Sunday, 19 August 2012

½

Today, I’m 23 and a half years old exactly. This is also my 300th blog post here, so that’s enough of a reason to celebrate, yes?

These writings are my opinions. I think every human brain is just a pool of opinions, expressed emotionally through their behaviours and subsequent relationships. But opinions are contradictions, too, because we learn and adapt to new things around us. What I believed and knew as the truth yesterday may no longer hold true today, and that’s exciting because it’s unpredictable.

Through my writing, the one motif that surfaces more than any other is that idea of change, and how it presents itself in us.

So, at 23 ½ and with 300 blog posts under my belt, what has changed for me? What opinions no longer carry any weight, and – gasp – do I have any regrets?
I’m going back in time, using the first 299 posts here as a resource.

In bold you’ll find my original thought processes – and underneath them, a 2012 ‘update’ of what crosses my mind now when I think of the subject discussed.
Enjoy the celebration, and evolution.

Last night, after carefully constructing the themes and plots over six long months, my attention turned to something new, something I've been noticing more and more in my work lately, not for its brilliance, but its flaws. I can't write dialogue to save my life. (Six Feet Under, 07/02/2006)

My dialogue is much improved; although I still haven't filmed anything that has conventional dialogue in it. The closest I've come is Jarvis talking to camera in That Resolute Desk (and the end of credits 'bite' - but that can't count, surely?)

I was talking about the Timespotters script here. I don't want to get too heavy on talking about that one, but let's just say that in the six years since I originally hyped it as the next best thing to sliced bread, well... it ain't. I realise that now, just as I acknowledge it's probably not the best thing that I writer as junior as me uses such hype... on such drivel!

Anyway, I've already wrote one new issue of Assassin, the first issue in the eight part 'third series'. The title is called "Civil War" and I hope to have a short extract from it online soon. It concerns a military government dealing with the possibility of a civil war, and things are about to get very messy for everyone concerned. In linear fashion, I write one Assassin, then one Darkened Avenue, then another Assassin, etc. So my attention has now turned to Darkened Avenue issue 24, my first new issue since January 2005! The title is called "Descent" and it's a clever re-invention of the series so that new readers won't be left bewildered. As ever, I'll post an extract online in due time. (New Additions, or "At Last An Update!"  04/05/2006)

I'm still working on that third volume of Assassin! I've written roughly one every year since 2006 - with just the last issue of the series to write now. One day (probably 2013!).

Also, I never did post that extract.

Or maybe not. Because come August/September there's also two other theatre projects that I'm thinking of entering. One takes place at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, and the other at the Manchester Palace Opera House. Naturally I'll have to audition for both, but if I manage to get a place in both it'll mean that I'll be tackling three drama plays at once! Phew! (My Own Personal Crystal Ball, 17/05/2006)

I never did audition for either theatre jobs. A shame, as I miss acting terribly.

And that's why I've decided: that was my last family holiday. Next time I go away, I'm doing it on my own, cos I'm a big boy now. It's about time I stopped living in the shadow of my parents, and went out there myself and did a bit of exploring, because that way I will be doing stuff that's personal to myself - and nobody can take those experiences away from me. (Holiday Showdown, 31/06/2006)
I went on another family holiday in 2007, and 2008.

I still haven't been away 'on my own'.

My step-mum's best friends make a great couple (despite a 20 year old age gap). (The More Things Change, 12/08/2006)

He dumped her, and ran away with a teenage prostitute from Bangkok. As you do.

I have a philsophy. I developed it this evening, whilst dusting my room, and wishing I'd done it earlier. If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing now. Otherwise all those troubles you think you've put behind you, or those troubles you're running away from... well lets just say they'll come back doubly as strong looking for you. (The Evil That Is Dust, 15/02/2007)

I think that philosophy stuck for, ooh, about five minutes. Then typical lazy-writer syndrome embedded itself firmly in my mind.

To mark the occassion I did try and celebrate by growing myself a neat little beard - but my facial hair has never really lived up to expectations, and once again the beard failed to materialise. All I ended up with was a little fluff on my chin and cheeks. Honestly, any male reading this right now who has got a full face of hair I've got one thing to say to you - lucky bastard! I feel so de-masculated through my lack of face fluff. I could cry, but I'm too much of a girl. (Holiday 1, Beard 0 - 11/08/2007)

I have a full beard now. Rejoice!

Freed from the restraints of a God figure, we can truly have human free will. The choices we make won't reflect religious laws, just our own conscience. We can be a real race of people; not just sheep who follow the shepard of God. (Me & Religion, 23/10/2007)

My views on religion are vast. At the same time, pretty simple but ultimately complex. I agree with much of this post, even if this isn't how I'd word the argument today. Does religion make the masses sheep? I don't know. Would we be better off without religion? Again, I don't know. I think there is a place for profound faith in this world. I don't believe, and that's fine. What I don't agree with is others who attack people who don't share their same beliefs. That's unforgivable. The rest of the faith sharing world? As long as they let me be, I suppose it's fair I let them be.

The whole Generation Porn article (11/11/2007)

Oh, please.

