Friday, December 23, 2011

In the company of avid followers and new-found friends...

# "Look around, leaves are brown now… and the sky is a hazy shade of winter…" #Simon & Garfunkel

I’ve been spending the last few winter months with some new-found friends and having a brilliantly creative (if a little chaotic) time of it...  I’m lucky enough to have a day job where I’m able to spend some of my time at work following my creative leanings, especially in the area of books and writing, and recently I was given the chance to begin training on “AVID Media Composerlearning how to put together short video films, specifically for a website that my own department at ITV runs called “Signed Stories”...


Sunday, November 27, 2011

On The Road To Publishville # 8 - "Multiple Voices & Continuing Adventures”

# "Waiting for the trains that just never come, beginning to believe in the disappearing nature of the people we have been - we have... begun... to change" #  - Counting Crows

As the year draws to a close, I've been starting to cast my eye back over my creative writing year and take stock of what I've achieved and learned, and it occurred to me that it's been a while since my last "On The Road To Publishville" post.  So far there's been 7 entries in this occassional series in which I attempt to document and pass on my trials and tribulations in trying to make the leap from amateur scribbler to published author by gaining an agent for my writing...



Sunday, October 30, 2011

The mystery of my story...

# "You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome.  I need you in my house, cos you're my home..." # - Billy Joel

The Lilburn Tower - view from the north...
There are only a few words in my life so far that when uttered make me stare off into the distance with a smile.  My wife's name is one of them, so too is "Vancouver" where we spent the end of our honeymoon (and is possibly my favourite city in the world).  But utter the word "Dunstanburgh" around me and you might be forgiven for thinking I've drifted off to another universe...


Monday, September 12, 2011

Blasts from the Past # 5 - "The Greatest Stories Ever Told?"

# "But you are caught in your own glory... you are believing your own stories... but you don't know which page to turn to, do you?" - Cake
I’m going to tell you a story… It’s not a particularly epic one, or even vital for you to read it, but it happened to me 10 years ago and because around this very time, this very year, the world will be thinking back that far for lots of reasons, I too find myself in a reflective mood as I begin my 5th and final “Blasts from the Past” post, looking back across the life of my online blog journal…

So back to the story – sitting comfortably? Well, you know how the rest goes, but the year was 2001 and at the end of the summer I found myself enjoying the sunshine "at the end of the world", so to speak, holidaying in Cornwall at the southernmost tip of the UK. One day, during the week’s vacationing, my then girlfriend (now my wife) and I decided to take a day trip out to Land’s End (literally the end of “our” world, as we knew it then). It was to be one of the most eerily significant decisions we’d ever made, to take that particular coach trip from our small campsite, on that particular sunny Tuesday…


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blasts from the Past # 4 - "Accentuating the Personal..."

# “Slip inside the eye of your mind, don't you know you might find a better place to play?” # - Oasis

It’s been a pretty long 30 days this month – I’ve just moved house and apart from it living up to its reputation of being one of the most stressful things you can do in life, it’s left me with a merry medley of mixed emotions about leaving the old house behind as well as looking forward to our future life in the new abode…

So for this fourth “Blasts from the Past” post, looking back over the last 5 years of keeping my online journal, I thought I’d focus in on my favourite posts where I’ve blogged about more “personal” stuff (not issues, mind you, but “stuff” – and of course, as always, the personal stuff was linked to my writing exploits...)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blasts from the Past # 3 - "The Great Outdoors"

# "If you've never stared off into the distance, then, your life is a shame..." - Counting Crows

On a morning, as I make my way to work, I journey over the bus and rail bridges that cross the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead - apart from getting a lot more reading done using public transport than if I drove to work, the other curious thing I've like to note as I make the crossing is that most people look to the east, where the majestic Tyne Bridge and Sage Music Centre fill the vista.  It seems to be an unconscious reaction (for myself included), but increasingly, with each new day, I've been more interested in looking west, to the empty horizon of the hills and Tyne Valley which stretch out for miles (and where the old Rocket still stands resolute and defiant, resisting the changes of the modern world around it)...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blasts from the Past # 2 - "The Big & Small Screens"

# "The only thing that ever made sense to me is the words to a song from an American movie..." - Everclear

This month, one of my favourite film franchises turns 30 and it's also one of the foremost influences on my many creative scribbles on the page and computer screen...  It's with the anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark in mind that I decided for this second "Blasts from the Past" post to cast an eye back over the last 5 years of this blog at some oft he times I've posted about one of my favourite pastimes - TV and film...


