Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crunch day

I still have a stack of papers to go through to prep for beginning POS so this post will segue into my quickies. No time for long musings or wanderings through my brain once I get started, though I may use it to work out problems I'm having in the story. I have a feeling I'd be smart to get as much done as possible before the middle of the month. A weird feeling...but it's there and the thoughts with it indicate I won't have a lot of time to write after the 15th, so I need to focus and trust Brendan to lead me through this forest of information I've accumulated.

Oh, and here -- I've finally found Brendan. This photo is from the Civil Rights march from Belfast to Derry in January 1969, taken at the Antrim Bridge. Hundreds of Protestants attacked the four dozen or so Catholic marchers, sending many to the hospital...excuse me, sending many to hospital (they don't use the article with the noun in this case). They stupidly (or arrogantly) perpetrated the assault in front of news crews and the images shot round the world. Riots broke out in many Catholic areas of Northern Ireland and it initiated the move to bring in British troops to protect the Catholic population from the Protestant...a protection that lasted almost a year, until the Brits decided the Protestants had the right idea and began rousting the Catholics under the pretext they were ALL helping the IRA. And please pay no attention to the fact that the IRA was held in little esteem by Catholics at the time (in fact, it was referred to as the "I Ran Away"), but the spectacle of British troops rousting Catholic homes reinvigorated the organization and set the stage for nearly 40 years of terror and bloodshed.

And in the end, what was accomplished? Not very much, if anything at all in the way of peaceful coexistence. Though the IRA DID perfect the use of roadside bombs, something noted and duly used against American troops and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan to horrific effect. Looks like evil will always beget evil, no matter how good the initial intentions.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fuzzy day

My brain's a bit unfocused, right now. Dunno why. Guess I'll spend the day just reading research materials and books I have to build up my background for POS. Doesn't help that Brendan's still pissed at me for my freakout. It's like he doesn't really understand me or how I work or anything about me. And he's a part of me. Little twerp.

Doesn't help I'm in a mood where I'm doing a bit of self-flagellation for not being a good steward of my life. I look back on so many opportunities handed me on a silver platter that I either ignored or couldn't understand at the time. For instance, I got accepted to NYU's graduate school of film in 1979 and blew it off because they wanted me to go the full 3 years (and because I really wasn't emotionally capable of handling a city as intense as NY just then). I was embraced by one of the premier graduate programs in film and I didn't find a way to make it work. What an idiot. Right now I'm thinking I should have used the money I got in my severance package from Heritage to make a GOOD short film, and that might have helped me shift the course of my life and everything would have been perfect.

Or not. I don't know. If I hadn't followed this path, I probably never would have finished "Bobby Carapisi" and gotten it published. Or been in a position where I need to write POS right NOW or never get the chance, again, and been able to focus on it...tho' the prospect of complete financial ruin might also have been avoided.

Instead, I built my vague plan around my writing and worked to get it out there. I contacted producers and agents and entered competitions and joined organizations and participated in seminars and took meetings with people who promised everything and delivered nothing and accepted feedback and even rewrote one of my award-winning scripts in ways I didn't like just to suit the notes of potential producers at a major studio and I kept writing and writing and writing...and now I have 5 books and a novella published and know the majority of my 29 screenplays are better than 95% of the crap that's floating around Hollywood and all the attendant nonsense of an ego based on fact, for a change...and as a result, I'm homeless (sleeping on a day bed in your mother's living room only means shelter), broke and have no idea what to do next. The only thing I have going for me is, "At least I'm still trying."

But right now my mood is such that the only thing I can answer back is, "What a pile of horse-hockey." (To quote the great and glorious Colonel Sherman T. Potter of "MASH" fame and who reminded me so much of Harry Truman, it was funny.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Better sit down...

It's time for a bit of psychosis...and anyone know knows me already understands what I'm about to relate; I wrote a whole play about it.

I had a long, rather tense back and forth with Brendan Kinsella, my lead character in "Place Of Safety." I wanted to find a job anywhere I could to start bringing in some money. I'm at the point where I can't meet my bills or expenses beginning in December. Period. My financial assets will have lasted exactly one year from the point when I moved to San Antonio. After that, I will have nothing and will have to borrow money to live on and I don't like that. Of course, if the people who owe me money for work I've done would PAY me, I'd be much better off, but indications are even if I take them to court I won't see a penny of it. So...I am, naturally, freaking out.

