Seattle Friday

Not much going on.

We got here. We checked in. We checked out the convention center, which the front desk tried to tell us was a mile and a half away, but was closer to a half a minute walk. Our boxes and booth weren't there yet, so here's hoping it all shows in time for me to set up prior to the show tomorrow.

Met up with Marz, and saw the sights. We went to the Space Needle (but stayed down on earth), and the Gehry designed Science Fiction Museum, but didn't make it past the gift shop. Then we went via monorail down to the wharf, and Pike St. Market, where we went to a comic shop (go figure) and ate dinner at a French restaurant. I had cassoulet, which had all sorts of meats I shouldn't be eating, but it was pretty damn good.

After that, we took the monorail back to the needle, and walked back to Marz's hotel. A quick drink with Aaron Lopresti and Frank Cho later and we've retired to our room at the Silver Cloud. Yeah, we have a giant plasma TV hanging on our wall. It's nice. Unfortunately, all the con folk are at the hotel we left from... Why they're not closer to the show, I don't know. But hey, at least I can roll out of bed whenever I want.

Anyhow, like I said, not much going on.


Emerald City Comicon

I'm off to Seattle in the morning for the Emerald City Comicon, hosted by the very kind Jim Demonakos.

I'll be bringing some books, some displays, and the guy that drew this:

See you there. Everyone else, be patient with me.

Deadlines Can be Murder

In fact, I've thought very seriously about murdering many creative types due to their inability to turn in work.

And yet, a simple aphorism from the always affable Rob Schwager has kept me on the straight and narrow:

Don't murder anybody.

Comic books aint worth possibly getting buggered in jail.

He just might be on to something.


Not Fired!

I've been sucking hard. (That's what she said.)

Honestly, my output, my commitment, and my work has not been there of late in terms of my writing. I've been so beaten down by work and life, that I didn't care about anything anymore. It got so bad, that after I tried to quit and then rededicated myself to the project because I was an idiot, I then did nothing. I tried to do many things, but the work wasn't coming. The words weren't there. So I made an alternate plan, calling for more assistance from the mighty Wohl, and saying I would get him X, Y, and Z. All I got him was E, for excuses. It was so bad that he had to light a fire under my ass, giving me a drop-dead of Thursday morning (a few hours from now) for getting what I promised in, or he would assume he should proceed without me.

Maybe some would call that dick, but I call that good editing. He knows I want to work on this book. He knows I want this under my belt. And he definitely knows how jazzed I am to be working with my artist. If anyone doesn't know, I'm on the book with Kody Chamberlain, and it's called Wight and Associates, out this Fall. I'll put up the promo piece here on the site, but it already appeared in the Zero-G Preview book. Anyhow, David threatened to take away what I wanted. And even though it took me until 2am to get it to him, I think it's in under the gun, unless there's a catastrophic e-mail failure or something.

Seriously though, tonight was probably the last night I expected to get any work done. I was tired, I was sad, I was uninspired. But I got off my ass and I wrote. And that's what writers do. They write. Simple as that.



It's like I'm making negative progress. As an admitted procrastinator with a deadline on the way, how is my idiot brain not getting this.

Write words. Turn in scripts. Get on with life.



Slaving Over a Hot Script

I have no idea how to make this not suck.

It's a bad premise for a comic. It's not visually appealing, there are too many characters, and the writer isn't experienced enough to make it work. He tries. He tries straight writing, beat breakdowns, whatever. There's no way to get around the fact that he's also spent hours staring at what is essentially a flashing cursor (although Final Draft's cursor often disappears).

The problem is that what I care about is not sucking, not telling a good story. And that's a major problem. Someone could tell a good story with this, it just isn't me, or at least it isn't the me of today. I wrote the original #2 in two days. That's the actual writing, not the thinking about, plotting, etc. Now I can't seem to make it any better, despite months having gone by. I think the first draft was done on November 19, the second on February 11. Yeah, I turned in a first draft on #3 in between as well, but shit...

Why can't I just hack this thing out and get it done? Why can't I make a single ounce of fucking progress. I'm tired of not getting any closer. Why does nothing inspire me?

The Definite Maybe: Movies - Is this Work?

The Definite Maybe: Movies - Is this Work?

I posted a quick preview of some movies based on trailers. It's not super indie-skewing (just a little), but I'm excited to be watching trailers and thinking about movies at all.

Operation Not Quitting - Phase One

I was a stupid idiot. I took a job, I wasn't happy with my own work, I procrastinated, then I tried to quit. I'm over it.

