Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The blog experiment has been hit and miss all of a sudden. These past few days off, I actually wrote less than I believe I would have if I had been working. Perhaps under the mistaken belief that I had plenty of time. Yet here I am, the night before going back to work, and no real writing to show for it. I'm sure some part of me will rationalize it away by saying my brain was simply over-worked by the (unnecessary) strain I put myself under to finish the “Beta-Eden” script for Creepy #7.

I did, however, do some much needed organizing of my new writing space in the second bedroom. Not as many distractions in here as writing in the living room. Though I'm sure I'll find a few to make up the difference. I also got a lot of reading done, mostly Hellblazer. I'm reacquainting myself with John Constantine since I have some Hellblazer story pitches in mind, ones I'm actually quite excited about.

Who the hell I'll pitch them to, no idea. Maybe if I sell this latest script to Dark Horse, I can get enough street cred to get someone to take a look.

In the meantime, enjoy this meager OSP offering:

Moonlight reflected in the creature's scales as its serpentine tail broke the water's surface, arcing like a rainbow of a million silver sparks. (Spectrum 9; if it ain't broke... John Jude Palencar, pg 64)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Graphic disappointment

Some say the blood of countless religious wars turned the once verdant landscape of the land into a graveyard of sand with sun-bleached bones for epitaphs.   --(Just outta nowhere.)

I've been reading a lot of comics, mostly for research, but also desperate for some entertainment. On the research level, I'm pretty happy that I can take that and turn it into something. On the entertainment level, I'm sorely disappointed. I'm not gonna name names, but, damn!

I read stuff that was the product of lazy writing; 4-5 issue story arcs that read like they could have been written in a week or less. Padded stories, perhaps, to fill out a TPB. If you're under pressure form the publisher to produce X amount of issues to collect into a TPB, please make damn sure it's well-written. Don't pad it with boring filler and gratuitous full page spreads. Write a goddamn good story, regardless.

'Nuff said on that subject. I've got at least a four day weekend ahead of me. Nose, meet grindstone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dead folk sure can play the blues.

The skeleton fingers of the old bluesman plucked at the strings of the old steel guitar. The memory of the music hummed in the marrow of his bones. His body clicked and clacked like a marionette in rhythm with the tune. It was a catchy little dirge, of course. He needed no voice to express his pain. The pits of his skull where his eyes once were burned with the fires of Hell. Look deep enough into them, you'll see him down there, wailing and gnashing. 

Yeah, he sold his soul. But it was goddamn worth it. Damnation may be eternal...but so are the blues, man.
--(From Spectrum 9, once again. Eric Bowman image.)

Finished my re-write for the “Beta-Eden” script for Creepy and sent it off. Now just have to wait and see if they like it. Fortunately, despite my wife's lack of comic book storytelling knowledge, her writing skills still make her an excellent editor. She helped me trim down my exposition considerably. All in all, the story ended up better than I thought it would.

Now to get the second bedroom in order to turn into my new writing office. No more writing in the living room and scattering comics and papers all about. That'll make the missus happy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The old goat god sprinkled rose petals over the white flesh of the young girl. Each petal was a kiss that he dare not give her. The virgin priestess was not to be sullied. And his willpower was not to be tested. --(Spectrum 9, image by Daniel Horne.)

I spent a few hours tweaking and re-tweaking an eight page script for Creepy. I'm still not happy with the amount of exposition at the end, but there ain't no meat left on this horse to flog. I'm just gonna try and rationalize it as an homage to old-fashioned comic book villains telling the hero just why they are so evil :)

No more sci-fi for awhile, methinks. I can't wait to start the next project! One problem: too many choices! The short screenplay for a friend? Another short horror comic script? Put together more pitches? Argh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brick and mortal...


The old, brick buildings stood helplessly as one of their brothers burned. Grieving window shades were pulled down, and curtains closed their eyes. No sirens wailed to announce imminent rescue. There would be no phoenix from its ashes. Vampires of cold steel and soulless glass will rise in its place and slowly suck the rest of them dry, brick by brick.

There goes the neighborhood.

--(from an image in Spectrum 9, by Matt Dicke)

There wasn't an OSP entry yesterday because beer seemed more important at the time. I work a full time(ish) job that requires I get up a 4:30am, and I'm usually home by 7:30pm. That kind of schedule really doesn't lend itself to writing before or after work. The upside is that I don't always work full weeks, so I can write on days I don't work. Yesterday, I got home hot and sticky and sat down with a beer. And then the wife kindly brought me another beer. Yeah, no writing gonna get done after that. But I have today and tomorrow off, so no excuses.

Time to start the “Beta-Eden” rewrites...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alien Sex

Today's OSP:

The wasp tickled her lips as it pollinated her mouth with the wisdom of insects. She learned to sing with the cicadas, and to politely ask the mosquitoes to not bite her. --(Inspired by the cover of Greg Ruth's art book, “52 Weeks Project.”)

Finished a script for Creepy today. For such a simple concept, I had one hell of a time getting through it. It has more exposition that I'd like and I found myself agonizing over the amount of words, something that only slowed the process down. I had to fall back on writer's advice: Don't worry about getting it right, just get it written. Once I was was able to apply that mantra, it was embarrassing how quickly it was done. You mean I could have done that 3 or 4 days ago and already been in the rewrite process right now? I ain't gonna let that happen again.

I had sent Dark Horse two Creepy pitches. They liked both, but didn't take the one I was hoping they would, but this one's a fun little sci-fi tale, tentatively titled “Beta-Eden.” I think it hearkens back to some of the original Creepy/Eerie sci-fi stuff.  Sci-fi is a bit out of my realm of practice and experience, but I love a challenge.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The One Sentence Plan

So I'm gonna give this blog thing the ol' community college try. Figure if I'm gonna go around calling myself a writer, I should have some words to show in between actual writing jobs. That might be a whole lotta words. Some of those words may be introspective silliness, but hopefully there will be some nuggets of semi-precious metal in there somewhere.

I thought I'd start things off by getting back to a writing exercise that I found very useful as a young lad. Some of you creative types out there might find it a fun little challenge. Assuming, of course, anyone is reading this. I call it “OSP”—One Sentence Plan. It comes from being told by a writing instructor to write every single day, even if it's just one nonsensical sentence. But don't be lame and write something like “This is my one sentence today;” or self-referential journal pondering like “Gosh, I with this writer's block would crumble already.” And don't cheat yourself by pulling from something you've already written. That defeats the purpose.

The key is to keep it creatively interesting. If nothing leaps to mind in an acceptable timeframe, what works for me is to pick up an art book, find an image, and write a sentence about it. Of course, you are free to write more than one sentence. I found it would eventually evolve into paragraphs, even the occasional short story. But don't worry about trying to impress anyone. Just do it, no muss, no fuss, and then move on to your other creative chores. It's kinda like stretching your back when you wake up in the morning.

I'm gonna sign off on this entry with my OSP for the day:

Roman columns stood guard against the darkness that lay pressed at their backs as he slowly made his way to the rectangle of white light that awaited him. Things scraped in the shadows, like knives on stone. Yet it was the light that made a fire of fear in the pit of his stomach.

(Inspired by the cover to the Restoration Hardware catalog that came in the mail yesterday!)