Some creative update news today

Shocking The Donkeys, my (co-written) screenplay, is heading for the London Greek Film Festival as you may know. We entered this for the screenplay competition after Anne Zouroudi suggested it to me; I’d not thought of doing that before. [caption id="attachment_12980" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Random Neil Gosling images today[/caption] It looks like it’s one of the oldest screenplays in the competition, having been written in 2011, but that should make no difference to its chances. It also looks like the scripts get voted on by members of the Greek Film Lovers Club, but to join that you have to sign up for a year and pay. So I'm not asking anyone to do that, it would seem unfair if fiends and family voted as the script with most votes wouldn’t necessarily be the best one, simply the one belonging to people with lots of extended family. So, the script will stand on its own merits. There will be a synopsis and more information about it at the Festival website soon, they tell me. Meanwhile the programme of events has been announced on their site. [caption id="attachment_12981" align="alignright" width="198"]Symi Greece photos Ruin with a view[/caption] I had a reply from a publisher who had asked to see the first three chapters of ‘The Judas Inheritance’. They have now asked to see the whole manuscript, so I need to prepare that. I am a bit sceptical about this particular publisher and won't name them. They have a two-tier system. They publish in the traditional way, small advance or no advance, and you get a percentage of sales etc. And they also ‘vanity’ publish, which is something I won’t do. I suspect they will um and ah over the MS and then write and say they’d love to publish it if I will send them £750 or something, in which case I will say thank you but no thank you, I've already got it for sale at no cost to me. And while that’s going on I think I might have found a course that would suit me. I was looking for an MA as you know, but that’s too expensive for me, even if I did get accepted. But I have found a course through the Writer’s Workshop that says it’s more of a mentoring setup; work with a published author on writing a novel, take as long as you need, within reason, and pay in stages, completing the course when you have a publisher ready novel completed. I’ll be looking into this a bit more over the coming weeks as I save up. [caption id="attachment_12982" align="alignleft" width="253"]Symi Greece photos No idea what this is (oh, I just worked it out. Click to enlarge.)[/caption] The other thing I have been working on, ‘Lonely House’, is still being checked by my editor friend in the UK while I am still sending out letters to agents about it, though I've only written to three so far, none of whom have replied as yet. And as for the film, ‘The Judas Curse’, I have seen the first three minutes of edited and sound-edited footage and it’s looking very good. It’s going to take a while for them to complete it of course, but it should look great in the end. And that’s my current creative news. In the real world, work at the shop continues, the sale is still on, Neil has had nice numbers on his photo walks recently and they are carrying on too, bar work continues and it’s proving hard to get away from it at times, after work I mean, so it’s a case of ‘must try harder’ which I am doing. Let me see, I think that’s it… the cat is okay, the bedroom window still has not been fixed (landlord’s responsibility) but it’s only been five months since he saw it, the ground cover plant thing in the garden has taken off, there’s lots of drilling and banging going on over at Vila Hani and the neighbour’s son has become fixated on 1980’s Rock music, but I can put up with that. It’s all Guns N’ Roses (shooting season has just started) and Bon Jovi at the moment, but I can cope, I'm a Survivor.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

Wine night countdown, our Symi news

We are on a bit of a countdown now, there are only four more wine nights to go until we have our last one, which will be on October 13th weather permitting. Monday nights’ was an excellent one, as they tend to be, with around 40 to 50 people coming down to have a browse, a buy, a drink and a chat. The photos today were taken by Allan. [caption id="attachment_12974" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson) Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson)[/caption] So, a lot of people have been asking, ‘What are you going to do when you close the shop?’ And really they should be asking Neil because I will carry on carrying on doing what I do when I carry on doing my stuff: writing, bar work, more writing. Neil on the other hand will be looking for something to do, but there’s no rush to find it just yet. We’re going to bring things back from the shop and make an office/den/lair upstairs in the moussandra so he can work from there. But all in good time. It’s not the end of the season yet. [caption id="attachment_12975" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson) Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson)[/caption] No sir, in fact it is currently busy season, at least it is at the bar where I had my first real panic, ever, yesterday. Some of the local guys were there when I arrived, as they often are, and they were drinking bottles of beer. When the time came for the next order I started ringing the items into the till, fine. We use a code so you put in, for example, 22 for a large beer, 21 for a small, and so on. Well, I don’t often serve this particular bottled beer so I looked up the code, 19, and tapped it in, then, luckily I checked the display on the till to make sure I’d done it correctly. It read something like: Small beer, 2.50, Ouisky 3.50, Xeiniken 333,250…. What?! Mild panic. Call for Stathis to help me find the cancel button… No can do. Look in instruction manual… No help. Phone Jenine… Jenine pops up, finds cancel, it cancels the Ouiski (Whisky, there’s no W in Greek) but not the incredibly expensive Xeiniken (Heiniken, to use the character H would come out at Ieiniken or something). What to do? I don’t want to trouble Yianni during his siesta, and I can't leave the thing un-rung as I need to ‘cut’ the receipt. So I think, ‘oh well, I put in the correct code,’ (checks code, yes I was right) ‘so if the machine has been incorrectly coded that’s not my fault. Yiannis can explain the incredible cost of a bottle of beer.’ And I press Total. [caption id="attachment_12976" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson) Symi Dream wine night (photo by Allan Robinson)[/caption] And all is explained, all is well too, I am pleased to say. The till receipt makes it clear. Whereas the till display is all bunched up, the receipt has a little extra room and reads: Xeiniken 330 cl €2.50 – so that was a great big Phew! And probably the most exciting moment of my bar career this year. And so, after that excitement, what other news? Well, none that I can really think of. We have a quiet week this week (famous last words) after the previous couple of very social weeks. The next big thing to look forward to is a birthday on a boat trip on 28th – meanwhile, I am planning new teeth sometime this week, or I will be when the dentist phones to say the crowns have arrived. And then, I hope, that will be them all sorted for a long while. I am still looking around for a possible learning endeavour for the winter too, some kind of writing course, but have not found anything yet that I can afford, that’s of a suitable level of challenge. And that’s about it for updates today so I’ll potter off and be back tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

