Category Archives: On Writing

What’s in a Thought Bubble?

I helped launch an art project on Tuesday. Well, I don’t know if you’d call it art, exactly, but it does have a manifesto; that’s got to count for something, right? Anyway, this venture of dubious worth is called [THOUGHT BUBBLES], and it’s all about impulsive creative expression.  You might want to go check out our first post before reading any further. I promise you it won’t take more than two minutes of your time. Go on. I’ll wait. Welcome back! See? That didn’t take so long. As you can see, [THOUGHT BUBBLES] is all about brevity: we’ll be putting out videos of one minute (or shorter) in length once a week for as long as we can keep it up. There are certain other rules that apply – as seen in the aforementioned manifesto – but we can go into those another time, particularly as we’ll start breaking them pretty early on. But who is this “we”, you ask? Am I not the sole architect of the project, filming, composing and creating every atom of beauty that makes up the very being of [THOUGHT BUBBLES]? Of course not; don’t be ridiculous. I make up one third of a creative trio I am perpetually humbled to be a welcome part of. My fellow bubblenauts are none other than musician Alice Rowan and filmmaker Dave Beveridge. They’re both much more than that, obviously, being dear friends of mine, but for the purposes of this introduction that’s your key to understanding the basis of a Bubble’s creation. Here are a couple of brilliant things they made:

Dave

Alice

I know, right? I’m sure you now want to see and hear a lot more from them. Rest assured – you will. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  • Dave films something that speaks to him. He shoots a single shot for however long he feels is necessary, then cuts the resulting video to a minute or under.
  • He then shares the video with Alice and myself. Crucially, this is the first time we’ll have ever been aware of this footage or the context in which it was created so that we can proceed unbiased.
  • Alice composes a piece of frustratingly marvellous music, records live as quickly as possible and adds it to the video.
  • Then your humble narrator takes one look at the piece and declares it finished, stating that any contribution he made would only lessen its stupendous value.

…Just kidding.

  • I look at the video and add one final layer of interpretation – a spoken word recording. It could be overwrought narration, a clutch of whispered dialogue or even field recordings of overheard conversations in retirement home cafeterias.
  • All of this is put together, mixed ever so slightly so that one element does not drown out another (any more than intended, at least) and put into a digital box to await its release.

And really, that’s about it. Oh, except that it almost never occurs in that order. Everyone takes turns beginning new bubbles and contributing at different stages to make for ever more interesting interpretations; there’s no single authorial presence pulling the strings, which is exactly how we like it. I have no idea how a bubble I initiated is going to end up, how it’ll be interpreted, if a joke I wrote will be turned into a tragic note or a heartfelt declaration turned into a punchline. That’s really scratching the surface of what happens with the finished products, but I’m sure you get the picture. And this isn’t a project that benefits from over-explanation, anyhow. Which is mainly why I’ve chosen to write this here and not on our shiny new official site – [THOUGHT BUBBLES] is about short, spontaneous creative expression and, above all, not overthinking things. If you’re a long time (or an anytime) reader of this blog, you’ll know how hilarious it is that I’m a part of something like that and how crucial that these two outlets never collide. [Of course, there’s nothing to say I can’t dot a few links here and there.]

I think that’s all I have to say for the moment. Part of the reason I wrote this was to have something to direct people toward when they ask what the project’s about, at least in the early days before the (fingers crossed) vast library of content speaks for itself. The site’s a little austere at the moment, and I get itchy when I think people might be confused about something I’ve done. Another part is that I like to ramble about myself and my talented friends, but you already knew that. Oh, one other thing – we launched the site and the first video on 21st April 2015, which is exactly a year after Dave, Alice and I conceived the project. A lot of things happened in the interim – some good, others not so good – and the effects of those will likely (in some cases, will most definitely) be shown in future bubbles. It’s personal and epic and tiny and heartbreaking and life-affirming and ultra-camp. Mostly, though, [THOUGHT BUBBLES] is indefinable. Stay tuned to find out what the hell that means.

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Miscalculations In Shipping Costs

Around this time last year, I was part of a comic writers’ group in York. Its members would critique one another’s scripts and submit communally to pitch submissions at independent publishers when the opportunity arose. I hadn’t produced a single page of comics back then, despite several foolhardy attempts at creating a post-apocalyptic epic the depths and ambition of which the world has never seen AND I WILL GET ROUND TO THAT ONE DAY DAMMIT.

