I don’t really need to say much about this one do I? It’s one of the most iconic films of this century, both in horror and British cinema.
In a telling of the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse we follow twenty-something Shaun, his bbf Ed, girlfriend Liz, mum and two of Liz’s friends, Dianne and David. And it’s very British!
Edgar Wright directs, and helms a movie that nails each element. From the gore, to the pain of lose the characters go through during these few days. To get the balance between horror, comedy and pulling at the viewer’s heartstrings is not easy and Shaun of the Dead does each perfectly.
For me, this is a rare perfect film. There’s no real plot holes, no characters who aren’t believable. Even the conclusion of the movie sits well. The soundtrack and score are odd and silly at times, but fit perfectly in building the tone of the movie.
If you haven’t seen this movie, please change that and check it out.
This is the second film off of David Court’s 35 best movies of the 2000s.
I haven’t seen this since it came out for rental, but surprisingly I remembered a fair bit of it, and also a lot I didn’t remember.
Overall I enjoyed it, probably more than I did first time around. It gave me a big smile when there was a cover of Disturbed’s Down With The Sickness, one of my favourite songs that I wasn’t familiar back on my first viewing.
The movie is well paced, acted superbly, written with a skill to both tug at the heartstrings while also adding a little humour. Kind of what we’ve come to expect from a script by James Gunn.
There’s some good gore, some interesting kills, and one of two moments that made me roll my eyes. There’s one moment in the film when the main characters need to help another isolated person hold up during this zombie hoard, only for their initial plan to go pair shaped. There are two other ways they could have helped this fella which is demonstrated in the following moments.
Despite that, this film is well worth a watch and deserves the praise it does get.
This year has been a ‘Get Shit Done Year’. Writing wise I didn’t have a lot of focus in the early part of the year as that attention was on personal matters. Those were happily resolved and I could put a little more attention into writing.
I did set out goals, but they ended up getting lost in the churn a little. The core focus was on getting the Zombie book done. That, was essential for this last year. It’s going to be three years past when I had first wanted to get it published, but better late than never. It is done. All that needs to be done is have the artwork for the cover finished (the artist has been super patient and trust me, the cover is awesome!), and the formatting needs to be done. Once they’re done, it’ll be published. Hopefully the early part of next year, but definitely next year at some time.
Another project that had a lot of attention this year was Penal Earth. This story has been on the go since 2015 but I’ve really honed into a story, the setting, and the feel of the world in the last couple of years. This year I’ve got it to the point where I can’t take it any further, I think it’s as good as I can make it and I’m really proud with it. The next stage with this one is to have it edited and or submit to publishers. I do want to test the waters with it as I think it’s my best written tale and I think it does have appeal to it. If it doesn’t get snapped up, I’ll self-pub it.
Next up is The Vampire Era. This has a similar history to Penal Earth, in that it’s been on the go for a long time. This one even longer than Penal Earth, bit again. It’s had a lot of work on it this year, and has come as far as I can take it. Also like Penal Earth I’m very proud of it, and hope it finds a following. The main difference with this ones future is that I’m going to publish it on here. It’ll be released on Welcome To My Nightmare tier and the first post is live. It’s a nine episode first season, and will run until August if I remember right. After it’s come to the end of it’s run I’ll put it in the list to be professionally edited and then I’ll self-pub it. I won’t do that for at least twelve months after the final post has gone live.
Speaking of Ko-Fi, I don’t get a lot of income from the site, those who do support my work on here are all awesome people and I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you to give me your hard earned money. I’m barely a newborn when it comes to writing careers, and I don’t expect anything but what I do get I’m incredibly grateful for.
Although I don’t write for the money it’s nice when I am paid for my work. The way I look at it at the moment is, if it pays for my fees for my web domain each year, then I’m happy. And thankfully for the last few years it has done.
