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10 January 2018

Happy New Year. It's still early in the year so not much has happened... yet.

Philip 'Norman Bates' Henry - Photo by Chris Roberts.I had a bit of a horrible Christmas with a throat infection that felt like I was swallowing glass every time I ate or drank, and as soon as that cleared up I got a whopper of a toothache, which turned out to be a double abscess and has got me on more pills - I'm starting to sound like a maraca when I walk.

So all these mouth problems have halted the vocals from getting finished on my album. I did scratch vocals on all the tracks and thought I was pretty close to being done, but when I wrote them out to a CD and listened to it a few times, I began to hear more and more things that needed redone or could be done better. So hopefully when this tooth problem gets sorted I'll be able to get the rest of the vocals redone to my liking.

Noirland is finally available to watch on Amazon Video. I have no idea how smart TVs and all those streaming things work, but apparently you will be able to watch it on all sorts of devices and it will adjust the quality automatically to suit what you're watching on. With any luck, this will take our wee local film to a much bigger, international audience.

The first few illustrations for The Exploration Station are looking fantastic. I'm hoping this book should be out in the spring. I'm excited to be writing for an entirely different readership. It'll be interesting to see how the book does.

I've got a few short film ideas loitering around my hard drive and I'll probably make one or more of them at some point, but it's too damn cold to even think about going on location at the moment. The NCFC horror anthology movie is starting to take shape, but it probably won't start shooting for a few months and I'm not sure how involved I'll be with it when it does.

I have plenty of stuff to keep me going in the meantime.

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29 November 2017

Hello and welcome back. It has been a few months since I last checked in and that's because I was looking for some time to do a bit of a redesign on the website. So here it is! It's now more streamlined; instead of loads of different pages that I have to painstakingly update every time I add a new book, we just have a single page for each of my endeavours. This will make it much easier to navigate for you, and much quicker to update for me.

So, what have I been up to all this time...

Not much has got done this year as far as novel-writing goes. I have finished my children's book The Exploration Station and will be releasing that as soon as the illustrations are done. I was hoping to have it out by Christmas, but that's not looking likely now. The book stars my nephews and niece - Henry, Max and Bonnie - as three children who go to stay with their uncle (???) and accidentally find a porthole to another world in his house and then have to try to figure out a way to get home. It was great fun to write and I've just started working on the sequel as my NaNoWriMo project - about 85% of the first book was written for last year's project. Hopefully it'll be a trilogy.

 

I've made two short films this year; Nanny-Cam and Deadspot. We had a screening for all the films made by the North Coast Film Collective in the past twelve months at Portrush Playhouse (which is also our new meeting place) last month and it all went down a storm. There was every kind of kind of genre and style on display and the audience seemed to enjoy it all. Only twelve months until we do it all again, so we're already hard at work on fresh ideas. If you want to get involved, just join the Facebook group and come along to the next meeting.

 

The album is still a work in progress, but I have at least started the vocals now. I have one song pretty much finished, but then along came a cold and took away my voice. I'm over it now, so it's just a matter of finding the time to get the rest of the vocals recorded before the next cold comes along. You would think that would be the end of it, wouldn't you? But no! I'm just beginning to wrap my head around what a mammoth task mixing and mastering is. I thought I would be able to watch a few YouTube videos and bingo! I'd be a qualified engineer and producer! Unfortunately it seems like it takes a lifetime to become good at it. As usual, I can't afford to pay anyone to do it, so it looks like I'm just going to have to do my best and see what happens. I've been trying to get this album recorded for over ten years so I want to get it finished and start working on album two (album three is also written), but I don't want it to come out sounding half-assed after all this time either, so I guess I'll have to find a middle ground I can live with.

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