But a lot can change in a year (or a decade, or a month or a day or a second or okay things are changing all the time all right). Now I’m living in London after having moved town twice, switched jobs five times and lived in no fewer than seven different homes (I’m working on my eighth). I was about to list my romantic exploits but then I remembered this is kind of supposed to be about my creative and professional development.

I now physically own copies of the first comic I’ve ever had published. It’s called Miscalculations in Time Travel, and it’s a three-page story that I wrote for an anthology book published by GrayHaven Comics. You can look at the cover and add it to an invisible basket here if you like.

Technically the comic was released in December but I only received my first copies in the last week of March, due to reasons I won’t go into to save certain parties from embarrassment or blame. While I would have liked to hold the thing in my hands a lot sooner I’m frankly still surprised I got to make anything at all – and I’d already seen the proofs months ago, so that anticipation was somewhat lessened.

Still, it’s a lovely caress of the ego to see your name printed on a blackboard behind a character you thought up in a glossy, staple-bound sheaf of paper. Lovelier still is the art, drawn by the terrific Donal Delay who you can and should follow on Twitter. I was very lucky to have Donal assigned to my script – I love his cartoonish, exaggerated but still detailed style and it fit the comedic tone I was going for perfectly. You can check out his Flash Gordon-influenced webcomic Daring Adventures to see what I mean.

I’d love to be able to post Miscalculations on here some time – I think I co-own it now, so there probably wouldn’t be a problem – but I should really check with Donal and GrayHaven first. It’d be great to show it to as many people as possible, though, so I’ll get right on that. Or you could just buy the comic, but I’m not going to force you (particularly as you’d have to pay shipping from the U.S. and I don’t want anyone to have to pay close to a tenner just to read a funny little story of mine).

That said, I’m considering buying a few more copies to give to friends and family so if you’d like to get your grubby mitts on my thing before it hits the internet like a (slow-moving, abandoned) freight train, hit me up and we can share the burden of trans-continental shipping.

Man. I’d really like to do more comics now. I’m supposed to have another story coming out through the same publisher some time this year, but I haven’t been given a date (or even an artist) yet so don’t hold your breath. It’s a page longer and a much more personal story, so I’ll do that for you.

Well, that’s my self-congratulation over. I need to sleep so I can wake up and feel bad that I wrote this instead of the review I was supposed to finish tonight. See you around. And thanks.

 

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Cohle’s hand gripped Hart’s gun as tightly as misanthropy had a hold on him

Hey guys, sorry about my lack of blogs lately. I’ve just been working really hard on my True Detective slash fiction, but the fifth volume is almost done so I’ll be able to start putting out content here soon enough.

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10 Extremely Popular Lists That People Can’t Stop Reading

Here’s my first post writing for What Culture: 10 Extremely Popular Video Games That Fuel The Sexism Debate.

I think I’m entering my ‘cynical listicle writer’ phase of my career, but I still think it’s worth a read if gaming and gender are things that interest you.

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Dawn of the Reds – An I Am Tim Commentary

I’d really love to write a longer post about this (and probably will), including interviews with the various people involved in this episode since its conception years ago, but right now it’s somewhat more prudent to just get the thing in front of your eyes. Not a part of the original Season 2 line-up (which is a whole other story altogether; in fact, the fidgety, dysfunctional nature of I Am Tim as its own entity would make a great post all on its own), this “very special” episode of Tim likely exists in a slightly different universe to that of the series for the cast and crew most familiar with it due to the many attempts to figure out the right approach and its fluid, increasingly mythical status as…well, not so much “unfilmable” as “filmable when we get around to it”.

Hell, you should just watch the damn thing before I waffle on too much. Part Battle Royale, part Running Man and all nonsense, here’s Dawn of the Reds:

And there you have it. Since my fingers are flying and I haven’t posted much of anything in almost a week, I might as well carry on while there’s still gas in the tank.

