Cheers to The New Year! (Some thoughts on 2013 and hopes for 2014)


2013 has certainly been an interesting and somewhat frenetic year for me.  It’s also been a year of some interesting realisations and some completely unseen events.
Scribbles and Words

When I gave up on the traditional model of gainful employment back in 2011, I had assumed that the path to wealth, riches and professional acceptance would be a simple matter of having the extra hours during the day to write and pitch my words across the interwebs and editorial. In the end, it transpired that without a lot of the necessary contacts, friendships, and proximity to the main social scenes that many in the journalistic trades operate through, it was a damn site more graft than I thought. Having worked for half a decade and more as a Games Journalist and editor of a magazine apparently are of less import in many circles than say, drinking in the same pub as an editor. But hey-ho, it is as it ever was.

Pondering on all this gave me the idea that I really didn’t need to pile all of my eggs in a single basket.  Which has led to a myriad of interesting work developments.

One major surprise bit of fun has come in the form of Curiosity Quills Press, who have taken me on as a manuscript editor, which means I get to read a startling selection of new authors pieces of speculative fiction, and am positively encouraged to point out all of the flaws in them.  Being as I usually get told off for being nitpicky and a grump in my Games writing, it makes for a bizarre change.

The Acting Bug

A randomly sent application to an extras casting, led me to spend half of November up to my ankles in mud, and likely much of 2014 will be spent doing the same. For now, largely due to various contractural niggles, I’ll simply refer to that as Project Kilt-mans. More on that closer to the time.

One project I can talk about, is the impending release of Metalhedz, the web sitcom that a few friends and I have been plugging away at in various forms for the last couple of years. The chance to expand my acting skills and really have some fun as a seedy, and obnoxious sexist, has been a great laugh, and will be gracing an internet near you from the 20th February.

Before this, my experience in filming had always been on the other side of the camera, working as a technician on the Jimmy Jib. Who ironically ended up being called out on a location shoot for Project Kilt-mans.

2013-12-31 15.13.18

Which was also how I spent my Hogmanay this year, out in the cold of Princes Street Gardens.  Wrapped up in more layers than I knew what to do with, looking like some sort of extra from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games universe.  Which was largely what things began to feel like when at 1pm The Pet Shop Boys began their second encore and my toes began to slowly shrivel up and die, deep inside in my frosty boots.  Not that I dislike the Pet Shop Boys all that much, but they represent about as much influence upon my life musically as does Mark Kermode’s skiffle band.20131231_144858

Still, it was a nice change to the usual, and it meant getting to have some fun with the Jib.  Although I did miss the usual crowd down The Auld Hoose and the traditional ridicuously expensive Single Malt at the bells.  But we do what we must.

Still. As can be seen from the Metalhedz trailer and this recent photo, my beard and mustachios have become quite overgrown and unkempt. Unfortunately with Project Kilt-Mans starting up again in February, I’ll need it back at full hairy Scotsman mode.

In any event. It’s been a busy year, and yet despite this, I still failed to hit a few of my goals. Although I put the blame for this firmly on the fact that I didn’t make a set of firm New Year’s Resolutions.  As you are supposedly 40% likely to meet them if you set them up and tell people. Or 4% likely if you just decide to do something, like lose weight or take up philately or some other such arcane practice.

New Year Resolutions 2014
(in no real order)

  1. Write a novel – Technically this was supposed to be one for last year. Or at the very least, to have submitted some sample chapters to a publisher was my goal before life got in the way. So this is a carry-over to 2014, which seems to be a popular idea between some of my Games Writer pals, several of which are aiming to such an end, and one already has.
  2. Make a videogame – I’ve been plugging away at Gamemaker Studio, and this should be an achieveable goal.
  3. Get a paid proper acting role – I’ve done extra work, and even had a few featured scenes, but I’d like to try my hand at the whole hog, either on stage or screen.
  4. Do some paid Voice Acting – similar to the above, but without having to dress up funny.
  5. Get back down to at least a 32″ belt size  –  and generally get myself properly fit again.
  6. Learn to play the Piano (at least 5 pieces)
  7. Learn another language – Probably French, I’m good at French
  8. Start Doing video reviews of films on my Youtube channel – been planning this for a while now. 2014 is the year!
  9. Finish reading The books on my shelf. – There are a few
  10. Write more blog entries! – I really have been lax. I should get back into the swing of it, rather than tweeting so much rubbish.With that. I’ll wish you all a Happy New Year, and good luck with all your endeavours!

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