Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Festive Teaser...

Two years ago I thought that I'd quite like to have a shot at that writing lark.
If anyone had told me this time last year that I'd be writing Hollywood treatments, about to have a short story published, attended the screening of a fabulous short film in London and met numerous brilliant writers, I'd have poked you in the eye and walloped you with a frying pan for slander.... yet.... tis all true I tell you!
Gather round dear friends while I pour you some grog and tell you my tale... (or you could just bugger off to the pub and make your own entertainment!)
Not to mention the stuff I'm not allowed to talk about! :D

Monday, 29 November 2010

It Had To Happen

It's inevitable I suppose. I've been working on a script for a prospective TV thingy for almost two years now. Today I read that something very similar has been signed up for Channel 4. The moral of the lesson of course is not to faff around and get your finger out or else someone will beat you to it. Ah well. Tis all part of the game. *Rip rip rip*

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

London Screenwriters' Festival

I thought I'd pass on this info for the upcoming London Screenwriters' Festival. It certainly is worth checking out. 

Get an Agent with Circalit and the London Screenwriters’ Festival!

The London Screenwriters’ Festival have teamed up with Circalit to offer screenwriters a chance to get representation. Screenwriters are encouraged to enter the free competition at The winning writer will meet with a top London agent, get £100 and free tickets to the London Screenwriters’ Festival! The competition will be judged by the executive team at the London Screenwriters’ Festival and is free to enter.  The deadline for submissions is October 15th. 

Creative director of the festival and Oscar shortlisted film director Chris Jones commented, “We’re very excited about this competition with Circalit. Circalit’s unique style of competitions don’t just give writers the chance to win prizes, but also to share their work, gain valuable feedback and make industry connections. Circalit are doing the screenwriting community a great service with their free online social network and we’re very pleased to be able to do a competition with them.”

For more information or to enter your script please visit

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Between the Lines

Cast your peepers on this is a wonderful short by the very talented Scottish film maker, Graeme Buchan. I'm even more excited about this because he is about to start filming one of my shorts 'Terms & Conditions'. So pop it up to full screen, settle back, put your sound up and enjoy!

Check, Double Check and Check Again.

I made the error of looking over my Red Planet entry the other day. I was horrified at how many glaringly obvious mistakes there were. HORRIFIED!
In spite of having gone through it thoroughly (or so I thought) several times - it was only after it had been sent off that I realised just how many stupid, blatant mistakes there were.
You'd have thought I'd have learned from previous errors to really check it properly this time. (The last dire error I made was when I'd just got some new software and failed to notice that it hadn't imported to PDF as I'd thought it would  (lesson learned - make sure you know how to use your software correctly!)
What I should have done was to print it off and then go over it again. It's amazing how mistakes are easily overlooked on the screen stand yet stand out like throbbing sore thumbs on an actual physical page.
Better still, get someone else to read it - fresh pairs of eyes that have never seen the script before will have a better chance of noticing anything out of place/errors/spelling mistakes etc.
I must now, obviously go a stand in a corner and hang my head in shame for several weeks.

So before you send anything off remember - check, double check, leave it for a couple of days then check it several more times!

Then check it again!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Treatments, Adaptations and Rewrites.

Been quite busy recently. Just finished working on a treatment for an adaptation of a graphic novel. The night after I'd finished and sent it off, I woke up about 4am in a panic convinced that I'd done the whole thing in the wrong font. (I hadn't - I checked.)

I'm now about to start another adaptation of a short story which will hopefully be produced soon by a local Indie filmaker. More on that to come.

Exciting stuff.

I put in my entry for the Red Planet Prize too, but on hindsight it's a bit rubbish. Ah well. Something else to grind through the re-write mill! Publish Post

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Origin Screening

Wednesday 21st July saw me merrily  making my way down to London for the Cast and Crew screening of Origin, Danny Stack's fantastic short film.

It's been about ten years since I've been to the Big City and I was just a wee bit nervous.