This is an odd episode to think about having a hand in, especially since it existed in some form or another (like the bulk of Tim which I’m anachronistically credited in) about two years before I had even met creator Jamie McKeller. This is an educated guess so take it with a pinch of salt (and am happy to be corrected by anyone with the pertinent info) but I believe the first draft/outline of DotR came about in 2010, around the time when Season 1 was being made on no budget by a crew of two who (by Jamie’s own confession) had no idea what they were doing. I met Jamie in late 2011 on the set of the yet-to-be-released microbudget feature Nothing Man,
in which he was appearing and showing bits of Season 2 to the cast and crew during lunch breaks.

The rest is nostalgia fodder for some other time, but by spring 2013 I was writing Season 3 with Jamie & James, and Dawn was still a seldom-whispered notion to me and a twinkle in Jamie’s eye. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many drafts there had been before I was asked to have a crack at the script, but it’s not modesty that leads me to say that what I received was pretty damn close to the finished product, and most definitely an object of McKeller’s invention. Mostly I just added some jokes, trimmed some dialogue and tried to sprinkle some added character depth here and there, so I wouldn’t have been surprised or hurt if I ultimately got an “additional material” credit or even just a “special thanks”, but Jamie’s a generous guy.

I’ve occasionally beaten myself up for not trying to overhaul the script in order to make it as good as it could have possibly been, but to do that would have been to alter its essence and turn it into something not inherently I Am Tim (especially with the ideas I had and still have for new episodes…), and that would have been a mistake.

It seems odd to talk about the “essence” of a Youtube video in which young people in uniform try to dig bombs out of each others’ scalps and the most heartfelt line reading comes from a mass-murderer who really wants a Twix, but when you spend a while with this stuff you kind of get attached to it. Which is in itself weird because I almost feel like as much of an audience member as anyone else, despite having a not in/significant (delete as appropriate) hand in its creation, and yet I can’t watch the episode with any kind of objective eye.

I suspect that’s a similar feeling for a few people who’ve been involved with Tim generally and DotR specifically over the years, who wonder how much their contribution mattered in the long run, if at all. I’m kind of an optimist in that regard, insofar as that a Dawn of the Reds made four years ago would probably have been a far inferior product, for countless reasons.

It occurs to me that I’ve been talking about appropriate credit this whole time despite there not actually being a credits list for this episode yet, at least not on the credits page of the I Am Tim site where they live (there are never credits on an episode of Tim, in keeping with its mockumentary nature), as it’s been due for an update since episode 2.10.

[Not that I’m suggesting anyone needs to buck their ideas up and GIVE ME A DAMN WRITING CREDIT ALREADY.]

So I could be way off. Maybe everyone who’s ever suggested a fun death scene or supportively asked, “So how’s that Dawn of the Reds thingy going?” might end up getting a healthy mention. Not that the inclusion of something like that would change or legitimise their involvement in any way. I mean, does anyone beside me actually read the credits of web series anyway?

I thought not. Anyway, all this has made me think of a quote attributed to Harry S. Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” I’ve applied it to projects I’ve been on and think it’s a pretty pragmatic mantra for anyone wanting to get into the screenwriting business, but it’s especially pertinent when talking about no-budget productions and web series, in which the chief satisfaction comes from actually having made something, rather than having someone know you made something.

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Redshirt Bonanza

Here are some Youtube clips of things that have recently been uploaded by Redshirt Films recently that I was at least tangentially involved in:

The new series trailer for I Am Tim, and the first (I think) to incorporate footage from the upcoming third season of the web series. That’s the one I co-plotted and wrote with Jamie and James (or Helsing Prime and Timothy II as I like to call them), so I’m at least partially responsible for some part of the nonsense that’s going on here.

BEHIND THE SCENES TRIVIA: All right, one shot is from an episode I wrote. And I think they ad-libbed that scene. Shut up.

Nights at the Round Table is back! Already?

Yes, already. The last episode is still warm and yet here you have your very own Hallowe’en special to be bemused and confounded (and quite possibly entertained) by.

BEHIND THE SCENES GOSSIP: In a rare reversal of form, Redshirt head honcho Jamie has given me far too much credit for this episode, giving him and myself equal credit for shooting the thing alongside my sometime role as sound recordist.

Full disclosure: Jamie’s in the episode and couldn’t very well film himself, so I framed, focused and recorded his takes while also getting his dialogue on mic and trying not to fuck up both at the same time.

Yeah, I’m a real Renaissance man.

