Writing

MØ30: NaNoBoozeMo is on!

Hi.

NaNoBoozeMo is in play.

We’re six days in and here are my stats:

  • 11510 out of 50000 words written
  • 12870 out of 50000 metres ran
  • No booze. 

I’ve been waking up at around 4:30am every single morning (3am on one day) and getting to work right away. There was a weird point on Saturday when I was done with everything, assumed how it must be getting late on in the day, better wind down, get ready for bed, and then saw that it was only 3pm. 3pm!? I still had a whole day left to do nothing but chill, watch films, read, play with the dog.

This getting up early thing.

It’s my jam.

Bits of Interest

- Cypher - A Dark Audio Sci-Fi Adventure is currently on Kickstarter. If you’re a fan of The Other Stories podcast, then go check it out. It’ll be right up your alley.

- Speaking of The Other Stories. This past week it was featured on the UK iTunes homepage and the downloads went off the charts. Over 100,000 downloads, number 1 in the Arts and Literature categories, and number 4 of all podcasts… everywhere! And there's bloody loads of them.

- I watched Brawl in Cell Block 99 the other day. After that and Bone Tomahawk, S. Craig Zahler is right up there amongst my favourite genre filmmakers working today. The grindhouse brutality and the genuine character work really hit the right note for me. It was the kind of film I was desperate for but didn't know until afterwards.

It got me thinking about a recent interview with John Carpenter where he said that if he were getting started today, he wouldn’t have made it. The idea being that there is no room for a pulpy genre director in today’s world. 

So then that got me pondering my favourite directors working today - Ben Wheatley, Edgar Wright, Mike Flanagan, Jordan Peele, Guillermo Del Toro, Charlie Brooker (he counts!), Denis Villeneuve, and the list went on for a good while, and then I got to thinking, wow… I love JC but he’s dead wrong. We’re living in a fucking golden age of genre filmmaking. There’s just a lot more of it and it’s a little more varied. I’m so utterly excited by what these filmmakers are going to be putting out next. Especially Zahler. Like I said, I really liked Brawl.

- I'm about to go in for an x-ray for two hernias. Seems now that I’m about to hit thirty, my body has decided to begin its shutdown process. I’m kinda hoping I’ll come out on the other side with superpowers. Will report back.

- Two friends with new horror short films - Liam Banks' It Followed Me Here and Edward Harvey's The Sitter.

- Ryan K. Lindsay's Spaceship Noir comic, Stain The Seas Scarlet is funding now and it looks great!


ÎNPUT

WATCHED

Society

My first time watching this insane gooey satirical horror about the rich 'shunting' the poor. Those last twenty minutes were all kinds of amazing.

The Fog

Speaking of JC. We'll be deep-diving on this one for Horror Hangout.

Brawl in Cell Block 99

See above.

READ

Whisperer in Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft -

It's weird, the more Lovecraft I read, the more I feel like I know how to read him.

ESSAYS

A Tale of Two Londons by Nicholas Shaxson

LISTENED

Brace for the Turing - My NaNo Playlist


So that's it for now. I've got words to write, distance to tread, and an x-ray-ted sesh with the doctor. Wish me luck.

Until next time,

Luke & Family

MØ29: Animal House

 
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Morning Øutput #29

Hi.

So much cool stuff is brewing right now it’s about ready to pop and all I can do is stay focused, do the work, and remind myself to smile.


The clocks shifted this weekend. The world around us shunted forth and we jettisoned an hour. Which meant Alaska was up at 4:30 am barking her head off, threatening to wet the bed. 

I got up, gave her a fuss, let her outside to do her business. She’s had a rough weekend, that one. In fact, both of our animals did. It felt like living in a Pixar film. 

- Alaska got beat up by a German Shepherd puppy at the park. It pinned her down in the mud until she yelped. We took her home, gave her a bath, tried to make her feel better about being bullied. I'm pretty sure that this is her inciting incident. Soon up there’ll be a training montage and the film will end with her realising she may not be as big, but she’s quicker and smarter than the big bad bully at the park.

- And then Oscar, the cat, fell out of the bathroom window. We found him clinging for dear life on the guttering outside the house. The poor thing was terrified. I had to climb out the window, peel him away from the gutter, and help him back inside. I figure his character flaw is about how much of a scaredy-cat he is when it comes to the outdoors. Which means his character arc will most likely involve him getting lost out in the city, and will have him finding his way home, making alley-cat friends on the way, learning that the outside isn't so scary after all.

The stories are around us… all the time.

But truth be told, rescuing your animals only makes you care for them all the more. I love our family unit. It’s one of the things that really makes me feel whole.


