Monday, 31 March 2008

Having just spoken to British Gas re: a complaint...

... don't use their Homecare package. It involves them coming to your home, taping you to the floor, and doing horrible things to you whilst they steal your money. Carefully.

Friday, 28 March 2008

A moment on the vicious undead maw...

Because there can never be enough articles about zombies...

The Zombie's Guide to Diet and Exercise.

Head over to Pink Raygun now, and get in touch with your geeky-feminine side. You big girly geek.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Who likes short shorts?

With flagrant disregard for my previous whining about everything I write getting shorter and shorter*, I have written a short.

It's 15½ pages long, it's a family comedy and all being well, I'm going to submit it to the British Short Screenplay Competition and Super Shorts.

What it needs now is feedback. Dirty, grubby feedback, from big ogres with clubs, who'll bash it out of all shape, fit it up in a full body cast and send it home in a cab to lick its wounds. Which it won't be able to do, on account of the full body cast.

I think that YOU, yes YOU there reading this very blog post, could be that ogre. E-mail me at o.jeffery AT if you're up to the challenge.

I promise*** not to further spread rumours about your prelidiction for eating kittens whilst wearing the fur of puppies if you do.

* Never talk about what you're going to write next on your blog. You will not write it, you will write something else instead, it leaves an unpleasant paper-trail, and makes you seem like a flight-headed young gallivant. You know how Quentin Tarantino has been going on about Inglorious Bastards since I was but a wee bairn, not forgetting Grindhouse 2 and the Kill Bill animated sequels that never materialised? Annoying, isn't it? So I'm stopping. Let's hope he will too**.

** The Deleted Scenes, astronomically overestimating its own importance since 2007.

*** No I don't.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Extravagantly blatant word whoring...

I am breaking the non-commercial sanctity of the blog world to pimp myself shamelessly once more.

Yes, the Writing... page has been updated with not only a new extract for you to wrap your browsers around (the first 34 pages of the Nightshift Pilot), but also a review... from no less than the BBC*. Yes, feedback has arrived from writersroom. For those of you too busy** to go to the page itself, the review is replicated below:
“... a gripping contemporary horror story in the tradition of genre fiction like Primeval, Torchwood or Buffy ... the economical opening scenes balance horror and wit in a way that is genuinely representative of the rest of the script. The isolated community of Seven Spires is convincingly evoked while the sharp dialogue roots the characters firmly in the 21st century.

The key characters of Becka and her father Jonas are complex and believable ... both have that appealing combination of moral strength and psychological flaws that keeps an audience engaged. The writing shows an impressive use of pace to create genuine suspense.”
Primeval and Torchwood? I am so the new James Moran. I await an appropriate rush of commissions and the attendant space virus. Clicky click now.

* Technically, there's also a review by author, screenwriter, erstwhile 2000AD editor and speaker at this year's Screenwriter's Festival, David Bishop, who left it there of his own free will. In no way did I promise to throw him to my zombie hordes if he didn't say something nice.

** If you are fending off a zombie apocalypse, for example, I fully understand if you just want to get the gist of the review here. Get yourself some tinned food, a method of defence (preferably a shotgun, easier to come by in America/the West Country), board up the windows, remove any limbs which have been subject to a zombie bite, then power up your laptop and look at the writing page then. Go on, I don't mind waiting.

Not my best week ever, writing wise...

... but otherwise very nice. The weather was good, I had some time off work to celebrate my anniversary with t'girlfriend, and saw some pygmy marmosets wrestling at the zoo. Sadly, the last bit isn't an arranged activity like the penguin feeding, the marmosets are just athletic and spontaneous beasts.

Writing wise, not so good. Got turned down for the Screenwriter's Festival pitch thingy, which means I can't afford to go. Anyone get through?

