This week, Monday 25th February 2013

A MidWeekEnd

Vampyre HearseAs you may have noticed dear reader I’ve been moaning about work a lot lately. Sorry about that. It’s the usual problem that work gets in the way of real life and that always pisses me off. When it takes up even more than its allotted 37 hours per week (plus travel time) that really does grab my goat and punch it in the gander. There’s been a slight lull (the consequence of actually being listened to for once [moan moan moan]) and so I got to take some emergency time off before I went insane.

Usually I’d take a long weekend, but I fancied a more radical/daft option to taking two days off – a midweekend. I took Wednesday and Thursday which gave me a two day week, followed by a weekend and then a one day week and another weekend. Genius. It’s been very nice. I haven’t done much other than sleep for 10 – 12 hours at a time and catch up a bit on writing and recording pirate stories. I highly recommend it.

This week’s scribbles

Tuesday Once Upon A Time part 1

A sad little story about deceit and despair.

Wednesday Lego Creations: The Castle Sprawl

A big messy heap of Lego with lots of mini figures doing their stuff.

Thursday Alex Trepan: A Cyborg Calls part 4

Alex’ learns secrets he would rather have slept through.

Friday Book Review: City of Screams by John Brindley

A short review of the intriguing young adult sci fi thriller.

Updates on my thrilling life

Writing

I’m still hammering the end of Alex Trepan’s A Cyborg Calls into shape as I go along. It’s possibly (definitely)my own fault for using an episodic structure on a story that I didn’t write that way originally, so I’m having to find new natural-ish endings roughly every 800-1000 words. That may or may not be working (you should let me know, otherwise I’ll keep fucking it up). One of the things I do like about writing like this is it forces me act on the story and I have longer to consider the consequences of the earlier episodes.

Having a midweekend was good – when I finally did wake up on Wednesday I immediately wrote a short story that I’d woken up thinking about. It’s a bit odd… I have to tamper with it a little and then give it to you in probably two pieces. I’ve also been fiddling with The War Alone Day One stories.

Last week’s scribbles

A Cyborg CallsTuesday My Grandfather’s House Part 2 Despair reigns in the house as the dreamer awakens.

Wednesday Shankulation – The Screamery of Angry Poetry Yup, it’s been that sort of week – time for some more hateful poetry.

Thursday Alex Trepan: A Cyborg Calls part 3 Further night time disturbances and revelations!

Friday Film Review: Warm Bodies A short review of the new zom rom com.

Lego

Prime MotileTinker tinker tink. I’ve been playing with another small setup which is as yet woefully incomplete. I’ve also been trying to make a decent Prime motile (the aliens from Pandora’s Star) – I am less good at making things that exist than just putting bricks together until they make something. It’s a planning problem. Lots of pictures on Wednesday of the larger castle-thing I’ve been building, hope you enjoy that.

Yesterday I discovered that Tesco sold two things I liked at reasonable prices – 35cl bottles of Jura Diurach’s Own 16 year old single malt whisky for £12.95, and had the Lego Monsters series’ Vampyre’s Hearse for £18. I got both and combined the activities (while enduring Midsomer Murders). It’s a lovely, complex and clever model with some cool new bricks I hadn’t seen before. The mechanism for flinging the vampire out through the roof from his coffin is alarming to say the least, and scared the crap out of us when we tested it. I’m now off to get more from their sale…

Improv Comedy

What to report? Fisticuffs on Tuesday was wonderfully strange. It always is when you do improv with just the three of you. There’s no check, no balance and no audience to offer any cues. It gets weird, and I love it. We continued with Unspeakable Acts and repeated a play we’d done before which I cannot remember the damn name of. It’s terrible though, I can promise you that much. Being just the three of us gave an opportunity for some excellent experimentation with scenes and playing multiple characters.

MissImp in Action was on last Friday too. It’s a weird last Friday of the month for us as it’s before payday and feels weirdly early. So we only had a smallish but demonstrative audience. I was very happy with the team (Marilyn, Lloydie, Parky, David and Martin) although for myself I felt I only really contributed well in the second half. Oh well, that’s way the dinosaur roars.

I am finding that I’m at my best when I get a chance to expound and spin out a concept or just babble for a while. I enjoy the wild ideation. I need to find an opportunity to do that more. I also want more physical space. The Glee Club is lovely, but the stage is tiny and you really can’t do much in it.

Media Intake

Books

I’m deep into the second of Peter F Hamilton‘s Commonwealth books, Judas Unchained (sounds like an ’80s band) and am utterly thrilled by it. I find it incredibly compulsive and was reading it until I finally turned the light off at quarter to three last night. I did squeeze one book in before continuing the series as a bit of light relief.

Films

We haven’t been back to the cinema since the total clusterfuck that was Die Hard 5 (I can’t even be bothered to use its real title). I love action films – a good explosion cheers me right up. But I also want witty banter, fantastic stunts, a minor orgy of gunplay and really well choreographed fight scenes. Die Hard 5 had about half of that, but without the other half (or a decent plot, characters you gave a toss about or a screenplay better than Twilight) it failed miserably. Very disappointing. I shall return to only watching Die Hard 1,2 (rarely) and 4. My other half has reviewed it… unfavourably.

We finished watching Dexter Season 2 last night (before going on to a terrible Midsomer Murders episode) and I found it very satisfying indeed. The differences between the characters in the show and in Jeff Lindsay’s books are now much more concrete, and I think the TV show has the best of it. I’d just like to thank my Dad for getting us the seasons 1-5 box set for Christmas. We may go on to Fringe season 3 next, but I’ll need to convince my other half of that first…

Events and Excitement

Improv shows

Thursday 14/03/13      Gorilla Burger: Improv Comedy Chaos – The City Gallery, Nottingham

Friday 29/03/13           MissImp in Action: Improvised Comedy Show – The Glee Club, Nottingham.

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