Exactly what I'm working on, right at this very moment.

• Thursday, January 29, 2009 5 comments
At the beginning of the week, Kyle asked me to put together a synopsis for the movie [Re: Trendsetter]. By this, he didn't mean the traditional page-to-page-and-a-half point by point breakdown of the movie, but rather something intentionally broad, and indicative of what the film should be about, mostly for the business plan he's starting to set up. I thought this would maybe take an evening, a day tops, but instead, I've been working on it on-and-off since Monday.

My friend John put it best, but I can't for the life of me remember his direct quote -- nevertheless, it broke down to me being very much "in" my screenplay right now, and asking me to distill it to a couple of sentences being something I could downright torture myself over. With his input, I wound up with this pretty quickly:

"With no one in his life to tell, Brandon Holt wrote all his problems in a letter and mailed it to a stranger. A year later the letters are a national fad, making thousands of lives happier – except Brandon's."

This is what I'd call the "back of the VHS" version of "Trendsetter." Nevertheless, I spent a good time after using that as a basis for these:

-----

"With no one to turn to, Brandon Holt wrote all his problems in a letter and mailed it to a stranger. A year later the letters are a national fad, making thousands of lives happier – except Brandon's."

"With no one to turn to, Brandon Holt wrote all his problems in a letter and mailed it to a stranger. A year later the letters are a national fad, making thousands of lives happier – except Brandon's. Now everyone around him is connecting, while Brandon only feels more alone."

"Where do you turn when there’s no one to turn to? Brandon Holt wrote all his problems in a letter and mailed it to a stranger. A year later the letters are a national fad, making thousands of lives happier – except Brandon's."

"Turned away by the only person he could talk to, Brandon Holt wrote down all his problems in a letter and mailed it to a stranger. A year later the letters are a national fad, making thousands of lives happier – except Brandon’s."

"Brandon Holt could always take his problems to his girlfriend Tess; until one night he asked the only question she couldn’t answer – why did they have to break up? Worse yet, Brandon’s parents didn’t care, and his best [and only] friend was too wrapped-up in himself to help. With no one left to tell, Brandon wrote all his problems in a letter, and mailed it to a stranger. A year later, these anonymous letters have become a national fad, delivering happiness to thousands – except Brandon, who’d just like the whole trend to go away. But when Tess calls him in a time of need, Brandon has to shoulder his burden and be there for her – even though he feels like she wasn’t there for him."

"When Brandon Holt lost his girlfriend, his parents didn’t care, and his best [and only] friend was too wrapped-up in himself to help. With no one to turn to, he wrote down all his problems in a letter and mailed it anonymously. A year later, and Brandon’s still miserable, while the letters are a national fad making thousands happier. But when the girl who broke his heart comes back to him in a time of crisis, he has to shoulder the burden of his trend, and be there for her like she refused to be there for him."

-----

Some of those length-wise, are getting a little out of hand, but the current plan is to do a few more, shoot them all to Kyle, and see what works for his purposes better. I really can't pick, because all of them do good things, and all of them leave things out I feel is important.

While working on this, I also started a list of possible Tag lines for the film. Likely, I won't get to use these for anything, but still, for fun and record I thought I'd do up a list and send them to Kyle. Here's what I've got so far:

-----

"Where do you turn when there’s no one to turn to?"
"Letting go is hard."
"For anyone who’s ever been left behind."
"Leave it behind."
"Grown-up Stuff."
"When the fad goes away, you go with it." [Conway Twitty]
"Find someone."
"It’s catching on…"
"Lonely people therapy."
"Tell me something."
"Sincerely, yours."

-----

I'm particularly fond of "Where do you turn when there's no one to turn to?" as it sort of perfectly encapsulates what Brandon's going through at the beginning of the film. The others run the gamut of obscure, unusable, or cheesy [though if you see some of the tag lines movies actually use, you might be surprised], but it wouldn't be fair to just post what I thought was awesome. "Tell me something" I like because it's largely Faye's catchphrase throughout the movie, and "Letting go is hard" and "Lonely people therapy" I could totally see on a Clerks-style movie poster. "Grown-up stuff" doesn't seem to fit at first, but it's a phrase I revisit when talking about "Trendsetter" a lot. Finally, there's "Sincerely, yours." which I kind of hate, but also know it's fitting towards the theme of the movie, and I feel like it could even wind up the heavy-handed, "more commercially viable," Rom-com title for Trendsetter.

I also recently re-read the script, got very angry at the rhythm and flow of some of my dialogue, and became even more steadfast in my resolve that the last scene with Brandon and Tess is going to need a complete re-write. I think I may do that before starting on new content -- I believe things could change that much.

I think I also have a non-TS entry to write about in the next day or so. It's nothing serious, just something I enjoyed doing, and if I can get my thoughts in order, would like to put down so I can revisit it later, and remember how much fun I had.

Tomorrow, hopefully.


P.S.

John also suggested "Sincerely, unsigned" as a tag line in the comments section, and I'd like to put it up for consideration too. Today I've actually been playing with "unsigned" and "resigned" and "reserved," since I thought all three words spoke to the letters or Brandon's general nature. Still haven't figured much out in that area.

Again, thanks, John.

I'm back.

• Tuesday, January 27, 2009 0 comments
I have returned, after still posting a little bit when I said I wouldn't. But I'm back now.

Spent the last couple of days doing notes on something for a friend. I just finished, and while I'd normally take another couple of days before I'd send anyone feedback, it's pretty much the only thing I've had my head in since posting my "Neeter" entry.

I should thank him for letting me do it. God knows I haven't been sleeping.

Spoke to Kyle day before yesterday on the phone. We had a good talk. I'm going to whip a synopsis up for him here shortly [Re: Trendsetter]. Communication is important, especially the first time you collaborate with someone. It is hard for me sometimes, because I do tend to get hunkered down into my own little sleepless world. But I'm excited about working on the movie. I hope I get to do a lot more for it before this is done.

Right now, I need to start thinking about the script again. I'll get to that, but not today. I am not quite beyond usefulness yet, but I'll be getting that way soon. If I can actually sleep tonight, I might be able to have it together by Wednesday. Sometimes I hate that I can't get it together better, but luckily, this works for where I am right now.

Shalom.

Bonus Character Profile : Neeter.

• Sunday, January 25, 2009 0 comments
Said I'd be out, but here I am again. Maybe it's because I like talking about these things, maybe it's because the guilt is high when Kyle talks about working on "Trendsetter" all day. Hard to say. But I thought of something I wanted to post.

The thing I'm looking at for a friend is still very much on the table, just taking me a little longer than I expected. Still, it's the number one thing on my mind right now.

Save for this.

Earlier in the week I posted about reusing characters, and my penchant for working in my own little universe. Now, a wealth of the characters in "Trendsetter" are originals -- ones I came up with to fit with the idea Kyle gave me -- but there is one other familiar face, who I wanted to talk about today because Kyle just mentioned having someone in mind for casting him.

Neeter.

