Rather than start with yet another apology for not writing more in the blog, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to, followed by details after the jump.
1) writing a story for Seasons of War
2) making a new Bookshelf Doctors comic strip every week
3) trying my hand at standup comedy (!)
I have been a bad, bad blogger and have not updated this site in quite some time. There are reasons for that, from mundane things like work, life and more work, to interesting projects that have demanded all my attention. These projects are as follows!
I wrote a story called “Crowsnest Past” for Seasons of War, the unofficial War Doctor anthology due out early next year. It’s got a “young” War Doctor, rural Canada, homicidal robopeople and shotgunning of beer. What more do you want? How about many more stories by incredibly talented writers, all of them devoting their time to a good cause. A big shout out to writer and gentleman Declan May, who has ably shepherded the anthology into its present state and deserves buckets of praise for his tireless work.
The cause in question is the Cauldwell Children, which helps out families of autistic children as well as the kids themselves. The anthology has to date raised over 3,00o pounds, and all of it goes to the charity.
I also wrote a story that appears in Dark Tales from Elder Regions: New York, an anthology of ghoulish and ghastly horror tales set in NYC. My story, “The None Percent,” tackles the thorny problem of what an ultra-wealthy Wall Street magnate does with himself once he’s shuffled off this mortal coil, and all that’s left is his coal-black soul. You can pick up Dark Tales from Elder Regions up now from Amazon or directly from Myth Ink Books.
What else? Well, work continues on Bookshelf Doctors and Master Control, my ode to days gone by in the televisual trade (which is also hosted on the Bookshelf Doctors site). And I have a few more irons in the fire, which I will discuss when they go from “warming up” to “oww, that’s scorching.”
Confession time: I was an anime fan in the early 90s. Back then it was tough to find anime, and watching the stuff was difficult, with 4th generation fansubbed VHS tapes regarded as a major find. Anime was a predominantly male (and Asian) hobby at the time, something that has massively shifted over the last two decades.
I’ve been plowing through more books of late, scattered across various genres. I’ve made a point of not only bathing in scifi but dipping into different genres that up until now I haven’t tried. My method is simple: when an author of note is mentioned offhand in a podcast as someone worth checking out, I make a point of seeking out a sample of their work. This month, the author in question is Raymond Chandler, and the book is “The Big Sleep.”
Wrote a new chapter for Head Cases, my Doctor Who/Star Wars crossover fanfic (aka hijinks-filled megatrolling)! You can read Episode 2 here, or start from the beginning here!
About a year ago, I and my compatriots at Radio Free Skaro were guests at Westercon 66, a science fiction convention held in Sacramento. Westercon and a variety of other “pure” scifi cons tend to skew a little older and more towards things literary rather than out-and-out fandom. That’s obviously not a hard and fast rule, given that I was down there as part of a fan podcast focused on Doctor Who, but it is a noticeable difference from events like Gallifrey or San Diego Comic Con.
The upside of the literary bent of Westercon was that the dealer’s room was filled with books, many of them astonishingly cheap. I bought something like thirty paperbacks for around thirty dollars, and I was able to grab many of the sci-fi and fantasy books (classic and otherwise) that I’d missed as a youth.
I wrote a short story a couple of months ago as an attempt to get into an anthology of Canadian post-apocalyptic fiction. They ended up passing on it, so I’m posting it here for you to read and criticize/comment on. I’m also using the Wattpad embed widget thingy, so if there’s a way to rate it on there or otherwise interact, please do so.
Recently I’ve posted about getting out of making videos and moving more towards writing. Since then I’ve been doing a bunch of writing (you may have seen a couple of whimsical fanfics) but in the warm-up to the Radio Free Skaro live show at Gallifrey One, I put together this little number:
It got such a good response, with people cheering and laughing in the audience and Doctor Who fans saying such nice things about it online, that it’s encouraged me to rethink my previous trepidation towards filmmaking.
But it’s important to note that filmmaking will not be the dominant thing I do. I think the best approach is to tackle creative work in as many mediums as possible; comics, prose, film and audio. Not only will I learn more but it’ll expose my work, for better or for worse, to a wider array of people.
I would like to thank everyone who emailed or commented on how much they liked the video. It really means a lot.
P.S. I can’t take all the credit. The opening “Thames” ident was the work of Mel Siermaczeski.
Thanks to encouragement and support from both fellow fans and other writerly types such as J.M. Frey and Deb Stanish, I’ve kept at it with the fan fiction scribblin’. My newest is Head Cases – Episode 1, a bit of cranial nonsense involving Handles, Davros, the brain of Morbius and a few surprises.
I’m also working on a couple of short screenplays and an original horror-themed short story…and a comic book script and some other ephemera. In other words, I’m keeping busy.
Since I have a day job and occasionally freelance video work on my plate, I have to carve out time for writing, as every writer does. My routine for the foreseeable future is heading home from work, hitting the gym in my building and writing for an hour or two before bed. Glamorous? No. But it does mean I’ll be Getting Things Done.
And speaking of getting things done, in a few days I’ll be heading off to Hawaii for a week to cover a conference for work. I’ll likely be way too tired after a day of blogging, tweeting and shooting video to get any writing done…which is why I intend to spend most of the flight to Maui glued to my new Macbook Air.
After Hawaii, I’m heading to Gallifrey One, the biggest and best Doctor Who convention in North America. I’ll (despite a chronic lack of sleep thanks to a red-eye flight) be one of the three hosts, along withe the mighty Steven Schapansky and Chris Burgess opening the convention with the Radio Free Skaro: Gallifrey Stands live show (technical direction by Chip, the Two Minute Time Lord), followed by a weekend of friends, nerdery and probably a little booze. Then it’s back home to Vancouver and another marathon session of coverage for a big conference in town.
Phew! February is going to be mighty busy. Wish me luck.