Thursday, February 22, 2018

Archived for Posterity...

Late again. Latest one yet... 2017. Most eventful year for me since 2013. But in a good way.

...Alright. So, left J.D. Young, but for reals this time. No going back. Moved away from Tulsa. Moved to Pocola, just outside Fort Smith, AR, where I live with Felicity, Spuds, and our two cats, PRNDL and Clutch. Bought a house. Work nights at a casino. Exciting.

Still sporadically writing. Did a short story, did a new script, doing a novelization of said script. Full Noon is on hold, but all-new project Secrets We Keep should be filming next month. Mint In Box has been accepted into the Mountain of Laughs comedy festival; Felicity and I will be attending. Should be fun.

Things are going well. I don't know, I thought I'd go into this blog post with a lot of wild enthusiasm, as seen in previous years, but it seems more a time of sober reflections. It's been a good year, but a busy year, and the coming year looks to be just as busy. I'm tired, and in need of rest.

Hopefully I'll post again before next year...

...oh, and The Wretched is still available on Amazon; get your copy today!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Wretched Novelization

Full Noon is currently on hold (as is the way with my projects), but the novelization for The Wretched is finally out for the world to see.  Check out Amazon today to get your copy of the paperback or the ebook.  As a bonus, if you get the paperback, you get the ebook for free!  Head on over and get yours today!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Full Noon, Update 1

As promised a couple of posts ago, I'll be using this blog to keep the world updated on the production of Full Noon.  So: preproduction is underway on Full Noon, a comedy/horror feature film written by myself, my girlfriend Felicity, and her two friends Leota and Ashley.  I'll also be directing, while my co-writers will star.  We've got a script, we've got a budget, and God willing, we'll have a movie this summer.

We're currently in the early stages of securing funding.  A grant/pitch contest didn't pan out, so it looks like Kickstarter is in our future.  Until that happens, I'm going through and storyboarding the film, which is what a responsible director does anyway...

Be on the lookout for future updates, including our fundraising demo and trailer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mint In Box

It's out, everybody!  Mint in Box is here!  Check it out now, and if you've enjoyed yourself, please give it a thumbs up and share it along for others to enjoy.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Archived For Posterity...

       So, this is a little late...
       Year five of my state of the human.  Wow.  I'm sure twenty years from now I'll look back on this and think, "I remember blogger... I wonder if there's anyway to access that old content.  Anyway..."  Anyway.  Updates on what was mentioned last year: Still at J.D. Young, printing away.  Still have the dog.  Still trying to lose weight, but back up to 291.  Still intermittently editing EHUD, while Dear Sir is on hold.  Haven't sold any short stories either.  In fact, all of the writing is on hold.  Except...
       Screen writing.  I've written and directed (and starred in!) a short entitled Mint in Box.  See that poster up there?  That's it.  And that's my girlfriend Felicity up there; we've been going steady for over a year now, and the plan is for me to move down with her in the next few months.  After the move, I'll be starting a wonderful adventure with her: Writing and directing my first feature film.  Co-written by and starring Felicity and some of her friends, Full Noon is a low-budget (low-low, what some would call no-budget) horror film that we're looking to Kickstart for about $5,000.  More on that as it develops.  On this production, I'll remember that I have a blog, and keep it updated.  Turns out, Felicity has a passion for special effects makeup, and will be creating our creature and giving everyone wounds.
       Okay, anything else... I'm starting to go bald; the front is thinning.   My grandfather died last year at the age of 89.  I just got back from Las Vegas with Felicity; we saw Evil Dead the Musical, and it was great.  The Wretched, the local film for which I wrote the novelization, went through reshoots, and I got to be involved this time.
       So 2017 is looking good thus far.  I look forward to what it may bring, and wish all my readers (some of you must exist, right?) a good year as well....

