Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Winding down...

I think my interest in this blog is at an end. I just don't have anything left to say on it. Maybe I'll start another one, once I get going with A Place of Safety...but as of now, it's done.

My thanks to those who followed me.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Here it is...the last...

Final six frames...

Adam startled to learn Elizabeth doesn't like to read Henry James, even as she's cataloguing some letters he wrote. She doesn't take kindly to being questioned.

But he realizes she's not a book person...so is willing to help her learn to be one, if she's interested.

BTW, the mark on his chin is a scrape from a rugby match; Adam likes to play on weekends.

Now comes separating and numbering them and prepping them for the slide show.

Such fun this will be...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

All done...

I've got 60 frames, repeating a couple means 62 edits to cover ten and a half minutes. Or dissolves. We'll see how that works. I still need to go through to make sure of consistency in everything, but the images now have flow and I think illustrate the story nicely. We'll see if it does any good.

I wish, sometimes, I'd never strayed from art. I know I'd never have been the next Picasso or Rembrandt or even Sergeant or de Kooning, but I'd have felt like I was achieving something. I have my books, sure, and I'm proud of them...even the ones I didn't do 100% right by. Once I'm gone, those will still be around, even though they aren't selling at even a fraction of what Steven King sells.

I'm proud of several of my scripts, but those...those are not something to leave behind. They're dead if they don't get made into a movie. Meaningless. My characters are left with nothing unless I turn them into books, as well. Which I plan to do for many of them...However, at the rate I work, I doubt I'll get them all done.

But my art...I was building something with that. I'd done commissions...sold some of my work. Was building a reputation. I worked in visual merchandising and it fed into me doing more art after office hours. A few pieces of mine are in private collections, and that's while I was still late teens and early 20s. I graduated High School at 17 and didn't start college tillI was 21. In those 4 years I was setting down a path to be a real artist.

Then came film. I stupidly thought I could translate my artwork into movies, like Alfred Hitchcock did. But it was too different. Too collaborative, and I've never been good at collaborating on my work; it feels like compromising lessens it. It only took me 35 years to come to terms with that reality. But then...I never was a fast learner....

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm an undiagnosed Dyslexic...

Monday, June 10, 2019

Closing in...

Six frames left to fill in for A65. I'd post the ones I did today, but they're all out of sequence so would be confusing. Halfway through I realized I needed another couple of set-ups so put them in, numbered them correctly, and noted to myself what goes where when I get down to making them into individual jpgs. I'll still need to go through the whole series for consistency, but it's nice to be so damn close.

Of course, now I'm conflicted about posting it on YouTube. They've been letting right wing scum attack gay men and women and post videos calling for all sorts of shit to be done to us, saying it's freedom of speech. I'm a big First Amendment person, but hate speech should not be tolerated. Period. It goes way beyond opinion into intimidation and violence and that is not acceptable. So I may look into alternative venues...maybe even see about setting it up on my website, if I can.

It got kind of intense at work, today, considering it's the end of Firsts, London's Antiquarian Book Fair. I wound up with one of my slow-building headaches but had to take Tylenol, which barely works, instead of Advil because I've been close to a couple of nose bleeds, again, and Advil's not good for that.

I'm also caring for the office cats till Monday, next. Nice little beasts but they can be demanding. Fortunately, I like cats so just pop some Claritin and smack one of them around while the other watches, judging us. Good tension release, usually.

I've learned the art of making turkey Reubens on pumpernickel. Butter the bread, slop on carved deli turkey, 2 slices of Swiss Cheese, some sauerkraut, and slow-fry it on a skillet till the bread's toasty and the cheese melted. Add some Russian Dressing and It's almost as good as the ones I used to get at Canters, in LA.

God...Canters...I haven't been there in years...

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Bitchin' can be badass...

Seems complaining about myself, yesterday, unblocked me and reset my equilibrium and I got a bunch more frames done. If all goes well, I'll be completely done in the next couple of days.

So continuing from where Elizabeth arrives for work, she and Adam discuss her having a weekend in Paris...
...then she can't get her computer to wake so he suggests she do a restart. She heads for the kitchen...

...and he gets to work, has his lunch, checks the time for his meeting with Vincent...

...and finishes another book, which he takes to a room they call The Dark Chamber...

I have more frames done but they're out of order. I realized I'd lost the track of the story and did some renumbering.

Watching Vera seems to help...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Biorhythms...

I went into one of my crash and burn modes, yesterday, and am just now pulling out of it. I forced myself to finish roughing out the last of the frames for A65...and I do mean forced...but today had to put everything aside to give me time to regain my equilibrium. When I work while in a mood like this, I hate what comes out and wind up trashing it, so better to just step back, give myself time to settle, and focus on nothingness, for a while. And remind myself all I did was rough the sketches out, not fill them in; they can be adjusted, if need be.

I hate it when I get into moods like this...where I question every aspect of my life and kick myself for every mistake I've made...but I did manage to diminish it by re-reading the ending of The Vanishing of Owen Taylor. Jake dealing with his mother in a phone call he dreaded making, and the aftermath of it...those few pages reminded me I do know how to write and can create something powerful, when I work at it.

