With Don Booker away to contemplate his 200th blog muse and all being quiet on the election front over the past 24 hours, it's probably a good time to saying what's happening on the writing front.
I have over the past few months looked for competitions dealing with short stories of around 10,000 words. I had little luck finding any.
Then this morning I got an email from the local Arts Council alerting me to such a competition. It's new, but I liked the web site and the reasons behind its founding. So I'm thinking of sending Cripple forward for the craic, after another draft.
I've been lucky enough in recent weeks to find help from someone who looked into my back-to-enterprise allowance I mentioned months ago. Having wrote to the Department on numerous occasions to find out how to appeal - and being totally ignored - it was great to at last find out some answers.
The bad thing is the Department have no record of the application. I was told it was probably denied at a local level - yes - but Department procedure is a follow up in hard copy with details concerning appeal. That did not happen.
I've gone over the head of the person who refused it to me and wrote a letter out-ling what has happened since that. It's a week in the post now. Still no reply.
I have been told that there is a 9 month waiting time on appeals within the department at present. This is sickening - but only one of many services not up to the task because of private sector cut backs and a moratorium on hiring. Health, education employment, debt, accountability (the lack of ) etc, etc.
Talking to a friend the other day he said at some stage I have to put a value on my writing - and giving it away only sets the tone. Perhaps he's right. If one wants to eventually make a living from it. Maybe the chance to really give it a go will come when Oz says , "Right, Come on...'
It's grand anyway. There's not many reading as it is. SEO has been mentioned to me, but it's not affordable. Times suck at the minute.
All my original plans for a Booker's World web series have halted because of actor availability. I wouldn't mind if I didn't hold up things for nearly three months as it is, but that's the game we are in.
After a total re-think I'm working on a few new scripts. Don Booker's musings through the Race for the Áras is catch up time from the end of the Booker's World book to the present day. How times have changed - but Booker will be a better character for it.
Bad times steel you up sometimes. Makes one more prepared to call it as they see it - particularly after the array of red-tape I've had to endure since I first started writing this blog. It's all here - no point mouthing off if you can't back it up, hey? Which gives me an idea...
I'm also working on a feature script which is turning out well. I really would love to get it filmed before Christmas and edit it in Oz. Not much chance of it happening but it let's a bit of light back into the tunnel which had just about closed.
Definitely feel let down on a number of fronts, but it's cleared my head on a lot of things. Don't know why I bother trying to make films, with all the time it takes and all the shit that goes with it. I think a lot of things that go on help to shape my writing these days. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I'm going to cast actors now with little or no screen experience. The script is offbeat - to say the least - but it's the best I've written to date. 5 actors - 2 locations. 10 days should do it. Good DOP, and I think I have something.
I think every damn hick-up once it's gotten over makes you all the more determined to get there. I just want to make Indie films. Making a step-up every time. Learning as you go is a tough school. I guess life's a tough school for everyone right now.
With Steve Jobs dying today, it sort of makes me think of the possibilities that do exist. Jobs came from nothing - his drive stemming from a knowledge that you know what - we're all screwed at the end of the day. No-one gets out alive.
Technology and science can turn things around - and pretty damn quickly if it were let. Unfortunately the tangle at the top figuring out how best to control people has practically left us now at a precipice. With no leadership it doesn't look great.
There's a movement on the move and the media don't cover it fearing contagion, and when that's where we are at with kids dying by second from starvation and wars raging on a number of fronts, it doesn't bode well. Not sure about here in Ireland, but people are sick to death of it everywhere. I don't know what keeps us so quiet to be honest. Would love to be in Manhattan right now. Saw Naomi Klein, the author of Shock Doctrine interviewed on RT the other day. The buzz about the place was something else. When people of her quality approve it makes it easier to choose a side. Passion and truths like this.
I always felt we had a chance in Ireland until this year. But the more that goes on, you know we're screwed in the set-up - and it is that - we find ourselves existing in.
Life seems to short for that.