Monday, October 17, 2016



I know you've been wondering what's up with me, right?

Fantastic Fest was awesome. You should definitely check it out, if you can. It was awesome, but it was also exhausting, and it killed my motivation. I am dead, at least writing-wise. Or I was. I've been sick with the Fantastic Flu too, and more than a little bit lazy for the past few weeks to boot, so I'm only really feeling alive again now. That means it's time to for me to get back to work. I've got a pretty big backlog waiting for to put up on the blog, not to mention some pretty big writing plans for the rest of this year, and on into the next one too. These plans might be ambitious, maybe too ambitious, but screw it, I'm getting back into stuff, and getting back into stuff means just one thing...


Let's do this.

For this latest post at least, you may be reading it on my personal blog, but you could have been led here by an alert posted on The Scribblerati blog.

The Scribblerati, as all y'all long time readers out there well know, is my writing group. We're all good people. We also have a blog. And when it comes to our blog, we're all really lazy about keeping it updated... all of us, that is, except Mark. Mark is super-nice, super-talented, and super-motivated, and he thoughtfully updates the blog pretty regularly, which makes the rest of us look bad... damn you, Mark... So, in an effort to redeem myself, this is me cheating a little, and  using this to fulfill part of Writing Group Blog Duties. Double-blogged!

Ha! In your face, Mark.

On to business...

So, I'm still working on a new 2nd draft of Agatha Ironhand, but the middle is too soft, and it feels like it's lacking purpose. It's frustrating, and probably a familiar issue to writers, but it makes me worry that the book might fall apart in my hands. It's certainly happened before, but at least that time I was able to finish the first draft still. My hope now lies in that 1st Draft. I wasn't very happy with it the first time around, but while paging through it recently, I did find some stuff that I really liked, stuff I had forgotten that I had written. So, my current plan is to read through the whole draft, mark it up, and maybe transplant some of the old stuff into the new stuff. Maybe. After that, we'll see what we see. The book might survive. It might not. Either way, I'm setting it aside for a bit to work on some other stuff. Hopefully I'll return to it.

Fingers crossed.

The "other stuff" I alluded to is mostly a bunch of Short Stories.

I've had a bunch of ideas that have been piling up for awhile, not to mention a handful of short stories that need more work, so I've been tearing through them. The goal is to First Draft them all, work them in the group, edit, re-write, re-workshop and re-draft, and then hopefully, soon enough, I'll have a bunch of stuff to send out all at once. I'm already well underway too. Between the old stories and a few new things, I have nine stories ready to 2nd draft, and seven waiting in line to get started. That's a lot, but I figure it's padded in case of flame-outs. Anyway, the coming year will see me sending them all out, over and over again, until something happens with them. Then, depending on how things go, maybe I'll put together a collection. Who knows.

by Tom Gauld

The other "other stuff" is that I've been thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo. That's the stupid acronym for The National Novel Writing Month. That month is November. The idea behind NaNoWriMo (so stupid...) is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, you write a novel in a month. Not a good novel, mind you, but a draft, or at least most of one. This also means, forget about editing, forget about over-thinking, you just write like you're running top speed downhill. Keep going, don't stop, or you'll eat it. I haven't signed up or anything yet, but I've got a couple of ready ideas, and a couple of weeks still to decide, but the challenge seems appealing.

As for the blog, I've got a whole bunch of short films lined up to share with you, and at least for the next week or so, I've also got a kind of theme going on.

That theme? Fan Films.

Fan Films are exactly what they sound like. They're short films by people with a shocking amount of free time, who like to make movies about well-known, high-level geek properties, despite an often crippling lack of money, equipment, and/or talent. These films usually aren't parodies. Those are more like comedy skits. The type of fan films I'm talking about are more sincere. In fact, they're usually overly sincere, more than a little overly serious, and most likely unnecessarily dark as well. Often times the end result is something along the lines of the Power/Rangers fan film that Joseph Khan made, but with a lot less self-awareness.

To be fair, Joseph Kahn is also much more talented than the usual fare.

This all leads back to why I usually don't share fan films here when I'm posting shorts... It's because they're usually god awful. Like I said, there's often a crippling lack of money, equipment, and/or talent. However, some recent controversies, a few lawsuits, and the resulting fandom hubbub have brought the idea of fan-films, the true red-headed step-children of fandom, firmly into the spotlight.

I'll be honest, I don't get into fan-films, or their literary sibling, fanfic. I prefer the official versions of the geek properties these things parrot, and generally I'm more interested in people's original work. I support the idea of underrepresented groups using fanfic/fan-films as a way to tell the stories they're not getting from the real versions, of course, but over the past few years it seems like changes in geek culture may render that reason moot soon, rather than later. Either way, the point is: It's not my scene.

But I was curious, so i went looking.

I found lots of Batman. I found lots of Star Wars films. Lots. Lots of Zombies too, and a surprising amount of Predators. Seriously, there were LOTS of Star Wars films.

So I'll be sharing those. Get ready.

I have a couple of regular short films ready to share too, of course, but those are for later. 

And finally, awhile back Director Edgar Wright released a list of his 1000 Favorite Movies. It was a good list. It was an interesting list, but at a 1000 entries long, it felt less like a list of favorite movies, and more like just a list of movies. So while it was neat, it wasn't all that insightful. Shorter lists seem to say more about a person, I think, because hard decisions have to be made. So, thinking about this, I decided to try it. I decided to try to make a list of my Top 20 Favorite Films, with the added rule of only one film per Director allowed.

I've been working on it for awhile, and I think it might finally be done. Maybe. I'll probably hem and haw a bit more, but... yeah, it's pretty much done, so I'll be posting about that soon enough. And by the time all this stuff is done, well... the end of the year looms once again, my friends, and that means it's just about time for some end of the year lists.

Big plans. Big plans. I'll keep you all updated.

See you soon,

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