Well, "Joseph Neets" is his full name, while the nickname "Neeter" either came from his friends [if he has any], or it's his internet handle. The character itself is an older one -- he started out as a possible love interest in "The Living Dead," was labeled too nerdy to be dateable, and that wound up shaping a great deal of his personality. I forgot about him for awhile, but eventually resurrected him for my first full-length screenplay, "Beatnik Grunge," during "Advanced Screenwriting" at Bennington.

Now, "Beatnik Grunge" was a god-awful failure, so bad that even I'm not willing to offer it up here for anyone to [ever] look at. I will say it was probably a pretty good comic book idea, but extending it and trying to set it up as a movie made me do many, many things wrong. Neeter, however, was one of the few things I think I got right.

In BG, he's a nerdy, reclusive loner, who spies on his lesbian neighbors, much to the chagrin of one them [my protagonist]. Despite being a voyeur, he's really not such a bad guy -- lonely maybe [the reason I decided to give him a little nod in "Trendsetter"], but essentially good at heart. He lives with and takes care of his elderly grandmother [like I divined something there], and by the end of the movie his constant spying allows him to save one of the girls from an attacker with a well-placed swing of a nine iron. There's a nice visual at the end where he's with the two girls, sort of accepted by them for his heroism, and this real feeling he might come out of his shell.

And one day, you'll probably see me use a lot of that again. But "Beatnik Grunge?" It sucks.

Neeter cuts a nice description out for himself in it, though, and it's something I've tried to stick with -- flannel shirt, coke-bottle glasses, long and messy hair, and he's pretty short. And though he never gets called by name, he has two nice little parts in "Trendsetter," and one subtle appearance that I've wound up really liking a lot. Of course, by now, he'd be older, living on his own... probably something of a hikikomori... though maybe not that reclusive, but in general still a lonely guy. And if you've read it, you might notice he manages to get just a little bit of his creepy in "Trendsetter," too.

Still, the kid's all right.

Some other notes. Ally texted me while I was dozing this morning, I think she's finished my script, and I'm hoping to catch her for her thoughts sometime today.

It's also my second favorite holiday behind Christmas today -- so Happy Royal Rumble everyone! Watching will put me largely out of commission this evening, but that's fine. It only comes but once a year.

Taking the day...

• Saturday, January 24, 2009 0 comments
Taking a short hiatus from "Trendsetter" work to look at something for a friend. Should be back sometime in the next day or so -- it's not super-long or anything, I just want to be thorough for him.

Cheers.

Eddie -- Collector's Edition First Appearance.

• Friday, January 23, 2009 0 comments
Anna and I used to talk at great length about cannibalizing older work for newer things -- and thanks to all the comic books and Kevin Smith movies, I think I may have raised re-using ideas to an art form. My penchant for going back to the well is one of the reasons I called this blog "The Mojo Wire" -- because like Thompson was in 70's, I am way too easily mystified by my own stories and turns of phrase.

To better explain what I mean, and why I'm talking about this, I have to go back to high school, when I took my first stab at comic writing. I had this idea for indie comic, called the "The Living Dead," which had nothing to do with zombies, and instead involved two clerks in a small town. The first was Jameson, an obsessively compulsive video store worker with a clinically insane mother, and his best [and only] friend Lenny, who was gay, because, well, I didn't think you could write indie comics without at least one character that was gay.

At college, I put quite a bit of work into "The Living Dead," taking numerous stabs at scripting the first few issues, and inventing a whole town full of characters, all derivative or either me, my friends from high school, or my girlfriend at the time, Sam. Sam was actually very encouraging about the possibility of me actually making a few of these comics, which eventually lead to my first and only [and self-published work] "SULK : The Morning After," which, incidentally, contained almost none of the characters I'd been working on the past few years.

But that didn't matter really, it just encouraged me to make news ones -- and the next thing I knew I was working on "White Trash Nation" -- a story that took place in the same town, but with older characters, twenty-somethings, while the majority of the SULK and "Living Dead" kids were still in their teens. It was good exercise for me. I'm never been strong on plot, but I've always believed if you cared about the people you were reading/watching, then it didn't matter if they were just making a sandwich.

What came next was some mixture of ingenuity and laziness, but when it came time to do work for the literature and writing classes I was finally starting to get into and Bennington, it seemed only natural to start using the characters who until this point had just been sitting on the shelves. Because of this, most of what I've written [with the exception of the Familiar], both inside and outside of class, exists in the same general setting, or "universe" as everyone likes to use.

And "Trendsetter" is no different, as "Eddie" made his first appearance back in... junior year of college, when I was taking play writing, in a little piece I poorly named "Mall Sequitur."

Now, it's actually not very good, but just as I'm reusing Eddie, and considering his time spent as a nurse canonical [I imagine he was fired, for stealing pills, or sleeping with patients], I've been looking at it to try and get a better feel for what it is I want to do in the longer version of "Trendsetter," and get more in touch with Eddie, because I feel like he might need more screen time. Obviously, he's older now, but what else has changed, and more importantly, what hasn't?

I think it also amazes me how much of "Trendsetter" I see in "Mall Sequitur." Even with the main idea of TS coming from a totally different place, I really wound up revisiting a lot of the same things, particularly infidelity, but also the burden of being the start of something you really wanted nothing to do with. In MS, it doesn't work, and I know that now, but I think, with the letters in TS, I've pulled off the sort of realization off that I was looking for. And that makes me feel good, like I finally got at what I was trying to say back then, even after all of this time.

Anyway, it's shitty of me to talk at length about this and not offer evidence of what I'm babbling about, so the two links below will allow anyone who wants to see "Mall Sequitur" the chance.

Mall Sequitur
Mall Sequitur [Storybook ending]

The reason there are two versions is because they have different endings, with a few other subtle differences, neither working any better than the other. Honestly, going over them now, I realize much better how they manage to fall short from my original intentions, but if you're just looking for a laugh, you could do worse. Plus, some early Eddie. Putting these out there at all though is sort of embarrassing to me, but since they have been a big part of "Trendsetter" work today, and since that's what this blog is for, I figured, why not? Bring myself down a peg, and use my new .pdf transfer program a little more.

Some other news. Got Glen's feedback today, and as has been my way, I'd like to thank him here for taking the time, and looking at it for me. Of course, if you've looked at the TS movie blog at all, you know he's going to be living with this thing for awhile. Still, I really appreciate your thoughts, Glen. It means a lot, and helps a ton.

I also want to link something that my friend John wrote. It's called "She Danced" and its easily one of the best meet-cutes I've ever read. I've really been carrying it around the past of couple of days, and I hope other people will read it too.

Shalom.

Thinking critically.

0 comments
I have to apologize for being distracted this week. Problems in the family, which are all the more unsettling because I don't know what the problems are. But it's Thursday night now, on the eve of the end of the week, and I was told at the end of last week I'd be told just what the hell is so important that my mom wanted to make plans to get together, and "talk privately."

Knowing my family's penchant for overstating, this could all be nothing. But. Someone says they want to have a talk to me, and I always feel like I'm 14 again, wondering if someone's discovered where I stashed my porn.

