Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FrightFest aftermath, and new blog, yay!

I'm back, alive, more or less in one piece. Seems like ages since FrightFest started, but it was only last Thursday. A packed 5 days, involving movies, booze, food, sweets, mad people, and many intense conversations. Met loads of cool people, some the usual gang of ne'er-do-wells, some new ones, and had a fantastic time. Me and Jo stayed in a hotel to avoid night buses and early starts, so it was a bit of a luxury weekend, but well worth it - especially the food, oh my God, the hotel food was amazing. Ate my own weight in food, I think. Slept in and missed the zombie walk, but apparently it went brilliantly, and I think they actually broke the record. Saw lots of zombies when we arrived though, some really freaky looking (Phil, Steve, Mike). Got to properly meet Kim Newman, my fellow judge in the 2 Days Later compo, met Adam Green again (met him before in Austin, top bloke and really inspiring), Joe Lynch (a dirty, dirty man, he's great), and even got to meet Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), while loads of us were drinking in the bar having walked out of a particularly dodgy movie. Yay for drinking!

Movie highlights: Black Water (excellent, tense croc attack thriller), The Signal (electronic pulse drives people crazy), 1408 (haunted hotel room, I can relate to that), All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (arty 60s-style slasher), Shrooms (trippy Irish ghost rampage madness), Cold Prey (likeable characters stalked by madman in snowy Norwegian mountains), Wrong Turn 2 (ignores the overly serious approach of the bad first movie, and goes for hilarious splatter, brilliant fun), Disturbia (sure, it's a Rear Window ripoff, but very stylish and fun), Botched (possibly the most random movie ever, couldn't begin to describe it), Waz (excellent twisty serial killer thriller with a moving message), The Zombie Diaries (top notch low budget Brit zombie flick), Spiral (heartrending surreal thriller), and The Orphanage (beautiful supernatural drama). Yay for movies!

Overall, it was a superb time, and I can't wait for next August. Yay for next August!

New blogger, new danger - yes, Sir Stephen of Gallaghershire has sneakily got himself a blog, so get over there immediately and admire the way he sticks words together to make sentences. Welcome to the scribobloggythingy, sir. Your fellow procrastiscribes are at your service. Yay for the G-man!

In other news, I've been tagged by Jason, so expect a blog post addressing that fact very soon. I have some pitch documents and outlines to do by Friday, so this is the perfect way to avoid working on them. Yay for laziness!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That FrightFest time again

I have done it. Cleared my (imaginary) desk, got all the drafts and deadlines and things done and taken care of, just in time for FrightFest tomorrow. I can enjoy the 5 solid days of movie madness (and probably the odd drink) without guilt or fear. It'll be great to have a break from the non-stop pace lately, because I know that pretty much straight after it, things will speed up again - got 3 sets of pitches I need to (briefly) outline by Friday 31st August, and will need to do some small changes to two scripts that week as well. But it's all manageable. I have a 58 page draft of the TV Pilot Thing, which has gone to the relevant people for notes. And it feels good. Especially good to not have the deadlines looming over me.

Right, I'm off the internet until Monday night/Tuesday morning, don't do a dirty protest in my absence, and no running in the corridors (of the internet). Try and come along to FrightFest if you can, it's brilliant. None of us bite, except for Mad Biting Dave, but he's had all his injections and everything, so you should get your sight back after merely a few hours. Come and see some movies! Special guests! And hollow-eyed, shambling people who have been staring at a screen for far, far too long! Oh, and even if you're not going, come to the Zombie Walk on Monday, see if we can break that record. You know it makes sense.

Short film competition

Fancy making a short film? Don't have the time? Well, have you got two days spare? Then you have all the time you need. Go to the "2 Days Later" website to get all the details of their short horror film competition, now in its 5th year. Write, shoot, edit and polish a short horror (not more than 10 minutes long), all in just two days.

From the site: "All competition entries are shown to a public audience, and judged by a panel of film industry professionals, competing for film industry donated prizes at a special Halloween Screening Event in Margate. Winning submissions will also receive global website exposure and international promotion to other film festivals and film industry organisations."

There are awards for best film, script, lighting, sound, and special effects - so grab some mates, some props, and get busy. Visit the site to get the competition brief, watch past winners, and get more details. Winners get a modelling contract, a cover shoot for Company magazine, and-- no, wait, that's Britain's Next Top Model. Winners actually get some really cool prizes - last year they included a private screening of the winning short, and a Raindance Film Festival filmmaking workshop.

