Monday, December 29, 2008

A Decade In The Making

# “Isn’t it time you got over how fragile you are? We’re all waiting, waiting on your supernova, cos that’s who you are, and you`ve only begun to shine” # - Anna Nalick

I don't know what it is about winter but it definitely makes me reflect more than other times of the year - maybe it's the cold weather when all you want to do is be indoors next to a cosy fire, but actually for most of 2008 I've been quite nostalgic, looking back in a lot of the posts on my blog here, to be honest… Back in January I said this was an anniversary year for me and that’s because it was way back in 1998 when I first seriously put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard to write creative fiction…


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First Impressions Of Another World...

# “From your red balloon you were a super hi-tech jet fighter, floating over planet Earth, come back down here...”# - Guster

It's become a bit of a November tradition now to give an update on how my first online gamebook is coming along... So by means of an early but hopefully timely Crimbo present with this post, artist Rich Windass and myself will give you some early concept designs and ideas for how the "Moon Crater Adventures" are shaping up to progress into 2009 and beyond...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stop obsessing?

# "You are lost in your own glory, you are believing your own story..." # - Cake


Photobucket


I've been reminiscing a lot about years gone by in 2008 (the reasons for which I'll make properly clear in a couple of posts' time), but in particular this month I'm recalling an undergrad study I took on around the time I first got into serious fiction writing which looked at the idea of "obsession" being used in Modern American TV comedy, (focusing on Friends, Fraiser and Seinfeld). In those days, I was already studying a uni module on TV comedy in Britain and this theme had emerged in UK sitcoms too... But looking at it from my perspective now as a general writer of fiction, the theme of obsession is actually one which has peppered my creative tales in the ten years since I've begun my writing life too...


Friday, October 10, 2008

It's been a good run...

# "I'm an anchor on the line of a clock that tells the time
that is running out on you"
# - Counting Crows

I'll be recovering for most of this month I suspect from one of the greatest things I've ever done in my life so far... a 13.1 mile half-marathon called the Great North Run here in the UK... It's been one of those events in the local calendar and popular imagination that I've grown up with in Newcastle when around the same time every year, close to the end of summer, literally thousands of people from all over the country (and the world) descend on our city and most main roads are closed off to make way for what's become known as the biggest half-marathon in the world...


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Never sleeping with the television on...

# "They never notice the zap gun in your hand
until you're pointing it and stunning their senses..."
# - Billy Joel

I've been thinking about those peculiar but interesting lists you sometimes see on the inside of book dust jackets that detail an author's biography, the one with unique and often surprising jobs they've done leading up to becoming a published writer, and in particular I've been imagining how my own list might look one day... It's a pretty small and undistinguished list really that includes Library Assistant, Community Journalist/Reporter and even a stint for the Copyright Licensing Agency but it's my current day job that I'll probably be most proud of in years to come...




Thursday, August 21, 2008

"The Lost Words of C.G.Allan"

# "Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost... What if I lost my direction? What if I lost sense of time?" # - the Barenaked Ladies


Not too long ago now I actually lost one of my writing notebooks which I’ve not yet found and am still pretty much lamenting over - it’s the first time it’s happened to me and it’s made me kind of pause for thought as I go into the second half of 2008 with my creative writing and continue to build my Official Writing Website, and so I've been pondering a lot on the theme of “lost words”...


Monday, July 28, 2008

Keep to cracking the Code...

# "Honest is easy, fiction is where genius lies..." # - Guster


Ever since being around the age of seven and being bought Stratego for Christmas by my granddad, I've become obsessed with games of all kinds. From Othello to chess, Action Force to Crossbows & Catapults, to Monopoly and Scrabble, and even nowadays to the newer DVD interactive games, I really enjoy pitting my wits against others, even if I don't win half the time... When it comes to my writing, especially on the internet, I've blogged before about how I'm interested in fusing "games" with creative fiction, and have even made some small strides towards that this past year with my "Moon Crater Adventures" (which hasn't been forgotten about, I hasten to add - more exciting news on this in the run-up to Christmas!) I get very excited myself as a reader when given the opportunity to look past the pages of a mere book, beyond its covers, and allowed to discover extra, sometimes hidden, gems... As a writer I only follow my own path (and gut instinct) and what interests myself, and since I enjoy more and more "interactive books" and campaigns which run alongside books to get readers interested, it's now time to properly unveil my own fusion of my "Moon Crater" novel and a game of sorts which readers can get involved in, in the run-up to me getting it out there among agents and the publishing world...

SO, ARE YOU READY TO SOLVE
THE ZIP CODE CHALLENGE?!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All-Out Indy! (adventure has a name...)

Unless you’ve been on Titan for the last year or so, you’ve probably come across someone you know who’s been excited about the fact that there’s a new Indiana Jones film out this year. It’s something I’ve blogged about at numerous times before here, so it’s no secret that I’m an uber Indy geek. It would be quite an understatement to say I’ve had a passing anticipation to Indy IV because, man, have I been looking forward to this milestone event in cinema history ever since Marcus Brody nearly fell of his horse at the end of 1989’s Last Crusade and the end credits started rolling on what seemed like the final ever Indy flick...


My anticipation of this new film has grown so much, in fact, that in the intervening years and when I discovered the wonders of eBay not long ago, I began adding to a small collection of memorabilia which I had from being a kid when the first couple of Indy films were released in the early 80s…


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"On Yer Bike!"

