Sunday, 30 October 2011

Blog - "The Philosophy Of Transformers"

Hello dear readers,

Today has been rather monotonous, and so, when a random current thought struck me as odd, I decided to delve into it. The question is quite simple.

Would you class Transformers as alive?

Consider, if you will, the nature of life, as philosophy states. The concept of "I think therefore I am" is surely an outdated one in the light of such wondrous thinkers as Orwell and Cameron; modern day philosophers who gave us 1984 and The Terminator respectively. People have been arguing it for years: whether life is, in fact, reality or just some strange expression of somebody else's laugh at our expense. The ideas of back and forth dreams are a constant, but, be that aside, surely everybody believes in some form of definition as to what constitutes life.

The Transformers, as I'm sure most if not all of you know by now, are entirely mechanoid in design, with no organic component present in their make-up. Their DNA is Hexidecimal code. Their memories are log files. Does this make their artificial intelligence any less potent than our own? Surely, with their access to a central server hub of shared information (Trans-WiFi, if you will) would grant them far greater knowledge and awareness of their fellow man.

Erm, bot.

So that's the question I've been wrestling with for about four minutes, and making no headway on. 'Are Transformers alive' is, in my mind, a much better question that 'are we alive' since that shit never ends.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Blog - "The Vanishing Act"

A couple of people have noticed my general lack of activity lately, and I'd just like to apologise for that. Thankfully, my time away has only served to make me more opinionated than ever. In no way have I ran out of things to say.

A collapsed fire escape (high five for health and safety right there) resulted in my being told very politely to vacate the premises. My landlord was very apologetic, but fire safety being what it is, his choices were limited and I don't blame him at all.

Now, about a week before this happened, a girl moved on to my floor. I say girl rather than woman for reasons of petulance which will later become apparent. There was some history of sexual and physical abuse, but out of respect I won't delve any deeper into that.

I gave her somewhere to stay and agreed to find a new place with her rather than by myself. Having recognised the symptoms of her condition, I wanted to help.

She and her gigantic German Shepherd, Shadow, have been staying with me in my interim location for over a month now. She decided to add another flatmate. I accepted this as her needing a wider support network. She pressures me for bank statements, then she fails the credit check. She pressures me for references, then can't get a Guarantor to cover herself. She refuses to tell potential landlords that she has a pet, or smokes, or is a student, et cetera. Her casual denial of anything that might risk out future location is incredible. Then, of course, she fucks off for sixteen hours a day and leaves me with the dog without as much as a warning.

The final straw was, and this does make me laugh, paperwork. As I was preparing an Internal Tenancy Agreement to cover things like pets, rent and cleaning, she first refused to sign anything, then refused to believe that it could possibly be made legally binding. When I assured her otherwise, she called me a liar. I did not enjoy that.

Sometimes, when you look for the good in people, it simply isn't there. She's gone now. A week ago, I would have been worried. Now though, I simply feel much, much better.

Inside me, in some dark place, there's a happy person who, after two months of stress and work, is finally starting to wake up.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Blog - "Successful Failures

So, I've decided what my next column series will be based on. I'm going to do 'Successful Failures In Marketing'.

This might sound oxymoronic, and that's the point in a way, but in another way it isn't. While you have some wonderful failures in music that ended up being marketing wonders (anything Axl Rose does tends to make Slash look absolutely fantastic, as an example), it's also very easy to take this consideration away from music. Perhaps the most infamously successful marketing failure would be Paris Hilton and her fabled sex tape, which made a dull, sad, selfish, whiny bitch a minor celebrity that the world could very much do without.

Box office flops often become infamous in their own way. Firefly, a series cancelled for increasingly poor ratings, has become a cult hit. An ancient and inherently flawed programme named 'The Prisoner' was recently re-made with Ian McKellen. In addition, any footballer constantly in the newspapers will earn noteriety. Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard have both features in sex tapes of their own, and Lampard's one of the good ones (comparitively). Wayne Rooney wore shoes that weren't made by his new sponsors, and thus he was plastered all over the front pages, earning a lot of attention for both the old sponsors and the new ones.