Problem is, I planned to use November to write "Place Of Safety." Focus on it for the full 30 days. My mother has two doctors' appointments and Thanksgiving will be low-key this year because we're saving it all up for Christmas when my sister's here, so it was doable. I was thinking 250-300 pages of work. And Brendan was actually beginning to pay attention, again. He'd become leery of me since I'd been "thinking about" this story for so damned long and made so many promises about finally getting down to it. And he'd been standing back waiting to see what happened before he returned to whispering into my ear.

You see, my characters need to talk to me for my stories to come to life. They bring the truth and the depth and the meaning and the humanity to them, but if they don't trust me to allow them to share their intentions and mold themselves, they clam up and all I'm able to do is put out something that is nicely plotted but has no reality to it. And I've seen so many movies and read so many books that have fine stories but aren't the least bit believable because the characters aren't honest with themselves or presented honestly. I can't do that, anymore; it's a waste of my time and effort.

So...for POS to come together, I need Brendan to believe in me. And me deciding it was more important to get a job right now, just as I'm about to embark on this great journey with him -- he sees it as a betrayal. Another promise broken. And he flat out let me know, if I get a job, I lose the book. I lose the story. So I have to choose which matters more to me -- my pride or his book?

This was not an easy discussion. I've never gone this long without a steady job, before. And something that came up was the probability I might not even be able to find a steady job, again...and it was questioned whether I should even look, anymore. My life has gone through a sea change since Heritage closed. I've cut my expenses down to where I can live on $1500 a month, less if I drop the health insurance that barely does me any good. I was having trouble making it on nearly 3 times that much when I was at Heritage. Plus I'm 57 years old and my skills are rarefied to the point where only a few people around the country can use them, so I'll be lucky if I can find a job in San Antonio that would even begin to pay me what I need to live on now let alone make use of my abilities. Still what it all boiled down to was, I hate owing people anything -- be it money or time or any sort of obligation. I've found others are perfectly willing to call you on whatever you owe them but are less than willing to reciprocate when they owe you.

And there it is -- the last step in my rearrangement of my life -- kicking my pride into place. If I really mean to write for a living, I can't do anything else. And that may mean living off other people for a little while and making do with even less than I have, even now. It takes me jumping off that cliff of the story and trusting Brendan as much as he trusts me. Which is the scariest part of this journey.

Y'know -- I just had a weird experience. At ten minutes to eleven I heard someone call my name. An unfamiliar voice out of nowhere. It wasn't my mother calling; I asked her. No one else was around. But I just remembered today is the day my grandmother died 25 years ago, here in San Antonio. At between 10:30 and 11 in the morning. She was the last person in my life -- the only person -- I really trusted to back me up. With her, I could have done anything without question. God knows, I proved it enough times.

Anyway, I put off the job search. I'll wait till December 1st. I'm jumping off the cliff, again. God...I hope this works out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Perfect timing...

My car needs suspension work. Seems the nastiness of San Antonio's roads with their sudden bumps and potholes and loose gratings stretching from curb to curb across the street have taken their toll and my rear bushings have torn and my alignment is off. So with some other work, there goes $750. All the extra I had. So I'm officially broke and have no prospects for income anytime soon. Looks like I WILL become a starving artist...not that it wouldn't hurt me to miss a meal or two. But it is depressing.

Jesus, what a state to be in at my age.

Nothing more to say except I'm going through my research for POS and focusing on that. I just read a vignette about a new father who couldn't afford taxi fare to take his newborn to his christening, even though it was icy and storming outside. A neighbor wound up taking them, instead.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And so we begin...

Here is the perfect image for "Place of Safety." I think it was taken by Eamon Melaugh, a Derry photographer. I've been digging into my research on the story in preparation for the 1st, and I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed at what I'm attempting...but also feeling confident enough to just do it. This book's my decades-long marathon, and I'm just now catching my second wind for it. I can sense Brendan, my narrator, standing to one side waiting to see if I follow through, this time, or wimp out, again. But I've made so many comments on so many other blogs about how I'm going to get it done...I'd almost be too embarrassed not to. And the fact is, I've let Brendan down too many times already; I have to man up and let it happen.

