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."


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


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.


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.