This year, the judging panel includes important people like Kim Newman (reviewer and author extraordinaire), but also less important people like - yes - me. That's right, I've conned them into thinking I'm a "film industry professional", and I will sit in judgement over the shorts, like a big, sitting, judgey thing. I'll be watching them online or on DVD, as I'm not yet sure if I can make it to the event itself. So, cash bribes to the usual address please, no cheques, no coins, all untraceable notes with non-consecutive serial numbers. I can't wait to see the entries, I love short films. This is a really cool competition, because it makes people get off their arse and create a mini movie, guerilla style, and because all the shorts get shown to an audience. Closing date for entries is 5pm, Sunday 21st October. So go get some!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh

Shiny new things! Jimbo want! First, a bit of background: Stanley Kubrick is my favourite director of all time. A Clockwork Orange is my favourite movie of all time. Last year, Jo got me the Kubrick Archive book, as mentioned in this post. The level of fanatical detail he put into his work surpassed all boundaries of reason and sanity, and the results speak for themselves. But the only one of his movies I have on DVD is Dr. Strangelove. Until recently, Kubrick movies have been a bit of a disaster area on DVD. Different versions, different regions, cut, uncut, with a documentary, without, no special features, no commentaries, different aspect ratios, poor sound mix, shoddy transfers, etc etc. I held off buying them, thinking that surely someone would release proper, special editions sooner or later.

Well. They have. Look at this. 2-disc editions. Special features. Documentaries. Commentaries - Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood on 2001, Malcolm McDowell on A Clockwork Orange, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio and frickin' R. Lee Ermey on Full Metal Jacket, and Garrett Brown on The Shining - yes, the same Garrett Brown who invented the Steadicam, and operated it on the movie itself (and who also trained Tamas Nyerges, the Steadicam operator on Severance, coincidentally). The set also includes Eyes Wide Shut (with lots of extras), and the Kubrick documentary A Life In Pictures. It's a Kubrick geekfest. Sadly there's no special edition treatment for the other movies yet, although Dr Strangelove already has an okayish release (and of course Spartacus has a superb 2-disc set, if you count that as a "proper" Kubrick, some do, some don't, you'd be surprised at the in-depth levels of bitter arguments amongst us obsessives - I do count it, by the way). Many of the others have bog-standard DVDs, so hopefully they'll give them all the same treatment. In the meantime, I'll be counting the minutes until this set is available in October (Region 1 at the moment, I imagine it'll be out on Region 2 soon after that). And as soon as it arrives, I shall be rubbing it all over myself in a disturbing display of lust. Now there's a lovely image for you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Return of the scary internet people

I've been using StatCounter since 2005, and just had a look to see how many hits I've had in that time: 101,062. That's page loads, so includes all the random refreshes and so on. The number of unique visitors is 85,654. Which one should I use as the official count? It's a bit pointless anyway, as it doesn't include all the hits from 2003-2005, but that was before anyone had heard of me, so let's say about twelve hits…

While I was checking my stats, I glanced at the keywords people have used to find me. Once again, Teh Scary Internet People return, with their bizarre search terms and constant interest in naked ladies. Behold:

laura harris topless - yes, our friend is back. Scarily though, that search led them to the other Scary Internet People blog entry, so now they know I disapprove. I expect a dead cat in the post any day now.

danny dyer nude - well, at least there are equal opportunity nudey searches.

woman topless - although the searches for naked women will always outnumber anything else, let's face it.

nudie pictures - ah, how quaint. Nudie pictures, of healthy young ladies playing volleyball. Nothing wrong with that.

ten deadly sins for police - look, if you're not sure it's a deadly sin, and you're a copper, then whatever it is, you probably shouldn't be doing it.

the meatman movie - I have no idea, but I need to see it.

proper arse fuck session for free - I'm shocked and insulted by this, I would *never* give it away for free.

i'm shitting myself already now - you and me both, mate.

mrs. bauer from 24 - this found the confession of my man-crush on Jack Bauer. God knows what they were looking for.

mrs. bauer - okay, okay, we get the message. She's not here.

the pen is mightier than the gun - much as it pains me to say it... it really isn't. Bang. Dead. Where's your pen now?

spork games - remind me not to go to your parties.

european twirling his moustache - now there's a fetish I hadn't heard of. (Update: this is apparently a painting, as found by Rawshark in the comments earlier - do a Google and see it for yourself)

birthday grandad sorry i can't be there - so, what, you were searching for a form-letter apology??

severance ending spoilers - No! NO! Watch the movie! It's only 95 fucking minutes, don't spoil it for yourself, I didn't slave over the damn thing for years so you could just skip to the end! Oh okay then: they all get eaten by a giant mongoose. There. Happy now?

pitch document - oh! Fucking hell! Something to do with writing! And not weird shit or naked pictures! Sadly, I have no information about pitch documents, so you're out of luck.