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mint In Box: The Trailer

I realize now, as I'm about a week away from release, that I should have been blogging my whole experience with making the short film Mint in Box.  Springing from one mass brainstorming session in May of 2016, this film marked not only my return to filmmaking (my first passion, even above writing), but also my most ambitious project to date.  What was meant to be a ten minute quickie ballooned to over twenty, and that was even after I cut an entire scene.  Another first: my first deleted scene.
To do some catch-up: This is the story all about how Salman's life got flipped upside down.  Let me take a minute--just sit right there--and I'll tell you all about how he committed unlawful seizure.  Written for three actors--myself in the lead, brother Caleb as my kidnap victim, and girlfriend Felicity in a secret role, the film was ambitious and, dare I say it, funny.  In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have cast myself in the lead, at least not while I was the only qualified cameraman.  Having to set up framing and then jump back in, hoping the shot was in focus was a huge pain.  Also, having to work around everyone's disparate schedules--Caleb lives in Texas, Felicity damn near in Arkansas--meant that we only got a few shots with everyone in frame, and most shots were done solo, giving the work a rather disjointed feel.  Finally, sister Aubri--the tentative composer--dropped out of the film late in production, forcing me to scramble for music.  Fortunately, the very talented Eric Meyer stepped up, and so this is my first film to feature an original score.  Overall, I think the whole thing worked out.
As I put last minute touches on the film before release, please enjoy this trailer cobbled together from the deleted scene and pieces from the rest of the movie:

And finally, for some of the behind-the-scenes content I should have been blogging all along.  Here is a before and after shot from scene 7, showing the glaring mistake of a script left on my leg, followed by the cleanup.  This is but a number of FX shots that went into the film--all but one of which were the result of carelessness on my part.  Oops...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Diary of a Man-Child 5/3/2016

     His sister was going into the kitchen, doing a little bit of light dish-work before their brother came home from college.  As she was going, he called out to her, "Hey, make me a sandwich!"  Rather than take it as a joke, she became incensed, and attacked.  Her weapon of choice: a pillow.
     He retreated partway up the stairs as the confrontation began.  Perhaps the high ground would prove to be his friend.  "Typical woman!" he crowed, as she pummeled him with a pillow.  "Typical woman; things get tough, and she starts a pillow-fight!"
     Rather than take his continued casual sexism as a joke, she became angrier.  Abandoning him and her pillow, she took up his lightsaber and flicked the handle to extend the blade.  Nothing happened.  She tried again.  Nothing continued to happen.
     "Typical woman!" he crowed.  "Can't even use simple technology!"
     So saying, she reversed the lightsaber, extended the blade, and proceeded to beat him.
     "Mom!" he called in an act of desperation.
     "Get back in the kitchen!" mom ordered.  His sister perforce complied.
     "That's right," he said, "go back to the kitchen!"
     She did not; instead, she returned to the steps and proceeded to beat him silly.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Archived For Posterity...

     And thus begins year four of my annual "State of the Human" address...
     To start with, let's close out business from last year.  Still at J.D. Young, printing away.  Still have the dog.  Still trying to lose weight, though now I'm down into the 280s.  Still shopping EHUD around (heck, still editing it from time to time).  Did finish Dear Sir to a workable state, though I haven't started querying yet.  Compulsively Yours is on hold.
     The biggest news, though, is on the relationship front.  That fellow writer I mentioned last year?  The one who live a hundred miles away?  Her name is Felicity, and as of Valentine's day, we will have been officially dating for three months.  She's awesome.  Anything beyond that is private, so... go away.
     No, don't go away; focus on other stuff.  I started writing Sheol: Place of the Dead, the sequel to EHUD and the book that started it all.  It's still in development.  The big news on the writing front is for a book that isn't even an original concept, and which might benefit from some backstory.  Okay, here goes:
     Last summer, some friends of mine directed their first feature film, a horror movie entitled The Wretched.  I was supposed to help out on it, but work got in the way, and in the end, my only contribution was my microphone.  Still, I'm listed as assistant producer on imdb, so I figured, "Why not earn that credit?"  To that end, I got in touch with the writer/director, and am now writing the official novelization.  Yeah.  Look for it on Amazon this summer.  Definitely not for kids...
     Other than that... not much.  Still trying to get published, still trying to get Tales from the Forgotten wastes produced (anyone remember that?).  But now love is in the air, and I'm looking forward to a happy and healthy 2016.  So long everybody, and see you next year! (unless I post something before then.  Got to actually start publishing stuff on this blog...)

