Friday, November 19, 2010

EPISODES with Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig

And some American bloke.

In which S. Mangan and T. Greig play gorgeous and successful British comedy writers ALMOST* CERTAINLY BASED ON THE WRITERS OF GREEN WING.

* the given value of the word 'almost' in this instance is variable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm up in London for a ton of meetings. At my hotel, it turns out it's slightly too early to check in to my room, but much too early for my first meeting, so I bimble back to Paddington station to get a coffee.

On the way, a lady gives me a card advertising a thing of some kind. I put the card in my pocket, and as I do so, feel my wedding ring fall off my finger.

Hmm. I put my ring back on, and it falls off again. Hurrah, I have lost weight! I put the ring in my wallet to keep it safe, and three seconds later I am struck by a TERRIBLE FEAR and phone Patroclus.

ME: Hello hello, you know how every time I go to London I have some sort of exciting battle against ninjas, or my building gets taken over by terrorists like in Die Hard, or I'm very nearly taken out by snipers BECAUSE I KNOW TOO MUCH (the unlikeliest scenario), but each time I just make it back in one piece?
ME: Well if I don't make it back this time, and the authorities find my wedding ring in my wallet, I didn't take it off because I was having an affair or owt, it's just that it kept sliding off of its own accord, so I've put it in my wallet for safe keeping.

Patrocus is reassured by my explanation, and does a very good impression of someone to whom the possibility of her sexy and newly-svelte husband even having an affair had never even occurred (I wrote that last sentence three times and it still looks wrong). Anyway, to some, this could sound like DANGEROUS COMPLACENCY, especially considering my photographic recall of various editions of the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual, that shiz is like catnip for sexy London ladies, don't pretend it isn't. But nevermind, I have set Patroclus's mind at rest, I know how she worries. Or would worry if I ended up as the mysterious corpse in a CSI-style slightly rubbish show, being poked about by handsome forensic scientists who need to put all the pieces together (not my pieces, it's too late for that).

After the call I put my hand back in my pocket and remember the card, Taking it out, it turns out to be an advert for some sort of Tantric Sex facility, located only five minutes from Paddington Station.


I won't give out the exact address of the Tantric Sex place, as some of my blog readers may not have the impressive powers of self-control that I do (it was lovely font, I really wanted to go and ask them about it), or the ability to recite monsters from the Monster Manual until all the Tantric Sex ladies stop bothering me and just answer my font questions.

Maybe I didn't lose weight though. Maybe it's just a bit cold, and my fingers have gone a bit withery, like a lich's (MM1 4th ed. p176).

Later I have my first meeting, at which I display my customary high levels of energy, lighting up the room. Afterwards:

PRODUCER: You seem a bit tired, do you want a lie down? Also you look gaunt.

'GAUNT'! I HAVE LOST WEIGHT! I bet they have scales in that Tantric Sex place, I did think of going and asking, but I worried I might run into Sting, so have chosen not to, the end.

* a 'wight' (MM 4th ed p.262) is a kind of undead monster, akin to, but not exactly the same as, the lich.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

'Why Writers Need To Blog'

As part of a talk to the Professional Writing M.A. course at University College Falmouth, I had a chat with Sophie Cowles about blogging and professional writing, a recording of which is up here:

'Why Writers Need To Blog'

At the time I was recovering from a chest infection, and suffering from lack of sleep brought on by having an eight-week-old baby yelling all over the shop, so I have no idea if I made any sense at all. If you've listened to it and I didn't, why not shout at me about it in the comments section?

UPDATE: actually, if I had picked the headline myself, I would have called it 'Why Writers Should Definitely Try Blogging, But If They Find It's Not For Them, Fine, At Least They Gave It A Go'. But it's not as snappy.