Thursday, May 31, 2007

Girl, Interrupted

I apologise for the lack of entries, but normal service will resume fairly shortly.

That is, after my BSSC short has completed and posted itself; after the V+ box stops turning my new TV picture green; after my back has stopped aching so much I can use my laptop for more than 5 minutes; after my successful labotomy which will allow me to watch Channel 4 after 8pm; after I stop moaning - no, I won't take that long.

I thank you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3

**Mini Spoiler Alert**

"A new overseas opening record of $214 million was set by Disney international distributor Buena Vista International as "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" blasted off on 17,500 screens in 102 territories over the weekend." Hollywood Reporter International

That's a lot of non-U.S. bums on seats and a serious wad of non-U.S. moolah, but with a budget in the region of approx. USD300million, I bet there are some happy execs puffing on cigars today.

Congratulatory news aside, I'm afraid I am still not clear on what it was really about. I made some very brief notes on my popcorn carton which stated:

- Opens like "Oliver!". But where's Fagin?
- Kid slips into song - more "Oliver!" - may break into rendition of "Where is Love?"
- The tedious parts of "The Two Towers" meets epic vistas of "Troy"
- Dialogue moments of "Spartacus"; but Barbossa (Rush)...trying out a bit of "Dirty Harry"?
- For those who didn't know Keith Richards - he had a guitar identifier. Subtle.

All in all, I am sure the kids will love it. I am not going to attempt to trawl through the entire story as my head still hurts thinking about it - and also that would spoil the confusion for anyone off to see it themselves. Keira does her pouts beautifully, Orlando does Errol beautifully, Johnny does Johnny beautifully and overall, the performances are a sterling piece of work. Just thank god they don't all do each other. I would have just given up and gone home.

The cinematography is fantastic, the sound is great - it's is it about? What was the plot - actually I'm not sure which plot I mean. Half way through (we had a convenient 10 minute break in our screening...) I turned to The Glenster and asked him "What exactly is this film, about?". He looked at me like I was a nutter (probably wondering if I had forgotten I had seen the other two films) and then shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno. Pirates?" Mmmmmm. Dunno, indeed.

At one point in the movie Captain Jack 'Sparra' (Depp) swings from the mast of one ship to another. The line of dialogue following is, ”Do you think he plans it all or just makes it up as he goes along?". He may as well have - and so might the rest of the cast in a film where, if they stood still long enough, they too would have been CGI'd to Hell - or World's End - whichever came first.

And having given up nearly three hours of my life, I fear the latter is quite possibly far worse.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Calling Time

Today, I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean 3 Hours: At The End of My Tether" - I mean - "Part 3: At World's End ". I am so CGI-d out I will have to consider overnight what the film was actually about before I can commit any words to screen tomorrow.

To round up a very 'being' weekend and to ease you gently into the post Bank Holiday working week, here is that little, plaster-dusted down poem, "Calling Time", as mentioned in this post. It is about obsessively trying to control time (but time is actually controlling you) and then being able to laugh at yourself regardless. I hope you like it.

As I get older, and the days become shorter
The weeks seem to fly by, months ain't what they oughtta.
No longer in bed, passing hours do I lie,
For fear of a year that flits past my heavy eye.

So, alert I must be, checking last night's long list
Of 'things to do', in case today, I should miss
The opportunity of a lifetime thus presenting itself
In the guise of necessity wrapped up in sheer wealth.

And tonight I will ponder my day so spry
I'll audit the calendar, check a year hasn't gone by
During the whisper of an eyelash, as you never do know
When a decade or a lifetime may surely go.
Lara Greenway 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Breakfast With My Antagonist

Following on from yesterday's post, and the essence of "human beings doing", Good Dog reminded me of how little amount of time we, in general, dedicate to the most simple things in life. Simple but important things like sunrises and sunsets, the beautiful sweet aroma of roses and jasmine, the smell of grass after rainfall, the first genuine warmth from the sun after winter, the distant peal of a church bell, the silence created by snow fall.

Don't have a garden, park or nature reserve nearby? Stuck in the city? Try the mellow aroma of freshly ground coffee from your local coffee shop, a warm breeze that takes you by surprise as you turn a corner, the stale but tantilising waft from pub extractor fans, the warm, intricate mix of street smells of after a summer shower, planes slashing the blue sky far above the sky-scrapers.

