Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Poll! Poll! Pole! Poul?

It has been decided. I know what book I'm working on next. Little story bits keep popping into my head. The cool thing about it is, I think there could actually be three sequel lines that follow from it. One would be YA, one more adult, and one kind of all ages. Still, that's getting ahead of myself. The setting and plot have to kind of pull together into this lump of words first.

However, I'll continue to keep developing my new screenplay, as well. I really would like to enter it into that competition. So, duel development ... scary.

I figured out how to put polls on my blog :) Go me! If you have a moment, please answer the poll on the sidebar - it's completely based on your own first impression, so don't over think it! I'm just trying help focus some ideas, so even if just 5 or 6 of you vote, it'll help!

Monday, December 28, 2009

ErinĂ½es or Furies? Decisions, Decisions ...

So, my attempt at getting my writing back on track continues. I've submitted my screenplay to another competition, and I plan to enter it in at least one more. Of course, I won't hear a response from them for 6 months at least. Since I'll need to continue working, I'm going to attempt to work on a "spiritually uplifting" screenplay. Yes, yes ... those that know me are snickering at this time, however I've found a competition for Christian screenplays that not only has a very large prize, but I think I have an excellent story idea for it. I've already started my research in to Rome around 300 AD. Exciting, no?

Right now, I'm working on a short story that is pretty much kicking my ass. It's far too complex for the short amount of time I have to work on it. I desperately need readers that can turn around feedback in a day or two, so if that's you, please let me know! It's a modern urban update of a Greek myth. Well, hopefully, it is ... it may also be garbage. We'll see.

I still plan to work on a new novel ... when I decide what it's going to be. Shiloh's Way is still begging to be properly rewritten and edited. That may need to be my priority ... unless it really sucks. Any volunteers to read an unedited manuscript with an ending that's going to change?

I survived the holidays intact - I think I gave as well as I got, although I did receive some lovely presents. Two of my favorite presents were actually cookbooks given to me by my girlfriend. One is all different types of curry, which is pretty exciting to me! The second is the Manga Cookbook! If you've ever read a manga or watched an anime, food is often a big deal -- this book has recipes for almost everything you see! Terriyaki chicken, tonkatsu chicken, onigiri, homemade udon (can't wait!), and even how to put together a good bento!

Of course, I also got some great games: The Saboteur, Borderlands, and Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Gift cards were also in full bloom, as I received a $20 PSN card (already partially used for Valkyria Chronicles dlc), a $50 GameStop card which will help pay off some of my plentiful reserves, and a bunch for Panera! Yum!

The season is really about giving, though -- so I gave some to Child's Play, and I donated some games to a raffle to support Child's Play, I bought some meals for people at our local grocery, and I always support a child through Food for the Hungry.

If I don't update before the, I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year's - please be safe!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

They're all fighting each other in my head!

Although it's painful, I made myself the promise that, should my screenplay win, I would stop playing video games until I finished my next book. This was a stupid, stupid, dumb-dumb head idea ... but, I mean, what the hell, there was zero chance I would win.

In the midst of celebrating the joyous news that I did win the horror genre, the pale memory of the promise came over me. You know I'm going to get some kind of kick-ass game for Christmas now, just to mess with me. Ugh. Anyway, I've come up with a couple exceptions to the "no games" rule.

1) If I'm invited by friends or family to play. This happens less than you think, but if my girlfriend wants to play Buzz! or 1 vs. 100 or my nephew and his friends want to play some L4D2, I shouldn't give up totally on social interaction completely.

2) I can play portable games if I'm in a situation or at a location where writing isn't really appropriate.

3) If I'm notified the world is ending, I can finish the most recently released Shin Megami Tensei game.

Otherwise, what's left is to decide which book it's going to be. I have multiple options here - I'm just not sure what I'm feeling, because I want to work on them all. Here are the ideas I kind of have to work with:

1. Shiloh's Way sequel (high fantasy)
2. Sea of Clouds book (new world, cloudships, political intrigue, pirates, etc - Jules Verne-type thing)
3. Modern steampunk book - mix of steampunk tech & magic - very big picture, lots of diverse teams coming together to fight a big bad.
4. YA book about a team of gifted teens trouble-shooters. Very quirky, very giant robot/super-science type stuff.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ChaNge the WoRLd

Two posts in one day? What could possibly cause such an unprecedented occurrence?

A short while ago, I received a call from Fade In. I won the horror genre. They said it should be posted on the Web site by the weekend. I don't think I've ever won anything for my writing ever. I was a little stunned that publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine actually said that she'd like to see my screenplay as a film and that it was very good -- she seemed to imply that it was actually competent! I know! It's shocking! For one thing, it's my first one! Yeah, seriously ... I didn't really know what I was doing when I wrote it (I still don't, to be honest). I just knew the story I wanted to tell.

