• Conventions

    Octocon 2013 schedule

    It’s that time of the year again, which means I’ll be in The Camden Court Hotel in Dublin this weekend (12-13 October) attending one of my favourite conventions: Octocon. There are two terrific guests of honour that I’m very excited about meeting: comic book writer Gail Simone, and author Richard K Morgan. Both of them have created work I both enjoy and admire, so it will be a privilege to hear them talk about their interests. Here’s my schedule: Saturday 13:00 – Masterclass in Contemporary Fantasy (Pavilion) with Peadar Ó Guilín and Liz Bourke 15:00 – I Don’t Believe It, But It’s True (Abbey) with Ruth Frances Long, Leann Hamilton,…

  • Screenwriting

    An old ploy from a new trick

    Last week a new film development process called Amazon Studios was announced, which Amazon is touting as the cool, modern way to make movies: Movies have been developed pretty much the same way since talkies were considered cutting-edge. But here at Amazon Studios, we believe 21st-century technology creates opportunities to make and share movies and scripts more easily than ever. We invite you to: Win money. Amazon Studios will award a combined $2.7 million in our first year’s worth of monthly and annual contests for the best scripts and movies. There is no charge to participate. Learn more. Get noticed. Your work will be shared with a global community of…

  • Film,  Galway

    Samhain Abu

    I caught this cheeky chappie tangled up in a net in a café door in Galway today. I love this time of the year, with all the ghoulish decorations. There’s even a festival going on in the city this weekend called ‘Galway Aboo‘ – which is a play upon the common Irish phrase Gaillimh Abú, which means ‘Up Galway’, and is usually used as encouragement during the county’s sports competitions. I hope you’re all planning a fun, frightful weekend. There are plenty of horror films on television so I’m spoiled for choice. I’ve seen most of them several times already, so I will have to root out something I haven’t…

  • Reviews

    recent laughs

    I’m going to lighten the tone in this post because I’ve a tendency to write serious blog entries. That’s partly because I use this journal to tease out writing-related issues that are on my mind. Today I’ll examine two comedies I saw in recent weeks that I really enjoyed. First off I’ll state that I have huge respect for comedy writers because it is a difficult art. There is something miraculous about making people laugh. It’s a gift. It doesn’t hurt that comedy sells, as I pointed out lately. I’ve been making a conscious effort to add more comedy titles to my DVD collection, because I tend to gravitate towards…