Thursday, January 12, 2017

Start that log book now

A few years ago, some wise person pointed out that writers and creatives remember the negative comments about their work and forget the good feedback. Maybe it's a survival instinct or our own self-doubt, but it's true. I can more vividly remember the put down's and critical comments than the good feedback - despite the fact that it made me glow and bounce on my toes at the time.

The suggestion was that you cut and paste positive feedback into a separate document so you don't forget it. I did it for a year or two and I could see that, really, overall, even if productions didn't result, producers, directors, actors, other writers, readers loved my writing. That felt good. It can be enough to encourage you to keep going on a gloomy winter morning.

The other suggestion was to keep a log book of everything you've done - meetings, invitations to work, when you've sent material off or entered a competition, when you've finished a draft or spoken to someone about an aspect of research or your writing... This I have been doing for years now and it's great to look back over. Even to see how many people you reached out to or met; creative collaborations or deadlines you met, even if they were personal ones.

For me, it has meant that I went from thinking I had done very little in 2016 to realising it was a pretty productive year overall. I put on a new play with the wonderful Julie Lockey, my second in two years and packed the space out. I also directed another (from 2015, starring Karen Connell) in its first tour and co-production out West and got a third into the Irish Playography. We got great audiences, great responses and reviews everywhere. Meanwhile, I finished a new, complex one woman play and had readings of it.

Then I was appointed Screenwriter in residence at Maynooth Uni and Kildare Co. Council Library and Arts Service. Lots of whooping and excitement. I was also invited to do an animation masterclass in Limerick School of Art & Design and to run the Screenwriting module in DCU's MA in Film & TV, which starts later this month. I'm chuffed and excited!

I taught three courses in Filmbase and adapted two plays for radio - both turned down, but still; I submitted to the IFB once more - and was turned down; sent four plays out to five different theatres and have only had one refusal - but interesting feedback - so far. And on the plus side, I completed an independent commission to write a feature and that was a wonderful and stimulating experience. I joined a screenwriting group even though I've only managed to attend three meetings so far.

I got one of my novels to the verge of publication - DAD'S RED DRESS, watch this space! - and another (CANDLEMIST) is being bullied and cajoled into shape. I even read from both books at an event in Maynooth Uni - for the first time - and they went down well!

That's not including all the plans to develop material with people that didn't quite happen. I wrote the second episode of my tv series Worms in the Wall but then had to put it aside, as I did a lot of screenwriting projects that I didn't see going forward at the moment. Then, just at the tip-end of the year, a US production company contacted a colleague of mine because they are VERY interested in developing an animation series I developed two years ago....

Never give up hope!

Start that log book for 2017 (and your page of commendations/ positive feedback) for the year ahead. It will be worth it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

On Tonight! One night only!|!!Writing Games & Interactive Narrative Event in Maynooth

Having worked on a number of games & apps, the first full narrative I designed for a role playing game (RPG) was Grief, which is still in development. I really connected with the really interesting concept but as a writer who loves creating character and story, this was also an opportunity to design 7-9 HOURS of story!! What's not to like about that!?

So, as Screenwriter in Residence at Maynooth Uni and Kildare Co. Council Library & Arts Services, I'm running a free event with the Media Studies Department at Maynooth University next Weds evening (November 16th). There's a great line up of speakers - Devin Doyle, Charlene Putney & Chris Gregan - and, as a writer who has worked in games, it is a whole new exciting world. You don't even have to be a 'gamer' to end up writing for them, as Devin and I would admit!

It's in the NIRSA Seminar room (2.31), Second Floor, Iontas Building - that's in the North Campus - from 6-8 on the 16th.

Hope to see some of you there! (PS There's a direct train to Maynooth from Connolly & Drumcondra stations and regular busses from the quays.)

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS....


DEVIN DOYLE
Screenwriter Devin Doyle wrote the sci-fi horror web series Rapt for RTÉ’s Storyland in 2014, which led to work on Fair City, and ultimately, despite knowing very little about video games, a job writing on Larian Studios' heroic fantasy cRPG Divinity: Original Sin 2. Before graduating from the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2012, Devin spent twenty years working in advertising.

CHARLENE PUTNEY
Charlene writes for Larian Studios scripting narrative and dialogues for Divinity: Original Sin 2 and combat dialogue and tooltips for Divinity: Original Sin. When she's not doing that, she lectures on Role Playing Games and interactive narrative at DIT and Trinity, teaches yoga and writes speculative fiction. She also performs and lectures at game festivals, most recently at the Playful Arts Festival, Netherlands and at GameCity, Nottingham. Catch her on Twitter: @alphachar or www.alphachar.com

CHRIS GREGAN
A passionate advocate for making game development accessible to everybody, Chris Gregan is a founder at Fungus Games Ltd. and is the author of Fungus, a free open source tool for easily creating storytelling games in Unity 3D. Chris has worked in the games industry for 13 years, previously founding the Irish office for the San Francisco-based PlayFirst Inc. As Chief Architect, he drove the company's global games technology strategy. He has lead developer credits on chart topping mobile games including the hit Diner Dash franchise.

