Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Fire Burns...

Like I mentioned a couple posts ago, my hunger for filmmaking has resurfaced; it's only gotten intensified since then. Strong enough, in fact, that I'm making plans for my return. I have some talent, despite what my personal demons try to tell me, and the last thing I want is to be one of those guys who's old, gray and near death, and wracked with regret over things I should have gone after in life. And if that's the case, there's one thing I have to go...

Go after it.

No, it won't be easy. No, I don't have a crew or a lot of support from the Houston scene. Yes, it's going to blow my deadline for the first draft of Lupus Moon right out of the water. Yes, it means I'm actually going to have to get off my fat ass and work. But that's what it's going to take, so that's what has to be done.

I've already worked out a schedule that will allow me to continue work on the novel as well as the web series, while leaving flexibility to develop other film projects and even go back to working out in the morning, should I choose (I need to choose "yes"). I'll formally put it into practice January 1. Until then, I'll be bouncing from project to project--seeing where I am, confirming what project I want to make and when, making plans, jotting notes and ideas, working on scripts--the whole nine...

Which is good. I'd hate to think I took all that time rebuilding cougars-marque.com for nothing. :)

K.

LUPUS MOON #12 - "Day Nine"

I'm sitting at 11 pages completed at this point.

According to my schedule, I should have 32 knocked out.

I've obviously missed a few days, for one reason or another. Yesterday was a traveling day, as Shaundra and I drove from Houston to DeSoto, Texas--her hometown, for Christmas. After getting here, of course, we visited with her mother for several hours, and the fun continues today. But I am looking to get some work done. We'll be here for the next four days, and I've set up camp in the dining room, so I'm good to go. I'll get as much done as I can, of course, but there are other things I'd like to get around to as well, so my page goals will definitely suffer. But I'll take what I can get...

K.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

LUPUS MOON #11 - "Day Four"

11:53 AM
Well, at least I broached the book today. And it's taking almost everything I have to keep me from scurrying back to what I'm more comfortable and familiar with--screenwriting.

It truly is a different world, writing in past tense. I mean, I do it a lot for the blog here, but somehow it's different when you're doing it for a book or creatively. I dunno. I've adapted, insomuch as I'm not slipping up and writing things in present tense, but it still feels... unnatural.

7:55 PM
I did more then broach the book. I've completed five pages, which is good enough to meet my daily goal of four pages, plus one against the twelve-deficit I started the day with. Not bad at all, especially considering it was the very beginning of the book, which featured material I hadn't written before (as opposed to translating from the pre-existing screenplay draft). I'm pretty happy; in fact, I may take the rest of the evening off and allow myself to relax in front of the TV. Then again, there's striking while the iron is hot...

On a side note, I'm feeling more and more strongly about retuning to filmmaking. At least the desire part. The actual "pack up my stuff, leave the house, take up my free time working through a shoot" physical part? Not so much. But it's a necessary evil, and it's coming. Of course, that would jeopardize my deadline for the novel, but looking at what I have so far, it's not like I'll publish-ready by March 15. There'll be a long road of rewriting ahead of me. So perhaps I should relax on my deadline a bit. But I'll still try to hit it...

K.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

LUPUS MOON #10

I BSed another day away... now I'm behind by eight pages.

It's not a total loss, though; I updated the chapter numbering in the book file (I'm writing the book using screenwriting software that has a built-in outline). The book is currently set for 41 chapters, but that's most likely going to change as I go.

I officially have no more excuses for not working on the actual book--not that I had a solid one before. I do work best under pressure, though. I just have to get over my fear of the thing sucking (by, ironically, realizing my first draft is going to suck no matter what, and giving myself permission to suck) and jump right in.

Easier said than done, but I will prevail sooner or later.

Sooner would be great.

K.

Monday, December 16, 2013

LUPUS MOON #9

Well, I did say I'd start Monday or Tuesday.

Even though my 90-day deadline for the first draft included today, and even though I had every intention of starting the book, I wound up spending the day surfing the 'net. And, to make matters worse, I had an absolutely anemic day at work. I actually feel guilty that I got paid for sitting around and doing next to nothing all day because no work was coming in. It's actually been really slow the past few days, and I expect it to continue the closer we get to Christmas, but still. What this means, however, is that I have plenty of time to work on the book while I'm at the day job (keep in mind I work from home), making it exponentially easier to make my daily goals. All that, and I still wrote nothing yesterday.

Self-sabotage is a bitch.

I just didn't do it. There's no real excuse. I just didn't. I took a day to sit and chill online, even though something kept telling me I needed to write and I would regret missing this opportunity later (I did). Am I secretly afraid to start the book? I don't think so; I'm actually very optimistic about it.  I just got wrapped up in something else and kept telling myself I still had more time in the day, until I didn't. And even then, there was the "normal writing time" of after work, which means all I missed out on was unexpected bonus time. Sure, a trip to the grocery store ate into that time a bit, but by then, I was already telling myself I'd be on top of things tomorrow and make up for what I missed today. Which, in terms of my goal, you can, but you never really get that time back. And no matter how hard I work on Tuesday, I could've been that much further if I just opened the file today and started writing.

But I can't cry over that forever. And I won't. I'll just acknowledge it and move on. I still have the rest of this week, which should still be slow, followed by a nice, lengthy Christmas break, over which I intend to work as well. So this time missed is just a drop in the bucket. If nothing else, it gave my brain a day away from the book, so I should be that much sharper coming back to it.

That's always a good thing.

K.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

LUPUS MOON #8

Q1: Why is this update #8?

Q2: Where is 1-7?

A1: Numerically, I'm picking up where I left off.

A2: Spread over 2010-2012. Seriously.

My last dedicated update for Lupus Moon was Monday, May 28, 2012.

I just stunned myself looking that up. I can't believe that much time has passed since I first had the inkling to turn this story into a novel. Time is indeed moving way too fast. But, finally, I have substantial progress to report: tonight I finished the consolidated outline for Book One, and actual writing will begin Monday or Tuesday.

I'm hoping it will be good. It feels good. It looks good in my head. but I won't know for sure until I translate it from the synapses in my brain, down through my fingertips, and onto the computer screen. To aid in that process, I've done something I haven't in a long time--

Set a deadline.

This is my first novel (if you don't count the aborted start of Darkness Walks), so I have no idea how long it actually takes me to write one on average, but I've earmarked March 15, 2014 as the date I want to have a completed first draft by. That's exactly 90 days from this moment. Now, unlike in screenwriting, where you more or less have a set number of pages your script needs to come in at, thus making it easy to figure out how many pages per day you need to write in order to hit a certain page count in a certain time period, there's no such thing in novel writing. I can say how many words I want the thing to be (I've read that a work is considered a novel once it hits 50,000 words), but since novels don't have the time constraint that films do, why do that? But a preordained writing period? That I can do. 