They didn't kick away how lost I am when it comes to dealing with trying to sell my work. Get it known. Everything I've tried in the way of promotion has brought back minimal success. I'm still in the red on every one of my books except How To Rape A Straight Guy. Deep in the red on a couple of them.

I tell myself making money wasn't the point, and it isn't; I set the percentage paid to me very low to keep the price of the books from being too high, so breaking even was always going to be difficult. And normally I don't care about the income from them...except when I get into a black mood like this and want to chuck it all.

At least I'm past that and now stand a bit above apathy. It helped that I watched more episodes of Vera while doing nothing else...though I will say, I'm not buying second hand DVDs again. I bought this 7-season set through ebay and of the 12 disks I've seen, so far, 3 needed cleaning and 4 had dings on the surface that caused major glitches. I can usually get past them but it's irritating, doubly so right now.

Oh well...I've got 32 frames filled in and another 27 to complete. Funny how working on the visuals kept changing the angles and flow of the piece...but once I've backed away from being hyper-critical, I think it'll be ready to go, soon.

Then comes the fun part -- the slide-show for video.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Adjustments will be required...

I now have 33 frames pretty much set for the slide-show. They'll need a bit of touching up to maintain consistency, for which I'll need a sharper eraser. My Magic Rub is all rounded edges.

But it's still flowing. Adam finishes his back-and-forth with Vincent, tells the book he'll not give up on her and sees his computer is still waking up.
So he looks around, sees a beam of sunlight filtering through a nearby window, then hears his co-worker, Elizabeth, storming in. It took a bit of searching but I found a good model for her face. I'll be working that in, next.

I've found watching old episodes of Vera as I fill the sketches in actually keeps me going. Not fast but steady. I really like the first four years, with David Leon playing opposite Brenda Blethyn. Not sure why he left, but Kenny Doughty just isn't as engaging. Too cool to the touch while DL was warm.

But...I have a lot more episodes to go through, so who knows...I may get this done, yet...

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Productive weekend...

All my focus is on working up the best images possible for A65's slide show. Here are the next ones in the story...

Here's Adam thinking about the library and his research after recalling Sir Robert Butterworth...
And Adam getting so lost in his research he has to go through a 12-step process to return to this world...then nearing his work space at Merryton...
Adam enters and sees the room...
He enters his cubicle and sees the Orlando Furioso he's been working on...
And remembers how deep he got into it, so much so that his boss, Vincent, came up to find out why...

I have more sketched out to fill in, but I was starting to get sloppy so it was time to quit.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Beginning to think maybe I can...

It's been a crazy week prepping for shipping dealers to the London Book Fair, but now they're all on board and will be en route over the weekend. Move-in for the fair is Thursday and I seriously wish I was going. They're having a deal at the Globe Theater with a Shakespeare First Folio, and there are other exhibits I'd love to see...but I'm stuck in Buffalo. Dammit. Guess I'll have to work on A65's slide show.

Which I have been. Here's some more of the frames I've sketched up, and I've been playing with iMovie to make sure I can do what I want to do. Looks like it'll be time-consuming but may actually work out. I don't have all the options up and running, yet, but I'm getting there.

Being alone in the office for several days will give me a chance to do work on the sketches. Just take my laptop in and materials and in the quiet moments, of which there will be many, get 'em goin'.

I want this up and running by the end of July, because starting on August 1st I'm focusing on APoS and getting a first draft done. No matter what.

I've also dome some more promo for the book...in fact, all my books. Sales have grown quiet and part of that may be from my neglect in pushing them. I bought an ad for my darker books on a website devoted to M/M stories. It didn't cost much; guess we'll see if it matters any. And other groups I belong to on Facebook got posts and some pushing.

My Anger and Anarchy site is just to let off my dark thoughts steam...and has come in handy a couple of times.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Beginning to come together, finally...

I spent the holiday weekend working on the audio slide show for A65...and it's finally working for me. Carrie Armstrong's doing the read and she has a nice storytelling voice. Very comfortable. Parts were just right, but there were hesitations and skipped words, here and there...still nothing major. I also found I left out a word at an important moment, but it didn't really change anything so I'm not going to freak over it.

Instead, I went through the audio word by word and made notes, mainly asking Carrie to try to make her renditions of the British dialogue more consistent. I suggested she do each character's comments in one straight shot then have it plugged in where it belongs. To be honest, I don't know if she can get that done, but it never hurts to ask.

I also clued her in on who to use for the dialogue -- Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter for Adam, Trevor Howard in The Third Man for Vincent, and Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey for Elizabeth. The latter two aren't 100% but close enough...and as noted, long ago, having Daniel Radcliffe as Adam would be most excellent...

What's interesting is how reading it over and over and comparing what I'd already done in images to her read changed everything. I'm now up to 60 frames for a 10:25 minute piece, and feel this is truly as close as I can get it without scriptwriting it, again. So today I began working them into something more like a storyboard than rough sketch.

I'm going to try and do the first image as a pan down...

Then I have Adam heading out...

Then he gets to Epping Station, reads on the tube and exits at St. Pancras.

This feels like movement and provides a good connection to Adam as he heads for a new horizon, even though he doesn't know it, yet. I've been raiding all my photos of trips to London and the UK for backgrounds. They aren't in beautiful color, but this works just as well.

And they fit in with Carrie's comfortable storytelling.