Friday, November 30, 2007

WGA Strike - Here Now The News*

Well, the news blackout surrounding the WGA Strike has been lifted, as you can see from this press release from the WGA.

Despite some rumours doing the rounds that a settlement has been reached, it looks to be far from the case...

*With apologies to Chevy Chase (who's not so starry as to reject working for scale ) and, by association, Roger Grimsby.

Twins? Quads, more like

This is a picture from the current ad campaign designed to flog Young Persons' Railcards. Doesn't the chap there look a lot like Morpheus from The Matrix (see below)?

This is a picture from The Matrix. Doesn't Morpheus look a lot like King Mob from the comic The Invisibles (see below)?

This is the cover of The Invisibles, issue 19. Doesn't King Mob on the cover there look a lot like Grant Morrison, the comic's creator and writer (see below)?

This is Grant Morrison. Doesn't he... oh, you get the general idea.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


No posting yesterday, by way of showing solidarity with the striking writers in the USA. It was, in case you didn't know, an International Day of Solidarity.

Stand strong, my WGA friends, and you shall soon be free (or, at least, more appropriately remunerated for your work)!

Don't know if you saw any coverage, but there was a gathering outside the TUC here in London - there's a report on the WGGB site , a picture on Elinor's blog here , and James has a write-up on it here .

As for the strike itself, the Studios and the WGA are holding talks this week after agreeing to get round the table again, though as I understand it, information about progress is being kept schtum so that leaks don't prejudice or hamper things. Fair enough, I guess. I will, of course, let you know as soon as I hear anything.

And in the meantime, if you feel cheated by the absence of an update yesterday, maybe that's a sign of just how important writing, and by extension, writers are ? I think so. Oh yes. Yes indeedy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Perhaps I'm Being Unkind. They Might Both Have Migraine Headaches.

I know that Katie 'Jordan' Price has somehow managed to work her way into the mainstream, but I have to say that I think her forthcoming book, with its apparent attempt to emulate an image associated with the film version of a Henry James tale, is a step too far in trying to gain literary clout...

Worlds Will Live. Worlds Will Die. And The DC Universe Will Never Be The Same! (Except That, Y'Know, It Probably Will.)

Back in this review, I asked how DC Comics were going to make it clear which of the 52 universes in their newly-reinstated multiverse they were going to allocate to which characters and scenarios.

Well, they've issued a list, which you can see here.

I've stopped reading a lot of DC Comics in recent times, as they - like their competitors Marvel - seem to be mired in continuity and cross-overs, and that list does nothing at all to make me think I've made a mistake in doing so. Oh, sure, I'll have a look at 'Final Crisis' when it comes out next year, but that's only because it's written by Grant Morrison, and not because I care about the Earth-22 Flash or whatever.

But given that DC have removed the multiverse and then put it back within the last couple of decades, I guess I shouldn't really expect the change to last forever, should I ?

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Peak Experience, As Maslow (Or, Indeed, Colin Wilson) Might Put It

As I've probably written a number of times before, Twin Peaks is very probably my favourite TV series of all time. In fact, you're lucky that I haven't posted about it at great length, but it's probably for the best, as the most rabid fans of something are rarely the best adverts for the item in question (don't believe that assertion? Three words: Rocky, Horror, and Show. Now I think you see my point).

Anyway, although TP was cancelled over 15 years ago, it's still quite well-regarded, and I guess the difficulty of getting hold of it on video (long-deleted) and DVD (a full release has only happened this year, though not yet in the UK) has probably added to the mystique, so it's gone but not forgotten. As I say, the complete series has just been released on DVD, and I guess it's for this reason that they've just released the item illustrated above, which is a soundtrack CD from the show.

I've just got my copy, and have given it a quick skim-listen, and it looks as if I'll pleased with it, but it does occur to me how odd it is that 'Volume 2' should be released over a decade after the first CD. It's probably rather telling that the original release was on a major record label (WEA, if memory serves) and that the new CD appears to be on a small independent label.