Bits of Interest

  • I wrote an essay! All about what I’ve learned five years into my writing career. It’s called Tales From My First Five Years In The Womb. It’s only available to my 10-dollar patrons, so if you’re interested, get to the pledging
  • CYPHER - H&C’s latest audio drama will be live on Kickstarter very soon. The sound production on this is next level. 
  • I'm 18,000 words into my novella and I’m realising it might actually turn out to be a small novel. Maybe 40,000 words. We’ll see. Also, the working title has changed. Now I’m thinking of something like Brace For The Turing. Hmmmn. Not too sure actually. What do you think?
  • We interviewed post-apoc and fantasy author, Jon Cronshaw over on The Story Studio podcast and it was super fun. I was sincerely impressed by his Ray Bradbury challenge. Read one poem, one essay, and one short story every day for a thousand days. He’s on day 430.

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ÎNPUT

READ

Pet Sematary - 

4.5 outta 5.

It would've been a five if I didn't know the story so well from the film. I think it was maybe one of the first horror movies I watched as a kid so I knew what was coming.

Although... the ending still got me. In fact, that whole final part with Oz the Gweat and Tewwible was lovely and dark.

SHORT STORIES
eyes I dare not meet in dreams by Sunny Moraine

ESSAYS
Attitude' by Margaret Atwood

WATCHED

Stranger Things Season 2 -

Holy crap... how good is this show!? Only halfway through so far. I think I'm most impressed by how they've managed to capture that eighties vibe with it feeling authentic and in no way pastiche. 


NaNoBoozeMo begins on Wednesday. I'm nervous, excited, unsure if it's even possible. I'm gonna get myself prepped and ready so...

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

 

 

MØ28: 'What is Life?' & Other Interactive Media Nightmares

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #28

Hi.

Another quick one this week. It seems like all the busy stuff is happening today, right now, so I just gotta crack on.

How are you? 

Here are some interesting bits:

  • 12,000 words into my new novella and it’s going well. The more I work on it, the more I realise that it's the thematic cousin of Keith —  AI, what is life, interactive multimedia nightmares, etc. Also, 1000 words a day is achievable. No matter how busy you are. You can always find a bit of time to crank out 1000 words. 
  • NaNoBoozeMo is happening — write 50,000 words, run 50,000 metres, no booze, Nov 1st-30th. Come join me!
  • We had a massive leak in the house on the weekend. The kind of leak that warrants a landlord visit. Which of course means the house is now super clean because you can’t have a landlord visit without cleaning up like you just murdered a man in the bathroom. So anyway, we got to talking and the landlord said he’d be open to us buying the house off of him sometime in the future. Interesting. Owning property is definitely something I’d like to do at some point but it always seemed like some impossible mountain. One for the future.
  • N.S. Paul is running a pretty awesome looking KS for his comic, Resurrection Men. Absolutely love his art style.
  • "...fiction writers should abandon technically correct writing and experiment in the same way painters were forced to experiment in order to keep their medium relevant.” More wisdom nuggets on this article by CHUCK PALAHNIUK.
  • Stick some headphones on and listen to this. Do it! It’s this amazing demo of a haircut recorded binaurally. It’s all kinds of amazing. I’d LOVE to do an episode of The Other Stories using this technique.
  • Did you hear my latest episode of The Other Stories? It's called Ocean Eyes and it's fucking great. 

ÎNPUT

READ

Uzumaki by Junji Ito - 

I mean this book is amazing. 

The idea of a town becoming infected with the idea of spirals is incredible in itself, but the stories Ito pulls out of that one idea is downright genius. 

I'm so incredibly impressed by the way he can draw these absurd body horror ideas and translate them to the page so easily. The snail transformation, the knotted bodies in the row houses, the scar that sucks in the eye. It's so, so good

WATCHED

Suspiria - See Horror Hangout.

Eyes Without A Face - See Horror Hangout (on Wednesday anyway)

1922 - Incredibly bleak, played very straight, a little slow, and Thomas Jane's accent was good but sounded like he was chewing on condoms a little bit. I could almost hear the spitty plastic squeaking between his molars. BUT... not to take away from his performance, because it really was quite good.


So I'm gonna down this soy-filter coffee, prep some talking points for tonight's podcast recording, and get my 1000 words in.

So...

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ27: NaNoBoozeMo & Nottingham Comic-Con 2017

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #27

Hi.

Just a quick one. If you like this newsletter, then why not pop over to my Patreon page and support me and my stuff from as little as a quid a month. You’ll get exclusive short stories, behind-the-scenes access, and an essay or two on the craft of storytelling.

But anyway…

This week has been terribly busy, all kinds of fun, and I ate a burger...

