Wednesday last: disaster. I'm sitting at my usual place - laptop on coffee table, in kitchen - when the phone rings. So I stand up, reach for the phone, and my foot catches the power cord. Too late: the laptop slides off the edge of the coffee table, and hits the floor, edge first. The whole thing in slo-mo in my head.

Well, at first it looked like it was fine, but it turned out the usb ports were gubbed: I'd had a usb modem plugged into it when I stood up, and that clearly twisted and broke the internal usb slots. Oh joyous fucking day. And thank my lucky stars I hadn't stuffed my desktop pc away in a cupboard somewhere, like I'd been intending.

Thing is, since Wednesday, I've only been able to get on the net on my old desktop. And (aside from the mental shutdown mentioned in the next paragraph) I'm getting more writing done. Big surprise, really: it's way too easy to keep checking the email, look stuff up on Amazon, on the laptop. Now the work is evenly split between two machines: ancient pc for email and web, laptop for writing. One day I'll get a wifi card so I can not get around to ever sitting in coffee shops pretending it's actually possible to get work done surrounded by dozens of people talking loudly.

I crashed last weekend, and hardly did any writing, something I'm hoping to fix this weekend. Mind you, some good news: word from the agent is Against Gravity's been picked up by a Spanish publishing company for release in November 2006.

I think I mentioned before I'd put a short (ten minute) script into something called Tartan Shorts, where the BBC pick three scripts for production. The benefit isn't just to new writers, it's to producers, engineers, directors, whatever. I made the longlist out of maybe three hundred entries, which was apparently enough for me to get invited along to the BBC to talk to two producer types about how I saw the film being made, should it get so far as the top three: I had no idea what I was supposed to say, being entirely new to this kind of thing.

The story is set in an isolated religious community in the Highlands in the near future. It's very much science fiction.

At one point, one of the women said, 'you know, with the technology and the robots, it could almost be ...' She mused for a moment, before leaning forward. 'Almost sci fi.'

But it is science fic - I started to say, then closed my mouth and sat back, remembering the monthly lists of actors in Ansible saying their new movie featuring faster than light ships and aliens wasn't really science fiction, it was ... futuristic drama. I give up. I have no fucking idea what goes through these people's heads. No, I do know, but it's too depressing: what goes through their heads is Buck Rogers and flying cars and, I guess, a big blank nothing when it comes to imagining the world even a year or two from now.

So anyway, they're looking for a rewrite, for two weeks from now. What they're looking for seems faily reasonable, so that's something else to muck about with. I need a holiday.


Hal Duncan said...

Hey, congrats with the Spanish deal. Nice one.

paul f cockburn said...


Do you get paid in Euros?