Still, I may just be getting a bit giddy because I'm almost unreasonably excited about the CD (as I am about the DVD box set, though it's currently only in Region 1 format) - after all, 'long time after the event' releases aren't so uncommon now; the Beatles Anthology stuff and the restored versions of Blade Runner are obvious examples which spring to mind, and in the classical world there's a tradition of 'restored works' or items pieced together in some form, such as Beethoven's Tenth Symphony and (my father would be appalled if I didn't mention this one) Deryck Cooke's performing version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony.

All that said, though, I still felt a tingle down my spine as the CD started playing, and it reminded me of the show I like so much, and of the time when I first saw it (BBC2 in the early 90s on Tuesday nights); music has a worrying power to drag me back in time, it seems - the opening bars of all too many dodgy 1980s pop hits seem capable of making me feel like a teenager in mere seconds...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Time To Consult The Book Of Shadows!"

First there, the logo of Pcubed, an international firm of management consultants. And second and more neon-ly , the sign above the door of P3, the nightclub owned by the witch sisters in the TV show Charmed.
Of course, they're very different - one's the logo of a group of people who society frowns on as being versed in dark arts, but who insist they're only using their powers for good, and the other...

Spotted On A Catering Pack Of PG Tips Tea Bags

Just in case you can't quite make it out, it says 'Unilever foodsolutions'.

"Food solutions."

Not quite sure where food puzzles or food problems are to be found, but they're bound to exist, because I'm sure branding consultants wouldn't ever use words out of context, oh no.


LIST: I Am Not As Other Men*

According to the media generally, everyone does, has done, or did, the following. Not I.

-Hidden behind the sofa to watch Doctor Who as a child (in our house, the sofa was up against the wall)
-Discussed a television show around a watercooler (there are often water-fountain-things wherever I've worked, but we don't hang around them and talk)
-Bought 'Candle In The Wind 1997' (it's utter doggerel. Listen to the lyrics and conclude, as Francis Wheen does, that Diana must have been a hill-walking, rose-scented candle)
-Claimed to have had flu when I've had a cold
-Knowing heard any Led Zeppelin (beyond the opening bit of 'Stairway to Heaven'; I know the names of some of their albums, and could probably pick out some of the members in a line-up, but that's it)
-Seen 'Apocalypse Now' (in any of its versions)
-Had a kebab after drinking too many pints
-Had a stand-up row with a partner in IKEA or a supermarket
-Ever seen a full episode of 'Phoenix Nights'

Now, I'm aware that some of these are more like omissions in my cultural exposure, but when I read an article or hear someone talking in a way which presupposes the above, I can't help but wonder if these 'shared experiences' are like received opinions, in that they're not necessarily true for all of us, but are said so often that people start to assume they must be...

*Though you'd probably guessed that.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The absence of posts commenting on my progress with National Novel Writing Month 2007 may well be a bit of a clue - I'm struggling to get anywhere near the allotted target of 50,000 words. In fact, over halfway through the month, I'm struggling to get anywhere near 5,000 words - one glance at the wordcount here shows you my current situation - and the wordcount hasn't been updated in six days either. Lame, isn't it?

I actually find it slightly depressing, as it makes it look as if I don't want to write, whereas sitting down with my notebook and pen, some suitably undistracting music, and a mug of tea are things which I thoroughly enjoy (same goes for sitting at the keyboard, but I tend to do my initial draft longhand). So why, I ask myself, do I seem to find it so difficult to apply myself (and my behind to the appropriate chair), even within the setting and constraints of Nanowrimo?

It partly worries me that I might - and this is something I wrote about last year when I failed to get anywhere near 50,000 words - be more keen on the idea of 'having written' than on actually writing; that is, that I might derive more pleasure from writing if I could just jump to having finished without the hassle of actually having to put one word after another. There are a lot of people like this, I know - the people who say things like "You know, I've always wanted to write a novel…" whereas I suspect that what they actually mean is "I'd like to have written a book, and had it published and in the shops", or something to that effect.

