I’m reaching that age where my idols from my formative years are running out of money (or just getting bored) and need to step back into the limelight to refill their coffers (or just entertain themselves). The latest of these nostalgia pimps is the Monty Python crew. The first of their Monty Python Live (mostly) shows sold out in 43 seconds and they eventually added 9 more dates. With the shows being in London, attending in person was never an option but Cineplex ran it as part of their Front Row Centre series. We’ve been to a couple of Front Row Centre events before – the Benedict Cumberbatch & Jonny Lee Miller/Jonny Lee Miller & Benedict Cumberbatch performances of Frankenstein. It’s a great way to see otherwise inaccessible shows although you don’t get the same atmosphere as a true live performance. Monty Python was actually a bit before my time (honest) but I grew up in a house of fans and the classic lines were a part of our shared vocabulary. In fact, it wasn’t until I discovered Monty Python that I actually knew where these in-jokes came from. Even then, my Monty Python viewing has mostly been limited to the movies (particularly Holy Grail and Life of Brian). That, coupled with the mixed … Read More
My wife and I enjoy going to the theatre. When we were living in England we’d regularly spend weekends in London attending interesting looking shows picked out of Time Out magazine. We saw everything from a production of Dracula above a pub to Japanese comedians to big shows like Cats. In fact, our honeymoon was spent in London and included a couple of days at a Horror Film festival and a showing of War Horse. Now that we live in Vancouver we have a subscription to the local Arts Club Theatre. It’s relatively inexpensive (especially compared to London ticket prices) and it encourages us to go to see shows we wouldn’t normally think of attending. Sometimes we get a dud but most of them are good, some are outstanding. Yesterday, we went to see Helen Lawrence at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Created by visual artist Stan Douglas and screenwriter Chris Haddock (Da Vinci’s Inquest, Boardwalk Empire) Helen Lawrence is a hard-boiled, film noir-ish, tale set in Vancouver in 1948 that weaves several threads around the arrival of a mysterious femme-fatale. What makes the play unique is the way it’s presented. The actors perform on a blue screen stage behind an opaque screen. … Read More
I use Google Drive to sync data, including my stories and related docs between various machines. I have backups as well, of course, but Google Drive lets me work across multiple machines very easily and provides an element of redundancy that’s reassuring – at least until last night. I’ve been doing the final revisions to The Ordeal (Season One, Episode Thirteen) and was planning on doing one final pass last night before sending out the first submission. When I came to edit the file, it was gone. After much swearing I managed to load a temporary file into Word that gave me an almost up to date revision but I lost a couple of passes of edits. Today I was able to track down a more recent version of the file but I’d already spent an hour re-revising the manuscript. I’ll now have to go through the two docs and make sure I haven’t missed anything critical. Not particularly convenient. What happened was that, for some reason, when I saved my revisions on Machine A, Google Drive deleted the file on Machine B (presumably ready to update it) but never copied the new file across. I have a weekly back up … Read More
Time flies when you’re living in a self-imposed creative wasteland. It’s been three months since my last real update and since then I’ve been to several plays including two musicals, seen a couple of fantastic musicians live listened to a lot of great new music, backed loads of kickstarter projects, watched some hockey but not as much as I would have liked, eaten in some nice restaurants, injured my foot, run a marathon and signed up for a second one, watched some really good films (and awesome videos), seen the batmobile, read some great books and a lot of short stories but written nothing. The Evil Dead Claim Another Victim* However, a couple of weeks ago we went away to Desolation Sound for a short break to recharge and I ended up writing the first drafts of a couple of new stories – This is Not the Apocalypse You’re Looking For and Artificial Wife. Desolation Sound That burst of creativity (and the amazing location) swept away the cobwebs and since then I’ve been masterminding a plan to get writing back into my regular schedule. The first step was to clear out all my almost finished stories so I’ve spent the last few days revising Origami Man, Rainshine and … Read More
Last night Ann and I spent a very entertaining evening at a puppet show. Yes…a puppet show. I know that doesn’t sound very rock n roll but these are post-apocalyptic puppets so it’s okay. Ronnie Burket controls and voices all the marionettes in this one man show featuring a blind woman – Penny Plain – and a bizarre mix of survivalists, a serial killer, a cross-dressing banker, talking dogs and mysterious strangers seeking sanctuary from the apocalypse. The marionettes are incredible, and it’s a wildly entertaining show – funny, strange and sad. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it. For Vancouverites it’s on at the Cultch for a few more days and you can order tickets here. I also got the corrections to The Z Word and a new bio off to the editor of So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains. Today, I want to finish F Bomb. Definitely. No excuses. Honest.