Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Small, Totally Useless, But Interesting Fact

Aliens?
The US Government?
Some guy who twisted a whole heap of wires together for his 15 seconds of fame?
There has to be some conspiracy here somewhere!

http://au.news.yahoo.com/080328/15/16afh16/3925672510.html

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Progress

I'm happy to report that I've been making some serious progress. I'm now up to 82,000 words, leaving around 18,000 to go. It's very exciting, as I just got through writing the climax, and now am beginning the wind-down and setting up the leads into the next book. I love it when I get to this point. Seeing the end in sight is a very satisfying feeling, especially if I'm particularly happy with what I've been writing. Which I am!
It's also exciting as I can see the next story, or book, taking shape in my mind, and I can't wait to start on the new story, work with the new characters and see where they're going to take me. I'm a firm pantser (I write by the seat of my pants) in that I only have a very vague idea of where I'm going and what's going to happen on the way. I don't know where it comes from, but the stories are always already there somewhere, and the characters pretty much just run away with it. Kinda like reading a book. From the blurb, you know the basis of what's going to happen, but you don't know the details until you actually read them. That's how my writing works. I don't know the details until I'm actually writing them. The characters have total control over this process. I'm sure I could sit down and meticulously plan something out, but once I got going, the characters would go their own way and all that planning would be for nothing!
Anyhoo, I should get back to it. The sooner I get it finished, the sooner I can start writing to agents and start on the next book.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gotta Love Joss Whedon

How can you not? Especially if you're a writer yourself. He always manages to say the most appropriate things. I stole the following peice from here, so go have a look if you want.

"And now it’s time for a little more PURPLE PROSE.As I’m too sick to picket today, I feel I must make up for it, and thus I blog a mighty blog. And yes, I really do have to get my own webpage and stop mooching off you guys, but till then, I hope you don’t mind if I natter on.STRIKE DRAGS ON FOR SECOND DAY! IS THIS THE END OF WRITTEN WORD?Reporters are funny people. At least, some of the New York Times reporters are. Their story on the strike was the most dispiriting and inaccurate that I read. But it also contained one of my favorite phrases of the month.“All the trappings of a union protest were there… …But instead of hard hats and work boots, those at the barricades wore arty glasses and fancy scarves.”Oh my God. Arty glasses and fancy scarves. That is so cute! My head is aflame with images of writers in ruffled collars, silk pantaloons and ribbons upon their buckled shoes. A towering powdered wig upon David Fury’s head, and Drew Goddard in his yellow stockings (cross-gartered, needless to say). Such popinjays, we! The entire writers’ guild as Leslie Howard in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Delicious.Except this is exactly the problem. The easiest tactic is for people to paint writers as namby pamby arty scarfy posers, because it’s what most people think even when we’re not striking. Writing is largely not considered work. Art in general is not considered work. Work is a thing you physically labor at, or at the very least, hate. Art is fun. (And Hollywood writers are overpaid, scarf-wearing dainties.) It’s an easy argument to make. And a hard one to dispute.My son is almost five. He is just beginning to understand what I do as a concept. If I drove a construction crane he’d have understood it at birth. And he’d probably think I was King of all the Lands in my fine yellow crane. But writing – especially writing a movie or show, where people other than the writer are all saying things that they’re clearly (to an unschooled mind) making up right then – is something to get your head around. And as work? Well, in the first place, it IS fun. When it’s going well, it’s the most fun I can imagine having. (Tim Minear might dispute that.) And when it’s not going well, it’s often not going well in the company of a bunch of funny, thoughtful people. So how is that work? You got no muscles to show for it (yes, the brain is a muscle, but if you show it to people it’s usually because part of your skull has been torn off and that doesn’t impress the ladies – unless the ladies are ZOMBIES! Where did this paragraph go?) Writing is enjoyable and ephemeral. And it’s hard work.It’s always hard. Not just dealing with obtuse, intrusive studio execs, temperamental stars and family-prohibiting hours. Those are producer issues as much as anything else. Not just trying to get your first script sold, or seen, or finished, when nobody around believes you can/will/should… the ACT of writing is hard. When Buffy was flowing at its flowingest, David Greenwalt used to turn to me at some point during every torturous story-breaking session and say “Why is it still hard? When do we just get to be good at it?” I’ll only bore you with one theory: because every good story needs to be completely personal (so there are no guidelines) and completely universal (so it’s all been done). It’s just never simple.It’s necessary, though. We’re talking about story-telling, the most basic human need. Food? That’s an animal need. Shelter? That’s a luxury item that leads to social grouping, which leads directly to fancy scarves. But human awareness is all about story-telling. The selective narrative of your memory. The story of why the Sky Bully throws lightning at you. From the first, stories, even unspoken, separated us from the other, cooler beasts. And now we’re talking about the stories that define our nation’s popular culture – a huge part of its identity. These are the people that think those up. Working writers. “The trappings of a union protest…” You see how that works? Since we aren’t real workers, this isn’t a real union issue. (We’re just a guild!) And that’s where all my ‘what is a writer’ rambling becomes important. Because this IS a union issue, one that will affect not just artists but every member of a community that could find itself at the mercy of a machine that absolutely and unhesitatingly would dismantle every union, remove every benefit, turn every worker into a cowed wage-slave in the singular pursuit of profit. (There is a machine. Its program is ‘profit’. This is not a myth.) This is about a fair wage for our work. No different than any other union. The teamsters have recognized the importance of this strike, for which I’m deeply grateful. Hopefully the Times will too.Thanks for letting me usurp the page again. I’ve linked you to a guild site that has a lot of clear, interesting writing in it (in particular, a great letter from a location scout [they’re part of the teamsters] on why he dislikes writers and why he won’t cross a picket line, and a rumor control Q&A that contains the funniest thing I’ve read since “fancy scarves”). I realize that I’m preaching to the choir here, but perhaps some other sites will pick this up. You guys are, after all, on the map. None of the writers – or anyone – I’ve spoken to have ever heard of fans organizing and supporting a strike the way you guys have. Supporting our right not to entertain you. Seriously, that’s rare. When I showed my wife the banner that went with the pizza scheme, she just said, “These people are gonna be running the world.” Man, I hope she’s right.Shutting up now, -j."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ever Hopeful

