Friday, April 30, 2010

Thirty minutes,!

Rob Richardson in Portsmouth England has come up with a novel new approach to the writing competition. It's basically an 'open-mic' style in which a writer has half an hour to write and submit a piece.

The competitions take place on his website every Saturday night between 5.30 and 6pm. I haven't tried it yet but will give it a go at the weekend and let you know how I get on!

You've been a wonderful audience, folks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm cross-blogginating!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another day, another project...

Yes, now I've finally admitted to myself that 'Last Train' didn't win that magazine short story competition (although I am yet to confirm by actually reading said magazine), I've decided to write it as a Short Film.

I know, I know, once again I have been enslaved by my number one demon...I call him Procrastinatimort.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The importance of a title?

Yes, on much reflection, I have decided to change the title of my novel to 'Harry Potter and the De Vinci Sudoku Bible'. Anything to maximise sales, right? Thank you Viz for the suggestion.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The world tour is over

In case you think this is me just bangin' on about why I haven't done any writing this week...well you might be right. Basically I've spent the last four days visiting various and increasingly interesting corners of the country (over 1000 miles, 200 quid on petrol) for various and increasingly interesting reasons...but as this is a blog about writing , I'm forbidden to tell you what they are.

But now, as the tour closes, I'm back to unbridled creativity, right? Wroooong. Delighted to report that I actually have paid work going on up in this bad boy. Awe....(wait for it)....some!

Back to my proper penniless-artist job reeeeeal soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm too honest for my own good!

...if such a thing is possible.

Just had a call from RTE in relation to a possible writing job on their popular long-running drama. Of course, the first question that I was asked was if I regularly watched the show. Did I just shoot myself in the foot by being 'too honest' and saying that I only watch it occasionally?

Well , something tells me I would have been quickly found out if I had said 'Oh yeah, watch it every night, never miss it, sometimes I watch it twice in case I missed something the first time!'....probably the first time I went to a writers' meeting and called Carrigstown 'Carrot-town' or McCoy's 'McKay's'.

Anyway, my mission, should-I-choose-etc-etc, is to watch it (every night, never miss it, sometimes twice in case I miss something the first time) for the next few months and give them a call in August if I'm still interested.

So no more Simpsons re-runs for me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Multi-tasking? A man?

Yes, it's true...(well sort of...)

Like any writer concerned with his or her mental stability, I do have a number of projects on the go, at various levels of development, at any given time (I refuse to count them....okay, five).

Basically, a constant companion of any writer trying to break into the world of publishing/production/any-level-of-public-recognition is, of course rejection. Other writers use drink/drugs/exercise as reaction to rejection. I use prolificacy.

I will admit (and this might bolster the popular opinion about the male of the species and multitasking) that I don't, in fact, work on multiple projects on any given day. But I do like to have three on the boil so that, when that inevitable rejection letter pops through the door, it feels reeeeally good to be able to stand on my balcony (yes, I have done it) and yell "To Hell With *Project A*, *Project B* is the masterpiece!!! The pitch I sent to Miss Publisher/Mister Production Company last week- that's the one that's going make me my millions!"

And on that dillusional note, back to Project C. Oh, is that the post arriving?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Summer is here!

...or did I just jinx it? (oh that I might have that kind of power).

In my defence, it is easy to optimistic when, for the first time in O-Ten (as more and more people are referring to it), I'm drinking an al-fresco coffee - it was very nearly a beer I don't mind telling you - and scribbling furiously (crazy-homeless-loon style) in my notebook.

And what literary masterpiece might materialise ('materialise' spelt with an 's' not a 'z'...stooopid American spell-checker) from this outdoor beverage-sipping experience? Well none, probably - the scribbling is a largely incomprehensible to do list.

To-do item-1 - start next literary masterpiece...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The value of a writing course.

Those of you who know me know that I continuously advocate the existence of creative writing groups. Being a writer can be, by its nature, a fairly solitary existence so being part of a group (or in my case 3) can be invaluable. As well as the companionship, it is also important to have someone (who isn't your mammy) to share your writing with, get (honest!) criticism from and bounce ideas off.

One way of getting into a group is to do one of many creative writing courses that regularly spring up around the country. These are normally organised by the likes of the Arts Council, the Writers Centre or Filmbase and, as well as the obvious educational merits, these courses allow and encourage writers to network with each other, out of which a writers group might be born.

The writers group that I am in in Naas, Co. Kildare, came about as a result of such a course. We have been together now since 2005 and are still going strong.

One other merit to a writing course is that it might get you working on a novel/movie/short story that otherwise would never have even been conceived. I know that as it recently happened to me. But more about that later!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I could tell you...but then I'd have to kill you...

Yes, I am of course referring to my 'top secret' project that I mentioned in a blog last year.

This is, in fact, the premise for an 8-episode TV drama that I developed and was pitched to RTE before Christmas.

Basically, I wrote the show after a drunken conversation with an ex-colleague during which we agreed that a lot of our experiences and the people we we worked with / for over the last few years would make fabulous storylines and characters in a movie or TV show.

So the TV Show 'Square One' was born! In short, it is about a Dublin design practice struggling through the recession.

After spending three months writing a treatment, character biogs and a first-episode script, I sent it (very tongue-in-cheek) to both a TV production company and a director.

Miraculously, both the producer and director were very enthusiastic about it and after I had a meeting with the producer, he pitched it to our national broadcaster. They went away and thought about it over the Christmas but decided, in the new year, to pass on it. Ah well....

I do have a plan to develop it an Internet-TV series at the moment, have been discussing this relatively-new format with a few people-in-the-know and it looks like it might have legs. The format will probably need to change a bit, which I will be looking at over the next few weeks.

Watch this space!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

another slap on the wrist for me...

...and from someone else this time!

Yes, E-M, the most vigilant and entertaining blogger I know ( has given me a well-deserved kick in the ass for not having anything posted since last October. I did try the 'shur-who'd-want-to-be-reading-about-my-opinions-and-experiences' excuses but she wasn't accepting it for a second (rightly so).

So I have committed (mostly due to fear of further castigation) to regularly post from now on. And in a moment of flurried enthusiasm, I installed the blogging app on my (yes I am one of those) Iphone so now I have no excuse.

Right, see you all again in another 6 months!

(I'm joking E-M, I promise. Please don't hurt me...)

and in case Steve Jobs is reading this, I love my Iphone!