Funny story about hiding pornography. In late middle school/early high school, before the wealth of internet porn was available to me, I actually had the box of dirty magazines, musty and from god knows where [maybe they just... materialized when I hit puberty]. They were mostly Playboys and Penthouses from the 80's, which is probably why body hair doesn't freak me out, but fake breasts kind of do. Anyway, they were stashed away in the cellar house, a place where we kept things like the Christmas decorations and the canned food, and as soon as everyone was out of the house, I'd rush up there and grab the box.

Since time always felt like a factor, I'd usually just put on sandals, or go barefoot. It wasn't, after all, like I was going to be out any particularly long time, and despite living in the country, there weren't a lot of obstacles between the porn and me but the distance [important to plausible deniability]. Well, almost. There was a chestnut tree.

I don't know how many people who read this will know about chestnuts, but wild ones don't actually look much like they do when they come in a bag. For one, they're really green, and for two, they're covered in spines, like an...urchin, and yes, they fall from the tree[i.e., might as well be the sky, which is dangerous enough], and then they wind up on the ground. Green, and covered in spines.

In my defense, and I mean to make myself seem even stupider, I was running. And, as is the reason I no longer wear sandal, I slipped, and stepped on one of the spiky green nuts, jamming their natural defense mechanism into my heel. And I suppose if I had any coordination at all, that would have just hurt, and I'd have limped back to house with my box of Playboys, no longer in the mood. But I didn't have any coordination [not at all!], and when I stepped on it, I spastically tossed the magazines into the air as my feet flew out from under me, all the while yelping in pain [manly pain].

Now I lucked out, because when I landed flat on my back, the only chestnut that had been on the ground was the offending one, and it was now lodged in my foot. And upon hitting the ground, I realized this moment could have been an epic one, where I looked towards the heavens at the rain of moldy centerfolds, Kurt Vonnegut excerpts, and stories about alien planets with no men on them, and time slowed, and I had some deep realization about the path I was on.

But back then, I wasn't looking for a sign, or self-realization. So a lot of porno mags just fell on me in real time. Now, it's hilarious. Earlier, when I had to take a kitchen knife and a bottle of rubbing alcohol to my foot to get the chestnut's spurs out?

Well, anyway.

Most of today has been spent bouncing things back and forth in my head, specifically as it concerns the script [Re: Trendsetter]. For the record, if you're ever getting paid for a job by something other than the word, these are called "conceptual hours" and they totally count.

All seriousness, as the script goes, I have several things on my mind. The first is how to get to feature length. My plan, at the moment, involves a subplot ["parallel plot?"] with Brandon's mom, dad, sister, her possible lesbian girlfriend, and an anniversary party... or some kind of party, I haven't nailed down all [many] of the details yet. The point of these scenes would be to show more of Brandon's old home life, to address why he can't/doesn't want to turn to his family, and also play into the theme of relationships TS is supposed to be focusing on-- specifically [maybe specifically], why Brandon puts so much emphasis only on relationships that have, in his eyes, longevity. "Serial-monogamy," as Kyle put it.

But doing the first set of bios, and including characters from that part of the film [which doesn't exist in any form yet] made me realize a few things. The first is that I am still not looking forward to adding the extra pages, but more specifically the actual grafting of new pages onto the current draft. I have written about this before -- it is a largely uncreative part of the writing, and small screw-ups can fuck everything up. Because of this, I've yet to wrap my mind around the mechanics of it.

The second thing is, after writing a little bit of new stuff on legal pad, I am no longer sure that bringing Brandon's family into this is a great idea. I mean, yes, I like it because it allows me to address something I only hinted at in the beginning -- Brandon's estrangement from his folks-- and because it gets us some time with the character of Faye that isn't post-coitus. But when strictly talking about importance to the existing plot, only the latter is really feels necessary to me. Because of this, I am suddenly hesitant with my plans.

And the third, final, and slightly more troubling thing is that, in an almost "Meet the Parents" sort of way, the trials of Brandon and Faye at Brandon's parents' house, showing why he pisses them off, and having some fun with his too-hip little sister and her lesbian girlfriend, might actually be its own kind of flick. And while for me that only means another 66 pages, that runs the risk of rendering things like Eddie and his phantom marriage obsolete over a two hour film. Plus, I don't think this would work at a full two hours -- which means cuts would have to be made, and if there is one universal voice in the limited feedback I've gotten thus far, its that nothing existing in the draft can stand to be cut.

Because of this, and partly because of the other two things and their "becauses,"I'm wondering if I didn't jump the gun deciding the party and his parents are the right way to go. Already I've had a few other ideas. I have a really dreadful one about Faye and Brandon going to Eddie's bachelor party together, which centers mostly on the hilarity Faye having way more fun there than Brandon. My major knock against this idea, other than the obvious cliches, is because it seems somehow unfair to me to not use wedding, but use Eddie's bachelor party, as if to say I only want the fun things, and I'm going to cleverly write myself away from the shit. And [watch, I'll say this, and end up doing it] I'm just not comfortable with that kind of "slight-of-hand" scripting. If I'm going to do something, I should have the balls to take the good with the bad.

Not that a gimmicked event even has to be involved with extending "Trendsetter" to feature length. As of right now, I am at almost 70 pages [it's a light 70], and an acceptable length for a full movie, especially with my pacing, is 90-100 pages. When you factor in some of the things I could do; a non-sexual scene with Faye, a little more time with Tess, Brandon on-call for the Tech Deck, maybe a couple more things with Eddie... well, that's like 30 more pages right there, especially now that I'm considering rewriting the last scene entirely. Hell, Kyle's even requested more Mailman, which I don't really want to do, since I like how he bookends things, but... that is also a possibility, and takes us well over the top in minutes. And as Lex recently pointed out, I have so much nuance in this damn thing, I could probably even do to tell the audience a little more, so...

Be damned. It was hard enough thinking of scenes when I had a rough plan. Now I guess I'm just going to have to start taking notes, and hope the first thing that's comes across semi-realized will work for the extra pages. And all of this without ever doing something as filler.

So there's that. It is probably not as big of deal as I'm making it out to be, but I still can't stop thinking about it. We'll see as work progresses.

I'm also not sleeping again. Big surprise, but the depression and the irritability came back awfully fast too. I just need to deal with it -- picking the writing back up means means my mind goes back to not shutting down. I stocked up on a few of those Power Shots just in case, mostly for acting normal during the daylight hours.

I also need to find some cash... either in savings, or some sort of employment that isn't going to hindered by working on this, or the insomnia. I need a new pair of shoes [$30-40], a suit for when Kyle and I start begging [maybe $100? Probably less], and a laptop [$700! Way to make those dreams seem like a reality, Dell] so when shooting begins I won't have to bounce back and forth on other people's computers. It is a shame those last two can't be budgeted into the film [that's how broke I am right now] -- but I have a feeling the belt's going to be tight enough as is. Best if I don't make it worse.

On the upside, Kyle's found someone to pledge $2,000 to actually making the movie. I don't know the details yet, but it's great news. And yes, I will continue to link the shit out of my other blog.

