Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Milestone

Good news, good news, good news, my Gentle and Constant Readers! In fact, it's better than good news, it's awesome news!

Big time, awesome news!

A personal marker has recently been reached, a milestone all of my own, if you will...

That's right, the West Coast half of the Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls has completed her edits on Gunslingers of the Apocalypse! Wooooooooo!

Also, at this very moment, the Midwest Sukiyaki Death Squad Girl is hard at work in the "three digit page count left" area... but not for much longer. I have been informed that she is very quickly homing in on the end run, as well.

This is fantastic! Fan-fucking-tastic!

Both of them have made, or are making, a supreme effort for very, very little recompense, certainly no where near what they are worth, and I am very, very, very much appreciative of this and eternally in their debt. They do excellent work, people, excellent! Seriously, if you find yourself with the means of which to obtain a pair of Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls, I highly recommend you do so, for they are so very choice.

But the best part? As a result of all this, the hour finally approaches! The day grows late and my destiny awaits me! I am chomping at the bit to charge forth! Q Day, my friends! Q Day! Soon, oh so soon, so soon that I can taste it, soon, I will begin to send out the queries. Soon, the e-mails will flow forth from me like a mighty river!

Crom, I have never prayed to you before... I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad, why we fought, or wrote, or why we died. No, all that matters is that I stood against many, that's what's important. Valor pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request, grant me SUCCESS!

And if you do not listen, then the hell with you!

Days, folks, I'm talking mere days here, mere days (maybe weeks) until I reach the end of a long, long and lonesome highway... so I'll be busy here, kids, for a bit, I need to arrange stuff, to gather my info, and to generally prepare...you know... so, long story short (too late), I'm sure you will all forgive me if I'm not around, even more than usual, in the weeks ahead. I got responsibilities and previous engagements and all that. I'm going to be focusing on task.

But wait! There's more!

More what? Why, more good news, my friends!

Just last night, I finally managed to hammer the first chapter of Bastard out of Minnesota into a usable shape. It's not perfect, but it's done... for now, at least. I feel satisfied enough that I managed to accomplish what I wanted to do and to say what I wanted to say, enough that I can submit it to the Sparkle-ball Death-bunnies, that is, and can then freely plow onward and upward.

But even more so? Guess what turned out to be a pleasantly surprising up side of having had this whole hitching start thing? Well, in these intervening days of sweat and blood and toil, I have also managed to solidify certain dangling and loose, future plot points and I gotta say, I am now very pleased with their subtle co-mingling of threads... Very pleased... It's almost as if I intended it to work out that way... Shhhh.

Also!

I have contacted Zander Cannon about the Conspiracy. He's going to take the group's temperature as far as adding writers and what not, so fingers crossed on that shit, kids. I'm looking forward to playing around with the mini-comics, so hopefully, it will work out.

And that's it, that's all the news that fits. My wheels are free of the mud, chewing up pavement and burning rubber. There's some big shit waiting right over the horizon for me, folks, and I am hauling ass straight for it, so get ready and I'll do my best to keep you all updated.

Wish me luck!

In the meantime...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I see London, I see France


Whoa...

This is the dirtiest photo I have ever seen. Its like... implied porn. This photo is the sum visual totality of dirty, dirty, dive bar sex.

This is a screen-shot captured from Michael Bay's latest turd-fest, Transformers 2: Revenge of Stupid Crap Again! And this is, perhaps, the movie's one bright spot. It's a family film, obviously, PG-13, and during this scene, young boys all over the country will suddenly and irrevocably be made into men. Imagine it, if you can: a mass and simultaneous de-virginization by Super Hot Sex-Robot Megan Fox. It will be a moment that will come to define a generation.

Oh, to be young again...

Just look at her... look at her... pretending to "fix" that motorcycle like she knows what she's doing... that's some good acting right there folks, fucking Oscar time.... I bet she smells like a stripper, nothing but sweat, baby powder and strawberry body spray.

I have never wanted a motorcycle more in my entire life...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Slow and low, that is my tempo

...Apparently.

