Saturday, 31 December 2011

Roundup of 2011

A quick round up of 2011 in regards to my writing. That's all this is, so if you couldn't give a shit about my writing stop reading now.

That leaves me free to wax lyrical about myself without inhibition.
Been an odd year this for my writing. I have written two scripts I'm really proud of, but it took me a while to get going. After I finished last year being really proud of a feature script, which has opened doors for me but more of that in the future, I began 2011 struggling with a sitcom script and vowing never to write comedy again.

Then came Rhys Jones' and my idea for a web series entitled Twisted showcase. Our call out for writers has been accessed nearly 500 times on my blog. Lots of talent out there. This is the most ambitious project I've took on and it's taken longer than expected to get it all up and running, but we're closing in on it and news should start emerging in January about it.

After this I began another sitcom script, forgetting my vow to stay away from comedy. This was one of the easiest things I've written. It flowed, and i moved onto a sixty minute TV script, which was more difficult but really rewarding as it turned out to be my most complex script with lots going on.

After this I decided my Twisted Showcase script was too complex, so went back and wrote two alternatives. All in all it ended up being a productive summer.

Now i'm working on another feature script, which is proving a challenge, but a tantalising one. I'm sure you'll hear more about it some day soon.

So, I guess, a lot of this year is building stuff up, still. But things did come out, my comic strip Susie Pepper's Teeth in Murky Depths. My interview with Gareth Roberts in Vworp Vworp, and the short film which I wrote and was directed by Leigh Jones screened at the Ozu Film Festival and from what I've heard went down well.

More news to come in the new year I'm sure, now back to that feature script, and another little project I've got planned. So, with an air of mystery let's head into the next year.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Treat Twelve: Nuns Part Two

It was opening day and Dirk got his first customer. The customer walked past the huge display for Nuns on the Run, probably the most well known Nun film, and straight to the back of the store. There he caught sight of a film with a similar name, Nuns up the Bum. He realised he had walked into the adult section. He went back to the normal shelf and looked at many films including Much Ado about Nunning, The Nun of Oz, Nun Wars 4: The Monastery Strikes Back. The lone customer even rifled through the depths of the bargain bucket only to throw back Sister Act 1 and 2 to the hell from which they were born.
This customer just couldn’t find what he wanted so went to ask Dirk if he had the title he was looking for anywhere.
“Excuse me, do you have March of the Penguins.”


Thanks to everyone whose visited the blog this year, have a great Christmas and New year, I may do a cliched end of year blog, not sure yet.

Treat Eleven: Nuns Part One

Another story for the penultimate Christmas Treat. I'll conclude this later on today so keep checking. Hope you enjoy my story Nuns.


Dirk was a huge film fan. Dirk was an uber geek. He collected all things to do with films. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, even Howard the Duck, he collected all film memorabilia. The other fact which is helpful to know about Dirk is that he was a multi-millionaire. He was able to indulge in every collection because he could afford it. He followed every whim because he could afford it.
It was a Tuesday evening, and it was raining. Nothing at all spectacular, in the whole of the world happened on this evening apart from an idea Dirk had. His idea was to start up a specialised dvd rental shop.
He already had many specialised dvd rental shops. One for films with rabbits, one for films with bongo players and one for films with people dressed as rabbits. None of them did much business, people wanted more variety, but he didn’t care because he was rich.
His idea on this wet Tuesday night was to set up a dvd rental shop that specialised in films about Nuns.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Treat Ten: Spaceships over Deeside podcast

If you're not checking out Spaceships Over Deeside's blog then why not?
Full of interesting composistions, and great podcasts, it's worth having a look at.

I've put together half of the most recent podcast, with the other half being chosen by Spaceships.

Usually when making a mix tape, how old am I? Mixtape?, I like to work out how the tracks sound next to each other, puzzle over what makes a great opening track. I've tried to do that here, but have not heard how it runs together yet, so make sure you go check it out, give it a download, let me know what you think.

Go here.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Treat Nine: The best films of 2011


Since we've had my grouchy list of worst films of the year, now to look at my depressing list of great films of the year. If you loved or hated anything on the list let me know. Anything I've missed let me know. It could be I haven't seen it or that your opinion sucks. Whatever. Debate is good.