So now I need a new script that I can be happy with and that can let me move on to the next one by late Thursday night. The good news is, I've completely written the script twice before. This will officially be my third draft, but between all the treatments and revisions on that, I'll call it my unofficial fourth. So the good news is, I know how it starts, and roughly how it ends. The bad news is, it's been gutted. A scene I've had problems with in every version is now gone, leaving me with four empty pages before a pivotal scene happens after the now missing scene.

All in all, after throwing out everything I had problems with, I have eight pages of script already written. I may need to finesse to make fit with the new version and surrounding scenes, but I'm just over 1/3rd of the way there. Problem is, I'm 2/3rds out and a little unsure how much of the now missing scenes can be reworked and salvaged versus what I need to go completely original with. Made some notes tonight, but it's more pre-planning than planning. I think I can get it worked out in my head during the day tomorrow (or at least I hope), then get to some typing and maybe knock half of what's left out tomorrow.

The interesting thing is two of the new ideas I had today. One will strengthen the overall story, and the other, I'm not sure about... Could be a complete waste or a nice expansion of the narrative. It could go either way based on execution, which is exactly what I'm blanking on. Oy...

This isn't going to be easy. And it may not be great. But it will be better than it was (which I'm told wasn't terrible), and it will be done on time. I'm going to get some sleep now to ensure that this happens.


Finding a Voice

My biggest problem right now, in addition to having no time, not being very good, and possibly jumping ship on a project I've been embroiled in for some time, is that I have no idea who I want to be as a writer.

Most of the time I want to do gritty, hard-edged character-based stuff with a crime, con, or lay person caught up in something bigger vibe. But I often end up back with the really small, character-based relationship bullshit. Ostensibly every story I've ever written is about the end of some relationship we barely see, getting the hell out of dodge, and trying to cope with moving on. And every character is me at some stage of my past life or an imagined stage of my future.

I don't really have anyone I can pattern myself after. I alternate between wanting to be the serious Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson with smaller casts, anyone who is my flavor of the moment, a Kasdan, or today, Scott Frank. Is there a way to marry what I want to do, these intelligent crime stories wrapped with the shiny but tarnished bow of the anti-romantic comedy? Is merging the two how I finally come up with something original?

It's part of what has me torn about my latest spec non-project. I feel like from a character-based perspective, it's the best idea I've had in a while. The problem is, the B story, which is actually the A story of each individual episode is giving me problems. The setup is clever, ties into my even more clever title, and gives me worlds of possibilities. But all I can come up with, beyond the pilot, is incredibly dull. I see parts of the pilot so clearly. I see the set-up and the emotional arc and several potential endings that all serve the same purpose, but I have no idea what makes up the bulk of what's beyond that. This isn't a movie idea. It's not a done in one (or two hours, as it were) deal I can just tell and walk away from. It's a process for the characters, who will essentially never become whole again, no matter how close they get. This is the static nature of television. Now what's the story?

So I'm torn. And I don't know where anything is headed, or if anything will ever get written again. Other than blogs.


That Was Stupid

After another weekend spent suffering over the fact that I can't write for shit, or at least can't write my unannounced OGN with my super-talented artist, I told my editor/"co-writer" that maybe they should find someone to replace me.

Considering I'm unpublished, not very good, and not in the position to set myself up for future work by bailing on my first real gig, that probably wasn't the smartest of moves.

I've been really bummed since getting back from New York for a lot of reasons. It's been a tough two weeks and I've done a lot of reevaluating of my station in life. I think for the past several months, I put my eggs all in one basket. I decided to go full steam ahead with comics, and dedicate everything I was doing to it. Sure, I was going to work on those spec pilots in the background, but in 2 months it will have been a year since I graduated, and I haven't written so much as a title page for any of them. Hell, I'm barely watching movies as it is.

It would be fine if comics were the be all and end all of my universe. But the more I read, the less I like. And while my career is going great - no 22 year-old should be in the position I'm in - it's not the career I want for my life. I want to be a writer. I don't want to manage schedules and traffic art and be a babysitter. I'd be in a better position as a writer if I could finish anything. The problem is, I'm not writing what I want to. I said yes to two opportunities because I thought they were what I wanted so I could use them as stepping stones, but instead they've both become albatrosses. Artists hard at work telling stories I've grown out of favor with, and me scrambling to try and come up with something that will live up to my expectations and their skill.

I need to figure out what the hell I'm doing with my life, and I need to figure it out fast. This is a crisis. I need time to write, and time is the one thing I don't have. If I had money, I could have time, and then maybe I would actually write. I just wish I had something could believe in. Right now I don't believe in much. Not myself, not my ideas, and certainly not my writing. But I know all it would take is the right sentence. The right turn of phrase or combination words and I could kill myself all over again to make something happen.

People are defined by how they react to crises. How will I react to one of my own making? Who will I disappoint with my decisions?