Some new countries to add to the visitor list: Taiwan, Jordan, and Malaysia. As always, if you are those people, give us a shout so I can say hello.

Also, I'm glad to see that out of a sample of 100 visitors, only 45 of you are using Internet Explorer, the rest are a mix of Firefox, Opera and Safari. But I have to ask... if you are using IE, why? If you have to at work, fair enough, but if you don't have to, I'd love to hear why, then I can badger you into switching to a proper browser.

And that concludes this latest glimpse into the minds of scary internet lunatics. We now return you to our regular broadcast.

Monday, August 13, 2007

New bloggywriteything!

Friend of the blog and commenter Ruth has won the Long Barn Books first novel competition - her book, Twisted Wing, will be out next year in all good bookshops, some bad ones, and possibly a few evil ones. This is fantastic news, so a bloody big round of applause for her. If only there were some way of keeping up with her progress and seeing what happens next? Possibly in some form that can be read on the web...?

Wait! There is! Go here for Ruth's funny and informative blog, where she talks about writing her second novel, and giant spiders in the back garden. Go back to the beginning of the archive, and you can follow the process of her being shortlisted and then winning the competition, which is great fun to read. It's even more interesting for us scribobloggers, to compare and contrast the differences (and similarities) between the book world and the script world. Big congratulations again to Ruth - now, go over to her blog, say hello, play nice, and buy her book when it comes out next May. Or I will have you all killed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Suspicious mums, FrightFest, dogs, chairs, and Who

My mum and sister (two separate people, my mum is not *also* my sister, that would be weird and incestuous) came down for a couple of days. While on the way to meet them today, I phoned my sister's mobile. My mum answered. My mum's not good with mobile phones. Bear in mind, this is my sister's phone she has decided to answer, and they're expecting me to call:

Mum: Hello...?
Me: Hello!
Mum: Who is this?
Me: ...it's me. Your son.
Mum: Which one?

She wasn't kidding either, there was deep suspicion in her voice, even after I had identified myself.

So the movie rewrite deadline passed, all parties involved agreed a new deadline (Me: Is it okay if I send it in tomorrow? Them: Yeah, sure) and I finished it on Wednesday. I've now got one more paying gig to do by the end of August - or rather, 23rd August, which is when FrightFest starts - and when it starts, then I'm doing nothing for 5 days solid but watching movies, morning till night, talking to fellow horror enthusiasts, and drinking. If you want to see any of the movies, better get your tickets now, because all the full passes are gone - day passes and single tickets only, now (day passes for Thurs and Sat have sold out though). Picked up my FrightFest brochure today, handed to me by Mr Paul McEvoy himself, so I can't wait for the event itself. Hello to Kevin, by the way, who was also there.

Only one more full day in the Doghouse, then we're back home to normality. No more walks at the crack of dawn. No more scraping up liquid dogpoo through a scented plastic bag. No more dog hair over *all* my clothes. No more dogfood smell. No having to come home by 6pm to walk and feed the dog. No more getting woken up at 5am by whining outside the door. It's been two long, long weeks, and our lives have practically revolved around looking after the eating, shitting, pissing, farting, barking thing. I guess I'm not a dog person. But better to find out this way, I suppose. It's a big responsibility, and if you're thinking of getting a dog (like we were, one day) I recommend you look after one for a while, and see how you get on. I still like dogs, but I'd never want one, ever. They need a lot of attention and care. And a lot of bags. For the shit.

Went to a chair shop today, and tried out one of those fancy Aeron chairs, in this very shop. What an eye opener. First of all, they're fab. Second, every other officey-type chair I've had has been adjusted wrong. I thought your arms should be at desk height, *no matter* what height the desk was. I thought you should have the chair flat, instead of having your hips higher than your knees. Loads of stuff like that. So I'm very impressed. Need to work something out with my dining table though - no room for a desk, but I could put the laptop on the table, and rest a separate keyboard on a cushion on my lap, which would keep my arms at the right level and height. Apart from that, the only hurdle is the OMGWTF price of the thing. OMG! Have you seen the price? WTF?