Ian recently got me his feedback on the script. I'm hoping to catch him on the phone soon, just to get a little bit more out of him, and maybe explain myself a little bit. I really appreciate him taking the time though, and I hope sincerely he knows that. I'll be telling him a lot, that's for sure. As for the rest of you, it's not too late. God knows, reading this, you can see I need the help.

Pixie even offered to take a look for me, after seeing the bios -- she texted me about them, and I sent her the script today. I am truly happy for every extra set of eyes I can get.

On an upbeat note, I've started noticing marked improvements in my writing these days. Between the script, the comic, and the blog, plus everything else, my typos have been greatly reduced, and I think I'm starting to type faster. Not exactly what people think when you say your writing has improved, but still... the fact I noticed at all means a difference has been made.

Even with all this, I know I'm forgetting something.

Cheers.

These aren't the real bios!

• Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1 comments
Kyle recently asked for character bios [Re: Trendsetter], along with a litany of other [reasonable] movie-related things we need, like a synopsis, tag-lines, a treatment [which usually comes first, but this is a sort of special case], etc, and...oh, yes, 30 more pages so it can actually pass as a feature.

Bios were a strange request for me, because I've never done them in any capacity that they had to be seen. Usually they're just a series of notes and lists on legal pad which get stacked up after I've already put in work on the first draft. But in the case of making something presentable, I will totally admit to having zero clue. So, luckily, I was able to catch Elise Bischoff online tonight, and she hooked me up with a template I found pretty useful.

Now, bear with me, because these are not the final bios of the characters -- my feeling is the final bios will just be a series of headered paragraphs [sorry, John] with the information provided here in a more succinct and eye catching form. But since I promised I'd post something, and soon, I figured I could put up the work in progress, before posting the finals on the "Trendsetter" website in the next couple of days.

So here it is, in glorious .pdf format, the first draft on the character bios.

I'd also like to suggest, so Adobe doesn't crunch up all your cpu and keep you from doing anything else while reading this, that you consider downloading Foxit -- a smaller, faster .pdf viewer that goes a lot easier on your computer. I use it and prefer it, and it's totally free. This is as close to an endorsement you're going to get on this site. But it's useful, and a lot less of a headache than acrobat.

I'm going to try to get a little sleep today, but with any luck I'll also be taking the information in that, and making the much more economical character bios available soon. I'm a little embarrassed I need this middle step, but whatever gets the job done.

End on a somber note this time -- some bad news for a friend and teacher of mine -- Bucky has a write-up on his blog about George Tirado's recent death, and I send my condolences to him. It sounds like a rough end, to a rough life, but my real concern is for the poet-teacher who stuck his neck out for me, and who could easily claim credit for the existence of this blog, if there was any credit worth claiming. I know a little [very little] about losing someone you have difficult feelings about. I'm very sorry, man. My thoughts are with you.

Shalom.

Trendsetter: The Website

• Sunday, January 18, 2009 3 comments
Trendsetter The Movie.

Today marks the launch of the first "Trendsetter" website, a sister blogspot to the Mojo Wire that can be found at http://trendsettermovie.blogspot.com/. You can go there for all "Trendsetter" news, not to mention updates to the cast, crew, and other future-credit worthy people involved.

Does this mean this blog won't continue to have that information? Not... exactly. The "Trendsetter" site will continue to have information that overlaps with what I post here on the Mojo Wire, and vice-versa. At times [like today] it'll seem downright redundant, but for my own production journal, and for the sake of keeping the records I'd like to have while working on things, I will occasionally mirror the information posted over there. The major difference between the two will be in who's posting -- my director, Kyle Christian Quinn [Re: I just call him Kyle], is large and in charge on the movie site, and much of the information I post second-hand here will first be presented to the world by Kyle himself. I will also be posting on there from time to time, as I am an "official contributor," but as of right now, that blog is Kyle's show.

And while some might notice that the bulk of the content that currently dominates the Mojo Wire is "Trendsetter" related [with a side of the comic "Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name"], it is not my intention to have this blog be about anything more than my process, uninteresting musings on my state of mind, and any and all creative projects I'm involved in. So for 120% Trendsetter news, Kyle's blog is where you'll want to be, whereas the Mojo Wire will continue provided the Randall-centric universe four or five of you have been reading for a couple of months now. Also, since right now I'm so heavily involved in the scripting of the movie, you'll find a lot more information about the ins-and-outs of the script itself here. Which seems a little vague, but if you come around much at all, you understand the "service" I'm providing.

Hope that clears up any confusion. Go check out our movie website.

Now, for some "Trendsetter" news.

As you can see from the new site, we've already got a short list of people "officially" [it is still early] attached, some of whom you've seen me post about here already. For my own records, I'm going to post a list here, not unlike what already appears over there.

Crew:
Kyle Christian Quinn --Director
Robert Pralgo -- Executive Producer
William "Bill" Schweikert -- Director of Photography
Glen Brogan [oft-linked!]-- Production Designer

Cast:
Marc Horowitz

I'll also link the Brainwrap site too, but it's in my plans to do up a little entry about them on here, for my friends from College who don't know about things like "Johnny Boy," and also just to talk about how I wound up getting involved with them. But I'll get to that later.

The work I'll be putting in this week is largely Trendsetter-related, as I need to stop procrastinating and finish off those character bios, something I said I'd have finished a week ago. There are also some little things that need done -- like surnames for the characters that already exist, and toying with some names/possibility of names for the characters to come -- particularly Brandon's little sister. It all sounds like very small stuff, but it's a start to bigger things to come.

I'm also hoping feedback will start trickling in. Should help with some of that writer's block.

That will be the next couple of days. A lot more to post upcoming, I'm sure.

Bill Schweikert attached to "Trendsetter" as Cinematographer... wait, what?

2 comments
Bill Schweikert is now attached to "Trendsetter" as the director of photography, a particularly big deal because Kyle tells me he brings his own equipment, and does excellent, professional work. His website is http://www.billschweikert.com/index.html and his IMDB page is here.

Be posting more soon, including something of a surprise. Probably in the next couple hours.

Recieved Kyle's feedback.

• Saturday, January 17, 2009 0 comments
Kyle got me his feedback on the script [Re: The Trendsetter] on... Thursday night, I'm thinking. About five pages, sent over Facebook... not as much as it sounds. Something to work from though, and he's provided a few possible segues to the new content.

Not a lot else to cover. Already heard back from a few people, starting to think more seriously about what's going to fill the script in to feature length. My big worry is going to crazy with it, actually -- there are a lot of open-ended things I put in the first part, and as tempting as it is to tap every vein, I don't want to bleed it to death when all I really need is about 30 pages.

Its difficult to think about being economical when I need pages. There's certainly no rush.