Music is admittedly still supposed to be my focus, but I'm not exactly where I was when I started Marketing Methods. I'm having more trouble thinking up musically related concepts for it. I can likely write seven hundred words on The Who, and Jimi Hendrix. I'm also considering conversing over certain rumours that surround Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. You know the ones. Everybody knows the ones. (If you don't know the ones, please Google the ones, as I think everybody should know the ones)

Then there's the Wii: a stupid name that propelled the console to becoming the single highest selling gaming platform to have ever existed. I mean, come on, it's called the Wii. You know, like wee.

To finish, I might make mention of Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson's (Almost Famous definitely being my favourite film of hers) newborn child: Bing. That's got to be a piece of genius somewhere down the line.

It has to be, right?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Blog - "A Drastic Change"

There is a rather big thing about to happen on Monday; something that I am very nervous about. For the first time in seven years, I am about to have short hair.

Now, for a lot of people, I wouldn't imagine that this is a big deal, but, for me, it is. My long hair has been one of my defining features. Before I had long, black hair, I also didn't have a partner. The hair has done wonders for my popularity and has made me a wonderfully distinct character. At this point though, I'm a little bored of it. Seven years is a long time.

My inspiration for the cut style is a rather generic one. I'm hopefully going to be getting some pictures done then and there as well. I am a little worried, but with all of the additional effort I've been making on my appearance, I do feel that the laziness required to have hair like I do is no longer about. I originally decided to grow my hair purely because I was sick of having short hair. Now, after many years of it being part and parcel Tom Colohue, to the point where it was the first thing in the lead up to the name change, it's time to put it to rest.

That said, I'm still a bit scared it might not go right. More often than not, mirrors are not my friend but, sometimes, I quite like it. What if it goes wrong?

Little scared.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Blog - "There Was A Boy"

Hello good readers,

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, but now I have a laptop again, and a lot of work to be getting caught up on. I've been working on Disbelief again, which has been a long time coming, and I'm in the revisions section now. Progress is slow, but we are getting there.

A couple of exciting things have been happening in my life recently. One of my interviewees, Alex Hulme, if anybody should remember the name, launched an EP called 'There Was A Boy'. He sent me an e-mail about it, sent me a copy (two copies in fact) and a signature (which is important to me these days). There were several launch parties planned, and I received an invite to the first one at The Pickerings Hotel in Garstang, near Preston.

I expected about a hundred people to be there, in a moderately busy hall. In the end, the number was closer to three hundred, and the place was packed. Upon walking in I thought, "I'm glad I brought company, there's no chance I'll be able to spend time with Alex or his record execs like this." As it turned out, I was wrong. Alex set time aside for me, and even bought me a drink. The old Tommyfest feeling of welcome came back strong, and being surrounded by artists and gifted performers reminded me of my time at The Dukes.

Put simply, I was in my element, exactly where I wanted to be in life.

I'm now writing a review, which will be released as soon as it's ready for the people here, on Ultimate-Guitar, on the Cityscape Records website and as far as they can get it too. I would advise anybody with the opportunity to experience at least one evening of Alex Hulme, before he gets so big that the chance is gone forever.

Believe me, that will happen.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Blog - "Single Season"

You know, it seems sort of like this is the season to be single. I've been single for a while, so I can't claim to have been affected too directly, but people around me just seem to be falling apart.

Obviously, I can't supply particular names, tales or details, but suffice it to say that things are really starting to fuck themselves up for some close friends of mine. It's a typical sort of relationship implosion, but it's suddenly happening everywhere. The inevitable decay of life abruptly, an without warning, steps it up a beat. It's rather disconcerting overall.

Now, don't be too surprised if I choose to remain a pessimist; I've never much been one for sharing, or relying on other people. That said, it makes me hopeful that other people can manage to survive making the compromises and submissions ever apparent in the early months of a new relationship. Just because I can't handle it myself, doesn't mean it's not worthy of a little admiration.

I'm told that, after a certain amount of utterly failed relationships, you're pretty much supposed to lose all faith that there's a future for you, but, for me, I had the pleasure of having that idea proven wrong. I was granted the privilege or watching love flourish before my eyes. Yes, my own relationships have failed, but while other thrive, I have faith.

So please, people around me, find a way past your differences. Stop being selfish; think about me.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review - "The Mad Man's Box"

So, this weeks episode of Doctor Who was a bit of a nostalgia trip, though in a backwards sort of way, which managed to make a lie out of everything Russell T. Davies wrote about The Doctor being lonely and yet, still, managed to completely eclipse Steven Moffat.