Let me tell you about it.


NOTTINGHAM COMIC CON 2017

How lovely it was to be back in my home city of Nottingham. It only took six hours of bus rides with two crammed rucksacks and one wheelie suitcase so full of books it was practically bubbling to get there, but it was lovely all the same.

As I wheeled along through the city, taking in the Tudor architecture,  sniffing up the nighttime air, I felt like a proper travelling salesman. I almost wanted to open my case, shout “Step right up, step right up”, and start promising how our books will give you vitality, a full head of hair, and a rush of blood to the penis, but decided against it.

The con was at the Nottingham Convention Centre, just around from Rock City. We set ourselves up, marvelled at all the stuff we’ve made this past year, and then went on to talk and sell and talk for the next 7 hours. 

I also got the camera out and got a little snap-happy. I put a few pictures here.

There were tons of other small press companies making and selling some really incredible comics. It’s really awesome to see how creatively vibrant the UK is right now. Can't wait to do a few more cons in the future.

Afterwards, we found a Wetherspoons, ate burgers, drank beer, and debriefed. And then at 7pm I caught my bus back home. 8 hours later (yes 8 hours!) and I was finally getting into bed. A long day but definitely worth it.


WRITING

I’ve started work on a new novella I’m hoping to get out for Christmas. I’m writing it quite slowly. Only 1000 words a day. But I’m really focussing on making the prose as mature as I can get it. I’ve got a few ideas for the name but for now let’s call it Mr Errata.

I’m also starting to plan out my NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it twice now and really enjoyed it both times but to keep things interesting I’m looking to switch it up.

So here’s what I’m thinking:

NaNoBoozeMo.

  • Write 50,000 words.
  • Run 50,000 metres.
  • No booze.
  • Nov 1st - Nov 30th.

What do you reckon? You wanna get involved?


BITS OF INTEREST 

  • The Rose Weapon by F.C.Shultz is out now! Been looking forward to this and will snatch it up on payday. 
  • Harry Sherriff's new web-series, Early Days, is an absolute treat. A lovely dry English comedy filmed in and around the city of Manchester. 

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ÎNPUT

READ

The Ruins by Scott Smith - 

Don't come to this book for safety. You'll find no comfort here.
Tautly written in a way that just keeps pulling you through. A survival horror full of characters making bad decisions, but in my opinion in a somewhat believable way. It's a gruesome book both physically and psychologically and ends with a wicked little burn. One of my favourite books I've read this year so far.

WATCHED

The Omen - See Horror Hangout.

Cold in July -

Based on a Lansdale novel starring Michael Hall, Sam Shepherd, and some other guy who was absolutely great. A really amazing thriller that seems to have gone under the radar.


Okay so the dog is howling at me which means I need to put my life on hold and take her out for a walk. That's how it goes when you got a dog, I suppose.

So have a good week. 

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ24: CLIMBING KEITH-AMANJARO

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #24

Hi.

Last week I talked about how I was starting to feel a bit of overwhelm. It's that kind of rising panic that makes you think you fucked up, are a fuckup, always be a fuckup.

I needed some wins.

So I slowed down production. I gave myself some achievable goals for the week. Write 5000 words. Lay down 3-minutes of Keith on the project timeline. Run three times.

Simple stuff.

But man does it work!

Checking off a few tickboxes does wonders for the soul.

WRITING

I ended up writing 2x short stories (Sitcom and Mr Lundin) and I'm already deep into the next one (currently titled Captain Lobster). Not only that but I'm feeling the thrill of writing again.

I love writing short stories. I love that I can see something, hear something, make an odd little connection, and then plant myself down and write for a couple of hours, come out the other side with a finished thing.

Sometimes a short story will just be a prototype for something I want to put into a novel. Sometimes it will be a failed experiment (picture jars of pickled fetuses with bulbous heads and hooved feet). And sometimes they'll stand on their own and will be their own thing.

I'm fairly sure I'll be writing short stories until the day I die.

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FILMMAKING

Like I've told everyone, Keith is a very strange film. Not just in the story but in the process of making it.

So one of the biggest challenges I have is the technology.

For example -- Let's say I want to show somebody getting a Skype call from someone else, but I want them to refuse the call and for them to receive a video message. Sounds simple, but how do I capture that, make it realistic, dynamic? What accounts do I need? What software will capture it? What sounds will it make? Will I need more than one, two, three people to perform the call?

And on top of that, I need to figure this stuff out before I get actors and money involved.

One of the ways I'm doing it is by filming it all with myself first. I'm essentially creating a demo of the film with all the characters played by me... all in my kitchen. 