It's only a partial worry to me, though, as I know that I actively enjoy writing - the process of coming up with an idea, then working it into some kind of narrative, figuring out whether it would be best as prose, TV, radio or comics, and then actually putting pen to paper (or digit to keyboard) to tell that story is something I genuinely derive a lot of intellectual pleasure from, and even when I'm trying to figure out what comes next it's fun. So I'm confident that my lack of Nanowrimo progress (so far - I'm not throwing in the towel by any stretch of the imagination) isn't born of some self-sabotage, or that I might not really want to write.

But unfortunately, this last few weeks have seen me awash with mundane but necessary chores which occupy the time I'd otherwise be spending writing - redecorating the shared stairwell of my building, sealing up cracks in the brickwork to keep out mice (yes, somehow mice have made their way into our second-story flat), wedding arrangements, my ongoing hospital radio commitments, and of course the fact that I work 9-5, have all rather eaten away at the time I was hoping to spend writing this month.

As I say, I'm not giving up on Nanwrimo this year (this ramble is by way of an honest update), and in fact having written this (slightly more personal than usual) post, it makes me slightly embarrassed and mindful of how it looks like an attempt to excuse not writing - because there are so many excuses (and occasionally even reasons) not to write, but the reason FOR writing is, for me, a more basic and burning one: I want to tell stories, and hopefully other people will like reading them as much as I enjoy writing 'em (and obviously, if I can earn a living from it, then all the better).

The trick, I realise, is not to allow writing to be one of a number of things that 'I ought to do', but to make sure it's top of the list, and that other activities are only done after the wordcount or pagecount for the day is met. Simple, I know, but there’s all too often a gulf ‘twixt theory and practice, isn’t there?

(Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm wasting time posting to my blog instead of working on 'The Body Orchard', I'm writing this in my lunch-hour at work - not an environment where I can get any novel-writing done, as people are so gosh-darned noisy. Tch).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Someone In Borders Bookshop Doesn't Seem To Be An Arsenal Fan

Well, either that, or Jack from Father Ted has got himself a new job.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Cash Till Bells Go Ka-Ching-A-Ling-A-Ling, For You And Partly For Me

Conspicuous consumption, point one:
If you're having trouble getting your internet connection to work this weekend, then I think we can all safely assume it’s because several million comic readers have all finished reading their hauls of this week, and have logged on simultaneously to post comments about them.
No, seriously - this week sees the release of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's much-anticipated 'Black Dossier' (see Alan explain how it was delayed by the publishers here and here ), the latest issue of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's startlingly fun 'All-Star Superman', and the latest in Bryan Lee O'Malley's very fun series of 'Scott Pilgrim' volumes (as well as a whole load of other stuff which I'm not so interested in).
In comic terms, this is pretty much the equivalent of new films being released by Orson Welles, David Lynch and Stephen Spielberg ON THE SAME DAY.
And that's why the internet has been broken in two.

Conspicuous consumption, point two:
Today, shopping for weddings rings with my fiancee, I learned the following -
a) I take a ring size W. That's quite large, isn't it?
b) All jewellers are conspiring with my betrothed to ensure she has as much spangly jewellery as possible, and so they look at me with a mixture of mockery and pity. Has she, I wonder, been in advance contact with all the shops that sell spangly things to ensure she gets the shiny and they get the money? It certainly feels that way...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sometimes I Almost Regret The Invention Of The Camera-Phone Combo

In the absence of any other event worthy of a headline, my local paper appears to have decided to post aphorisms and general advice for life.

In tomorrow's Roaraway Recorder, an exclusive interview with the local stitch whose timeliness saved 90% of ten.

If You Tolerate This, Then Your Stray Thoughts Will Be Next

1. It's been a while since I did one of my round-up posts like this, I know, and I think it may well be because I've mastered the art of taking what should be a one-line post and making it into a whole paragraph. Perhaps a career in newspaper writing awaits? (Premonition: the King Tut exhibition in London beginning this week, plus the eye make-up Amy Winehouse wears, will surely lead some idiot to claim that 'the Egyptian look has never been hotter!', or some such page-filling piffle).