Reminiscing about school days, Dracula and things that glow in the dark

You may remember from yesterday that I was wittering on about shopping online and had found a few things ahead of time for… well, you know. Well, while I was rustling around in eBay and Amazon I came across something that I might like for [deleted word], and if that’s not a great big hint then I don’t know what is. [caption id="attachment_12966" align="alignleft" width="300"]Aurora horror model kits The smaller boxes are the originals, the figures are plastic re-casts from Hamley's[/caption] Years and years ago when I was at school, we used to have Wednesday afternoons for ‘hobbies’ as it was called. This meant that we could join a club and do fun stuff, rather than learning anything useful. The payback was Saturday morning when we would have to go and catch up on the learning avoided on the Wednesday afternoon. I still have this great sense of freedom around one o’clock on a Saturday lunchtime, the time I used to get off the bus outside home and know that school was over for the week. Anyway, back to Wednesday (and this has nothing to do with Symi at all, you might have realised by now), one of the clubs I joined was the History club because we used to go out with a couple of masters and visit interesting places like Dover Castle, Dover prison, and many churches, and learn things about history. It's still an interest of mine. [caption id="attachment_12967" align="alignright" width="233"]Symi Greece photos Meanwhile, on Symi, can you spot the creature?[/caption] But the other club I joined was the modelling club. The other, more geeky, boys would make things like Airfix A55100 Supermarine Spitfire MlIA 1:72 Scale, and Airfix A50045 Cutty Sark 1:130 Scale (I cite my brother here who was brilliant at these complicated and time consuming models). I, however, would plump for something far more ‘me.’ The (original) Aurora Horror Model Kits – glow in the dark - which were figures of all your favourite Universal Horror characters. I think over the year I made all of them, which must have cost my parents a bit as there were 12 in total. They stand around 12 inches high and bits of them glow in the dark, like Dracula’s face, the Phantom’s mask and the Witch’s caldron brew. [caption id="attachment_12970" align="alignleft" width="231"]model kit book I just found this book on the subject[/caption] I have started to collect these again, but now the original ones can be very costly, as they are collector’s items. I have an original Mummy and an original Phantom of the Opera, still in their square boxes. I also have the re-issue (1990’s) of the Witch, the Wolfman and Dracula. With some of the original kits now selling for $200 or more, they are the kind of things you collect and never make, though I might one day get hold of a re-issue one (around $30.00) and make that, for old time’s sake. [caption id="attachment_12968" align="alignright" width="198"]Symi Greece photos From one of Neil's photo walks[/caption] The tragedy of the tale is that, a few years after collecting them all, making them all and building sets for them to stand in (I know), my brother was given an air rifle for his birthday and we spent a merry couple of hours shooting the hind legs off the Hunchback, assassinating Frankenstein and taking pot shots at Godzilla’s gonads until nothing remained. Shame on me. And the [deleted word] present I was subtly hinting at earlier? Well, that was over on eBay, and the search term is Aurora monster model kit photo-fridge magnets. (Because I couldn’t assume to hint at an original model kit.)  Not that I am suggesting, dear reader, that you head over there and buy me a [deleted word] gift, it’s far too early for that. But should you happen across an original Aurora Horror Model kit (glow in the dark), do feel free to let me know. (Tomorrow there will be mention of Symi on my blog, perhaps.)
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

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