# “What if I'd been born fifty years before you, in a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike…” #
Ben Folds

Everybody needs a rest and holiday, right? The way I tend to approach my writing is the same as I would any job – I do the actual act of scribbling and typing up my thoughts during the working week and then at weekends, where ironically most of my free time lies, I enjoy the break from it, concentrating on family life at home…

Well, recently, my wife and I planned what turned out to be a brilliant cycling trip to the Netherlands to help us unwind in this early part of the year from the pressures of our day jobs. Once again, even though I took a couple of small notebooks with me, after my strivings with the new draft of Moon Crater, I was actually looking forward to giving my brain a rest and time to recuperate from the story for a week or so…


Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Flicks Files...

# "The only thing that ever made sense to me is the world that I saw from an American movie..." # - Everclear

Since I've mentioned before on this blog journal of mine how I love going to the cinema and I've stated on my Official Homepage just how influenced by filmic writing I am, I thought it was about time I wrote a feature post explaining more about just how much a fan of "the flicks" I really am...

My earliest memory of the sheer fun of film is going to the local cinema in our city at perhaps 5 years old and seeing Disney's Bambi on its re-release in the early 80s. The cinema in question was Odeon Paramount, Newcastle which was sadly closed back in 2002 and criminally still stands derelict to this day (rumoured to be on the "de-listing" schedule by the local government because they're stumped with what to do with it - duh, IMAX anyone?!). Looking back, going to this 5-screen cinema on countless Saturday mornings with my younger brother and ignoring the new multiplexes springing up in the 90s, it was the building, not the films that I probably became obsessed with...


Thursday, May 01, 2008

2nd Draft Essentials...

# "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, ten! What about nine? Seven ate nine..." # - the Barenaked Ladies


It was about a year ago that I began the "Big Write-Up" of my proposed kids' adventure novel tentatively titled "Moon Crater" and began reporting on it here on the blog and through my Official Homepage, and it's really amazing to me to think how far I've been able to advance in that short time with the writing of it, but 2008 is perhaps where the hardest work is just beginning...


Monday, April 14, 2008

2008's New Batch! (a veritable flipbook of new stories, ready now and arriving soon...)

# "Now today is tomorrow, and tomorrow today, and yesterday is weaving in and out..." # - Cake

This week I thought I'd give a sort of writing news update post to let you know about what’s currently going on with my writing on the Net… Things have kind of been quiet so far with all of it since the beginning of the new year but a lot has been ‘waiting in the wings’ and now like overdue buses coming along all at once you can take your pick of which one to hop on board with and enjoy…


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An (April) Fool's Errand?!

# "We thought he was gone, but now he's come back again, last week it was funny, but now the joke's wearing thin... # - Ben Folds

I'm not quite sure how to begin this post but it's got to be put out there so here goes... Recently I've been taught a bit of lesson in humility with my writing and it's led me to realise that part of being a successful writer is knowing when to admit that you've made mistakes and when to let go of something when you know it isn't working the way you hoped it would...


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Imagination across the generations...

# "And who was wrong? And who was right? It didn't matter in the thick of the fight..." # - Billy Joel


This is my first "feature" post of the new year - it's the kind of post I started this blog journal for and as my own writing news grows and I report it here too, it's nice to get back once in a while to my meandering ramblings regarding some of my favourite themes in writing...

One aspect of the creative impulse going through my brain at the moment is that of "imagination", which I've only really referred to in passing from time to time on the blog… It’s really the sad news this month of the passing of Arthur C Clarke, someone who inspired more than one generation with his own creative musings, that has made me think of the notion of my own personal “imagination generation” of the last 25 years or so of my life. As I entered adulthood and my writing aspirations really began to mature and become more serious (about ten years ago) it was the short stories of this giant of sci-fi fiction (as well as the essays of George Orwell but that’s another story) that genuinely spoke to me and got my creative mind kicked into uphill gear…


Friday, February 29, 2008

The 3rd "Moon Crater" Fiction Decisions Poll

# “And you think Rockford Files is cool, but there are some things you would change if it were up to you…” - Ben Folds Five


Introducing the 3rd & FINAL Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll!


For each year of the two years so far that I’ve kept this blog journal, I’ve launched a reader poll in an attempt to generate interest in my novel as I continue to write it. With the turn of the new year I’ve once again looked back over my drafted chapters with the second draft in mind and begun to devise the last “interactive” poll to be run in conjunction with Moon Crater

With the 1st Poll in 2006 and then the 2nd Poll in 2007 we shared glimpses of some of the people who inhabit the book and also began to shape some of the places that exist across the novel’s pages...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Results of the 2nd Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll (from 2007)

# “Your place on the map has faded away, must've been lost in more than one way…” # - Ben Folds


This month I received quite a kick up the proverbial behind over my writing from probably the one person who can say something right to the point without me taking it to heart but equally with me very much paying attention to the words being spoken. After admittedly taking an extended break on writing Moon Crater since I completed the first draft back at the end of September to reflect on it all and let the story stew a bit more, my wife was listening to me complain that I was struggling to get back into a writing routine and simply said, “If you’re serious about getting this published, just get on with it.” The word ‘serious’ really hit home because that’s what I’m constantly trying to do with my writing - turn it from an amateur hobby into a fact of everyday life and hopefully one day a serious career…


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The 2007 Review & 2008 sneak peak preview!

# "What a year... for a new year,... we need it like we needed life,... I guess..." # - Dan Wilson

So, here we suddenly are in 2008… I remember writing my first “year in review” post last January like it was only yesterday, but as I’ve started to look back over the past 12 months, I’m quite amazed (but pleasantly surprised) at how much writing I’ve been able to cram into the year that was 2007…

I’ve had this online journal on the go since the tail end of May 2006 and it’s an interesting exercise for me in my eternal pursuit (and need) to witness my evolution as a writer to look back almost two years later and be able to see how I’ve approached my blog writing in both the initial year of its existence of 2006 and then during this past second year of 2007.