I think my major worry is that, on some level, I might consider "Trendsetter" finished, and because of that, finding stuff to add in will be more difficult. This could work to my advantage, and help strain the aforementioned stupid and unnecessary shit out while I'm writing. But it could just as easily make adding to it even more difficult. And then there's also the whole issue of my never having plugged anything significant into the middle of a story before. In "Un-Filmable" I added one scene, which took place practically mid-coitus -- I mean, I interrupted sex to get exposition dialogue in. And that was purely addressing necessity. Adding to "Trendsetter" is something different, as I'm not just adding extra info, I'm putting in a subplot that will likely masquerade as the main action in the film.

All of this is probably nothing more than jitters at trying to do something I've never attempted before. I'm hoping, with some time, and more input, it'll come much more easily than I expect it will.

I'm also struggling with a really pervasive want to finish, to have something, even if it's imperfect, in the 90-100 page area. This is ridiculous, as I'm no where near ready to start working on it again, and trying now would be an arduous and hateful waste of time. The inspiration, and the flow, is not yet there. And I need to be a little more patient. It'll come.

Shalom.

Marc Horowitz attached to the "Trendsetter"... wait, what?

• Thursday, January 15, 2009 1 comments
In a landmark move that still hasn't entirely sunk in with me, Marc Horowitz is now attached to the "Trendsetter," likely in the prime-cut comedic role which appears at the beginning and end of the film [at least in it's current incarnation]. No need to shout out what it is folks -- if you read it, you know, and we're playing this pretty close to the chest right now.

This is big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Horowitz is the first google-able personality involved with the Trendsetter who's results won't turn up this blog, a Facebook page, or drugrehab.org [it's not what you think]. Or "Crossings," I guess, but I'm actually sort of proud of my involvement in that. Instead, you'll find Horowitz's main site, his 24/7 talk show, and an article about him in ReadyMade magazine.

And though I don't know his work so well, Kyle loves the guy, and from my limited knowledge, it seems like he's an ex-art school student turned web-based comedian who's fans are more than willing to label as "too funny for MTV." Having him involved in any capacity can only serve to make the "Trendsetter" better, as well as get some interest in the project when we finally get it released.

Now, naturally, we're still in the infancy of "Trendsetter," and anything could change between actually finishing the script and when we start filming. But this has already come a lot farther than any other non-comic-based project I've worked on, and Kyle's shown to be incredibly dedicated to actually getting it done. It's all starting to feel very "real," which, not to get my own hopes up, is a pleasant change.

Cheers, folks. More later.

Hand me that chisel.

• Wednesday, January 14, 2009 0 comments
Three days since an update. Bad habits.

The new blogspot/profile picture comes from Justin [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], via the awesome trading cards he did up for everyone on Christmas. I don't condone smoking, but I do condone brilliant pictures of me as my heroes. Thanks, man.

I plan on doing a big update on where/when/how the comic is coming along in the next couple of weeks. I just want time to have a sit-down with Justin, and see what he thinks, how he's feeling about things, and how he feels like he's recovering after the holidays. This remains a massive project, and my silence on it has little to do with it stalling or anything... just the general limbo of the holidays. Something this big takes time. But there's a nice new picture of one of the new panels -- and it's of one of our heroines... Tana Cash.

"Trendsetter" script is now in the heavy feedback process. I've gotten it out to as many people I can think of, sending it to some folks that I normally wouldn't even show my stuff too -- not out of privacy or snobbery, but just because I don't talk to them often. Nevertheless, for just taking a look, even if they haven't gotten back to me, I've got to thank them. And without a mausoleum to chisel their names on [ah, that joke seems both topical and obscure], I figured I could at least list them here, in no particular order:

Sam Roman
Casey Barnhart

John Wiswell
Ian Rogers
Julia Cooper
Lex Friedman

Dan Trigg
Savannah Dooley

Ally Melling
Glen Brogan
Zoe Chevat
Justin Cornell
Seth Martin
Ian Nolte

Elise Bischoff
Dave Humphreys
Kyle Christian Quinn [duh]

I'm still waiting for Kyle to drop me his feedback, though I am enjoying this period to languish a bit. We've even talked a little about casting which is just -- well, it's wild, just playing around with something like that. I'm also guessing [no clue, though], that Kyle's probably getting Michael Valentine to look at it too. Anyway, I likely missed someone in that list, and if I did, just tell me, and I'll edit you in.

Also, if you're reading this, and you want to check out the script, and give me some feedback to work with, throw me an e-mail, or just comment on this note, and I'll be really gracious and happy to send you a copy, and listen to any thoughts you have. It helps me a lot, to talk about the script, and will go a long way to renew my enthusiasm to hear thoughts about it. Anyone who reads this knows that I engage with a project better when I'm not working in a vacuum.

I had more to post about, but I think I'm going to cut this short and keep it "business as usual" today. I feel more upbeat than I have in some time. Not saying I'm happy... just saying it's been a little easier to ignore some of the downbeats.

Shalom.


P.S. Jesus, I'm getting link happy.

Spray cans used to have marbles instead of ball bearings.

• Sunday, January 11, 2009 3 comments
Slept all day. Particularly odd because, well, this is me we're talking about. Went to bed pretty late last night [or pretty early, depending your view of five o'clock in the morning], slept until 11:30, got up, and promptly went to sleep again. Like that all day -- if I wasn't falling asleep, I was feeling like I wanted too. So odd.

Sucks because I was supposed to do character bios today [Re: The Trendsetter]. I can get them tomorrow it, it's no problem, just figured I'd get a few done today. Thought about them at least, and part of me is now less-than-jazzed about doing them. Not that they won't be a blast, they will be, and I usually do them anyway [it's kind of odd I didn't for this project, and just chocked it up to working a little differently], but it just seems like, from the few people I've gotten to read the script, so much of the characters come out on their own in the script. My feelings are that it would be terrible if one of the actors felt stifled by a short description I gave the character, and I wound up hurting the process instead of helping it. Then again, I imagine there are more than a few actors who would look at what I suggested and just willfully ignore it anyway.

Ironic... here's a place I could exert some greater control over the work, and I don't want to do that -- yet already I'm breaking screenplay rules Casey's learning at AFI right and left. No beats, no "we see's"? I don't even like "we see's," but I feel like it should be my choice whether to use them or not.

I'm making more out of this than there is. The bios need done, if nothing else, for casting purposes. And thinking about the characters critically is bound to get me closer to that place I need to be to do the final 30 or so pages.

Few links to throw out tonight:

Ally has a couple of things posted here and here. The latter I find particularly stirring, because it links to a video of one of the many missile strikes in the current Middle East conflict. Not wishing to get too political or start off about my feelings on Israel and the surrounding area, to have video of something like this just on youtube along with Spaghetti Cat and Cranberries music videos? Strange time we live in.

The other post by Ally is about her mom, and all I can do is offer good thoughts and condolences, and hope she forgives us for the occasional lack of patience. It is my way to try and make things feel better by making like things are relatively normal... and sadly, for me, sometimes, normal is antagonistic. Apologies. I only hope some real relief comes your way soon. If anyone more than deserves a break, its you.

Found my friend Ian's blog. Definitely go check that out, though I don't know how updates will be coming once he gets started with AEON. They're a bit like Nazis when it comes to blogging, or at least it seemed that way when I was looking into the process. But Ian's resourceful, and I think he'll find a way to bring us news.