Monday, May 30, 2011

Blasts from the past # 1 (a 5-part saga) - "Imagination"

# "...and somebody spoke, and I went into a dream..." # - Lennon & McCartney
Beginning a new mini-series of blog posts...

The end of this very month, of this very year, marks a total of 5 years that I've been blogging about writing.  Back in 2009 when this blog turned a grand old age of 3, I posted about my top 10 favourite posts so far, but for its 5th birthday, I thought it could be good (for myself if nobody else!) to take a little time to celebrate over a short series of posts entitled "Blasts from the Past" and cast the spotlight on some of the times I’ve talked about various aspects of being a writer... And this first post deals with the theme of "imagination"...


Friday, April 22, 2011

On The Road To Publishville # 7 - "Not letting go, but moving on..."

# "Movin' on is a chance 
you take any time you try to stay... 
together..." # - Billy Joel

"2 years down the road..."

"The time has come, my friends,
to talk of other things...
of shoes and ships and sealing wax,
of cabbages and kings...
and why the sea is boiling hot,
and whether pigs have wings...
Calloo, Callay, come run away...
with the cabbages and kings..."

I recently went to hear a certain author talk about his newest book to be published and he mentioned the fact that the first book he wrote as an aspiring author was actually not published until 6 books into his published career.  This was a shocking fact to hear at first, being an aspiring author myself and being so attached to the book I've written first and have hopes pinned on being my debut novel as a "proper" published author, but it's also a sobering thing to know, and nicely coincides with a slow-burning realisation that I'm still at the beginning of my writing adventure and this journey "On The Road to Publishville"...

It took Mr Fforde 7 books
to get his 1st published
I guess, for that successful author I mentioned above, the luxury of hindsight, looking back across the years and reflecting on how things have turned out, is a nice thing to do - but for myself, I'm sort of at the stage where I need to have a reverse-hindsight to drive me onwards and keep me keep on keeping faith in my own creative scribbles...  I almost need to invoke some sort of cosmic writers foresight to extrapolate where my own writing career might go.  I certainly want to be more than just a "one-hit wonder" author (that's why back in February, I began the process of laying out a "5-year plan" to get 5 new novels off the ground… and more beyond that…) but I've also begun to feel that things have come full circle on this initial journey towards "Publishville", that mythical city with high-rise tower blocks made of books where "successful" authors reside, peering down on the wannabes from above...


Monday, March 28, 2011

Early learning years...

# "But we always came back to the songs we were singing at any particular time..." # - Paul McCartney

My first "hardback" read
I've been thinking a lot recently about writing for a younger target audience than I've been accustomed to since deciding to embark on my adventures in scribbling around 10 years ago....  And it's led me to recall a handful of the very first books that influenced me as a very young reader (and I suppose a budding writer even then). I wonder how many of these you might know yourselves?



Monday, February 07, 2011

"Looking to the past for the future..." (the 2011 writing preview!)

# "If you believe that there's a bond between our future and our past..." # - Jimmy Nail

It’s sort of a case of in with the new as well as in with the old for this “preview post” of my writing to come in 2011… Already this year, I’ve pasted some “new” additions onto the “old” title picture of this blog journal of mine to herald the new year (spotted them yet?) – but of course the old year isn’t forgotten and neither are old stories (which will through the magic of 3-D become new again during this new year – but more on this later in the post…)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"From the space age to the dark ages" - (the 2010 writing review!)

# "'Now, what think you to this, my friend Pybus?" # - Jon Boden

One of my favourite TV shows at the moment is the modern take on “Dr Who” – it still (as it did as a kid) scares me in just the right amounts, the sfx (as you’d expect) are out-of-this world and the twists and turns of the scripts, I think, make it some of the best writing to watch and learn from at the moment. And it’s as I start to type up this first post of 2011, I’ve got a particular line from the newest episode in my head: “halfway out of the dark”…

It always seems like a good time at the turn of the year, while still in the depths of Winter, when the night and mornings are too dark to do much outside in the fresh air, for me to type up a post that both “reviews” the old year, gone by but also “previews” the new year, and what lies ahead for my creative scribbles...