While The Doctor's generally renewed Colin Baker-ness is in full swing, and he lets another creature find its way to death in this episode, the audience were treated to a far more important piece of characterisation: the TARDIS, in human form.

The set, as usual much darker than those in previous series', was a scrapyard this week, containing broken bits of TARDIS and, chameleon circuits in a state of full repair, less recognisable broken bits of TARDIS. The characters of Auntie and Uncle were strangely likeable, despite there being very little time with them.

Amy and Rory, in this episode, largely seemed there as an afterthought. It seems to me as though the writer, Neil Gaiman, was not altogether interested in them, but they did serve to add the right amount of additional peril. When trapped together, their minds being played with, Rory in particular is forgotten because he's not actually targeted by any of House's tricks. He might be in Amy's head, but Rory just keeps running.

The interior of the TARDIS was a perfect throwback to previous generations. This surprised me, considering how Moffat has chosen to re-invent the Doctor as a much more America-friendly character of late. When hearing that we, the audience, were being taken to a previous control room, I was quite excited. However, I'll admit to being a little disappointed with the control room that they chose.

Nephew, the Ood, seemed like a one-trick pony. His job could have quite easily been taken up by a dodgy radio, and he adds little peril to the dying moments in the TARDIS. House himself, though obviously capable of causing great harm, had an entirely monotone voice, which ruined the 'fear me' line for me personally. The Doctor himself had no power in his voice for his rebuttal, and the music barely emphasised the moment.

Now, dialogue, and here, I think, we're onto a winner. We had a bit of a false start. (I don't know why Moffat insists on almost all scripts containing 'basically, run' in them) Thankfully, after our dear TARDIS and Suranne Jones appeared on the picture, that all changed. ("Biting's like kissing, but with a winner," "I stole a Time Lord and ran off" etc.) Not only did her presence encourage The Doctor to become more like The Doctor than he's been since the Big Bang Two, but it also earned similar responses from the other characters. (Amy: "Did you wish really hard?")

I will compliment Suranne Jones most certainly. Everything from her accent, through posture, to her grace made her much more interesting than any role I've seen her in previously. Portraying the TARDIS itself must be increasingly daunting, but she rose to the challenge spectacularly.

That said, this is a woman who is capable of matching the Doctor's wit and intelligence because she's a technological device that's been with him for seven hundred years, and she couldn't last long. She was a character. River Song remains a complete Mary-Sue.

Finally, the 'soap-bubble' theory actually checks out quite well, annoyingly.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Blog - "Monty Python"

Monty Python's Flying Circus is, in fact, a comedy sketch show that has few to no recurring characters at all, and yet it's one of those programmes that draws me in the strongest.

Over the years, many secrets have emerged concerning the lives and lifestyles of the six original members of Monty Python. Some of them come out of the blue, while some of them are no surprise to anybody. Being able to look back on the lives that these people led previously is impossible, but art does have a wonderful way of imitating art.

A perfect example of the truth emerging is a Michael Palin moment, where a mention of The Spanish Inquisition, long after this particular sketch had been played out, confronts him with the giggles.

Another is any number of Palin and Cleese sketches when the two of them were on stage. They did absolutely everything in their power to put each other off and make it as difficult as possible to perform, with Palin often coming up short under the immense comedic presence of John Cleese.

In the films, and the series, tricks come out via preferences. Eric Idle is the one most often called on to impersonate a female because the others believed him the most attractive when donning female dress. This might also be something to do with the fact that the rest of them, when in long dresses and push-up bras, often wore fake moustaches. Idle's own sketches mostly involved either a lot of talking or singing, and singing is the path that he eventually pursued.

Palin and Jones seemed at their best when writing sketches involving outdoor travel, such as the entire episode dedicated to Palin's 'Mr. Pither' travelling on a bike tour. Palin now makes a living travelling around the world.

Graham Chapman, arguably the best actor of the six, is, unfortunately, no longer with us. As everybody in the world is sure he would have wanted, John Cleese ensured that his entire funeral ended up roaring with laughter. How often do you see that?

Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to get them all in the same room together. However, at the time, these men were inseperable, and it shows in their obvious devotion and respect to and for each other.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Blog - "Doctor Who?"

I'd just like to ask who on Earth that was masquerading as The Doctor in the most recent episode of Doctor Who?
Now, to start from the beginning.

In this last episode, The Day Of The Moon, Doctor Who, a character of over nine hundred years, completely changed before our very eyes. Let me explain how.

The Doctor, as it were, has a strong character foundation that follows certain rules, and strives to uphold certain concepts above all else. For example, Martha Jones once asked Davros to surrender in the firm belief that The Doctor would always ensure that whatever opponent he faces was given the opportunity to leave by its own merit before he ever considered violence. He abhored violence in fact and consistently attempted to instil this virtue in his companions.

There were moments when this broke, but he was so proud of his companions for saving him from himself.

In this episode, he specifically encouraged the entire human race to commit murder from 1969 until the end of the universe. That includes every man, woman and child. Not only that, but he encouraged absolute genocide. Not even the Daleks, his greatest enemy, have taken him to that point.

Also, he was impressed at River's ability to kill his opponents, encouraging more violence there instead of bothering with rational thought. This gets worse when you realise that, using his screwdriver (a tool for repairs) to attack.

This is never something that The Doctor, as he has been since his first incarnation, has been happy to do. Tennant's Doctor was completely depressed to see anybody fighting for him and killing in his name. Smith's has already offered to help a race of people, be it fish people, that tried to destroy an entire city and their population. In order to avoid any chance of genocide, he offered whatever help he could give, despite any misgivings.

What's the answer then? His reasonings? Simple. This episode was designed for a false American stereotype. It was Doctor Who, but designed to appeal to what a Scottish writer believes an American audience to want. It was predictable, it continually labelled the President the most powerful man on Earth (which the Doctor would never admit was anybody other than himself) and it gave several far too obvious answers to the key questions that people actually tuned in to learn about.

This was not inventive, and it was not even an episode of Doctor Who, because it didn't star the Doctor. It just starred somebody in his skin.

The fans, and those who firmly believe that this is one of the greatest English exports since Monty Python, should be insulted.

Blog - "Digimon"

So far, I've detailed two rather intellectual programmes, if I do say so myself. Six Feet Under and Bones are both about exploring the human condition, and I plan to continue that theme, in a way. My next programme though, is a little different.

Some of the most popular films, television shows and stories revolve around the infamous 'coming of age' story, and this is most often told to those younger than the people coming of age themselves. With that in mind, let's have a look at the first season of Digimon: Digital Monsters.

Digimon follows the story of seven children, who become eight later during the story, who find a gate to the Digital World. In the Digital World, digital data, such as that transferred over the internet, evolves and gains a life of its own, as information often does. The children interpret this world using ideas and memories that they are familiar with, such as snowmen, dogs and dinosaurs, as well as a monkey Elvis impersonator.

The most obvious and remarkable thing about Digimon is how obviously rooted it is in science. It holds up to close scrutiny very well, after a little examination. Much like Silent Hill, the world is prone to interpretation, while the science behind the digital constructs is quite solid. It won't be foolproof at all, but there are plenty of lessons there.

Then, we have the characters, and this is what is truly impressive. Each of the main characters have clear and defined character traits and abilities. Their arguments are caused by their differing personalities, and the psychology behind their reactions is entirely plausable. This isn't Pokémon, where you have one entirely flat character and then a pervert and a girl. These are believable characters where you can find parallels.

The two lead characters of Tai and Matt, for example, and two very different personalities. While Tai, the natural leader, shows clear optimism, guides using a courageous example and goes into every fight ahead of everybody else, Matt is the opposite. He encourages people to play to their strengths, is more of a realist and fights mainly as a supporting offensive. Their digital monsters are, in fact, a solitary balancing figure in their lives. Tai's is just as courageous, strong and eager to battle. Matt's is primarily just a friend to him, since his honest and somewhat pessimistic character often makes him difficult to get along with. The truth is that all leaders need this counter-balance.

The coming of age part is very well done due to how the group dynamic develops. At first, they all show similarities, hold together as strongly as possible and all is very obvious and clear in their development. When split up, the reality comes out, and, depending on the people that they're with, certain characters move to compensate, while others do not.