I'll use the demo to figure out how things will look, how they'll work, and then once I've got all of that stuff figured out, I'll bring in the actors, set the locations, and get them to do it but with, y'know, acting talent.

I got 3-minutes of demo-work down this week I'm actually really excited. There's definitely a mountain of work ahead but at least I know which mountain I'm climbing. Right now I'm at the foot of the mountain and I can see the snowy peak, up there in the clouds.

RUNNING

I've levelled up. I definitely think so anyway. I've been running three times a week for the last couple of months, pushing myself to go a little faster, a little further. I think back to that first run down by the London Docklands. I ran a mile from our apartment to the Excel Centre and back and nearly died of an asthma attack. I remember my lower back feeling like peanut brittle, every movement cracking and snapping into powder.

I need to start setting some bigger goals. 

Half-Marathon next year?

Sounds kinda terrifying.


INTERESTING BITS

  • Our little puppy is growing up! 
  • I put up one of my favourites of my short stories up on the site - @boyonawall. I've been seeing this as a film in my head for years now. I'd love to get an animation made of it. 
  • Are you on Letterboxd? I just signed up.
  • I've also been putting a lot of them story things up on Instagram. Are you on it?

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îNPUT

READ

Rage by Richard Backman/Stephen King -  

The first novel King ever wrote (I think?). As a writer, it was kind of nice to see he wasn't some writing Godbeast from the outset. It was like seeing Xerxes bleed. At least I thought so. It all starts a little juvenile, but then it just gets better and better and by the end I was gobsmacked. 

This King guy, I thought, he's gonna go far!

Griff Gristle: Here be Monsters by Rob Jones, Mike Sambrook, Rory Donald (Madius Comics) - I backed the campaign for the second book in the series recently and just got them both through. 

Let me just say, I really kinda love Madius Comics. I love the irreverent punky attitude. I love that you can almost smell the love that went into producing the books seeping out of the ink. And after reading Griff Gristle, I also f*cking love their storytelling. A solid nautical ghost story with an iconic lead character. The John Constantine of the Sea. I'd totally recommend checking them out.

WATCHED

Body Bags - Still in John Carpenter mode. This was a TV Anthology movie from the early 90s and it's a lot of fun. I kinda love the wraparound more than the stories themselves. I think it's the only time I've seen JC smile.

Twin Peaks Season 3 - I finished it. I'm still processing it. Might be chewing on it for a good while. What did you think?


Right then...

Mountains don't climb themselves, dudes.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ23: DROWNING

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #23

Hi.

I'll be honest. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the minute.

There are three big projects I'm working on -- Keith, They Ruin, and El Marvo #2

I feel like I'm lagging behind on all three and I really need to get a move on. I need to let some other stuff fade away and just get down to business. Sometimes the only way to get over that drowning feeling is to start paddling.

It's go time...


Horror Enthusiasm

Last night Cat asked me why I like horror movies so much.

I said I don't really know. Maybe it has something to do with those first horror films I watched as a kid. The ones that had such a visceral impact on me that I couldn't sleep -- couldn't stop thinking about the thing in the shadows.

I like stories that are so powerful they move you physically and emotionally.

A good example is Chuck Palahniuk's short story, Guts. That was maybe the first short story I read that I had to stop because I was about to faint. The story, and the way Chuck writes it is so powerful that it nearly had me dropping like a gassed fly.

I've never felt that way before.

What does that say to the power of the mind that with a little suggestion you can alter the physical world so radically?

And so I've always been a horror fan. Definitely. But since we started the Horror Hangout podcast and I've been delving deeper and deeper into the world of horror cinema, watching classics, learning the timeline of influence, and who the key people were in the medium. I think I'm turning from a simple horror fan, to ... an enthusiast.

Seriously. I find myself watching horror documentaries, listening to horror podcasts, making lists of horror films to watch all the time. It's become a bit of a passion.


My latest episode of The Other Stories is OUT!


INTERESTING BITS

  • Our interview with growth hacking storyteller, Monica Leonelle, is up on The Story Studio podcast.
  • Our Horror Hangout all about It is here.
  • As mentioned above, here's a great Youtube video on the history of horror cinema.
  • Have you seen my new short story project? #PROJECT12. (new short story going up soon.)
  • My running has taken a nice leap forward. I don't what it was but last week I was running stronger and faster than I have in months. I'm on Strava, if you're into that kind of thing.

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INPUT

READ

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman - 

I f*cking loved this book. 

It was the kind of book I didn't know that I desperately needed to read.

How would I even describe it? A dark, children's fantasy, told for adults. Made me think of a mix between Nanny McPhee and Spirited Away with some Grimm Fairy Tale stuff sprinkled in there. It's very odd, and very lovely, and the prose work is something of an ocean in itself. 

