Thursday, November 27, 2008

Words & Pictures

Further to the crushing news of not getting through to the next round of Red Planet (hang on, I didn't enter, did I?), um, I meant not winning the short film competition with "three" - my interpretation of the myth of the Three Graces: radiance, joy and abundance - I thought I might post the film up here for your relish.  

If you are a real glutton for punishment, however, then get on over to The Tenacious Twin site, D-Generation, where you can read my synopsis, extract and Part One, Chapter One of "Taking the Fast Lane", my NaNoWriMo attempt.  And if you go over there, please note the Adult Content waiver...thanking you.

And the Loser is...


Isn't that funny?  Big capital "W" one day, and then a big capital "L" the next.  Ain't that just life though?  

You may remember a billion years ago I wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited a very short film called "three" for the Swarovski/Three Graces Competition run by Tank Films.  Well, it's taken them this long to judge the rounds so far and as a result - I didn't win.  Boo.  Hiss.

Never mind, the guy who won was, in my view, always my main competition, so at least one of the pieces of cack didn't whip my ass.  I'm sorry to state that, as I don't really like making sweeping statements concerning other people's work, but there really was some sh*t in there.

Although I have just emailed those closely involved with the film, I also wanted to say a big thanks for all the support and cheery words I have had along the way from all my Tenacious Visitors.

Oh, and a shout out to those who got through to the next stage of Red Planet - a very well done to you all.

As I always like to state...onwards.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Procrastinating my NaNoWriMo off...

Along with all the fantastic pep talks sent through from NaNoWriMo HQ (
as previously mentioned), there are also a great deal of dedicated ways to procrastinate - including an entire Procrastination Station where you can choose what to faff around with on a particular day.  

I must say I steeled myself against looking at any of these escapes whilst battling my way through the novel but now I'm done...I've really been enjoying myself.  Here's one, for  example, and knowing me as you do peeps, you'll already have guessed I had this lined up in my brain:

If your novel was a  movie, what song would play during the credits?


Opening Credits  - "Je t'aime moi non plus'" - Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

Closing Credits  "Fairytale of New York"  - The Pogues/ Kirsty MacCall 

And then of course, the ultimate in procrastination - the book cover!

I must credit the delightfully talented Natalie Paquette for the beautiful photograph I have used in the book cover design. Now and again, I drop by Natalie's online gallery - FetishFaerie - since I stumbled upon her on deviantART a while ago. Her photos create stories of their own without the need for any words, and they always have such a rich, luxuriant "visual feel".  Stunning - and thanks again, Natalie!

Anyway, this is all so much fun: and then the re-writing starts...arf.  Must remind myself to update my word count again after the 25th November otherwise I wouldn't be deemed as having officially finished... and that would be a tad annoying, n'est pas?

Chapter One will be projecting itself onto the walls of Tenacious Towers pretty soon, as I thought it might be quite nice for the villagers to see the written word rather than just the usual three mile tangle of fairy lights that entwine the turrets every Christmas...

Until then - onwards.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


Hi peeps

Well, that's me all done and dusted in my quest for total self-annihilation.  And you'll note from my swanky updated badge to the right - I'm apparently now 'A Winner'.

My final word count (pre-editing/faffing/adding/deleting) has come in at just over 52,314 which is fine by me.  I actually found it really difficult winding up the story as I have struck up quite a relationship with these characters over the last 20 days.  I'll miss them and their ridiculous lives, but there's always room for a sequel or two, of course...

Right from Day 1 of NaNoWriMo I knew I really needed to nail the whole novel by the end of Week 3 or Day 21, so I am very glad to have achieved that slightly earlier than even I had originally anticipated.   I always knew I had a ridiculously busy end of month coming up - and in no uncertain terms, the mayhem starts very soon.  After clearing a load of odds and ends next week, I have a short screenplay and CBeebies submission to complete, and then before I know it,  it'll be Christmas. 