There does come a point where you realise, quite suddenly, that everybody's own story has developed right under your nose, and they're all going off in their own way to pursue it.

It's quite an emotional finale too. Like a lot of stories of a similar ilk, such as Dragonball Z, you have a bad guy, then another bad guy, then another bad guy. Ultimately, this is supposed to be the most interesting stuff. It doesn't work that way though. The different characters traits will offer you a parallel, and you get drawn in.

For me, of course, it's Matt. I love him.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Blog - "Bones"

Next up on my list of Friday favourites: Bones.

I should likely start with the similars.

CSI, in all of it's incarnations, bores me. Law and Order, in all of it's incarnations, bores me. NCIS, in all of it's incarnations, bores me.

Bones does not, despite the remarkable strand of similarities between them. I'll tell you why; the characters.

The two main characters, portrayed by Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, are best described as both sides of the human coin/condition. One is more rational, one more passionate. I've always found myself admiring the way that Deschanel's character views the world. The utter simplicity of her reasoning, and the meaning behind each and every thought and action. She can be entirely devoid of aggression or religious input, yet still retain her own personal impetus. It's thrilling to see such a character shown as anything other than 'wrong'.

The bad guys, as well, play a part in dividing this show from the rest. The Gravedigger, as an example, is a criminal who chooses to kidnap people, bury them alive, then demand a ransom in exchange for GPS co-ordinates to them. Rather than catching said opponent in a single episode, it takes multiple, including a trial, before the bad guy is the victim of a murder themself. These are obviously well layered and thought out characters.

All in all, still thrilling.

I am, however, thoroughly infuriated that my favourite character left at the end of the third season, though I understand.

The real message to take away from this one though is not the characters, but what they do. The meaning, as can be seen in each and every piece, is that you can always be recognised. Even if people take your life, your skin, your teeth, your clothes, your flesh and your family from you, people can work out everything about you just from a piece of bone.

When I write, I grind into a piece of bone that I lean my pen on. Years from now, when I am nothing but bones, I'll still be a writer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Blog - "Shopping"

This is likely going to be a strange one: consider yourself forewarned.

Did you ever see Monty Python's Flying Circus? This blog isn't about that, but they do several bits where they dress us a women and make jokes about shopping. 

It always starts as such:

Woman1: You been shopping?
Woman2: No, I've been shopping?

I hate it when I come in with bags of clothes and people say 'you been shopping?'

I am not, and never will be, a fan of shopping, especially when it comes to charity shops. One of my least favourite memories as a youngster involves the utter thrill of standing in a cramped and confined little charity shop for almost two hours while my mother and sister looked for cheap dresses.

Whenever I go to see my sister, or if she comes here, we somehow end up engaging in that most infuriating of pastimes. During the day, she will always look at me and say: "you're not enjoying this, are you?"

No, I'm not, but I'm still here, aren't I? Isn't that the point? I'm making a point of doing something I dislike in order to spend with somebody I don't dislike.

One thing that I do like about charity shops, and this is the only thing, is that one moment when the eyes of two males meet and express their utter disgust with their surroundings. I quite like that.

Want to know if I like you? Take me shopping.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Blog - "Six Feet Under"

Likely the best place to start would be with one of my favourite televisual series' of all time: Six Feet Under.

Six Feet Under tells the story of an ensemble cast working in or affected by those working in a funeral home. The constant backdrop of death flavours the majority of the programme, with all episodes containing a scene in which a character dies. Their life, seen through the eyes of the central cast, become a lesson to those that continue to live.

A word that I've seen used a lot to describe the programme is 'unflinching', and I find this perfectly apt. There is no fear from the writers, nor the actors portraying the roles, when it comes to such a widely known sensitive topic. Death, it tells us, is a certainty, and something that we should acknowledge without fear.

Far from being the only subject matter, death is also not the only thing around which a total lack of fear is shown. The writers take a blunt and, at times forceful look into the world of a true homosexual, the loneliness of a widow, the overindulgence of the creatively stifled and onwards. My personal favourite is the examination of the way those with mental health impairments are treated by the outside world.

There are two main characters who show serious mental imbalances. While one is constantly wrestling with problems that they find intensely difficult to control, the other keeps her situation relatively in-check, but both are largely ostricised due to their conditions. Fear, it shows us, is that which creates the problems.

