cresting the big wave

wave watching

I’ve been working on the web site redevelopment of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild for a long time. I do a lot of web-related work for the Guild, including managing all of its social media outlets, which every organisation needs to maintain these days. A big job like a web site overhaul requires large periods of allocated concentration, and that’s been problematic in regards to divvying up my few resources. Working with advocacy organisations means you’re always scraping the pan for those last scraps of funding, and this year the Guild absorbed several funding cuts: there is nothing lurking at the bottom of that pot now.

Still, I’m glad the major part of the work is done now, and I’m pleased with what I accomplished.

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt like that moment when you’re standing in the ocean, up to your neck, and you see a big wave racing at you. You know it’s going to lift you off your feet, so you can only hope to embrace it, perhaps enjoy it a little, and hope that there will be less chop afterwards. This particular wave has been moving toward me for a long, relentless period. I’m tired, but relieved it has passed – although I’m still churning a little in its wake. I have a lot of personal projects that need my attention now, and I hope to clear the time during the summer to focus on them.

And maybe splash about in the shallows if I can.

Ineffible Mysteries from ShponglelandI’m not great at taking time off. I’m always thinking about the next project, the unwritten story, the household chores that now need attention, etc. I seem to believe that free time is just an opportunity to tackle another task that’s in the queue. There is nothing wrong with having a good work ethic, but there’s nothing wrong with relaxing on occasion.

I’m a fan of the ambient Psychedelic trance music group Shpongle. One of their songs on their last album is called “Nothing is Something Worth Doing”. I may have to crank that song up to 11 and blast it on repeat until I learn not to feel guilty about downtime.

I thought I’d finish by mentioning a workshop in Dublin that I thought some of my readers might be interested in taking. One of the things I do is monitor the screen/play/writing industry for competitions and courses that Guild members might find useful. As a result I trip across other items, such as the “Brave New Worlds” speculative fiction writing workshop that’s being facilitated by the Big Smoke Writing Factory this Sunday, 30 May.

It costs €120 for the full day, and features the following teachers:

  • Writer Conor Kostick on Sci-fi Themes Vs Characters
  • Writer A.J. Healy on World-Building
  • Writer Sarah Rees Brennan on Urban fantasy
  • Critic Sorcha Ni Fhlainn on Horror and the gothic
  • Writer and editor John Kenny on the Business of Getting Published

I’m familiar with most of the tutors, either personally or via their work, and I suspect this would be a useful workshop for anyone who is interested in writing science fiction, fantasy or horror.