The fundamental element of just 'being' and not 'doing' is allowing the senses to 'do' while you just 'be'. When I am writing I find I always start at a very 'base level' and include sensuous elements (that is, 'of the senses' as opposed to sensual, although they've been known to creep in now and again too!). Even if these don't make it to the first or final draft they are always there in my brain arena, hopefully enabling me to 'be' wholly part of the script/story and not just a creative bystander.

I often think a state of 'being' is entered when I start to write on a new project. Although I am mentally busy, I am not physically 'doing' much. I wine and dine my characters - the difference between dinner with your protagonist and then your antagonist is amazing, and not necessarily what you would think; kids characters I take to the zoo, the park or the Natural History Museum; sometimes I just 'observe' the entire screenplay character list (supporting artistes included) meeting in my local coffee shop. How do they interact - even the ones who never meet 'on paper'? What do they drink and eat? What are they wearing? How do they sit? What do they talk (or not) about? I guess in my case, this stems from my performance background but it's quite an interesting thing to try out as it tends to give your characters weight and vision in future drafts; more than anything, it gives you a firm grip on their history and backstory.

And all this because you were just 'being' instead of 'doing'. Amazing.

I just suddenly remembered my school motto was "Be Still And Know". I think they possibly had a point.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Human Beings Doing

We were having a rare old time today over at Lianne's place. One part of that discussion in particular, focused around people who are 'always doing rather than being' and is the basis of a favourite saying of mine, "Try to be a human being not a human doing". Essentially it means being busy, busy all the time is not necessarily the right thing - sometimes you just have to stop and 'be'.

This also ties in with a previous post of mine - just by 'being' and not 'doing', you can sometimes save yourself a lot of flailing arms and misspent energy because what is meant to be, is just that - meant to be.

In my recent poetry phase I scribbled a little ditty which sums up trying to control time - or was it time trying to control me? Not sure there. Once I have unearthed it (probably in folder filled with the last - yippee! - of the plaster dust) I will post it here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wet Whitsun

It looks like it's going to be a soggy old Whitsun bank holiday weekend, which is a shame as I was hoping to attend to little bits and pieces in the garden. Oh well. There you go - never make any plans for a bank holiday. Guess I'll just need to crack on with some writing instead...

I leave you with this quote to ponder in case it all gets too much :

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." Sydney J. Harris

Mmmmm. How very apt. Have a great weekend whatever you are doing - or not doing.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Power of Three Alert

Actually, more like a Power of Three request.

Yep, 'tis that time. Red Pen has been really busy - but perhaps not busy enough - so I would really appreciate 'P of 3' volunteers please! A few lovely people have offered in the past but as I don't know their schedules I thought I'd just "chuck it out there".

The screenplay is a short (although at 15 pages, it's a 'borderline short') and it is one of my possibilities for entering into the BSSC.

Muchos gracias, in advance.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's Up With June?

Right, now I am severely miffed. The stage beyond the proverbial that broke the proverbial has now been reached.

Let me explain something: if you are arranging a really interesting class/course/masterclass/meeting/night out on the beers in London, please - I repeat, *PLEASE* - do not schedule it for the weekend of the 9th, 10th or even the 11th June. In fact, don't schedule any time between the 9th and 22nd June to be on the safe side. That would be fab. As you may or may not know I am due to give birth around that time and possibly won't be able to get away to listen to your dulcit tones. Got that?

If I hear of one more event happening on this particular aforementioned weekend, just like the Women Writer's Network info on Robin Kelly's fab blog, then I am going to come along regardless and watch your faces pale as I go into the final stages of labour. Sure you got it? Most excellent.

You have been warned.

A Googled Virgin?

Much like the lovely, Lucy, I was fascinated to find out I get quite a few interesting daily Google search referrals - in my case, from peeps wondering what is happening at our favourite Compagnie du Jour - Virgin Media.

A bit like one of those little miniature disclaimers at the bottom of emails, I have to state now that I do not work for Virgin Media, have absolutely nothing to do with the Company and am merely voicing my own personal opinions as a paying customer of theirs, oh, and if the contents of this post are not intended for you please return it to the owner immediately. Huh? Anyway...