I will definitely read this book again

WATCHED

mother! -  It's pretty much Aronofky's "Synechdoche, New York".

A director's absolutely mad swing for the fences, leaning into every quirk, interest, habit, etc, and taking it as far as it will go. More here.

The Beyond - Gooey, funky, eyeball horror. I don't even know where to hang my hat on this one. There were some genuinely creepy moments but then I couldn't help but chuckle at the funk music. The final act is bonkers in a fun way.

Favourite moments:

That piano riff when they're walking through the hotel.
The dog attack.
The acid blood puddle.
Spider funky bite time.

American Gods - Lovely visual stuff. A really nice translation of the book. Only a little way in so far.

Arrested Development - Rewatching with Cat. This show is one of the greats.

LISTENED

John Carpenter's Lost Themes, Synecdoche, New York OST, & Regina Specktor.


Right then...

Like I said, I'm drowning, man, I'm flippin' drowning. I need to get to the paddling, yeah? 

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ22: A Week In The Life

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #22

Hi.

So this week's Morning Øutput is gonna be a little different. I've been reading Kevin Smith's My Boring-Ass Life for a little while and I'm really kinda digging it. I thought I'd give his format a go. A daily somewhat detailed journal.

It's unedited, messy, and pretty truthful.


Tuesday 5th September 2017

Okay so here we go.

Another day.

Feeling a little bit sluggish today.

After the phone call with Matt the script guy, I've been thinking a lot about Keith and ways to focus the film more on the protagonist's journey. At the minute we've got a bit of a scattershot thing happening which is one of my writer's ticks. I tend to introduce a ton of disparate elements and then boil them down through the story, which I think CAN work quite well sometimes, but I've overplayed it a bit here. I need to reign it in a little.

So yeah that's what I want to focus on this week. I really want to get a fresh outline to hand to Ben so he can work his magic.

We recorded an episode of Horror Hangout last night all about 28 Days Later. Man, what a great film. Still just as terrifying every time I watch it and the scenes of him walking through the deserted London have an added resonance now that I know the locations so well.

"That's the place I used to grab a Tesco meal deal!"

"That's around the corner from that place where I used to write and drink coffee!"

Got to get my run on today and I'm already feeling a little nervous. It's pissing it down outside and I really don't want to get soaked.


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Wednesday 6th September 2017

Okay so here we go.

Got a nice lie in this morning and got up at 6:30. As always I woke to a mix of my snoozed alarm and Alaska's downstairs barking.

Straight up and dressed this morning and feeling pretty refreshed.

Yesterday was a super busy day and the kind of day that makes you think you got a lot done.

Got up in the morning to Alaska's morning barking, journaled, and then headed to work, did some meditating on the bus and read some more of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. This last part is really starting to go over my head. Not much more to get through before I can finish the book off and start the next non-fiction -- Kevin Smith's Boring-Ass Life -- which I've already been sneak-reading.

Work was busy as me and Edd tried to get on top of everything for an upcoming inspection.

'nuff said.

And then after work I headed to a café to drink coffee and work on the new outline for Keith. It's getting there. I know where it needs to be fixed and I'm ploughing away at it.

Then on the way home I got on a call with Dan to talk all things H&C. He's had a great opportunity come up so he may be super busy for the next few months. We also talked about his upcoming KS project, a H&C live-event, and general publishing stuff. All the while he was bathing Bailey and the conversation was occasionally broken up giddy laughs and cries of a bathing baby.

And then home, a quick kiss and a cuddle of Cat, Alaska, and Oscar, before putting my (my smelly) running gear on and heading out for a 2.5 mile run. I listened to Joe Rogan as I really pumped away but didn't manage to beat last week's easy-going 2.5 mile run. Weird that. Sometimes you huff and puff and it makes no difference.

Then home, shower, and to eat Cat's amazing chicken and sweet potato hash whilst watching It's Always Sunny and the Great British Bake Off.

Oh yeah, and we walked Alaska again and we bumped into this giant German Shepherd pup called Harley and the two of them had a good play.

And then we were in bed with a cup of tea and conked out by 10:30.

Gotta say, Alaska is growing into a really sweet and lovely dog. Earlier on she sat on Cat's lap and just chilled whilst we gave her a good cuddle.


Thursday 7th September 2017

Okay so here we go.

Thursday morning. Cranking right through this week.

Got woke at 5:30ish by Oscar as he jumped on me. I went to get him some food but he already had a ton. I showed it to him and he seemed happy with that. Sometimes he just needs a reminder that the food is in the bowl.

