Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Second Draft

I am currently working on a second draft of my Kiwiniwrimo novel. Mostly it's tidying up typoes and adding in a bit more description (the first draft was very dialogue heavy). There are a few minor changes to help with motivation (like making the main character's father recently redundant, allowing her to have cool film-making toys and long-standing plans to go to film school, but no actual cash-money to see her dream come true), and some relationship background to clarify, but I'm hoping it won't take too long, or indeed be too extensive.

I haven't heard back from Longacre yet, but the next two places on my list to send the manuscript both require a full manuscript (rather than 3 chapters + synopsis) so I need to get it done before I hear back from Longacre either way (either Longacre will want to take a look at the full manuscript, or I'll be sending it elsewhere).

It's nice to have a manuscript which only needs a little tinkering to get it into a shape where I'll be happy to keep sending it off to various publishers. The other novella I wrote several years ago was quite noticeably a first draft, and has never made it to second draft status (I got about half way through redrafting, but it's not especially publish-worthy anyway so my motivation is low). This time I feel it's a much more realistic effort - not an inspired piece of writing necessarily, but at least something written with a clear target audience in mind, and a target market which may suit several NZ publishers (teens/schools).

So, redrafting continues. When I'm done (hopefully before the end of next week) I may see if anyone's keen to have a read, give me further feedback.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Some silly pictures I made

And using a tablet, a messier version:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rome is a great TV show

Debbie and I borrowed Rome from L&S, and watched both seasons in about a week and a half. It's a beautifully shot romp of a TV show that I really, really enjoyed. I am an ignaramus when it comes to Roman history, so there was much suspense in the show for me (moreso than for Debbie), but what made it really stand out was the energetic pace, the excellent acting, and the oddly endearing main characters (the presumably non-historical soldiers Pullo and Verenus). Despite many despicable acts, they were thoroughly awesome main characters and their stories wove through 'history' in a thoroughly engaging way.

It was neat. I recommend it (if violence and full frontal nudity don't offend you - it is an R16).

We also watched Ghost Rider, which was very, very bland. Unimaginatively structured, with some outright plot holes (or at least plot weaknesses), it relied too heavily on its special effects, which were at times not that impressive. The tragedy was the amount of money you could see flashing past you in each shot, but the lack of a well thought out story or good action scenes. Sure, you might have some cool fx shot you want to include in an action scene, but it shouldn't be the only thing happening in the scene, to the detriment of believability.

I'm glad I waited for the DVD to come out, but even then it was only just worth finishing.

A film which we started watching but didn't finish was Bandidas, produced by Robert Rodriguez and starring Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. Despite some big names, it was very bland and unengaging to start with, and by about half an hour in we gave up. Now, I think this film could be a lot of fun if you were playing a drinking game with tequilla - with a drink for every time the bad guys cold-bloodedly gun down a defenceless old man, or the two lead actresses have a cat fight, or they trot out some other Western cliche. Watching this film while hammered may be a lot of fun.

Uh. Jonathan Creek is cool to watch (season one - most of which I hadn't seen). Conchords was neat (and they've apparently been picked up for a second season!). Dresden Files looks like it's going to be cool too.

I like watching TV shows (especially on DVD, when you can binge).

This term is trying to kill me

I have but one day remaining of teaching this term (and about 3 days of marking, and one day of moving my stuff out of my former office into... a nearby space... which is much less nice?).

It is one day too many.

Actually, it is a day during which I'm only teaching half my classes, so there's really no grounds for my complaining other than an acute tiredness that hit me at about 5pm, and has intensified since, save for a slight rise in energy after eating dinner.

Exciting evening plans? Shower, sleep, maybe some marking, more sleep, watch an episode of the Dresden Files...

Oh, that reminds me, I wanted to comment on some stuff I'd watched lately. Time for a separate post!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bloody funny columns

From the Guardian:

Columns by Charlie Brooker, ripping the piss out of TV shows. Most amusing (though somewhat profane). An excerpt (about Jamie Oliver):

I didn't make up my mind until I caught wind of the outpouring of middle-class smug-o-wank surrounding his School Dinners series, which gave despicable 4x4-driving parents something to feel all superior about: they could tut at the McNugget-wolfing pauper kids while simultaneously shovelling chargrilled asparagus and parmesan shavings down their own spoilt shitbag childrens' throats.

Friday, September 14, 2007

13 Year Old Boy Talks About High School Musical

"Why couldn't they have a rampaging shooter at their high school?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ridiculous things to say out loud to oneself

Number 23: "Maybe if I rock out, it will help?"

Not a bad thing to say in and of itself, but in relation to getting through some slightly tedious marking? Pretty ridiculous. Especially when 'rock out' just means 'go get my ipod and listen to music'. I silly.

Monday, September 10, 2007

No Strike This Week

The Ministry negotiators have made sufficient improvements to the original 3 year offer for negotiations to continue without a strike. I don't know that the offer is good enough to be accepted outright, but it's enough of a step in the right direction for the PPTA to call of this week's industrial action.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I draw and colour.

Starting to get to grips with photoshop a leetle. Muchos learning still to do. I did some stuff in Corel Photopaint (version 8, from about 2000?) just because I know how to do stuff zippy-fast in that program. But one day I will be just as zippy-fast with photoshop, only with many more options available.

*resolves to learn more about photoshop*

A quick sketch I did yesterday of a future-paparazi guy.

Moviefest finals

From the moviefest forums:

Thanks to those of you who sent in your creations, it was fun watching them all and it has been noticable that the standard of filmaking is improving. To those who have made it into the finals, congratulations.

We are now in the process of putting the final touches into the arrangements for the Screenings and the Awards Ceremony which will take place in the Genesis Theatre in Upper Hutt on Saturday, 27th October. This theatre is part of Upper Hutts Civic Centre and has around 200 tiered seats.

We will be screening the top twenty movies plus the three winners from last year during the day and the Awards Ceremony will start later in the afternoon. There will be some interesting presentations during the ceremony and it will follow much the same format as last years.

As the details for this are all finalised, we will post them on these forums as well as emailing all the entrants for this years competition.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Moviefest National Finalists = Jenni's Angels

We got into the finals. Yay!

There were no regional heats this year, just a selection of 3 finalists in each category from the national pool. So we did well to get in. Roll on national level judging and awards!