(Week 18: April 28 – May 4)

This week I finished my new short story (which will now formally be known as the recent short story formerly known as my new short story … or maybe not). I opted to give it a rare final pass after completing the not-quite-final edit. This took place over two mornings and gave me the opportunity to make the tone and language a little more consistent throughout. As always, I wanted to be able to put my pen down thinking that I’d done the best job I could do.

And, with one story out of the way, I’ve just started on another new story. As many of my stories tend to be, this one is based on a dream I had recently. I don’t remember the detail of the dream, but one part of it—a specific image—was compelling enough to stick with me. It took a few days, but I finally sketched out a story to fit the image.

This is often my favourite part of the process: waiting for the characters and plot to coalesce around an idea. Sometimes it takes several days, sometimes a lot less.

After that, of course, comes the hard part.


It’s been a busy viewing week in the Cawthorne household, so let’s get into it.


Fridate horror this week found us watching Oculus, which has been in the lower echelons of my To Watch list for quite some time. Turns out it’s a much better film that its been given credit for, and does an excellent job of slowly warping the viewer’s sense of what’s real and what isn’t as the characters get more and more drawn into the proceedings. Also worth noting that Karen Gillan does a flawless American accent, something which even the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch struggle valiantly with.

On Sunday my Awesome Partner and I reached Ant Man in our Marvel marathon. Not a whole lot to say about this, except I love heist films and I love Paul Rudd, and Michael Douglas rocks, so this one is an obvious winner for me.

We also started season 8 of Game Of Thrones, which is as compelling as ever based on this first episode. I particularly like the new(ish) opening titles: retaining the excellent aesthetic that has become an essential part of each episode (this being one series where you never skip the opening titles) but telling a different story that really hammers down where the focus is for the final season.

barry season 2

On Monday the Elderbeast and I started season two of Barry. I’m in a state of awe at the way this show manages to blend absurdist humour and some really dark themes. Plus Henry Winkler continues to be brilliant. More thoughts, doubtless, when we conclude the season.

I finished Love Death + Robots this week, and loved that too. There were some tales I enjoyed more than others, but the quality was remarkably consistent throughout, and it was a real treat seeing all the different animation styles that the various creators employed. I’d love a second season, but I’ll probably end up rewatching the first before too much longer.

Saturday’s Marvel instalment was Doctor Strange. I’ve written about this recently, so I won’t repeat myself here. One nice development was the Kinderbeast overhearing my watching it, and then asking about me all about it the next day. The following day I got home from work to find him watching the film for himself, and utterly absorbed in it.


Having wrapped up Dracula, I’ve returned to the audiobook of It while I decide my next listening choice. It’s bit like revisiting an old friend at this point. I’ll almost certainly move onto something new and fresh very soon, but it’s nice having It to come back to when I’m ready.

I also finished The Subtle Knife, which ended far more strongly than it began. The second half of the story had that same unputdownable quality that made The Golden Compass such a pleasure. My biggest criticism, other that the narrative and structural flaws in the first half of the story, is that The Subtle Knife is obviously set up to lead into the third part of the story and thus doesn’t really stand well on its own. Kinda disappointing, but still worthy in parts.