This week, I had a bit of a ‘take your foot out of your arse, you fool’ Gordon Brown moment. Oh, I don’t mean that I insulted a baffled-looking northern Granny (never take on a northern Granny; you’ve got bugger-all chance of winning any battle you get into with them), but I did forget myself and insult someone. One of my facebook friends posted a status update that he was going to watch a movie by a filmmaker called Adam Mason, whose work I’ve never really enjoyed (I blogged about his film The Devil’s Chair earlier in this blog’s existence). Now, like a fool, a replied to the status update with a comment that someone should persuade Mr Mason to never pick up a film camera again…and about ten minutes later, Mr Mason replied to the status update to say hello. Open mouth, insert entirely embarrassed foot… The reason I’m blogging about this here is firstly so that I can give you the benefit of my amassed wisdom: remember, kids, that facebook conversations are NOT private! If you post in fb, or an online forum, or twitter or any of those other similar websites, PEOPLE CAN READ WHAT YOU WRITE AND YOU CAN COME ACROSS LOOKING LIKE A DICK! Next, I’d like too publically apologise – sorry! I stand by my opinions on the films, but I should have thought, how would I feel if someone dismissed my stories like that? Not critically useful, just offensive?
The other thing about this whole incident is how Mr Mason (who I’m going to call Adam from this point, mainly because it’s his name but also for another reason that shall soon become clear) reacted: now, if I’d been insulted by someone I’d never heard of, I like to think I’d politely ignore it, but I know that (in private)I’d be really annoyed and probably a bit upset. It would, therefore, be entirely understandable if Adam had sent me an offensive message after my comment, ignored me or questioned just precisely who in the name of two dogs shagging I was to insult his films. Rather wonderfully, however, he didn’t do any of those things. No, what he did was offer to offer send me more of his works. Within a day, he’d sent me a link to download his movie Pig, and has promised to send me both Blood River and Luster on DVD! I hope one day to have to confidence to react to criticism like that, rather (as I currently do) smiling publically and stropping in private! For the record, I’m halfway through Pig and am finding it grotesque, hard work and disturbing – which is, I suspect, exactly what Adam was aiming for. It’s a movie filmed entirely in one take, and technically is superb (in a hand-held, verite way) although it’s not any easy watch. It treads similar ground to his earlier movie, Broken, which I disliked intensely, but does so without some of the things that bothered me about Broken (mostly, weak characterisation and a subsequent sense that what I was watching was there not for me to relate emotionally with the victim (and therefore share in the horror) but simply to enjoy the violence, which I don’t). In Pig, there’s no attempt to personalise the victims – the camera never leaves Pig himself, and there’s a much clearer sense of how terrible Pig and his world are. Interesting (if difficult) stuff. So,mostly, I want to say cheers to Adam for being a general good egg and decent bloke! This week, I made a new friend and that makes it a good week.
On the writing front, things have been slow but good. I spent some time with red pen in hand, and have managed to revise the novella (now called The Seven) down by about 2500 words. The original editorial feedback was to try to get it to about 10,000 words, but it currently stands at about 11,200 and feels like it can’t go much lower without losing integral parts of itself. It’s certainly a much better piece for being shorter, but how much shorter I can take it remains a minor mystery. Not much, I don’t think, but we’ll see. I also started a story about where I live, Scale Hall, and showed the beginning to my writer’s group who (very politely and constructively) tore it a new arsehole. My plan is to write the rest of the story this week and start revisions, soon so that it’s ready to submit in a couple of weeks. Finally, I had a plot idea involved horses, assassination attempts, Joseph Kabila and shape-shifting demons: gonna write that one after the Scale Hall short and nasty is finished…
The novel hasn’t moved much. I found an excellent encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology yesterday at my favourite bookshop, which I had to buy (for research purposes, you understand…) so I’m planning on getting back into The Sorrowful soon. I want to get these stories out of the way, and then it’s back to Hell for me. I have some time coming soon (more on that next week) so I should be able to really get moving on it. Watch this space!
Right, that’s it Lords and Ladies. Go back to your day!