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. :)


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...


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...


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


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.


Monday, December 16, 2013


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.


Sunday, December 15, 2013


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...


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...