Rapid cramming proves successful!

Well – what can I say? Between blogspot and my friend Mark I’ve managed to learn how to insert images into php files, create new box menus and rapidly get RHG up to speed this week!

I say “up to speed” – what I really mean, is I’ve got it ALL working, haven’t ballsed up the site, and have slots ready for me to write more stuff into as the mood takes me!

Regardless – it’s done and I can move a weighty tome of printout “how to”s off my desk into a dark corner somewhere for the next time I try anything drastic!

Tomorrow’s job is clearing the decks of formatting work ready to begin work on another couple of plots and crack on with the blogging mystery.

Book Review – The Thirteenth Tale

All I can say is “wow”! What a book. It’s really hard to believe this is Diane Setterfield’s first novel. It smacks of professional storytelling and is so well crafted I really can’t fault it at all!

The book came my way as the result of a reccomendation by @woodychapel on twitter. (Many thanks Dennis!!)

I’m sure he was biting his nails wondering how his reccomendation went down, as it’s a hard thing to reccommend a book to someone you don’t know all that well – but this is a book I’d reccomend to anyone who likes a well crafted read.

The language was brilliant. It had the right balance of external description and internal motive, there were really three stories on the go in the book and all three were handled exceptionally well and all reached fruition together.

If I could write a novel like this I’d be more than happy.

Book synopses are remarkably hard to find on Amazon these days, so I’ll copy the back of the book here for you so you can make up your own mind

Margaret Lea exists in the small world of her Father’s antiquarian bookshop and her biographical researches. She also has a secret sorrow. When a letter from the famous author Vida Winter arrives, inviting her to travel to the author’s remote home with a view to writing her biography, Margaret is nsared by the words. she knows little of the star writer, but she soon finds out that Vida Winter’s past is a story she has been at pains not to tell. So why now? And why Margaret?

And more than that I am NOT going to give away. However anyone that has enjoyed books like “The Time Traveller’s Wife” or “The book theif” will love this book!


Sunday off.

Every week I take sunday off from mystery game writing. Mystery games are, after all, my business, and so I spend time doing other things, or even other writing work on Sundays.

Today has been a “no work” day. I’ve not even looked at a screenplay or novel today. Instead I’ve been in the garden with friends most of the afternoon and am heading back to church soon for the evening service.

It’s great to have a new pastor who is a little more computer literate, as it means his weekly sermons go on his blog so you can catch up if you miss one. My only problem is that I still don’t have any speakers that work with my PC. My suspicion is the soundcard is absent from the main box – so my task for this week (should I choose to accept it) is to take the cover off my old CPU to see if there is anything in there that might helpfully be labelled “Sound card” or something and then see if I can work out how to fit it into the new CPU so that I can actually listen to Graham’s sermons amongst other things!

The lack of working speakers has certainly made things quiet – there are no insistent “beeps” when things crash, and no irritating “bongs” when other windows pop up out of the blue. But when videos from Google arrive to help me make the most of my pay-per-click advertising it can get a bit annoying listening to them. In fact – the last feedback I gave to google on their self-help video was “can we have some subtitles next time?” I suspect they filed that comment amongst the other “cranks”.

Other task pending over the next week is to locate an “idiots guide” to HTML coding. I really need to brush up on stuff if I’m going to make a go of my on-line business.

CBBC entry

As I’ve mentioned before – my CBBC entry has already been sent to the competition which closes next week (the first of July). I know for a FACT I won’t get selected as I can’t make the masterclass and I must admit because of that it wasn’t my “best” screenplay. After all, what was the point in sweating blood and tears over something that was NEVER going to get anywhere?

All that said however, I did work at it to bring it up to submission standard, and so, just so my time isn’t entirely wasted – here it is in all it’s glory for others to take a peak at and hopefully feel encouraged that their entry stands a much better chance!!:

With the benefit of hindsight (too late as always) – I’d shift the “I’m not your mum” scene until after the belongings have been collected and have the car broken into at the services, but hey – it’s too late now! (Isn’t it always!)

Smashed Hits – a cracking night!

Just a quick blog on my return to show you what fun we had at our “girls night out”. Ten of us got together at a local hotel (Healing Manor) to have a great meal and a murder mystery night. We all enjoyed ourselves (as you can see). Some people made a real effort with the dressing up! And I think we’ll be doing it again.

I went as Whitney Housedown, but somehow I think I chose the wrong colour face paint!

Progress… or lack of it!

Well, between three hours of formating work on Monday, Tuesday evening at the ironing board and today working out how to insert images into RHG pages I’ve taken five minutes out to blog.

Work is progressing slowly on Kathy’s play. (Sorry Kathy – I will get there in the end), partly I think due to brain freeze – it’s just refusing to cooperate with me!! My mind is wandering off on “novel” tangents again, which is a bad idea for me, as I can time-waste quite happily writing books which never sell!!! Not to mention hearing the call of Deep Rising which has been sat wasting away on the back burner for nearly two months. Poor fish!

And that’s it – five minutes up! Housegroup calls!

Are we nearly there yet?

A five hour car journey on Saturday sparked the expected “are we nearly there yet”s my my two. Fortunately they managed to hold off until Birmingham which is almost half way. However, what I didn’t expect was that Iona would bring her own CD collection to “keep us amused”.

And so, June 20th, one day before the summer solstice saw us hairing down the M42 with the kids singing along at the top of their voices to “jingle bells”! We then endured another fifteen minutes of ” The Greatest Children’s Christmas Party hits ever” before I decided I’d had enough of the “tish tish tish” of the background christmas bells and switched back to adult CDs again.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, although we got lost entering Bristol, leaving Bristol, finding the Christening venue, finding our way back from the venue to Bristol… as you might gather, getting lost was a frequent event of the weekend, but against all odds we did make it there in time to do my “Godmother” bit, and the christening was lovely.

Now two edits back!

So much for the editors drowning under work! What goes around comes around! I am now swamped with formatting! It’ll take me at least a week to get on top of all the current crop of new games. But I can’t start today. Today is for packing. I’m being God Mother this weekend to my nephew! I’m so excited!

Rats… the editors have caught up!

Oh well, so much with cracking on with new material, it looks as though I’ll be formatting and releasing new games for the next few weeks. I’ve had the first edited game back today, so keep your eyes pealed for “Mayhem at the Movies” hitting the site.

Midsummer Night’s scream is complete

So… let’s see that’s three games and a screen play in the last two months! Oh the poor editors!

All the questions and answers, and the blurb is finished for A Midsummer Night’s Scream! Hurrah!

What next I hear you ask?

Well, for a start there is Kathy’s little skit to write. I will focus on that first. And after that… well, it has to be the on-line blogging mystery. Is anyone interested in playing host to some clues? It’ll drive some traffic to your blog.