The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘projects’

Mid-November Update

Posted by BigWords on November 15, 2010

This is my mid-November update, just like it says in the post header, and seeing as how I have managed (in my own special way) to add more projects than is either sane or remotely normal in one month – remembering that this is the height of the NaNoWriMo rush as well, you’re lucky I am writing this much about my activities. I’ve been pondering how I could break the following news to people without getting shouted at, but it seems that no matter how I word this list of projects I’m gonna end up with people wondering about my sanity.

The Comic

Yeah. That’s not going so well. It’s stalling somewhat because of the nature of the story… It was originally a neat examination of what a world would be like if superheroes defeated all the supervillains, but then I went and did something really stupid. I found Rick Veitch’s Brat Pack and Maximortal while I was moving stuff around, and even though there was a list of things I needed to do I decided to re-read them. Then (through mental machinations which my subconscious can only hint at, and for reasons even I don’t fully comprehend) the story took a wide left turn and had all kinds of things happen which undermines the simple message that you can’t always get what you want. I’ll start drawing the pages as and when I’m certain that they’ll not go through further permutations, though it doesn’t appear that I’ll be making the series available for download until March at the earliest – and that’s if it makes an appearance in finished form at all. There’s so much more than I expected lurking in the idea that I may see if I can pace it out properly at a later date and shop it around – there’s at least a couple of things in there which made even me (the man behind the story) do a double-take. It’s not that it is particularly violent, nor too offensive (especially given the type of things you can see in Max or Vertigo titles) but it has a feel to it that is off-key.

The early draft of the first issue is still here – and I’m wondering how Dan feels about his dubious caricature. Pfft. Whatever. I’m not going to change it now.

The Zombie List

The other main project for November was a list of all the zombie novels I could conceivably think of, and even I’m surprised at how many there are. It’s not as if I expected it to be easy, but it’s already longer than I anticipated, and the listing thus far is only up to the letter N. I thought that I would be done by Saturday, freeing up the rest of the week for the NaNo, though it now appears I’ll be doing this particular list for another couple of days. The list of short stories and other material to be found on the web will eventually be moved to it’s own sub-page as I get around to including all of the wonderful material I have yet to include, but for the moment it is all bunched together on the master page. The few titles missing from the list will eventually get added as I get around to confirming whether or not the undead in those works are indeed zombies, or if they are expy’s for vampires or other strains of the undead – there are a lot of mythological beings which look, at a cursory glance, to be zombies but are much different.

The Fanfic

I pointed out the fact that I was attempting to alter the largely negative attitudes to fanfic writing through an elaborate and interconnected saga which I would be writing through the latter part of this year, though it has increased significantly in scope, running (at present) to around 300k, and still incomplete. When it is nearly finished I will start polishing the opening chapters and begin posting them online a safe distance from my other locations on the interwebs. The last thing I need is to get embroiled in anything which it may arouse in people.

That’s all the shit you probably know about, and I’m sorry if I’m boring you to death by stating – yet again – that I’m busy working on things and not plying my usual brand of mind-games and madness online. There are only so many hours in the day, and it seems as if I am making things even harder on myself by adding more projects when I should probably be streamlining my activities to a few core things. The advice to writers is often “write what you are working on, and store away those good ideas for later” but it fails to take into account the sheer number of mind-blowing ideas which present themselves. If I started writing everything I want to write, I still wouldn’t have exhausted all the good stuff by the time I die. And you don’t need to start pipping in with a dead pool for me, ’cause I intend to live forever just out of spite.

Yeah, you heard that right… I AM NOW IMMORTAL.

The New Idea – Realism In YA

There was a couple of blog posts which I quickly browsed through – noting complaints and suggestions for the future of YA – which piqued my interest in the ways that a progression of sorts, or rather an expansion, could be done. The limited nature of YA – and I mean no offense to the many YA writers whose work I enjoy immensely – means I often get frustrated. The fact that so many of the YA books have resolutions which affirm and secure the reader is irritating and (whilst understandable) too neatly tied up. One of the biggest prompts for my concept – which I will come to in due course – was a post which suggested that there ought to be more diversity in the largely whitebread YA books. I love this. The only niggle at the back of my mind, questioning the suitability of myself as a YA writer, is the story I managed to subconsciously patch together whilst these thoughts I was consuming boiled over in a stew of possibilities. It isn’t exactly the type of thing I would imagine being an easy sell.

When people start begging – or at least pleading… maybe merely asking, now that I come to think about the wording of that post – for a more realistic set of texts for young readers, I always have the same reaction. It’s not that I don’t trust people’s judgment to separate the reality from the fiction, but it feels as if I need to repeat the same bloody thing over and over again – kids can be little shits when left to their own devices. The current way that they are represented in fiction could lead people to believe that children are somehow different from adults in their capability for acts of violence, malice and calculated evil. You don’t need to search too long to uncover some of the stories which have come out of the news channels regarding these kids, and it seems – to me, at the very least – that there may be worth in showing YA readers that not only do the good guys don’t always win, but that the flip-side of the coin can have widespread ramifications.