As I've mentioned before, I have an organic approach to my stories. First I need to know the seeds, as it were; and then the basic storyline...which would qualify as the soil in which to plant those seeds; and then I find anything I can to make it grow...fertilize it music or images or knowledge or a combination of them all. Then I let it flourish as I try to understand exactly what it is I've planted, and I rarely know exactly what sort of plant will come up -- potatoes with their beautiful flowers while the meat of them is hidden deep below; watermelons with their twisting vines and deep sweetness; a Pothus with its light-seeking leaves on vines that can stretch around a room and add brightness to it all; a cactus with its prickly needles jabbing at you even as you try to water it. In order for me to get to that point, my characters have to speak to me, trust me, be willing to lead me down the paths their stories want me to follow. They are the ones who determine if I have vines of beautiful grapes or fragrant Honeysuckle. And if I falter, I lose that trust and have to rebuild it...and that can be damn near next to impossible.

I've lost stories that way -- by failing to let them be what they were because I wanted to control their direction...tried to limit them...was too afraid to look into their shadows. But the biggest plus of having written HTRASG, PM and RIHC6 is how dark and vicious they turned out...and how honest to themselves they are...and how I'm still who I was before I began them. I'm proud of them, and each book bears my full name because I refuse to have any reticence in owning them...and have grown to where I'm glad I wrote them. People's opinions of me may have changed since they now think they see a new facet of me that makes them uncomfortable, but that's just because I no longer fit into that nice neat simple box so many had filed me into.

Of course, this could all just be my ego talking. I'm not so unaware that I can't see that possibility. But after spending so damn many years of my life lacking self-confidence or wallowing in self-deprecation, I'm entitled to be a self-aggrandizing twit for a while. got a problem with that? Take it up with Brendan.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Electronic age

Both volumes of "Bobby Carapisi" are now available on and I'm feeling good. This is my first straight-forward fiction piece that is geared solely to delving into the lives of two men who've undergone a traumatic experience and how each copes with it...or doesn't. In fact, since I don't get free copies of it for 60-90 days, I went ahead and ordered myself a set. So...I now have 5 books published and available for sale...and the first two HAVE been selling.

So far, HTRASG has sold about 900 copies. PM is around 350 copies sold. RIHC6 has just begun to sell and isn't anywhere near the magic 200 number yet; that's how many copies have to be sold before Nazca Plains starts paying royalties. Of course, the whole contract is geared to them doling out as little cash as they can and as slowly as possible, but I knew that going in. And the fact is, I wrote the first three books geared more to erotica (even though I can't do something as simple as that with my characters or stories) so they'd be willing to publish a more mainstream book like BC. My goal was simply to have it out there and available...and give me something tangible to show for all my work. A psyche boost, as it were.

And it's working, as is placing well in three script competitions. My attitude about my writing has gone from "Maybe I don't know what I'm doing and should quit" to "I'm good and if you can't see that, you're an idiot." I know how to tell a story, even if I DON'T follow Syd Field's ironclad laws of scriptwriting or Aristotle's definitive 3 act structure. Some of the greatest movies ever made and books ever written have ignored those restrictions and done their own damned thing and been the better for it.

So I'm no longer willing to explain why one script has a two-act structure while another is told in 5; that's just how they came out. Nor do I feel the need to pump a story up to meet the unrealistic demands of the ADD crowd. My stories and scripts and plays have their own ebbs and flows, a rhythm determined by the tale and the characters, and you either hop on board for the ride or you don't. After all, there are a lot of people out there who think "Citizen Kane" is wildly overpraised (I've heard that from a few too-kewl critics), "Seven Samurai" is too long and slow (I actually watched Robert Osborne say this to Rose McGowan after showing the movie on TCM! He should know better), the last act of "La Grande Illusion" is unnecessary (a German film professor), "War and Peace" is too long and archaic to read (complete nonsense put forth by an English Lit teacher who swore "Continental Drift" was the greatest book ever written), "Huckleberry Finn" is racist (more nonsense from those who never bothered to read it) and "Angela's Ashes" is a life-affirming novel worthy of a Pulitzer Prize (and never mind I was close to slashing my wrists after reading it).