Back to the fiction, and we come to Black Blood. This story is not at the stage that say Penal Earth and The Vampire Era are. It want’s one more deep edit and then it’s going to be ready for an editor. At the moment I’m feeling like self-pub is the route for this one, but I’ll leave it open for the moment. This has been another long term project that has come a long way during 2022 and I’m very glad it’s moved in the direction it has. It’s not far off done, but isn’t quite there yet.
A project I got quite deep into this last year has been a series of serial killer stories that are like The Vampire Era in that they are set up like a TV series and will all build to a conclusion. This one isn’t anywhere near done yet though. It is a huge mess, but I’m not worried about it. It’s one where I need to focus on getting the individual stories tidy and then I can add in the little knots to tie them together. Some with be big, heavy duty knots. While others will be smaller ones. It’s a long way off, and one that isn’t a priority for this year, but I think I’ll be working on it here and there.
I was looking at starting Penal Earth 2 in the early part of 2023 but I’ve got a few hard decisions to make about plot lines and where I want to take it, so I’m not quite ready to get it off the ground just yet.
The first part of next year will be getting a first draft of the NaNoWriMo ’22 project completed. I’ve been editing it this month, well editing is a strong word. I’ve been going through tidying it up and making a sort of bible for it as I go. Again, this one is a long way off but will be a priority for the next twelve months.
Black Blood will also be a major project in the first part of the year as well.
2023 isn’t going to be a make or break year for my writing career. It’s going to be a series of steps forward.
I wrote 945 on Penal Earth and was planning to edit the zombie book, but I was a little limited on time today as I had a little shopping first thing and a couple of errands to run. Then this afternoon I had an appointment to prep for, which was this evening. So I had a little time between the prep and the appointment to write and fit in a number of other little bits and pieces.
I’ve had a little bit of a good/bad day on the writing front. I got an update on the cover for the zombie book and wow! It looks amazing! I so cannot wait to show you all it! I also got a rejection for my story Flame Spitters. I am gutted, I really like this story and think it’s one of my best pieces. The editor liked it a lot, and it got into the last twenty-five, but I know they had over a hundred submissions and seeing some of the names that the publisher has worked with, so although gutted I’m not overly disappointed. There is always somewhere else to submit to, and worse comes to it I can put it in a collection.
I am working out my goals for next year. I’ve got a lot so far, so I need to sit and process them a little and see what I can aim for which’ll push myself just outside of my comfort zone. So far I don’t think what I’ve listed is overreaching, but I don’t suppose I’ll know until I start trying.
Right, I’ve got an early shift tomorrow. I’m planning to write for maybe two hours after I finish work, and then I’m determined to get the zombie book edited. I’ve seen the cover, and the editor is booked for early January. So I want this bad boy done!
I’m off to shower then bed. Night folks, rock on and be kind!
Good evening folks! I am just about to go to bed, but needed to get this post written first.
I have been slacking off too much recently. I’ve been sitting on the path as opposed to walking along it. That’s not just writing. Outside of work I’ve stagnated a little this last couple of weeks. I’ve written all but one day this month, so that’s a positive. I’ve been able to my hand in but I’ve got frustrated at myself for not pushing harder. Today, I did that. I did a red pen edit on two short stories that make up a big part of my zombie book, one more to go. I also wrote 1101 words and finished off the rewrite of a vampire story.
I want to maximise my time in the next week. So I’m going to try again to get a to-do list made up, well more of a plan for the week. I know what hours I’m working for the day job, and I know I haven’t got much planned for when I’m not at work (aside from some gaming with Stefan at Stefan’s Daily Gaming). Which means I will have a lot of time to get caught up on what I need to get done. I will be setting some time aside to prepare for an appointment next week, and will be doing a couple of non-writing related tasks that need doing, but I will still have plenty of time to write in the next seven days. I might even post what my writing plans are for the week on here so I’ve got some accountability come the end of the week when I post next Sunday.