On Tonight! One night only!|!!Writing Games & Interactive Narrative Event in Maynooth

Having worked on a number of games & apps, the first full narrative I designed for a role playing game (RPG) was Grief, which is still in development. I really connected with the really interesting concept but as a writer who loves creating character and story, this was also an opportunity to design 7-9 HOURS of story!! What's not to like about that!?

So, as Screenwriter in Residence at Maynooth Uni and Kildare Co. Council Library & Arts Services, I'm running a free event with the Media Studies Department at Maynooth University next Weds evening (November 16th). There's a great line up of speakers - Devin Doyle, Charlene Putney & Chris Gregan - and, as a writer who has worked in games, it is a whole new exciting world. You don't even have to be a 'gamer' to end up writing for them, as Devin and I would admit!

It's in the NIRSA Seminar room (2.31), Second Floor, Iontas Building - that's in the North Campus - from 6-8 on the 16th.

Hope to see some of you there! (PS There's a direct train to Maynooth from Connolly & Drumcondra stations and regular busses from the quays.)

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS....


DEVIN DOYLE
Screenwriter Devin Doyle wrote the sci-fi horror web series Rapt for RTÉ’s Storyland in 2014, which led to work on Fair City, and ultimately, despite knowing very little about video games, a job writing on Larian Studios' heroic fantasy cRPG Divinity: Original Sin 2. Before graduating from the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2012, Devin spent twenty years working in advertising.

CHARLENE PUTNEY
Charlene writes for Larian Studios scripting narrative and dialogues for Divinity: Original Sin 2 and combat dialogue and tooltips for Divinity: Original Sin. When she's not doing that, she lectures on Role Playing Games and interactive narrative at DIT and Trinity, teaches yoga and writes speculative fiction. She also performs and lectures at game festivals, most recently at the Playful Arts Festival, Netherlands and at GameCity, Nottingham. Catch her on Twitter: @alphachar or www.alphachar.com

CHRIS GREGAN
A passionate advocate for making game development accessible to everybody, Chris Gregan is a founder at Fungus Games Ltd. and is the author of Fungus, a free open source tool for easily creating storytelling games in Unity 3D. Chris has worked in the games industry for 13 years, previously founding the Irish office for the San Francisco-based PlayFirst Inc. As Chief Architect, he drove the company's global games technology strategy. He has lead developer credits on chart topping mobile games including the hit Diner Dash franchise.

Friday, October 28, 2016

PUNKY now on Hopster...


Thrilled to announce that PUNKY is now available on Hopster, the most downloaded TV App for Children - and one that is ad-free, which has to be a bonus coming up to Christmas! That means you can get the series on your Apple TV box too, which is handy. 



Last year, PUNKY was taken up by Sweden and Brazil, the latest country this year was Portugal. It's a really nice feeling to know that it is now all over the world, from South Korea to New Zealand, from Turkey to Denmark.

You can check it out on Hopster here.

Thixs is how they have introduced it to their audience on the Hopster Facebook page: "New show alert. 😊 Punky is a beautiful show about a little girl with Down Syndrome. We love it because it teaches kids the value of family and that it's great that everyone's different. 
Watch Punky now: https://bnc.lt/HHJd/GUh39qtlou


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Public Readings in Maynooth Uni: 26 October

Next Wednesday, October 26th @ 6pm myself - as Screenwriter in Residence - and Joanna Walsh - as Writer in Residence - are reading from our work at a public event in the Seminar Room in the Iontas building of Maynooth University

I'll be reading from ongoing work for only the second time in my life! Normally as the screenwriter, you get to hide behind actors but not this time! Thrilled, excited, possibly won't be nervous until the day! 

This is the official introduction by the Department of English of our residencies, posts jointly funded by Maynooth Uni and Kildare Co. Council Library & Arts Service. It's a wonderful opportunity to be both part of the university and the larger community and I feel chuffed and humbled to have been chosen.

I started workshops on campus two weeks ago. Great students, some great ideas and energies in the room. I'm looking forward to getting to know them and their work better in the weeks to come. It so enjoyable to be part of the University! I can already feel that the time will go too quickly! 

I will be organising a number of public evening events during my Residency. The first is on Nov 16th from 6-8pm. Three great speakers and doers lined up on the subject and reality of writing narrative for games and interactive fiction. Keep the date free!!

AFTER THE EVENT....


It was such a blast reading from my work - first time ever! Especially after showing my brand new showreel, made for me by Donogh MacCarthy Morrogh of StormLight Productions. To show snippets of film/TV, theatre and animation but then to read from two books.... it was an absolute buzz!!! Can't wait to read again.
Joanna Walsh read from her collection Vertigo, a powerful story of depth and subtlety. I was glad I'd got up there first!
Oona Frawley, Head of the English Dept and author of Flight introducing us

Joanna Walsh reading from her collection, Vertigo.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Limerick School of Art and Design

My first ever masterclass in Limerick was a week ago on October 10th in the Limerick School of Art and Design. Enjoyed every moment, apart, perhaps, from the part at the start when I started! It's funny, no matter how prepared or experienced you are, the first moments with a large new group can feel too fast or too slow!  

It was a great experience, the whole day; especially spending time in one-to-one's with each of the final year students talking to them about their final year assignments - animation, motion capture, model-making... all sort of ideas, designs, themes, hopes, issues, structures, forms of storytelling. 

The stimulation of being in a room where so much is being imagined and created, was wonderful.