My old "teach" and one of my favorite poets, Bucky Sinister, has a Live Journal which I follow sporadically, and which he once used to monitor me on an independent study about...well, blogging. Really, I don't know if "The Mojo Wire" would exist if not for him giving me a primer in how much internet blog-culture could due to improve. Excellent writer, great poet, just always really good to me, and my hope is that plugging his stuff into the blogspot reader that I'll start being a better disciple.

Found some marbles in the gutter today. Slightly smaller than regular marbles, completely clear. So much glass work in WV, this isn't really an odd occurrence, though there is something surreal in fishing little glass balls out of muddy water.

On an unrelated note, my phone has been acting strange, and rebooting sometimes when I try to send text messages. I am a little worried this is also causing me to miss texts, but I don't know that for sure, for obvious reasons. So, if you send me a text message, and I don't reply, there's a possibility I didn't see it. I'm going to try and get this worked out, but I think I'm more likely to buy news shoes before I buy a new phone.

Still gotta figure that one out. My Airwalks are destroyed, and Chucks just don't hold up in the rain.

"Comfortably Numb."

• Thursday, January 8, 2009 0 comments
I can't seem to get out of my own head today.

It's not something I actively try to do. I'm not running out to any of the [numerous] places here in the neighborhood I could score any number of uppers, downers, all-arounders which I could probably get for free just by dropping the right names. Nor are there loads of legal intoxicants I enjoy enough to imbibe at length to shut off my rambling thought-process. And from my lack of experience with them, I can't say for sure even doing that would make anything better -- my luck, I am the one, poor bastard who'd get jittery and paranoid and sad, and well...

This evening is going to go that way on its own.

Still, there is a way I want to feel this evening, just to shut-off and be nice and numb and stupid for awhile. "Comfortably Numb," as the song goes. Now, as a fan of Pink Floyd since... 13? 15? I can't exactly consider this is a wise pursuit. Nothing that Pink or Little Pink goes through during "The Wall" is exactly something to strive for, in my experience, and if I remember my rock history, the whole of "Comfortably Numb" was written by Roger Waters based on an experience of being medicated during... some STD he had, I'm pretty sure. Although, on reflection, I think David Gilmour wrote "Comfortably Numb" so... I'm not entirely sure how that would work. Maybe he was there too. I've always heard that prescriptions were looser in the U.K., so maybe it was as easy as saying "Ah, wot, we're band mates, howabout giving me some of that too?"

Band mates and over-the-counter liquid morphine. Yes, I picked the wrong profession. Hobby. Nationality?

The point is, I am damn tired, and would like to shut off for awhile. Be someone else. Just for awhile. I want to come back to this, want to see this through. But right now? I wouldn't mind that arm-chair, bad TV, Degrassi Jr. High marathon kind of break. Would revel in it.

Holidays are over. Everyone's gone. I've went and pissed one woman I know off, and another I've embarrassed myself in front of. No excuse for either. Both are private, so you know. Check the black book someday. Maybe it'll all fill out there.

Shame. I know, I know, this is a place to record my progress. Save the game. But chronicling when I am working doesn't paint a fair picture unless I'm also chronicling when I'm not. Or when I don't want to be. And right now?

I need a break. Something fun. Pure fun. No pretension.

...

And the joints in my fingers are killing me. Ah, something else.

Cheers.

P.S. Also, good thoughts to anyone else having a rough time these days. Problems here may seem realer than they actually appear. My thoughts to those with real trials upon them.

Roundup.

• Tuesday, January 6, 2009 0 comments
I hate to just post to be posting [what am I saying? I love that], but there's a few updates and such to talk about, both to The Mojo Wire and just in general, so I suppose I should cover that.

First of all, my friend/artist Justin [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name -- also, he's laid up with back problems right now, so everyone should go and wish him better health... it's not medicine, but it can't hurt, either. Worried about him] alerted me recently that Blogspot's "blogs I'm following" feature lets you put in other blogs from places like Wordpress and the like. I still want to try it out with a few other sites -- particularly the less-than-cooperative Livejournal, but I'm pretty jazzed about it -- especially since it's become 100% easier to follow Shiso Style, my friend Heke's blog. I met Heke during college, and now she's off in Japan, teaching English, which makes her perfect for catching on Google Talk every night while she's in the middle of classes, and I'm cursing the fact I can't sleep. Her blog talks a lot about her experiences in Japan though, and I really like it, even though my absent-mindedness tends to make me forget to check it. Thanks to Blogspot, never again.

Heke's also the person who took the "Coffee" picture that's my new profile/account picture. I still haven't gotten around to getting some legit photos of myself for this [at least nothing I liked], so Japanese Kitsch and Pink Luchadores with Roosters are what I'm using instead. Heke, if you're reading this, and you'd rather I not use your picture, just let me know. I just couldn't help myself.

Since I'm linking things like mad, here's today's Bathroom Monologue by my buddy John. I love this one, was a great way to start my day, and I told him so.

To business. Talked to Kyle pretty extensively about the script [Re: The Trendsetter], and it looks like this is really going to happen. I mean, obviously, there are a lot of things that could get in the way, there's still the whole problem of being thirty pages shy of a feature, and needing things like funding, mostly to bribe someone who works at a Best Buy [I'll explain some other time], and also pay/feed actors and such. But Kyle has already penciled in a possible crew, and there are going to be contracts, and filming schedules, and other projects to follow, and I've already gotten an order to do up bios of main characters, so some semi-casting can take place. Admittedly, part of it doesn't seem to real, and really committing to this means another meager year in my eight-by-ten room at Grandma's, but...

This feels right. Like something on the verge of greatness. Or at least the chance at it. And failure just means I pick myself up, move to Portland or Seattle, and think about Grad School. All these things I've left behind.

So, there's that. And Kyle's first notes have already set me off on a list of things to add/fix about the current version of The Trendsetter.

For reference:

1. A party-like scene with Brandon's [the protagonist's] family, particularly drawing into contrast his problems with his family. Because of this, I also have to...

2. Create Brandon's little sister. One of those parts that could blow everything else right out of the water... sadly, I have no idea how to write an age 16-18 year old girl, and not a lot of ways to study them without seeming even creepier. On the up side, though creepier-still, Kyle tells me he'll have no problem finding an 18 year old who could pass for 16, which is bound to be helpful, whether the movie is made or not. This will be one of the bigger challenge of the new draft, since I already have a pretty good idea of his parents.

3. More with Tess. The problem with having a movie about an ex-girlfriend is really establishing why her being an "ex" is so significant. Plus, there's so many rich characters in this thing already, I'm worried about belittling her impact on Brandon. One scene will be needed at least, and while I have an idea, I'm just not sure yet...

4. Fix the pacing. Not that the pacing's bad, but right now, the script takes place over two days, and to fit in another visit with Tess, and the big family party scene, this will have to take place over a slightly larger time-line. I dread this worst of all, because there's not much creative to this aspect of it -- it's just changing this here, and that there, so it opens to a longer timeline. The slightest typo will make the script seem like an idiot wrote it, though, so it's delicate, annoying work.