You see, the last few weeks (months) I have really faltered with my blogging, folks, I know this. I admit it. I lament it. Truly, truly, truly. Now, I've managed to cling to a bi-weekly schedule in the intervening weeks, but that is very obviously a pale shadow of the output that once was. I look with envy upon Scott Brown's continued efforts and topic variation (to geeks anyway), and while I don't think I'll be able to compete with him any time in the near future due to a deadly mix of busy scheduling, outside focuses, spending some quality time with Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancee, and other demands, not to mention a general malaise of apathy and laziness, I do intend to step it up a notch here.

Dare I aim for three blogs a week? Gasp! Perhaps even including a bonus blog from home rather than exclusively blogging from deep within the darkened bowels of the Day Prison? Dare I?

We shall see. Small steps, my friends, small steps.

Anyway, now comes the Updates, wherein I describe to you, my gentle and constant readership, of the details and progress of my daily toils and endeavors.

Gunslingers of the Apocalypse:

Never fucking ending, man, I tell you.

Actually, that's not true, it just feels like it sometimes. I received a fresh batch of pages from the Local Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girl this week, while her West Coast version is meeting up with me tonight. Both of them are doing me an incredible favor and are returning even more incredibly in-depth work. I am in their debt. Plus, I can now see the end of this project ahead and it is a shining golden heaven, I swear, folks, it is beautiful. Soon, so very, very soon, the queries will begin to flow forth from me and sail out into the ether where they will sink or swim by their own merits.

An intimidating thought, to say the least.

Also, you know what I've heard a lot of lately both from Authors and from what I've read while investigating possible Agents to query? E-mail submissions are the shit now. Snail mail is as dead as the Dodo, as in almost zero-response-ville, Daddy-o. The crazy part of all this is now: A. NO ONE will accept attached submissions, for fear of viruses, so everything gets posted into the e-mail's body. And B. Despite this, everyone still seems to be sticking with the age old formatting guidelines. I mean, I guess I will too, but what's the point of carefully sculpting your missive, sweating blood and bullets over a 1 page Query Letter, if it's just going to get pasted into an e-mail, mashed together into a big pile with your synopsis and sample?

Oh well... We shall see, won't we? Yes, we shall. We shall indeed.

Bastard out of Minnesota:

In a word: Strugglin'

I'm wrangling with the first chapter still. This is due to a two-fold reason. One, no time, no time, no time, my friends, I got no time. I've barely had any writing time of late, to speak of, and not just from the ever-continuing work on Gunslingers either, but from general life stuff as well. Some days it's a juggling act just getting my ass a free moment or two to sit at the table, let alone squeezing out usable material. Two, I just haven't been that happy with the start I've got so far, so I've been distracted pondering what options I've got available to alleviate this general feeling of "almost." I've been considering what I've got written down currently, what's on deck next and what's coming up farther down the road over the course of these last few days, and the good news is, I think I've finally hit on the right mix... or at least, I have hit on the best section line-up/order/tone that I will be satisfied enough with that I can then move on from and finally kick this fucker off its training wheels, get it moving, and building up some steam.

I'll be hammering away on that tonight and Sunday, for all of you wondering about my schedule... Then, when it's in shape, I'm going to submit it to the Sparkleball Deathbunnies for our July 6th meeting and after that... I'm going to take a little submission sabbatical. I've decided to just work on this thing a bit (I'm anticipating Gunslingers being almost completely, if not totally done by this point... jinx...) and not submit any of the new book until I've got at least three or four chapters, or a hundred pages, under my belt, give or take, either or... I think a major part of the reason that I've been struggling with Chapter One of Bastard out of Minnesota, is that I've been working it for submission, which requires edits, instead of just writing out the first version and letting the chips fall where they may and then building off that initial out-pouring. I think the preconception of intent has been cock-blocking some free form happenstance and my creativity from hooking up and making something useful and interesting.

Maybe... again, we'll see. Fingers crossed.

The Conspiracy:

I really want this to work out, but its feeling shaky.