And so, back to finishing NaNoWriMo: to celebrate I am going to bed early without any storylines running around my head all night like a waking dream (or nightmare).  Tomorrow I am going to create my book cover for a laugh and then attend to hugely boring things like washing, ironing and removing the six inches of dust that has accumulated since I have been stuck to my "Taking the Fast Lane" keyboard.

Just like to say "Keep Going!" to my NaNoWriMo buds Laura, Stevyn and Elinor and a big 'Thanks' to all those who have left encouraging messages and really lovely comments.  If I feel brave enough next week, I will paste up Chapter One for your delectation.  Perhaps.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Please leave a Message...

Hello all

*Your normal Tenacious service will resume sooner than anticipated*

I'm over 45,000 words now for NaNoWriMo, which means I am bang on schedule to finish this Friday.  Fickee-yupping-doooo.  Adios 'til then. 


*tap tap tap tap tap*

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where does time go?

Hello from the other side.  The other side of 25,000 words that is.

It's been a strange week for me - 
  1. I've had The Kid with a blood filled mouth and bleeding nose after falling on the floor and impaling his lower lip with three top teeth, his upper gum with two lower teeth and bashing his nose all at the same time (and yes, I panicked. A lot.); 
  2. I've said "Ta-ra 'til the New Year" to my Mummy dearest, who's off to play the campest Evil Queen Snow White will ever have come across in Pantoland;   
  3. I've cleared up little pools of sick, after The Cat ate one of The Kid's errant grapes (I think) ; 
  4. I've cleared up so many leaves from the Tenacious Towers' grounds I am beginning to think they breed on the floor of the vast orchard; 
  5. I've been shocked at how much Anton du Beke is gradually morphing into Brucie;  
  6. I've been avidly watching our graciously returned Sky 1 (that didn't take too long did it Virgin..?) in the vain hope that something else other than 'Ross Kemp on Everything' will be on.
But just for a laugh, I've also partaken in that old game "half fall/half slide down the stairs" whilst rushing to grab The Kid's teddy for cuddles.

On the up side, I didn't fall completely as I had grabbed onto the bannister; on the down side, I grabbed with the arm that had previously been privy to a dislocated shoulder so writing has been interesting.  I also crushed two toes on one of the spindley thingies. Ouch. Obviously, my utter silence as I limped down the stairs spoke louder than any words, as The Kid said "Uh-oh" and pulled out the chenille throw which is reserved for cold winter nights, illness and /or injury cuddles.  In amongst all this madness and mayhem, I have of course be slotting in keyboard hammering flashes, where I sit talking to myself like a demented mad woman, and create NaNoWriMo stylee.

Having now passed 36,000 words, I am onto the fourth (and final) part of "Taking the Fast Lane", which seems incredible - not the novel, but just the feat!  It's been a fascinating journey to sit down with nothing and create something.  Obviously still being at least 14,000 words off, I am hoping it won't be too rough a ride.  The whole NaNoWriMo experience so far has been brilliant  and has been made even better by the Pep Talk emails we receive. So far we've had wise words from Philip Pullman, Jonathan Stroud, Katherine Paterson, Meg Cabot and many from NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty at HQ.  If you are interested in reading any of the pep talks they are available online here.

I was also able to breathe a sigh of relief on Friday when a fairly hefty envelope from Screen East plopped in the letter box advising me (one envelope, four separate letters inside) that each of my screenplays had been received and logged.  I had started to panic a bit as four Royal Mail bags full of post had been found abandoned in a field in my area - and of course I had convinced myself my screenplays were in there...the acknowledgement letters weren't due until Friday, but I had nonetheless convinced myself my creations were being sifted by CID for prints.  Or something.

Anyway, if I get short listed for an interview then I should know early December.  If I am successful after the interview, it'll be a great Christmas, I tell you.  