All of the characters, though different and with their own integral meanings, show through their actions and activities that it is fear that is their enemy, while facing their problems without regret or self-pity drives them to strengthen themselves. I particularly enjoy the development of the Brenda Chenowith character, especially within the first two of the five seasons.

She is utterly mental, and I adore everything about her.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Blog - "The Great Race"

Hello magical people who live inside the equally magical box on the second floor of my local library.

A couple of days ago, I challenged a friend of mine to a sort of race. It's a very simple system. We both have profiles on Ultimate-Guitar. I've been involved in a lot of work, so I've managed to accrue just over thirty-nine thousand profile views. This is, as he put it, a humbling number.

He has much more natural charisma than I do, though that isn't altogether difficult to achieve. He is a talented musician, plays gigs around the country and has five times the membercount of my fan page on his. Put short: his popularity far exceeds my own. Despite this, he's been away from UG for a while, leaving his profile with just over eleven and a half thousand views.

The race is simple. If he can reach twenty thousand views before I can reach fifty thousand, he wins, and he can use whatever promotional materials are at his disposal. There's no 'within reason' ruling here - I want to see if my writing can hold me ahead of the marketing might of a seasoned promoter. It would be a good exercise for me, and for him, I think.

It could well take me the better part of a year to reach fifty thousand. It wouldn't surprise me. After all, UG has been going strong for over a decade now and nobody has reached a hundred thousand yet, even the camwhore girlies. There's a challenge there. We both have Asperger's, so drawing attention to ourselves sort of comes naturally in a strange sort of way.

Wish me luck, dear magical people who live inside the equally magical box on the second floor of my local library.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Blog - "Character Analysis"

Hello again.

I'm not quite back yet. My laptop is still down, so this is a library call. A public computer. I feel a little sick inside just thinking about it.

There's a lot of research to be done when you're a writer. Some is quite obvious: reading differing perspectives, analysing characters and examining the flow of moments so as to avoid characterisation, crossed paths and general confusion. Some is less so. I intentionally watch shit TV. Pokémon and Cardcaptor Sakura, as examples, contain such flat and meaningless characters that no matter how hard I analyse there's just nothing there to find. It's like turning off my brain and having a waking nap. You know, it's nice.

That said, there are some televisual pinnacles that offer the exact opposite in character analysis. Whether it's just the one interesting character or a whole horde of them, there are some shows that draw me in just because I love the characters so much.

I've set myself  bit of a challenge for the coming weeks. I'm going to take the favourites from my research and try to explain that appeal within one blog post, uploaded every Friday. I have about seven in mind as we speak. Some you might know, while some you likely won't. This is a good thing; there's adventure in the unknown.

There are a few more things I'm working on in the meantime, but I'll be avoiding Friday uploads when it comes to that.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Blog - "Ode To Turvy"

Hello readers,

You are unfortunately about to read a eulogy of sorts. That's right; my laptop died. It is a sad, sad day for me.

Turvy (Laptop > Top > Topsy > Topsy Turvy > Turvy) has been standing by me for over two years, bravely putting up with everything that I've put her through. I've used her to work, I've used her to play, I've used her to watch episodes of Doctor Who while I've been sitting on the toilet. She was the perfect companion to me, but for the last six months, the fifteen hour per day routine has been wearing away at her until, yesterday, she just couldn't handle the stress anymore and collapsed only three hours and two thousand words into the day.

She will be missed.

Now, if I can bitch about how hard my life is for a minute...

I'm writing this on paper. Paper. The last time I wrote on paper I quite literally ground the bone of my finger down to nothing. There's no way I can keep up with my thirty-five thousand words a week routine on paper. Plus, I just lost the file containing my work in progress play for the Dukes. I'm never getting that back now. Thank goodness Disbelief is all backed up (and the back up is the file I actually update). I nearly lost all my pornographic pictures of ex-girlfriends too, and god knows they should never fall into the hands of anybody else.

It is a sad, sad day for me.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Blog - "Dukes And Writers"

Hello people,

There have been a lot of things going on for me over the last week, to a level of huge magnitude for me personally, because I've been spending my days up at the Dukes Playhouse in Lancaster.