I'm going to contact Zander Cannon and talk about next time... well, first off, I plan on being on time... heh... but after that... I'm hoping we can organize something here and get it going. I know a writer or two who are also interested in playing, (as in: making comics for fun and who knows what else.) but they're waiting to see how it works out for me first. Also, I get the feeling that either the idea is kind of just between us (Zander and I), for the most part, OR that some of the artists fear both change and outsiders and are hesitant to open up to participating in something outside of their norm and are digging their feet in some, a trait very familiar to any and all well-entrenched Geek enclaves out there. ("AD&D? ...Fuck that noise!") And my feelings on that are, honestly, if the majority of them are not interested, well, I guess I'll take my ball and go home. Thats cool. Hopefully, though, it works out and we can get an introduction of intent and what not to happen or, at least, maybe a poll of the group as to whether or not they're really all that interested in the first place...

Another we'll see, I guess.

Huh... So yeah, man, I guess I'm feeling a little stagnant and frustrated, like my tires have been spinning in the mud here. I'm hoping this weekend will provide me with some traction.

We'll see... wish me luck.



Ah... comics...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I love you, George, I hate you

I put this on my Facebook page. Some of you may have seen it, others may not have, so I'm putting it up here, not just for those of you that weren't paying complete attention, but for myself, as well. For you see, this is the Star Wars of my dreams...

Behold...

Incredible. Brilliant. Awesome. Fast paced. Imaginative. Cool. Fun. Kick-ass. This game trailer is everything that the Prequels were not, which when coupled with the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars DVDs, can't help but force me to ask the question:

Why the Hell is Star Wars only good when George Lucas ISN'T involved?

He's the creator, he's the Man with the Plan, the guy behind the guy, the Big Cheese, as they say... so how is it possible for him to be the one who came up with the idea, the one who breathed life into it and made it into what it is and yet, at the same time, to also be the one who nearly destroyed it? I mean, lets face it, the Prequels might just be the three worst movies of all time, the crappiest crap of all crapdom.

Let me Quantify this...

Yes, there are worse films. Of course there are, duh, but those films don't count. Why? Because they were all lacking in the one thing that the Star Wars Prequels had over them all and in spades too.

Potential.

It's all about potential and, let me assure you, there has never been, and most likely will never again be, another movie with as much potential for greatness as the Star Wars Prequels.

And, before you get started, yes, I am well aware of the realities of the Original Trilogy. I don't believe them to be infallible, besides, that's not what this blog is about. Focus, please. No, this blog is about The Prequels, a trio of movies where the whole of Hollywood was laid back before Lucas, spread and willing, praying, hoping to be a part of these movies, even if its just the smallest part. There is an entire generation of people out there, working in the Industry right now, who decided on this particular career path many, many years ago, at some point with the first half hour of their first viewing of the first film. These people represent a wide array of talent in all fields of the film industry, and you know what, hyperbole aside, I bet most of them would have worked for free, that's how much love there was... Before...

I know I would have... once...

And yet...

Well, we all saw them... there's no need to beat that particular Dead Horse into paste, lets just say this: "They weren't very good" and leave it at that.

But how is this possible? Has Lucas lost touch, up there on his mountain top, insulated from the outside world within his solid gold house and rocket car? How does that happen? Does a lack of concern for price mean that you sacrifice good taste? Or was Lucas never actually that talented in the first place, never anything but an idea man who got real, real lucky once upon a time? Or was the Kurgen right? Is it better to burn out then to fade away?

Anyway... kick-ass trailer, huh?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mothers

So, my Mom say to me: "Honey, I love your blog, you are so smart and amazing and good looking, (so true) but do you have to swear so much?"

To which I responded: "The fuck you talking about?" But all kidding aside, folks, for serious now, the answer is: Yes... yes, I do.