Back in VergingMeeeeejaLand, sorry - Virgin Media Land - I would like to report a vast improvement in their customer service and efficiency levels, which, after years of torture in ntl:Hell, comes as a breath of fresh air. Ok, we still don't have our beloved Sky channels back [yet] but there is promise of a return and in the not too distant future.

There is another merger/takeover bid simmering at the moment (as reported here) which is down to the fact that many peeps think Virgin Media are prime swoop-worthy material having lost so many subscribers due to The Sky Fiasco - i.e. they'll go without a fight and for half the price.

In my humble opinion, if this does happen no-one will really be able to take any of them seriously anyway: I mean, how many Multi-Nationals does it take to keep a TV Channel?

But that is when the customer gains the upperhand.

Be still and patient my Skyless friends - the sweet slurp of success will be ours to taste again soon.

Failing that, call up Customer Services and have a whinge - see what you get chucked into your package for free... ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bitter Sweet Symphony

Yesterday, I was reminded of the story Richard Ashcroft's total loss of composer credits on The Verve's, 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'. That string-based loop was sampled from an orchestral rendition of The Stones' song, 'Last Foundation', and hence all royalties go to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. What a complete bummer; bittersweet indeed. (More about it here)

But hang on a darn minuette...what about all those late 80s, early 90s hip-hop tracks which sampled everything but the butter on my toast? Did they all get stung or did they just grope their groins, threaten in a BoyzindaHood type stylee and get the decks up and running again?

Imagine writing a brilliant song like that and then someone claims it's actually theirs? Imagine writing a massive, brilliant outline/show format and then some smart ass claims they thought of it first - oh, hang on, been there - but I now view it as a compliment without the payoff. Anyway, moving onwards, or rather backwards. Picture the scene if you will...

There is a movie being made of your life and some darn fine actors are playing you and yours. Answer the following:

What would be:
1) The closing credits theme tune?
2) The stand-out line from the movie? The one everyone quotes.

Trust me, this is a really interesting exercise - please share your thoughts amongst friends! The narcissistic amongst us will already have their answers - hell, I do. LOL ;)

Monday, May 21, 2007

BAFTA Television Awards - Part 3

Another sterling quote from last night's BAFTAs.

"All that matters is the script, the script, the script" Sita Williams, Exec Producer "The Street" - Winner of Drama Series, British Academy TV Awards 2007

This morning, I received an email from "A Friend" informing me that my previous post containing the BAFTA winners was ever so slightly anal as I probably had all the results up before BAFTA did.


I like the awards ceremonies, y'see, and I find they are always worthwhile attending - not to mention the laughs to be had at the 'aftershow' parties! I normally do try and get to both the Film and TV BAFTAs but bailed on both occasions this year - last night's, because I couldn't find a pretty enough tent to swathe myself in. Hey ho, there's always next year, and if I am lucky I'll make one of them without baby puke down my frock.

That is, of course, if I ever manage to get into a nice outfit again - after 6,000 complaints, Mars have withdrawn their intention to use rennet in their chocolate and ice cream and so will remain vegetarian. I was really relying on their use of rennet to put me off eating their products thus helping me battle the post baby bits.

Ah, well, I have a little while before I need to think about renting a perma-space in the gym.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

BAFTA Television Awards - Part Deux

Well, quite a mixed bag this year, I thought, but well done to the Nominees and Winners all the same. I was a bit surprised 'Life on Mars' didn't manage to pick up more awards but it did win the public's vote and was up against stiff competition in all categories.

Special well done mention to Victoria Wood for her two awards for 'Housewife 49' (Best Actress & Single Drama) and Jim Broadbent (Best Actor) for his fab portrayal of Lord Longford in 'Longford'.

I am sure it'll be all over the place but here are all the runners, riders and winners:

JIM BROADBENT - Longford (Channel 4)
ANDY SERKIS - Longford (Channel 4)
MICHAEL SHEEN - Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa! (BBC Four)
JOHN SIMM - Life On Mars (BBC One)

ANNE-MARIE DUFF - The Virgin Queen (BBC One)
SAMANTHA MORTON - Longford (Channel 4)
RUTH WILSON - Jane Eyre (BBC One)
VICTORIA WOOD - Housewife 49 (ITV1)


PAUL MERTON - Have I Got News For You (BBC One)
JONATHAN ROSS - Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (BBC One)

