This week was mostly taken up with editing old travel videos and putting them online in a kind of filler not just for my YouTube channel but for my life in general. With The Odyssey Expedition back in action, I’ve got to get moving.
The worse thing I could do at the moment is to get stuck in Melbourne for another six months. With the help of Dino Deasha in Manchester, Alex Zelenjak in Sydney and, of course, Mandy in Melbourne we’ve been hassling Pacific Forum Line and P&O Cruises all week to get me on some kind of big floaty thing that could take me to Vanuatu, which my website keeps screaming at me is my next – and 187th – country.
But with a flurry of unanswered phone calls and unreplyed-to emails we hit something of a funk and I (tellingly) responded appropriately. But before I tell you how it all turned out, let me tell you about an email I did receive this week.
Not only do I travel, film, blog, edit and dance the Charleston on top of a flagpole, I also write film scripts. Good ones. Really good ones. I’ve already blogged at length about the joke that is the British Film Industry and I only throw rotten tomatoes at something when I know I can do better myself. My film scripts range from period adventures to kid’s action movies, from esoteric sci-fi to rock n’ roll film noir musicals, from Python-esque satires to futuristic murder mysteries.
I’ve even written a script for a really good episode of Doctor Who.
So far I haven’t done much with my scripts. They’ve been developed in fits and starts over the last few years, but I haven’t waved them under the noses of any bigwigs in Hollywood because I didn’t have an agent. But now I do.
So last March I send one of my scripts off to my literary agent in Sydney, with a message saying something along the lines of ‘I can’t finish my book* until I finish my travels, but here’s a 100% completed script that you could sell to the highest bidder. It’s Orpheus In The Underworld meets The Goonies. Enjoy.”
Now if it was me, you’d have me at “Orpheus in The Underworld meets The Goonies”. But sadly not everyone thinks like me. After six months of the script sitting gathering dust, I pressed my agent to have a look at it last week he told me that although he hadn’t read it, it ‘wasn’t for him’.
I’m all for constructive criticism, but seriously, what? Oh whatever. I’ve lived long enough to know you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but for somebody whose job it is to sell the stuff I write to give me the brush-off is a mighty blow to the ego that is my current mealticket.
But it was all power for the cause of the damp fart that has been the year 2011. Funny that: it’s usually even numbered years I can’t get the hang of.
So it was with great satisfaction that this week I received an email from my literary editor who works with my agent. She said she started reading the script the other night but got too freaked out and had to stop (and it’s a kid’s movie! Sleep tight, kiddywinkles! Woohahahahaha.). The good news is that she finished it the following night, she thinks it’s really good and wants to send it to my agent’s producer contacts in LA for feedback.
But before I abandon you all for Hollywood, I’ve got an Odyssey to complete. ‘Odyssey’ now meaning (cos I say it means) ‘a journey to every country in the world’.
And – oh yes – I have exciting new information about that too. The marketing department at Carnival who represent P&O Cruises called Mandy back on Friday morning to say if I wanted to get on the Pacific Pearl which was leaving for Vanuatu and Fiji I’d have to get my big fat ginger arse to Sydney on Sunday COS A SHIP WAS LEAVING WITH MY NAME ON IT!!
On small catch: I would have to pay. Not as much as a full cruise, but still, about the same as what a Commodore Amiga would set you back in 1991. Which is more money than was in my piggy bank then and, well, here we are twenty years later and not much has changed. F— it. I put it on my credit card (which HSBC was stupid to give me) and screamed HELL YES LET’S DO THIS CRAZY S—T!!!
I may not be in position to pay it back, but if I can never return to the UK, you lot have a good excuse to come on holiday and meet me on the beach in Rio. Everyone’s a winner, right?
*The book of The Odyssey Expedition will be entitled “The World Is Slightly Pear-Shaped: A Drunken Stumble To Every Country In The World.” If anyone out there knows any publishers that might be interested in what will be the best-selling book since The Bible, get in touch.