Anyway, my Mother has finished her decades long series of tiny, hesitant, little baby steps into the 21st century and now, finally, has a blog all of her own. In her spare time, my Mother runs private tour groups to Italy, as she is an accomplished guide, enthusiast, and local historian for all sorts of things Italian and has many, many contacts and friends there now, which affords her all kinds of unique opportunities to experience the "real" Italy... and for a low, low price, she can take you and your friends and loved ones with.

So go look at her blog.

My Mother's blog

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ug...

Man... fucking work, you know?

Sorry it's been so long since the last post, kids. See, the Day Prison has been keepin' me pretty busy with doing stuff as of late. You know... hammering out License Plates, mopping the Cellblock, shanking... in a word: Busy! Which is, as all of you are no doubt aware of by now, NOT the way I prefer things to go. I am a Dire Straights man, dig? Money for nothing and my chicks for free. It has become strikingly obvious to me, in these last few months as a straight citizen, that the Man apparently loves nothing better than pissing on me, regardless of my own personal feelings on the subject, because here I am again, slaving away, another day, another $0.13!

Truly, the Corporate world is a hard and uncaring world.

Also, why is Free Doughnut Day the same day as Casual Friday? (Friday) Why not spread it out a little? Our rewards here at the Day Prison are so few and far between as it is, so why dump all of them on a single day? It just seems mean, to force all of us to slog through this empty, dusty and gray wastelands that is Monday through Thursday in our cubicle hell, with only the meager light of a free doughnut and a pair of jeans to give us hope and to sustain our spirits on our way toward our Weekend Furloughs. Why not have Free Doughnut Day on Wednesday or better yet, even, right now? In fact, lets just get down to brass tacks here, where the fuck is my Free Fucking Doughnut!?!

Le sigh...

So anyway, still here, still me, taking what they're giving cause I'm working for a living. I am at just over a hundred-ish pages left on Gunslingers of the Apocalypses, humming along like a herd of very determined turtles, plus, I have also beaten a pretty good new version of Chapter One of Bastard out of Minnesota into shape that I will be submitting to the Sparkleball Deathbunnies for critique. Not for this next meeting, of course, but for the meeting after, as we are already loaded up with the first 75 pages of Lisa's second draft, which is slated for review this coming time.

Did I tell you about Lisa's book? Its pretty good. Its about a Bear Girl who is turned into a Human Girl and is sent by the High Council of Animals out into the World of Humans in order to determine what to do about the "Human Problem." She is guided on her mission by the help of three Child Philosophers, who can travel between her world and the Apocalyptic wasteland they live in, by writing their names into the trio of leather bound books they have been using to follow the Bear Girl's adventures in, all because of Spider Magic, who's webs support reality. Also, the story is, at least partially, narrated by a sentient Potato... Its pretty awesome.

So, we'll be busy doing that...

Wedding plans progress, they hurtle ever onward and to that inevitable day. We've got a Hall, so that's a good start. Only 361 days to go.

Also... What the hell?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rejection (And so it begins)

Brain Harvest turned me down.

Here is the Rejection Letter:

Howdy pardner,

Thanks for submitting your work to Brain Harvest. Unfortunately, we've decided not to publish it. Forgive the form-letter -- we don't mean to be impersonal, but the number of submissions we receive precludes us from responding individually.

We know rejections suck; we've been rejected many times ourselves. It could be that your piece needs more polish. But honestly, it could be fine as-is. Taste in fiction is subjective, so try not to let it get you down. Keep reading Brain Harvest, and try us again with your next piece if you think we might dig it.

Keep on truckin,

The Editors

I don't get the Western theme... doesn't matter, in the end it's all the same: No $37.50 for me. This is disappointing, of course, but what can you do. My life as a Professional Writer has begun, like so many others before, with Rejection. Que sera sera. And, upon further perusal of their site, I have decided that this rejection was due to a tonal issue, one being that my definition of "badass" differs distinctly from theirs. You may judge for yourself.

And so, being that I have no current use for a 750 word short-short story, I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, cats and kittens, boys and girls, friends, readers, boob lovers... for the first time in print...

Gas Run
The rain was constant.

It fell fat and cold on a city wreathed in piss warm humidity.

