Tag Archives: projects

More Work

I have a lot of projects stacked in front of me right now. But then this guy who is trying to get his first film off the ground came to me and asked if I’d give his script a look, give him some notes. And I thought, “Why not?” That’s the thing about this business: you never know who the people you meet today will be tomorrow.

So I read some of the script, and I’ve sent him some early notes on what I’ve read (about a third of it so far). And he was grateful, which is more than a lot of writers/directors are. And he asked if maybe I’d help polish the script? Well, he really asked what it would take to get me to do it. And I told him I’d do it for the credit. Because you know what? Good things can come of being good to others, helping them. I believe that. And although I’m crazy swamped . . . I don’t know. It seems like the right thing to do, helping this guy out a little.

The business is so much give and take, and a lot of that is people asking, “What can you do for me?” And a lot of it is like betting on a horse and hoping it places. But sometimes, in some places, there’s honest-to-goodness kindness to be found. I’ve had people be good to me—without their trying to get something in return—and I’ve had people treat me badly. But we have to perpetuate the behaviors we want to see grow. And that means holding out a hand to others every now and then.

I’m not trying to sound like a saint. I’m far from that. But I do try to be cognizant of the ripple effect, karma, however you prefer to look at it. I like to believe (though in my lowest moments I’m skeptical) that it all comes back in some way. Or maybe, at the very least, at the end of it there will be a decent film out there with my name attached to it.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Is that true? I hope so.

I’ve written another short play titled “The Apple or the Cigarette” and sent that off to a few places. And now I’m back to hammering away at this spec script. It’s extremely slow going, mostly because I’m a perfectionist. Also, I’ve started over from the beginning and am re-crafting large swaths of the work, so . . .

I’m an impatient person by nature. Writing is good for me because it requires me to slow down (at least if and when I want to write well). But this is also very frustrating for me. Makes me restless even as it forces me to focus.

Meanwhile, Mars is in retrograde, which isn’t helping matters.

Don’t know that I’ll be posting very often as I attempt to concentrate on my work, so to tide you over, here’s a little Q&A:

Are you guilty of drunk dialing?
No. Drinking makes me silly then sleepy, so I usually fall asleep before I can do anything truly stupid.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Lust maybe. Attraction. Not sure about love. I’m not even convinced it exists in the traditionally understood sense.

Fact about the person you fell hardest for?
He’s the only person whose happiness has ever meant more to me than my own.

What kind of backpack/purse do you use?
A brown leather Fossil bag with black trim (so it can go with anything), large enough to carry a notebook and/or Sherlock when we travel.

Is it good if the person you’re dating is sexually experienced or not?
There are pros and cons to either their being experienced or needing some instruction.

Are you scared of spiders?
Not sure if “scared” is the word, but I dislike them intensely.

Do you miss anyone?
Yes.

Do you curse a lot?
Not by today’s general standards, I don’t think. In fact, I’d say I probably curse less than the average.

Where is the person you have feelings for right now?
I don’t know.

Do you have trust issues?
Yes.

If someone liked you right now, would you want them to tell you?
Yes. Might make me feel better about myself in general to know I’m liked. And I like to have the option and/or opportunity to reciprocate.

Have you ever sung in front of a lot of people?
Yes.

Do people tell you that you have a nice voice?
Yes.

What scares you the most in life?
Failure.

Favorite Character Blogfest

Hosted by Laura Josephsen. There are prizes and everything!

The blogfest runs from January 23-25. Here’s how it works:

1. Decide which of your characters you’d like to introduce everyone to, and choose a snippet about this character (preferably no more than 200 words) to share about this character. (A snippet from your manuscript would be awesome, but if you’re not comfortable with that, you can choose to do a character sketch—something to show us your character and writing.)

2. Between January 23-25, tell us who your favorite character you’ve written is and why and post your snippet.

3. Hop around to other participants to check out their favorite characters and a bit of their story.

The lovely Melanie Billings, Acquisitions Editor at Whiskey Creek Press, has graciously offered to supply critiques as prizes! Winners will be drawn from the list of active participants after midnight on the 25th and announced on my blog on the 26th.

1st Prize: critique of first 15 pages of your manuscript, an e-book copy of my book, Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School) and an ARC e-copy of my next book, Rising Book 1: Resistance (upcoming publication in February 2012)

2nd Prize: critique of first 10 pages of your manuscript and an e-book copy of Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School)

3rd Prize: critique of first 5 pages of your manuscript

—————–

I like writing men for some reason, and my character Peter Stoller in St. Peter in Chains is probably my favorite. He’s an intelligence agent (colloquially, a spy). Oh, and he’s gay, which is not something anyone he works with knows until he’s compromised by his lover. Oops.