I  discovered that there is a weird time somewhere in the middle of the night/early morning called 5am and not really knowing what to do with it, I found myself still asleep for the first part of the journey. As soon as I opened the front door, a torrential downpour of rain began but  I courageously managed to fight my way to the bus stop. I  grabbed some supplies and a book from somewhere and found myself on the correct train,
happily drifting to a semi-aware state of consciousness just in time for the first visit of the refreshment trolley somewhere around Arbroath.

Arriving at Kings Cross around 3pm, I somehow managed to blunder in all the right directions and got to my hotel.

The screening itself was just brilliant. Taking place at Working Title Films, Danny and his wife Jo had organised lovely food and drinks and made everyone feel so welcome.

After everyone had arrived and relaxed, we went into the screening where Danny did an excellent job of thanking everyone and introducing the film.

The film was splendid, moving, and a joy to watch. If you ever get the chance to see it an upcoming festival – please do.

I met some fab people to whom I wibbled senselessly at (including James Moran and Jason Arnopp, Sam Morrison) as well as loads of other lovely folks too including Robert Yates and Hilary Wright. 

I have no idea how I got back to the hotel that evening – I was buzzing so much. Luckily the Gods of Transport and Blundering Idiots must have been looking favourably upon me that night and took pity on me.

Next day, I had a Tweetup with Jason, a jolly nice and smashing chap who not only let me play with his iPad, but bought me lunch too! It was lovely to finally meet up with him.

The rest of the day was filled with gaping happily out of the train window and trying to guess when the next trolley run would be.  By the time I got back at about 9:15pm – I was so tired I was even more incoherent than usual and basically fell into bed as soon as I got home.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

First Draft Finished!

I've just this second finished the first draft of Changing of the Guard. Well, I actually finished it about half an hour then spent the intervening time panicking when Movie Outline 3 decided to 'lose' it and insisted on showing 115 pages of blankness. The air, as well as the screen was blue, I can tell you!

Tuesday - 1, Magz - 0

It did, however, finally decide to return it in it's entirety but not before my stress levels made an impressive dent in the roof. Several times.

Anyway, the really odd thing is, that when I exported it to Final Draft 8, it only comes out at 92 pages. Never mind though. The ultimate page count will no doubt change drastically during the following re-writes.

So, I'm going to leave it for a little bit and concentrate on getting Retribution finally done and dusted as well as the comedy project thingy.

So, lots to do. Let the scribblings commence once more!


Having written the above at 10:16, it's now 11:13.
I've just found out that the above script, which began life as a 15 page competition entry has reached the semi-final!

Chuffed to bits!


Eventually it made the final 10! Happy! I plan to start on the 2nd Draft as soon as I finish with my Red Planet Prize entry.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

What's been happening...

Have passed the 90 page mark of my first screenplay! Ohhh! It's just at the first draft stage but seems to be coming along nicely. I'm actually looking forward to the rewrites too. 
This years Red Planet competition details have been announced - so that's definitely something to keep an eye on! Go and check it out now! 

In other news, I'm working on something I'm not allowed to talk about - but tis very exciting! Not sure whether anything will come of it, but great fun to have a bash for anyway! 

Gosh I love this writing lark!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


I seem to be going through a patch of vagueness at the moment.  Not really getting anywhere...
I'm probably going to refocus for a bit and concentrate solely on getting some nice, decent pieces together rather than lots of little bits here, there and everywhere.
However, on a good point, I'm now on page 81 of the 1st draft of the screenplay. Loads of work to do on it, but the general bits are sort of falling into place. I think.
Also, working on a 6 part comedy thingie - tis a collaborative project, which I've never done before and is rather exciting! Loads and loads and loads of work to do on that.
The backburner project (which has been kicking around since last year and was my first project,) is rumbling around in the back of my head again and trying to squeeze itself out. I have a vague plan of what I want to do with that... Maybe.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

My Printer Hates Me.

My printer  hates me. It has obviously joined forces with the toaster (which takes an evil delight at spitting my toast out onto the floor whenever I turn my back on it for a second. It never does it when I'm ready and waiting though - oh no.)

Like the toaster, this printer does whatever it can to annoy me. It flashes up 'low ink' warnings when I know I've just put in a new cartridge. It gobbles said ink up with a devilish hunger. It prints things squint when it knows I'm just about to actually run out of ink and a deadline is approaching and it makes paper just disappear. Grrrr.