Let me first start off with a complaint. Buses suck. In all ways buses suck.

Moving on, this last week could well be the highlight of my year.

I did, at one point, consider writing a play, and a musical. There's a lot of ideas I've had that I've been very much looking forward to pitching, but I was given so much advice that I completely forgot to pitch at all. They gave me a little insight into everything. I was doing press, marketing, rehearsals, direction, stage management and more, but that's not what I wanted to take away from it.

Even when I was sitting at the bar watching somebody prepare my dinner, that person had something to teach me. The woman in Box Office had a lot to teach too. Everybody did. It was as though everybody had something creative to mention or was an artist in the making. It was the only place I've ever known where people aren't actually there for the money, but were there because they love the work. Even at the lowest rung of the ladder there was hope, and people there had so much to offer.

I will say that I was only there for four days, and it was over two hours there and two hours back, so I didn't have that much time to spend there. That was the worst part, because I could live and work there on minimum wage for the rest of my life and never want for more. I've worked with some people who happily spend absolutely no time pursuing their job beyond getting paid. At the Dukes, everything is different. It's about creating something.

I've never felt more at home, and now I'm back in Blackpool, in the same old house and waiting for a new job to clear my CRB so that I can fill up my time a little.

Still, I'm less bored than I was because I'm working ever so slightly harder.

I have a play to write.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Blog - "Musical In Nature"

Hello there readers, my apologies for my absences of late.

As I'm sure has come across in my time writing on this blog, I always have something going on. Of late, I've been networking with a theatre in Lancaster called The Dukes Theatre. Next week, I'll be attending what is sort of a brief internship, usually reserved for those in the area. Not only is there going to be a range of given opportunities concerning stage management, as well as sound and lighting, but I'm also being given direct, in-depth lessons concerning writing and directing for the theatre.

I've also been given permission to make several pitches on potential plays/films that I might be able to entice the theatre into producing. That, for me, provides a very interesting concept. More as it develops there.

I met with a professional photographer concerning a showing as director of photography, should the pitches prove successful. I've already started talking with a potential sponsor, which would add to the appeal. I'm hopeful. Later in the month, pending a quick chat, I'll have a picture for you of hers that is almost an ideal showing of Ally from Disbelief. I could show you a perfect picture of Ally, but the woman I would want to model is unlikely to do it.

For those of you that follow my fiction on, I have a new series coming, and that's one of the reasons I opened by talking about the theatre. I've decided that, for the next fiction series, I'm going to aim more towards the tongue-in-cheek attitude from the original UG story rather than the more heavily dramatised stories such as Disbelief and Rock Stars. I've decided to write something that I'm planning to pitch.

The main concept is based around a musical. I intend to pitch something similar to this musical, and pitch a group of webisodes to be released, online and via the sponsor, which would be portraying it in a comical light in order to promote it. The fiction series would then be market research. It would be comprised of a collection of pieces detailing rehearsals and preparations of a musical.

You would have 'key characters', such as your standard lead. Honestly, I am thinking a little selfishly of making him the writer, who comes into the most random and madness-inducing place in the world. Then you'd have what I'm thinking should be a main actor/actress combo.

Then you get those characters that, instead of being particularly dramatic by nature, are rather just there to make things interesting. For example, I'm thinking of having a choreographer who also happens to be a bit of a martial arts nut. It's a simple touch, but if we push it to a nice extreme you get some interesting comedy value out of it.

Next Tuesday (not this Tuesday) is when I'm planning to have the first part ready, which would be an introduction to the concept. I'm thinking a big and intensely descriptive musical number.

I don't know. What do you think?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Blog - "One More For Disbelief"

Hello readers. I'm glad you're there.

Today I have spent the vast majority of the day sitting in my public library, where I can focus on work away from my laptop. It's not been pleasant. I'm not saying anything bad about the library, more the work itself, since today I've been looking for literary agents.

It's not been going well.

I thought I'd struck gold with the Association of Author Representatives, but no, they're all based in New York. It took me longer than I'd like to admit to realise that.

Disbelief has now been a work in progress for two years, and I've hit a roadblock so firm that I literally can not seem to get over it anymore. I've sent my work out to so many places, but the replies have all been so very similar. Disbelief is classified entirely as 'music'. People don't want to represent an author that writes about music.