2. Speaking of whom, a joke I heard the other day:
Q: What's Amy Winehouse's favourite tube station?
A: High Barnet.

3. I find myself, as ever, watching very little TV for fun, and the vast majority of it is imported (Heroes, Flight of the Conchords, Californication, and 30 Rock, to name the majority of my preferred shows). Is there anything on any of the Freeview channels I'm missing out on? Do let me know…

4. Oh, for god's sake.

5. Nanowrimo progress is very slow indeed, but I'm not giving up yet. Will certainly beat last year's effort, but that's hardly a push, I know…

6. Told you (in this post earlier today) that I'd make up for lost time. Should be six posts in one day by the time I'm done. Prolific, I know (though you know there could be a connection between this brag and the comment in point 5, above. Fortunately, I'm too stupid to be able to make any kind of correlation).

7. Want to go and see Steven Poliakoff talking about writing and stuff? Well, it's next Monday in London, and free - click here for more info. I'm going, do let me know if you will be too…

8. Now, I don't want to sound like an old fuddy-duddy (well, the use of the phrase 'fuddy-duddy' is always a headstart, but you know what I mean), but isn't the whole 'lolcatz' meme a bit like 'All Your Base Are Belong To Us'? By which I mean, it's kind of incomprehensible and inaccessible to the general reader, not actually as wildly funny as some people seem to think, and may well out of favour by the time I've posted this...

9. Due to the techy hassles over the past few days, I was unable to post my usual Remembrance Day thoughts, which appears to have become a semi-tradition for me. So, in the spirit of 'better late than never', I'd like to post the following, which is a transcript of an interview which forms the opening and close of Roger Waters's album 'Amused to Death'. The dialogue's taken from an interview with Alfred 'Alf' Razzell, who was a member of the Eighth Batallion of the Royal Fusiliers during WWI.

He was born in 1897, so he would have been in his teens during the events he describes - Alf talks in measured, grandfatherly tones of his time in the WWI trenches, and the last line (where he figures out the number of years) never fails to hit me like a kick to the stomach... For, I like to think, the best possible reasons.

Alf Razzell:
"Two things that have haunted me most are the days when I had to collect the paybooks; and when I left Bill Hubbard in no-man's-land.

I was picked up and taken into [the German] trench. And I'd no sooner taken two or three steps down the trench when I heard a call, 'Ooh, hello Razz, I'm glad to see you. This is my second night here,' and he said 'I'm feeling bad,' and it was Bill Hubbard, one of the men we'd trained in England, one of the original battalion.

I had a look at his wound, rolled him over; I could see it was probably a fatal wound. You could imagine what pain he was in, he was dripping with sweat; and after I'd gone about three shellholes, traversed that, had it been...had there been a path or a road I could have done better.

He pummelled me, 'Put me down, put me down, I'd rather die, I'd rather die, put me down.' I was hoping he would faint. He said 'I can't go any further, let me die.' I said 'If I leave you here Bill you won't be found, let's have another go.' He said 'All right then.' And the same thing happened; he couldn't stand it any more, and I had to leave him there, in no-man's-land."

Years later, I saw Bill Hubbard's name on the memorial to the missing at Arras. And I... When I saw his name, I was absolutely transfixed. It was as though he was now a human being instead of some sort of nightmarish memory that I'd had of leaving him all those years ago.

And I felt relieved. And ever since then I've felt... happy about it, because always before, whenever I thought of him, I was searching myself; "Was there something else that I could have done? And that always sort of worried me. But having seen him, and his name in the register; As you know in the memorials there's a little safe, and there's a register in there with every.. every name... And seeing his name and his name on the memorial.. It sort of lightened.. lightened my heart, if you like."

"When was it that you saw his name on the memorial?"

Alf Razzell:
"Ah, when I was eighty-seven...Ah, that would be the year, ninety f…eighty-four, nineteen eighty-four."

Holiday / Celebrate / Oh, It WAS So Nice

As the cold of winter starts to bite, I thought that I'd show my evil side by posting a picture of the beach in the Dominican Republic where I was recently lazing and reading and writing.

Mind you, as I'm back in London now, I'm tormenting myself as much as you.

But still: lovely, isn't it?