And those are the biggies. There are probably more I haven't thought about, and Kyle keeps telling me to stay chill and away from it for a bit longer. But I've already gotten that twinge to get back to it, especially as the general excitement for the project builds.

Furthermore, I'm looking for as many readers for the previous draft as possible, since any note or comment might help me breakthrough and finish the damn thing. I mentioned earlier about sending a note to Lex Friedman, since I'd largely based Faye off of her, and not only did I actually do it [man, I thought I was more of a coward], but she actually offered to take a look at it. It would be neat to get her involved, even if it was just to get to know her a little better -- something I never really got to do at Bennington.

When I get to that next draft, I'm going to do a "thank you" list of everyone who took a look.

Other things... spent last night and this morning pouring over my friend Casey's screenplay "Into the Great Wide Open." It's not about Tom Petty, but it is really good. Don't know what they're teaching him up at that film school of his [Re: AFI], but he's really kicking ass.

There's a little more to post about, but I promised Casey I'd call him with my notes ASAP, and I should really get to that. Especially since the house phone just freed up.

All told, the wind seems to be shifting a little. Not a lot. But a little.

More later.

Dave and Carrie.

• Sunday, January 4, 2009 2 comments
I may have mentioned, somewhat offhandedly, that two of my very close friends, Dave Humphreys and Carrie Kirk, recently announced their engagement to our little group of friends. This is, of course, spectacular news, and I've been trying, quite unsuccessfully, to find something poignant and beautiful to say about it here. I think, perhaps, in the same sense Carrie told me that her first response to Dave's proposal was "Are you serious?" I too am struggling with the reality of it all.

This is expected. I've known Dave for quite some time, and not to be guilty of...shall we say, dividing my friends up into different sorts of categories, I find that those closest to me are the ones who have marriage as one of the farthest things from their mind. But I am seriously reconsidering that assumption, as I've known Dave possibly the longest of any of my dearer friends [since middle school, actually] and he now not only has the distinction of being my oldest friend, but also, for taking this next great step into adulthood, my bravest as well. And I can think of no more admirable thing to be brave about than this, because for as long as I've known Dave, I've never seen him be quite so complete, so centered, so comfortable, as he is when he is with Carrie. I think it speaks to how well they go together that nothing seems odder to me these days than to encounter one without the other, and the thought of them making this commitment to each other is like finding some rare instance of balance in this universe.

I'd go so far as to say they go together like...well, Dave and Carrie and flat soda. Which, they'll get, if they remember the trip to Chicago, and my first prolonged experience with them both in tandem.

Good times.

I wander. This past New Years, my two friends' ability to surprise me came again, in full force, when, as Justin and I were leaving the party, Dave asked us to be groomsmen. Justin, who thinks far better on his feet than I, offered an immediate yes, while I, totally caught off guard, obeyed the screaming impulse in my head to "Stall them!" and tried to collect myself. Thankfully, it didn't take long, and despite my stumbling, I gladly and honorably accept what can only be described as one of the more flattering moments in my life.

I could go on, but there is so little artfulness in me to properly describe feelings I'm having for Dave and Carrie, and in the spirit of whoever said it first, likely said it better, I end with a reflection on love, true love, and hope it makes it back to them graciously.

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. "

-- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116.

About me.

0 comments
Broken? Well, yes, sometimes I think so.

This is difficult, because this is not what the blog is for, but I feel I have to address it somewhere, as it's rattling too hard around in my head for me to get any peace.

If someone asked me how I saw myself, and I wasn't up to lying, I'd probably say "broken." Or rather, "busted," a word Anna [innocently] introduced me to, which I find particularly appealing here because it not only means damaged, but also ugly, even sometimes abhorrent. It also pleases me, in some small way, to use a relatively shallow term to describe something I feel so personally -- I once tried to use it for a small project I was working on, a movie idea that wasn't much of an idea at all, really, just two pages of notes, and a lot of scribbling in the margins. While "Busted" the project never got off the ground, the idea, the new definition of the word has stuck with me strongly, so strongly, that rather than using it in the physical sense, I identify with it in a more figurative sense. A mental sense, I suppose, which strikes me as a contradiction of terms.

I'm wandering. The point is, I feel busted, broken. And its hard for me to feel that way, not just because it's hard to feel that way, which it is, but because I don't really think I'm justified in feeling that way. There was never a single blow that destroyed me, I never felt anything I would equate to a truly, epically tragic loss. Yes, my father drank. Yes, my parents got divorced. No, I never truly found a groove with my stepfather. Yes, I've had my heart broken a few times. Sure, I've lost a loved one or two. I'm twenty-three, for God's sakes. Odds said some of these things had to happen. But none of it was uncommon, and no blow struck me down completely. I was always loved. I have friends. I am not William Maxwell -- I have never been devastated.

But I still feel the way I do. Busted. And it's annoying, because isn't it so cool to be "tortured," another angry young man. I have so much more respect for the man who laughs. And I'm afraid, afraid I took this "identity" upon myself, because of my time spent in nineties, when apathy was cool, because of my hero from Aberdeen, because of all those Gin Blossoms songs that painted a romantic picture of heartache and defeat.

I hope, sometimes pray, this isn't the case. That feeling like this wasn't a choice, isn't a choice as some would tell me. At least, if it were thrust upon me, it wouldn't have to be my fault, only my problem, a much larger comfort than most would think. But I have time to split these hairs. To think about why I feel so bad, so often, and feel worse for it.

Perhaps I am a strange factory reject, one that came off the assembly line with the plastic not molded quite right -- but passed too loose of an inspection, only to be that child's toy who's head turns differently than the rest, who can't quite stand without being leaned against the others. Disappointing, but not enough to discard.


I suppose that could make it clinical. There would be some comfort in that, I suppose, though I don't know that I'd be willing to medicate it away. I don't know why, though. Sometimes I think me is supposed to be me, even if that means being depressed. Does that mean I don't want to be better? So not only could I have caused this, but I also might not want it to go away?


Maybe it's just a phase. Or an affectation. But it feels too overreaching, too real, and it colors everything I remember. I can't find joy in happy times, oh, sure, I can think back to a conversation, or a friendly smile, or an accidental midnight rendezvous, and I smile. And then I feel like my heart is breaking. And I don't know why.

Perhaps it is as melodramatic as I treat it -- perhaps nothing can stay beautiful, and nothing is good or perfect. When I was younger, I had a few perfect memories, one, about a cabin, possibly my first memory, where I burned myself while making marshmallows and fell out of bed, but found ultimate comfort for the first time from both of my parents. Aware, not only of the world, but of the safety that came instinctively before I could recall... anything. And being taken outside, under the stars by them [sometimes Mom, sometimes Dad, sometimes both -- I never remember it exactly the same], and finding there was no hurt that could not be healed by the arms of those you love around you. Years later, I'd find out that very night was the beginning of the end of my parent's marriage, and as much as I'd like to be better than that, my perfect memory was never the same. It hurt to touch again.

