not necessarily in that order.

I rewrote The Grim, again, and have sent it off to be inspected by a very kind chap, who is now "going away for a few weeks" but will "read it when I get back". So hoorah! But instead of waiting I am cracking on with the science fiction screenplay ... I'm in the end stages of collating all my previous ideas, and sorting out the plot - prior to starting the actual writing*.
This is an improvement over biting my nails and gnashing my teeth with the whole suspense of it all. And if I get rejected, so what. I shall keep writing darn you all!

Speaking of rejection, I've had three agents come back to me in the space of three weeks, all saying "Thanks, but no thanks." Which is a pretty quick turn around, considering the timescales they are touting on their websites - means I must be communicating effectively, or they are in a dead phase. Two of them said it wasn't their sort of thing, and one of the rejections was the usual, vague "Never darken my door again!" with threats ... okay I'm joking, but you know the type of rejection I'm talking about - basically they know enough about me from my attempted overtures to know that we would never ever go out on a date together, and if we did, marriage would be right out SO DON'T EVEN GO THERE. *sigh*
Mind you, I think I shall delay my next bout of attacking agents until I've finished the first draft of the science fiction screenplay ... concentrate all my efforts on that, without the petty distractions of World Conquest.

Hoorah! Holiday! That was fun. :)
My friend Lucy** took me away to the Isles of Scilly for a week for our joint "How fricking old are we?" "SHUSSSSSH!" birthday present. Once I get my act together, I shall probably post pictures on my Facebook page.
NB: If you don't like plants, don't even bother - - we were on Tresco and spent much of our time in the Abbey Gardens oohing and aahing over pitcher plants in flower, and puyas: flowering in three different colours (yellow, green and BLUE! Who knew the puya came in blue? Lucy didn't and she's the plant queen.)
Admittedly there are some fairly good shots of islands, and amazing coloured sea, and INTERESTING ROCKS ... What? I'm a boring bastard at the best of times. Tough. Suffer. You have been warned in advance.
Oh, and there was a Borg Cube there, for some reason? It appeared to like it so much that it has deactivated itself and is now pretending to be a sculpture - but I know a Borg Cube when I see one.

*But when I start the actual writing, this is usually the point at which my brain churns out half a dozen ideas for other stories in an effort to derail me, the rat fink.
**Not that Lucy, a different Lucy altogether. - - Heck, that Lucy knows nine million Eleanor's (spelling optional), am I complaining about not knowing who I am anymore? Huh? Huh? - - Easily confused me. Grr.


NB: I've had to turn on comment moderation due to the unremitting spam linking/comments by annoying personages who can't take a hint.
I don't delete you for the fun of it you know! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

UPDATE: 20th June 2010. I've just realized that this pic may be a bit misleading - sure, as Borg Cubes go, this one is small, but the foliage in the foreground makes it look really, really small. I wasn't able to measure it because of the gulf between it and where I was standing, but it is at least man-sized, if not bigger.
Here's another pic, which hopefully shows it better.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Screenplay by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski

Ninja Assassin, never has a DVD cover seemed so unpromising, and yet....



Go watch it.


Why does he not have his own school already? ... 8th level faces 10th level Master, then turns 9th right before he is split down the back. 10th level Master kills girly right before 9th level, who then spontaneous converts to 11th* level and twats the f*cker.

... And then I wonder how this film is so good, and the credits come up.
- - Oh.

That's why.


...Seriously. ... If you ignored the spoiler warnings and read on, you need to go watch/buy this film. It fulfills the promise of the title - - when it could have so easily have fulfilled the promise of the cover and been crap.


*I'm using the Spinal Tap speaker scale here, rather than any martial arts official scale, because my knowledge of martial arts sucks. And lets face it, each martial art uses a different scale anyhoo.

**Mind you I am half way through an extremely good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (which I usually say "meh" too, but this one is superb: Rockford Valley, Australia, 2003. They know how to grow a grape.) which may be colouring my opinion. But I'm fairly certain the film is going to be just as good on the utterly sober rewatch, tomorrow afternoon.

Really good wine, utterly great film. What more could you want?

By the by - "Bottle Shock" as recommended by Jim Henshaw is a pretty good 104 minutes, too.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Motivation and rewards....

