Monday, April 30, 2007

What's for you...

It has been a weird day. I have gradually been coming to terms with the fact that I may not ever be able to put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard again due to creative dissolution, but then, today I found myself not only completing a majority rewrite of one of my midi scripts (too long for a short), I also went on to outline a new short which I think will be destined for the BSSC. I'm not going to put myself under any undue pressure as a) I could viably give birth at any moment; b) I have 53 days left before the comp closes and, c) if I push it too hard the idea may lose it's appeal. Which leads me to Good Dog's place and the fact he's been assessing the merits and pitfalls of the "wait and see what happens" theory.

Reading his most recent post got me thinking and reminded me of a Scottish saying my whole family chant - "Wit's fur ye'll no go by ye" - translated as "what's for you will not go by you". My Gran says it a lot. My Mum even more. One Aunt even has her own version - when you want something so bad, "give it up to the Universe". In otherwords, sometimes focusing too much on one thing causes it to go another way, and that's usually in the opposite direction to the one you wanted. I don't know why, but it's true.

Take acting, for example. I have had some wickedly fantastic castings in the past, and in particular for roles in some really big blockbuster movies. The castings have gone like clockwork, I have made all the right noises at the approriate moments, I have gelled really well with "leading man X", I have had screentests which have been received with so much glee by directors and producers alike, I thought they might release that alone as the movie. But I didn't get the roles. Maybe I focused so much of my energy on winning those roles, I actually drove them away from me? Then there are the "good, but couldn't care less if I get them" jobs - they always come through. Makes you think, huh?

Finding that fine line divide between really caring and thinking, "next", is a difficult one - but it is a balance that should be practiced. Or should it? Afterall, wit's fur ye'll no go by ye.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Silly Friday

Take five, and slip into the weekend with a smile and a bit of Monty Python. Enjoy ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

You're It!

With gracious thanks to the delightful and erudite Riddley Walker I have been honourably been tagged with a meme of my Five Goals. With my utter lack of concentration at the moment, these have taken a considerable amount of energy to produce and I would probably revise them at the drop of a hat, but here no particular order:

1) Pay off my mortgage. What more can I say? With interest rates teetering on the brink of rip-off city once again and echoes of Black Monday making me shudder, I just want rid of the darn millstone for once and for all.

2) To be wholly 100% happy with who I am and what I am trying to achieve in life. Not much to ask, but a tough one. This also includes getting to grips with fear of failure and like my tag mate, to stop being scared.

3) To complete, stage and then finish the film development of my co-written full scale musical. I have been informed in the past that the musical is "a biggie: extracted from a similar mould as Les Mis" and will need "large amounts of moolah and a BIG theatre to do it justice - and, oh, it would make a fantastic film too". The only part left to finish of the stage version is the final Requiem Mass (large parts of which are indeed in Latin), which has been left for superstitious purposes. The screenplay has a fair bit of work to be done on it. Sir Cam, Sir Andy or anyone with a few mill sitting in a Mega Maxi ISA / offshore account, do drop me a note. Let's do lunch.

4) To have my pet screenplay - the one I keep coming back to and obsessing over again and again - produced and OUT THERE. There is so much being said in the screenplay, sometimes it scares me rigid. I often wonder if I wrote it subliminally as there are chunks info in it that I don't remember researching.

5) To ensure all those around me are healthy, hale and hearty; if they're not, at least try and cheer them up a bit with some ridiculous anecdotes.

Wow, that really took a lot of thinking - I could actually go on right up to number ten, but I 'm not going to. Now it's my turn to tag some other peeps - remember to keep the links going guys.

Here goes:

Lucy Vee - Bang2Write
Lianne - Light & Shade
Potdoll - My Forehead is Bleeding
Jackson - Pillock's Pad

Monday, April 23, 2007

Music - the Food of Words?

I have been writing a lot of late, in fact, so much I don't really know what to do with all the pieces of paper.