Anyway, winning just means a couple things. I'll get a few dollars in prize money. I'll be able to tag my screenplay as "award winning." And, it might help in my search for an agent or bring the screenplay to the attention of a producer. Just winning doesn't mean anything about it actually getting produced and turned into a film. However, it's a first step ... and, although the chances are extremely slight, it's one of the only ways a guy from Tampa could ever expect to get a Hollywood film made.

... almost hung it up

Thought I would just take a moment to collect my thoughts here before getting back to work. I just received an e-mail from the organization that held the screenplay competition I entered. They requested information that leads me to believe I may actually be a finalist. How crazy is that? The contest had over 1600 screenplays submitted, and I may be one of the 10 to 20 finalists.

The way that it works out is that they pick 1 to 3 finalists in each genre, as well as a single grand prize winner. I can't win the grand prize for two simple facts: my screenplay isn't that good and it is a genre piece. However, how cool would it be if I had one of the best horror screenplays? I'm sure out of that 1,600 at least a couple hundred were horror - so, it would still make me really happy.

I really consider mine more of an adventure/horror. I think with the proper editing it would still be a scary, creepy PG-13 ... or, it could be pushed over to R rather easy. I also love that it's a period piece set in antebellum Georgia. Anyway, I think I'll know something by next week. What a Christmas present, huh?

In any case, I'm still working on it -- there is another competition I want to enter it in. Maybe if it places in one or both, I can finally get it represented! I'm also still working on that short story that I want to place in an anthology, so I'm gonna have a couple busy weeks.

As a side note, if anyone knows Nathan Fillion - tell him I have a great screenplay for him!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What's going on ...

So, here are my plans heading into the new year. I've just submitted one short story to a publisher - it sucks. I expect to hear back that my e-mail has been banned from ever submitting again, which is ok -- it was mainly an exercise. The next story, however, I really want to dedicate a lot of time towards getting it right. It's a retelling of a Greek myth in a modern urban setting. The story that's kind of stuck to me has involved another character of mine ... one that I haven't written about yet. I tried to ask her to leave the story, but she refused, so I'm stuck with her. In any case, it should be interesting. I hate sharing too much before I actually write something -- for some reason, it makes it harder to write ... so, I'll post the plot when I've done the first draft.

I'm cleaning up my screenplay for one last contest. I think it's come a long way, although it probably needs some more touching up in the dialogue department. I just re-read it for the first time in months, and I actually kind of like it. You have to understand, this is a rare thing: I rarely like anything I write.

Once the short story is submitted (early January), I'm thinking about actually writing this weird amalgam novel of all the genres I like. The basic set-up would be kind of a modern steampunk setting where a whole bunch of disparate teams start moving towards this showdown threat that could possibly destroy the world. It would have magic, science, demons, soldiers, hackers, mercenaries, airships, and "goddamn fucking elves," (to quote one of the characters).

Who knows if it will happen ... we'll see in January.

Oh, and by the way, here's my current JPop obsession - MiChi ... watch the video, it's cool song. Love it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rule # 1 - Keep your mouth shut

The post is regarding this story that was recently published about a man being fired for his comments regarding a lesbian wedding. Let's get the simple stuff out of the way -- this guy was a new employee and he insulted one of his bosses. Hello!?!? If you are new, keep your mouth shut ... I'm sorry, anyone who walks into a new position shouldn't be spouting their mouth off if they want to keep a job. It's common sense, especially when what you're saying is in direct contrast to the companies HR policies.

On to the more difficult aspects -- he says he was told by God to confront this woman on her wedding. I'm sorry; I completely disagree for a huge number of reasons ... if you want to go the supernatural route, it's more likely he was listening to Satan. Here's my simple reasoning:

1) His decision to bring this up and call her a deviant was based on, by his own admission, his own discomfort. Welcome to being a Christian. However, by trying to force someone else to deal with his discomfort, he was being selfish. It was 100% about him, no matter how you view the situation. Selfishness goes against everything Jesus taught. Sin #1.

2) He didn't follow Jesus' teachings, which, I find, most Christian's ignore unless it's easy or comfortable for them to follow. Let's turn to Matthew 7, 1-6:

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Note verse 6 -- basically, a Christian trying to dictate to a non-Christian what God's law is ends up in you being torn to pieces. Jesus said don't do it. This guy ignored it and lost his job. Looks like Jesus was right. Sin #2.

3) Did him speaking up lead this woman closer to God or push her away? If he is a Christian, and he pushed her away ... wow, what worse sin could there be? Sin #3.

The fact is, him acting in this was is no different than a Muslim believing Sharia law should be enforced on everyone. There is a radical Christian movement, though they call themselves "conservatives" that want to force everyone to act by their morals, their laws. Well, guess what -- faith only works if it's a choice, people. Forcing your opinion down someone's throat, forcing them to live your way, will not lead anyone to salvation.