Right, before cracking on with a few more pages of the novel, I'm off to see who out of the "Celebrity" jungle inmates, has had the most surgery.  Hmmm. Let me think....

I am loving the Red London Bus - it must have been dumped there after the closing ceremony in Beijing.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twenty-Five Thousand Words and Counting

So, I'm writing this darn novel for NaNoWriMo right?  And I'm thinking to myself - you know what, it doesn't matter what you end up with - in fact, although it would be pretty cool to hit the 50k word target,  that really doesn't matter either, not in the grand scheme of things.  I heard here and there that a few people thought this NaNoWriMo idea was really very stupid and it didn't mean a thing as the point is "just to write - edit later" (if you want), but one thing it has allowed me to prove to myself is given a deadline, I can write to it.

Somewhere in my brain, there is a tiny cluster of cells that disagree heavily at the fact this is a waste of time.  These cells have driven me round the bend, making me type faster and faster, and weaving themselves in and out of characters and experiences like a demented spider, the more I move on in the story.

I no longer own this story, as it now owns me and I am firmly stuck in the world with HotCeleb magazine and all the people who feature in it.  Especially Jardin Moist (that's just to make Stevyn laugh again ;)

The mind is a crazy thing (well, mine is).  I was really worried I would run out of steam the further I moved on in the story, but the damn thing is writing as if I had planned it.  Great stuff, but most unnerving as I don't know where it's all coming from.  MacBook is possessed.

Well, regardless who's possessing what and when, I have just tipped the scales over the half way mark.  Wow, can't believe I've got to write all that again, word count wise!  

So here's to the 25k word benchmark!  Not too bad a feat thus far.  I doubt very much I'll be keeping up this pace for the other 25k, but you never do know.  Perhaps I'l just finish it in time to hear good news from Screen East. Here's hoping. 


Friday, November 07, 2008

Short films, Short books and a Short Fuse.

Hello again lovelies.

Actually I don't have a short fuse today - as per my post title - but thought it sounded more interesting. Tsk.

Just another quick dip in and out for me just now as a lot of today has been spent running through piles of leaves in the park, pushing swings with all my might and then trying to get the odd word typed here and there.   Time is very precious at the moment and I have to run my days like a Sandhurst text book operation, squeezing in all the usual stuff as well as keeping on top of my obsessive word count for NaNoWriMo.  As of last night "Taking the Fast Lane" was sitting at 12,680 words, so it's moving on.

First up, a couple more job opportunities:
  1. Assistant Script Editor, BBC Drama Series & Serials, London : 6 month fixed term contract/Attachment (Maternity cover)
  2. Script Editor , BBC Drama Series & Serials, London: 1 x 12 month fixed term contract/attachment and 1 x 6 month fixed term contract/Attachment (Mat Cover)
Well, back to NaNoWriMo.  It *seems* to be going ok, apart from the fact I keep panicking myself by thinking I'm running out of plot/words/fingers.  I have now completed "Part One" (of four) of the book and am wading my way into "Part Two".  When I had two minutes spare yesterday (a bit like now), I very bravely filled in the 'synopsis' and 'excerpt sections' of the  'Novel Info' page on the NaNoWriMo site, so if you want to read what kind of trash a totally unplanned novel reads like (no editing has taken place), then please feel free to check it out here. [Please note: it contains bad language, bad imagery & more than likely very bad writing].  

Urgh. I'm probably really going to regret that, aren't I?  [There's still time to remove the link... No!  Be brave, Tenacious'll be ok - they're all lovely your bloggie-buds...]

Other than that, not a lot has been happening apart from the usual day to day writerly drift.  

I am still waiting to see what happens with my film, "three" - the closing date was the end of August and no decision has been made yet (the second round has also now closed...)!  So that really has been the longest wait on earth.  Never mind, next Monday is the closing date for Screen East's DigiBytes and Digital Nation , and seeing as they have a strict timetable to adhere to, all final decisions after interviews etc (hopefully) should be revealed just before Christmas.