Back in bed and then woke again by Alaska at 6:15 yapping because she needed a wee. Downstairs to let her out and then I put the coffee on and to start journalling.

So what happened yesterday?

I read more of Kevin Smith's Boring-Ass Life (which has go me jazzed about journalling again) on the tram to MediaCity and headed into work.

Busy day with one of our boss's down.

Much work done. At lunch I wolfed down a Huel. Although you can't really wolf down a Huel. I guess it was more of a baby goating than anything, bleating as they guzzle at the teats.

And then I quickly edited and published this week's episode of Horror Hangout before going back to work.

Once the dayjob work was done I chilled for a little bit before opening up my Keith outline and spending a pom on it. I really feel like it's getting a lot stronger now. I've been playing with some new ideas and I think it's boiling down the waffle to a really great and solid story.

And then after all that I answered some emails before jumping on the tram. I was just about to stick on an episode of the Joe Rogan show I've been listening to all week (they're like 3 hours long and he publishes 3 episodes a week!) and then I got a call from Cat.

She was in town with her mum eating McFlurries.

So I went to meet them there and surprise, they had haircuts! Cat looked good and fresh. We drove back home, I took Alaska out to the field for a runaround.

Then back home to eat dinner and watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm before heading out to the shop for a last-minute catfood pickup. We maybe could've waited till tomorrow but you have no idea how angry Oscar gets if he has no food.

And then home, a quick haircut, and then into bed where we stuck on an episode of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle before falling asleep.


Friday 8th September 2017

06:30am

Okay so here we go.

So I climbed out of bed at 4am again to sort Oscar some food, then straight back in bed to catch another couple of hours sleep. As I got in Cat was fidgeting in her sleep and I was getting a little annoyed with it and then a second later she sleep-punched me in the face. I'd like to say it isn't a common occurrence but Cat isn't one for sleeping still.

6am on the dot and Alaska barks until I'm up and out and putting the coffee on.

So yesterday was a busy one again. Got the bus to work, meditated, and read some Kevin Smith's book and listened to Joe Rogan's interview with James Damure. Didn't get any breakfast at home so I picked up one of those cheesy croissants from Pret and headed into work.

Not overly busy but busy enough to not find much chance to do my own stuff. We listened to the Machinarium OST as we worked.

At lunch I nipped out for a 2-mile run which I was NOT looking forward to but didn't mind too much when I was actually out there. Running around the quays used to be such a fun visual thing for me and I seem to have lost some of that. Maybe I need to try some new routes or something. Not too sure.

Then back to work where I crash at around half 4 and feel too tired to do much. I bummed around on emails before finishing at half five. I spend a pom working on the Keith outline which I think is really getting there now.

And then bus home whilst reading and listening to more of the same.

When I got back I took Alaska out and got attacked by either a bat or a tiny bird. Not too sure. It was too dark. Either way, I freaked out and (I'm still not completely sure why) I barked at it before running away with Alaska.

Then back home for this lovely soup Cat made and we chatted and then went to bed, watched Suits and American Horror Story and I fell asleep.


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Saturday 9th September 2017

7am

Okay so here we go.

I woke up grumpy this morning. Oscar got me up at 5am to show him where his food was and then Alaska started barking at 6am demanding I let her out for piss-time.

I came downstairs and saw she'd somehow gotten a hold of one of my headphone jack cables and had shredded it to pieces during the night.

Not one for telling her off AFTER the fact, I let her out for a wiz without a fuss or a kiss. Yes, I get passive aggressive with my dog.

Then I put the coffee on, sat and stared at the wall for about fifteen minutes before drinking some morning liberation and bumming around on Youtube and watching a video of a guy saying Millenials are anti-rebellion and actively campaign against free speech, vote in favour of the middle class, and are pro-authoritarianism. He also mentioned a very real inequality within the class system which gets overlooked now.

Better get working on that Bug-Out-Bag. Just in case the millennials come for me.

So yesterday as I said goodbye to Cat (whose new hair was looking particularly pretty) and the animals, I climbed on the bus to the city, meditated/snoozed, and read more of Kevin Smith's book.

I got to MediaCity and opened up the office, decided to have my Huel for breakfast and then cracked on with work.

Let me just say... the day-job is killing me right now. I did my best to plough through but there's still a ton to do and by 4pm I was knackered.

After work, I spent a pom working on the Keith outline and it's really crackling now. Everytime I go over it, it gets tighter and that final act is really ramping up. Though I've come to a bit of a sticky widget with the ending. I've got an ending, but I'm not so sure it's the right one.

And then I put my Derry baseball top on like a good little King fan and headed back into the city to get ready for It.