The scary thing is, I see amazing parallels between Muslim radicals and the far right here in the US. It's disturbing. This woman was legally wed and had experienced what most people consider to be one of the happiest days of her life. This person broke not only his company's rules, but his own religious beliefs just to simply tear her down.

Nothing I have ever read in the Bible leads me to believe this is something Jesus would desire ... but, then again, look at the hate and vitriol constantly spewed by those that claim to be Christians.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forgotten ...

Yep, I pretty much forgot about blogging there for awhile. Go figure. Anyway, I need to start again - it works as a good warm-up to actually writing fiction, like I keep promising myself I will.

So, here's my writing deal right now. Still waiting to hear back where my screenplay ended up in the contest I submitted it to. I know it made the semi-finals, but they just haven't announced the finalists. It's taking forever!

I'm working on short story right now to try and get into a writing groove and kind of clear my head for the writing to come. Regarding that, I really need to reassess the beginning of Shiloh's Way and rewrite the ending. That's going to be a lot of work, but I don't feel like I can more on to something new until I do it.

My procrastination is just out of hand. I'm about half done with the short story, so I'm moving along with that. I want to finish it up this week, mess around with editing for a bit, then get Shiloh cleaned up by the end of the year.

Onto happier stuff, here's a little funny video I shot from my friend's wedding -- about how their 3 hours of wedded bliss had changed them:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Derek Webb has digitally released his new album on his Web site, however the circumstances are a bit unique for a Christian release. See, there is going to be what basically amounts to a clean and explicit version. Personally, I prefer to think of it as you're able to buy either a sanitized or powerful version.

What brought this about? A single song titled "What Matters More," where Webb dares to suggest that people focusing on homosexuality over, say, people STARVING TO DEATH, are missing the point. I can't say I disagree. Sadly, the message has been given before. While doing a bit of research, I found that the song is really a parallel to a message given by Tony Campolo:

I have three things to say today. 1st: While you were sleeping last night 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. 2nd: Most of you don’t give a shit. 3rd: What’s worse is that you are more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.

The problem is ... so many people don't want to hear it. The thing is, it's easier to hate than love -- love takes work, hate just takes being pissed. So, working to love someone you don't know? It's unthinkable to some Christians, even if they mouth the words.

So, judge for yourself. Here's a video for the song with the lyrics below:

What Matters More, by Derek Webb

You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
'Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silently consent when the liars speak
Denyin' all the dyin' of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it's about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin' the wind while the pendulum swings

'Cause we can talk and debate until we're blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he's comin' to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don't give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin' today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Slow start on the blog ... at least there is a new Ys!

Yeah, yeah ... I know, I've had a serious lack of motivation recently. Things have been rough. However, on the plus side, the new Ys game finally has a trailer -- and, it kicks all kinds of @ss! From my young formative days, the original Ys games had a huge impact on me -- so, check this out ... it's coming out for the PSP in the fall, sadly, only in Japan right now:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The name's the thing ...

The definition of hope: renewing three domain names believing that I'll one day sell actual sell the novels/screenplays associated with them. In this day an age, once you have a name for something, you have to grab it before someone else squats on it. My domains are for Blackburn Burrow, Shiloh's Way, and The Sea of Clouds ... we'll see if anything ever happens with them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The real question is, will I ever get to read them?

I've been enjoying the TV show Burn Notice on DVD quite a bit recently. There's a lot to like about it -- it's got spies, humor, it's set in Florida, and it has Bruce Campbell. Bruce Campbell elevates whatever he is in at least one letter grade. For example, when he does a B-move, it really is more of an A ... so, his C-level crap actually ranks a B. It's all part of the Tao of Bruce.

Anyway, back to the original topic, Burn Notice. I stumbled a across a listing for some novelizations that didn't have absolutely terrible reviews associated with them, so I figured what the heck. So, on my lunch break today, I stopped by Border's to pick one up.

When I walked out, I had five different books; this was not the result I was expecting or hoping for. For one, I have no space. Every bookshelf in my condo is completely filled and then some. For another, I really don't have the extra money to spend.

This is why I often avoid bookstores. There is always something I want. Always.

On the plus side, most of the books were trades on sale for $4! I picked up a nice edition of The Princess Bride, a new translation of Gilgamesh, and a random fantasy novel ... along with one manga.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

First entry for the second time

Well, here we go again.

I kept a long running blog on MySpace, until it became annoying in the utmost. We'll see what happens with this one. My hope is that this simple way to share my thoughts will help me focus a bit more on a screenplay I want to complete for an upcoming contest. I only have a couple months, so it's going to be interesting to say the least.

I've had the concept, plot, and characters jangling around in my head for years. However, I now need the space, as my head is running out of room. Hopefully, I'll get the ball running this weekend.

If this is your first time visiting a blog of mine, here's what to expect: I'll be rambling about my writing, posting odd and strange news stories, talking a bit about gaming (both video and board), and generally wasting time.

Please enjoy.