Nestled like a fungal growth in the shadows beneath the tangled stack of overpasses, the ramshackle little house was dark and sagging, seemingly cast adrift in a spreading sea of rain-pattered puddles. The minivan in the drive was slowly sinking into the muck.

The duo huddled across the road, watching and waiting from within the burnt-out shell of a long dead tank, its fire-blackened armor blown open, spread like a flower’s bloom to the fall of water. The rain drummed plate steel. "I think we're good..." he ventured.

And the night lit up, sun-bright and blinding.

Turbines wailed overhead, the high keening screech trampling the distant rumble of thunder. Spotlights swept across the shattered concrete and into the corners. Easing back into the shadows, the duo slunk away from the jagged holes torn in the tank’s hide, their goggles iris-ing down to pin-points. Their stealth suits snapped in the gale as the hot jets swirled up muddy splatters. The police cruiser’s heavily-armed metal carapace lingered there, a dark silhouette hovering above the halogen glare. Red and blue strobes flashed all along its chromed length, the lights edging the duo’s hooded faces, their cheeks wet and glimmering like cold, pale marble. The supple sheen of their suits shifted in the gloom, the chameleon circuits mimicking the slow pulse of color, blending and changing and falling dark again.

One beat, two, a moment drawn out… and then the cruiser tilted suddenly and glided away. The shadows crept from the corners and the duo’s goggles flared bright green. He leaned out into the rain, cautious but anxious. He had the most to lose. Six kids with four different mothers; he owed… big time, and Social Services had zero patience when it came to late payments.

Zero.

She hung back, shaking, way too high, the bathtub adrenaline napalming her veins to powder. "I'm ready..." she tittered. “I’m so fucking ready!” Her hands clenched and unclenched.

"Come on," he said.

They were wraiths, bolting across the road and up the yard, slipping quietly into the darkness that draped the minivan. They crouched, their suits shimmering with nighttime swirls and swathes of the van’s rust spotted, baby blue paint. She lurked at the van's edge, wary and quiet, while he un-spooled the tubing and popped the gas cap’s rusty lock. He dropped the big empty bladder at his feet. Plastic slapped mud: FWAP!

They froze… watched… listened…

Shuttles rose in the distance on rumbling pillars of fire, commuters aimed for the massive orbiters above the world and the service jobs they offered. The city’s broken skyline was back-lit in flickering yellows and oranges. Police cruisers trolled the cluster of towers like monstrous metallic dragonflies floating slow and lazy amongst the reeds. Spotlights probed, stabbing out like spears, and missiles slam-banged into glass and steel. Squatters tumbled and burned in the rainy night.

He returned to his work.

Her eyes narrowed and her ears perked up, her nerves jangled, some drug addled hyper-sense knocking loosely about in her head, catching something at the edge of perception. She sensed the old man’s hesitant, stoop-backed investigation. The door creaked open and the floorboards squeaked beneath his bare feet. His nightshirt shone a brilliant ghostly white.

"The fuck you doing?" The old man had a shotgun.

Her Leap-Boots ka-chunked and hissed, catapulting her high up and over the top of the minivan. She flipped in mid-air, twirling in the falling rain, and drew her twin pistols. They cracked like thunder and spit lead lightning. The old man jittered, blasted into a red mist of flaming meat and shattered bone. He stumbled back and crashed through the door, falling hard, the floorboards cracking. From inside, someone screamed. She landed in the mud, light and easy and bent in a graceful crouch, and then stood over the old man and emptied both guns into the remains of his head. Gore sluiced down the porch's weathered slats and over the sides. A slow stain of red crept into the puddles' muddy bronze.

"You done?" he called, shouldering the mostly full bladder. His hands reeked of gas.

"Yep," she smiled in the shadows of her hood, the rain hissing off her pistols.

They ran.

"You wanna help sell this shit?" he asked.

"Can’t, I work in the morning. You keep it."

"Really? You sure?"

"Yeah, man... Happy Birthday..."

