What happened to me this year, you ask? Except you probably didn't. But you're here, so I'm going to do my best to remember, and tell you anyway.
It's a little difficult, as my memory sucks at the best of times, and my computer committed suicide in late September taking most of the useful links and information I had stored with it. - - Thank goodness for external back up drives! So at least I managed to keep the majority of my writing and important documentation safe. Phew! (Heck, I print out the important stuff as soon as I get it. Well, you have to don't you. That's what filing cabinets and recordable CDs are for.)
The highlights as I remember them were:
January - rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
February get manipulated / bullied into eventually signing (in March) a contract with Paul Dawson, who then proceeded to try to screw over me and the other three people who were intent on making the film trilogy we were talking about. ... Managed to get a day job which lasted all of 5 days - thanks for that. Cheap labour required. I made the mistake of trying to be helpful, since they had me updating their company letterhead with their new version, of pointing out on my first day that they needed to quote their company number and registered address on it in order to comply with Limited Company status regulations. Next thing you know all my office admin training (specific to them) was over and I spent the next 4 days sweeping the floors and tidying the yard. Crap company all over. Sod 'em.
March - finally twigged what was going on with PDs attempted screw job and spent the next several weeks trying to get him to return full rights to me as he had confirmed he had no intention of making the film, so that myself and the other three could get on with trying to find a producer who actually knows the job and go about raising funding. Had to get the union involved before he eventually caved and finally did the decent thing.
April - all rights eventually returned to me. Thank f**k. ... lesson learned: Never sign anything without a solicitor involved, no matter how tempting, or how pressurised the 'it's only an agreement at this stage' may turn out to be. In my opinion, if he wasn't so blinded by the bright lights of Hollywood, he would make an excellent conman, he already has all the tactics and the gift-of-the-gab skills required for such a nefarious trade. ... Landed another day job working in an excellent garden centre, with excellent people, and plenty of green growing things to look at (which is one of the requirements of my cave-dwelling lifestyle) and learn about while I sell them to the general public. Lovely people.
May - rewrite, research then adjust accordingly and rewrite, speak with director, rewrite,
June - rewrite again, tweak, director's notes, rewrite.
July - Day job contract ends, they tell me to reapply at the end of August for the Christmas contract. Very happy. ... Rewrite, director's notes, rewrite. It's getting there! Hoorah! ... get a day job working in sales - - given lurgy by the boss at the interview near the end of the month. Thanks for that.
August - work through the lurgy, even though all I want to do is curl up and die. Boss then gives all of us another variation on the lurgy-- Which in my case attacks my brain, and -- in the same day that he tells me I'm not aggressive enough for sales, I realise I can't see properly out of one of my eyes, and my balance that has been getting progressively worse over the previous four days sends my foot coordination and spacial awareness to hell in a handcart. So, spent mid August in hospital A&E being poked and prodded and MRI'd, followed by spending the night for observation, knowing that when I get out I have to find a new job as soon as I can function again. Deep joy. On a massive dose of steroids to bring down the brain inflammation so that my own white cells will stop trying to kill me! It worked and stopped the symptoms from getting any worse. Phew! ... Contacted the garden centre, they were very pleased to hear from me and told me to fill in the application form they are posting.
September - Still can't balance properly, still only partial vision in the affected eye. ... Working at the main tills in the garden centre (rather than the plant centre tills which I prefer) as the mad dash to Christmas gradually ramps up, and shoppers start the whole shop-til-you-drop insanity.
October - Manning the tills full-time ... oh, and I've got to get some paperwork ready for the Trilogy plan for the second and third scripts so the director can take them to the American Film Market in November, if he's able to raise enough funding for the trip. - - Eek! Quickly reverse engineer a treatment for the first film, and then spend all my spare time getting the plot, character arcs, new villains and old villains worked out and then written up into treatments for the second and third films. Director seems pleased with the results.
November - Director decides not to go to the AFM after all, but take them to the Berlin festival in February (which will probably be a better fit?) ... So I breath a silent sigh of relief and collapse in a heap and try to recover from this dratted brain malarkey in my spare time away from the day job.
December - still dealing with shop-til-you-drop insanity in the day job, and coming up to Christmas am just about feeling the effects of needing to write or go nuts. Begin to plan my next writing projects - but family and Christmas prevent me from doing anything much beyond mental planning and some research. Realise I haven't been reading the blogs or keeping up to date with what's what since I got the brain thing in mid August. Bum!
Oh yeah - my car committed suicide in August just after my brain did, and my computer committed suicide in late September. Got it up and limping again by early October. Not properly fixed until mid November - when I finally had time to devote to all the updates, and programs, email etc, that I need on it. Er, and my Neurology Consultant thinks I probably have MS, but more tests are needed. Apparently living in the Wild West and having a Scandinavian Grandmother may both be a risk factors; on the plus side: eye involvement, being female, and being relatively young are all positive factors. But then they don't really know anything about MS. We'll find out more about that next year.
Blinking heck! This has been an overly interesting year. (on the plus side, lots of great experiences and perspectives for story) ... And I haven't even mentioned all the family trauma and bollocks that I've had to work through all year. If it's not one of them giving me problems to solve, it's another. - - But then again, I guess that's what family is for. ;)
Hopefully next year will be a little bit easier to deal with? Although I won't hold my breath. ... With a bit of luck the Trilogy will finally get some funding, and if not, well I am starting my next project (a novel and its accompanying screenplay) - I hope to have both done by mid year (unless the joyful happiness of the Trilogy delays things a bit.) Here's hoping!
Despite everything, I've enjoyed 2011. It's been an eye-opener, to say the least. (sick joke included on purpose) Heck, you only need one that actually works. ;)