The Top 10 films of 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

Treat Eight: Melancholy Ruckus (Foreplay)

On twitter a few days ago I put a shout out, off the cuff really for people who follow me to tweet me with words to include in a one page script I would write that would be one of my 12 treats of Christmas.
I recieved two words to include, so it didn't prove to be that much of a challenge, and those two words form the title of the piece, along with one word I added, which I placed in brackets, because it is either A) not as important, or B) twice as important.
The words I was five to work with were:

Melancholy- provided by @pnorris14

Ruckus- by LilJerseyDevil

To complete the title I added Foreplay


You can read the one page script below. Hope you enjoy

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Treat Seven: New look blog

I've been hating the sickly pea green look of my blog for a while now.
So, treat seven is mainly for me.
Hark at my new look blog.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Treat Six: The Jungle Band outline

Another submission from this year, was for a childrens TV opportunity.

This is an outline for a puppet based kids show about a group of animals who form a band.



An entertaining insight behind the scenes into the life of a puppet band.

A magical mix of puppets, animation and live action, with magical sprites, evil magicians, stressed managers and musical puppets.

A mix of the optimism and love of music of Glee with the puppets and energy of The Muppet Show but for a younger audience.

Educational programme about music and other creative endeavours, as well as introducing different world cultures.

Interactive programme that asks the audience to be part of proceedings through dance, music and talking to the characters.


The show lends itself to lots of variety performances as we follow the band’s World Tour. The audience will see performances from dance outfits which they could join in with, other pop acts, magicians and other variety performances, whilst also following the plot of the week which will involve the puppet band of Jeremy Lion, Andrea the poodle, Tony Hedgehog and Bohemian Rat Sidney.

The world tour also gives the opportunity to introduce different locations and their differences to the audience in a simple, light hearted and funny way.
Lots of running jokes continue through the series like the manager always running about, stressed and avoiding the band so he doesn’t get in trouble with the band.
It also continues the vendetta that Marvello the Magician has against the band because he wants to be headline act instead of the band, we constantly see him trying to become headline act at the detriment of the Jungle Band, but always failing in hilarious ways.
The show also contains many catchy songs of The Jungle Band, which would close the show on a high each week and sum up the plot line of that specific episode.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Treat Five: Newsjack rejected one liners

February this year I submitted some one liners to the BBc radio show Newsjack.

In all fairness they weren't very good, hence them being rejected. And risking embarrassment I'm posting them up here for you to sneer at.

Here they are:

“Kids are being warned about sexting? Closest we got to that when I was young was anatomically correct graffiti in toilet cubicles.”

“The Weinstein company are re editing The King’s speech for the American market, apparently if you take all the stuttering out they have a perfect hour long drama.”

Friday, 9 December 2011

Treat Four: The worst films of 2011

We all love a good moan, right? Well here's my festive rant. The ten worst films of 2011 over at my film blog at IN/OUT magazine.

If you disagree come back here and tell me in the comments, or have a stern word with me on twitter. I also want to know your worst films of the year.

Anyway, go check out the blog

Monday, 5 December 2011

Treat Three: Daily Flash 2012

I'm in print.

So, sigh of relief for you if you thought the Daily Flash involved something a little more disturbing.

Pill Hill Press have a new book out which contains a story for every day of the upcoming year and one of them is mine. I think it's April 5th. The story is pretty bizarre, and is entitled Telephones.

You can get the book here

Looking for something to read next year? You might as well.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Treat Two: Tongue Part Two