They vanished into the shimmering fall of rain.
THE END

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Conspiracy

Tonight is the second meeting of the Cartoonist Conspiracy that I will be attending, and while I may not be as ready as I would have liked to have been, I will have some things to hand out this time, should anyone be interested in drawing some of it. So thats some good news, and even better, I still have a few more ideas waiting in my pocket for next time. All together, I've got six or seven ideas in this group total and I tried to do something different with each one. Most surprising, perhaps, is that I didn't try do anything superhero related... maybe another time...

Anyway, tonight I will be attending with three samples.

1. The first one is the first six pages from my first comic script ever, entitled Scrappers. This is the story of a trio of thieves attempting to steal unexploded ordinance and scrap metal from a military live fire range in a dystopian future.



This is also, of course, the script that a sample page of which had been previously submitted to a, as of yet, unknown member of this very same group, and which then resulted in a visual abortion, a literal black hole of artistic skill, that I carry with me to this very day. As Green Arrow once said: "It still hurts when it rains." Ever hopeful for a better result and well known for having possession of a soaring sense of optimism as I am, I will not be daunted nor dissuaded and therefore I return again, ready to re-submit.

2. My second sample is the first three pages of a story called The Basement Monster, which is the story of a little girl and her two cats versus... well... the Basement Monster.

It's supposed to be a horror type thing, but really, I'm more interested in a skewed version of the secret world of children, the thrills and terrors they experience while the adults are doing the dishes or watching their stories or gathered on a porch sipping beers and BBQing. I imagine there will be a lot of found magic and wish-luck, not to mention the use of baseball bats as impromptu weapons.

3. Finally, the third and final submission this week is the first three pages of a Dragon apocalypse in the modern world story I have dubbed WyrmWorld. And that sentence pretty much sums it all up.


Humans versus Dragons. This will most likely concern all the things I wanted to happen in the movie Reign of Fire, but was denied. Also, it so cool looking visually and, God knows, I love a good Apocalypse.

So, I think there's a decent sample here and I'm pretty happy with the scripts, who knows, maybe something good will come out of it.

We'll see, stay tuned, Gentle Reader.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Date

Friends, readers, boob-enthusiasts, lend me your ears!

June 5th, 2010.

That is the day. The big day. The date is set, the hall is booked, and the plans are being made. Yes, that’s right, folks, in just over one year’s time, Little Ms. Super-Cute FiancĂ©e will become Little Ms. Super-Cute Wife. (Man! You all don't know how much I wish she had her PhD already, so she could be known as Dr. Girlfriend while there is still time. Ooooh.... cruel fate! I curse you! But I digress...)

Anyway... June 5th, 2010! The FUTURE!

You read that right, that’s the day that I am finally, officially, for good and forever, off the market, ladies. Sorry. Try to not damage your keyboard with your tears.

The bad news is, both my ideas for the ceremony were shot down.

I wanted our wedding to be different, to stand out, to have some "flavor." I wanted everyone on my side to come dressed as a some kind of superhero, whether it be one of their own design or an already established name, whatever. Meanwhile, Little Ms. Super-Cute’s side will all be dressed as “normals”, then, you thrown in some party crashing super-villians and WAA-LA! F. U. N. Fun.

In my mind, I imagine something akin to this:


But alas, it was not to be...

My second idea went as follows: During the dinner, the lights would suddenly go out! Panic, like a splash of cold water in the face! Bam! A gunshot in th dark! Screams! The lights come up and... gasp! One of the guests has been murdered! (not for real... maybe...) and then we would have a murder mystery event… made EVEN BETTER by the inclusion of guests dressed as superheroes! But no, this idea was denied as well, kyboshed like a motherfucker.

I was going to put an appropriate picture here showing a murder mystery party, but I couldn't find one to my liking, so... while I’m not sure what this picture is from exactly, it does looks like a butt load of fun is being had:


Anyway, we're going to have a normal wedding because apparently we are both "adults" so, this was just a little FYI to all you Jon and Ela fans out there. One year. One year and then it begins…Be there or be square... if you get invited, that is.