Jim Henshaw has posted a really interesting short animation about productivity - by RSA Animate, called DRIVE.

I thought you might want to go take a look, if you haven't seen it already?

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Darn it all people, I'm trying to procrastinate!

I dunno, you finish your most recent TV screenplay, and are about to embark on the science fiction feature you've been meaning to write for like, ages, but decide you need a little procrastination to get the brain working - as your first cup of coffee of the day has just woken you up enough to remind you that you've got to read through about a zillion pages of story notes that need to be collated, made sense of, and then thrown out, before you even start outlining....

So you get online, check out the interwebs, and discover a dead-zone.


Thanks, people. Now my options are down to Spider Solitaire, Mahjong, or watching the LOTR trilogy (long version) instead. Unfortunately the latter is a little more procrastination than I had in mind, and the two former are just about boring enough to send me back to sleep.


Where's that blinking Sudoku book got to?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Mountain Effect

You are flying along in a clear blue sky, humming a little song to yourself, when someone pulls along side in their jet-fighter and says they really like the way you fly. 'And incidentally, don't you like my jet-fighter?'
It's a cool looking jet-fighter. But when you take a good look close to, you realise it has some gaffa tape in a few places. Infact, it's quite a ropy old jet-fighter, but it has potential. There is quite a bit of rust that could do with a good scrape and respray/rebuild.
But small parts of the jet-fighter are quite breath-taking, angles, curves, the sheen and sleek of it. You can see the potential. You like.
If it's rebuilt it could be stunning. - - You say this.
'You wanna help rebuild it?'
Sounds like a plan.
But as you fly along in tandem, making a list of changes that really need to be made, it's becoming quite cloudy, until you can't see where you're flying anymore. And all the while the guy is distracting you with compliments.
"Look, I can't see because of all these clouds, and if I'm gonna work on it we really need to land, so you can sign the rebuild paperwork and I can get on with fixing it." He agrees, but keeps on flying through the clouds.
"Are you gonna land?"
He thinks about this for a good long while. 'Nope. I've decided the jet-fighter is fine the way it is afterall. Bye!' He peels away in a vertical climb.
The clouds part and you are nose to cliff face with a mountain.
Belatedly you realise that that wasn't cloud, it was all the smoke he was blowing at you.

Well, that was educational. Sometimes these things need hammering home.

So, the American re-write is well and truely dead. I suspected this was the case back near the start, but it was such pretty smoke that I allowed myself to get carried away and ignore the many warning signs.

Take heed kinder. If someone says they love you but won't commit, it means they don't love you at all, they just want the chance to use and abuse you.
*narrows eyes*

Goodbye Producer No#2. That was ... interesting.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Self-publishing - Part II

Read Self-publishing - Part I here

Overall, I am very happy with the service provided by Authors OnLine.

There was a slight hiccough with the cover text design on The Yes / No Tarot Oracle, (as to where it was placed in relation to the artwork) - the designer must have been having an off day; but this was sorted out to my satisfaction very promptly once I had made them aware of the issue.

They are a very good company and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, if any of you lovely people ever did want to take the self-publishing route.

Feel free to email me if you want any further information about the service, beyond the details they give on their website.

They would normally take between 8 to 10 weeks to get your book published once you hand in all the documents ... the only reason my second book took so long was that my illness prevented me from signing off on it right away.

I have put links to both the Tarot books in the side bar - they are available in softback via print on demand from most booksellers, and the PDF versions are available to buy from Authors OnLine should you want to.

I'm so chuffed, here are the pictures of them AGAIN! :)


Sunday, 11 April 2010


Well, that was a new experience. And one I hope never to repeat.
My balance is still off slightly, so walking in a straight line doesn't always happen according to plan, and crossing the road is at best a dangerous gamble ... but then, isn't it always?
Much better than I was. I can concentrate for over half an hour now without my brain melting. So writing is back on the agenda. Way hey! :)

When you can't read, or watch TV, or surf the net, and you're just about well enough to not be asleep 24-7, it gets incredibly frustrating. ~ You want to write, but all you can do is the imagination part of it, because pen to paper is as overwhelming as trying to read. - - I don't know how to describe it...?

