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100th Post: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years

It’s really surprising to see that I started this blog nearly three years ago. And to find that this is my 100th post. Have I really had that many interesting things to say?! Excuse the self-indulgence here, then, as I look back at what’s changed since my very first blog post on 30th April 2010. (In no particular order…)

1. I’m now a freelance writer.
2. I’ve interviewed Matt Smith. (I know; I haven’t said anything about this massive event on this blog yet. But stay tuned!)

Matt and Moffat

3. I launched the Make Mine A Marvel Omnibus site in October 2010.
4. I had my first article printed in Real Travel magazine.
5. I work for the Doctor Who site, Kasterborous.
6. Amy and Rory left the TARDIS last year. (Don’t press me on the matter; I’m still a bit teary.)
7. I have an FdA in Professional Writing. (You can read more about that course here.)
8. Spooks has finished. (Thank God for DVDs!)
9. I’ve started my first novel.
10. I’ve written for the Weston College Higher Education Prospectus.
11. I did the web copy for Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf for both their own website and Amazon.

doctor-who-scarf-4

12. As well as doing the official press release!
13. I’ve started my first children’s book.
14. The Amazing Spider-Man reached #700.
15. I’ve worked for Kasterborous’ sister site, CultBritannia (and you can read my first article here.)
16. I’ve learnt how to add videos to my blog!
17. I wrote The British Comedy Guide’s 10th anniversary celebratory article of The Office.
18. I’ve started a few scripts…
19. … And am searching for an agent.

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

20. I reviewed the Armstrong and Miller Tour for Bristol247
21. … And for Guide2Bristol.
22. The latter of which has been quoted on the official A&M website!
23. I copy-edit regularly for Kasterborous.
24. I reviewed the Day of the Daleks: Special Edition DVD for Kasterborous in two parts (here and here).
25. Then reviewed it for ItchyBristol here.
26. I’ve ran two blog advents across December 2011 and 2012.
27. I’ve worked on four Doctor Who ReKapped articles (learn more about that here), with another one in the works.

A Town Called Mercy 3

28. Clara Oswin Oswald has joined the TARDIS (sort of).
29. Neil Armstrong has passed away.
30. And so has Sir Patrick Moore.
31. The Killers have released a new album, Battle Born (and you can read a review of their single, Runaways here).
32. Avengers Assemble! has been released.
33. My review of the Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project went online here.
34. I’ve contributed two features to the upcoming Kasterborous Magazine (stay tuned for that).
35. Ray Bradbury has died.

The Illustrated Man

36. I’ve joined Twitter!
37. I’ve reviewed the last episode of Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall, for Cult Britannia.
38. I have worked in a shop, Giggs, during the Christmas 2011 period – a shop which has since gone bust! (Nothing to do with me, I might add.)
39. I’ve read countless books – and you can see my top 10 reads of 2012 here.
40. Two episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been found!
41. I reviewed Mission to the Unknown for Kasterborous’ Doctor Who@50.
42. The Gunfighters too! (And that’s certainly not the last of my involvement in the project.)
43. I created the Introducing: Doctor Who series for Kasterborous.

The Gunfighters 4

44. Doctor Who Confidential has been axed. (And was voted the best show ever on BBC3. Typical.)
45. I previewed Forbidden Planet’s Doctor Who Fun Day for ItchyBristol.
46. And in a short piece for The Mercury.
47. And finally for Bristol 247.
48. … For whom I also reviewed it.
49. The price of a 1st class stamp has increased to 60p.
50. I reviewed Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf.
51. I write a regular column, Bristol Comics Corner, for Guide2Bristol.
52. Death in Paradise debuted on BBCOne.
53. Tuition fees increased, with a cap at £9,000.
54. … Something which I argued against in this Bristol247 article.
55. Brandon Flowers released his first solo album, Flamingo, and I reviewed it here.
56. I was thanked for my article about Jack Vettriano’s Bristol exhibition.

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

57. I previewed the Slapstick Festival in 2011.
58. I created my own website, using Moonfruit…
59. Then deleted it, as I wasn’t happy with the inability to update.
60. The Dandy ceased publication. (Read my article on that here.)
61. I’ve submitted an article to the Doctor Who book, Celebrate, Regenerate.
62. The Doctor Who Experience opened in London –
63. – Then moved to Cardiff.

