21 April 2016

The Release.

Holy shit guys.  I did it.

It's a weird feeling, but after four long years, we've released our web series.  I want to say more but I don't know what.  It's hard to express this sensation.  It's weird to see it finally out there.  I'm proud of it.  I'm momentarily satisfied.


This counts as writing because I wrote and directed the series.  I remember the first time I every wrote something (not homemade) that was performed in a space.  Its equal parts terrifying, cringe-worthy, and incredible to see your words brought to life by talented people.  There's some of that here.  Its different because I've stared at these images, listened to these words over and over and over again.  That inherently loses some of its magic and drowns you in such a microcosm that eventually you can't tell if what you've done is good or not.  Separation is hard.

I'm not sure I'm there.  But I do think that what I've created isn't half bad.  For now that's enough.

Now I've let it out into the world.

19 April 2016

Dashed-off Update

Okay, I recognize that I haven't written in a little bit. While this is regrettable and my story waits quietly on the sidelines, my negligence has not been due to laziness. Rather the opposite.

The web series I wrote and directed, GruntSlingers, begins on Thursday this week.

I have been scrambling - finishing reviewing audio, last touches, creating the credits, building and taking live the website, creating a press packet, and frankly single-handedly re-launching our social media campaign (there was a lot more support and involvement three years ago - ha!). It's overwhelming and everything I think I'm close to getting there I find fifty more things that need doing. Applying for an IMDB page, creating a countdown to our launch on Facebook. Fixing our broken Twitter account. Trying to build buzz and attract new followers so that someone will watch this thing. Let's not even discuss jumping through the rotating fire hoops that are rendering, compression, codecs and color management. It's a good time to be unemployed (not really, but I can certainly dedicate time to this thing).

Bright side: learning plenty. Haha.

That said, why am I doing all of this? For one I owe it to all the people who helped with GruntSlingers. Most donated their time, money, and incredible skill to a guy who had a whim to create this. It's also one of the most challenging things I've ever done. It isn't as perfect as I want - I know that. But I do think it's good. I grew as an artist and am finally putting something out into the world. That thought is terrifying, but I have to remember that:
a) this is what a real artist does, and someday I'd like to be one of those.
b) no matter how it is received, if I am happy with it, that's the most important aspect. And I am. It was created out of love.

The other reason I'm putting so much work into this is that I hope it will provide an opportunity somewhere. I can't shape that because I don't know what something like this could bring. Very best scenario would be the ability to create a second season, pay people this time around and make an even more polished addition to the canon. But who knows? Nothing may. And then I'll have to write the novelization instead.

My point is, I will soon return to writing. But for the moment you should consider checking out GruntSlingers!

11 April 2016

On putting it out there, on letting it go.

The hustle and frustration.   Sometimes I'd like to think that it is because I overextend myself.  And I do.  I commit to anything interesting, anything exciting and creative.  I convince myself it is where I need to be, it will help me center, to focus on the things I love.  And it does.  But for a moment, and then it falls into the piles of other ruinous attempts that are left for the new and exciting things to commit to now.  Followthrough.  That's the real rub, isn't it?  Today is an obvious one, because it is reminding me that I haven't written in two days.  Failure.  I think about it, I work on it in my head.  But that is not enough.  It isn't.  Because I work on things in my head ALWAYS.  Those things don't translate into reality.  Is it fear that I am laden with?  Too careful, too critical, not open, but simply delusional in imagining my offerings to the world - if only the gatekeeper would let them free.  I am the gatekeeper.  Better to not know, right?

Fear.  Of rejection. Of acceptance.  Of criticism. Of the confirmation of a lacking self worth. Of indifference.

It doesn't matter.  It shouldn't matter. We live in a world who cares for a hot minute, and that's all they can afford.  The next hot minute is only a hot minute away.  Worst case scenario is it doesn't matter. And that doesn't matter either.  And I don't think I can take that.

