Thursday, December 29, 2016

A good way to round-up the year: with a creative success!

A real year of living creatively!
# "When I'm deep inside of me, don't be too concerned... I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone..." - Billy Joel

For the last couple of years here on the blog I’ve begun to journal about my efforts to move towards becoming a video editor in my day job and this month thanks to a recognised course with an exam at the end of it, happily, I’ve managed to take a larger leap towards that goal.

For a little while because I’ve been mainly carrying out editing jobs at work using Adobe Creative Suite, I’d been eyeing up an Adobe Associate course here in the UK, and considered various course providers around the country.  Negotiating with my employer it was finally settled on making the trip to Manchester for a week-long expert course in using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"If Adventure Makes a Sound..." ("Finding a Voice": Part-the-First!)

# “Have you seen me lately? I was out on the radio starting to change” - Counting Crows

Have you ever listened to a podcast? “Audio scribbling” is something I’ve dabbled with over the past few years here and there but for the past decade or so I’ve been listening to various podcasts – some put together by fans of films franchises like Star Wars and others made by established authors who often use the sound waves to give advice about stepping into the writing world.

Monday, October 31, 2016

VERY Spooky tales - FEAR of a blank page... (part 2!)

An exclusive tale from C.G.Allan's forthcoming first collection of short fiction...

"The Thirst for Knowledge"
by C.G.Allan

MY life has always been filled with questions. Most of them begin with "Why" and end with "me", but about three hours ago I was faced with a new, more profound question which has forced me to try to forget my own problems for the present moment at least.
  It was 7pm again and I had become thirsty as I always did at 7pm.
 In setting this down now I hope to help myself remember, for the thirst makes me forget things quickly.
  Typically, my pockets were empty. When my pockets became light like that I always visited those who had been my friends before.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fear of "the Blank Page"?

# “I'm just staring at the ceiling, staring back at me…” # - Counting Crows

...illusive and always just lingering on the horizon...
There is a myth, that stretches back into the far reaches of time itself, into the annals of decades gone by, a legend so ingrained in our psyche that as writers, perhaps more so than the average person you pass on the street, it takes hold of our very core and teases us with its own existence.  It’s not a tangible thing, most myths aren’t, but its power still has a hold on us with every authorly breath we take… And what is this fantastical phantasm of which I speak (and have been treading water, to skirt around it, properly procrastinating, for this first post paragraph) …? It is of course, the myth of WRITERS’ BLOCK!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Isn't Life A Dream?"

I must be looking for something, something sacred I lost... But the river is wide and it's too hard to cross... # - Billy Joel

Setting aside that larger metaphysical question that I’ve decided to title this post with (even though it’s a brilliant starting point for a story: are we actually existing within someone else’s dream or nightmare, even...?), the title words here actually refer to a new outdoor hobby I’ve taken up this year – rowing.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The time has come, my friends, to talk of ALL these things... (10 years of the Writing Blog!)

# "I wish it was last September, so we could lose ourselves in crowds everyday..." - Ben Folds

C.G.Allan circa 2006!
2006 was a very good year… It was also a very different one too – and a vastly varied world to that of 2016.  There was no instagram, Twitter was only just getting going and a younger scribbler C.G.Allan was only a year out of graduating from an MA in Creative Writing and was busy tinkering with his first novel which he’d started on that course and was wondering how to take his writing to the “next level”…

It was also around that time that an old school friend and fellow amateur scribbler (and still best friend, I might add) suggested I get “one of those blog things” and I began to read a little about what exactly an “online journal” was.  It was around early 2006 too that I realised I wanted to create a website for my various first attempts at creative writing - partly to make a record of these for posterity but also to create a base for any readers I might be lucky enough to gain, and potential literary agents, to come to, to find out about my scribbles.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Unfinished Tales" and other "Talking Titles"...

# “I am the entertainer, I bring to you my songs.  I'd like to spend a day or two, but I can't stay that long…” # - Billy Joel

As a writer or just as a reader, I love the idea of ‘lost’ or unfinished tales of an author I’m particularly fond of.  A little while ago I bought a copy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Narrative of John Smith which was billed as a “lost tale” of his and published by the British Library (another place with ‘lost books’ I just have to visit if I’m ever in London) and whenever a new Bernard Cornwell book is released, I enjoy hunting out the “sampler” chapters that Waterstones here in the UK releases as teasers to the main book.

As to my own “sough-after” tales, way back in 2008, I posted here on the blog about a disastrous event that befell me when I mislaid a notebook of stories I’d been working on throughout that year.  And to this day, almost ten years later, I still have nightmares where I awake in a panic, wondering just where that pocketbook now resides…

Monday, May 30, 2016

That "difficult" second novel...

# "Birds fall from the window ledge above mine, then they flap their wings at the last second..." # - Cake

For a long time now, while I've been in the throws of drafting and redrafting my first adventure novel, I've been thinking about, talking about and even begun writing the first 7 chapters or so of a second, probably more ambitious novel.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Creative Day Job...

# “Who writes the pages of our life… in black and white?” – Adam Duritz

For a little while now, ever since moving more into the video editing, post-production side of things in my day job, (and had some minor success and praise) I’ve been meaning to start to build myself a creative “show reel”...

This is no mean feat, cramming what amounts to be several hours of full-length videos into a condensed “sizzle” of around 3 to 5 minutes… It’s still early days though, and for now, I’ve been gathering the material together, and thought it might be useful if only for my own “archiving” purposes to post up some clips here on the blog of how creative I’ve been getting in my day job of late.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In tribute of a lost globetrotter...

# If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re going to meet some gentle people there…” # - Scott McKenzie

Since I was young there’s been many figures in my family who’ve stood out and been influential on how my own personal universe has been shaped.  I’ve talked about an unforgettable uncle on my dad’s side before called John but like every family I’ve had other people growing up who’ve not necessarily been blood-related but who we’ve still thought of a close friends.  

Unfortunately this year, we’ve lost one such family friend who I actually thought of as an uncle and who my brother kind of looked on as a grandfather figure since our grandparents died when we were both quite young.

Monday, February 29, 2016

"The SHORT short version"! (the 2016 Writing PREVIEW!)

# "Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there with open arms and open eyes, yeah... Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there, I'll be there..." # - Incubus

Once you get into a life of writing and start to read around your subject or listen out for sage advice from ‘those who are in the know’, you begin to hear things like “there’s only 7 stories in the whole entire world that just get told over and over again” or “you can’t write a lot until you read a lot” – now, I don’t necessarily hold to these particular beliefs about writing – they feel too prescriptive and “rule-like” for my yearnings.  But there is one particular novel notion in the field of creative writing that I am beginning to subscribe to and that’s the idea of “the power of the number three”.  It kind of comes down to the old odd numbers versus even numbers, but in nature random patterns of 3 do look better than a pair of things standing side by side…

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"12 Months Revisiting Childhood Dreams!" (the 2015 Writing REVIEW!)

# "Tell us all a story about how it used to be... Make it up and write it down, just like history" # - Paul Simon

At the beginning of each year when I face down the new scribble year to come, I try to reflect on the previous 12 months of my writing – the highs, the lows and generally just celebrate the fact that I’m still alive and kicking as an amateur author(!) So here we go with the rundown of the last year in my writing life…