I know, I know...I'm tacitly placing my work in the realm of the classics and vaguely comparing it favorably to them -- but you know what? I am and it is. Deal with it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Emotional regression

I watched "The Letter" last night. It's the story of a married bitch who murders her lover and claims self-defense, and gets away with it thanks to the casual racism of the legal system. Seems the fact this Anglo man had taken an Asian wife was grounds enough to believe he'd tried to rape another Anglo woman. The ending is silly -- one where everybody gets their just desserts -- but necessary thanks to the restrictive Hayes Code of the times. But this is the first time I've seen it all the way through and what struck me was how honest it was about what the bitch did. She cheated on her husband with this man, twice a week for months, then killed him because he dared fall in love with a woman the bitch considered inferior to her.

Now no question it helped having Bette Davis play the bitch; nobody can portray cruel-hearted humans better than her (witness her chilling performance in "The Little Foxes"). And with a story by Somerset Maugham (who loves to pick apart British hypocrisy) and direction by William Wyler (who's responsible for more actors winning Oscars or getting nominations for one than any other director), it's a well-told tale of human duplicity and frailty. But it would never be made today. Period. Even in the independent film realm. Not as is.

The protagonist is a nasty human being who commits murder because she can't have what she wants. The antagonist is the dead man's widow, who wants her own form of revenge. The "heroic and honest" lawyer who thinks the bitch is innocent winds up helping her even after he learns she's not, due in no small part to his sense of duty to his race and society. And the husband is a weak man who still loves his wife even after finding out exactly what she is. Not one of these people has a truly redeeming quality amongst them. And yet, this was a huge hit of a movie in 1940. Nominated for Oscars and is considered a classic.

We don't make movies like this, anymore. We don't tell stories like this, even in novels. It's all totally dark ("Angela's Ashes", "Continental Drift", any of today's so-called horror films), or it's insipid (damaged hero fights the good fight and redeems himself, superheroes save the world, the world ends in magnificent images done through eye-popping CG as our hero navigates the horror like it's an "Indiana Jones" movie instead of the catastrophic deaths of billions, all good dramas have a life lesson learned in ABC dialog by the end of act 3)...or it all winds up as a lie to trick you into caring but on a superficial level ("Atonement", "The Orphan"). And I hate stories like that.

I remember going to see "Sophie's Choice" back when it first came out (I was in graduate school) and despising it because it was silly manipulative trash, and not that well done. Yes, Meryl deserved her Oscar and Kevin Kline did what he could with a poorly written role, but the only reason I stayed through the whole thing is, I was with friends. I DID walk out on "Legends of the Fall" when Brad Pit did that ludicrous scalping of German soldiers bit that was supposed to MEAN SO MUCH. And the only reason I stayed to the end of "Mystic River" was out of respect for Clint Eastwood, who HAS made some startlingly good, very complex dramas ("White Hunter, Black Heart", "The Bridges of Madison County"...and I know I'm in the minority saying this is good, but forget the idiotic book and focus on what Eastwood does with the characters and story and sense of place and time period; it's phenomenal).

But real, honest stories about real human beings in all their complexities don't sell in the US, anymore. They barely even exist in Europe, either. It seems the vast majority of the world's various cultures and peoples have decided film is to be no deeper than a video game, and if you can't entertain them and make them happy, they won't come see you. Even books have to be on the level of Jackie Collins of Judith Krantz in their complexity, no matter what direction you're taking the story. It has to say on that side of the fence and cannot cross over or include anything that contradicts the main story.

For example, "Hope and Glory" -- a movie about a boy living through the London blitz and enjoying it, even as people's homes were bombed and many died. It was brutally criticized for daring to suggest that kids could have fun in the middle of a hideous war. Same for Stephen Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun", which shows how a boy learns to fend for himself and comes of maturity while being held captive in a Japanese concentration camp. His idolizing of the Japanese was ripped as offensive, considering what they'd done to China and the Pacific rim. It was ludicrous, the vicious comments reviewers (who should have known better) tossed out. But what hurt both most was, they weren't box office hits. No one went to seen them because they weren't easy feel-good movies.

I guess this ties into the whole burgeoning "Dark Ages" idea I have building in my mind -- that people just want to be left alone and not think so they're letting themselves be dumbed down by psychotic fanatics (both religious and political) and the world is regressing into the same type of period as after the Roman Empire collapsed, when only isolated outposts like Ireland kept the knowledge of the ancients from being completely wiped out (supposedly). Read "How The Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill. It oversimplifies the period and probably overstates the role the Irish Monastic system had in keeping the arts and letters of the past with us, but it's an enjoyable read.