08 April 2016

Blue Skies

As I mentioned yesterday, I belong to a group started by a fellow local writer.  While I haven't been the most active in the group, they post a lot of pieces, writing prompts and opportunities.  Yesterday the guy in charge had arranged an actual meet up at a local library.  The turn out was modest, but good.  As indicated by the "blue sky" arrangement, it was a bit of a brainstorming session about how we wanted this group to move forward.

We intend to have regular meet ups, to read, critique and give feedback to the works people are on pursing.  It was neat to meet the others and talk craft for a bit.  The most valuable aspect though is the writer friend who set it up - he had a ton of great ideas and opportunities he has found for writers.  The networking aspect alone will be incredibly valuable.

I love that I have both of these writing groups and this is just another step on my journey toward making this more than a hobby.  I may be putting forth some of the proposed writing exercises in this blog.

By way of reassessment, I set a date for my web series to air - what this means is that as it goes forward, my next big focus really is A.N.  I tend to collect projects, but the last year I have really striven to finish them.  I wrote and put out a 1980's Murder Mystery, I've finished the web series I wrote and directed, GruntSlingers, amongst a host of smaller things.  But the most important is my writing.  I would like (per those insane goals I mentioned in the flagship post of the writing blog conversion) to have this book done in the next couple of weeks.  This draft, I should say.  It will be as good as I can get it, and then I can solicit alpha and beta reader feedback.

It's exciting.

Also, I need a job.  Stress.

07 April 2016

Thoughts from Better Writers

Today there is a physical meet up for an online writing group I belong to. I'm quite looking forward to it. Report forthcoming. 

As I keep slogging through this revision, I felt I might keep myself inspired and the blog post brief today with a few quotes from better writers than myself. Anyone who knows me is well aware that one of my favorite authors of all time is Jack Kerouac (even if my stuff is nothing like his), so naturally I started there.  Enjoy! 

"It ain't whatcha write, it's the way atcha write it."
—Jack Kerouac

To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard."
—Allen Ginsberg

"Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal."
—William S. Burroughs

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
—George Orwell

06 April 2016

Absentee Creative Activism

Picking up is the name of the game.  Although that makes it sound simple when you stumble. In reality it is a lot more like a game of 52 Card Pickup.  I slacked slightly in blogging, and have had a couple of set backs in my job searches.  All in all it's been a slightly frustrating few days.  This doesn't mean I haven't been working (isn't dreaming sometimes working?) (yes, but it is also an excuse) on A.N.  I have.

There's a technological aspect of the story I had to deal with; I've been blatantly ignoring it.  It is a necessary component to the final act, however.  In general terms, I knew what it was and how it worked, but I hadn't mapped out specifics because in my heart-of-hearts I was desperately afraid that exploring the ramifications of such a large technology would completely unwind the story I was telling.  It's cowardice, but after so much work, having to scratch your tale because you didn't really think something through is paralyzing.

Truly, I could write a whole "idea story" based just upon this tech, but it's a background piece to what is actually happening.  So one of the days I didn't write, when I couldn't get myself to the computer to plink our more draft fixes, I sat and mapped out what I lovingly refer to as "the HUB."

Any guesses what happened?

As I explored the idea - how it came to be, how it is continuously used, the division within the departments that monitor it, etc., I found all sorts of really cool details that didn't destroy my story.  On the contrary, they helped it make more sense.  I honestly didn't expect that.  The background I found in my technology allows me to go back through the story and foreshadow the final act in a much more organic and satisfying way.

It is moments like this that make me love writing.  There are moments when you're not sure if your subconscious is a genius who sees things way before dumb-normal-you does, or if there are muses floating around out there who blast you in the face with inspiration once in a while.  Any writer (any artist probably) will tell you there are times when things just burble up and you're not sure where they even came from.  I look at a passage I wrote and am blown away; please understand this isn't ego, instead it is a sense of awe.  A strange sensation where things you had never thought of burst from you, and words ink themselves on the paper of their own accord.  It's like touching the sun for a very brief moment.

That happens like, 2% of the time for me.  The other 98% is forcing myself to just work through, write and rewrite until it shapes up.  But man the high of those 2%s.

Anyway, my resolution here is to pick up the deck of cards and push toward my goals again.  Enough failures and you'll find a success.