So I've been VERY excited to see this film. I read the book in June, I now consider myself a Constant Reader, and have been loving all the promo I've seen for it.

And I'll deep dive into the film for the next Horror Hangout recording but here are some quick thoughts (spoilers):

- The kids are fricking great. Richie Tozier was bang on and all the while I was thinking these kids are so funny. Especially Eddie Kaspbrak shouting that his pills are gazebos.

- The film moves so SO fast and although I can see how it would work for It newbies, I kinda missed the slower pace of the novel. The book really develops the relationship with these kids before the hauntings whereas the film pretty much jumps into the hauntings within the first ten minutes.

- Some very creative choices to translate the book to the film. They really did a good job.

- The slideshow scene got me good when Pennywise went all Giant Man.

- That kid who played Georgie almost brought me out in tears... especially in the reunion at the end of the film.

- It wasn't as scary as I would've liked. It was a little too Goosebumps in places.

- I don't quite understand how you can separate out the adult part and make it into a sequel. I totally get that the kids' section works as a standalone story, but the adult part is almost an extra meta-level narrative that in my mind only works when winding down towards the ending simultaneously with the kids' story. Difficult to explain but I need to think this through a little more.

- By the end of the film, I think everyone loved the Losers Club.

- The book is better. I'm sorry but it just is. The book has an added literary meta quality that, understandably, doesn't really translate to film.

- I can't believe I only paid £5 to watch the film. Film tickets are so cheap at that Vue in the Printworks.

- I can't believe I went on my own. That's the problem with moving to a city where you know almost nobody. You get lonely.

After the film was done I grabbed a four-pack of Brewdogs for the weekend (I don't drink much) and got the bus back to Droylsden, walked back home and caught up with Cat as we ate some food.

She then went and did some online gaming guild stuff and I snuggled up to Oscar and fell asleep to the Bon Iver NRP live performance.


Sunday 10th September 2017

Got woken this morning at 5:45am by the two-part harmony of Oscar and Alaska. "Get up!" they sang, "get up you sunna'bitch!"

And how could I refuse?

So I fed Oscar, let Alaska out for a pee, and then sat down at the kitchen table and did my best to zone out and catch another ten minutes of sleep.

And now here I am, a little more coffee'd up, writing this.

Yesterday was a Saturday. One of two of my favourite days of the week. Cat got up pretty early and before doing anything we had a real good tidy up and a clean of the downstairs -- sweeping, mopping, the works. We then drank tea and chilled for a bit before I headed upstairs for a nice warm bath. The heating's not working at the minute and it's getting colder every day.

As I ran it I popped on a new true crime show on Netflix called The Confession Tapes. It's really good and incredibly frustrating how little evidence they have to convict these people to a life in prison. Imagine being put in a cage for the rest of your life because you were pressured into a false confession.

And then I bathed and read and got out and it was STILL raining like hell.

Next up I popped on a Distraction Pieces podcast and took Alaska out for a good long walk where I got soaked in the rain and muddied up to hell.

Came home and sat down to do some company admin stuff for H&C -- Currently compiling a big list of TOS episodes with accompanying story blurbs and wrote some answers for a comic-con Q&A we're doing.

Then onto the Keith outline. I've got what I think is the crux of the story but I'm not convinced by the ending, or the choice the MC makes to end the film. Today's the last day I've budgeted to work on it too.

I'll be honest, as I was reading through some of the outline I started to get a little scared. I don't have a clue how I'm going to film some of these scenes. But I guess that's the next step. I just gotta have faith that I'll figure it out later on. For now I just gotta get the best story I can on the page.

And then I felt super tired so I put Alaska in her crate and went upstairs for a quick snuggle, more Confession Tapes, and a nap that turned into an hour long snooze.

I woke groggy and grumpy. The stairs are completely covered in cat and dog hair and our hoover is a piece of shit. Just something else to put on the to-buy list.

So then me and Cat had a walk up to the shop to grab some butter and milk before heading home to chill. We ordered in some pizza, stuck on Dogma (been in a bit of a Kevin Smith mood), and then fell asleep. At least I did. Cat got up and went to play some of her Mabinogi game and then Oscar climbed up on the bed for a snuggle and we fell asleep.


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Monday 11th September 2017

Okay so here we go.

Oscar woke me around the 3:45am mark. I gave him some food, checked the time, and rejoiced as I slipped back into covers, snuggling into the warmth-cocoon. I closed my eyes and the two hours passed in a blink as Alaska woke me with her barking at 5:45am.

I climbed out of bed, let her out for a pee, and put the coffee on. I also noticed the heating hadn't come on. Our boiler is an intermittent piece of shit only wants to work when it feels like it. (Bloody millennials! ;p)

So now I'm up, slurping coffee to warm up.