Damn Those Paparazzi, They Get Everywhere

Proving that I'm not just a patron of the art of the written word (stop giggling, you), I just wanted to draw your attention to the most recent addition to the dishonour roll that is the list of links in the column to the right.

My good friend Toby, who posts photos on Flickr under the name GromitLad (don't ask - I didn't), and who is the official wedding photographer of me and m'laydee, is a damn fine snapper, and you can see his work by clicking on the appropriate link in the column an inch or two to the right of these very words - or by clicking here .

And try not to dwell on the semi-nude self-portrait (he wrote, knowing full well that'll make you do just that; but it's not false advertising, you may be pleased to know...)

For The Full Effect, Imagine The Holst Music For Mars Playing As You Read This

So, I didn't make it through to the next round of the Red Planet screenplay competition. I'm far from alone in this - I gather over 2000 people entered - but it was a good spur to get on with writing in the screenplay format, and rather than finding the 'waiting to hear' a torment as some people seem to, I like to think that no news is indeed good news. Plus, it means I have a screenplay in my 'portfolio' now, which has to be a good thing, yes?

As the Red Planet contest involved sending them the first 10 pages of the screenplay, I think I'll see about posting the pages on my website . Yes, I know the website's basic and horribly out of date - I'm working on updating it, I promise. Yes, I know I said that some time ago, but I mean it this time, honest. Really.

The only person I know of who's through to the second round is Laura (well done, Laura!), though Danny Stack, one of the people involved in judging the contest, has posted some comments on the decision-making process here, and you can see a tongue-in-cheek response from Paul Campbell here . Reminds me slightly of the lyrics to The Beatles' Paperback Writer , really (which is far from a bad thing).

LINKS: Strike (Post) Three !

(Firstly, apologies for the absence of posts in the last couple of days, my faithful and ever-growing audience. Had some techy issues, but I think they're sorted out now. Don't worry, I'll make up for lost time, and we'll have at least five posts this week, oh yes indeedy betcha by golly wow.)

Anyway, a few more links on the ongoing Writer's Guild of America Strike. In case you hadn't guessed by now, I'm hoping that the studios and the WGA can get back to negotiating, so everyone can get back to work; but I'm very much of a mind that the writers deserve to get more than the dollar equivalent of 2p for every DVD sold from one of their scripts, and certainly more than 0p (no, that's not a typing error) for shows sold as downloads on iTunes and the like. The argument for this side of things is, I think, rather well put here .

Further to my recent post linking to a number of showrunners who are in support of the strike, here's an ad which was in the US trade press last week from some more writers - some well-known and impressive names there, I think you'll agree.
And finally, this site still rather perplexes me - I genuinely can't tell if it's a wind-up about the strike or not. It looks pretty sincere on the face of it, but when you watch the videos, it's either the most Alan Partridge-esque calling card of all time, or a pretty good spoof. Take a look and see what you make of it, and let me know your conclusions… please. I need the hive mind consensus on this one.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mysterious Ways? Round In Circles, More Like

(All images copyright their respective owners, of course; no copyright infingement is intended.)

The first image there is from the 'The Adventures of God: The Ultimate Super-Hero' in the Spitting Image Giant Komic Book (1988), and is illustrated by Steve Dillon. The second panel is from 'SuperGod (and The Son Of Man Wonder)' in the latest issue of Viz (170, coverdated November 2007), and unless I miss my guess it's drawn by Davey Jones.

Rather similar, I think you'd agree, but I have to say I genuinely don't think it's a case of plagiarism - the issue of free will and God is one which is endlessly discussed (and is a bit theologically awkward, really), and I don't think that Mr Jones is exactly short of ideas: he came up with the Viz strip The Vibrating Bum-Faced Goats, after all, which hardly suggests a paucity of imagination.

Still, an amusing coincidence, I like to think.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And Now, The Writing News

If, like me, you've been waiting to hear if Red Planet Pictures want to see more of your screenplay, then this news will be of interest to you. Only a couple more days to go, it seems…

Also, if you're wondering how I'm doing in my Nanowrimo bid this year, then I'll tell you: 2,500 words so far. Not on target yet, but I like the resonance of the fact it's 5% in 1/5 of the target time. Ahem.
I'll see if I can provide a chart of my progress (if indeed it can be called that), and provide the appropriate link, in the next couple of days.