Also, circumstance is beginning to lend credence to my whole "stolen brain" quirk... I'm being watched, or there are radios in my teeth, or someone's reading this blog (first two concepts way more likely). Every great idea I have ends up as having just been green lighted for someone else, or even more annoyingly has managed to get all the way to the cinema without me hearing anything about it, only to shout "My idea's on Film 2008" in not inconsiderable distress. A nasty by-product is that if my idea hasn't already been taken by someone else, I begin to suspect that it's no good...

I am clearly just the very embodiment of the Zeitgeist. That, or I read a tiny article about stuff in Broadcast, forget about it and then convince myself that it's my idea. Or something.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

It's the tune from Deliverance, yeah?

When writing Seven Spires, with its animal sacrifice and creepy ass Cornish folk, I did sometimes wonder if I was unfairly slandering and further stereotyping my fellow county-men.

Apparently I wasn't.

Altogether now... da da dah dah dah daaah dang dang...

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Lost my focus. I can has urs?

Lots of ideas at the minute, very little focus, which can be a dangerous situation for a writer. Lends itself to writing eight pages or so on something and then abandoning it in a skip somewhere, only to be surprised when they turn up on advert for a shelter, Neil Morrisey giving them words I couldn't: "I know I'm a good idea. Why did my daddy abandon me?"

Best not to get involved in that sort of thing at all.


So, I've written eight pages of a novella, eight pages a comic script, and had an idea for another television show last night. I haven't done any work on the more important outline.

Balls. I'll go get the skip.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

This must be how normal people felt when Elvis died...

Gary Gygax has gone to the appropriate alignment-specific afterlife. I always figured him for Chaotic Good.

One of the last creators of a truly new form of pastime (Pastime? Who am I kidding? Obsession.), the world will be a poorer, less dragon filled place without him.

Dungeons and Dragons wasn't the first RPG I played, but all roleplaying sprung from that well.

I've bonded with more people over RPGs than any other one thing, and whilst friendships came from all the other stuff that makes life fun, more often than not Rifts, Vampire or Fighting Fantasy served as that first connection.

GMing is where I first started telling stories, something that's still very important to me. I owe Gary Gygax a lot, not least my Tuesday night Exalted sessions.

I hope he knew how happy he made a lot of people.

The online tributes continue:

Order of the Stick: A Brief Tribute

Penny Arcade: Bordering on the Semi-Tasteful

John August: Failed his Last Saving Throw

Wizards of the Coast

James Henry: Gary Gygax Changed My Life

XKCD: The Ultimate Game

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Oh, look, the Internet...

Eagle eyed / bored readers who've made it all the way to the bottom of the page will have seen that I now have so many links in the Misc. section that they're literally spilling out of the template. Which looks a bit shit, sorry.

Anyway, I thought I'd call your attention to a few of them. On the webcomic front, we have Freak Angels, a serioso (kind of) and importantly free web comic from the Guru Warren Ellis, who I understand is quite well liked in comic circles. Coming out weekly.

We also have Dark Horse Presents, the one page on MySpace that doesn't make me scream with rage, being an online reimagining of the long cancelled, once flagship title from the eponymous atramentous pony. It's a bit patchy sometimes, but the first three issues featured the brilliant Joss Whedon's equally brilliant Sugarshock!, which you must go read as soon as you get through this post. Not before, now.

This is a bit of a viral phenomenon, like flu, but I shall big it up anyway... Garfield Minus Garfield. Which is Garfield, but y'know, without Garfield. Which makes the whole thing much funnier, and makes Jon Arbukle look like a sad, lonely, possibly schizophrenic and bipolar man. Like I said, funny. And to show that there's no good idea I can't steal, here's The Deleted Scenes special one time limited edition GMG:

Quite pleased with that. On the blog front, we have The Further Adventures of Boz, who's linked up because he kindly gave me a shout out in a post, and because it's a lovely read. Especially his musings on leap years.

That is all. Go now, link away. There's loads of other good shit down there too. Eventually I will post something about writing again.

Monday, 3 March 2008

We, the undersigned vampires, werewolves and ghosts...

Howdy all. Being Human was great, wasn't it? You'd like to see more, wouldn't you?

You would? That's great! How about signing this petition?