For now, it is my bed time. I had an early start and I am very ready for my bed.
Good night, all! And remember, being kind isn’t a weakness. It’s one of the finest strengths you can have.
I got a few words down yesterday, but can’t remember how many right now. Those words were on the fan fiction piece I’ve been playing with. The two main pieces I’m working on at the moment are at places where I need to be in the right headspace for the scenes I’m approaching, which I’m about to work on.
I’ve got the day job this evening but am off tomorrow so I’m going to try and get caught up with me editing as well as getting a few words down.
The one I need to get back on track with is the zombie one. I should have my final edits in it done by now and be gearing up to get it to an independent editor. I’ve spoken to the cover artist and he’ll be getting back on the cover soon. I’ve already approached someone to format it and I know overall what the rough outlay is, and it’s doable. I’m still aiming to have it out by the end of the year, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have it out by the end of the year.
Right, I’m going to hold fire with writing until this afternoon now. I’m hanging out with my folks and just enjoying it. So, writing can wait can wait a few minutes.
I decided to take a me day yesterday after work. I did a few extra hours to cover a colleague who had a family emergency to see to, and then I had a non-writing appointment to attend to. Once that was done it was time for food, and then I honestly thought stuff it. Let’s chill out a little. So I spent a couple of hours just not doing a lot. The most I did was transfer the progress of my projects to a white board. I think I’ll probably still keep it on a paper pad as well. Mainly because I’d need a huge white board to keep it all on and I have a lot of ongoing projects that need editing or re-writing, and I don’t want to swamp myself with those until I’m ready to start working on them.
Having transferred the data over to the white board I can see that I’m going to struggle to meet a couple of targets. I’ve got two major projects that are both penned it to be completed by NaNoWriMo (November). One of which is the vampire book, and I’ve only just started the rewrite on that. The other is Penal Earth where I need to fill in a gap in the story. I don’t think that one will be too hard once I get going with it. I’m not making any predictions on the vampire one at the moment simply because although it’s going well now, doesn’t mean I won’t hit a wall somewhere along the path.
For a little while at least I’m going to be focusing on the vampire book. Unless I see an anthology submission call I’m going to crack on with that while it’s hot.
Right, I’m logging out now. I’ve got an hour to write today, so I’m going to try and make the most of it. I’ll be editing next week, I think. I’ve a few days off so will hopefully be able to make good use of the time.
When I first started looking into zombie fiction it was mainly audio and I listened to one by, I believe, a Spanish writer. It was okay, but didn’t really blow me away. The fact I can’t remember who it was and the name of the book speaks volumes. Then I come across two others, first was Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo, and then there was The First Days by Rhiannon Frater.
Siege is the third, and I believe final, book in Frater’s As The World Dies series, and is a good ending to it.
I liked how Frater wasn’t afraid to change it up in some quite big ways throughout the story. There was one huge moment were I actually rewound the audio to make sure what had happened, did in fact happen.
I will admit I’d held off listening to this as how the second book ended opened up a storyline that i wasn’t to sure I’d like, and I regret that decision. The storyline in question opened up the universe a little, and was dealt with really well and wasn’t taken where I thought it was going to go.
The endgame of this story felt very real. I could imagine it was what real people would at least attempt.
It’s a bank holiday here in the UK so that means we get an extra day off. So instead of rushing around getting ready for work I’m sitting in my pjs and dressing gown drinking tea and faffing about on the internet.
What am I going to do with my extra day off? I am going to do a little writing, and then play some video games. I want to get back in the habit of doing about a 1000 words a day and as I’m working on a short story at the moment and this fanfic edit I think I’ll be able to do that.