JLC dress and Dalek

64. I reviewed Mack the Life, Lee Mack’s autobiography, for The British Comedy Guide.
65. I interviewed comic writer and artist, Jerry Holliday.
66. The Ice Warriors have been confirmed to return in the second half of Doctor Who, Series 7.
67. The world didn’t end on 21st December 2012. (Always a good thing, I find.)
68. The Bristol Comic Expo returned to Brunel’s Old Station.
69. I previewed the 2012 Expo here.
70. And reviewed it here.
71. The James Bond film franchise hit the big 5-0.
72. My former tutor, Marc Leverton, who’s a freelance writer, has written a guest blog post about his experience of publishers.

How To - Journalism

73. A review of his book, How to work as a Freelance Journalist, can be read here.
74. Steven Moffat has left Twitter. (Again, nothing to do with me!)
75. I’ve seen Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Experience!
76. Sherlock burst onto television in July 2010.
77. I’ve helped Kasterborous begin their 50th anniversary celebrations with monthly Introduction articles.
78. January’s was Frontier in Space.
79. And this month’s is Vengeance on Varos.

Frontier 3

80. Tying into this, my editor called a second Frontier in Space piece I wrote one of the best articles the site has ever published. A massive compliment. You can read The World Behind: Frontier in Space here.
81. I reviewed Lee Mack’s Going Out live tour for Guide2Bristol
82. … And Bristol247!
83. I’ve visited the National History Museum for the first time.
84. Colin Baker appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
85. My article, Room with a View?, was the most-viewed article on Kasterborous in 2012!
86. I’ve begun work on a number of non-fiction books – but researching is a long task!
87. I reminisced on the anniversary of Matt Smith’s debut as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory here.
88. And celebrated Matt’s Doctor here.

The 11th Doctor

89. I’ve started a short story collection.
90. My jewellery article, With This (Time) Ring…, was surprisingly popular, making the Kasterborous top 10 list of the most-viewed articles of 2012.
91. I looked at the top 10 guest stars in the Tenth Doctor era here and here.
92. I’ve started reading the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
93. T4 On The Beach (held in my hometown) has been cancelled.

David Tennant

94. I’m working on a particularly-exciting documentary idea – though it’s only in development in my head at the minute!
95. I’ve seen Peter Kay live at Manchester’s M.E.N. Arena.
96. Parts of Doctor Who: The Snowmen were filmed in Bristol, as were bits of Night Terrors.
97. I previewed tours by Micky Flanagan, Ed Byrne and Stewart Francis for my local newspaper, The Weston and Worle Mercury.

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

98. I’ve seen the asteroid, 2012 DA14!
99. I’ve added a new section to my blog: Testimonials.
100. I’ve written 100 posts!

But don’t go anywhere. This is just the start.

Thanks for sticking with me this long.

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I work for Kasterborous now. Kasterborous is cool.

The Doctor, The Pandorica Opens: “Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica, takes the universe! But, bad news, everyone, ’cause guess who! Ha! Listen, you lot! You’re all whizzing about. It’s really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute, because I. Am. Talking!

Now the question of the hour is, “Who’s got the Pandorica?” Answer: I do. Next question: Who’s coming to take it from me? Come on! Look at me! No plan, no back-up, no weapons worth a damn! Oh, and something else I don’t have: Anything. To. Lose! So, if you’re sitting up there in your silly little spaceships, with all your silly little guns, and you’ve got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who’s standing in your way! Remember every black day I ever stopped you! And then, and then…! Do the smart thing: Let somebody else try first.”

Thanks to this blog (and my reviews of The Doctor Who Fun Day), I’m now a regular contributor to Kasterborous, a Doctor Who fansite which I’ve visited every day since I found it – hey, I love my Doctor Who!

It’s quite exciting for me, actually; I’ve wanted to write for Who since I first saw it, and this feels one step closer. Just to prove I know what I’m on about and to entertain and inform like-minded people is brilliant, and I’ve produced quite a body of work for them, though I’ve only been a contributor since July.

It’s also great to talk to and work with my editor, Christian, so thanks to him for being supportive, understanding and generally just a great guy.