And in international news, the WGA Writer's Strike continues , with cast members from various well-known shows coming out in support of the scribes.

Here's Tom with the weather. Tom?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Deere Santa, I wuld liyke a Dictioniary Fore Crissmus

Last (lah-st) a., n., and adv. After all others, coming at the end.

Whoa, Dude!

Captain America is, like, totally stacked! Check out that rack!

(Actually, that's not fair; Captain America only has a chest like Mount Rushmore when Rob Liefeld draws him. In current continuity, he's dead, I think. And oddly enough, I suspect he has more dignity as worm-food...)

LINK: More On The Writer's Strike

John Bowman was the chap who put forward the WGA's side of things at the start of the negotiations about the current writers' strike (see yesterday's post), and you can read a copy of his speech - which I like for its measured tone, and the way it actively invites discussion - on this page.

Worth a look, I'd say.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Creator And Critic

Watching the film "Ratatouille' last week, I thought that there was something of a similarity (though not in attitude) between the food critic Anton Ego and the writer Will Self... is it just me?

LINK: Now That's What I Call (Use Of) Music…

… to make a point . The horseguards band there, welcoming King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia to London.
His visit was very much dogged by the fact that his nation has a far from impressive record when it comes to human rights.

But at least the music fitted the occasion, right?

Oh My, Have I Just Posted A Bit Of EastEnders 'What If' FanFiction? Lawks.

As part of my whole 'keeping an eye on the state of TV Drama' thing, I've been paying a bit of attention to EastEnders. And I have to ask: am I truly the only person who thinks the whole Max-Bradley-Stacey storyline has gone on way, way too long?

For my money, there are fundamental flaws with the setup:
1. It seems unclear whether there's actually been anything going on between Max and Stacey for the last couple of months
2. The character of Stacey seems to be limited to either scowling at her fiance or scowling at her fiance's father, making her role (as the object of so much attention) frankly baffling
3. The character of Bradley has been reduced to that of a clueless idiot who can't seem to spot that his fiance spends all her time looking on him with a barely-concealed mix of contempt and pity
4. None of the characters are likable as a result of all this, leaving the viewer with no-one who they can even partially root for
5. It's been running since at least the start of the year. There have been a couple of times when it seemed like the whole messy business was going to be either revealed or in some way resolved, but this hasn't been the case (even the 'caught on tape' aspect of recent episodes looks unlikely to be resolved immediately - I have a horrible suspicion that they're saving it for Christmas) .

Maybe it's my short attention span or something to blame, but this strand seems to have been going on since last Christmas or so (correct me if I'm wrong), and I think it would have been far better if, during the vows, it had gone more like….

And do you, Bradley, take Stacey to be your lawfully wedded wife?


BRADLEY looks round, unsure of himself. Meets the concerned looks off various guests. Sees MAX looking surprised.

STACEY (whisper)

BRADLEY looks at her. His look changes to one of certainty.


A ripple of murmurs from the congregation. The VICAR looks taken aback. MAX looks worried. SEAN allows himself a smile.

No, I don't take you to be my lawfully wedded wife.

But -

You've been having it away with my dad for over six months -

STACEY's face drops. Another buzz from the congregation.

- and now you want the security of marrying me ?

I -

What kind of an idiot do you take me for?

BRADLEY shakes his head, smiles coldly. He's in charge of things now.

I just wanted to see how far you'd take the whole getting married idea, and see how far you'd take the lies. All the way, it seems. All the way up the aisle.

Bradley, I -

BRADLEY grits his teeth.

But now, in front of all our friends, I've shown you up for the liar you are.
And the kind of girl you are.

BRADLEY tears the flower from his buttonhole, throws it to the floor. Slowly, he walks out of the church, and as he goes, we see the reactions of the guests - horrified surprise from most of them, but barely-suppressed rage from TANYA, a victorious look from SEAN, and a look of genuine worry from MAX. Close on STACEY's expression as she realises what she's lost. We hear the church door slam.