Oh, and that, in case you're wondering, is not my origin story. There are several other instances like this, some predating that ruination, some after it -- toast sneezed on a dashboard, an awkward kiss, a mix-up at an airport gate, a graduation. All perfect memories. All painful for me to take out of their boxes, especially when I need them the most.

Again, I'm wandering.

The point, if there is one, is that I am up again at 7:00, and despite being oh-so-close to slipping away to dreamland, there is no sleep for me tonight. And that is disappointing, because part of me thought all these odd hours and erratic naps, as well as the return of my nightmares and the insomnia, was because of the script [Re: The Trendsetter], and my compulsion to get it done. My process has always been hard on me. But no, I am exhausted, and while there is still work to be done on the script, I feel satisfied with how it is at the moment. A kind of finished. And yet I'm not sleeping. So I am, again, annoyed, and sad. Because this is not that, it's what it has always been. That busted feeling.

The upside is, sleep will come. I'll pass out or black out before it's over, no worries there. And I have a new project, my next quarter-life script, which yes, I know, I'm doing to death. But god dammit, I'm not good enough yet to go with anything but my strengths.

So next up is "Assisted Living"... which is probably going to be a comic, since in my head I can see the cover and Page 1, but honestly, I think I might work it just as well as a pilot or a film. Decisions, decisions. Does anyone have Alan Moore on speed-dial? I suppose it could be more than one before I'm done. But one thing at a time.

And yes, "Assisted Living" sounds a lot like it'll deal with old people too, which it looks like it might, I'll also be up front and admit "Reading Turgenev" might be more than just a fleeting influence on the final work. And if anyone wants to beat me to combining all those things, I welcome you to try. Three hours in, and even I'm thinking I'm crazy. And that I have a million-dollar idea.

If I can make it work. We'll see.

More later. I have something far more upbeat to share.

Cheers.

Happy birthday, Kiddo.

• Thursday, January 1, 2009 1 comments
And a happy New Year to everyone too.

Another odd holiday in this ever-stranger year. Looks like when this posts I'll be at Dave's doing the annual New Years celebration I've hosted the past four years. Most have been great, one went horribly, horribly awry [Optimus Prime ran over a cat, and apparently, dreams can fit in a dog house]...

Generally speaking, I'm against resolutions. The idea of picking one time a year to make promises to yourself and others, in some quest for self-betterment, well... it just implies the need for betterment, doesn't it? And in what world should we admit such weakness? Why not just call China up, while we're at it, and explain to them how our greatest weakness is that ever expanding world-debt that's just begging to be bought up...

Hm. I fear I've said too much.

Suppose I could make a few. Got to get that hard drive cleaned up and straightened out, once and for all, so all the porn and the music has it's place, and iTunes can stop whining every time I move a file. New headphones. Got to get that iPod filled up again.

Need to finish "The Trendsetter" -- really make that intolerable monster into a feature. But it's a beloved monster, isn't it, Bella? Kyle has already messaged me a few possibilities, and I've spent the day rolling them over in my head. It's amazing how the slightest feedback seems to rejuvenate my interest and creativity. I think I need an assistant. A secretary? Is that sexist?

Should find an alternative to Firefox, and to AIM. Trillian seems the best alternative to the latter... AIM's dug its spiny tendrils so deep into this computer I can only imagine how nasty excising it will be. Firefox, I will admit, is hard to see go -- but the damn thing chews up CPU so bad with its add-ons and such, I'm even considering Opera. *Shudders*

"Sort life out" should probably be on here. We'll put it as a tentative addition. Some shit shouldn't be rushed.

Get back to "The Familiar." She deserves to be finished too.

Badger Sam into doing a new comic with me. [Happy Birthday, kiddo!]

Get started on "Beyondo" projects [Re: Bride of Beyondo, Kid Beyondo]. Because those still just sound like fun.

Find other artists to work with. As a matter of fact, if you're reading this, and know someone who draws, or draw yourself and want to do a comic or some other kind of foray into graphical literature, e-mail me. Or get them to e-mail me. Or show me where to find their stuff so I can e-mail them.

Finish off that Joshi. Because really, I should have gotten to all that ages ago. Jesus.

And finally, most importantly, new ideas, greater ideas, more follow-through, and... a promise to this blog to not abandon it, when life picks up or doesn't.

Let's be honest -- this thing was a hard sell from the beginning. Few people could look at this blog and not see it as the masturbatory ramblings of a semi-creative manic depressive. And it's not like there aren't plenty of those on here. No, to stand this blog at all, I think you either have to believe in me very sincerely, or swallow the "production diary" conceit unquestionably. Otherwise, this really isn't much different than the millions or so other blogs out there that give nothing back to the iota of space they pollute on the internet.

That being said, I like having this blog. It's useful to me, to see where I've been, and to talk about where I'm going, and I think I walk the fine, acceptable line between too much information and rambling psychosis. It's also helpful because it's always here, particularly at four or five in the morning where I can't sleep and the fear has gripped me to the point of panic and self-loathing. That's a commitment that I've yet to get from, well, anyone, and just the act of sitting here, typing something up, laying out all the priorities or bitching a little lets me find the center again. So for that, it's a wonderful tool, and one I plan to keep.

Much as tonight is the celebration of the New Year, it is also, in my mind, the celebration of three + months of toiling here, and the 15-20 posts I manage a month, I am pleased. Would I like it to be everyday? Absolutely, and I have that to shoot for, but I have surpassed my own expectations in my commitment to this blog, and I can only hope I can keep with it. I think I actually get pleasure from this. Onward, and upward.

My hope is to find other places to snake the Mojo Wire. Importing it to Facebook will likely be the next step, but is there more? I'll look into it. The reasons for this expansion is largely, unsurprisingly, for the attention -- for finding people who will care. But there's also, I think, a greater possibility in all this, that maybe someone else out there who's creative, and isolated, might be able to use what I'm doing as a template, and find the same use for this that I have.

Then again, I'd probably have to keep at this for many more years before anything that redeeming might happen. Ah, that selflessness and selfishness were less than four letters from one another.

I have a few regulars. I've found a use for my soapbox that I don't entirely loathe myself for. That's a win, or at least a television serial "we still have two seasons left" draw. And I'll take that.

Some people who need thanking. John, and Justin, and Glen, all of whom served as examples that a blog doesn't have to be a whorish-shrine to hubristic self-importance. Sam, who's helped me vent. Ian, for assuring me this doesn't suck, and the book. Kyle, for "The Trendsetter." Anna, for the inspiration. Andrew, for something to listen to while I'm posting. Hillary, for the headphones, which have suddenly made listening to something all the more interesting. Ally, for "Dr. Beyondo" and Bruce Lee. Laura, for Calamity and Tana Cash. Carrie, for the 9x9's. Hunter, for the justification of the dream. The Gin Blossoms and Kaki King. The Motor City Machineguns. The Chinese Take-out place that's down the street from me. Sure I've missed a few.

Happy New Year, folks. Shalom.