A couple of figures, though. If I wrote four pages/day, over 90 days, I'd generate 360 pages, or 90,000 words (at an average rate of 250 words/page). If I wrote five, that would be 450 pages, or 112,500 words. Either number I'd be extremely happy with (at 450, I'd say I might be running a bit too long).

But in order to have a final tally, I have to have an earnest start, and I'm ready to get going. I'll be blogging throughout the process, so if you care to go on this journey with me, just keep reading (here, or here).

Let's rock...

K. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Something to Think About...

Had a talk with Shaundra earlier this evening, regarding where my head was regarding the web series--and filmmaking in general.

After noticing that I was working on Lupus Moon, she asked if I had a publishing entity.  She apparently had forgotten about Marquis Literary and Publishing Company (true, I hadn't talked about it in a good while), so I reminded her about it and she nodded. I mentioned Darque Marque Press, and, after again telling how much she liked the name, she asked what projects would come under that banner. I listed them, and she wanted to know which ones would be under Marquis Literary, as the titles I mentioned as Darque Marque properties were the ones she readily knew about. I ran down the Marquis list, and she told me, more or less, that I was "bullshitting" and needed to "get to writing."

She really liked my concepts and titles, and feels they have potential in the marketplace. She even went so far as to suggest giving my brain a break from worrying about filmmaking and focusing on prose. I admitted I was seriously contemplating it, to which she asked what there was to think about. I countered that I still have interest in producing the web series--just not the gumption to get after it the way I should. 

However, her comments gave me confidence, and they have me thinking. But, after 21 years of considering myself a "film person," it would be extremely hard for me to shut that part of my brain down (if only temporary) and do something completely different--especially with awards season coming up.

But that's what's being considered. I don't know... I'm still holding out for my passion for filmmaking to catch fire again, but until then (and maybe after, or, if it never re-ignites), Lupus Moon it is.

MOON Rising

I've been toying around with Lupus Moon lately, as I've been trying to work though my deficit of motivation. I've been coming up with some good stuff and I'm really having fun.

That's a good thing, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DARKNESS (not quite) WALKS

In my attempt to move on to... something... I sat down to work on Darkness Walks tonight, seeing as how Love's High Wire is completed and the novel is the next writing project on the table... 

But I just wasn't feeling it--at all. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get motivated for it. 

Everything else was good--I was awake, in front of the computer, not wasting time on the 'net--but my head just wasn't in it. And it's not my nature to sit around idly. I need to be working on something (or at least thinking about working on something). 

I have been having thoughts/ideas about Lupus Moon lately. Maybe I'll open that up and play around with it a bit--make some forward progress on something.

No, Seriously... the Next Step?

It seems I've sunk into a severe lack of motivation after finishing the last script for Love's High Wire. I wonder if it's because the honeymoon period is over and now it's time for the real work and I'm too lazy for that--or if there's a not-so-sub-conscious fear that I'll run into some type of resistance from others, get frustrated over some shouldn't be-but-is obstacle, or be let down by folks who talk a good game, but fall off in the execution and professionalism department--any and all of which will lead to rage and depression. 

Sounds like a lethal cocktail, sure. But if I make the next step, I don't want to deal with any bullshit. This really should be an easy-to-execute project; I can't make it much easier. But right now, I can't muster up the gumption to get excited and put out a casting call. Guess I just have to ride this mess out and see where it goes...

Monday, December 9, 2013

On to the Next Step (?)

I finished last episode of Love's High Wire this morning. 

The next step, company-wise, is to get Cougar's Marque legal with the state again, but as for the show, the next step is casting(!). And wouldn't you know it, I suddenly feel anxiety about this. It's one thing to do all the "sexy work" of writing scripts, creating Facebook and Twitter pages and updating the company website and YouTube channels, but now it's time for the real work--and I'm suddenly not feeling like dealing with it. I want this to work, but I don't want this to go down in flames like Abigail did...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DARQUEness Rises...

Toying with a new idea. Well, more than toying with it; it's all but a done deal. Guess I'm just waiting to see if it'll pan out.

In trying to figure out how best to realize a few of my intellectual properties (in a couple cases, how to realize them period), the idea came to me yesterday to turn what would be a superhero comic book series into a series of novellas. I really do love the idea of being a comics creator, but I'm just not comfortable with the final commitment it would require (paying an artist, inker, letterer, colorist, press fees, marketing, etc.). I really wanna do something with this particular character, as well as others--but at the same time, I'm not convinced a full-on novel would be the best bet. But a series of novellas sounds like a cool alternative.

Hmmm. But would such a project work best coming out under the Marquis Literary banner? Something about that just didn't sit right. "Marquis Literary" sounds more, I don't know, "high-minded." Now, I could just be committing the same type of genre bias so many others are guilty of, but honestly, I just couldn't shake the feeling. And, when lining up that property (and others) against the other titles I have earmarked for Marquis, it seemed more than ever that perhaps this title should live under a different banner. A specialized banner. Then it hit me...

Darkmarque Studios.

Actually, Darque Marque Press.

I had already coined the name "Blaquecat Studios" for my non-existant-but-hopefully-one-day comic book imprint. So I was thinking something along those lines for a niche book shingle. Playing off the "dark" theme, the new name slammed into my brain from the ether. And I loved it. Which means I immediately started playing around with it to mold it into its most perfect version. Suddenly "Dark" didn't have to be "Dark"--it could be "Darque" (it rhymes and has visual symmetry!)--and things snowballed after that.

I relayed the idea to Shaundra this morning ("Darque Marque Press" was my intensely-vetted choice, but I also loved "Darque Marque Literary" and "Darque Marque Publishing"--she quickly verified I'd made the right call), and she loved it, telling me, "Now I need you to get to writing."

Yes, ma'am...

As it stands, Darque Marque Press has five properties to it's name (really six--I don't know why I haven't moved Shadowfox there yet, not to mention a couple other superhero characters--that's what started me down this road in the first place. I hope I don't decide they need their own shingle, though with Darque Marque skewing heavily toward horror and fantasy...), with perhaps more to come. My more "standard" fare will continue to run under the Marquis Literary banner. Up first will be my anticipated (by me--solely me) return to Darkness Walks, which comes at a good time, as Wendy has been calling to me to continue working on her story.  Now, with other ventures settling into place, I'll happily oblige.

