Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This very off-beat rendition of one of Depeche Mode's loveliest songs is just quirky enough to make its beauty even more evident. Dave Gahan gives it good voice...and lovely attitude. And gives me a truly clear view of what Jake and Tone are all about.

Aber es ist eine verr├╝ckte Situation...die Wahrheit!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Redid 26 pages...

...And I'm not happy with them. They're still too scattered to make much sense. It's all one chapter and needs to explain everything, but in a way that's natural. I feel like I'm forcing too much of it. So I'm printing these pages out and going over them, again. And again, if need be. These are a pivotal part of the story, and it has to work for Jake to continue on.

I think I'll pick up some beer or wine, after work tomorrow, and try a little of that. Was it Hemingway who said, "Write drunk, edit sober." Worked for him...till he killed himself.

C'mon, Jake, we can do this...we can do this...

Monday, July 28, 2014

I love my Jake...

He's got balls. No question in my mind. A real goof in the face of death...but never out of control...sort of. Jesus, the big reveal's either going to be the best thing I've ever written, or the worst. Or both, you never know. I'm open to impossibilities.

I no longer worry about whether or not a reader figures out who's behind what happened to Owen Taylor before Jake spits it out; it's not as important as his journey...and Tone's. That's not to say it's UN-important; it is. But Jake's the one who has to live it, and my goal is to make the last chapter of his story what matters more than anything preceding that. After all, it's how things are at the end that counts.

I'm enjoying the pain of writing, again. The irritation with myself for getting too verbose and cute with what's going on. The joy when I catch a phrase or sentence just right. The awe when a character takes over and leads me deeper into their soul. The anger when it doesn't make a damn bit of sense, even to me when I'm the one who wrote it.

And yes -- my characters do have souls, each bright and shining in its own way. Even the bad guys. They have to, in order for them to live...even on a page or in the back of someone's mind.

I wonder if the church considers that blasphemy?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Strategic reworking

I'm reworking the last hundred pages of OT, clarifying and solidifying the structure. Then I'll input all the changes over the next week, for everything, and print out a new copy. It's still over 500 pages long, but I don't care; the story is what it is.

Interesting shopping experiences, today. Before doing my laundry, I had lunch and went grocery shopping at a Wegmans near a mall, for non-perishable items...and found just 5 of the things on my list. That's it. No tea that I wanted. No water. No Dr. Pepper. And on and on. So I put back those 5 things and will check another grocery store en route home, tomorrow.

Then I spent too much of the day trying to buy new clothes at that mall. I needed new shoes, pants, shirts; I haven't bought anything in over a year. was not easy. I found some decent shirts and a nice pair of a 10 ½!! I always took a 9 ½ to a 10, before. But these were made in China, so maybe it was a case of different sizing. I dunno. It ain't my feet that's gotten fat.

The worst thing was, I couldn't find any pants I liked. I found some that were okay, but not in my size. And the ones in my size were nothing like I wanted. I like cargo pants because I can put my wallet in the leg pocket instead of back, but you think I could find anything other than cargo shorts? I don't do shorts. I guess my style's gone out of style. I'll hit online to see if I can find some, tomorrow.

I did ironing and watched The Sound of Music. It's a very well-structured film, even if it is simplistic and plays way too much with historical accuracy. But it's a nice way to spend time while doing a boring chore.

And Daniel Truhuite looked good in his telegram delivery uniform.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Done reading, this time...

Read through the second half of OT and it needs a lot more work. The ending explanation is confusing, even though it's goofy. Well, one part is goofy...and that's where some confusion comes in. I think I need to cut a lot of what happens after it and settle as much of the reveal as possible in one location at one time. The way it is now is too rambling, easy and quick, even though it's involved.

What's funny is, it doesn't address some other things that are laid out as possible clues. And I wonder if I can get away with letting a guilty person go free from the legal ramifications of what they did. I don't know. I'll think about that as I do the next rewrite.

What's interesting is how this painting begins to take on greater meaning and importance during the story. I'd forgotten I was edging towards that, so just need to expand upon it, a bit more.

I also need to clarify why Jake's Uncle Owen didn't invite him to come live with him in Palm Springs after he was kicked out of his home. That still doesn't make sense to me. What I have now -- that he wanted Jake to learn how to stand on his own two feet -- comes across as weak. I need something a lot better.

I think I'll do another read through with red pen, just to see if I can figure out these aspects and work them in.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back on track...

I've read through the first half of OT, making notes as I go along and finding inconsistencies that need to be addressed, but all I'm doing is red pen comments, right now. No inputting till I go through this draft, again; I want to remind myself of everything I've got in here before I figure out what to keep and what to get rid of.

I'm doing it this way because it's become a very complex story told in a simple, straightforward way. I've changed some characters' names -- like Father Sebastian to Father Boniface and Grace Karadjian to Grace Nieri -- and found my descriptions sometimes contradict what I've set up -- like where people live in the "fortress" condos Owen developed.