I Am Tim Episode 2.11 –  “The Internal Review.” Clearly, Jamie and James’ recent visit to MCM Expo in London has helped the series as the views of this episode are currently eclipsing those of the previous instalment by about 1,000. Which is pleasant.

BEHIND THE SCENES BULLSHIT: I can’t exactly remember what I did on this episode, but I know I was definitely there. I think I’d just gotten Vine so I was probably faffinf around with that and making irritating alternate dialogue suggestions. Y’know, the important stuff.

Also, this episode was originally called simply “Internal Review” and I kind of prefer it without the definite article. Also the full stops, but that’s a train that ain’t getting derailed and it’s probably just me, frankly.

OH, AND ONE MORE THING:

The one episode of I Am Tim season 2 that I co-wrote, the oft-vaunted and much-troubled Dawn of the Reds, is being released into the wild this week. Tomorrow, if I’m not mistaken.

It’s all kinds of crazy gory fun, so you owe it to yourself to watch it when it drops and tell me that I didn’t drop the ball (even if I did because why would you want to hurt me like that?). Kay?

What are you still looking at me for? Go watch!

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Flaws Are Sexy

A few friends on the media social were linking to this piece on “strong” female characters and it’s well worth checking out. It discusses the notion that what’s more interesting and three-dimensional are female characters with flaws and personalities and, you know, those things that humans have.

The author links to this other piece from the New Statesman that inspired her. It’s somewhat more substantial, especially for its notion of the “Strong Male Character” and the potentially few examples of such a narrow-minded concept, like so:

Batman’s insistence that he can, must, will get into the Strong Male Character box comes close to hysteria, but there’s no room in there for his bat ears and cape and he won’t take them off.

As you can tell it’s also pretty funny so I’d heartily recommend that too.

As a guy who writes women (as well as men of my own gender) and worries that he’s making them too flawed, that people won’t get that I’m making a statement with a character or just trying to give them enough depth to be interesting and seem real, it’s somewhat comforting to read pieces like this and know that I really am just overthinking things.

Wait. It’s comforting to know that I’m just neurotic?

Um. Yeah, I guess.

I kind of wish I’d been able to read something like this a couple of years ago when I started working on Scars, that horror/drama/comedy screenplay I occasionally blather about that has a female protagonist and a reasonably diverse supporting cast of characters. I won’t spoil the story for you but it concerns a young woman named Laura who comes back to her hometown after an extended absence and starts to fall into old patterns that aren’t necessarily too healthy for her. Naturally, this meant she had a few problems, and I was terrified that I’d be crucified for making her seem like a “bitch” or a “slut” or any number of other derogatory, reductive stereotypes.

This was, of course, pretty dumb.

I’d bash my head against the wall trying to make sure Laura didn’t come across as the kind of character who would offend anyone when really I should have been more concerned with ensuring her motivation made sense and that I cared about her enough to get other people to care about her too. That kind of second-guessing can drive you mad, so I’m glad I gave it up before long.

Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t think critically about your work as a writer or an artist of some description. That’d be pretty dumb. But you can’t let the guiding principle to any work be “who might be offended by this portrayal of so-and-so?” – that’s the death knell of creativity. Instead, I’d suggest the advice that’s been given a million times before: just get it written. Beat that first draft out without giving it too much thought and then look back on it to see if the result matches up with your intentions. If there are a few glaring contradictions and howling errors in what you’ve done then congratulations – it’s definitely a first draft and deserves rewriting to within an inch of its life. And hey, if you’re so mired in the intricacies of the story that you can’t see your characters for the plot, just get your nemesis to read it. They won’t be shy about telling you if your characters suck, believe me.

Okay, I think that’s all I have to say about that. I’m starting to do that overthinking thing again.

G’night.

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Lessons I Learned From Three Days Of The Condor

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of classic American paranoid thrillers. You know, those movies set in New York City about one man made to fight for his life against shadowy, possibly omnipotent enemies and tasked with uncovering a vast conspiracy that may or may not lead right to the highest levels of government office.