An age passed before Howard let him in. The house was in disarray, and Dale sat in the only available place there was; the arm of a well worn chair that was placed across from Howards.
“Howard, I know you’re not involved, but you’re lucky it was me that saw you?”
“Where? I ain’t been nowhere.”
“Not even up to Caergwrle Castle? Around the ruins? Through the woods?”
“I was just checking everything was OK?”
“I know you were Howard. But it wasn’t was it?”
“No. She was dead. Was it me again?”
“I don’t think so Howard, but how did you know to go up there, to the castle?”
“I followed him.”
Bingo. This was it. Exactly what Dale had been waiting for, and expecting. He’d got it exactly right. It was that moment in the case when the spine tingled. Dale stood up, and breathing deeply, he began to slowly pace around the unpleasant room, placing his feet carefully around the debris on the floor.
“Who did you follow Howard?”
Dale headed towards the window. He couldn’t stay seated with the adrenalin now coursing through him. He remembered that feeling he had that someone was following him. Dale peered through Howards dirty blinds.
“He lives two doors down. He posts me letters asking for details about the things I’ve done so I’ve been writing him what is in my head and posting it after dark. Then I realised...”
Dale swiftly took a sharp intake of breath, for the second time today he’d seen something move behind foliage. Then he saw another movement a little further away. They knew where he was heading, and had sent a back up team to keep an eye on him.
“No, no, no, no, no.” Dale seethed, anguish pouring out of him. “You say two doors down Howard?”
Howard nodded, and Dale barged past him tripping over the filth all over the floor, he stumbled and slipped his way to the front door in a panic. He let himself out and ran through the thick overgrown garden before leaping over the hedge.
“You idiots,” he shouted at the back up team, there were five of them. Dale looked around. Two more were in hiding that he hadn’t seen on first glance. “The killer is two doors down from here. If he’s seen you he’ll be prepared or already gone.”
“Or going,” one of the back up team said and pointed at a man in a long black coat, which was billowing behind him as he ran down the street.
Dale turned and gave chase, his feet pounding the street. He instantly felt his heart beating hard. The whiskey didn’t help at moments like this. Four in the morning it worked a treat, but right now Dale had to run through the pain. Dale felt sweat pour out of him and his breathing turn wheezy but still he pushed forward, against the tide.
The man was heading towards the park which Dale could see was full of children. Dale looked ahead and made a quick head count of the park. There were twelve kids playing football on the small pitch they’ve made, their coats acting for goalposts, there were three smaller kids on the climbing frame, one atop the slide and two on the swings with another two pushing them.
The man leaped over the park gate, and the heads of the children all turned to see what was going on. They could sense that something was wrong and fear spread amongst the park. Dale leaped over the fence and was closing in on the man even though his body ached. All the children froze apart from the three kids on the climbing frame. They quickly scarpered as the man began to climb up there until he stood atop it. As Dale approached the man pulled out a knife, Dale stopped and stared up at the man who slowly shook his head at him, his eyes full of tears.
Then something happened which created an image Dale would never be able to get out of his head. It seemed to happen in slow motion, and bring with it a nauseous feeling. The man lifted the knife towards his mouth, parted his lips, pushed his tongue out and began to cut through at its base. He held on tight to the tongue and pushed the knife through the sinewy muscle. Screaming commenced from all around, and the kids flocked out of the park. Dale was rooted to the spot as the carving of the tongue continued. Before Dale could do anything the severed tongue was thrown to the floor with a slap and the man collapsed, falling in an ugly bundle from the climbing frame, contorting through the bars before smacking his head off the floor.
The man, they determined his name to be Andrew Thomas, twice married, twice divorced, one kid who wouldn’t speak to him anymore, was in a coma. Howard was brought into the hospital to identify him and was then taken to the station to be questioned. Howard had sent correspondence but never met with Andrew. His correspondence included fantasy tales of crimes Howard had not even committed, except for in his own head. The messages back from Andrew were all about how he was gratified by Howards’ letters and required more, until the last letter in which he told Howard what he had done. Howard had admitted that he followed Andrew out of morbid fascination, but hadn’t seen any evidence that he had killed anyone until the castle killing. Dale suspected this was a lie but didn’t mention anything as he didn’t think Howard deserved to get into trouble even though he may have been able to stop the death of two completely innocent women. When asked whether he knew why Andrew had done it Howard shrugged but pulled a letter from his pocket. It was Andrew’s last letter. It was crumbled and worn, Howard had held it, and read it so many times, that was obvious. It detailed his plans what he was going to do to these specific women who had ignored him and his advances. “They gave me no voice, so I have to make my actions heard, and then take their voice away,” read the most chilling line.
Dale went home, which was around the corner from Howards’ house. He was used to the cases he worked on being further afield and shuddered at the fact that all this had happened this small rural village where he lived, breathed in and walked through every day. He felt like sitting up all night watching the streets, keeping them safe, but instead Dale walked into his house, and with one look behind him closed the door to the outside world.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Treat One: Tongue Part One