Now excuse me while I try to figure out how to put into practice what I've just been preaching, as regards my writing "Place of Safety." Seems I just bumped my own bar up a bit before even trying to make my first jump. Only time will tell if I was an idiot to do so.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today is casual

I'm meeting with the publisher of my books in a little while so haven't much to write about, yet. I may add to this later. Right now, I'm still mopey.

I did start an "Author's Page" on -- well, got it going, again. I'd set one up back when Amazon was de-listing all books that had a gay slant to them, including mine. They backed off and claimed it was a glitch...but I don't believe it. I think some member of the Talibangelicals that are running rampant through this country got in -- either by hacking or working there -- and deliberately initiated the rejection bug. Because the same thing is happening with Google Blogger.

In the last few months, nearly 250 gay blogs have been kicked off or de-listed, and it's not because they have nudity or sex on them; one blog that just got cut just had photos of good-looking guys in nothing more revealing than a Speedo. A number of the blogs are shifting to because it's gay-oriented...but it's wrong that this has to happen. I think we're shifting back into the dark ages, where the majority of the population was illiterate (getting close even now), governments were run by religions (which the GOP would love, right now) and justice was determined by how powerful you were (and gays are deemed inherently powerless and don't seem interested in proving otherwise).

Hmph -- got off on a tangent. Amazing what a little sleep and a look at the day's news does for your attitude.

And self-awareness? I'm now wondering if the problem I'm having with "Marked For Death" stems from the growing understanding that it won't matter if I DO finish the script -- that a) no one will buy it and b) anyone who does want it will insist it be changed in ways I won't like. But if I write it as a book, I can do pretty much what I want.

Which hurts my organic method of building a story. For example, "5 Dates" was inspired by by hearing the theme to Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast" as I drove to Ann Arbor back in January, but it really clicked when I heard a piece of music on -- "Tectonic Shift" by a group named Delerium. I bought the CD and only really liked one other piece on it (and actively HATED "Self-saboteur"; the rest were okay), but "Tectonic Shift", the love theme from "Beauty and the Beast" and even a glorious bit of music titled "20,000 Miles Over The Sea" by Enigma formed the rhythm and connections of the piece...and now I cannot envision the story without thinking about those melodies in their various parts.

Of course, that may be part of the problem with others reading my work. All they see are words on a page. I see images and edits and music and performances and lighting and composition and emotion and rhythm built into the whole of it. I see the final product, and I really do think that if the reader pays attention, they will catch more than a glimmer of it all. And I don't quite get that same intense connection through writing a book. It's more cerebral and emotional and maybe ultimately more satisfying, but it's not visceral. And my anger at those who want to change my work is a visceral they want to change the face of my child.

I've wasted my life waiting for others to help me make my movies. I should have been finding some way to make them myself. Fine time to figure that out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

People say that they like my writing...

But then they turn around and change it. A script I thought was done (and the guy I wrote it for was happy with it) turns out to have been completely reworked. Not one page was untouched...meaning every page had typos, misspellings and grammatical errors. I corrected it and sent it back to him and said I was done with it, but I'm now depressed.

Because of top of this, I learned two other scripts I'd worked very hard on are being rewritten -- yet again, this time by people I do not know, all to suit the notes of other people who have no intention of buying them -- and this is being directed by friends of mine who say they think I'm a good writer. And I have no input, anymore, because they own them and I like the scripts as they were.

Y'know, one of these scripts reached Second Place in one competition and was a Finalist in another. In fact, ten of my screenplays have won awards or placed well in nearly two dozen different competitions. Meaning twenty-two groups of individuals who do not know me think I did a damn good job telling those stories. One script I wrote even got into the Top Ten at Triggerstreet several times...though that site does have a number of what I call "Assassination Reviewers" who go out of their way to destroy any script that is not written in the way they would write it. "5 Dates" got hit by one of them not long after I entered it into The Screenwriting Expo. This woman's scoring dumped it from a listing of #700 to #2950, and her comments were deliriously idiotic, but by this point I knew the drill so could just blow her off. And "5 Dates" wound up as a Finalist for Suzanne's Prize...indicating to me that I was right and she had no idea what she's talking about.