DAWN FRENCH - The Vicar Of Dibley (BBC One)

LIZ SMITH - The Royle Family: Queen Of Sheba (BBC One)

HOUSEWIFE 49 - Victoria Wood, Piers Wenger, Gavin Millar, David Threlfall (ITV Productions/ITV1)

KENNETH WILLIAMS: FANTABULOSA! - Andy de Emmony, Ben Evans, Martyn Hesford (BBC Drama/BBC Four)
LONGFORD - Peter Morgan, Tom Hooper, Helen Flint, Andy Harries (Granada Productions for C4 in assoc. with HBO/C4)
THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO - Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross (Revolution Films/C4)

LIFE ON MARS - Production Team (Kudos Film & Television/BBC One)

SHAMELESS - Production Team (Company Pictures/C4)
SUGAR RUSH - Production Team (Shine Productions/C4)
THE STREET - Jimmy McGovern, Sita Williams, David Blair, Ken Horn (Granada Productions/BBC One)

LOW WINTER SUN - Greg Brenman, Adrian Shergold, Simon Donald, Rhonda Smith (Tiger Aspect Productions/C4)

PRIME SUSPECT: THE FINAL ACT - Andrew Benson, Philip Martin, Frank Deasy, Andy Harries (ITV Productions/ITV1)
SEE NO EVIL: THE MOORS MURDERS - Lisa Gilchrist, Neil McKay, Jeff Pope, Chris Menaul (ITV Productions/ITV1)
THE VIRGIN QUEEN - Coky Giedroyc, Paula Milne, Paul Rutman (A BBC Drama/Power co-production/BBC One)

CASUALTY - Production Team (BBC/BBC One)

CORONATION STREET - Stephen Russell, Tim O'Mara, Steve Frost, Kieran Roberts (ITV Productions/ITV1)
EASTENDERS - Production Team (BBC Drama Production Studios/BBC One)
EMMERDALE - Keith Richardson, Kathleen Beedles, Lindsay Williams, Piotr Szkopiak (ITV Productions/ITV1)

ROSS KEMP ON GANGS - Clive Tulloh, Amelia Hann, Ross Kemp (Tiger Aspect Productions/Sky One)

STEPHEN FRY - THE SECRET LIFE OF THE MANIC DEPRESSIVE - Production Team (IWC Media, part of the RDF Media Group/BBC Two)
TRIBE - James Smith, Steve Robinson, Bruce Parry, Sam Organ (BBC/BBC Two)
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? - Alex Graham, Lucy Carter (Wall To Wall/BBC Two)

MUNICH: MOSSAD'S REVENGE - Anthony Geffen, Tom Whitter, Peter Miller, Calum Walker (Atlantic Productions Ltd/C4)

NUREMBERG: GOERING'S LAST STAND - Peter Nicholson, Simon Berthon, Dan Korn, Piers Vellacott (3BM Television/C4)
PLANET EARTH - Alistair Fothergill, Mark Linfield (BBC/BBC One)
SIMON SCHAMA'S POWER OF ART - Clare Beavan, Simon Schama, Basil Comely, Mark Harrison (BBC London Arts/BBC Two)

BREAKING UP WITH THE JONESES - Ursula Macfarlane, Saskia Wilson, Dave Nath, Gregor Lyon (betty/C4)

EVICTED - Brian Woods, Deborah Shipley, Jeremy Wales, Katy Sheppard (True Vision/BBC One)
9/11: THE FALLING MAN - Henry Singer, John Smithson, Sue Bourne, Julian Ware (Darlow Smithson Productions/C4)
RAIN IN MY HEART - Paul Watson (BBC/BBC Two)

THE APPRENTICE - Dan Adamson, Sanjay Singhal, Martyn Smith, Sir Alan Sugar (TalkbackThames/Mark Burnett Productions/BBC Two)

THE CHOIR - Jamie Isaacs, Ludo Graham, Drew Hill, Sam Grace (Twenty Twenty/BBC Two)
DRAGONS' DEN - Helen Bullough, Dominic Bird, Paul Mackay (BBC Entertainment/BBC Two) THE F WORD - Production Team (Optomen Television/C4)

THE BOAT RACE - John Watts, Tony Pastor, John McKenna, Phil Heslop (ITV Sport/ITV1)

