Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Transcripts, Transmissions, Transfers

I love school. Well I love it when the kids go to school. Means I get things done. After weeks of barely a spare moment to myself, I'm now back at something approaching full steam.

For a start, the peace and quiet means I've been able to transcribe an interview I did about three weeks ago for a women's magazine. I hate transcribing at the best of times, if only because it seems like such a waste of effort. Normally about three-quarters of what I take off the tape ends up not being used. But try doing it with a four-year-old going off in one ear and a six-year-old going off in the other. Not pretty.

With that out of the way the actual writing part of the process was comparatively painless and as of this afternoon I can cross it off my huge To Do list.

I've also seen off the proofs for Just Us, my story in the upcoming Voices anthology. A couple of you have asked when that'll be hitting shelves. That'll be October then.

Work continues to progress on two other submissions I'm tinkering with, but I've also decided to try to branch out into a different direction with something. A couple of scribe pals of mine have been good enough to help me out with this - I'm not allowed to reveal their identities or how they've helped, but they pop in here every now and again, so thanks to you both and I'll be talking to you later!

In the meantime, my author's copies of Transmissions arrived yesterday, all pink and new like little babies. There are a couple of promotional activities for the book you might want to check out here on the web - over on the Doctor Who Forum a number of the writers will be posting short insights into how their stories were written. Think of them as DVD extras if you like. Melbourne writer Dave Hoskin is first out of the blocks, talking about his story iNtRUsioNs, and I'll be putting mine on the site in a couple of days. Just head to the Big Finish area of the forum (it's in the Worlds of Doctor Who section) and it's easy to find from there.

Also editor Richard Salter has provided a look behind the scenes of the book from commissioning to publication in the latest issue of Enlightenment magazine. I've not read it myself yet, but I'll be ordering a copy shortly. You can do the same here.

And to finish, I'd like to express my disappointment - nay, dismay - at the latest shenanigans in the Premier League transfer market. When a team has a shocking defensive record and only managed to salvage anything last season becasue they scored a lot of goals, it makes perfect sense for them to start selling off their top strikers, doesn't it?

God, it sucks being a Spurs fan.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Some Day My Prints Will Come

God, it's been nearly a month since I last posted on here - not good, but I've got several excuses and here's a nice big update to make up for it.

Various writing jobs have been proceeding at various paces. A brain-frying stint of research into blood disorders has finally yielded results, meaning I'm about ready to start on a pitch for an as-yet unannounced anthology. Not wanting to curse it, I've got a pretty good feeling about this one, but we all know how often that can change once the typing starts ...

What else? A couple of weeks ago the Supanova pop culture expo landed in Perth, and I managed to toddle along there for an hour or so with my son (who has most definitely inherited his father's geek gene). For me the chief lure wasn't the special guests (who included Lt Uhuru off of Star Trek), rather the various dealers' tables. When I was at university, I used to go to events like these once a month in search of old comics - it was as much about the thrill of the hunt as it was about finally accumulating that complete run of Swamp Thing ... So I was immensely disappointed to find the selections on offer were poor and over-priced. I didn't even manage to pick up any Doctor Who themed goodies for the boy (such things are ludicrously scarce in this part of the world). I think he was less worried by that than the rubbery guy stalking him, though:

A few days later the little guy was in hospital to have his tonsils and adenoids out, both to fix his appetite and an impending speech problem. He's been grumpy all week (understandably), but not a patch on the satanic mood he was in when he came out from under the anaesthetic. It's all well and good being told that some people react badly to waking up from such a deep drug-induced sleep, but it's scant comfort when the screaming, spitting, thrashing bundle of confusion kicks you so hard in the guts that you go down like the proverbial sack of spuds.

As well as post-operative care for him, the onset of school holidays for my daughter has also put a crimp in my writing time, as has the electrical surge last week that melted the power supply in the back of my PC. Apparently it's a 15-minute job, replacing the damaged doo-dad ... unfortunately that 15 minutes wouldn't be freed up for the techie people for several days. Smashing. That left me dusting off the laptop I retired several years ago. When it was new, it was a blinder of a machine. Now, with it's web speed of one page every 20 minutes or so, it might as well have been clockwork. It certainly wound me up.

But it's not all been disasters chewing up my time. The recent arrival from the UK of several dozen boxes of belongings I left there when I moved to Australia 11 years ago has led to numerous hours disappearing as if by magic. One carton in particular - filled with diaries, letters and assorted memorabilia from university - has transported me back to 1995 for most of the last week. Now that was a good year.

And to finish off, I've just had news that the new Short Trips book Transmissions (which features my Third Doctor yarn Link) has come out a couple of weeks ahead of time. You can now grab it from bookshops or the Big Finish website, conveniently clickable here.

Oh, none of that explains the title for this post. I had a call a couple of days ago to inform me that a local chemist had found a packet of photos we'd put in to be developed ... 20 months ago. A relatively minor incident, but hey, think of all the punny goodness that would have gone to waste in the title if I hadn't mentioned it.