Time to dive back in. 

K.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm 'Bout Dat (Filmmaking) Life

So, after taking some time to think about things, I realized my sudden resurgence of interest in filmmaking wasn't going anywhere.

Yay!

But now, what was I going to do--and how was I going to balance my limited time?

Oh yeah. That...

Not only had my interest in filmmaking returned, but I was, strangely enough, jonesing to work on a feature screenplay. So now I had two new masters wanting my servitude. Great...

So now what? There's no way I could work on The Revenant, makes films and write a feature...

Or could I?

No, I couldn't.

The Revenant has been unofficially put on the back burner for right now, there for me to pull out and play with whenever the feeling strikes me. At first, the plan was to work on both the feature script and my new web series concept. And that lasted--for one week--until somehow, the web series took over. My "official" schedule calls for me to work on the web series throughout the week, switching off to the feature for the weekend. But with the weekend around the corner, the feature is nowhere near the front of my mind...

It's all about the web series. At least for now, anyway, until I finish writing the episodes (there will be eight in Season One; three have first drafts completed as of this writing) and building the infrastructure. After we get into production, I'm thinking I'll have more time to devote to the feature, but I'll see when the time comes. Then there's Revelation, my dramatic short, which I'm thinking we'll produce after the first season of the web series.

Plans are afoot. I'm feeling confident and having fun. With another birthday just passing (I'm 36) and my production company's ninth anniversary tomorrow, I'm focused now more than ever on creating content and putting it out for the world to see.

And living my dream.

K.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Random Ramblings - 8.29.13

Been doing a little reflecting lately about the man I wanted to be vs. the man I am and why I'm not the former--spurred by a conversation with Shaundra, the 50th anniversary of MLK's March on Washington, another indie filmmaker's interest in Revelation (I decided to hold onto it), and a beloved co-worker's sudden departure from my day job for greener pastures. Long story short, I'm just not happy. Sure, I'm loving working on The Revenant (the subtitle of Darkness Walks, Book One), but there was something else I used to love, something I wanted to work in since 1992, something I'd lost my mojo for and was fearing it would never return--filmmaking.

Well, yesterday--less than twenty-four hours after agreeing to let things go and not think about filmmaking or my "mojo-less-ness" about it, and after this reflection on my self and the causes of this lack of motivation--I started to get that old feeling again. Interest. Excitement. Desire. I wanted to make a movie again.

I'm not a fool. And I fully understand the concept of fleeting moments, so I don't want to make any rash decisions. I need to wait and see if this feeling--this hunger--sticks around for a while (it was strong enough to make me debate about working on my web series concept over Darkness Walks this morning). If so, that would be a really, really good thing.

The first step to getting back to my "happy."

K.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DARKNESS WALKS #5

I finally finished the outline to Book One.

I feel really good about it, but now the real work begins, so to speak. I'm scared (this is my first novel), but the story is solid, and I at least have a road map of where I'm going, so I shouldn't have the problem of stalling out somewhere without an idea of what comes next. Basically, the heavy lifting has been done. The frame has been raised,  the walls and windows filled in, the plumbing laid down. Now it's time to floor, paint and furnish the house.

Wish me luck.

K.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Keep Calm... and Write On (or Random Ramblings - 8.22.13)

I was doing so well...

I was writing entries regularly, keeping the--I don't know--three people who read this thing regularly informed of what I was doing... I even finished the rewrite on Revelation, going so far as to solicit opinions on the work on my Facebook page (to date I've gotten three responses--two really liked it and the other, well, didn't quite seem to grasp the concept. At all.) to get outside opinions. But it's what happened between finishing the script and putting it out there for review that's the story here. Things had been moving so well--

Then they ground to a halt. Of the "paralysis of analysis" variety.

Simply put, I couldn't quite figure out (and commit to) what I wanted to do. So many ideas, so many desires, so much second- and third-guessing. And in the process, nothing got done. True, I did gum on this project, or kick the tires of that Concept that had been occupying my brain, but I still hadn't locked my inner creative compass on a specific direction and chased after it with the kind of reckless abandon that usually results in a finished project. I did some developmental work on Shadowfox, and was all set to focus on being an indie comics creator, but then reality set in: Would that make me money and get me out of the rat race? Going the indie route costs money. A lot of it. And you don't even have a team. After going back and forth on this issue (and back and forth again--and again--and... you get the idea), I made the tough decision that although I love comics and characters, and think it would be awesome to be an active member of that community, now isn't the best time for me to take that on. I will be back to it, though--and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Then there was the new web series concept I had (it's got a name, but I'm keeping it close to the vest at this very moment). I really wanted to put something out, especially after seeing project after project crop up in the local Houston film community, but I just couldn't get over the fear of having to deal with the same issues that made The Life and Times of Abigail Waller a less-than-stellar experience. If I have to fight every step of the way, it just wasn't gonna be worth it--especially when I could work on things that require just myself and a computer. Yet the idea of a new series just wouldn't go away, it was the proverbial "irresistible force meets the unmovable object" moment. I did some developmental work on this concept as well, but unlike the comic book, after all the mental wrangling and anxiety gymnastics, I decided this was something I wanted to move forward with. But we're not rushing. I plan to use several episode ideas from Abigail for this new show (if Abigail ever comes back, we'll go with the original Season One I wrote; the episodes we shot were part of "Season Zero," written after the first season and intended to be quicker, easier shoots logistically) and have come up with a several more that look promising. As it stands, if cameras rolled today (and if the scripts are ready, which they're not), it would be an eight-episode Season One. I can live with that.

I even took time to get fired up about feature spec screenwriting again, buying the Kindle version of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! and devouring it in little over a week. I even created a screenplay development tool based on what I learned from the book, as well as cleared off the bulletin board in the Batcave and turned it into The Board, to be used in outlining my future screenplays. I have yet to pin a single index card to that thing. Why, you ask? Because I'm not sure if spec screenwriting is going to be my focus right now. I've been there, tried to do that. While theoretically it could work out and I could finally make that script sale that would send Shaundra and I to the nearest exit off the beltway that is the rat race, it's just not very dependable. Or probable. I have limited time and I need to focus it on things that are most likely to move me in the direction I want to go, as quickly as possible. Waiting on someone to give me a chance isn't going to cut it. Not anymore. Which brings me to my next endeavor...