FX: Drums and end theme

Okay, so maybe the above is a touch OTT, but I really wish they'd resolve the storyline - it feels like it's been spinning its wheels for months, and there was a period of time when it was all too similar to the Dawn-May-Rob plotline (married man having affair with much younger woman). I'm guessing they want to keep it going until the Christmas Day episode - there is, after all, no better way to celebrate a happy family Christmas than by … um, gathering round the TV to watch fictional families' unhappy Christmases.

LINK: Okay, Stop Writing Now. Pencils Down, Please

As you may have heard, the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) has just started a strike over payments.

Specifically, it's about residuals - the money paid to the writers when DVDs of their work are sold, and for when episodes of TV shows are streamed over the internet (a growth area, it's generally predicted, with packages like BT Vision looking the shape of things to come).

At present, the residuals on DVDs are at a rate which was negotiated some years ago (1985, I think), before the format became what it is now (that is, very successful, and a great way for studios to increase the back-end on TV shows in the absence of syndication), and of course online supply cuts out DVD production and distribution costs, so the payback to the creatives (of all stripes) should logically be higher… but currently it isn't going to be higher, hence the strike.

If nothing else, if you take a look at this ad which appeared in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter last week, you'll probably be able to spot at least one writer or showrunner from a high-profile show you like, which gives an indication of how strong the feeling is on this issue.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Spot The Diffidence (Or Lack Thereof)

Twin Peaks, Series 2 Episode 16 (1991)
Hank Jennings : You'll be Big Ed's whore for the rest of your life.
Norma Jennings : I'd rather be his whore than your wife!
(Written by Barry Pullman)

Titanic (1997)
Cal Hockley : You're going to him? To be a whore to a gutter rat?
Rose : I'd rather be his whore than your wife.
(Written by James Cameron)

And We're Back

…well, I am anyway. Hello, how are you? All right ? Yes? Good.

I'm back after a prolonged (though not unforeseen) absence. As well as taking some time off from blogging to concentrate on my novel-related stuff, I also took myself out of dear old Blighty to the Dominican Republic for a couple of weeks (for those of you whose sense of geography is akin to mine, it's in the Caribbean). Very nice, though Tropical Storm Noel was rather on our heels as we were leaving. Still, home safely, and it was a beautiful place, even if I had to go a fortnight without a proper cup of tea (airline tea most definitely does not count).

As for the writing: well, I made some progress with 'Coming Back To Haunt You', and now have the chapter breakdowns until the end of the book, but didn't get it all done. But as per my plan I've started on 'The Body Orchard' as part of National Novel Writing Month - the aim of which is to write a 50,000 novel in one month (that's about 1660 words a day). I don't know if 'TBO' is likely to go over that wordcount (given my tendency to logorrhoea, I wouldn't be surprised), but I'm aiming to get 50,000 words done anyway, and if the story needs more pages after that, then so be it. I started pretty well yesterday, possibly because I'm deliberately 'turning off my inner editor' to thrash out what I know is a first draft, so any mistakes or whatever can be corrected when I re-draft it. It felt quite liberating in a way to put stuff down knowing it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - hope the novelty lasts (well, at least until the end of the month).

Whilst I'm quite pleased about the icon to the right, I'll see if I can arrange a link to take you to an ongoing total of my word count. So far it's about 1700 (I'm doing it longhand, so vagueness is inevitable), which is on target, but we'll see how it goes.

Are any of you folks doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know if you are. And if you're not, then feel free to post a comment or e-mail me some words of support/abuse (delete as applicable)...

Nano, Nano-Nano, NaNoWriMo, No No, There's No Limits*

As you can tell from this post, I'm back.
And as you can tell from the picture in the right-hand column, (Inter-)National Novel Writing Month is underway.
And as you will also be able to divine from the time I'm posting this, it's late. So I'll be back with more information after I've had some sleep.
Lots to tell, back soon.

*I am so very very sorry.