Thursday, 14 June 2012

Punky is off to Cork Conference...

We're off to talk about Punky in Cork!

Specifically, Gerard O'Rourke, producer, Monster Animation, Aimee Richardson, who brought Punky to life, and myself have been invited to take part in an “Arts for Living” Conference will take place in CIT's Cork School of Music (Curtis Auditorium) on Wednesday 27th June 2012.

The Conference runs from between 9am and 5pm and looks like a really interesting day. We three will take to the stage for half an hour to talk about how Punky came into being, why it had to and what impact it has had internationally, locally and personally.

The focus of the Conference is to explore how national and international arts projects are being developed by and with persons with a disability. Really looking forward to being there and it's a thrill to be asked to speak!

Have a look at the site in case you have a chance of attending:

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

How to Write & Sell A Feature in 6 Months...

Interesting article, if a little heavy on the 'you have six months to live' aspect that I'd be too superstitious to use in case I made it come true. And if I had only six months, my bucket list would be other stuff... but...

Basically, Carson Reeves says that if you can convince yourself that you have only six months left, you can write a commercial script that you feel passionate about and that you will sell... Mind you, not living in LA might be a disadvantage when it comes to making all the phone calls he suggests (around 200) but still, the principle and the meat of the article are stimulating...

Let me know what you think!

Do you have other methods to achieve the same goal?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Blue Skies ... Too Distracting?

Not sure.

Once I'm deeply involved in a piece of work, I don't even notice the sun is shining. Then I look up and feel guilty that I'm wasting it and, as we all know, we can't afford to waste good weather in Ireland.

Certainly not good, warm, sun killing-grass sort of weather.

But then deadlines guilt hits in, even if they are my own deadlines and not being able to tell if I've made any progress - which is often the way when you're in the middle of a project. When you can't see the wood for the squirrels and bison nibbling on the top branches and pooping all over the keyboard.

Vivid imaginations may be more of a distraction than sunshine.

I can write any number of doggerel rhymes about poker-playing flies and and tap-dancing snails when I'm meant to be writing something else that needs to make some sort of sense.

Thought of tying myself to the seat but then decided to make a coffee instead.

Then lunch.

Then had to hang washing out to catch the sun. Clothes just smell better when they've been dried outside. Memories of living in Australia flood back so I have another coffee to help me focus. And chocolate. Lots of guilty chocolate.

Then I want to sleep so I sit outside and read the newspaper.

And all the while the guilt builds up.... And up.... And THEN the work gets done. Heaps of it. All in a flurry and anyone who distracts me then has to step into the unfocussed lens of my fictional world to get attention. I could be in the middle of some tumultuous storm and I wouldn't know unless the computer died. (Though I would probably have to turn the light on in my shed).

So, on the whole, sunny days aren't the distraction at all.

Life is.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Six years after inception, WULFIE is ready to go.

Out into the world, to find a creative and talented publisher who will bring him to the World of Kids With Imagination who like fun stories...

It's just under 28,000 words long, in 25 chapters; aimed at children from six to nine, but also younger kids because it should be a fun story for the parents to read aloud.

Wulfie started life as stories I made up for my daughter when she was this age... Our laundry basket is even named after him although it is neither purple nor a wolf and is, unfortunately, unable to change shape despite the effort of people to stuff more clothes into it.

I would love to get feedback if anyone out there would like a book to read to their kids... Or to read to your inner kid! Feedback from an earlier draft included the comment that the language reminded them of Roald Dahl -- yep, I am HOLDING onto that bit, nursing it so it grows in strength and verity...

Roald Dahl gave tips to children's writers once that I wrote on a scrap of paper and pinned to the wall. I have no idea where the list is but it did mention to make the adults meaner than mean and to ensure every story featured chocolate.

My story features chocolate. Lots of chocolate cake!

Which reminds me, there's a cappuccino chocolate Swiss roll sitting in the fridge that I promised myself and my daughter a slab of as soon as I finished. She has been waiting patiently, albeit with little visits to my shed to remind me that it exists and is VERY, very tempting.

Got to go eat cake!