Darkness Walks is back. As a novel. I can always translate the story to a graphic novel later, but again, writing a novel just requires myself and a word processing program of my choosing (in my case, Movie Magic Screenwriter 6). I've been working on the story for the past four days, and it's looking better than before. I even decided to stop fighting the genre and beef up the romantic aspects of the story, while laying the groundwork for (hopefully, though planned) future installments. It's actually added a lot to the story, and, if it increases my chances of the book being a success, can't be a bad thing. If nothing else, it confirms yet again that love is the most powerful force in the universe; it's resulted in resurrecting a character I was planning to kill off in the story's climax.  It changes what I had in mind for the future of the series, but hey, let's get the first one done first.

And, after all that, there is still Revelation. We could go into pre-production this very moment. I've thought about it, but honestly, the web series is pulling at me harder right now. I stress "right now."   Things could change in an instant, depending on how the winds of inspiration blow...

But for now, my inner creative compass is pointing in the direction of a new web series and a very enjoyable novel-in-progress.

And I'm happy about that.

K.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random Ramblings - 7.9.13

I'm still working on the Revelation rewrite. I'm never happy about how long it takes me to rewrite a script (Revelation's looking to be about 30 pages), but it's a necessary evil. And the script is getting better--a little leaner here, a little more poignant there. I have no idea when I'll be finished with it, nor have I set a deadline. It gets there when it gets there--and when it does, we'll take it from there. Shaundra and I talked about trying to get this film shot, edited and ready for South by Southwest 2014; that might still be a possibility.

I haven't gotten a chance to work on Shadowfox in a while. I'm antsy to get back at it, but there's only so much time in the day when you work a full-time job (even if it is from home)...

And you have other projects vying for your attention...

And you decide to go back to working out...

Basically, it's coming down to time management--delegating time to work on this story or that script. And it gets even harder when I have to force myself to go to bed "early" to get enough rest so my work in the gym becomes visible outside of it.

And if that weren't enough--I'm considering another run at a web series. Shaundra and I both agree that some of the ideas we had planned for The Life and Times of Abigail Waller are so good they need be shot and released, regardless of the show being cancelled. She suggested we drop them as a series of skits; I'm more in favor of doing them as a full-on series. And it's not like there'd a be a long delay in producing the pieces while I build another series--I already have a title in mind, along with a lead actor and actress and a title logo concept. The show would be shot with the same primary location we used for Abigail, and putting together the social media infrastructure would be a snap. All that's left is to pull the proverbial trigger. But let's be honest, producing a series is a lot more work than writing/producing short films here and there or kicking back and writing a comic book. If we were to go down that road again everybody would need to be on board and 100% interested and committed--which is why I'm going to mull this over a little bit longer before anything's official. I'm hot about the idea now--

Let's see if it survives the weekend.

K.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm With the Band. Again.

This could be big...

Seems like Cougar's Marque Entertainment is once again rolling with a few collaborators we previously worked with on a couple of short films (which, unfortunately, never saw the light of day).  This is exciting because it gives us an instant clique--a core crew with which to produce content. The re-structured "coalition," while a bit leaner than before, is looking stronger than ever, and seeking to make an impact on the local film scene.

We look forward to helping make that impact...

K.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oprah--My Muse?

"And I'm gonna ride this thing until the wheels fall off..."

That was quick.

A couple days ago, I was having a ball working on Darkness Walks,  prose version. And don't get me wrong, nothing happened to sour me on it--except the realization of the fact I wasn't going to be finishing it anytime soon, and therefore, wouldn't have anything to show for a while. Even with that, I was enjoying what I was coming up with and fully expect to return--

At some point.

Shaundra and I had watched the Bill Duke documentary Dark Girls--about the issues darker-skinned Black women face in their daily lives-- last night, but tonight we watched the one-hour special that proceeded the airing of the documentary, a conversation with four of the most talented Black actresses out there, hosted by the Big O herself, Oprah Winfrey. After watching the very-enlightening-but-way-too-short special, featuring Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, Gabrielle Union and Houston's own Phylicia Rashad, I found myself in a familiar spot--wanting to provide more opportunities for Black actresses and inspired to hit the ground running.

If you read this blog, though, it's no secret the torch I've carried for filmmaking has been flickering at best. So much so, that while I still feel the hunger to make something, I find myself lacking the drive to tackle it. Too many past frustrations, too little support--too many needless obstacles to climb when I can work on things that require one-eighth the effort and won't yield near as many headaches. So, in this withered state of interest, what could I do?

I pulled out Revelation and went back to work rewriting it. I never did finish that process, and if I ever call "Action!" on a set again, I'm thinking this will be the piece (and hopefully the project that will set my torch a-blazin' once more). The work was smooth; I was relieved to enjoy it. After spending time on Sunday asking who I was, I was beginning to feel like a filmmaker again.

I'm not foolish enough to expect this to last--but I'm hopeful it does. Even with the difficulties, my interest in filmmaking has yet to be fully extinguished. That should tell me something. So I'm going to go ahead and finish this rewrite.

If or when I do decide to make that run again, it'll be helpful to have something to shoot. ;)

K.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

DARKNESS Reborn

After spending most of the day asking myself "Who are you?" I wound up working on the DARKNESS WALKS novel this evening--which is funny, seeing as how I'd just decided to continue developing the property as a graphic novel and save the "regular" novel for later. But I couldn't help it. It's what I wanted to work on, so instead of wasting time trying to force something on myself that my head and heart weren't into, I opened up the novel file and dove back in (fortunately, I was smart enough to not delete the file when I decided to do the GN).

No surprise; I had a great time. I didn't get a lot done in terms of pages (I'm still working on realizing the amount of progress is not always equal to the amount of pages produced), but I strengthened what I had, and that was good enough. And since it doesn't make sense to drop what's working and flowing, I'm reversing my decision on postponing the novel and am going to keep working on it. I'm sure there'll be work on other projects mixed in here and there, but for now Wendy and crew have my curiosity--and my attention (easter egg for my fellow DJANGO fans).

And I'm gonna ride this thing until the wheels fall off...

K.

I've Got This Idea...

... for a new web series. It wouldn't even take long to get going, as I have several scripts for episodes of ...Abigail Waller that I could easily re-appropriate on top of skit ideas that would be perfect for new episodes...

And I know just who I want to play the two leads. And they'd definitely be down for the cause...

However, given my recent track record, maybe I should play this close to the vest for now. That might be a good idea...

K.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

SISTAS AIN'T HAVIN' IT! #1 - "And We're Off..."

I began work on the novelization of Sistas Ain't Havin' It! this evening--an adaptation of a stage play I wrote in high school and directed/produced/starred in while in college. 

