Toy Story 3 & Pixar

There’s always some trepidation when you learn of a sequel, regardless of the medium, or the series in question.

The trepidation increases incrementally based on the quality of the previous film(s). When the studio that produces these films happens to have a stunning record and is arguably the most successful film studio ever, and the film in question is Toy Story 3, a continuation of the franchise that built said studio, the trepidation level is at HOLY FUCK, BATMAN, THIS COULD ALL GO HORRIBLY WRONG!

It’s especially prevalent given the record of massive blockbuster and critical successes that Pixar has had and the constant speculation about when and how they will fall off their golden perch. The first Toy Story film made $362 million worldwide. The second went one further and made $485 million. It’s important to note just how much was riding on this film and why it was seemingly an unnecessary, absurd risk to take. But it’s definitely paid off and I’m incredibly glad they did it. Continue reading

Why I do What I do, What I do Best & What I Should Be Doing, Probably.

So, I figure it’s time for one of those general all-encompassing posts.

You know, the kind where I reveal I am, in fact, Darth Vader and that while I may have fathered you, I will not be paying any child alimony and you can go to hell. Or something. It’s obvious by now that I like to write, cos, you know I did a degree in it…and stuff. It’s not a “release” or anything like that, it’s just something I like to do, something that I can’t stop doing and something I’m moderately good at. It also doesn’t involve any real physical effort at all, which is what I’m all about.

I don’t need to be good at it, mind. Just better than the other hobos trying to get published.

Hello, fellow hobos! 🙂 Continue reading

Coming Out At Supanova

Last week I went to one of the largest comic-cons in Australia, Supanova, for the first time. I’ve always known and considered myself to be a geek/nerd/weirdo/whatever you want to call it, and yet, I’ve never gone to any of the cons before and to be honest, I think for a while there I looked down on those that did. There’s always been a fairly negative stereotype (not so much anymore, I feel) about those that dress up and speak Klingon or Elvish, as social outcasts and mentally unstable middle-aged men that live in their mother’s basement and mutter a lot.

So, for me, deciding to pay and go to this con was a definite big step – mind you, I’d mostly let go of the snobbish perception I had a long time ago but this was the first time I’d ever come out of the proverbial closet in public.

As they say, it was a liberating experience. Continue reading

Critical Self-Reflection

So, while uploading Catch the Troll just now, I realised that after writing it (about a year back) I had to add an exegesis, or critical self-reflection about the process, the story, etc. I thought it might be nice to put it up here and I’d love to hear your own reflections and stories and such, as well. It also goes to show that I do put some thought into this haha, I think we all do.

Critical Commentary

This story is a surrealist narrative, one of the hallmarks of my writing style. It’s a style I grew fond of first with the reading of Rose Madder by Stephen King as a boy, but more recently and with far greater impact and emphasis, Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl. Each of the three mentioned play with reality and fantasy, usually with sinister effect. Quite often, Gaiman and Dahl toy with fables and myths as well, with the intention of twisting a well known tale into something modern and dark.  Dahl and Gaiman – I mention these two prominently as they tend to use the devices and themes I do, within the short story whereas King is more of a straight genre novelist – usually employ a gradual shift, that is, to begin with seemingly normal circumstances and situations and only slowly slip into the supernatural and surreal.

Continue reading

Authonomy, Self-Publishing & eBooks

Recently, I’ve become more and more aware of the online writing community.

Now, that might sound like a misnomer, given I’ve been a part of a writing community for the past several years (The Young Writers Society) among others, but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’ve gradually become aware of the rather intimidatingly large blogosphere in which aspiring writers participate – I suppose that’s the difference, actually. I’m used to writing communities, but these are individual writers operating largely on their own in a self-promotional bid.

In this space, it’s all about networking, about connecting to other writers but more importantly, finding agents, editors and publishers (as well as a more general audience, ideally) in an often shameless effort of prostitution. Because, let’s face it, quality is rarely the issue – it’s all about who you know.

There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of these pages in an ever expanding, intricate net that is seemingly impossible to penetrate. I’m not really making a judgement on them (this is, after all, my own such example of it) so much as I am simply observing the online boom as it relates to us aspiring writing people. Continue reading

Wimbledon & Sport Fandom

Now, as you may have guessed, this will have almost nothing to do with writing. And no, this is not because I’m currently terminally bored, unemployed, or because I need to fill up the extra space on this blog. Don’t be absurd.

I have more credibility than that. Sort of.

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine last night (and you can find him here) about sport and sport fandom. See, he couldn’t quite figure out why I was getting upset over the fact that Roger Federer (my idol) was losing in the first round of Wimbledon. In actual fact, he can’t quite see why anyone would get upset or excited or feel anything other than mild interest over a sporting event and its result. Logically, neither can I.

Continue reading

Why I love Neil Gaiman

I recently re-read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman.

It’s a novel loosely affiliated with Gaiman’s much better known, much vaunted, American Gods. It’s a novel about Fat Charlie and, at heart, his relationship with his father, the trickster god Anansi. Of course, Fat Charlie didn’t know anything about that while he grew up. All he knew was that his father was completely embarrassing, and would do anything to humiliate him. Something that wasn’t hard to do, given everything seemed to go wrong for Charlie, who was always clumsier and more hesitant than most, and generally neglected by the world.

Age has done nothing but exacerbate these problems, but things are finally looking up for Charlie – he’s put an ocean in between him and his father for a start, which can only be a good thing as far as he’s concerned, and for another, he’s getting married. Yes, things are finally looking up. That all changes when he learns of his father’s death. Continue reading

And the curtains rise up

The show is about to begin.

You wait with bated breath. Everyone else has shuffled into their seats, their hushed murmurs – What are we seeing again? This better be good – slinking between the odd cough, gasp and chuckle. This is the best moment, on the cusp, with the red curtains steadfastly shut. Anything is possible. Greatness awaits. Or, better yet, disaster. Something tragic, yes, that’s what we’re after isn’t it? Quiet, it’s starting!

My name is Omar, as you may have surmised by now. The inevitable disappointment is sinking in even now, the curtains have risen, your expectations have already been dashed. They always will be – such is the arrogance of expecting reality to bow to your (imagined) perception. But stay awhile. See the show play out, regardless. You’re here already, after all. Continue reading