On the subject of father figures:
The other person I'd credit as a father type figure was only in my life for 18ish months. His name was John and he was the dad of my ex-girlfriend, Katie O'Donnell. Throughout my eighteen months with Kate, John taught me a lot of respectability, and a greater appreciation for those around. We never really spoke much, but I still saw the world through his eyes, because he'd raised such a fantastic daughter in Katie. She was the greatest tribute that John could ever lay claim to. And I thank him for piecing together such a warm and inviting family. It's just a shame that I don't have the opportunity to talk to John anymore. (Go Father Figure, 3/12/2007)

He may well have been regarded as a father figure to meback in 2007, but I don't hold the guy in that regard anymore. Nah. At a push I'd see my Deputy GM Shaughn or AM Darryl as the closest I have to a replacement. There's still my actual Dad, and Step-Dad of course. Since the move to London, they both matter even more, because my time with both is so slight now.

With regards to Honey Sweet Honey (a discussion on what attracts me in girls, written 4/12/2007) I'd add that shy girls are immensely attractive, and red heads. Girls who are good with kids too. I'm undecided if I prefer southern or northern lasses. Hmm.

This is out of date now - maybe I'll get around to writing an update eventually - Versions of Me (08/12/2007)

My days are not like this anymore! Untitled day (written 08/12/2012)

In direct contrast, I'm pretty much guarenteed a spot on radio. Over the past few months I've been trying to put together a radio drama for Bolton FM - a new station that launches in the North West June 21st. Well, this week I had a pitch meeting with the station manager Kevan Williams and two of his lovely assistants. Kevan seemed very enthusiastic about the project and what I have planned and encouraged me to write and produce a pilot episode, with an eye to having a full time radio soap running from the station launch this summer. It helped that the university's facilities were, in his opinion, better than his own station's (and he wanted the opportunity to use them...) but I like to think... no, I know that what I pitched impressed him enough to agree to have me onboard the team. (Easter Delights, April 2009)

The Blaze never came to anything. University messed me and the concept around, until I didn't care anymore, and the show wasn't workable. A shame; it had the potential to be my first 'breakout'.

My family have gone on holiday, so over the course of the next seven days I have the house to myself. Now, I've known they'd be going away for many months now, but nothing prepared me for when the moment actually came. I just sat there, having come home late from work, in the middle of an empty house, completely alone. Worst thing is, I felt it - the lonliness, that is. (Home Alone, 26/07/2009)

I use to the feeling now, of course. It doesn't get any easier knowing just how lonely your life has become, but eventually you accept it. What's interesting about this blog entry is how it's a precursor for what my life became in London, during October 2010.

Got a call from work, asking if I could come in tonight - even though it's supposed to be a night off. I don't mind. Firstly, they've cut my hours of late, so I could do with some bonus pay to boost the pay packet. Oh, and secondly, I actually do miss the place when I'm not there. Well, it's the people I miss the most really. A cinema is such a great social venue. Honest to God, it's the only time I ever properly socialise. Forget university or nights out; I'm pretending then. No, at work I have friends and every single one of them means something to me. (Appallingly Inspired, 27/08/2012)

Working in London is different. I'm not pretending AT work, that I'm professional, and that the people there cannot be my friends. It's a complete role reversal on what came before.

Me and Edward go way back - you see, he first emailed me in 2006 to ask me to remove some spoilers on TORCHWOOD.tv that I'd put up, relating to the ending of the first season's opening episode. I felt his email was a little rude and condenscending, and emailed back telling him this. He didn't take it well; plus, I refused to take the moaned about spoilers down. Can safely say, after that we were never destined to be BFFs. (The Saturday/Sunday Life, 30/08/2009)

He wasn't rude at all; just a professional. This demonstrates perfectly how immature I was, still.

These different sides of me are the faces I wear every day. I have many more, that have been stored away in my subconscious because they're not needed right now - like the caring boyfriend I played a couple of times before in my life, or any other number of personalities that don't mesh with the life I'm living right now. (All Hail the Great Pretender, 23/09/2009)

I don't think I do pretend anymore. I think I just get on with things. Maybe it's because I'm away from home, or that work is so busy? Maybe I just don't care. Generally what you see now is what you get. People maybe perceive me differently now (see my recent "Clever Clogs?" post) but that's hardly my fault. The mask is off.

My lecturer Justin, who's not only a funny (Canadian) guy, but he's very clever too and I respect any opinion he might have about film. You don't know what it's like - well, mostly a relief really - to FINALLY have a film tutor again like that. First couple of years here at uni, I couldn't give a toss what my overly opinionated lecturers had to say. Justin's different. He's a nice guy and very down to Earth... and knows how to use potential he might see. Also, Canadian. His accent? We all love it! (or any answer giving in this Q&A: Jack Porter -- Question Master, 21/10/2009)

I may have written this at the time, but further experiences of the man (and added hindsight) makes me think that, actually... I didn't like him. All that bigging up I gave him? Ignore it. I'm choosing too, even though I can't quite put my finger on why.

I want to think about the scavenger hunt in 10/20 years and be able to smile. (Predators & Prey, 24/11/2009)

Why wait 10 years? I already look back, as do plenty of others, and think fondly of this staff event. Infact, I'm currently organising the FOURTH scavenger hunt, to take place early September this year!

***

Reading these back, it's fairly evident that the biggest change of all has been my writing style. Some of those original posts from 2006/2007 are dreadful; oh God, I pity my old friend Paul Robinson who sat reading them everyday, and often commented. If he only knew 'me' know.

Despite that, I still want to say something from the bottom of my heart:

Thanks to everybody who's taken the time to read this blog over the past 6 years and 300 posts.

Timespotters/House of Garnon/A Life of Cliche.

Here's to the next 300; another revolution.
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