The original story revolved around a high-school senior, Marcus Stevens, a serial womanizer, and his comeuppance at the hands of a group of friends determined to put an end to his doggish ways. The play had one performance, but it was well received by the 140 some-odd folks who graciously came out to check out the show. It was also the basis for my very first screenplay--one that would be reviewed by DreamWorks (back when they had an open policy for reviewing submissions). It obviously wasn't purchased, but I still have the letter from Steven Spielberg's assistant where she said she was asked to respond on Mr. Spielberg's behalf--which means that, if even for a split second, Steven Spielberg knew I existed. *drops mic and walks away from keyboard*

A few years ago, while considering producing the script as my debut feature, I decided the story needed to be totally reworked. I was no longer a high school kid and thought about the different angles I could take on the story and the characters simply by growing them up. I jotted down a mess of ideas for the more mature version of the story, but it never got past that point as I was was no doubt drawn away to some other project for who knows what reason.

But now, three years later, after officially shutting down production on an internet project I was very fond of and looking to work on something that requires fewer people to pull off (thus, fewer opportunities for the project to be grounded by anyone other than myself), I've found myself coming back to this concept, but in an entirely new format. With Darkness Walks and Lupus Moon being re-appropriated as graphic novels, a hole was left on the literary front--and I needed something to fill it (mind out of the gutter, folks). Cue Sistas Ain't Havin' It!--a concept I think will work really well as a novel, as this is a story that resonates with many Black women, and that same demographic are very regular and faithful readers. I've also chosen several other projects, mostly former or planned screenplays, as follow-up novels. They're mostly in the same vein--representing  a re-branding, or, more accurately, a re-focusing, of Marquis Literary and Publishing.

The new story sees Marcus, grown and in a relationship, being suspected of cheating with someone named Vanessa by his girlfriend of two years, Cleopatra. When her attempts to get close to Marcus fail, she enlists the help of Sistas Ain't Havin' It!--an agency run by three women who specialize in discovering if a mate is cheating (and, if found out, exacting a special brand of revenge on behalf of their scorned clients). The ladies of the agency--Sheniqua, Lisa and Stacy--take the case, resulting in a battle of the sexes that changes the lives of Cleopatra and Marcus (as well as one of their own) forever.

I'm using Movie Magic Screenwriter to format the manuscript, just like with Darkness Walks, and had a very solid night last night--managing to lay out the first five chapters. Things were flowing and I felt absolutely great--like I should've been doing this a long time ago. It just felt... natural.

But this is just the beginning; I hope the feeling lasts.

K.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not Easily Broken

Doors close. Doors open.

I shut down The Life and Times of Abigail Waller today. It wasn't a happy decision, but one that needed to be made. Someone very vital to the show apparently decided they were no longer interested. At least that's how it came across. What else am I supposed to believe when you tell me you don't think it's a good idea to put something new on your plate--then turn right around and do just that? When you never mention the project you're a part of on your various social media sites while trumpeting everyone else's projects? When you ignore emails I send and voice mails I leave? I give a lot more slack than most, but it's only because when I decide I'm done, I can do so with a clear conscious, knowing I tried every avenue and gave the other person every conceivable chance.

But that's neither here nor there now; the project's messed up for everyone--especially for the other components who were still very much interested in continuing and who had basically been on hold the last couple of months while all this played out. As for myself, I'm angry, frustrated, embarrassed--

It wasn't supposed to go this way. We did so much pre-planning and had yet to launch our largest marketing plans. We had hopes, dreams--now it's all gone, because of an outside source. I hate having my work stifled in that manner in the worst way. Let me be the one who fucks it up--not you. But for now, I'm left with no other choice; it's on to other projects...

My plans at this point involve engaging three different entities under what I call the Marquetown Media Group. Short films, skits and the like are still on the table, and would be handled through the film branch, Cougar's Marque Entertainment. Shadowfox and Darkness Walks (now positioned to premiere as a graphic novel first) will continue to be developed and will eventually debut under the Blaquecat Studios comic book label. Marquis Literary and Publishing, our traditional prose shingle, will be the home of standard works of literature, primarily novels, born of--and showcasing--the Black experience. I have worked up a slate of titles including properties that began as novels, stage plays and even screenplays. The debut project will be an adaptation of a stage play I wrote, directed, produced and starred in while in college at North Texas entitled Sistas Ain't Havin' It! I think the title alone is going to pique some serious interest.

This is a lot of work, a lot of ambition. And yes, I'm spreading myself thin. But I'm not happy if I don't have a plan; I'm miserable if I'm not working on something. If I can multi-task for my day job, you best believe I can so the same for my personal endeavors.

Doors close. Doors open. Projects may start and stop, but one damn thing is always certain--

I'm going to keep walking.

K.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DARKNESS WALKS #4

Tonight was the first substantial work I've done on Darkness Walks in a while--cleaning up the manuscript file (which I'm writing in Movie Magic Screenwriter because it has a built-in outline feature) and conforming the outline to my breakdown spreadsheet, which was basically an outline outside of an outline containing more extensive metadata--and where I really laid out the book.

The outline is not finished, though. It gets all the way to the end of the second act before petering out, but I know the climax and how the story ends. It's just a matter of connecting them at this point. I have more than enough material to start diving in and writing pages, if that's what I want, but I think I might try to iron out the kinks first 'cause it's my nature.

But if it gets stagnant, I'll jump in and get some pages done. I need to see some progress, and I wanna make sure I'm not using completing the outline as a stall tactic.

It wouldn't be the first time.

K.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reading is Fundamental

It has occurred to me that since I'm writing a novel, I should probably read one--especially when I'm struggling with such bush-league issues as how to "correctly" mark my chapters and trying to figure out how to simply get started. Though I read a lot (I can--and have--killed off entire days reading articles and blog comment sections online), it's been forever since I sat down to read a novel. I'm planning on getting a tablet at some point, but for right now I think I'll start with Tananarive Due's Blood Colony, since it's in the neighborhood of what I'm writing, and I have a physical copy on hand. Who knows, maybe I'll get to it this weekend. It's hard for me to just sit and read, when I feel like I should be writing.

Then again, I'm supposed to be writing when I'm looking at stuff online, so... yeah...

K.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Return of the Spec?

I'm not sure how it started (probably through Facebook--the fiend!), but a couple days ago I stumbled across a few really good blog posts concerning screenwriting, the writer's "voice" and branding oneself. I read them, consumed a few YouTube videos (where I got off track and watched a couple episodes of Static Shock--loved that show!), and really got to thinking about myself and my writing--particularly where I went wrong with my initial 10-year stint at trying to ignite a screenwriting career.

