Is it too much to ask …

As a writer I have very small ambitions.

I want to be able to write things I love.

I want to keep learning, keep getting better, keep finding new ways to tell old stories.

I want to work with amazing people in writing rooms and at coffee shops and in late night sessions in smoke / chocolate filled rooms.

I want to get paid, as a writer, a professional.

I want to write.

But, today, I also want to add another aspiration … I want to add a word to the language.

The Thick of it is, probably, one of the best TV shows I ever saw. Sharp, funny, extremely sweary … The very opposite of an omnishambles …

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/aug/28/omnishambles-new-words-oxford-dictionaries

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Standing up for myself …

… Video to follow … But, for now – with grateful thanks to Mr. Fish who took the pic!

“That’s me in the spotlight …”

Stand up 1

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Laughing at, laughing with … It’s all good!

So, here goes nothing …

Mid life crisis, maybe … But, one way or another I walk the last sixteen feet tonight and, once I am there, there will be no turning back.

Try the veal, please remember to tip your waitresses ..

20130825-135359.jpg

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Shorty got got …

A brief moment of pause to remember a great master in his moment of passing. His books were stunning. Effortlessly cool. And they became some great films and the absolutely wonderful Justified.

Folks, let’s hear it for Mr. Elmore Leonard; he was a master word-smith and a cool dude. The world is a poorer place now that he’s no longer in it.

Look at me, look at me … Go read some Elmore Leonard, you know it’s the right thing to do …

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/20/elmore-leonard-get-shorty-books-dies

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Crying in the morning …

I’m back in the writing room in South Africa (it’s a long story, which I will tell at a later stage). My boi child sent me this and, with temperamental bandwidth here in the deep South, I watched it when I got into the room this morning. And now I am weeping. This is beautiful … Simply beautiful.

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I want him on that wall …

I didn’t know it at the time, but he first had me at that moment … A Few Good Men, the Rob Reiner film. That’s when my love affair with Aaron Sorkin began.

Then came The West Wing and I was his.

Until The Wire came along and complicated my life, The West Wing was inked in at number one on my personal list. Indeed, it was really kinda tough to ink in a 1+ for David Simon but yes, for the record, The Wire is just that good.

But back to the magical Mr. Sorkin.

West Wing was simply stunning. A new type of TV, writing with extra sparkle and an uncompromising intellect. I back tracked to Sportsnight, and found the early play book for what would become The West Wing and much more. Humour, humanity and characters I grew to love and still miss to this day.

I also loved Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, just loved it. It was accused of navel gazing, and frankly, so what? It was accused of being too clever for it’s own good. And, again I say, meh! There’s no such thing as too clever, even when you are one of the cleverest writers working in TV, and Aaron is certainly that.

Let’s just say ‘All good things should flow to the boulevard’ and leave it at that, shall we?

Now I’m watching season two of The Newsroom. And, well … Gush …

I’m also watching House of Cards, the amazing Netflix series and the two series offer up a wonderful comparison. Both are brilliantly written, both are astonishingly well performed. But the big difference is this …

In House of Cards the characters don’t care about the issues, they don’t care about the thing, they don’t care about morality. They simply care about themselves and their personal power and advancement.

In The Newsroom, as in every single one of Sorkin’s scripts, the characters care about the thing, they care about the issue, they care about what they do and why. They care. He cares –  he’s all about stuff that is all about who and what we are as people, as a society, as a civilization. He cares and he wears his heart on his impeccably tailored sleeve.

And he still manages to do all that and be funny. Which is far more than I ever managed.

And that’s why I love him.

Aaron Sorkin, he’s my number one. In ink.

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Digging Doug …

You don’t know where the middle of the road even is unless you’ve seen the far curb …

Doug Stanhope – Comedian. Word of Mouth (NSFL – Not safe for life!)

Some of what he says is shocking. Some of what he says is shockingly profound. He’s a Gonzo comedian who’s more Bill Hicks than Billy Crystal -and he’s certainly not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. Hell, if you’re just ordinarily offended he’s probably gonna have you spiting out tea all over your TV screen. But, and here’s the thing, he’s sometimes as profound as he is profane, and that’s his job. That is what comedy is supposed to do – it’s supposed to stick in your head, blow the cobwebs out and leave room for new ideas to nest. Dig some Doug, but don’t say I didn’t warn you …

*

I collect words and ideas. They are the stones that I pick up on the beach and store away in a small black bag in a hidden recess of my soul. In this section I’ll try share some of them, in the hope that they comfort you, inspire you or make you smile. If they do then my work here is done.

Starman

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Look what Mr. Fry is cooking …

The man is a genius. A great thinker and an amazing writer.

However, Impactful is not a word. It’s ugly and we don’t need to invent ugly to replace the beautiful options already available in or amazing language.

I adore Mr Fry. I wish I could write even a fraction as well as he does.

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Writers gotta write …

I’m not a literary person, not even a little bit.

I love words, I love writing and I love story. But mostly literature leaves me cold.

But I do adore pulp fiction (the film and the format!).

I first came across Scott Sigler on The Nerdist Podcast. He was talking about how he’d given his words away as Podcasts and, in doing so, built himself an audience and a path to getting paid for his words. Then he talked about writing a million new words in a year and I thought – light-weight!

Frankly, he had me at hello.

Scott writes scary, he writes funny, he writes sc-fi and he writes about football (American, for the playing of) and sometimes he writes about all of those things at the same time. I kid you not, american football, in space – with aliens and gangstas, and gangstas who are aliens … and … Seriously, what’s not to love?

His books are great fun, compulsive, compelling – dare I say page turners? – and right now he’s pitching a pretty scary one (Nocturne) as a TV show. Here’s hoping they dig him as much as I do.

If you’re looking for literature, what the hell are you doing reading THIS blog?

But if you’re looking for a damn good read, by a damn good writer, then check out Scott’s work. He’ll read it to ya for free and then, if you have a soul, you’ll throw him some cash and buy the words, they won’t disappoint.

http://scottsigler.com/

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Phew, phew, phew!

I’ve been playing a lot of the on-line flying game War Thunder recently; shooting and being shot at in WWII era planes. So much, so fun.

I guess that’s why I find this GIF astonishing. That and being old enough to have been innocently thrilled by Top Gun without once considering the sub-text of that volley ball game. Take me to bed or lose me forever indeed!

This is more like a move in Star Wars or BSG than something done in the density of the atmosphere and the pressure of the gravity well.

Bang bang you’re …. No, wait! What!?

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