Thursday 25th February 2021
I am very excited by the news that the vaccination programme is ‘rolling out’ so quickly in the UK. My wife and I received our first instalment of the Oxford-Astra-Zenica jab on Saturday 20th February and, after two bouts of minor temperatures & sore arms, we are fighting fit and looking forward to life getting back to normal.
But not too quickly, please?
There are powerful demands in Parliament for bars and restaurants to re-open, despite scientific guidance that this would drive cases up again. It is very sad that this current lock-down (our third) will probably cause the bankruptcy of many of these hospitality businesses. But I do (for once) have sympathy for our government for attempting the precarious balancing-act between the mounting pressure for normality (ie re-opening) versus the caution required for our safety (ie maintaining the lock-down a little longer).
Perhaps it is my advancing age, but I honestly believe that anyone who truly wants to become Prime Minister nowadays should have their sanity examined with some scepticism.
Still, it will be nice to have a holiday (or two?) sometime later this year ...
Here Be Dragons (serialised fantasy novella).
Rolling this out in episodes has proven a lot slower than I hoped. This due in part to my voluntary work, household chores and family commitments taking up most of every week. But, to be honest, it is also due to my inner critic wanting to give each episode 'just a bit more polishing' - which of course requires approval by my critique partners and occasional beta readers.
There is also the not-insignificant issue of providing an illustration to go with each episode - a decision I now regret. One in particular took me five weeks to produce. This is adding to the delays too.
That said, episode 5 is now available on the website and reviewers loved it.
Prentyse quizzes Zubin about dragon lairs and receives a suggestion which is as surprising as it is wondrous. But, and there’s always a ‘but’ in Waldemarian politics, what is really going on?
For a recap on any previous episode of 'Here Be Dragons', please visit the episodes list.
Other writing activities
As mentioned in my Bio, I am also an actor and my main company is Brightlight Theatre Company. Our last show was A Christmas Carol (Virtually) - Dickens' much loved work, rewritten for the Zoom Age and highly acclaimed by online audiences. Our next project will be another online show, some time in Spring this year (2021), of five-minute monologues. To increase the challenge, all the material is being written by the members of cast under the leadership of our award-winning playwright Jamie Lakritz. You can imagine this was a challenge I relished, and I have written the draft of one monologue so far and plan to start a second...
A Man Of My Dreams
A man runs an adult chatline of this name. His clients are women, and his business is to make their wildest dreams come true.
First draft written. Needs shortening to reach its surprise ending quicker.
Long-term newsletter subscribers may recognise this title and/or this blurb...
A woman’s nondescript photo of a pile of rocks commemorates a youthful romantic date among dinosaur remains.
Exists as a short story. To be re-framed as a monologue.
I am honoured and privileged to have been invited to help with the home-schooling of a neighbour’s 9-year-old boy, specifically with his creative writing. Following a teaching pack from his school, he has become enthused about the art of story-telling. Instead of simply submitting a single story for marking, he submitted the first chapter of a book. And this seems to be no short-term interest to be abandoned when something better comes along: he has continued writing his magnum opus which is now about 80% finished - just a handful of place-holder chapters throughout the work remain to be drafted.
The honour is that he asked me to be his editor.
The privilege arises from being entrusted to make changes to a young writer’s first work of science fiction.
In my humble opinion, it is very good indeed, and I cannot wait to read and edit a second, more-complete draft.
If I hadn’t known his age, I would have attributed its contents to someone several years older because of its use of language, the breadth of imagination and mastery of story-telling techniques. In fact, I honestly believes he has a better grasp of the latter than a few older writers whose work I have read and offered feedback. I have no doubt that, if he continues with this interest, he could become one of the prominent writers of his time.