"Voice" was something I never understood. I blame part of that conflicting advice you get when you're learning how to write screenplays. They tell you to not be too flashy with your writing. That it should be pithy, allow for a lot of white space on the page (to make it a faster read), and that each word should work in the service of moving the script forward. Anything extra or superfluous should be cut. But then you hear others decrying how you should find--and write with--a distinct voice.

WTF does that mean? Basically, it's the style in which you write the prose (non-dialogue) parts of your script. I actually grazed the subject in one of previous posts without realizing it; I say "grazed" because writing with a specific voice is more than just punctuation style and sentence length, though they are parts of that whole. To break it down even further, if you're witty, sarcastic, funny, serious, etc., your personality should shine through in your work. However, you also have to take in consideration the genre of script you're writing. If you're crafting a horror, it would help if your prose wasn't a laugh a minute (unless it's a horror/comedy), or if your comedy didn't read like a dissertation. But, as LeVar Burton used to say, "Don't take my word for it." Read the blogs on a writer's voice here and here (it's a two-parter).

Branding is easier to understand and probably doesn't need an explanation in this day and age. I covered that topic here three years ago (damn) after reading another blog post and yet I still managed to go off the rails. Before I knew it, had given up on feature spec screenwriting altogether. But reading this post has helped re-kindle that old flame--so much so that I'm seriously thinking about getting back in the spec script game.

How seriously? I'm looking at projects and putting together a plan. This would be integrated with my existing projects, which means Darkness Walks and Shadowfox are still on the table. I'm not as sure about Revelation, though. It's a great story--I just have to figure out how it would fit with this (potential, not-set-in-stone-yet) new focus, as my chosen genre is action/adventure (mixed liberally with sci-fi, horror, crime or fantasy) and Revelation is a straight drama. Sure, I can work in any genre I want--especially if it's my personal, independent project--but I'm wondering if everything shouldn't build in the same direction right now.

I don't know. That requires more thinking. All of this does. But I will say one thing. It feels right. And I haven't had a lot of that lately.

K.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Switch in Time

In light of recent frustrations, I've decided to switch my schedule around to focus more on Darkness Walks during the week and Shadowfox on the weekends (I was previously doing the exact opposite).

At least that's the plan for right now. Simply put, I need to get to a point where I can work on my creative pursuits full time--and with the costs involved in starting up a comic (artist, inker, colorer, printing, promotion, etc.), it would be less expensive to push the novel first and see where it goes. Also, out of my current interests/projects, it has the best chance of making some money--leading to getting free of the day job quicker.

But I'm no fool. I might be confused as to which project I want to hunker down on from day to day, but Naomi and Earnest's son isn't an idiot. Even if the book were complete, I'm not expecting it to take off immediately or even anytime in the next year. But I'm betting I might have more success with that route quicker than if I made the graphic novel my prime directive (and it's not like I'm abandoning the graphic novel; I'm just not spending the bulk of my creative time on it).

Then again, both projects could turn out to be monumental flops and I'll be forced to move along to something else. Wouldn't be the first time. Won't be the last.

I guess only time will tell.

K.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Where Art Thou My Muthaf@#kin' Motivation?!

Something's wrong with me.

I mean seriously.

I need a doctor...

More like a kick in the ass.

I'm having issues with motivation again. Just yesterday, I picked up some red pens and was all gung-ho to work on Revelation (and filmmaking in general). I even had thoughts of calling up a fellow filmmaker about re-forming a collective we were once a part of that showed major promise, but ultimately fell apart from trying to do too much too soon. But now I'm glad I didn't make the call, 'cause I'm just not feeling motivated to work on films right now.

How does that change in one day?

I've gotta find a way to stabilize myself--if only I could just figure out what my boggle is (random Demolition Man reference--love that flick). I feel like I want to make films, but at the same time I'm either too lazy to, or too afraid to (maybe both). I just can't muster up the heart to put in all the work of setting a project up, only for some external BS to come along and blow everything up. I think that's why Shadowfox and Darkness Walks are so attractive to me right now; they're projects where I can work alone and not be hindered by outside people or forces (I'll eventually need others for the graphic novel, but that's a whole different world than filmmaking--a world I'm not burnt out on yet). At first I was just a rabid fan, but maybe I'm more like my favorite superhero than I realize. Maybe like the Batman I just like working alone.

I don't know. I'm thinking I might need to un-jack from social media for a while and sort things out (okay, maybe limited interaction--I'm too nosy to completely fall off the grid). Maybe that'll work...

At least I hope it does.

K.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

REVELATION Gets a Little Love

Today I plan on doing some rewriting on my short script Revelation.

I've got the script printed out and, inspired to pick back up an old technique from a Facebook friend, I stopped by Office Depot and purchased a few red pens to mark up the script. I already know of one section in particular that needs some major work--a prime example of too much going on as I tried to shove one too many "issues" into the story. The thing about this script is that it's a bit personal in some ways; it touches on a certain subject and the lead character, Trenicia, "happens" to feel the same way about it as I do--but with an added layer borne out of her sexuality. 

I'm looking at this as my comeback vehicle of sorts--outside of the four episodes of the web series that I've shot, I haven't made a standalone short of my own since 2005. We'll see how things go, though, in terms of attracting actors, crew and obtaining the right location (I've never found it particularly easy, especially in a smaller--yet cliquish--film community like Houston). It's a lot of work, especially when I can focus on single-person activities like writing Darkness Walks or working on Shadowfox (until I need an artist, inker, colorer, etc.). 

It's definitely something to consider. And as always, I'm keeping my options open.

K.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shadowfox: Progress and World-Building

At random times, when I asked my mother how she was doing, or about the progress of some minor thing, her response would be, "Slow, but sho'." That's how I feel about Shadowfox.

Of course, I've just started working on the project, but with all the pre-work I had done on this property, I was thinking (hoping) I'd have more done by now. But I didn't realize, therefore didn't take into account, just how much ground work there was still to be laid in terms of my protagonist, Kysha/Shadowfox, and her world. Family, supporting characters and villains' backstories needed to be revised, Kysha's costume and weaponry needed to be finalized, specific forms of combat needed to be chosen--and this is before getting down to the nuts and bolts of crafting a new origin story by mixing fresh new ideas with elements from the old Nubian Queen script.

Oh, and about the story? I don't even know how it's going to begin at this point. I know how it's going to end, but the beginning? Yeah, nothing. It causes a problem because I'm the type that likes to outline and work linearly from beginning to end. I know folks who suggest starting at the end and working backward, but I never trusted that tactic. But with nothing else doing, time ticking, and my desire to feel productive while at the computer, I said "What the hell?" and gave it a shot. I didn't get much done before it was time to lay it down for the night, but at least there wasn't a blinking cursor on the page with nothing else keeping it company.