But how do you handle it when it's people you know and trust who tell you they love your work but apparently don't believe in it enough to back it up? To protect it? To take it out and say to those who demand it be "made funnier" or "focused differently" or "changed to suit my preferences" that the script is fine the way it is and this is how it will be made, come hell or high water? I've come to realize I only have one person like that in my life, and he's not a producer. Those I thought would be like that...looks like I was wrong in placing my trust with them. And that hurts.

That really fucking hurts.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dead DSL

I spent most of the day dealing with DSL issues. Turns out my box had to be replaced and I needed all new IP and router addresses. God knows how much this'll cost.

I'm doing some editing of a script I did a rewrite job for. The author told me he just changed a couple of pages and wanted to make sure they were all right to send out. Turns out, he's changed something on every page I've looked at, so far...and I'm floored. I'm now caught in the notion that I need to correct his grammar and typos because he's sending this script out with my name as one of the writers, and I don't want people to think I'm illiterate. Though that's not necessarily a problem as regards screenwriters; half the scripts I've read in my life read like they were written by people who stopped learning English when they were 10...and we're talking college graduates who somehow got a degree despite the fact that they can't tell the difference between "your" and "you're" or "its" and "it's". It's an embarrassment. No wonder the US is falling behind the rest of the world in education.

So I'm starting on page 1 and detailing this thing. And it really ticks me off...but I'm not doing it for him; I'm doing it for my own peace of mind. And I hate it when I have to do that because it takes me away from other things I want to work on.

Hell with this -- here's a photo I took of Seattle when I was there. Still love the city.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To link is good...

To link CORRECTLY is better. I'm finding that half the time when I think I've linked to something, it doesn't work out. I mean, it works for me when I test it because I'm signed into the site I'm linking to. But if you don't have an account or haven't signed up with them, all you get is a shrug.

Example -- linking to my list of scripts on MovieBytes' site -- Winning Scripts. I copied the URL for the page showing all the scripts I have listed there -- a total of 8, but when I linked to it on my laptop, which isn't set up to automatically sign in when I go there, it comes up with a "no listing" response. I sent them a message asking how I do this and haven't had a response yet.

Doesn't help I'm fighting allergies. I've known for years Texas and I don't get along as regards Cedar Fever and mold, but the last couple days have proven it to me in spades. The only thing that works against it is Benadryl, and that makes me into a zombie. So...sneeze my guts out or become one of the walking dead. What a choice.

Of course, I never get any writing done at times like this.

UPDATE: Just heard back from Winning Scripts and got the correct link. Seems I HAD done it right, once before; I just wasn't doing it the same way, this time. Consistency is not one of my virtues.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lesson learned

That I'm often a blind fool and rank my scripts in my own mind in unacceptable ways. Lesson here?

"Return To Darian's Point" just hit the semi-finals at Writers on the Storm's Screenplay Competition. Those guys are TOUGH on scripts -- so tough, I even once wondered if the competition was just a method of pushing their script coverage service, because writing I thought was brilliant on my part (working on my writer's ego, here) got shrugged off by the quarterfinals. But here's my "compromise script" kicking ass. I've been knocked down a couple pegs in attitude, and rightly so.

Therefore allow me to present the main characters to my Gothic-Horror screenplay, "Return To Darian's Point."

Michael "Perri" O'Brien -- a young man who's come to believe his family's cursed
D'Arcy McNamara -- a mysterious, gifted Irish lass who knows about the curse
Dr. Kinsella -- a professor at the university who's been studying the curse
Matthew & Holland O'Brien -- Perri's parents, who are crushed by the curse
Neal Van Heuten -- Perri's uncle, who has plans for the curse
Tully -- who warns Perri of the curse
Hurley -- who tries to fight the curse
Moira & Brenna -- D'Arcy's sisters and Dr. Kinsella's assistants in her research into the curse
The Dagda -- king of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the cause of the curse
Morriggan -- who began the curse

All very oblique, eh? How about a synopsis?