F1: HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX - JENSON BUTTON'S FIRST WIN - Neil Duncanson, Gerard Lane (North One Television/ITV1)
CRICKET ON FIVE - Jeff Foulser, Gary Franses, Dylan Jane, Diana Keen (Sunset and Vine Productions/Five)
WINTER OLYMPICS - BBC Sport Production Team (BBC Sport/BBC Two)


CHANNEL 4 NEWS - NEWS FROM IRAN - Jon Snow, Deborah Rayner, Ben Monro-Davies, Martin Collett (ITN/C4)
ITV EVENING NEWS - THE ISRAEL/LEBANON CRISIS - Julian Manyon, Mark Austin, Geoff Hill, Rob Bowles (ITN/ITV1)

DISPATCHES - WAR TORN: STORIES OF SEPARATION - David Modell, Cassian Harrison, Oliver Doward (Dispatches/

MELTDOWN AND THE BIG CLIMATE CHANGE EXPERIMENT - Frances McNamara, Jonathan Renouf, Paul Bradshaw, Tolu Aina (Supporting BBC Four)
THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S BALL - Clive Tulloh, Lisle Turner, Mike Agnew, Adil Abrar (Tiger Aspect Productions/4Laughs/C4)
TERRY PRATCHETT'S HOGFATHER - Aidan Conway, Giles Pooley, Rod Brown, Ian Sharples (Mob Film Company/Sky One Networked Media)

ENTOURAGE - Doug Ellin, Mark Wahlberg, Steve Levinson (HBO/ITV2)

HOUSE - David Shore (Heal and Toe Films/Shore Z Productions/Bad Hat Harry Productions in assoc. with NBC Universal Television Studio/Five)
LOST - JJ Abrams, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender (Buena Vista International Television/Sky One)
MY NAME IS EARL - Greg Garcia, Marc Buckland, Bobby Bowman (Twentieth Century Fox/C4)

DANCING ON ICE - Production Team (ITV Productions/ITV1)

DERREN BROWN: THE HEIST - Derren Brown, Andy Nyman, Simon Mills, Ben Caron (Objective Productions/C4)
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? - Production Team (BBC Entertainment/BBC One)
THE X FACTOR - Richard Holloway, Claire Horton, Andrew Llinares, Siobhan Greene (TalkbackThames in association with SYCO TV/ITV1)

GREEN WING - Victoria Pile, Dominic Brigstocke, Tristram Shapeero, Robert Harley (TalkbackThames/C4)

THE IT CROWD - Ash Atalla, Graham Linehan, Derrin Schlesinger, Ben Fuller (TalkbackThames/C4)
PULLING - Sharon Horgan, Dennis Kelly, Phil Bowker, Tristram Shapeero (Silver River/BBC Three)
THE ROYLE FAMILY: QUEEN OF SHEBA - Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, John Rushton, Phil Mealey (Granada Productions/BBC One)

THE CATHERINE TATE SHOW - Gordon Anderson, Aschlin Ditta, Geoffrey Perkins, Catherine Tate (Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC Two)

LITTLE BRITAIN ABROAD - Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Matt Lipsey, Geoff Posner (BBC Comedy/Little Britain Productions/BBC One)
LITTLE MISS JOCELYN - Gary Reich, Jemma Rodgers, Gareth Carrivick, Jocelyn Jee Esien (Brown Eyed Boy Productions in assoc. with Pozzitive Television/BBC Three)
THAT MITCHELL & WEBB LOOK - David Kerr, Gareth Edwards, Robert Webb, David Mitchell (BBC Comedy/BBC Two)


THE SPECIAL AWARD in honour of Alan Clarke - ANDY HARRIES

Congratulations to all! May your hangovers be large ones in the morning.

BAFTA Television Awards - Part 1

"Love your writers as much as your partners, children and pets. All hail to those who face the blank page every day." Andy Harries, British Academy TV Awards, 2007.

All hail to Andy Harries - congratulations and excuse me if they're not your exact words!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh, where to go, what to do...

"I love deadlines. I especially love the swooshing sound they make as they go flying by" Douglas Adams.

