Next Tuesday I'm flying to Malta [well, the pilot'll flying the plane, I'll be sat several thousand rows behind him reading a trashy magazine] en route to the nearby island of Gozo, where I'll spend a week relaxing. First holiday for a year and much needed. Of course, the trade-off for going on holiday is having to work twice as hard for a week before leaving and twice as hard for the week afterwards catching up. By my calculation that means doing four weeks' work in two to take one off - that can't be right, can it? But that's how it feels when you sense all those deadlines looming.
Friday is delivery day for research dossiers on our Research Methods module at Screen Academy Scotland. This requires academic skills and methods that don't come naturally to me, not having been steeped in academia before. I took the screenwriting MA course in the belief it would be a vocational course, but this module has different aims. So be it. I've completed the minimum requirement of twenty-five bibliographical annotations [about 6000 words], interviewed and transcribed practitioners that work in areas related to my chosen research topic [another 7500 words], and assembled my illustrative material [500 words]. I still need to write a provisionla essay [not less than 2000 words] that demonstrates how my thoughts on my research project have developed, and a brief discussion [another 500 words] on plans for future research. Plus I need to distill all my research into useful notes for future reference.
What else? Got a 1200 word article for Death Ray magazine to deliver. [Is it Death Ray? DeathRay? Or Deathray? Still not sure.] Got a Phantom script to tweak this morning. Got my TV pilot to polish. Lots of tweaks and improvements to be made there, following the fistfuls of feedback I got from various people [thanks Lucy, Jason, Dom, Andreas, Pete, Will and anyone else who's name I've forgotten - splendid chaps, all of them]. Reader reports ranged from 'couldn't put it down' to 'quick, relatively, relatively painless'. If nothing else, my five minutes into the future thriller rattles along at a good pace and scenes don't outstay their welcome. Aces.
What else? Loads of parcels to be posted for my previous eBay auction and packaging of the lots in my current auctions to be done. More than a hundred people are watching my current auctions and thirty people have already made bids - but I need more. Holidays don't pay for themselves, alas. So, if you've ever wanted to own a near complete set of the Judge Dredd Megazine [251 of the first 252 issues], or wanted to read the first 36 pre-ban issues of Action or wanted to savour the early works of Garth Ennis, Mark Millar and Sean Phillips in Crisis, now's your chance.