Plus there are clues I set up and have yet to do anything with. Some I don't think I ever went back to, in any attempt to explain them. It makes me feel better, doing this. The first half is pretty damn solid, and Jake's on track, again.

Tomorrow I'll go through the second half and know what needs to be done. Then I'll get down to it...maybe input the changes I have now and print out a new copy.

I feel a lot better, now.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sea of Tranquility...ish...

I've started back to work on The Vanishing of Owen Taylor. Carli's Kills is going to need a lot of work to become a book, while OT is at the point of merely requiring clarity and simplification. So I've delved into the first 3 chapters -- and I think I'll merge them into 2, especially since there's a bit of repetition in them.

I like Jake's voice in this. It's simple and direct, already giving off a no-nonsense vibe. It helps me focus on simplifying the story...and on keeping secrets. Jake doesn't gossip, so he's not revealing anything until he is ready to. Later in the book, he's going to recall what he did to survive in prison...and it wasn't nice or easy. Hell, it makes OZ looks like the sweet-natured fantasy that it was, and I've only done one pass on it.

I checked out the ending, first, and it's pretty confused so will need extra attention. But it got me to the place I needed to be to make the rest work. I also realized I was being a wuss about solving the mystery; what happens is what happens, and that is that. But I will say, the way Jake reveals it all...well, at one point it's so wild, I think readers will either love it or hate the hell out of it.

What makes me feel good is, I did all this despite me fighting off a headache that came thanks to Zyrtek no longer working for me. I've sneezed more in the last three days than in the previous three weeks, which was less than zero help to my mood. Ugh, when are they going to bio-engineer new sinuses and eyeballs that are allergy free? I'm weary of semi-nose bleeds and tears whispering from my eyes.

Maybe I'll just sort some Dr. Pepper and see if that helps.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just to cut the rut...

...something that is nothing but fun...

Almost settled down...almost...

This has been me, the last few days. No writing done. No artwork done. Nothing but full scale war within my psyche. Fortunately, I live alone so no one could overhear my mutterings and ravings and have me locked up for lunacy.

Also fortunately, the verbal battles I've gotten into with people who blame Israel for the slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and don't even think of holding Hamas at least partially responsible. Israel might be overreacting to Hamas' provocations, but it's Hamas doing everything it can to cause this while using its citizens as human shields. But what I've found is, most of the people blaming Israel for everything have zero sense of the history of that region. So bringing that up and calling lots of carefully-worded names let off a nice bit of steam.

I'm finally calm enough...relatively see what the trigger probably was for this freak out -- Speed. The movie. With Keanu at his most beautiful and Sandra Bullock at her most endearing. It's a great action film with an elegant script by Joss Whedon (fuck Graham Yost)...and it was playing as I did laundry. Starting at 1pm. And that's when I began spiraling out of control.

I'd been living in LA for just over a year when the movie came out. I was doing my first storyboarding job, out there, too -- for a short film made by a Vietnamese film grad, using a John Woo style. All very lovely...and gratis (I think I found the job in the back of Dramalogue).

And here I am, twenty years later, doing the same fucking thing. It's like I haven't progressed an inch since then. Granted, I've actually written 25 screenplays (on top of the 8 I already had), lots of short films, plays, one-acts, books, won awards for my scripts and placed nice and high in many other competitions; the time has been filled with work and experience. But I'm still in the exact same position I was the weekend I went to see Speed. No, worse, since I now live in Buffalo instead of LA.

That brought on a serious attack of "WTF is wrong with me?" I'm way over my due date and into "time to be thrown out" territory. And what's worse? I do not want to write another script. I just don't. Even the thought of it makes me ill. I hate having to cut back on aspects of the story that won't make it into any film version...according to what little I know about the industry, today. I don't want to censor my work, but to write a script, you must.

That's where the anger fired up. Why should I have to? Because some unknown twerp of a producer might cringe at the idea of a woman castrating a man who raped her sister after she fucks him with a dildo? And yes, that was in the initial draft of CK. That's how angry Carli is. I can do that in a book, but unless I hit just the right producer who doesn't mind an NC-17 rating for the project, and who knows distributors who feel the same way, it'd be taken out. On top of that, the director and actors would get to do whatever they damn well want with my characters and story. And that's after me rewriting the script into as tight as I possible can...going through draft after draft to make it work.

Well, the hell with that. I'm writing what I fucking want to -- and that means doing it in book format, and self-publishing, if I must. Which I don't mind. That way, I can follow my own style instead of this enforced shorthand scripts have to be in; nor will I have to accept the limitations and demands of anybody else, if I don't want to. let's see if tiger's really got his roar back, or if he's just got a throat made sore by too much hissing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tonic didn't take...

I'm sick of everything, right now. Hate it all. I did at least manage to input changes for the first scene of CK...and proceeded to decide it's a piece of crap.

I'm still trying to figure out what the hell happened, yesterday, to trigger this anger and hurt. Nothing comes to mind.

I guess I'm just schizophrenic.