You see folks, for every centimetre the bouncing baby grows I gain pounds in weight and lose stones of creativity, and apart from 'to do' lists and letters to various companies, I haven't been able to write a thing. Until the last few weeks, that is - when I haven't been able to stop penning weird poetry and song lyrics.

Lyrics are a 'comfortable' thing for me to do. Once upon a time, writing them was a full time 'job' whilst co-composing for TV, Theatre and Film, and so the last few weeks have been like visiting a really wonderful, long-lost friend. Once I start 'pallying up' with them, I can't stop. Once I get a theme in my head I have to get the words down double quick otherwise I risk being driven insane by hooks, bridges and 'wrong' lyrics battering my already crowded brain. Then I lie awake going over the same verses again and again, praying it doesn't sound like a Stock, Aitken & Waterman cover version (I have never written anything like that in my life but there could always be The One that slips through my grey matter, so I have to be sure).

Staying with music - something I have noticed recently is what the baby moves a lot to. The Kaiser Chiefs' "Love's Not A Competition", Turin Brakes' "Painkiller", Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars", Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" and particular favourites, Nirvana's "Come As You Are", Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" Queens of the Stone Age's "No-one Knows" & "First It Giveth" and most tracks from the "American Beauty" soundtrack. Quite an eclectic mix for a "minus year old".

Funnily enough they, plus a few other tracks, form one of the i-pod playlists I played at quite a few decibels every morning whilst commuting from the Glenster's parents' house. Sitting in the nose to tail traffic over the M25 at junction 18, I would always be looking foward to picking my way across the remnants of my house and snapping orders at builders all day. It was inevitably a decibel or so louder on the way back after a day of fun and games.

Music has always been a huge influence in my life, having been brought up in the industry and most of my family still involved in varying degrees. When I write non-musical matter, I always have to have a 'theme tune' to work to; in fact, sometimes, along with an olfactory trigger that's all that influences the conception of a whole darn new world. Is that normal?

So, try as I may, I have listened to so many musical influences over the last few months, hoping that one of them would propel me towards my laptop, screenplay ideas gushing from every orifice - OK, maybe just the one good idea would do. Actually, ideas I have loads of - it's just doing it and formulating it that's the problem at the moment as I have a concentration span about as long as a flea's dick. Perhaps after the baby is born I will whack on a playlist, go smell the roses in the garden and see what happens...

So what do you need to write? Without what, would you be stymied? Do you need to work in total silence or do you write more in public places? What influences you to start over and hit the white space with Courier?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virgin Media - what's going on?

Just flipped on the TV. Oh dear. Virgin Media - WTF? The consultancy who charged you a zillion quid for that 'design decision' was severely having a laugh. No honestly, guys, there's no Ricky Gervais here. They really were.

For non-VM customers, please let me explain.

We used to have a little pale blue/dark blue information bar when selecting channels, flicking through the TV Guide, on demand etc. All information pages were of the blue pallete. But we have this Black and Yellow colourway thing going on. Instead of moving to their Virgin reddish pallette, somebody has splattered a beehive over all the informaton pages. I can see my email now:

"Dear Virgin Design Team, was your decision-maker a London Wasps fan?"

Perhaps it's colour-coded by football area - my local Prem team being Watford FC.

Are you in another area with the same gross and migraine-inducing change?

Aah, the Glenster has just informed me that the 'new look' is in line with the V+ service. Now I know what it stands for. Vomit Plus.


I came across the 'Spiky-Haired One' again at the end of last week - I think he may have been self-breeding in the house as another electrician metamorphosed from the airing cupboard (it's very warm in there), and that's where last week's electrical problem existed. The heating/water system is all sorted now though and it seems as though the issue of an electrical certificate is the sparky equivalent of pest control - all scuttling, swearing sparkies have now disappeared as if they'd never been here. It's strange, but I almost miss leaving little cups of ridiculously sweet tea around the house for them; and I almost cried when I found a tiny cut off piece of electrical cable embedded in my foot yesterday. It will be tough, but I have to be strong, hope my heating system stays working and find a way forward. Sparky-free.