Friday, May 1, 2015

EHUD: Push for Publication

     Greetings Facebook friends, loyal readers, and Google advertising bots!  The time is coming nigh for me to once more query agents for my novel EHUD: Prelude to Apocalypse.  The last round of querying was... underwhelming, to say the least.  Out of maybe eighty letters sent out, seventy resulted in rejections, and the rest were left unanswered....  Which is why, before I start querying again, I'm launching the Push for Publication initiative!
     So, what does that mean for me?  Revisions.  Tighten up chapters, trim word count, the usual.
     And what does that mean for you?  So glad you asked...
     No writer exists in a vacuum--every piece of literature is built upon the comments and critiques of dedicated pre-readers.  And this is what I ask of you all: As I prep for revisions, please read my book.  Tell me what's wrong with it, tell me what's right with it, tell me what you would do in my place.  I've done all I can on my own: now I need YOU to lend a hand.
     For those who bravely take the plunge and agree to read, I am asking for some rather deep insights.  This isn't a spelling and grammar run; those things are important, but they are the final polish on a manuscript, and if there are more fundamental flaws in EHUD, those need to be addressed first.
     What I'm looking for, in order of importance, is this:
          1. Is the plot sound?  Are there portions that make no sense?  Do scenes logically flow from one to the next?
          2. Are the characters sound?  Are they grating?  Do they act consistently?  Are they downright cliche?
          3. Is the writing sound?  Is the verbiage so verbose as to be opaque to a casual bibliovore?  Is bad, or dumb sound?   
          4. Okay, is there any blatantly wrong spelling grammar?  Don't worry about it too much, but if it pops out, make a note!

     If you've read this far and are still interested, please contact me on Facebook or comment below.  The book is available in both .doc and EPUB formats, though the first paragraph is different between the two versions.  After I've heard back from everyone willing to help, I'll incorporate your critiques into the new revision and, hope against hope, get an agent out of it.  And hey, you'll get your name listed in the acknowledgements!  Sweet!
     Thanks in advance to anyone who's read this, and especially to those willing to read.  Together, we can make the Push to Publication! (though really, I'm the only one who gets anything out of it...)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Archived For Posterity...

        Okay, year three of my "State of the Human" address... One day late.  Dang it!  Okay, here we go...
        On the work front, I'm back at J.D. Young, the printing company I worked for through high school and college.  I went back shortly after my last "State of the Human."  By about April or so I got moved to the print department, and now spend my time babysitting robots and troubleshooting paper jams.  It's dull, but I have lots of time to write, so I won't complain...
        Speaking of writing: I've been sending out EHUD to agents, and despite several revisions and versions of my query letter, I have yet to get any interest.  So, until I have some other publishing credits to my name, EHUD is effectively dead...  The querying process is also why I never put the promised last chapter on this blog.  Apparently, that might constitute as "previous publication," and would be looked upon unfavorably by agents.  In December '14, I finished the first draft of Dear Sir, You Shall Taste My Blistering Fury.  I haven't started editing it yet, but look to start in April.  Hopefully by the end of this year, it'll be done and ready for querying.  In the mean time, I've finished a short story, which I will shortly begin peddling to online magazines, and have begun my third novel, Compulsively Yours, based on my short film of the same name.  (this one.)  It can be considered a loose prequel to EHUD.  Yes, I'm crazy like that.
        On the romance front...  That girl I mentioned last year?  Didn't work out.  Never ended up meeting her.  However, I did meet someone else, which led me into perhaps the most surreal period of my life.  For a period in late summer of 2014, I had my very own manic pixie dream girl.  Yeah, it was weird.  I'd known her for a while through church, then suddenly she was bursting into my life, challenging me to break my boundaries, get out of the house, live!  We went out to late-night pubs, we went line dancing, we went to an outdoor movie and got drunk.  It was amazing!  But then it turned out she had a boyfriend, and things got weird, and we drifted apart... though we still occasionally talk.  Right now I've just started with a fellow writer who lives over a hundred miles away.  Maybe it'll turn into something, maybe not.  Who knows?
        Okay, okay, what else...  Oh!  Okay: I've started running and weight lifting.  Still can't seem to dip below 291 (I don't know why, but that is the oddly specific weight I maintain month after month), but I'm slowly getting healthier.
        And saving the best for last: I done got a new dog: Spuds.  (See top of post)
        And that... is the State of the Human going into 2015.  Goals for next year's update?  And agent and a girlfriend, maybe with some publishing credits.  Time will tell...