The hero doesn’t need to be a CIA agent (The Conversation) or a journalist (The Parallax View) – they might just be graduate student studying Nazi history (Marathon Man) – but they do need to get pretty quickly out of their depth and become romantically entangled with a gorgeous woman who may not be everything she seems…

It seems only natural that these movies would all crop up around the same time: the Cold War was on, there were plenty of John le Carré novels to adapt and – most importantly – the New Hollywood filmmaking philosophy of the late ’60s and ’70s allowed movies to be bolder with their statements and yet even more personal with their characters, a recipe that allowed for a truly astonishing run of movies even without the spy genre (and all at the cost of a few hard drug habits, dozens of failed marriages and exploded egos – just go read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls already if you haven’t).

Which all leads me to a deceptively simple statement:

Three Day of the Condor is a great film.

That’s it. If we lived in a perfect world I would say that and you’d simply spool up Netflix or pick up the DVD remote and watch the film, perhaps once it’s finished two hours later remarking, “Well, I’ll be darned if Mark wasn’t right about this flick,” and then perhaps, “I wonder where I can get a pair of sideburns like Redford’s?”

Alas, we live in a high-speed age and you’ve probably got a lot going on – maybe a hair appointment, or a protest against genetically-modified flying terrapins or somesuch – so it’s a bit much to ask you to watch a movie you might not even enjoy all that much.

You will, but that’s beyond the point.

Actually, the real reason I wanted to talk about it was because there were two scenes in the movie that stood out for me. Everything in Three Days of the Condor is wonderfully executed and perfectly gripping, but these two scenes are of special import to the screenwriter in me. Who know? You might find them interesting too.

First, a brief plot synopsis:

Robert Redford is a low-level CIA employee working in NYC (natch) named Turner. He’s not an intelligence operative or anyone particularly exciting, really, he just reads books and magazines, anything that’s published on the lookout for recurring motifs, hidden codes or changes in the zeitgeist.

[As an aside, let’s just think about that job for a minute: Turner and the other people doing his job are paid to read everything that is published in the entire world. As in, while actually keeping more or less up to date. That’s mind-boggling in the face of how much written content is generated on the internet alone daily. It seems a little quaint now and kind of insane, but at least Redford acknowledges it: “Who’d invent a job like that?”]

He goes out for lunch one minute and comes back the next only to discover that all of his colleagues have been shot to death while he was getting their pastrami-on-rye. He calls the men upstairs to bring him in but after a botched rescue attempt it seems that the CIA want Turner dead just as much as the assassins led by the enigmatic Max von Sydow’s Joubert do. He decides to make a stand and get to the bottom of what’s happened, but not before accosting a woman, Kathy (Faye Dunaway), on the street and holing up in her apartment.

[As you can see it’s a little tense at first, but Kathy breaks through Redford’s distrustful shield and…well, it was 1975, and it was still Hollywood.]

The first scene I want to talk about is a moment between Redford and Dunaway in her apartment. They’ve more or less just entered the place after Turner  having the single worst day of his life, so he needs a kip. He’s not about to let Kathy out of his sight so he drapes her arm around him with a gun in one hand so as to feel her moving should she try and escape while he gets 40 winks and waits for the 6 o’clock news report. When he does wake he trots over to the TV and switches it on to find…

…adverts. Because that’s what happens when you turn a television on at random. It’s rarely ever the exact report or programme you need, and having it appear so easily insults the audience’s intelligence by assuming they won’t notice your laziness as a screenwriter.

This device – a little thing I like to call ‘realism’ – helps us ground us in Condor‘s world a bit more. We’ve been chased and shot at up and down the streets of Manhattan all day, so it’s somewhat comforting to have a safe space where something dull can happen and hitmen aren’t waiting in alleys. I do love a good awkward silence between two gorgeous movie stars, don’t you?

And then it starts getting really good, because the screenwriters (insert names) know an opportunity for good characterisation when they see one. Instead of letting the joke run its course and just be that, they create a moment of depth by having Turner point out the black-and-white photographs on the wall, prompting a brief but illuminating and oddly sweet discussion of Kathy’s tendencies as a photographer. She takes “lonely pictures” of empty benches and leafless trees with no-one in the frame. Kathy tries to write them off as impersonal, stating that “it’s winter,” but Redforf sees through her. “No…it’s more like November. I like them,” he says, and there’s a brief spark of connection between the hostage and hostage-taker just before the news report finally comes on (it doesn’t feel like we’ve been waiting at all) that never would have existed had we been in story more concerned with cutting to the chase.