I'll keep working in that way if need be, but I'm sure things will start flowing soon. More than anything, I think it's just not-so-sub-consious anxiety over working in a new medium. I mean, films and comic books both use scripts,  but there's more than a few differences for my natural writer's insecurity to latch onto. The way I've decided to best handle my concerns, since I'm looking at this thing as a single full-length graphic novel as opposed to a run of several smaller, individual issues, is to treat the script just like a standard feature-length screenplay. I'm using the famous Blake Snyder beat sheet to plot the story and everything--along with a separate, more involved outline containing specific scenes/ideas that I jot down as they come to me. It's a bit of a different process, one I've used before, and I'm hoping it works again here.

Time will tell soon enough. ;)

K.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thoughts On: Disrespect

I've dealt with disrespect my whole life. We all have at one time or another, I guess, but it seems I've had more than my fair share. And life keeps doling it out in continuous, face-scrunching doses.

I was never popular in elementary school. Ditto in high school. And not much changed in college. Sure, I always had my core group of friends--and for that I was/am thankful--but I always wanted more. At the very least, I wanted to be respected.

And it continues to this day. Time and again folks treat me a certain way, or tell me one thing, then go and treat/tell some other person--oftentimes a stranger--completely different. In the past, I really let this get to me, let it depress me and allowed it to keep me from moving forward. "It doesn't matter," or "What's the point?" or "It works for them, but when I touch it..." were all thoughts that regularly traveled through my belittled, beleaguered psyche.

But no more. I guess at some point, you just get sick of feeling sorry for yourself. Now I'm taking that anger and frustration and using it as fuel to keep moving forward. I used to think I was doing this, but those were just thoughts--daydreams of how I'd triumph over my "haters." Now I'm backing it up with action. That's the beauty of getting older--at some point you hit the moment where you have to put up, or shut up once and for all. When that happens, what are you gonna do?

I'm not ready to "shut up." I still have dreams and goals I want o accomplish. I DO NOT want to be one of those folks looking back when they're 80, saying "I wish, I wish, I wish..."

So deny me if you want to. Underestimate me if you so choose. Write me off, laugh behind my back, discount or plain ignore me if that makes you feel better. It doesn't change what's going to happen, and at best it only delays the inevitable--

I WILL beat you. And you will wish you would have taken me seriously the first time around.

K. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blast from the Past, Part Two--the Aural Edition

I took it back today. Way back. Well, not that far back, but kinda...

I busted out my old CD player today and played some CDs that I can't fit on my iPod (never thought I'd max out right gigs of space) while I worked today at the day job (the horror!)--that I actually do from home (not so bad). I really love music, as most folks do--at least some type of it--and I forgot how much I loved some of these older songs. It really helped my day go by and kept me in high spirits (and my productivity was not too bad ;).

You get so used to hearing the same songs on your iPod day in and day out--and even though I have a lot of them, and it was extremely refreshing to hear songs I haven't jammed in a while. It's like it was new again. I've been threatening to get a bigger-capacity iPod for a while; it's about time I go ahead and do that. I'm looking forward to re-acquainting myself with more of my collection in the coming days...

K.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blast from the Past

In preparation for working on Shadowfox, I decided to go back and reread my old screenplay for The Nubian Queen to mine it for material for the new story. I'm happy to say I wasn't too disgusted with my work. In fact, I really enjoyed the script.

Written in 2002, There was a lot of good stuff in there, but, as expected, a lot of weak writing. This was only two years after I started writing screenplays, and I could definitely see it. Not so much in the formatting of the script (the basics are easy to master, but there was one technique I completely overused), but in the content. Way too much on-the-nose dialogue and cheesy lines. Hell, even the heroine's codename--The Nubian Queen--reeked of mozzarella. And boy, was she uneven in execution and tone: designed as equal parts playful sarcastic and non-lethal badass, "Nubia" winds up wielding dual machine guns at one point, even intentionally shooting down a helicopter with two bad guys in it. It was like she was wanting to be Batman and the Punisher at the same time--totally not the vibe I wanted to take her in, and definitely not the vibe I want now that I've regressed the character's age to a teenager.

That said, I'm very much looking forward to the starting the rewrite/re-imagining/rebirth of Kysha Jenkins. I'm sure there will be moments I want to tear my nascent afro out, but it should be tons of fun nevertheless.

K.

Comicpalooza 2013 - Just Bring It!

I'm really looking forward to attending Comicpalooza in my metro hometown of Houston (I call it "metro hometown" because what do you call it if it's where you live, but didn't actually grow up?) this weekend. There's going to be some really cool celebrities there, informative panels and, of course, cosplayers.

Amidst the cornucopia of geeky goodness to be had, I must admit I have an ulterior motive--I'll be looking to meet and network with any local artists who might be good prospects to help me bring my graphic novel project, Shadowfox, to fruition. If you read my previous post, you know I'm still developing the actual script, but it's never too early to keep an eye out for folks who can benefit you down the road (or vice versa, if someone's looking for a writer). The bottom line is I need a team, and if I can get a step or two closer to putting that together this weekend, I'll be one happy mofo.

K.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The World (At This Point) According to Kevin, or, Rebooting...

Not one to sit on the sidelines for too long, I've been working on figuring out what's next. Right now, it's looking like it's going to be some of the old, with something completely new (yet old. I'll explain).

Progress on Darkness Walks has been slow. Actually, "glacial" is a better word--but it's been moving. I finally figured out the climax, which I thought I originally had, but something was just off about it.  I had more than enough story plotted to just dive in and start back on the actual book, but that's not me. I'm just not comfortable "not knowing" where I'm going. That said, I really like what I came up with, and it's definitely going to make the heroine, Wendy, shine. The only problem is that the new climax calls for a character to be killed off that originally was supposed to be alive throughout the entire series (right now, that looks to be seven books). But it's cool; I've already thought of a way to bring this character back should I still want to. And if I go with this idea, it will make for one kickass story and possible end to the series. I'm very optimistic about this project. 

