Is it that time again?

So, here we are again. The last day of the year. Which also signals the start of this journey when I began blogging with a site called youdothatvoodoo, and wrapped it up on the same date some 3 years later.

And it’s time for another change, which I’ll get to after reflecting on 2013…

I feel good. Maybe not as overtly as James Brown did when he sang those words, but in my more understated way believe me all is pretty fine. I set out last year intending to write a screenplay for the Screenwriting Goldmine Competition and have it recognised, and that’s just what happened. The script in question - Rank – certainly needs some more work – but it still reached the quarter finals. Mission accomplished.

It may be that had I spent more time on Rank I might have got a better result, but a wonderful opportunity appeared to script what turned out to be around 8 hours of fantasy audio serial in the form of Dragon Run Saga, which will be an app somewhere along the lineĀ  next year. I had lots of fun writing it over a very intense 3 months, and then brought in artist Andy Tudor and producer Jack Delaney to turn the text into a living and breathing piece with actors and illustrations that I look forward to sharing with you in due course.

Then there was – and is – the adventure that is White Lily, a science fiction short film that I pulled together a team together for including director Tristan Ofield, producer Sophia Ramcharan, and dynamic musical duo Darren Bourne and Dick Hetherington. It films at the end of January, and that’s only possible because of the Kickstarter campaign I initiated and ran with Tristan to secure the funding.

One of this year’s bigger lessons is about making stuff any which way, never mind industry gatekeepers. Crowdfunding allows creators like myself to find support without having to knock on doors or otherwise seek approval, and it’s probable that the science fiction comic Dadtown I’ve been working on with artist Raben White and colourist Jess Parry will itself lead to a Kickstarter once we’ve shown the world what we’re up to with the website that’s currently being hatched.

The jury is out on whether attending the London Screenwriters’ Festival was worthwhile. Some of the panels were good, for sure. And I did meet some lovely people. If I attend again, it will be with a more certain strategy, with a view to even more networking wins and more and better stuff to take along to wow people with. Which given that by then I’ll have White Lily, Dragon Run Saga, and Dadtown out – plus the short drama It Is What It Is and (finally) the supernatural thriller drama serial Making Sparks…yeah, maybe it’s worth a return visit.

Somewhere in Chicago I’ve got a couple of sf short scripts with an Emmy nominated filmmaker that I’m hoping we can do something with this year, each of which have the potential to go beyond existence in miniature. And I’m waiting to hear back about a psychological horror treatment I sent out, and my submission to Screen Yorkshire’s Triangle programme, aimed at putting together writers with directors and producers. To keep me occupied, I’m working on adapting a series of sf novels by American writer Bob Carver into comic form, and putting together contributions for an anthology of comic stories. Oh, and enjoying developing the background material for an online fantasy game, and…well, there’s more.

All of which probably sounds like quite a lot, because it is really. And the job of 2014 is to consolidate on all the above to present myself as a credible purveyor of fictions in different genres and media, where I act as a producer to some extent as well as a writer. And one opportunity presented itself that may help with all that in mind, writing for a website with a variety of columnists covering a cross section of geek media. You may have seen some of my contributions there already, and since they do a better job at getting a big audience than I do here, I’m going to shift the blogging side of this site over there, and redesign and repurpose this place a bit.

It’s been fun. And I’m very much looking forward to what presents itself in the year ahead. Stick around, and strap yourself in – we are due to encounter turbulence. Which is what happens before the blue skies break through.