It's my birthday. And it's a birthday with a zero on the end, something that apparently makes it more significant. The good news is that compared with the last time this happened, back in 1996, I wasn't that happy. I was three stone [about 15 kilos overweight], unfit and overworked, trying to keep weekly comic 2000 AD going to the year 2000. Now I'm lighter, fitter and still overworked - but now I'm [hopefully] developing a new career for myself as a screenwriter. Yes, I've only got the one broadcast credit to my name, but that's more than I had even a year ago, let alone ten years ago. I'm halfway through my screenwriting MA course, I'm two months into a mentoring project working with an established writer-director and I've also working hard to get my winkle-picker shod toes in several other, interesting doors.
On the minus side, as well as losing lots of weight I've also lost lots of hair. Frankly, I'm surprised it hadn't gone sooner, since my dad was way balder than me when he was 20 - so I caught a break there. [Personally, I blame 2000 AD for the abrupt recession in my hairline during the late 90s. Tearing your hair out is strangely unconducive to remaining hirsute for life.] Plus I'm another ten years closer to death, oblivion and generally ceasing to exist. Being used to working with deadlines, I decided to take an online life expectancy test. With a bit of luck, I still have more than half my life ahead of me, so there's no need to panic just yet.
So, what am I doing for my birthday? Writing. Hey, a writer writes, right? Today was running day, so up at six and twenty minutes pounding the pavements. A present frenzy of ripping and rending parcels to unveil an exciting bunch of stuff - books, DVDs, chocolate and that wonderful New Zealand beverage, L&P. Rest of today? Writing, writing and more writing. Added 5000 words to the Warhammer novel yesterday, need to do at least that much more today. Realised last night I haven't mentioned several characters for too many chapters, so will go back into the book and give them a drop-in scene or two. Right, time for a bath and a shave. It's introduction day at college tomorrow and it's better if I don't turn up looking like a yeti and smelling like a yak.