As for filmmaking, I've been up and down as to how it figures into my future. I still love it, but I've been feeling too lazy to really engage it. I'm certain it has to do with difficulties in securing locations, not having the right connections and not getting the same help as others around town who ask for the same thing. Then again, maybe it's all in my head and I just haven't tried hard enough. I'm a prideful person, and I hate having to beg for something. I want that setup other folks have where they just mention they want to do something and folks are right there, offering their assistance. I don't have that. Maybe it's something I need to earn. Maybe it's something I need to force. I'm not quite sure yet. In any event, though I've tried to let it go, filmmaking keeps calling back to me--and I certainly have enough ideas to keep me busy. After a long, drawn-out deliberation, I've come to the conclusion that I cannot purge myself of filmmaking; I just need to pick a project, prepare it and commit to it. I can't say exactly when we'll be shooting (I have to fit it in with the other projects, plus a full-time job), but it feels good to have something "in the pipeline." So, once again, I'm eying my short script, Revelation as my next cinematic vehicle. I have a decent draft now, but I'll get around to running another polish on it before either having a table read with actors or going straight into casting. I think it's a solid, dramatic piece that will do well on the festival circuit. At the very least, it'll give me a chance to show something different (I also have a few larger projects that I've held onto, hoping to sell them to Hollywood or direct myself one day. I think I might dust them off and show them to a few film folks around town who've made features. I think a lot of folks have heard I'm a writer, but have never seen anything I've done. Who knows? Maybe something will get produced and I'll find out my hoarding was hurting more than helping).

Last up is the "something new, yet old." And this is really the first time I've mentioned it anywhere openly...

I'm going to make a run at being a comics creator. Talk about something different.

But the thing is, it's different, but it's not. Technically, I became a comics creator when I was in fifth grade with my "Almo" character, who went on to appear in dozens of self-drawn comics (I'm not a good artist, before you ask), short stories and even a "novel." I had a whole army of characters in that universe--and I had voices for pretty much all of them. It was a great run (I still have the comics)--until I realized I'd taken the characters as far as I could, and bid them a fond farewell. But who knows? I never say never; perhaps one day Almo and his friends will return--totally revamped, of course. But in the meantime, I'm taking a totally different set of comics.

The short version of the story is that ever since I saw Robert Townsend's The Meteor Man (1993), I was inspired to create a couple of my own superheroes. I had been into the genre pretty much my whole life (and still am), having consumed many of the animated and/or live action offerings featuring characters from Marvel and DC, or anywhere, for that matter, while growing up. I never was a collector of comics (never knew where to start), but my knowledge still surpassed that of the average person when it came to the subject. But I had never really though about creating my own characters until I saw The Meteor Man. I walked out the theater that night, working on the character who would, eventually, become the flagship character in my own fledgeling comics company.

But she was going to be a movie, first. called The Nubian Queen at the time, I also heavily modeled her on Batman, in that she's an average human who uses technology and her wits to battle crime. She had a day job, a secret identity, and underground lair--the whole nine. Years passed, and after writing several other screenplays, it was time to bring "Nubia" to fruition. And boy, did I; the script came in at 152 pages--2 1/2 hours of screen time. A wee bit on the long side. Didn't matter, though: I had a script, and I was proud of it...

...until I finally came to the realization that no one was going to buy it. C'mon, at this point, Hollywood couldn't even get a Wonder Woman movie made (still can't), and she's an established icon. If they couldn't get Diana of Themiscyra on the big screen, what made me think Kysha Jenkins of Houston would make it there? And she's Black? Good night, son. I never even rewrote the script.

But I did rewrite the character. Multiple times over the years. Kysha changed ages, she changed jobs. She was a scientific genius--then not--then a genius again. A city-wide hero, then a community-based vigilante, then back to the city-wide thing. I kept tinkering and tinkering. I even changed her codename, thinking "The Nubian Queen" was too... hokey. So Kysha became "Kharma"--which I liked, even though "Karma" is also the name of a character in Marvel's X-Men universe, and googling "Kharma" pulls up hit after hit of Kia Stevens, a professional wrestler who used the name in WWE.

The character sat on the shelf for another few years until, frustrated with the lack of progress another project, and looking to work on something I'd enjoy, I finally began to seriously prose writing (something folks had suggested for years, but I'd always pooh-poohed), which eventually lead to talk of graphic novels, which, in turn, lead to thinking about which properties I had that could work. I feel strongly that Darkness Walks can work as both a traditional--and graphic--novel. Sure enough, after wracking my brain trying to decide which direction I was going to go in, I decided put out the story in both mediums. The same is likely with Lupus Moon.

Then my superhero characters came to mind. I finally had a chance to do something with them. But somehow, a prose novel just didn't work for me. They would have to be done as graphic novels. Or, should they be monthly editions--you know, classic distribution? As I read more about the comics industry, the more interested in it I became. Thinking back over my history (and present) it seems like this move would be, and indeed is, second nature. But like so many things, I'd talked myself out of it because I was ignorant of the workings of the industry. I still am for the most part, but at 35, I'm not as keen to worry about things that I would use to hold me back when I was 25. I see my time as ticking away; indeed, tomorrow is promised to no one. I need to get cracking, and I need to do it now. So yeah, why not comics?

I've currently redeveloped Kysha again. She's now 17, and goes by the code name "Shadowfox." I love the idea of making Kysha a teenager because it instantly makes everything fresh--and a clean slate was where I needed to start. I have the same basic introductory story planned, but again, coming at it from a different perspective makes it feel like I'm starting from scratch. I also love the fact that she's a Black female teenage superhero; I have the opportunity to create a role model for an entire race of girls who rarely get to see themselves in that light. That alone is extremely gratifying for me. It might not be the most commercial project, but damn it, it's mine and I'm going to have a blast working on it. Now I just need a team to help me put it all together...

So that's what's on deck at the moment. Of course projects are subject to change, but I'm strangely optimistic about this slate. I think a large part of it has to do with the fact that, again, I'm 35. I'm motivated to get things moving and have something of a "now or never" attitude towards it. Being a little older also means I care less and less what others have to say. So I'm hungrier to get something done, I'm working on stuff that is very pleasing to me and I'm less inhibited over worrying what others say, therefore making me even more comfortable in my own skin and allowing me to finally, possibly, reach what I feel is my fullest potential?

Sounds like a plan to me.

K.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stagnation in a Moving World...

So here I am. Again. Trying to figure out what to do with myself...

The Life and Times of Abigail Waller is on yet another hiatus.I really can't get into specifics yet, and like the others, this wasn't planned, but I will say it's been excruciating watching show after show continue to move forward, drop episodes, build audiences, get press and critical acclaim. A few that I support are currently in competition at this year's American Black Film Festival. Another will be screen at Cannes. Yes, that Cannes. Now, these shows are good, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say I thought we were at least as good, based on the two episodes we have up, the two in the can, and the new material I've written--which just might be the best yet. So I'm supremely frustrated to not be able to participate in the mini-Harlem Renaissance that's going on in the new media world right now.

But I digress...