Back to work after two days in that fancy London. Flew down on Monday, September 11, trying not to fret about anniversaries and the like. Having huge plasma screens in airport rerunning footage of planes crashing into buildings is not my idea of pre-flight entertainment, but I guess that was kind of unavoidable. Realised I hadn't been to London since last November. Back then I had to go through Stockwell tube station where the police shoot and killed a shot they thought was a terrorist - he wasn't. Sigh. What times we live in, eh? Of course, back-track 15 years and the IRA was planting bombs in rubbish bins on platform at London train stations, so it's not like things have changed that much - the scale of events simply seems more global, now.
My main reason for heading south was a Writers' Guild of Great Britain forum about writing in interactive entertainment i.e. computer games. The WGGB launched a new booklet that suggests some guidelines for how games developers and writers can get the best from each other. It's a useful item, but since you can download it by going here, the forum's value for me was the speakers and the opportunity to network afterwards. The speakers were good, but after the first hour things tended toward repetitionn or digression. After an hour and a half, people were walking out and it was long past time to wrap things up. Unfortunately, the forum dragged on for another 35 minutes.
By the time the plug was finally pulled, I had to leave and all chance of networking was lost. So, I spent nearly £200 and took two days out of my working schedule for an event I need not have bothered to attend. Thanks for nothing, guys.
Fortunately, I managed to find some positives in the trip. I got to catch up with a good friend who kindly gave me a floor to sleep on, bought far too many books about the Pacific theatre of WWII as research for my next novel, and got to see the barmy action film Crank. It's daft as brush, but a lot of fun and comes highly recommended for those who like inane popcorn action movies. Disengage your brain and laugh your ass off, that's my suggestion. The DVD should be a real hoot.
Best of all, I got two days away from my computer and a chance to recharge the creative batteries. I hadn't realised how much working on my 2000 AD history tome had scrambled my circuits, and going straight from that into my Warhammer novel was not the smartest of ideas. Now I'm feeling considerably more juiced and ready to let rip, it's time to get going - a deadline's a deadline.