Overwhelming, is the best description there is for the sensation of being utterly unable to concentrate or focus your attention; it's all too much.
But if you haven't experienced it, that means nothing to you. It's horrid though. Crippling.

After over a week of being asleep, and then 3 days of dreaming about chocolate cake, and then another two days fantasizing about the perfect lamb chop, followed by a day of fantasizing about liver and kidneys cooked to perfection ... and all the while the thought of actually eating makes you very ill ... Eventually your brain gets pissed off and starts tackling the important problems like - how the heck do I fix X in story Y. - - Now all I have to do is remember all the fixes I came up with and get them written up. :)

So now that it's mid bl**dy April, what happened while I was out of it?


Well, both my books are now available in print, or in PDF if you prefer. The first one came out at the beginning of February, and then lurgy interrupted me signing off the second one until just before the Labyrinthitis took me out for the count.
I will blog about the process next time - - once my brain is a bit more together. With pictures, and links, and such. HOORAH!

In the mean time, please dont cough near me. LOL.


*from Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett

Monday, 29 March 2010

Not norovirus, but labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis in my case takes the form of a viral infection of the inner ear, which - like most viral infections - has no cure.

It lasts around two weeks ... or maybe much longer.

And means that any movement of the head causes acute world-spin, nausea, vomiting ... and for me, at one point a black out - - When you wake up on your back dry-heaving, you realize that two near death experiences in the last 12 months is a little bit more interesting than is comfortable.

Luckily they do these nifty little pills that taste vile, which you stick under your upper lip, and they stop the vommiting. They do not however stop the nausea and dizziness.

Norovirus would seem to be, by comparison, a walk in the park.

Thanks Fairy God-Cat. ... Laugh it up you b*stard furball!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Possibly norovirus ...

I kid you not.


The Fairy God-Cat is taking the piss with this one. Grrr....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

What is this, the year of Lurgy?


I don't effing believe it. *gnashing of teeth*

I'm recovering nicely from losing 5 weeks, and decide to accept my friend's invitation to visit beautiful South Devon to get fully pampered and catered too like the proverbial cat who got the cream, and recuperate fully in luxury.


- Take great care not to pass the final remnants of my lurgy to my friend and her family? Tick.
- Waited on hand and foot? Tick.
- Lie on the sofa watching the rugby? Tick.
- Do next to nothing at all? Tick.
- Enjoy gentle walks through amazing countryside? Tick.
- Eat myself in to a stupor? Tick.
- Get better and start to feel truly alive again (aside from the ongoing fatigue)? Tick.
- Take great care not to pass the final remnants of my lurgy to my friend and her family? Tick. Tick.

So far, everything is going according to plan.

Then on the last day my friend starts feeling unwell ... Headache and temperature.
And I feel GUILTY AS ALL HELL for giving her plague! - - Except, I didn't.

Got home - everything fine, do the chores, get a bit of writing done, catch up on TV procrastination. Wake up today, still alive, firing on all cylinders, HOORAY! Except, just after 12 noon I start feeling a bit odd.

I now have a headache and a temperature ... the exact same symptoms my friend has. I stop feeling guilty as all hell and reach for the paracetamol.



More importantly, stop giving your vile lurgies to me. I have been more than ill enough in the last 6 months to last me at least 10 years. In fact probably 20.


The next person who sneezes or coughs near me is gonna get... - Well I'll think of something deeply unpleasant to do to you.
I won't actually do it, I'll just think about doing it. And I'll smile at you while I'm thinking about it.
I may even make notes, and have your imagined fate played out in the next horror nasty I write. Then I'll smile again, because I'm not a very nice person deep down when you get past the layers of socialization and not wanting to go to gaol for mass murder.

So if you are in East Devon, and you sneeze, or cough, and some psycho woman starts smiling at you, and possibly grinding her teeth. It's me, alright? You've been warned.



[*I am alluding to Typhoid Mary here, obviously.]

[UPDATE: 17 March 2010 - Bliss! This is one of the old school lurgies I remember from the 90's and before, where you have half a day of feeling really crap, followed by just feeling a bit grotty for several days afterwards. Thank f*ck!]