Have a good weekend all.  Not sure what I'm  up to...ha ha ha. Onwards.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life Mirrors Art in NaNoWriMo?

Remember, remember the 5th of November!  Oooooh, hello all!

I've been having loads of fun writing my novel for NaNoWriMo and am now totally obsessed with word counts.  The little word count widget I have on the blog sidebar doesn't seem to be working very well for me - it seems a little erratic - so I'll have to keep a note of my word counts as I go.

As I have already bemoaned, my weekend attempt was pretty crud. Having not actually started writing until the 2nd anyway, I did manage to get my fingers going and the word count has become as follows:

03/11/08: 4032
04/11/08: 8049

Obviously I am still going today, but I have just cranked over 9k so now I am fully committed and have to keep going! In addition to all that heart-stopping news I also now have a title - "Taking the Fast Lane".

I was quite interested to work out how many words per minute I am writing at the moment as this whole process is so totally different to screenwriting.  Bearing in mind I am 'making it up as I go along': I had no outline, no characters, no plot - in fact I had nothing until I sat down to start writing on Sunday - my average 'creation speed'* is 500 words an hour or 8.33 words per minute. However, this obviously varies greatly, as I know I managed to write 500 words in 15 minutes yesterday. It amazes me how hard it can be to think up many different ways to depict bad language, smut and loose morals without sounding repetitive. ;) Ho hum.

I must admit, I have never actually checked to see how many words made up any of my screenplays, so I set about looking at them as a little bit of procrastination and an excuse to spend ten minutes away from the ridiculously crass life my novel characters are leading. Needless to say,  I was quite shocked when I picked a random short and realised it was only made up of 2,245 words. How very funny.

Anyway, I really should get off and dedicate a  couple of hours to 'real' life now, before I re-embark on more 'Novel Hammering' (it's a new game, don'tcha know?) again this evening.  All I can say is I am so glad my life isn't as complicated and/or sordid as my 'Novel Lot".  *shudder*  

Sometimes my brain scares me with it's contents, you know.



*please note this is "raw creation speed" - not typing speed.  If it was typing speed I would indeed be looking for another vocation in life.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Silent Scripts & NaNoWriMo Update

Right, you Lovelies - it's a quick fire round today...

First up, I'm going to tell you about a fab opportunity based in London.  If you want a 'real job' (well, on a PAYE fixed term contract or attachment; 3 days a week from 1st December '08 until April then F/T until early May if project is greenlit) and have the ability/experience to be the next Series Script Editor for "Silent Witness", click HERE for full details. What a great job!  Here - please take my right arm in exchange for the position...

Moving on. As you may know, I stupidly entered myself for this year's NaNoWriMo which started on Saturday, but I always knew I'd get off to a late-ish start as writing at the weekends is pretty much out for me.  I tried my best to get as much done after 7pm once The Kid had gone to bed but needless to say, not a huge amount of the black stuff got stuck on the page.  At least I have made a start though, and once I get the word counter thingy working on the Blog you'll all be able to spy on my feeble attempt!  I guess I am just going to have to catch up with double word counts on the two days The Kid is at nursery.  

'The Book' doesn't actually have a title yet, which is very strange for me, as that is normally the first flicker of my creative candle.  It also has a lot of sweary words, smut and bad language so far, which is very naughty of me and totally out of character. ;)

So far, I know Laura is doing exceptionally well with her word count, Elinor has gone a bit quiet, so I'm not sure how it's going over at the Convent, and after checking in to say Hi, I now know Stevyn is taking a stab at it too for the first time.  I think he started his writing on the same day as me, so it's good to know I'm not the only one! However, his word count has already whipped my ass in line. Stevyn has also decided to 'Blog his Novel' as he writes it, which was something I had considered but whimped out. Perhaps I'll do it when I feel a little happier I have produced more than 10 worthy words.

Laters guys.