Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Become Intelligent (Or Not)

Charlotte with her new glasses

Charlotte was short sighted. She couldn't read projector screens. She couldn't read subtitles. She couldn't even read computer screens properly. Clearly it was time for a trip to the optometrist.

One trip later, and Charlotte's glasses were ordered. Now perfect sight was just a few days away. If she could last that long...

"Our rice pudding has a stick in it," Gemma-Rose declared one night, talking about a stick of cinnamon.

"Oh, I want a stick of celery in my pudding," Charlotte cried enthusiastically.

Everyone stared at her. Celery? Since when had we ever put celery in our rice puddings?

"Let's hope your glasses make you more intelligent," I said. "At least you'll look more intelligent with them on."
Charlotte without her new glasses

And so on for the rest of the week. Her favourite excuse became, "Oh, I'm blind as a bat you know. I couldn't possibly see that."

Today, another trip to the optometrist resulted in a brand new Charlotte. New, snazzy glasses adorned her nose with, "special glass to cut down on glare." A brand new, red glasses case came with the glasses, "because red ones go faster."

Has her glasses made her more intelligent? Well, I'm sorry to say she's still going round making random comments about celery. I suppose she'll just have to be the nutty professor instead of the intelligent individual. I can live with that.

This post was written with much encouragement and full permission by Charlotte herself.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Swords and Bows

I love weapons. Swords, bows, knives, anything remotely fantasy connected. I love them all. It might have something to do with the fact that I love writing fantasy novels.

My fantasy characters are so lucky. Somehow they all seems to end up with amazing weapons, and all end up knowing how to use them. I am frankly envious of my characters, who learn how to fight with a sword, or shoot with a bow and arrow. It just seems so unfair!

The closest I can come to this however, is imagining I have these awesome weapons. Which then brings up another problem. Which weapon would I choose to have?

Swords are always dear to me, with their showy sounding fights. A good sword fight is always welcome in a book. Plus you can always have a legend involving a sword, or have one with fancy engraving on the blade. Knives are fun too, especially throwing knives. I'm not so sure about spears though. And axes are definitely not my style.

No, out of all the weapons, I think I'd be a bow-girl. These weapons are so graceful, and very practical. You can defend yourself long range, and pick up a roast for dinner at the same time. Plus, there's something very elfish about bows.

What weapon would you chose to have if you could have anything? Would you have an old fashioned weapon like a sword? Or a more modern weapon like a gun? Can you suggest any other weapons that could be used in a fantasy story?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Magic, Minstrels and Script Frenzy

I've written several posts about Script Frenzy so far this month. I've talk about what Script Frenzy is, what I've been writing, and how I've been writing. I've posted about what scripting program I'm using and I've even posted some Script Frenzy inspired art. However today I want to share the news of my triumph. Yes, Charlotte and I have written our 100 pages of script.

It's been so much fun writing a script. Magic and Minstrels, our musical, finished up with 89 pages and a lot of laughing. Somehow, every script writing session had to have a laugh or two in it as the characters went from one hilarious situation to another.

But that's not our only project. We also started writing a TV series based off the Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton. We've only just started the first two episodes. What about the rest of the series? Is it fated never to be written?

No! We've got plans for the rest of the month, plans that involve much, much more script writing. Fr Brown is quite safe while there are days in the month. We could stop writing...But we won't. Because we love it. Script Frenzy, the page count is going to rise.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Write Together

In an earlier post I talked about Script Frenzy and how Charlotte and I are co-writing a musical. To make our script writing last until 100 pages, we've also started writing a TV series, which give us two scripts to work on. Two scripts means we can both write at the same time. And two writers means a 'write in'.

Writing is almost always a solitary occupation. While Charlotte and I write the same script, we don't work on it at the same time. It's the same with novels. Always we write on our own. And that can get a little lonely.

We found the solution to this problem however. This afternoon, armed with music, chocolate and two laptops, we sat down to have our very first Script Frenzy 'write in'.

Out fingers flew over the keys. The sounds of two tortured keyboards filled the air. Somehow, the knowledge that someone else was working just as hard as me spurred me on to work harder, longer and better.

Together we worked of hours, hardly noticing the passing of the time. Two hours solid work past in the blink of an eye. Two hours I never would have worked through on my own. A marathon of writing, made easy by the fact that there was another person writing alongside me.

Writing together makes things more fun. Script Frenzy will fly by as long as I have Charlotte working alongside me. Write ins are amazing fun, and so productive. If you want to get a heap of work done, work with someone else. It's amazing what you can do.

Do you like to write with another person? Do you find it easier to concentrate and get more work done? Or do you fine it distracting?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Blogging is fun. I love reading blog posts. I love writing them too. And I love the comments people leave on blog posts. Yes, the blogosphere is a nice place to be, and certainly I don't mind spending a while here.

But sometimes there are more important things to do than blog. Sometimes you just have to disconnect from the blogosphere and spend time doing something else.

That's what I've been doing for the past week. With Easter preparations, masses and family time, blogging had to give way. With so much going on, there simply wasn't time to think about blogging.

And to tell the truth, it was good to be away for a while. Once things quietened down I found that instead of blog surfing, I read, and wrote and drew. Instead of thinking up new blog posts to write, I thought about ideas for my script, twists for my novel and subjects for new doodles. I rediscovered things that got pushed to the background thanks to blogging and life.

I'm glad to be back in the blogosphere, catching up on missed blog posts. I missed writing on my blogs. But, thanks to disconnecting for a while, I found that blogging wasn't the only thing worth doing in the world. Sometimes you just have to disconnect for a while and rejoin the rest of the world. If nothing else, it helps to grow an appreciation of the blogging world when you get back.

Have you ever found it useful to disconnect from the blogosphere for a while?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


When you're spending the month writing a script, it really helps to have a proper scripting program. While looking around the Script Frenzy site we came across Celtx, a free, web based scripting program.

Well, the first thing that caught the eye was the word 'free'. As long as it formatted our scripts in anything like the right way, it'd be ok. We created out free accounts, downloaded the free desktop version and started writing.

One day in and I was in love with Celtx. You could make a title page, take notes on the scenes, plan out new scenes on virtual notecards, make notes about your characters and it formatted everything for you. Writing a script with Celtx was a breeze.

It wasn't long before I found another great feature of Celtx. It has templates for so many other kinds of writing. It'll format your screenplay, graphic novel and radio play. And, most importantly, it has a template for a novel. Well!

Celtix is now my favourite writing program. My current novel is transferred, with chapter breaks, title page and notecards. My script Magic and Minstrels sits waiting for me with the easy formatting. Yes, I love Celtx, and I can't wait to try out the other templates.

Have your ever used Celtx? What writing programs do you use?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Magic and Minstrels

I've never written a script in my life. Yes, I've read massive amounts of Shakespeare and a fair few Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, but I had never actually thought about writing one. Certainly not writing one in a month.

But it's April, and the start of Script Frenzy, the month of script writing, and of course we're involved. How could a family of writers pass this opportunity up?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Charlotte and I are team writing a musical. Not that we know what we're doing, or know where we're going. But ten pages in, we've got characters and a problem, plus lots of songs. Who knew song writing was so easy?

With four minstrels constantly arguing which love story is the greatest, a prince with a hot air balloon and a taste for adventure, a captive star princess, an evil magician and a sphinx, this musical looks set to go. Welcome to Magic and Minstrels.

It's all fingers flying as we pound our way towards the distant goal of 100 pages.

Anyone else writing a script this month?