Working on ‘Meredith’

Lately, as some of you may know, I’ve been a little stressed/overwhelmed by the amount of freelancing/other work I’ve been up to, and this has resulted in me taking a little break from finishing/editing the novel I’ve only been referring to as Meredith.

So, I’ve decided to remedy that by switching things around a little, and taking a little break from most of my OTHER work (I’ll still be writing for Screencrave) to focus on this, along with finding an agent.

To be honest, I’m slightly intimidated by the seemingly huge task ahead of me, but I’ll begin sending postal submissions soon. I’ll keep you all updated.

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m hopeful for the future!

~B

The Picard Theory: AKA Picard’s Nexus Fantasy

I recently wrote a piece for Tuppence Magazine, with exclusive quotes from Brent Spiner about the latest Star Trek sequel in production. Which led me to remember something I came up with a while back: Picard’s Nexus Fantasy (Theory).

So, let’s switch our minds back to the Star Trek: TNG movie, Generations: How do Picard and Kirk leave the Nexus? It occurred to me, you never see the point where they leave, and you never see HOW they leave. Do they just decide to leave and there’s a big flashy exit sign? I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be that easy (Appendix A).

So imagine this; Picard never leaves the Nexus, and everything after those planets + the Enterprise blowing up is just Picard’s Nexus fantasy. First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis and the rest, all just Picard’s Nexus fantasy.

How? First Contact, yeah it’s a bit of action, maybe he was getting a bit bored. Insurrection he has a bit of fun. Nemesis he’s just starting to get a bit creative, and THEN he becomes some form of God and decides to come up with a story so that he can go back to just near the good bit, and start from scratch! New Star Trek film? Sequel in production? Guessed it: Picard’s Nexus fantasy.

So we have maybe a couple more movies, then maybe a series, JJ writes it, the plots get so ridiculous everything’s interchanged and intertwined, each character has a weird backstory that somehow corresponds with the rest of the plot, everyone gets confused, Star Trek gets more popular than ever, then one day… *THWACK!* Picard suddenly gets pulled out of the Nexus, the Enterprise crew have been saved and billions of kids who have grown up watching their favourite new Spock and Kirk characters are absolutely bloody outraged – it’s ALL BEEN A DREAM!

Appendix A: It is stated you can leave the Nexus any time and be spat out any place. Yes, but Picard wanted to get out and save the day, and that’s what the Nexus does! It gives you what you want. If it was that easy to get out then why was there such a big fuss and people getting dragged out looking like junkies on withdrawal?

Appendix B: But surely Picard wouldn’t want to see Kirk die like that? Of course he did. He wanted to be the only Enterprise Captain in the village (reference to Little Britain) and wanted the glory for himself.

Fife Book Fest Poetry Competition!

I’m pleased to announce the annual Fife Book Fest Poetry Competition!

Myself and Lillian King (as festival committee board members) have today been working to promote the competition and upcoming Book Festival (October) – are you excited yet?

I’ll be reading at the festival, along with (confirmed) Alan Bissett, Ross Wilson, and Sheila Kininmonth. The full line-up is still to be announced.

It’s only the third ever Fife Book Fest, so let’s try and make this the most successful year so far!

~B

“Shwopping” Sounds Better Than it Actually is.

So, carrying on with the theme of posting things that have nothing to do with myself,  I’m finding the recent M&S ad campaign of “shwopping” to be a bit misleading. It would be nice if we actually brought clothes in and got to swap them, instead of the clothes just going to Oxfam – why not just take them to Oxfam in the first place?

I’ll tell you why. And yes, it’s nice of the company to try and help raise awareness for posh older women who love their M&S sooooo much while at the same time upping their good-doer profile, but where’s the fun element? If people actually had a section of the store to trade in their clothes, with a proper swapping element to it, like swapstyle, that would be fun! And with no meaningful incentives like Recyclebank, this just seems to be another form of philanthropy slowly floating off into the distance. The best part about it is Joanna Lumley.

Looking at this half-assed attempt by M&S to try and do something good, making themselves the middle man and providing more dropping points to recycle over 20 million items of clothing by 2015, will they actually achieve that figure when they’re not really delivering a progressive message, or helping to educate consumers about the real facts of textile waste? Only time will tell.

~B

 

“Unlawfully Killed” MI6 Agent

You’ll know from the title of my latest novel, I’m not one to shy away from the gory subject of murder death kill. But I took this screenshot of the BBC News website earlier today, and it just has me scratching my head at the term “unlawfully killed”. Can’t they just say ‘murder’? Surely that’s what they mean?!

I’m sure there is probably a reason for this terminology, but when you look at the actual meaning of the words, and the details of the case in question, it’s pretty obvious we’re looking at a murder case. ‘Unlawful killing’ implies that there is ‘lawful killing’ of some kind, does it not? And when someone IS killed lawfully, that’s usually called ‘capital punishment’, am I right?

You don’t go around hearing about ‘unlawful axe killers’ do you? This is clearly a murder case, so why not report it as such, instead of skipping around it with such a non-committal term.

It is a peculiar case, including the way it’s been handled. It was previously reported by the BBC: “As the coroner heading the inquest into the death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams prepares to reveal her verdict, she says she cannot consider unlawful killing.” — Why not? It’s now come down to common sense that the MI6 agent in question could most certainly not padlock himself in a sports bag from the inside, so why is it only just being accepted now? I can just feel the family’s frustration at all this legal jargon and dithering about, and I feel incredibly sorry for them.

Maybe now they’ve decided it’s an “unlawful killing”, they can finally get to the bottom of this murder case and we can all move on.

~B