That is all.

Move along.

Monday, 12 April 2010

New Things

Twelve days and thirty one pages into Script Frenzy and it's not going too badly. I decided to combine a current competition with in which you have to write the first fifteen pages using a specific logline. It's not the sort of thing I'd normally go for, but it's always good to have a bash at something that's out of your comfort zone - whatever the result, it's all good practice.

Went to the cinema again yesterday (twice so far this year!) Quite incredible. Love the old 3D lark.

My poor first script is getting shoved to the back yet again. I really have to whack that into some sort of order soon.

Other than that, 'tis just a case of plodding on.

Monday, 29 March 2010

It's not April Yet!

All morning I've been convinced that it's April 1st today, which of course, it isn't.

Had a great weekend. Went to Conpulsion in Edinburgh, car didn't break down, ate a years worth of junk food and met up with loads of lovely folks who I haven't seen in far too long a time.
Nearly fell over at the prices of liquidy delights. Getting a round and still having change took a bit of getting used to I can tell you. Obviously I had to take full advantage of the situation and even partook of a couple of delightful cocktails. Mmmmm cocktails....

Lot's of Dark Harvest posters were given out, so the publicity monster has now been unleashed and will hopefully trample all over every major city, trashing every high rise building and bridge in it's path... sorry, getting carried away a tad there.

You can take a sneaky peak at the web site here.
Go on - you know you want to...

Other news is that I've been shortlisted for Best Script (Short film) at the End of the Pier International Film Festival! A lovely and unexpected boost!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Script Frenzy.

It's that time of year again for Script Frenzy. For anyone not aware of what it is, basically, during April, from the 1st to the 30th you aim to write a 100 page script. There are no prizes, just a splendid motivation for like minded folks to just get down and write.
If this tickles your fancy, go and take a scoobies over at their web site - but you'll have to hurry - it all kicks off on Monday.

I was too late finding out about it last year, however, I might just have a bash this time.
If anything, it'll be a good focus. Not sure what I'll do though - I've got several ideas, and it really is about time I settled down to do a feature.

In other news, I finished the Dark Harvest Website yesterday, barring the odd tweak or two. Tis an exciting project! Details will follow at the weekend when it gets pre-launched!

Speaking of which, I'm heading off to Edinburgh on Saturday! Yay!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Submissions, Web Sites and Sandwiches.

Unsurprisingly, the 'quick look over' of the short story submission this morning took about two and a half hours. I really should know that by now. Anyhoo, did several last minute changes and re-scribbles then just hit the 'send' button and be done with the little blighter. Not holding my breath though.

Had a good meeting via Skype regarding the Dark Harvest web site, which is coming along nicely. The front cover is simply gorgeous! Got until Saturday to get that all sparkly and ready.

On a completely different topic, I watched 'Doom' at the weekend and most enjoyable it was too! And I don't care if I've just lost loads of street-cred points because I don't care. I liked it. So there.

Got to love that bargain bin!

But what about the sandwiches? I hear you cry. Well, I ate them.

Monday, 22 March 2010

National Goof Off Day!

Yes! It's National Goof Off Day - Even though I haven't actually heard of it until about 3 minutes ago, I can say with honesty it is quite rapidly becoming my favourite holiday other than Christmas.

A day when I can actually not do all the things I'm meant to do and not feel guilty! Huzzah!

Unfortunately it does come at the beginning of a busy week where I need to finish off the Dark Harvest web site, work on a rewrite and submit a short story not to mention create a fabulous wasp costume from super glue, yellow ribbon and various random bits of fluff.

I love my life!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Time Wasting

Ughh! After the initial promising step of firing up Final Draft and opening up the rewrite I'm working on, so far I've filled the last hour making tea, staring blankly at my screen, getting diverted by all the lovely distractions the interwebby can throw at me, making more tea, and spotting things I need to tidy up.

And now, I've just been informed that my laptop needs to restart to install vital updates. I fear the Demons of Anti-Writing are pitched against me this day. However, I shall take great delight in poking them in the eye and telling them to sod off -

- after I've rebooted, made some more tea, emptied the dishwasher and contemplated the dust that has settled on the script in the meantime...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

First Pay Cheque!


