Saturday, June 02, 2007

Everything is coming to a grinding... halt.

The second big bunch of my eBay comic auctions finishes in a few hours, so if you're missing issues of Starlord, Crisis, the Judge Dredd Megazine, Tornado or pre-ban Action, hurry over and bid, bid, bid! The last few hours of an eBay auction are my favourite bit, watching the parry and thrust of bid and counter-bid as people tussle over previous things they want. Once the auctions are over, I have to go make myself very unpopular at the post office by asking for postage costs on all nine parcels. Some of that will carry over into Monday, I suspect, as the local post office closes at midday. At least we've still got a post office, hopefully it's not on the list of planned closures [boo, Royal Mail! Shame!].

Handed in my Research Dossier yesterday afternoon, having submitted the e-version back on Thursday. Strangely anti-climatic, delivering something you've slaved over for months, just to see it tossed atop a pile of magnificent octopuses [octopii?] by other people. Got to get a passing grade for this. Think I've fulfilled all the basic requirements, but that's for others to decide. I've got distinctions on every module of the MA Screenwriting course thus far, but have no idea what I'll end up with on this one. Still can't believe I wrote an essay that features the words 'historiography', 'monotheistic' and 'mise en scene'.

Met up with fellow MA screenwriting students Laura and afterwards for coffee. They'd also delivered their research dossiers and were enjoying the sensation of not carrying the albatross of guilt round with them anymore. All we've got left to do for the course is write and deliver our final project: a revised, first draft screenplay for a film, an interactive project, or the first draft pilot script and series bible for a TV series of our own devising. Of course, they've both used recent module to develop their final project. Me, I've stuck what I'd been working on in a drawer and am now starting from scratch. Heigh ho.

Picked up tickets for the holiday - three days until the plane leaves. Haven't packed a thing, haven't got much that's clean and have no idea if my togs still fit. In Britain, togs seem to be a brand of nappy for babies, but that's what we called a swimming costume when I was growing up. [Lucy wasn't sure what I meant the other day when talking about being under the gun - am I the only person who uses that expression to describe time sensitive pressures?] No shortage of preparations to be done if I'm to have a relaxed, enjoyable and much needed holiday. Chances are I won't be able to blog while away - and, frankly, I'm not sure I want to. A proper holiday should be a proper holiday. Will try to keep my internet usage to a minimum. Cut the cord, David, cut the cord.

After a frenzy of rewriting, polishing and proof-reading, finished my final drafts of Danny's Toys and Taking Liberties [well, final for now - nothing's ever really the final draft, despite what my screenwriting software might call itself]. Massive, massive thank you to all the people who given me feedback on either of both of these scripts in recent months: Isobel and Heather, everyone at Screen Academy Scotland, Pete in Perth and Paul in NZ, Andreas on the continent, Will D on another continent, Lucy, Lianne, Danny and lots of other lovely people whose names have slipped through my sieve-like memory [apologies for not remembering you!]. Most of all, a huge thank you to Adrian Mead, who's been mentoring my fledgling efforts as a would-be TV drama writer these past nine months. I've learned so much thanks to him - thank you, Adrian, you're a star. Tsk, I'm gushing. How unseemly.

Having handed in my research dossier and delivered my scripts, I'm now pretty much a writer without portfolio. I've got a 1200 articles to polish over the weekend and deliver first thing Monday, but that's it. No other commissioned work in hand, no urgent deadlines, nothing. I've got leads and a few projects in gentle development, waiting to be greenlit, but no actual deadlines [excluding August 31 for my final project]. It's scary, uncharted territory after seven years of freelancing. I've been so hellbent on finishing my portfolio of scripts and my research dossier and the TV pilot script I submitted at college last week, I haven't been able to think beyond this point. And now, here it is. Wide open spaces. No work committments. Freedom.

When you're freelance, no deadlines and no work committments also mean no money coming in, but I'm not going to worry about that until after I get back from holiday. I've done some good work [and some very good work] over the past year. For now, I'd like to relax, give myself some downtime to let the creative spaces in my noddle lay fallow and replenish themselves. I managed to have a shave yesterday, for the first time in more than a week. Even caught up on Scottish soap River City [blinding episode written by Sergio Casci last night, class is a glass, it was]. I think monkeys have mistaken the garden for a jungle and moved in, so that needs addressing - most likely with a scythe. Hell, I might even get time to tidy the office before I go. And back-up the computer. And pack some clothes, hopefully. Plenty to do before the poolside beckons.

No comments: