First draft complete!


Huge thanks must go to Magnus for looking after the kids for a couple of hours for the last two days while I get Scalygreen into some semblance of order for the CBBC competition. The first draft is now finished. Which means I have just under a month to get it up to speed ready for submission.

Lots to do… nothing unusual there!

Well… let’s see… I’ve got a script to write, a game to finish, a game to revise and a game to format and what have I done this morning?

I’ve made my son’s birthday cake!

For those who can’t tell who it is: it’s Hector the Horrible, a new troublesome truck from Thomas the Tank Engine.

Next year it is my fervent hope that Tristan will have grown out of Thomas, and I won’t have to make yet another engine. So far in the last three years I’ve made:

Boulder (for Tristan’s 2nd birthday)

Thomas the Tank Engine – (For Tristan’s 1st birthday)

Unfortunately, that year, Iona was so impressed with Thomas she wanted one for her birthday! Realising what a nightmare the Thomas shape was to make I encouraged her to settle for Diesal:

Diesal (for Iona’s 3rd birthday)

And with Iona firmly growing out of Thomas last year I thought my luck was in! Especially as she asked for a “round chocolate cake” all the way through the summer. And then, woe betide, just before her birthday we attended another girl’s party and they had commissioned a fairy castle cake and Iona changed her mind entirely! Of course, being a mother who likes to give my child what they want (at least some of the time, and within reason) I ended up slaving over this:

One day I am hoping for a “Mummy – please can I have a square cake this year?”!!!

Scalygreen progress…


Well – for a start I have totally revised the intro. And i mean totally! After all, while it might be OK in a film to have a granny die on you, it probably isn’t cricket for a children’s BBC slot.

Instead I’ve started in Africa, rather than in some suburban street, and then travel off to Hull of all places to recieve the packing crate which contains a few more surprises than Alison expected…

But is it right? Probably not, and is it finished – not a chance. Don’t forget, this is the first redraft of what was a 90 page film script into a 30 page pilot episode – can I do it by July 1st? – hmmmm… that remains to be seen…

BNI – just visiting again.

Oh – I just can’t wait until Tristan goes to pre-school in September! Suddenly, I’ll have 2 1/2 hours a day sans-children! What will I accomplish in that time???

One thing is for certain, I’ll be using that free time to join up with my local BNI meeting. I know that will give me the kick start, and training I need to grab Red Herring Games by the horns and get my teeth into the business.

I was at a start-up group meeting in Cleethorpes just this morning as a visitor. (I can do the odd meeting in school holidays.) And i must say it really brought into focus again just how important it is to network with other business people. It really is the only way to grow.

Finished adapting one game

Magnus (my husband) has taken the children off my hands for the morning so I can get on with some writing. What a star!

So, here I am, at 10.30am having revised one of the custom orders already! With one game under my belt, I plan to crack on with “Scalygreen” my script for the CBBC competition.

New competition.

Getting fired up ready to enter the BBC’s latest script writing competition. This one is for Children’s BBC. See link: CBBC writing competition

I have a script that might suit with drastic rewriting, and after thrashing through several ideas, all quite varied, I think that one might well be the best of the bunch. Which means, given the closing date is 1st July – I really need to get cracking on it ASAP!

An early night ahead.

After four late nights I think it will be time to turn in early with a good book this evening.

The Healing Manor game is complete, the props are coming together, the actor rehearsals are set and it’s basically as far as I can take it for now.

Red Herring Games site has been upgraded and, in terms of writing, although I still have 3 on-going games, the editors are all away this bank holiday weekend, so even if I rush to finish them they aren’t going anywhere for a while.

So basically I can put my feet up this evening, after I’ve cooked some more stuff out of the freezer of course!!!

Food was 5 star!

I had a wonderful free night out at Healing Manor on Tuesday night. And if the food I ate is anything to go by, then the murder mystery evening we have planned there on the 16th will be amazing!

In the past, at another venue (which shall remain nameless) the hotel has always let us down, either with quality or quantity of the food, or suddenly changing rooms on us at the last minute. I have no such worries with Healing Manor. And with the cast line-up that I have for the event, it is going to be a roaring success.

As to the compared dinner party games which Healing Manor are going to start running (and were the reason we gathered for a meal), well – I’m no salesperson – that much was very evident, but it mattered little as the game concept sold itself!

Obviously I need to work on my marketing skills – but that is in hand. Magnus and I have worked out how I can make the early BNI meeting locally, starting in August, and I feel sure that I will get the support I need to really move forward with the business.

It surprises a lot of people that I have had NO business training whatsoever. After all, I originally began life as an OT (Occupational Therapist), left to have children just over 4 years ago, and set up Red Herring Games just two years ago.

Obviously, with two preschoolers still in the house, it makes attending any training exceedingly difficult, and not only that, but every free moment of every day is taken up with something, whether it’s playing snakes and ladders, killing another fictional victim, murdering a cake, or cleaning the house.

Having just worked all this out – I can tell you, that in the last fours years I’ve written 56 murder mystery games, four different books (all totally rubbish I’ve since decided and all of them need a lot of work), and about 8-9 screenplays (some good, some bad).

Someone once said if you find a job you love you’ll never work again. I think they were right. My challenge is to make this new career pay enough so I don’t have to go back to the other paid employment!

Meal out – on the business!

Oh – this doesn’t happen too often! So it HAS to be newsworthy! I’ve been given a three course meal at Healing Manor to showcase a sample murder mystery dinner party game tonight. It should be a great evening (my games usually are) even if we’ll be discussing business over the meal as well. The only problem I face is accidentally type casting the guests I’ve never met. I hope no one takes offence!

And so – on with the show!

Well – yesterday saw me finish casting for the murder mystery night at Healing Manor. Cast details are all on the Red Herring Games blog (casting completed).

I also took the opportunity to review my latest screenplay Deep Rising as it was my day off from real work – and hadn’t realise how far I had actually got with those pesky fish! I only need to write another 10 pages and it’s a 45 min pilot! Which means I really have no excuse… except that I’m too busy writing to write!

Oh – and I’ve managed to attract over 200 followers on twitter… which begs the question: who is more foolish – the fool or the fool that follows them?