I've just this very minute received my first ever shiny pay cheque for a piece of writing!


Oh, I feel like a proper writer now!

I must celebrate immediately with the vast consumption of tea and biscuits!

Beware the Procrastination Monster!

I thought my current dose of procrastination was only centred on a particular piece of writing I'm struggling with just now.

However, it also seems to be including a decent blog post and my laundry...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Shiny New Web InterWebby Site

I decided to finally get round to doing a nice site for myself, with links to all the various places that I lurk around in (including this one.)

I took a chance too and included some of the scripts I've done so far... whether this is a good idea or not remains to be seen, however, I decided to shake my grubby little fist in the face of terror and launch myself into the public domain. Oh, I feel all vulnerable and scared now!

So, here it is....

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Please vote for my submission on Talenthouse

Please vote for my submission on Talenthouse

You don't have to mind.... unfortunately I just noticed that it's by text only (therefore has a small charge - bit miffed about that, thought it was direct via the site.)


Heehee - only if you think it merits it though!

If you think it's rubbish - just move along. :D

Friday, 29 January 2010


Just watched 'Drop' a short film by Gavin Toomey. It's a wonderful short film starring Russell Tovey & Antony Edridge and you should go and have a look at it right now!

I've spoken to Gavin a few times over on Twitter and he's a really nice chap who also writes and directs jolly good films.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

First Pitch

Ohh! I've just sent off my first proper pitch!



I don't hold out much hope, but what a fun way to start! The pitch was for a 25 minute audio over at Big Finish. (An opportunity that I have no doubt will be sought after by everyone and their budgie - and rightly so!)

Friday, 8 January 2010

Chilly Fridays

With the grip of this freeze still making everything outside look crispy white and pretty, what better excuse to just stay in and tap away at the old laptop!
Today, I've started a rewrite of my very first project which I began last January. The first draft was finished about March and so it's about time that I took a fresh look at it and try to make it better. There are a few things about that have been bothering me, and hopefully I'll be able to polish it up. I've half a mind to enter it into another competition which closes in April, however, I haven't decided yet.
I really need to get some good, solid pieces together so I can maybe start to approach agents. However, I don't know if I'm good enough yet, so I'm still biding my time on that. Worst thing I could do is rush anything, however, at the same time, I don't want to dawdle too much either.
Oh sweet dilemma!
Oh! I just received a revised short story sketch - it's looking great! Even better than the first rough!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

First Week of 2010

I've just finished my first script of 2010 and submitted it for a new competition via It's a 5 minute horror short but will depend on votes as to whether it goes any further to being judged. I think. Still getting my head around the site and how it works.
Lot's of fun to do though! I must admit to really enjoying dabbling in the horror thing, although my stuff is pretty tame and not particularly scary. All jolly good fun though.

A good way to start the year I think! I already feel that I've achieved something which must be good.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Can't imagine what put this question into my head but: any New Year resolutions? And have you broken them already?

Hehehe! A superb question sir! My New Year resolutions begin tomorrow. They are..

Write more.
Drink less.
Lose 1 stone in weight.
Get organised.

So far, I haven't broken any! Go me!

Ask me anything

Sunday, 3 January 2010

I was being a bitch wasn't I?

Not at all! ;)

Ask me anything

Why do you use Twitter?

I use Twitter because it is such a wonderful, open and friendly way to get to know new folks! I love it and have met some amazingly brilliant people! (Including the chap who asked this question!)

Ask me anything

If you could wake up as anyone tomorrow, who would it be?

Tomorrow, I would love to wake up as.... ME! I may not be perfect and I may not have everything I would like to have, but that's OK - I'm happy :)

Ask me anything

Do you actually mean, re. VS admin, he decided we weren't worth his time/money and left us? :p

Not at all. He devoted a lot of his time and passion to us however when the time was right, he moved on with his life :)

Ask me anything

What happened to that wonderful previous Vote Saxon Admin bloke?

We kidnapped him and stuck him in an unused WW2 bunker in a secret location where he now lives on gruel and endless re-runs of a certain well known British Sci-Fi series.

Ask me anything