There's so much more to it. The music is a vessel, a back drop even, but people don't want to listen to that.

It's hit me fairly hard today that I might not be able to find a market for my work. It's not the best feeling in the world, and I certainly didn't think that Disbelief was likely to let me down. Chances are it's not the fault of Disbelief, but the fault of myself in my method of representation.

Not sure how I can overcome this one, to be honest.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Blog - "The Annoyance Of Being Idle"

Greetings from the mad world of my internal monologue.

Since my entry on New Year's Day, I have intentionally been having what I have been told are 'days off'. Now, being a writer, I find myself relaxing by writing, so I habitually never stop working. I usually have one day off a year, and that's my birthday on July the seventh. This year, people have managed to convince me to spend the time between new years day and my two year anniversary on January the ninth doing nothing.

I'd just like to know if you have any idea how incredibly dull and boring it is to do nothing for days? Days! I haven't written a thing for over a week. That doesn't just feel strange, it feels downright wrong. It's like I've been genetically strangled and held for ransom by that part of me that actually seems to enjoy sleep and video games.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with sleep and video games. A Wii turned up in our household recently, much to my surprise, and I've been setting up the internet for the people I live with and going through all of the virtual console games that I want. It's a surprising amount, and is a stark reminder of how large a gamer that I used to be, but since becoming a writer I have found it something of a colossal waste of time. My thumbs are about as efficient as they could possibly be at this point, and sleep is all about recharging, right? I have this annoying habit of sleeping either four hours, and thus getting nothing out of it, or sleeping for thirteen hours, which is just enough to make the rest of the day useless. Over the last week, those two things are the two things that I've had to do. I miss writing.

So now, having exhausted the possibilities of FIFA and been utterly infuriated by good old Majora's Mask, and slept for more time than I've been awake, I've reached the point where I don't really want to do that anymore. I don't want to sleep, but I am aware that I'm eventually going to have to. I just want to write. Maybe this did do me some good. I'm back.

By Sunday I have two interviews to type up, hopefully one for each Monday to follow tomorrow, and I'm also writing up an in-depth review of a recent orchestral Tim Minchin show, which should turn up soon enough. I'm also re-writing a piece of Disbelief at this point in time, since I've decided to change one of the character relationships for the finale. It's kind of shaping up to be a fairly empty month, so I've also started planning out Theory In Practice. We should be good to go with that for when February rolls around.

I wouldn't want to not submit. I'd end up a lot less well enough, and likely struggling with the bills if that happened. You don't earn much freelance, after all.

Still, living the dream. I'm always grateful for that.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Blog - "Mental Streaming 2011"

A happy new year to you all. Welcome back to Mental-Streaming; a journey through the strange and often catastrophic mind of myself: Tom Colohue.

My plan for this year involves a lot of writing; it's true. It also involves a lot of gaming, drinking and having sex, but we all know that only the writing is guaranteed. I'm determined to have Disbelief published and on the bookshelves before this year is out. That's not all though: my Doctor Who novel, The Collapse Of Redmoor,  is slowly moving forwards as well, though it's hardly all that high on my list of priorities. Teraburst, my graphic novel, written and drawn with my dear friend Ricky, is also picking up pace. A couple of the conceptual character designs are now available, should anybody be interested.

Those are the novels, but, of course, that's far from the only thing going for me.

I'm working on a new music theory series for Ultimate-Guitar called 'Theory In Practice', which will be half theoretical explanation followed by a practical application to further the reader's understanding. In addition to that, the UG Story is still happily ongoing on its own little path, with my guest writers currently reaching their second installment of the four that they're working on, while I'm mostly done at this point.

Outside of Ultimate-Guitar, I'm also working on a series on Marketing Methods for DottedMusic, as well as other works directly relative to that website. Sam Agini has also invited me to do more collaborations with him, which I'm sorely tempted to take up.

These are the works that I have planned for now, though god knows how many other little pieces will occupy my time. I'm also considering giving Rock Stars a second run, as I'm quite happy with how that went, even if it was nowhere near as popular as Disbelief.

January 9th, only eight days away now, will mark my two year anniversary of being a professional writer. By this time next year, I will be published. That's my resolution, and I am nothing if not resolved.

Happy new year people. Welcome back.