And finally, bit late with this one, but more fab Doctor Who news here - where you can see the first season 4 pic of Doctor Whatsisface and Donna together. On top of all that, there are two new guest stars: Felicity Kendal and Tim McInnerny. Tim starred in last year's fantastic blockbuster Severance, which was written by - oh, how embarrassing! It was me! No idea who Felicity and Tim are playing, or what episodes they're in, but I'm sure all will be announced in time. The other thing I'm dead excited about is that the Doc will encounter Agatha Christie, which should be a cracker of an episode. My episode will be all about - ooh, you crafty bastards, you nearly had it out of me there. Honestly, if the Beeb knew how close I came to giving away my secret giant banana plotline, they would have gone ballistic. If you want some clues, check the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine (the one with Freema on the cover), and read the Production Notes at the back. Captain RTD talks briefly about some of the new scripts, including mine. Hint: giant bananas would be very expensive to film, and quite epic. Anyway, I've always wanted to be mentioned in the Production Notes, and am very excited about it.

Search terms coming next week, forgot to finish them this week. Sorry about that. Here's a sneak preview: "european twirling his moustache". Yes, I know. Update: To clarify, the moustache thing is a sneak preview from the "weird search terms" thing I'm posting next week, not a hint from my DW episode. Just to stop any speculation before it starts... It's a regular thing where I show what weird keywords people have searched for that led them to my blog, taken from my stats. So there.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pitching for fun and profit

Over on his blog recently, Jason "Jason Arnopp" Arnopp asked about links to articles on pitching, to which Robin Kelly provided this fantastic collection - take the time to check it out, it's well worth it. I championed this one here, by the Kung Fu Monkey himself, John Rogers, which is the best pro guide to pitching I've ever read. Danny has shared his pitching experiences here and here, with excellent advice, and Jason himself has also talked about his pitch at the Stellar Network's Big Pitch event here. So I thought it was time to share my experiences - I've pitched some original movie ideas, but also for a job writing a movie sequel, and one for a movie rewrite.

For my first big movie pitch, thankfully I didn't have to do it alone. The story was a collaboration between me and the director, so we both prepared thoroughly. It was a high concept idea, with lots of action, twists, turns, and groovy characters. We had a full outline, which we decided to use as the basis. I wrote up a bullet point version, just a line for each major scene (that we could expand verbally), and we divvied them up between us, printing them out as reference cards. The idea was that he'd start with the opening scene, I'd jump in with scene 2, then back to him, and so on, keeping it dynamic, keeping us both involved, and going through the entire plot beat by beat. We printed the full outline, with pictures, character breakdowns, and some sample artwork a storyboard friend of his had done, so we could leave a nice package behind for them to admire after we left. We practiced again and again, then finally the big day came. It went exactly as planned, and when we were finished, the exec pretty much had the entire story and all the details. We were very proud of ourselves.

It was the worst fucking pitch in the world.

The entire outline? Scene by bloody scene? Taking turns for each scene, referring to our cards, plodding through the entire story without a break? Leaving a huge printed document behind? Two people speaking, with different vocal styles, one laid back and relaxed, one excited and doing sound effects (me), making each scene swap-over seem like jumping into a different movie? Horrendous. We didn't realise, obviously, we thought it was great. Luckily the exec loved the story, and invited us to come back and pitch to the boss. Several days later, he called and said actually, don't bother, as he'd done the pitch for us (successfully), because "our strength wasn't in pitching". Imagine that. We were so bad, an exec actually did the pitch for us. Somehow it all went well, despite our best efforts to sabotage ourselves, and proceeded to the next level (before eventually dying a horrible death, but that's another story). So, don't do that.

For my next pitch, a sequel to a well known movie (don't ask! don't tell!), I had read the Kung Fu Monkey pitch post, and did it exactly like that. Start with a question, hook them in, go big on the opening, talk through the major beats quickly, and expand again for the big ending. No "leave-behinds", if they want something on paper, they can request it. Went incredibly well, and I felt great doing it. Didn't get the job though, they wanted a different kind of story. Fair enough, the take they ended up going for wasn't something I'd have wanted to do anyway, so it all ended amicably. They're all dead now, of course, a series of bizarre accidents, funny how these things happen.

