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  • Archive for April, 2010

    Still in mourning


    2010 - 04.25

    2 doctors

    While I absolutely ADORED the first episode of the new Matt Smith series of Doctor Who, the second two episodes have left me rather cold, to my great distress. It seems I am not alone in this discomfort, for while it is expected that the people who comment on newspaper blogs are mostly ranting psychopaths, Den of Geek, for instance, is usually commented on by loving, thoughtful though occasionally frightening types of fans – and yet even they really got the knives out for that bloody dalek episode. I mean really, it must take effort to make the Doctor plus the daleks plus the Blitz plus Churchill dull. Like Beast Below, Victory of the Daleks was full of good ideas with rubbish execution.

    But last night was the return of the Weeping Angels and Riversong, so after skipping out on the live airing last night for Tom Stoppard’s wonderful The Real Thing, I’ll be firing up I-Player this evening for a catch up – and hoping for the best.

    And trying really, really hard to get over the old days…

    Euroscript does my head in


    2010 - 04.25

    For all that I like to think of myself as a right-brain dominant creative eccentric, I am also a closet fan of logic, even though I can be extremely poor at recognising it or putting it into play. Yet there’s something extremely uncomfortable about being forced to use logical reasoning to make your way to the illogical conclusion of your every neuroses, block or mental/emotional protective wall.  That’s what happened for about 7 hours yesterday at the Euroscript Mental Games for Creative Success workshop, in which tutor Charles Harris used NLP to break through our blocks.

    Watching yourself expose the irrationality of all those excuses, limiting decisions and illogical arguments does feel a bit like walking naked under direct sun in a crowded market selling only clothes made of finely woven snowflakes.  You instinctively want to dress yourself, but no sooner do you do so, than the clothes melt under the glare of the sun. The market of your conscious mind keeps offering more useless clothes, and you grab at one shirt after another, until you run out of market and people, and realise the sun feels good on your bare skin after all, and being naked isn’t so bad because you’re in your own head anyway at this point so look like whatever you damn want to.

    We covered a lot of ground in the workshop, which didn’t touch on actual writing at all, but in unpacking why we do the things we do not to write, was enormously relevant anyway. The key sections for me involved realistic and measurable goal-setting (which was bloody harder than I expected – especially when looking at short, medium and long-term goals and then, worse, actually planning steps to take right now to achieve them) and identifying the moments in our past when we established limiting decisions or a defensive use of negative emotion.

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    Distractions


    2010 - 04.25

    I share my writing office (alright, otherwise known as Starbucks) with, amongst many others, a certain Jamie Smart. Although we chat regularly and he’s always inviting me over for his famous Chilli Tuesdays – conveniently located at his flat, right across the road from our office – it is only recently I discovered that he’s an NLP practitioner and has developed an entertaining new angle on the enlightenment/self-help market with a program called If The Secret’s So Good, Where’s My Ferrari? Ferrari provides an alternative – or I suppose an evolution – on the theories espoused in the famous self-help guide The Secret, and is being launched with a workshop on 8-9 May. I pottered along Chilli Tuesday last week and was fascinated by a lot of what Jamie was talking about. I realised that I had a lot to learn from him, and after a free webinar he conducted last week, booked onto his May weekend. It’s probably not a natural thing for me to spend money on, but Jamie is my friend, I need to learn how to drive my brain better, and I suspect he’s read a whole lot more of the instructional manual than I have.

    I possibly made a tactical error in choosing to listen to Jamie’s webinar while lying on the floor of the Vic League office performing a series of spine stretches, most of which, in all fairness, did make it look like I’d had a terrible accident and was now paralysed in some awkward position, leading to intermittent interruptions by concerned students knocking on the windows to check whether I needed an ambulance. But despite these distractions, it was a fascinating hour, and gave me a lot to think about.

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    Brit Writers Update


    2010 - 04.25

    Despite best of intentions et cetera, I did not enter the first chapters from Lien or Life in Me into the Brit Writers Awards. Despite this, the object of the exercise – writing the first 3 chapters to two of the books – worked extremely well, and I almost picked up a collaboration with Si Spencer for Arete, to boot. That hasn’t worked out, but it really bolstered my courage and faith in the project.

    The only reason I didn’t enter the chapters in the end was that I could not, for the life of me and with several drafts, get the synopsis down to 500 words. Not. A Hope. In Hell. Synopses, it would seem, are still not my strong point. A 24 page breakdown didn’t help any, and almost gave the History Channel’s magnificent Martin Morgan nightmares when he tried to help me distil. Losing the will to live about part way through, he cornered me with a challenge to give the seed of the story in one or two sentences.

    After pulling many faces, excessive groaning and eventual concentration, I came up with this:

    A suicidal immortal woman is given a chance to die, if she will undertake a quest to save the life of another – but in achieving her aim, she discovers she no longer wants to claim her reward.

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