by Robin Bell

Her tongue had been cut out.
Dale Billington swept his hand through his hair, taking perspiration from his forehead along with the sweep of his hand. A cold sweat had overcome him, he felt dizzy and sick, but there was nothing to bring up. It had been a long day, a day in which Dale had not had time for food; and just as he was about to venture home a call came in that a woman had been found.
Police sirens flashed into the darkest alleyway in the world. Dale leant against the wall desperately sucking in his breath. He let out a large stream of breath which the frost made visible. It was January, the snow was falling, and the victim was trying to speak, but instead a horrid gurgling sound was echoing through the alleyway.
This was the third victim of the week, for such a small village this was a huge figure. They were both females in their early twenties as was the third victim who was the first one they had found alive, but like the other two her tongue had been cut out and she couldn’t communicate. She was losing a lot of blood and needed to be rushed to hospital, but as they carried her away she looked straight at Dale and tried to tell him something.
This image haunted Dale all through the night as the silent snow fell outside. He lay in bed, the heating turned up, with the bed littered with piles of papers spelling out the case. A whiskey was on the bedside table next to Dale’s pillow. The pillow was sweat stained and looked liked it needed changing months ago. The whiskey looked sparkling and inviting. It’s no wonder that most nights, including tonight, Dale stayed up drinking rather than putting his head down to sleep.
Dale lit a cigarette and went through the case. In a bustling city centre two murders within a week may be startling, but not as terrifying as when they occur in a small village. Hope, where Dale lived, was a small village in North Wales. The nearest city centre was a half hour drive away. This was the kind of place where everyone knew everyone else and their business.
Dale had been approached in the street numerous times daily regarding these recent murders and could gauge the mood of the entire village; and the mood was panic. Mrs Goggins said she wasn’t leaving the house. Ian Griffiths was interviewed on the news revealing how scared his family was. The other emotion was disbelief; no one could believe this was happening in a quiet little village like Hope.
Dale poured himself another shot of whiskey; straight, no ice. Then the phone rang. It had to be bad news at this time of night.
Indeed it was, another body had been found. It was in the neighbouring village of Caergwrle this time. Out of sight of everywhere, up a steep hill in the old castle ruins lay another body, young, female, and their tongue had been cut out.
This was the castle where King Edward 1st reportedly stayed at after Welsh independence came to an end as he arranged a future government for the country during the year 1282. Now it was atop a hill in ruins, no walls had survived intact after a fire that many believed to be caused by arson on 27th August 1283. Centuries later, more crime had been committed atop this hill around the historic castle. Dale stared at the body, lost in thought.
Dale breathed a sigh of relief that this one could be kept quiet for a short amount of time, it was out of the way, and although people might have seen the lights and the police presence at the castle, nothing needed to be mentioned for at least twenty four hours because no one had seen the body.
It was just like the others, the tongue had been cut out. Dale knew the cause of death would be the fact that she had choked on her own blood. Dale sighed, how could this be happening in this quiet village? Nowhere was immune anymore. He stared down at the body, saddened to his very core, another young life ended.
His attention was distracted for a split second by a rustling in the woodland to the left of him, but that split second in the corner of his eye was the final puzzle piece.
He now had all the clues that he needed.
Later, after intolerable hours of stressful work at the station Dale left to get some food, catch some air, any excuse he could think of. He had to go somewhere alone, but he had a creeping suspicion that he was being followed. Dale kept nervously checking over his shoulder but saw no one following him. Paranoia was a side effect of his line of work.
He stood outside the house that he knew held all the answers. It was tatty, a small two bedroom house with an overgrown front garden and a back garden that consisted of discarded wood and metal, a fridge and a coal shed. The owner of this house was Howard Jones. He had lived there all his life, first with his mother who had become insane in the latter years of her life, and when she died he was left the house in her will.
Dale opened the gate which creaked loudly; it seemed louder because of the surrounding silence. The inhabitants of this quiet serene village were hidden away in fear because of recent events. No one was around.
Dale walked up the path and knocked upon the door, which was swiftly opened, but left on the latch. Howard peered though the small gap and didn’t say anything, just sniffed violently, it was a nervous tic that Howard had. Dale was used to it from previous encounters.
“Howard, its Dale, you remember me? Are you going to let me in?”
Howard just sniffed again.
Last time they talked was when Howard was arrested for claiming to be the killer in several high profile nationwide cases. Dale befriended Howard in a strange way. He felt sorry for this hunched wretch, he knew Howard didn’t know what he’d been doing wrong. It was just the way he had been brought up, he didn’t stand a chance.
Howard lived with his mother as her lover from the age of twelve to when she died when he was thirty. He was never allowed to leave the house and if she was entertaining guests, or going out drinking herself, he was locked in the coal shed.
Dale knew that Howard held the key to this case. It was Howard that Dale had seen in the corner of his eye rustling through the woodland. Dale knew Howard wasn’t the killer, but he knew something, he must.