The next one was for one of my spec movie ideas, and I did it exactly the same way, but even more stripped down. They had lots of questions, things that I'd hinted at or glossed over to keep the pitch exciting - but I had answers for everything. Always know more than you say, because they'll ask stuff. Some people were interested, but it's early days, so I'm waiting to hear if they'll go for it. Most people in the UK would rather wait, and see if you just give up and decide to write it as a spec anyway - that way they get to read it for free. Otherwise, they'd have to pay you to write it, and you might write a big pile of shit, and laugh at them for believing you when you said it would be good. I understand the risk for them, but it's very frustrating. Funnily enough, soon after this, they were all killed in a terrible woodchipper accident, which had nothing to do with me at all.

The most recent one was for a rewrite on an existing script. I read it thoroughly, making notes the whole time - what I liked, didn't like, thought needed to go, needed changing, bigging up, etc etc. When I went in, I had my headline stuff that I talked about - here's what I intend to do, what I think needs the most work. Once that was done, I talked through some of the smaller things, but *not* everything. Most of the rest came up in conversation, which showed that I had answers for most of their concerns, and had thought everything through. It showed I'd done my homework, basically, and that this would be in reasonably safe hands.

Midway through this big, important pitch, I glanced down at my foot while checking my notes for something. I had one leg half crossed over the other, my left ankle resting on my knee. And it was only then that I realised I was wearing "comedy" socks. I wear black socks, and some of them are "comedy" socks, Christmas presents and so on. When sitting or walking, you can't see the "comedy" bit, so they're fine to wear. Unless you cross your legs, putting your ankle on your knee. So when I glanced down, as I sat between the two execs on the sofa, clearly visible was a big cartoon man with his tongue hanging out, next to the words "LOVE MACHINE".

I casually moved my notes over the sock, kept talking, and hoped nobody noticed. Minutes later, I slowly uncrossed my legs and kept my feet flat on the floor.

The pitch went well, and I got the job. I have no idea if the socks swung the deal, or nearly messed the whole thing up. The moral of the story is, always look at the socks you're putting on, just in case. And listen to the Kung Fu Monkey. But mainly be careful with the socks.

Like everything though, it depends who you're pitching to. The above ones were all official type pitch things, where I'd gone in specifically to tell them about my idea. Sometimes, when meeting new people, they casually ask what you're writing at the moment, and you can just have a general chat about the scripts, or briefly give a logline. Possibly the best pitch I have ever given was to a mate, who asked what I was currently working on. It was a fast paced thriller, and I hadn't fully worked out the story. So I quickly told him the opening scene, and hit him with the three big revelations that happen in the first act, which sets everything up and gives you an idea of what kind of crazy shit is going to happen. He was goggle eyed. "What happens then? When's it getting made?" When I told him it was only a one page outline at the moment, nobody had bought it or even knew about it, and what's more it didn't even have an ending, he went bananas. I didn't realise, but I'd just given a perfect introductory pitch - I had simply been trying to tell a mate how cool and exciting the finished movie would be, like a trailer, and he went for it completely. Had it been a proper pitch, I could have then answered all the necessary questions. My current pitching method is a mix of this, and the stripped down Kung Fu Monkey style. Don't give them everything up front, tease it out, keep them in suspense.

The stripped down, drip-feed method is quite handy, because if they ask a question like "ooh, so does the guy use the special device to get revenge on his evil stepmum?", and seem all excited about that possibility, I can just smile enigmatically, and say "exactly! That's exactly what happens!" That way they're happy, feel like they've been clever, and if it's a rubbish idea then hey, the first draft is ages away and they'll have forgotten about that bit by then - if they haven't, you can just say you tried it but "the story and characters took it in a new, more exciting direction". And if it's a really good idea, you can just pretend it was yours all along. I have done this at least twice. I have no shame, and neither should you.

I'm still not too keen on pitching, because it's embarrassing, and I just want to jump out the window when it comes to the moment where they sit back and expect you to wow them. But I'm slightly more competent at it now. I think. I don't know, I don't know anything, stop looking at me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dedication's what you need, if you want to be a record breaker

Do you want to be in the Guinness Book of Records? You do? In that case, why not join in the attempt at breaking the record for the world's largest Zombie Walk?