My ongoing articles are listed here:

http://www.kasterborous.com/author/prbates/

Scroll through; I hope you like them all, and if anyone has any advice or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s a link to my first article, Fiver for Six, which was a fairly standard affair, but it’s set me on the right track:

http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/07/fiver-for-six/

Okay, so which article – so far! – am I most proud of? Well, this is a bit of a surprise to me, but it’s probably Eleventh Heaven, which got a fantastic response from readers:

http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/10/eleventh-heaven/

I’ve never done anything like it before, but as long as the readers – and Christian – are happy, then I’m happy too. And it was so hard. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s impossible to narrow down exactly why Matt Smith is my Doctor. Maybe not. I dunno.

Either way, I hope you like what I’m doing. ‘Cause I do.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Published work

 

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Doctor Who Fun Day Round-up (2011)

Doctor Who is back.

I’m a big fan of the Time Lord, and so, as part of the build-up to the new series, I headed over to Forbidden Planet in Bristol on their Doctor Who Fun Day.

http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/what-s-on/exterminate_1_855825

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/04/06/bristol-fans-expected-to-converge-on-doctor-who-fun-day/

Like anything with the TARDIS stamp of approval, the day was great… but then, I always enjoy a trip to Forbidden Planet!

Exterminate!

It was the perfect subject for a review.

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/04/11/doctor-who-fun-day-packs-out-bristol-forbidden-planet/

… Or two…

http://www.itchybristol.co.uk/article.cfm/4/9059/Bristol-City-Guide/article/Doctor-Who-Fun-Day–Forbidden-Planet

Oh, and it’s great to be quoted by a site I visit frequently:

http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/04/events-galore-2/

Thank you, Kasterborous!

So far, the series has been excellent; Steven Moffat didn’t need to prove himself to anyone, and yet he has, again and again. His wibbly-wobbly plots, tiny-but-important character pieces and incredible epic scale show how much he loves the show.

Stay tuned for more Who-goodness!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Published work

 

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Forklift Inspections (South West)

Hey everyone!

Whoa. March. Where has this year gone?

I’ve been working on website copy for Forklift Inspections (South West) recently, alongside its design etc. Here’s some sample text from their homepage:

“FORKLIFT INSPECTIONS (SOUTH WEST)

Hire, Repair, Sales and Service.

F.L.I. is a family-run business in Weston-super-Mare, with local engineers covering an area from Bristol to Cornwall, Swindon to South Wales.

We repair, hire, sell and service forklifts, with no affiliations, allowing us to do the best for you and your business.

All calls and enquiries are answered by our experienced engineers to give you reliable advice to help you get your forklift truck back on the road then and there.

We respond to breakdowns within four hours, with a maximum travel charge of one hour (and no call-out fee).”

The full website can be found here:

F.L.I. Homepage

http://fli-sw.moonfruit.com/

Take a look sometime! I have some more copy to produce for them soon, but there are a couple of other bits needing finishing at the moment. I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks for checking back on this blog. I’m always open to new suggestions, comments on my work (constructive criticism, please) or just a new contact. Just email me on:

prbates36@hotmail.co.uk

Oh, and please put “NEW PROJECT” as the subject so it doesn’t get sent to the trash!

Thanks!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Published work

 

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Online nonsense

Hello everyone!

How have you been keeping? Good? Good. Me? Yeah, fine, ta.

I’ve been busy setting up some website nonsense, actually. Yeah, it’s gone well, thanks. Twitter’s not as bad as I thought:

Twitter profile

 http://twitter.com/prbates36

Why, yes, I am following Steven Moffat and Stan “The Man” Lee. Speaking of which, I am still regularly updating my Marvel Omnibus blog. Yeah, take a look sometime:

 http://marvelomnibus.wordpress.com/

 There’s quite a few crazy online activities going on, huh? Yeah, but I’ve got a, sort of, base for it all now:

Moonfruit homepage

http://prbates.moonfruit.com/

There’s a bit of a portfolio there, and I update it with the latest goings-on when I have a free minute. No, don’t worry; this is still where most of my online work will reside. It’s just now got a cousin, or something like that.

 Oh, the course is going well too. Essays galore at the minute, but I still have some spare time to watch Doctor Who, never you mind!

But enough about me; what about you? Oh. Oh, you’ve gone. Okay. Fine. Whatever.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Mack A-Mania

Well, it’s been a while. But I have been busy. Promise.