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

5 Weeks Lost - A.K.A. PLAGUE

Blech is all I can say... just about... I'm still ill - with plague on top of the ongoing exhaustion and fatigue. (Probably because of them)

End of January I came down with a nasty lurgy, which then morphed into a throat infection, ulcers, the lot. It is quite disgusting, and seems to be affecting my ability to think creatively - or at all. Grump.

This is the 3rd set of different antibiotics that I'm on (don't even ask - all I can say is "Doctors, grrr.").

So that's 5 weeks lost to plague. I'm not happy about it.

This morning I'm functioning well enough brain-wise, but if other good days are anything to go by I'll be lucky if I still feel this way in 3 hours time.

Well, I'd better go put pen to paper while I'm feeling halfway alive.
February. (derisive) Hah!
Fricking bl**dy March already.

Anyone know a good snake-oil curative? I'm willing to try anything* at this stage.

[*well, okay, not anything, but most things - if it has a chance in Hades of clearing this vile pestilence.]

Saturday, 9 January 2010

The big freeze.

Want to know why we're freezing our arses off in the UK despite global warming, and are due to continue to do so for the next 27 years approx?

Read CHILL by Peter Taylor, ISBN 978-1-905570-19-5

It's all about climate change, and how the 30 year oceanic cycles (plus solar cycles, cloud pattern cycles, etc) completely dwarf any CO2 warming that is occurring.

We've just finished a 30 year warm cycle, and are now moving into a 30 year cooling cycle. So get that triple glazing in!

Controversial? Maybe. But I think he might be right.
He also mentions very briefly in passing that we still need to live in an environmentally friendly way [my interpretation:] stop polluting, farm in an environmentally friendly way, and quit trying to consume more than the Earth is capable of providing each year if we hope to survive as a species.

It's a complex book, but it's worth a look-see.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2009, what happened...?

Well, that year just flew by!

Didn't get a lot done that I wanted to do. But got a lot of other things done, and things that are in the process of doing, instead.
I'm up to my eyeballs in ongoing stuff at the moment - which makes it a bit difficult to comment on 2009 properly, and specifically so with regard to a certain project I'm involved with that just keeps dragging on and on. *gnashing of teeth*

HOPE! - - dashed - - HOPE! - - dashed - - HOPE(kinda).... and on, and on, and on.
It's getting annoying now. GRRR!

My goals for 2009 were to:
* Find a new job
* Complete the American Collaboration Rewrite for Producer no#2
* Finalise the sale/option of the supernatural horror screenplay
* Complete at least one more spec and get a producer seriously interested/sold
* Earn some money from my writing
I said, "F*ck it! This is the year I make it happen!"

Did I? Jury is still out.

* I did get the new job.
* Producer no#2 rewrite is ... well ... stay tuned in 2010!
* Finalise sale/option ... Producer no#1 was last seen stalking funding, stay tuned.
* Complete at least one more spec ... erm ... Got interrupted. (which is no excuse! ARGH!)
* Earn some money ... 2010 may be the year for that?
I made some things happen. - - On the one hand, meh; and on the other hand, I did a shit load of work (during the few moments when my brain was functioning), which was mainly rewriting (including the tarot books), and which is in the process of building a partial foundation for the future.

Okay, so 2009 ...

January. My day job notified me of potential redundancy from my work as a telephone monkey, but then said they would retrain me to work as a telephone technical monkey, and teach me about how (not) to blow up computers, which incidentally came with a minuscule pay rise, so hooray!
I also casually toyed with the idea of investigating e-publishing for my tarot books....

I spent February doing computer homework, surrounded by men (hee!). Got a bit stressed about living in chaos, and by my car threatening to fall apart. Writing didn't really happen this month. Blech.

March, I bought a new car ... well a secondhand runabout that was as cheap as chips, but it gets the job done. :) Bargain. ....Was that it? Blogged about villains - - oh yes, I was intermittently rewriting the fantasy. But didn't have the proper time to devote myself to it, what with the day job. (Brain power exhausted by the end of the day... *shakes head at self* Light weight!)

In April I tried to boost my self confidence by bragging. Never works. *rolls eyes*
The NEED to write started hitting home big time - that itch at the back of your brain that tells you insanity beckons if the writing can't get out! - and realised I'd already lost 1/3rd of the year to other distractions. Grr.
Also failed basic math. ;)

May was a month of "No." LOL. Producer no#3 liked The Grim (A.K.A. The Legend Of The Beast) a lot, but not enough to option it. And yet another publishing company turned down the tarot book (the one that came within a whisker of being published in 2008).

