death and taxes

It’s been a strange week. There have been two deaths, and I’ve attended one funeral (neither of the deceased were close to me, so don’t proffer sympathies), and a major row erupted in the Irish sf scene that involved a lot of people I know.

My mother had been away on holiday, and she called me on Tuesday evening and asked if I wanted to go see a film. I couldn’t really spare the time. Not only did I have a funeral that was going to take up most of the following day, I was really late on sorting out my taxes. I’d been brooding on the Internet fracas going on among my friends, and it was casting a pall over my forthcoming weekend at Octocon.

Yet, death always reminds me – in its blunt fashion – that we don’t have much time on this planet. You should always seize any chance to spend time with someone you love.

I decided to spend the evening with my mother. We had food together, and watched Julie and Julia, which was a charming film. I enjoyed it more than I anticipated. It’s a touch too long, and the ending trails off a little. The “Julie” sequences are a little insubstantial compared to the dynamo sections featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child. But, I’m glad I went, and I was pleased I didn’t settle into the cinema hungry as I would have been ravenous by the end of the film.

So, this weekend is Octocon, and I’m on a few panels:

Collaborators will be shot: a panel on the challenges of creating work with other people. 2pm on Saturday

Bechdel and SF: Do sf films hold up to the Bechdel Test? 11am Sunday.

The Golden Blasters: the inaugural National Irish Science Fiction Film Awards. Guest of Honour Mike Carey and I will be judging the entries, which have been selected by Irish filmmaker John Vaughan. 3pm Sunday.

More importantly, the online dispute has been mediated, and everyone has agreed to reconcile. I’m so pleased. I love Octocon, and I value my time there with my friends.

On Saturday evening my short film “Hotel Training” is being premièred at the Light House Cinema, as part of the Hotel Darklight anthology film, which is the closing event of the Darklight Festival.

I’ve been in touch with Conor McMahon, the director, during the editing – which he completed while he had the flu. Not only was the entire project organised and shot quickly, but post-production has been a rush job. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result. It’s likely that Conor will work on the film a little more after it premières, as there hasn’t been enough time to get everything done to his satisfaction. Alas, he’s out of the country, and won’t be able to attend on Saturday.

I’m hoping it’s going to be a fun weekend!

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