I went to see my favourite comedian, Lee Mack, in November, and loved every second. So I quickly knocked out a couple of reviews and the kind folks at Bristol247 and Guide2Bristol deemed them suitable for publication! You can find them here:

http://www.bristol247.com/2010/11/23/lee-mack-full-of-enthusiasm-energy-and-cheeky-charm/

Lee Mack Bristol247 Review

And here:

http://www.guide2bristol.com/news/1028/Bristol-comedy-review-Lee-Mack-Going-Out-Tour-Colston-Hall

Lee Mack Guide2Bristol Review

But that’s not all. I seem to have fallen into a comedy niche; quite accidental, but very enjoyable anyway. I found myself previewing the Slapstick Festival in Bristol, which can be found at:

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/01/24/bristol-slapstick-festival-returns-with-tribute-to-chaplin/

Slapstick Festival Bristol247 preview

Plus, I’ve been lucky enough to have a preview of Micky Flanagan’s new tour – ‘Out Out’ – printed in last week’s Weston Mercury (dated 10th February 2011). Here’s a photocopy of the article, which can be found on page 47:

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

I have a couple of other comedy-related articles in the mix at the minute, so I’ll keep you updated on that.

Come back soon for more updates on a few websites and a bit of social networking!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Published work

 

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P-P-P-Published pieces

These last three months have flown by.

The much-anticipated Professional Writing has returned for a second year, and I’m finding it as fun as the last (but don’t tell anyone). The enthusiasm from my class has prompted more pitches, and a brand new blog. A niche, a flight of fancy, an indulgence; call it what you will, but do take a look:

http://marvelomnibus.wordpress.com/

I’ll be posting news and info up as much as possible, so don’t get rid of your internet connection, will you?

Isn’t technology wonderful? Mmmm, but who can beat a good ol’ magazine? So why not pick up Real Travel magazine this month (issue 57; dated December 2010) to see an article I wrote in the Summer? The piece is ‘Have you ever… had a failed plane landing?’ and can be found on page 22. Go on; take a look!

In September, I went to the opening night of The Armstrong and Miller Show Tour – my favourite double act – and loved every second. Well… almost every second; I sank into my chair when the two picked on the audience. The pair still deserved the massive applause (and then some) so I swiftly knocked out some reviews, which can be found here:

http://www.guide2bristol.com/news/955/Comedy-review-The-Armstrong-and-Miller-Show-at-the-Bristol-Hippodrome-theatre

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

And here:

http://www.bristol247.com/2010/09/25/armstrong-and-miller-double-act-deserve-ongoing-popularity/

Armstrong and Miller Bristol247 review

Armstrong and Miller Bristol247 review

And you think that’s it, don’t you? I can tell by the look in your eye. Well, you’d be wrong, my friend. On Monday (22nd November), my absolute favourite comedian, Lee Mack, returns to Bristol, this time to the Colston Hall. And guess who’ll be there…

I went to see Messer Mack in February and begged for an action replay. He (happily, I assume) obliged. So here we come. And what, you may ask, has this got anything to do with p-p-p-published pieces? Well…

http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/what-s-on/lee_mack_in_bristol_1_729707

Lee Mack: Going Out Mercury preview

Lee Mack: Going Out Mercury preview

I know I’m gonna love his show – and accompanying DVD – and can’t wait ‘til Not Going Out returns. Now if I could just get to work for his PR team and slowly rise through the ranks…

In other news:

  • Kudos to the brilliant Karl Pilkington, who has – and will continue to – entertain me with An Idiot Abroad, and his exceptional books. Long will I remain a fan.
  • I’m obviously looking forward to the next Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol, which looks to be just mind-blowing. The Sarah Jane Adventures have fed my obsession, with some fantastic storylines and acting, as have Classic Who DVDs and a convention that came to Weston. I met Sarah Sutton and saw Wendy Padbury again; really lovely people, who I’d love to interview someday (if you’re reading this…?).
  • But not all is well. I’ve just seen a Dolmio advert that rips off the “intruder window” joke from Doctor Who and has taken all of the credit. Feel free to form a protest. I’m trying, y’know.

Well, that’s all for now, but come back soon, won’t you…?

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Published work, Unpublished work

 

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