It has been a rollercoaster ride over the last few weeks though, what with one thing and another, but I am glad to report our house extension/refurb etc has now been passed by the Building Control Inspector. I now await their all important certificate which will allow us to sell our house in the future, if we so wanted. Hallelujah! Never thought this day would come.

The Glenster has been busy in the baby's room deleting the old artex ceiling and perfecting the imperfect walls. Just the emulsion, glossing & the border to go up so we're/he's nearly there. Which is probably just as well as we found out last night that one of the girls in my
NCT antenatal class had her baby (prematurely) on Saturday - both mum and baby are good, although baby is in special care/incubator having weighed in at just over 3lbs. Bless. It was a little scary to hear, but it was a really great way to see seven grown men look gravely ill in two seconds flat. Double Bless. ;) Guess we should really go shopping at the weekend and buy some stuff as all our baby would have at the moment is a (nearly) cool room, a bottle steriliser, a funky top for skiing (yes, you read it right) and an outfit for a 3-6 month old. Oh, and a book.

But between now and junior's arrival there's just the staircase to strip, re-stain & varnish and the decking to go back down in the builder's yard (a.k.a 'garden').

I see light glimmer at the end of a very unyeilding, twisted, tenebrous tunnel. Which is hopefully what my baby cannot see at the moment.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

**Stop Press**

Hot off the press:

The "Offered" Pregnancy Test Kit (3rd April) was snapped up in an instant. Here is the response post:

Sorry to disappoint others - had to be first come first serve."

So, there you have it.

Meanwhile, back in TV land, Coral bookies (not on TV - the real company) are taking bets on the possible outcome of "Life On Mars". All probabilities are currently being ripped apart on The Railway Arms site.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Virgin Media Vs Sky

Here's an interesting one. Sky (or rather, BSkyB) seem genuinely surprised they have lost 24.5% of their audience viewing figures since 'excusing' their channels from Virgin Media. Shows such as "Lost", "24" and "The Simpsons" have seen their audiences drop dramatically, which I think is one helluva shame for all those involved in the creative and production process.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media are gearing up for their legal jugular swoop when Sky eventually respond to the grievance letter sent by the aforementioned.

I have a grievance here too. I am still paying the same sodding amount every month to not have access to a few channels I really wanted.

Yes, I could move to Sky, but I would need to have the dinner plate on the front of my house and have been told on more than a few occasions actually getting their Broadband installed is something just short of a miracle. I currently have all my techie stuff with Virgin Media including 10Mb broadband (which I believe is going up to 20Mb soon) and was looking to get their new V+ box - but with all this going on, what's a girl to do? I suppose I will just have to watch the 'Them Vs Them' case very closely.

Whatever the outcome, it will provide a benchmark for future channel disputes, but in the meantime, the only winners are once again the illegal download sites.

And there goes another truckload of royalties out of the window.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Long Arm of the Law

I'm briefly back in the Land of Blog and oh, what a ball I've been having. More about all of that like Chinese drip torture in the weeks ahead, I'm sure.

So, here we are, April already, and the trial of Corrie's Tracy Barlow topped the TV ratings last night at a peak of 13.1 million: a mere 55% share of the viewing public. Now that's what I call a solid figure. And then I find out the grand finale of ITV's 3-parter "Mobile" (which surprisingly lost approx. 300,000 viewers on last week's ep) was pipped at the post by BBC's "Crimewatch".

So what does that tell us all? Real or fake, Crime Pays. End of.

So, before I rush off to dust down and rewrite yet another draft of my murder mystery, I just have to leave you with the following advert from an e-Bay type site. This is absolutely as I came across it - I haven't doctored a thing for comic slant. A true future classic.

"Offered: Pregnancy Test Kit
Offered is the remainder test of a pack of two. It is in its new box and in a sealed wrapper complete with instructions. Expiry date 10/2008. Have used one test, have no use for this so will just go to waste unless someone can make use of it??"

I will update you on if it sold and if so, how many bidders there were...