The thing about Peter is that he’s fine with flings but has difficulty in long-term commitments. He’s not used to being “in love.” In St. Peter in Chains, when Peter meets Charles and begins to develop a real interest in him—one outside of a one-night stand—the result makes Peter distinctly uncomfortable:

There came, for Peter, that strange feeling of one’s life and world being carefully balanced on the edge of a knife. Anything he said or did would tip it—it had to tip, it couldn’t just stay teetering on the brink—but in what direction? That depended solely on what he said or did next. It was a familiar enough feeling given his line of work, but utterly alien when applied to relationships. The fear that welled when it was a life-or-death moment paled in comparison to the sudden terror that opened in him now.
. . .
It wasn’t natural for Peter to second-guess himself; he was, as a rule, a confident and competent man. And he’d had his share of flings—some were part of the job, others merely stress relief—but there was something different here. Peter thought he could really come to like Charles, if only they could get better acquainted. He just didn’t know how to go about that bit. And he didn’t know whether Charles wanted to go through all that effort.

What I like about writing Peter is that he’s complex and conflicted; there’s something lovely about slowly cutting a character’s heart in two. Sadistic, maybe, but lovely in the art of paring a person down to his basic elements.

One Down

Here were my goals for 2012, which I posted at the beginning of the year:

  • Finish “St. Peter in Chains”
  • Finish “The K-Pro”
  • Finish the spec script
  • Get at least one more play accepted for production somewhere

Well! I’m pleased to note that “St. Peter in Chains” is finished, at least in first draft form. It’s a novelette at the moment, coming in at just under 16,000 words. There’s a chance I’ll try to lengthen it into a full novel. And an equal chance I’ll convert it into a stage play. Maybe I’ll get ambitious and do both, but in the meantime I have several other goals on the list to tackle.

Goals & an Excerpt

I want to keep my writing goals for 2012 relatively modest to prevent myself being disappointed later. So here they are:

  • Finish “St. Peter in Chains” (an excerpt is below)
  • Finish “The K-Pro”
  • Finish the spec script
  • Get at least one more play accepted for production somewhere

That doesn’t seem too ambitious, does it? Seems doable, I think.

“St. Peter in Chains” is a story I’m currently working on. I’m trying to decide whether to turn it into a play after; I think it could work either way. The prose has a lot of description that can’t be used in a play, of course, but a good actor and director can make these things felt and understood outside of written words. Here, then, is a bit of description that I rather like, even though it would be binned in a stage rewrite:

There came, for Peter, that strange feeling of one’s life and world being carefully balanced on the edge of a knife. Anything he said or did would tip it—it had to tip, it couldn’t just stay teetering on the brink—but in what direction? That depended solely on what he said or did next. It was a familiar enough feeling given his line of work, but utterly alien when applied to relationships. The fear he might feel when it was a life-or-death moment paled in comparison to the sudden terror that opened in him now.

I’ll finish the story then make the decision whether to do a stage version.

Alas, a Rejection

Got a rejection for a short story today. I’m not terribly surprised; it seems my plays and scripts are more in demand, so I’ve been focusing on those anyway. Still, this was an interesting one: they sent a form letter that has a bunch of tick boxes with things like “Couldn’t suspend my disbelief” and “Dialogue weak or stilted” next to them, 16 total options. The following were ticked on my letter:

  • Not for us
  • Not compelling enough/just didn’t grab me
  • Please try us again with something else

I suppose that last one is supposed to be encouraging, but I don’t have the time right now to dig around for “something else” to send them.

Could have been worse. One box (NOT ticked on my letter) reads: “What were you thinking?” I wonder if anyone has actually received a letter with that one marked on it? I’d actually be interested in reading whatever it was that got rejected with such a note. Call it morbid curiosity.

All right then. Have a play to finish. And a television script. And two stories (well, novellas at this rate). And that Doctor Who movie script . . . Jesus. When I look at it like that, I just want to go to bed and have Tom Tit Tot spin all this straw into gold for me.

NaNoWriMo Fail

It appears I’m not actually doing NaNoWriMo this year after all. The month is nearly half over, and though I’ve written one play and started another, I won’t have anything like a novel by the time the clock runs out. I’m fine with this . . . I think. Since I write all the time anyway, the deadline for NaNo seems forced and arbitrary. I’ve produced more work in the past year than I had in the three or four years prior, so I have nothing to be ashamed of. And hopefully this is just the start of my prolific career.

The play I’m writing now is coming along very well, much better than the last one I wrote (which wasn’t bad but was like pulling the proverbial teeth to write). And I have several other projects in the works as well that need to get finished. So I’ll keep adding to my oeuvre, I suppose. NaNo or not.

Progress, or: Lack Thereof

I’m supposed to be participating in NaNoWriMo, but as things stand, I haven’t even started. I’m too busy trying to finish a play that I thought was going to be 10 minutes long but . . . Now I’m not sure. I’m on page nine and don’t see it finishing in one more. Fifteen? Twenty? No idea. I really just want to finish it, but I also don’t want to rush it . . . I think I’m just eager to have something new to submit, since “Warm Bodies” has found some love. Gotta ride that wave!