This, combined with a longstanding love of classic hardboiled writers, The Wire fresh in my mind, and a fortuitous e-mail from a friend whose career in Social Work gives me access to details I could only dream of, managed to combine to create a tale about a twelve-year old who graduates from running drugs and stealing, to the “heights” of running his own criminal empire in a housing estate. I already have the opening scene, with a clock of cement being thrown off the roof of the estate onto a policeman’s head, and I know how the story ends – the kid, now fourteen, is shot dead by police. That’s as much as I want to share at the moment. And for those of you who asked for more realism, I hope you’re happy…

Somehow I have the feeling I should have merely copied Jack’s response to being asked for truth.

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A Quick Word About New Projects

Posted by BigWords on December 1, 2009

There’s always something going on, and it can be hard to remain focused on what I’m meant to be doing, so I thought I would share some of the things which have been bubbling under the surface and are almost ready to begin work on properly. This does, of course, mean I am taking on yet more commitments, though I have enough material stashed away to prevent them overwhelming me. Hopefully. I can’t guarantee that things will go smoothly, but I can guarantee that there will be a wealth of information available from my archives very soon. Both of the not-quite-ready blogs I am getting ready to add to my blogroll are going to be based around reviews and associated material.

The first of the blogs will appear at some point in the next week or so, with the second added when I get the chance to dig out the reference work I have been gathering for the last few years. The addition of two new blogs doesn’t mean that I’ll be ignoring this slice of insanity on a regular basis, nor does it mean that the book blog will be pushed to one side. If anything, the addition of two new blogs will allow me to put more material online than at present. It will also allow me to cover material I haven’t yet taken the opportunity to spend any time thinking about, adding links throughout all of the blogs to tie everything together in one meta-blog. Did I just come up with a brand new term? Quite possibly…

I have considered adding a fifth blog to the weekly duties, specifically centered on artwork I like, though that might wait a while. Diluting my free time with things to do is part of my attempts to keep busy while everyone else is asleep, ’cause the insomnia is really beginning to affect the way I spend my time. It really isn’t healthy to spend so much time arguing with the radio and causing mayhem around the net. I need constructive work to keep my idle hands from giving the devil work to do – or something.

I’ll finish up here with another pic which I like.

I didn’t draw it, so the blame can’t be pinned on me.

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All The Subtlety Of The Tet Offensive

Posted by BigWords on September 4, 2009

Damn… I keep meaning to keep on top of things, but trying (badly) to memorize worksheets, books and other important stuff to bluff my way through essential work-related stuff has had the odd effect of turning my brains to shit. All the walking I am doing isn’t helping, as I’m often operating under less than optimal performance. I’ll share some of the projects from my To Do list here, and show you why things are a bit more insane than normal.

There’s a small company which needs technical manuals, class handouts and such, so I’m putting together a comprehensive pack of computer literature for them. I’ve sorted out most of the important (and essential) basic material, including the fundamentals of HTML, Java, the history of the internet, clear guidelines on website creation and some Photoshop stuff. I’m not going to get myself involved in the teaching aspect, but I’ll help out where I can.

And that’s put in the shade by a massive commitment to a group which has approached me for assistance with a British comic-book guide along the lines of Overstreet. I’ve got a lot of comics from the eighties and nineties… well, some 2000AD, and a shitload of Viz, Oink!, Scream and lots of seldom-heard titles. The girls comics alone (Misty, Judy, Bunty et al) are going to take a lot of research, so I’m sticking to the stuff I’ve heard of.

Re-reading some of the eighties’ relaunch of Eagle reminded me how much I hated the photostrips, especially since the Doomlord strip was eminently readable in strip form. Not sure what to make of the pictures of eighties television though… I must have blanked all memory of big hair, shoulder-pads and oil barons from my memory banks.

My involvement seemed a good idea when I added the project to my schedule, but I’m stepping back for a couple of months to complete my course and get some free time for real writing. The fiction kind. They’ll still be there when I’m ready to concentrate on the project, unless somebody manages to fill in a shitload of information on pre-1930’s comics… I think I’m safe in that regard.

And there’s the continuing saga of the WIPs to take into consideration.

So there is little in the way of free time. Yet I’m still fucking away the small hours of the night with endless games. Between about 2am and 5am is the best for playing something that requires a moody setting, such as Doom 3 – or the tunnel sequences of most FPS titles. All the better for frightening myself with.

Time seems to be slipping away.

November is scratched out in my calendar for NaNo, the end of December will be wasted with Christmas parties and alcohol, and I’m almost certain that the first couple of weeks of 2010 will be hazy at best. October, being ignored for the most part till now, seems to be filling with work.

The endless e-mails flying to and fro at the moment, proposing my involvement in groups, asking if I need work (and generally sucking up) are welcomed, but I really don’t have time to jump into another commitment without going completely fucking insane. Which I’m sure would amuse everyone, but I’m not giving anyone the satisfaction of seeing me in a straight-jacket. (cue bug-eating and shit-flinging)

Did I miss anything? Probably. I’m lost without my post-it notes, and those are upstairs. If I have promised anyone that I would do anything then I guess this is as good a place as any to badger me into progress. I check in with this blog every day, even if I don’t post anything, so I’ll answer anything that comes up.

Just don’t ask me to start a new project…

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