June was spent concentrating on horror - both watching it, and rewriting story for The American Collaboration. I also experienced a weird combination of insecurity and "Ha! Ha! I'm a genius!" this month. Conflicted? Yep. Looking for reasons to worry? Yep. Pointless? Yep. Effectively told myself to "Get on with it!"

July was a month of plague. I caught Swine Flu. Blech. Still, I lived. But the after effects dragged on and on. Grr.

August - my body tried to kill me. On my birthday, no less! I had a full bore asthma attack. First properly serious one ever. If my inhaler hadn't been nearby I might have died. - Terrified my sister, who was on the verge of calling an ambulance when the inhaler started working its magic and I began to actually be able to take in air again. The landlord had the builder putting in double glazing, I went to offer him a drink, and the dust from the work nearly took me out for good. Very, very blech.
If you have asthma, even if you think it's only mild, please for goodness sake carry your inhaler. Asthma is an allergic reaction to a factor in the environment that your body doesn't like - and is liable to zap you when you least expect it. (Like on your birthday. Grr.) Asthma may only be a mild annoyance usually, but it can turn around and whack you for six at a moments notice.
What else happened? Philip Morton updated his blog, briefly. I spent half the month doing social type things, away from the cave. Writing didn't really get a chance to happen, I may have mulled a bit, and jotted down some new story ideas, but no actual typing as such.

September ... another month of plague.
Early in the month, my Step-Mother's body decided to try to kill her: she was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer (she's receiving treatment and seems to be doing well).
And later in the month, not yet fully recovered from the dreaded Swine Flu, I came down with a temperature for two days and ended up mostly dead for the rest of the year. I'm still mostly dead now. *sigh* Combination of stress and fatigue, and generally feeling totally crap. I have more bad days than good days, but it's beginning to even out. ... I think part of it may be 2008 finally catching up with me? Grr. Anyhow, it ain't fun.

October ... there must have been an October...?
Oh yes! In between being mostly dead, I decided to self-publish my tarot book and finish writing my other tarot book. So I was finishing the second book and sorting out the self-publishing thing with Authors OnLine for all of October.

November, pretty much a page-one rewrite of the first tarot book at speed. Followed by sorting out artwork for the covers, and starting to edit both books....
Producer no#2 also circled back and made very encouraging noises (my co-writer is no longer on the job, and he wants me to rewrite it solo. Okay, can do.) - so I started some serious work on planning the rewrite, as well as putting an initial pen to paper - - And then put it on hold when promises were not fulfilled.
I also touched base with Producer no#1, who is actively tracking down funding (*fingers crossed*) for a couple of projects including The Grim.
And I discovered one of my favourite bands has got back together and started touring again. - - And I couldn't go see them because of me being mostly dead. *SOB!*
Busy month, November.

December, continued the edit (panicked when I discovered there were some gaps in the first half of the second book - from way back when - that needed sorting; sorted them), final approval on artwork for second book.
Producer no#2 discovered I wasn't going to cave, and sent a Deal Memo proposal which we are currently negotiating over....

Which brings us in to 2010.

And it's part way through January already!

And it's snowing.

And I'm still mostly dead.

Theoretically, later this month, both tarot books should finally be approved for publication. Probably some time in the next two weeks - if the weather doesn't delay things.

And screenplay negotiations continue....

Things are looking up! ... Or it could all just be smoke and mirrors ... or a hallucination from my lurgified brain.

Goals for 2010.
* get well again before too much more time passes!
* nail down the contract for the American Collaboration Rewrite, and then get the script finished so that Producer no#2 can go work some writer-producery magic.
* finish writing the science fiction screenplay.
* finish the fantasy screenplay rewrite.
* try to earn enough money from the two tarot books to cover the cost of getting them published. Or any money at all, really.
* take a look at some of my old story ideas to see if anything jumps out, or get at least one other project written (or mostly written) ... I want to keep this one a bit loose, I think things may stir later in the year, but I'm not sure in what way....

Onwards! *whip-crack!*