I’ve got a quick update on The Space Watch: Owen has been through it, and we sat down yesterday and went through his points. His two biggest are things I don’t necessarily agree with, one being the ending. He’s working on rewriting that and the other is a world building detail for an alien species that he has created and done a lot of work on developing. This species is kind of his baby and he’s got very specific concepts for how this species is. So once I’ve finished this short story I’m going to get into making the changes and then hopefully we’ll be nearing a point where we can get it off to Beta readers. That said, Owen did bring up a few continuity issues. This mainly stems from where we’ve changed characters ranks to suit their positions in the story better. As Owen brought this up I’m going to be a little more fine toothed when I go through it with these changes and hopefully I’ll catch most of those irregularities.
Right, my laptop battery is down to 5% so I’m wrapping this and firing up my desktop. I’ll check back in this evening. I’m going to try and get back in the habit of blogging daily with my progress.
I’ll just mention my words from the last two days. Yesterday I managed 933 but it was a struggle, today I’ve gotten 1321 words done and it felt a lot easier and much lees of a struggle.
Now, to what I’d like to achieve this coming year. I think my first priority is to get Earth, After Liberation and it’s sequel, Oppression, finished. I’m 33,000 words into the Earth, After Liberation re-write. I’d like to say I’m half-way through it but my 60,000 word target is a soft one and very flexible as the story will be as long as it needs to be. With Oppression I’ve all but decided to re-write it as well. I think it’s pretty good but I’m going to need to change a lot so it fits into the world I’m building with Earth, After Liberation. I could go and retro-fit it all but I’ve tried to do that before and it really doesn’t work for me, I’m finding re-writing is a much more efficient way for me to work. Now, depending on how the second book comes out in the re-write will decide on whether I make this into a trilogy or not. That was my original plan but as I was trying to get words for the 50k that is NaNoWriMo I found the story came to an end. Now if I can work the re-write out so that I have between 45,000-60,000 words without wrapping up the details then I’ll look to write a third, and final book that focuses on these core characters. I’ll only do that though if I have enough story for a third book, I’m not going to write three books with these characters just so I can say it’s a trilogy.
Earth, After Liberation should hopefully be done by February, hopefully. Then I’m tempted to jump straight into the re-write of Oppression. Owen and I were hoping to start the re-write of Project Apollo on February 1st but I’ve got a feeling that may not be a realistic ambition. Apollo is a big and complicated story and I’m not sure we can outline two thirds of the story in a month.
Owen and I have talked about more stories in this universe and I think we’ll be writing a few synopsis’ for these so we can make sure they tie in together when and where we need them too.
Another goal for the early part of this year is to get my vampire collection tidied up. I’ve had one Beta Reader’s notes back. Another is still looking at it, and i have one other person I really want to look at it, but they’ve just moved house and got their hands full getting settled in. I’ve got a date in mind that I want to release it, but again, thats a soft target. This collection has been five years in the making, holding it off a little longer isn’t going to make much difference to the book.
Brainstorming of The Residents is pretty thorough at the moment, and I think the next stage will be to start working on a timeline. There’s a few things that we’re waiting to sort out before that, but the story is looking pretty good 😉 I’d like to write more about what we’ve got planned, but that’ll be spoiling it 😛
I’ve got a zombie novella that I’d like to write this year as well. I’m thinking it’ll be about 30,000 word or so. I’ll write that for NaNoWriMo if I don’t write that third book I mentioned earlier in the post. The zombie story is roughly thought out but needs outlining and character work. The story is quite simply but the rest of the setting needs building up some before I make a start. If I don’t write it for NaNo I’ll try and squeeze it in at some stage.
Getting a few short stories written and submitted is also a goal for the year, but those will be more of a back burner item. I want to focus on getting some longer pieces completed.
There it is, my rough goals for the year. I deliberately didn’t mention much about publications. I am hoping to have my vampire collection out this year, I’d like to think Earth, After Liberation and Oppression will be close to being ready too, but I’ve made promises to self-publish before now and I’ve failed in those promises. Before I even think about announcing any dates, I’m going to have the story in mind edited, cover art done and formatted. So I’m not rushing to get everything together in a time frame.