Anyway, yesterday was crammed. After getting out of bed, I wrote my journal, spent a pom on Keith outlining, before going out for a 3.5 mile run. I listened to a Distraction Pieces episode as I ran. It was an interview with Aisling Bea, talking about grittiness, and emotional health for men.

Once home, Cat was up. We drank tea and played with Alaska for a bit before I hopped on a bus and headed into the city.

First stop was the comic shop to pick up Ryan's Beautiful Canvas and Fabian's Blood Brothers, and then I picked up a guilty McDonalds, and then into Primark for cheap pants and socks and some Harry Potter slippers for Cat.

And then I holed myself up in a book café that I can't remember the name of. Book Café is as good a guess as any.

There I read some of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and John Lees's Quilte, worked on the outline to Keith (and I think I've gotten it to about as good as I'm going to get it), before writing a letter to a friend I've lost touch with, which was quite difficult to do.

Then the bus home to let Cat try on her HP slippers. They've got little gold snitch's on the heels of them and Alaska was going crazy trying to get them. I guess she just really wanted to win the game.

More tea and a quick snuggle and a nap in bed before I headed downstairs for more Keith work, some podcast work, and then the storms began outside. Full on lightning, thunder, etc, that got me thinking about Hurricane Irma (the bitch!) and how bad it must be over there.

Realising I was pretty out of it by then, I cracked open a Brewdog ale, stuck on episode 13 of Twin Peaks and chilled.

Afterwards, I went upstairs, popped on In The Mouth Of Madness until the sleep came.


And that brings us back to today. 

I might do this journal-style of MØ every now and again but will probably be going back to the regular format next week. I don't want to be boring the crap out of you every week! Well, no more than usual anyway.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ20: McGregor, Huel, & Tobe Hooper

 
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MORNING ØUTPUT #20

Sunrise walk with Alaska

Hi.

I can't believe I've been doing this thing for twenty weeks already.

How was it for you? Rough? Pointless?

But still... that's what this has been all about for me. Doing something that doesn't have to be perfect. Doesn't have to be considered or thought-out. Doesn't have the sheen of a blog-post or the polish of a short story.

I was looking for a way to let loose, keep an online journal of sorts, try stuff out, win some, fail more.

So a quick thanks if you've been reading this every week. There's something very special about you. Very special indeed.


The Big Fight

On Sunday morning I slimed out of my duvet-cocoon at 3am to watch the big fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

I was rooting for Conor. I knew he didn't really stand a chance but I can't help but admire the guy who's able to bend the universe again and again with his infectious madness.

Frankie Boyle hit the nail on the head on Twitter:

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Here are two things you might not know about me. 

1. I'm a creature of habit.

2. I hate choosing what to eat at lunch time.

Enter, Huel.

"Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all the proteins, carbs, and fats you need, plus at least 100% of the... blah blah blah..."

It's essentially a meal-replacement powder that is way healthier than the tuna and kidney bean mix I've been making myself every day for the past few months. 

When it comes to the middle of the day, I just want someone to hook me up to an IV drip and pump me with all the stuff I need to stay sane, healthy, and not-dead. Huel is the next best thing.


INTERESTING BITS


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INPUT

READ

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury - Rockets, Mars, spacemen, time travel. All told in that vivacious lovely prose that I expect from Bradbury.

Some amazing stories and a few average ones. Here are my favourites:

  • The Veldt
  • Kaleidoscope
  • The Last Night of the World (actually an amazingly sweet story that I plan to go back and re-read)
  • The Fox and the Forest (time travelling cat and mouse story)
  • The City (surprisingly gory)
  • Zero Hour

WATCHED

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - We recorded an episode of Horror Hangout all about this film a few days before hearing of Tobe Hooper's death. Incredibly sad to hear that. This film really is a classic for so many reasons.

A quick aside, check out this art by Tristan Jones:

 
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Defenders - It was okay. It was kinda awesome to see the four guys coming together to kick some ass but I feel like we've completely left the bone-breaking grittiness of the original season of Daredevil. That was the very thing that made it work so well. Now all we're getting is kung fu campiness that just leaves me feeling icky.

Ozark SE1EP1 - Only caught the first episode and thought it was incredible. Jason Bateman directing too. I think he's going to do quite well in this film business.

LISTENED

The Keith Playlist!


Right then...

If Conor McGregor can pull Mayweather out of retirement, jump to a completely different sport, and make enough money to make a small country melt with envy, then I can damn well get my writing done.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

P.S. Huel stands for Human Fuel but it sounds so much like the noise of someone vomiting.