Yes, at 9.30am on Monday 27th August, in Leicester Square, zombies from all over (well, people dressed up as zombies, but actual zombies are welcome too, we're not Dead-ist here) will hopefully shuffle into the record books. It's being organised by the good people of eatmybrains.com, FrightFest, and Revolver entertainment, partly to try and break the record, partly to celebrate the release of The Zombie Diaries, a cracking new UK zombie movie (which will then be shown at 11am at FrightFest, get your tickets now if you want to see it). Assembly is in Leicester Square at 9.30am, then there's a short shuffle around the area, before a head count. All you need to do is turn up in a bit of zombie makeup, or even a zombie mask. Full details are here - keep checking the page for updates, join the Facebook or MySpace groups, and let's try and beat that record. Brains! Braaaaaaiiiiiiiiins!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Get your ass to Mars

I know I'm probably the last person to mention the Red Planet prize, but I just want to chip in. Now, there are plenty of cash prize competitions. This one gets you cash, sure - but the big prize is representation, mentoring, a script commission, along with a workshop with Tony Jordan himself. Fuck the money. It's just a bonus on top of all the other cool stuff. If you're *not* entering, and you're an unproduced spec monkey with no agent, you better have a damn good reason. Do you want to get an agent? Do you want help getting your career moving? Do you want to get paid to write a script? Do you want a one day session with Tony Jordan (worth entering for alone)? Then what are you waiting for? It's free, and you can even enter by email. If that's not good enough for you, what is? You want oral sex thrown in too? I'd have killed my own mother for a chance like this when I was starting out. In fact, I might just kill her anyway, as an example to others. I'm coming for you, Ma. Everybody else - you have less than a month to get your 10 pages in sparkling shape. So snap to it. Get your ass to Mars.

Okay, crazy deadline looming on Monday morning, so I'm in seclusion for the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I can get my work done while I'm here - the dog keeps staring at me, and it's freaking me out. Got a big post about pitching coming next week, and - yay! - the return of the Scary Internet People and their weird search terms. Can't say fairer than that.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Objects in mirror may be giant robots in disguise

As promised, I did no work at all over the weekend. Got up Saturday morning, went for breakfast in town, and then watched giant robots transforming into vehicles and smashing shit up. To any naysayers about Transformers, I simply rebut with: Giant robots. Transforming. Smashing shit up. Sure it's flawed, don't get me wrong, I'm not deluded. BUT - it's got giant robots, changing into cars and planes, and back again. And before, during and after they do that, they smash shit up. Bigtime. In the field of "smashing shit up" movies, this must be in the top 3. An awful lot of shit gets smashed up. By transforming giant robots. In disguise. I will be going to see it again and again, sticking to the biggest screens with the loudest speakers.

After that, we went to a friend's flat in Battersea - we're looking after their dog for two weeks, which means staying at their place. We got takeaway food. Chilled out. Sunday, we strolled up to King's Road to look at the shops, ponces, and skanky blonde Paris Hilton clones. We had burgers. Coffee. Chips. Then bought tons of cakes and went back to the flat. It wasn't until Monday that we called back home to pick up our laptops. I didn't touch a keyboard all weekend. It was fantastic. The dog we're babysitting is lovely, but we hadn't reckoned on the amount of shit he could produce. He needs 2 or 3 walks a day, and any time he decides to evacuate his cavernous bowels, the results need picking up with a "doggy doo bag". Usually 2 or 3 times per walk. Usually against a tree (why?) He's really friendly, and likes to lick your hands or face - but that immediately stopped after we walked him for the first time, and saw what else he likes to lick. I have seen terrible, terrible things. The horror. The horror.

Quite near to the flat is something I've never seen in real life until now - Battersea Power Station:

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It's been on a Pink Floyd album cover, in Doctor Who, and recently in Children of Men. It's pretty impressive in photos, but the first time I passed it on a bus, I couldn't believe how massive it was. I think it's one of the coolest, most beautiful buildings in the world, and I really hope someone fixes it up and puts a bloody roof on it before it collapses. It would be a huge loss.

I'm back on form after my rest, and am diving back into my work, as well as tending to this neglected blog. I've got a few bloggy things I want to do, subjects I want to talk about, so expect more ramblings and rants soon. If there's anything you'd like me to cover in particular, use the comments or the contact link in my profile. Anything *except* the plots of certain TV sci-fi shows I'm working on, of course. My mutated prawn storyline must remain secret.