For those of you London-tied and not able to make "The Long Distance Screen Writer" course (Edinburgh, 9th June) run by the brilliant Adrian Mead, or are not attending Christopher Vogler's "The Writer's Journey" (9th & 10th June, run by Raindance), those nice folks at Living Spirit (Ealing Studios) are running a one day masterclass entitled "Making it in Hollywood" (10th June) aimed at directors, producers and writers. They are also chucking in a FREE copy of "The Guerilla Film Makers Hollywood Handbook" (worth £30) if you book and pay by this Sunday (20th).

If you aren't sure about this course or if you are just curious, Living Spirit are sending a free pdf interview with British Producer Jeremy Bolt to those who email a request to office*at*livingspirit*dot*com

If, like me you can't make any of these courses because...
a) they are all taking place on the same weekend, and
b) one of those days just happens to be the day on which your baby is due

...then just sulk.

Me and Red Pen are off to do some serious damage in shortscriptland. Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where's the Pause Button?

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." Linda Ellerbee

Too many demands on my time, not enough hours in the day and and no energy to write into the wee small hours. That's the week so far.

I have been desperately trying to turn round the most recent short for submission to the BSSC, but it managed to take on a life of it's own whilst I was contemplating my belly button still being an 'innie', and is now running at 18 pages. Too long for a short? Not sure - it's borderline. Red Pen needs to come out to play, I think. I also completed two more outlines over the weekend/this week so far, but I have put them away for now as I need them to fester a bit. I may pop them and Red Pen into my hospital bag so Red Pen can do it's most damning whilst I'm in labour. Perhaps not.

Talking of labour, I am increasingly having strange pains here and there and apparently the head is 3/5ths engaged - what that really means with regard to timescale, is another thing. All I know is, I feel as though I am really working against the clock. A clock that will permanently scream, cry, want feeding, help and constant attention. And that'll just be The Glenster ;0)

So for now, instead of blogging I am going to get Red Pen and do some short shortening - until next time, here's a freebie: Broadcast is re-launching itself with a new look and content, and from 17th May to 3oth May the website will be free to access.

(P. S. Yippee for Eastenders. Le Mitchell is going to be able do something other than dunk Beale's head soon! I am totally beside myself.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Definitely another planet. And that's where it deserves to stay. Far, far away, in another Universe. It really has been one of those weeks, and that's as much as I'm saying. End of.

On a brighter note, I've managed to get loads of reading/notes done (really sorry for those who had to wait a bit), drafted and then re-drafted the aforementioned short AND we've gone and got all HD on ourselves this week too. After [far too] many months' deliberation over which LCD or plasma TV to buy, we eventually bit the bullet and bought one. It's fab. The only problem is it seems so big that last night I thought Phil Mitchell was going to submerge my head in Ian Beale's greasy washing up bowl too. (And when are they going to think of another less public school prank for Le Mitchell to play?)

We also had a V+ box installed today and have access to the BBC HD preview channel to ogle over - I was really not sold on the 'vast' difference between 'normal' digital transmission and HD - but now I'm a convert. Just watched a couple of minutes of BBC's "Bleak House" which is available to watch as HD. As the episode starts in the court room you can virtually make out the writing on scrolls/papers 20 foot below the camera on crane. Programme & film makers are going to have to watch out what they randomly pick up and use quickly for props if HD is really that clear! No wonder the airbrushed actors of the US were going mad when HD came out - all those pores and imperfections. Tsk tsk.

Yuk, now just think what we're going to espy when Le Mitchell shoves Beale's head down the Queen Vic bogs in the future. On that note, I'm off to ogle my TV and check out the curry menu for later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Live From Mars

I'm convinced.

This morning I woke up to find I had crossed into my dual universe. I have made a quantum leap and didn't even try very hard. Everyone looks the same, hell, they even sound the same, but other than The Glenster and Millie The Cat (who seem to have remained normal), some strange shift has occurred.

No mail was delivered this morning. This was the first indication that all was not what it seemed. We always get mail - even if it is just one of those useless bundles of 'Revolutionary Home Helpers TM' crap that Postpeople get paid extra to indirectly stuff into our recycling boxes. But never mind, I thought, and off we went to the hospital for 09:30 for my 'final' scan and appointment with The Consultant. We arrived at the antenatal dept like so many times before, but this time I was accosted for a sample. Now, I have never had to provide one before (other than for my normal midwife visits) so I was a little confused. The midwife/nurse person slammed against her seat, totally aghast, thrusted an empty sample bottle into my hand and flicked me towards the door and toilets. There's nothing like peeing on demand.

