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Archive for June, 2007

Writer’s Block

Before I got married, I had a bachelor’s party, the details of which shall remain vague, and not for the reasons you might think, thou foul-minded masses.

The Best Man, being a charming fellow as well as an extraordinary slacker, was very, very late in getting the invitations out for the event. To such an extent that I had several phone calls with him where I had to badger him to get off his kiester and get to it. I was in grad school at the time, and every free moment I had was spent writing, or trying to write, or thinking about writing, or reading other people’s writings.

So I’m on the phone with the Best Man, and I say, “You really have to get these invitations out.”

And he responds, saying, “I’ve got a note for myself about them right now, it’s taped to my computer, it says RFNA.”

And I said, “RFNA?”

“Right Fucking Now, Asshole.”

But I didn’t heart that.

I heard “Write Fucking Now, Asshole.”

And I took a piece of masking tape, and I wrote in big black block letters on it, WFNA. And I taped it to the front of the monitor of my Mac LC (yes, it was in the dark ages), so it was always visible above the screen, and every time I didn’t want to write, I saw it, and I wrote, goddamn it.

It wasn’t until much, much later, that I realized the misunderstanding.

A lot of people had very nice posts and very nice advice about how to deal with Writer’s Block after my previous post.

Here’s the thing: I don’t believe in writer’s block.

I believe that there are days when the job is hard, and there are days when it’s easier, but I do not believe there are days when it’s impossible. I do not — and frankly, cannot — believe that there is a condition that prevents all writing from occurring. This is certainly self-deceptive of me, I know, but I have to admit, I was surprised to see folks responding to my post and calling it writer’s block. I hadn’t even considered it.

So maybe that’s what it was. Maybe not. I mean, is having to consider what you’re going to write, is struggling to try and make it work or — God forbid — to try to make it good, writer’s block?

Or is that just, you know, writing?

I don’t know. But I know that I finished the script today, and I solved my problem by shifting two scenes around and expanding a third, and suddenly, it clicked, and I finished the outstanding 8 pages in two hours.

We’ll see what happens with the next script.

Some Days You Get the Bear

I am on Day-I-Don’t-Know-What of fighting with a Checkmate script.

Pages are coming out like frozen glue from an Elmer’s bottle right now. Everything I’m seeing in my mind’s eye is failing to execute on the page.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m now trying to analyze why this one is giving me such grief. Sometimes, when things go sour on the page, it’s because of a mistake previously made, some misstep in plotting or storytelling, something I’ve neglected or forgotten, or a wrong turn the story made.

That’s not the problem here (at least, I don’t think it’s the problem here). I know what I need to do, and the reasoning is solid, the story is solid, it’s all there. The problem, I suspect, is in conveying the necessary information to the page — it’s the first part of a fairly complex story, and the pieces have to be placed properly here for everything to work later.

Yeah, I know…whine whine whine.

The thing that makes this all the more frustrating is that I’ve just come off of a script that was a pure joy to write.

Insult to injury.

Back to the grind….

Adventures in Driving

We’re driving to San Francisco today. From Fresno. In a Ford Taurus. With a CD player. But no cassette deck. So no way to plug in the iPod. And we have no CDs.

But we DO have two children, and boy oh boy is this gonna be fun.

Not-So-Secret Secret

Put out a new newsletter today – I think it went out today – and amongst the various bits of self-aggrandizement (buy the new book, do you hear me? Buy it! Buy it!! WAAAAHHH) and the requisite hang-fire on Whiteout (yes, it’s really happening, yes, Kate Beckinsale really looks like that in real life, no, I’m not sure when it’s coming out but I think it’s Summer ’08 and no, I can’t share pictures and stories from the set as yet or else I risk the ire of Warner Brothers and they will send a combined 87 tons of attorney after me, and let me tell you, brother, that’s a fuck of a lot of attorney right there), there was a section about comics.

Mentioned the Crime Bible mini-series I’m doing for DC.

Then I mentioned the “other project” that I’ve had brewing for a while now. And I included some art. This piece, actually:

Lovely, innit? That’s Matthew Southworth.

Here’s a second one:

Also Matthew Southworth.

I include these here for two reasons. First, I want people to see these images, which I think are spectacular. Second, I want to clarify — these are NOT CRIME BIBLE. THIS IS SOMETHING ELSE.

Something that I’ve been waiting several years now to get off the ground.

For now, just savor the pretty art.

I Got Nothin’


Con from a distance

Which may become my preferred method of attendence, actually. Been watching the news trickle in over the weekend from both Heroes and Wiz-Philly, and I’m struck by…the absolute lack of anything newsworthy.

We’re such a precious little industry, aren’t we? “Wait for San Diego!” “Wait for Chicago!” That’s when we’ll announce the “good” stuff. For now, we’re just biding time.

I mean, think about it. What’s the biggest piece of comics news you can think of? What’s the most amazing, earth-shattering thing DC or Marvel could announce?

Yeah…I’ve got nothing.

This is not to say that conventions don’t serve a purpose, and a damn good one. But it is to say that I think conventions don’t serve the purpose that the publishers want them to.

Conventions serve to let fans gather together, share their passion, and maybe meet some of the creators they like (or don’t like, for that matter). It’s a safe-haven for comic geekdom. It’s Nerdi-Gras (as JLJ over at Oni calls San Diego). And that’s good, and I have no problem with that. In point of fact, I enjoy that particular part of my job quite a lot. Interweb aside, most creators (myself included), don’t get much opportunity to interact with the fan-base. And the Interweb can be very deceiving, as it lends loud voice to only a few, and thus deceives us with decibels, convincing us that noise equates to mandate.

I’m just musing, you understand.

On the home front, I’ve recovered from various ailments aquired in Montreal, and have begun to dig out of backlog that amassed whilst (heh, I used “whilst”) I was away. Sent off the first script of the Crime Bible mini-series last week (for the record, the mini is called the Crime Bible: The Five Books of Blood). Issue 1 is called “The Lesson of Deceit.”

Starting the second issue this week — “The Lesson of Lust” –after Checkmate 18 goes in (called “Fall of the Wall, Part I”).

As you were.

Detectives Redux

Very impressive list so far. A lot of names I hadn’t thought of.

More specificity on my part is required, it seems.

I am looking for:

1) the name of the detective — either PI or consulting detective. Amateur detectives, spies, and members of various police forces need not apply. The definition here is that the detective takes a fee for their services (even if, invariably, they fail to collect on the bill in long-standing noir tradition!)
2) if possible, the name of their business (ie, Spade & Archer, The Rockford Agency).
3) where possible, the source material — if from a book or series, the author and a couple of titles. If a show, the name of the show. The comic, the name of the comic or a similar source.

The detective(s) can be from any era, any nationality, any ethnicity, gender, orientation, etc.

Huge thank you to everyone who’s contributed so far. You guys seriously rock.

Request time

In comments, please, I ask for the following:

The names and, where possible, the name of the business, of any and all fictional detectives you can think of.

For instance:

Jim Rockford – The Rockford Agency.

It’s for a thing I’m doing. :D

Rejoice, for I bring the Post-Apocalypse

Bethesda is hit-and-miss for me. When they’re on (Morrowind, Oblivion), they’re fucking on, and when they’re off (Star Trek: Legacy) they make me want to tear out my own eyes and eat them.

But this, this makes my little computer RPG geek-brain start firing off endorphins like Pop Rocks in soda pop.

Seriously happy about this.



Went to Montreal for five days, ended up there the better part of a month.

It’s like what they say about sausages — it’s better that you don’t know how they’re made.

I will never watch a movie the same way again.