Firefly/Serenity to return?

There are always rumors, and I'm sure all they do is keep the hopes alive for saps like me. Its been 6 years. I want to believe that it will come back, but surely now too much water has passed under the not-so-proverbial bridge? Somehow, the-powers-that-be got it wrong with this one. Firefly's cult following (though, admittedly, much of it built upon in the last few years) is the stuff of legends. Surely someone, somewhere can see that there's money to be made here? Of course, for the fans its not about the money, we just want our Firefly back, but I know that the-powers-that-be only care about money, and that's the only reason this show would ever be resurrected.
I wonder if it scares Joss Whedon, the snowball that Firefly has become? I mean, he either never brings it back and the die-hard fans spend the remainder of their lives belabouring the fact, or he does bring it back and risk it all coming to a spectacular fiery end. If for some reason the resurrected series wasn't as brilliant as the original, he would of course be crucified, and who wants to face that prospect? So, though I am a (almost die-hard) fan, I could totally understand if Whedon had any reservations about taking on the momentous task of making the Firefly/Serenity fans happy.
Oh, and this seems to be the best Firefly/Serenity site out there. And can you believe people are still signing petitions to bring it back? That alone shows the impact this show has had on people. When so many other campaigns have faded into the oblivion of the Internet, Firefly/Serenity continues to draw people in.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Torn

I have a dilemma. Its a huge problem. Really. I just don't know which side I should take.
I didn't realise before now, but apparently Supernatural was one of the shows affected by the US writers strike, resulting in a 12 ep season (so far, I have no idea if they plan on picking it up again. I might go for a surf after this and see if I can find out).
As you may already know, SN is one of my favourite shows ever. One of the shows I can get on DVD and watch over and over and always find something new to like about it. And I'm upset that it seems the season is only 12 eps long. I feel ripped off. I want more. MORE. MOOOOORRREE!!! However, I am also a writer. Therefore, I am beholden to agree with their plight, to take their side, to be outraged for... well, whatever it was they were fighting for. I probably should know, but I never paid that much attention to the news and I don't have as much time to aimlessly surf the net as I used to now that I'm a mum...
Anyhoo, the point is that I'm totally with all the other writers. But at the same time, I really wish it hadn't meant missing half a season of those sexy, sexy Winchester boys and their plight to save Dean from hell.
Meanwhile I've been rewatching Firefly, and that will forever be a sore spot for me. I just can't understand how such a brilliant show wasn't even given half a chance. Damn those people responsible. It had so much potential, Joss Whedon was setting up so many interesting leads, but then it all ended. Like being given one block of chocolate and then never being able to have any ever again. And its SO not fair to call Nathan Fillon the 'show killer,' as a few people were after his last show, Drive, also got the axe. As if that show was ever going to work. Firefly was a whole different matter and Joss Whedon is a genius. But don't get me started!