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t seen this more in the 38 years since Three Days of the Condor‘s release (probably because I wasn’t alive for 15 of ’em), but I reckon it’s no coincidence that this film’s endured as long as it has.

The second comes in the penultimate scene of the film, after secret organisations have been unveiled, covered up and brushed under the rug. It’s the dawn of the fourth day, and Turner and his enigmatic would-be hunter stroll along a path together, discussing plans for the future. Von Sydow suggests that he could make a fine living in his line of work, perhaps in Europe. After all, there’s little for him here but the gnawing knowledge that, one day, a car will pull up by the side of the road, someone he trusts in the back seat…

But no – Redford says he’s going to stay here. “I was born in America.” Someone’s got to at least try to set things right, he figures, and he just doesn’t have the same nihilism that Joubert pulls off so effortlessly. He makes hired killers seem like the most peaceful creatures on Earth, and it’s somewhat terrifying just how convincing he is:

I don’t interest myself in ‘why?’. I think more often in terms of ‘when?’, sometimes ‘where?’. And always ‘how much?’.

The fact is: What I do is not a bad occupation. There is never a Depression. Someone is always willing to pay.

It is…quite restful. Almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There is only yourself. And the belief is in your precision.

– Joubert, Three Days of the Condor

Despite them being on opposite sides of an ideological spectrum, they’re no longer enemies. They have no reason to be at this point in time, so why should they give themselves more grief by trying to kill one another?

It’s pretty clear to see what’s so appealing about that scene – it’s shades of gray. Everybody’s someone else’s villain, everyone’s the hero of their own story and your reason’s just as good as anyone’s. I’m glad when characters actually seem autonomous and become capable of deciding for themselves who’s a villain rather than having The Movie dictate it to you.

“But he’s got a shotgun shaped like a swastika! He must be the bad guy!”

No, thanks. It’s just not real. And I’m not for a minute suggesting that I think films should be realistic to within an inch of their entertainment, just that they should be able to trick me into thinking that they are real despite all evidence to the contrary.

A New Hope is real because the droids are junkheaps and Luke has a shitty job. Die Hard is real because John McClane has jetlag and no shoes.

Three Days of the Condor is real because there are TV commercials.

[You can download a copy of the screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Rayfiel here. Some credit should be given to the author of the source novel Six Days of the Condor James Grady, but how much I couldn’t say. Clearly the timeframe was ramped up among presumably other things.]

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Breaking Radio Silence

I’ve been reworking the battleplan for my third draft of Scars lately- really breaking its back in the past couple of days and having minor epiphanies every other minute – and attempting to stay in a consistently productive zone is a difficult task for me under most circumstances so if I start writing a blog, chances are my brain’ll switch gears in the middle of it and I won’t know what I’m doing once I get back in screenplay mode.

Not that I ever did in the first place, mind.

I’m going to start the actual rewriting process in the next couple of days – my prep involves a complicated process of general and specific notes that have to be transferred and diluted into several different formats and media like some complex, award-winning cappuccino before they’re of any use to me when Courier’s onscreen – so I’ll get posting more then.

You’d think if I don’t post when I’m only planning on writing that it’d be impossible when I am, but my preparation occurs in so many different places and largely off-computer that I’m rarely looking at a screen for more than ten minutes at a time. With working on the actual script I’m at my desk for the long haul, and it’s easier to stay in that committed headspace of writing something longer than a tweet.

It’s nice to be back in work mode. I’ve been somewhat listless lately, and part of that was probably to do with reluctance to dive back into Scars, but now I’m here and the water’s just above tepid I wonder what I was so worried about in the first place.

Oh? Fucking it up? Yeah, that’s right. Thanks a lot.

Anyway, I’ll put up some more stuff as the week goes on. There are interesting things happening right now, both on the micro and the macro scale, so I figure I might have something to say for once. I also saw World War Z the other day and thought I might like to start putting non-Nerdly reviews up on here again, if for no other reason than to flex my critical muscles (and maybe snag a few extra views from the Brad Pitt tags).

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Wolverbeam

I’m writing some copy for the Jorvik Group’s blog and during my research came across this sentence:

“…learn about Vikings through the exciting archaeology of volcanos and weapon x-rays, in partnership with…”

I had to read that about four times before I realised they weren’t talking about Wolverine firing laser beams from his claws.

Perhaps I should have eaten something this morning.

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