Although I was the second appointment of the day, I counted 4 other couples going in to see The Consultant in front of me. Maybe I was doing one of my invisibility tricks? The Consultant eventually saw me at 11:00. We did all the niceties, but The Consultant seemed a little different to normal, almost a shell of his usual self; I had my blood pressure checked (another thing that has never happened on a 'Consultant visit'), and then up on the couch for the final scan. The measurements still indicated a larger than average baby with ridiculously long legs, and the CCAM on the baby's lung, although not regressed totally, was still pretty small. Good stuff.

Then the Seven Dimensional Einsteinian Hyperspherical Universe nodded it's head: did I want to pick a date for induction now, or wait for my next appointment with The Consultant? Exsqueeze me? Next appointment - that's when I'm due, surely? Induction? Possible Caesarean? WTF? Have I been living on another planet for the last 35+ weeks? Obviously.

The induction is mainly for the safety of the baby, which I can go with, but as I have always reckoned I'll be early anyway, I have never considered it. Now I am determined to have this baby early.

I'm off to do some research into ways of encouraging the little blighter out before the NHS Army wage 'The War Of The Bump' on me. If anyone knows any old wives tales', helpful tips, safe ways of ensuring an early birth (all after 37 weeks), please feel free to comment below.

I can't believe it's only lunchtime.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

More Procrastination Needed?

Obviously, far more time-wasting games are required in this cyber world of writing.

Click on this link for another five or so minutes well spent.

WARNING: this game is addictive and no responsibility is taken for unfinished drafts, half written outlines, confused character breakdowns or gelatinous log-lines.

Monday, May 07, 2007

It's Bank Holl-eee-day

Only click on this link if you wish to procrastinate more than normal. You have been warned.

A Very Annoying Little Game

Friday, May 04, 2007

Odds & Sods

"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes" Agatha Christie

A couple of quickies today...

Something I heard about a fair old while ago (and therefore many people may already know about it!), has hit the press in the form of "Broadcast".

I am glad to report the greenlit formation of Fremantle Media's international drama development unit to develop UK concepts for returning drama series. A team of 'UK's most talented scriptwriters', to be based in London, will be recruited by Ann Harris (herself recruited by Fremantle from Sony Pictures Television Int) to start working on various drama projects.

Fantastic news - more companies should be considering this move.

If you do happen to come by a copy of today's "Broadcast" there is an interesting article about Writers and their working spaces; how we are able to choose where to do our jobs and how to go about them. Tony Grounds ("Gone to the Dogs", "All in the Game", "A Class Apart") is quoted as saying he works in the smallest cell-like room in his house and then sadly says "...but then being a writer is a life sentence." :(

So, here's a thought: given the choice of anywhere (but within reason!) WHERE would you choose to write? Please take into account Broadband is probably not widely available on the silky, white beaches of Mauritius :0)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day!

Yipee! It's the 1st of May - one of my most favourite days in the year. Hell, it even features heavily in my 'pet' screenplay. (As opposed to featuring heavily in my pet, Screenplay ;)

Call it the Celt in me, but there's something so special about May Day, or Beltane as it was know in the pre-Christian [Celtic] epoch. Beltane marks the start of the pastoral Summer season and is one of the cross-quarter days in the Celtic calendar - these are days that signal the beginning of a new season and are half way between an equinox and a solstice. Special days.

There is always so much raw, unchannelled energy around on May 1st - a negative example of which was the May Day Riots of 2000 in London, Glasgow, Doncaster & Edinburgh. Nicer examples are the many festivals held around the UK over the May Bank Holiday weekend celebrating with Morris dancers, maypole dancers, music, good company, food and laughter.

This year, there is also a Full Moon on May 2nd, so in addition to the energy of May Day itself, we will have the lunar influence on the emotions with the touch of insanity and insomnia it sometimes brings.

I may be very wrong, but interesting days ahead. If there was ever a week to have/not to have local elections (dependant on which 'side' you're on), I reckon this is it.

So, here are my instructions for today:

Take a break - in fact take a whole lunch break - stand outside in the sun, shut your eyes and breathe in. A. Big. Deep. Breath. Feel the energy, and the promise of splendid things to come.