Michael (PERRI) O’Brien was eight-years-old when his brother, KEVIN, disappeared in Ireland. The family was picnicking by their ancestral home at Darian’s Point as a fog rolled in -- and Perri saw the four year-old get snatched away by a dark, demonic figure. Sixteen years later, after the collapse of his video-game development company (the latest cruel setback in his life), Perri returns to Ireland to sign that property over to a university -- and kill himself.
But from the moment he is met at Shannon Airport by lovely D’ARCY McNAMARRA and driven to the coastal town of Doinenn, curious things happen. Tens of thousands of seagulls follow him, as if protecting him. People cast mournful, fearful glances in his direction and send blessings his way. At a pub, he’s told by a man named TULLY that if he returns to Darian’s Point, he will be murdered. But that’s exactly where D’Arcy insists he go to complete the property’s transfer. It’s not until Perri saves Tully from being killed by that same dark, demonic figure that he begins to see a lot more is at stake.
Since D’Arcy keeps dancing around his questions, Perri uses his computer skills to discover his bloodline is caught up in a pact made between two warring peoples in Ireland’s ancient times. Part of this pact requires the sacrifice (every hundred years) of a young man to “The Old Woman,” a vicious harpy that lives in the caves of The Cliffs of Moher -- the demonic figure Perri saw with both Kevin and Tully -- and Perri is fated to be that sacrifice.
The thing is, he’s the last surviving male of this bloodline so if he dies, the old woman will be free to roam and kill at will. Of course, now Perri wants to live, but first he must face not only the demons that have haunted him since his childhood -- but also what will probably be his doom should he return to Darian’s Point.

Now imagine someone like Chris Evans as Perri. I can.

Damn, that's fast!

"Bobby Carapisi - Volume 1" is already available on! Surprised the hell 0ut of me. And I'm told "...Volume 2" will be available within the week. Now I need to start promoting it. I've already contacted a couple of places about getting reviews; no responses yet. I suppose I could try and get it into Barnes & Noble on my own...but I'm not sure what sort of publicity and sales pushes Nazca Plains is doing with it. So...I'll take it easy, for now.

But WOO-HOO!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MFD is put aside

I cannot seem to connect with the story of "Marked For Death" or the characters, right now, so I'm putting it aside and prepping to begin "Place of Safety" on the 1st. I'll dig through my boxes of materials and books -- I am effectively homeless while living with my mother and have no room of my own, just a day bed in the dining room where I also have everything I boxes...stacked up to 7 high. Not a perfect arrangement, not by a long shot. Absolutely no privacy. But I keep telling myself it's temporary, and I'm not being charged rent so my expenses are minimal (that's why my savings were able to last as long as they have). Still...I'm ready to be over it.

What's good about working on POS is I have it basically sketched out. My lead character is Brendan Kinsella, whose father is killed immediately prior to the story's beginning. I know he'll be on the periphery of or involved in the events that transpired between 1968's civil rights marches and the state of war in NI by 1972. Then he'll be in Houston, Texas until 1980...maybe '81...when the hunger strikes are underway and the book will end shortly after Bobby Sands' death from starvation. The reason for him being in Texas is to illuminate the same attitudes that brought death and destruction to so many in NI exist in the US and cause just as much pain and suffering -- illustrated by Brendan becoming involved with a girl of another race.

Damn...sounds like a downer. Hopefully I'll be able to add some fun to it. Won't know till I'm done. But I had one hell of a time digging through "Angela's Ashes" because of the bleakness in it, and I can't read Russell Banks' work at all, so I know what I need to avoid. Question is, do I have the wherewithal to do that?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lack of concentration

In LA I had an apartment to myself and could focus on my writing without much thought. Now -- my computer's set up in the dining room and my mother watches TV in the living room next to it...and she loves to channel surf, which drives me NUTS. So I've gotten to where I either write while she's napping or stay up till 2am to find some quiet time here. I get some writing done in spite of the distractions...but it's work.

I should say, my mother needs to have someone staying with her at all times...someone who can set up her doctor visits and make sure she goes and has her tests done. She's gotten to where if she has the least excuse, she'll cancel her appointments and not reschedule. She even walked out on a colonoscopy because she just didn't feel right about it and no one was there to talk her into just letting it be done since they were about to start. And this was AFTER she'd already gone through the whole cleansing routine. So things were getting worse and worse with her health, and my youngest brother -- the one who was trying to help her -- wasn't able to, anymore. So here I moved at the beginning of December and I've been dealing with her idiosyncrasies ever since. As she's been dealing with mine. And I can't wait to leave so I can get my sense of rhythm back.

Of course, if I did have my own space, I'd probably find some other reason not to work on "Marked For Death." Because what it boils down to is...I'm feeling VERY lazy and unfocused and mom's current channel surfing gives me an excuse not to do anything. Typical writer. Too bad I'm also typical in the notion that it's not making me a living.

Friday, October 16, 2009


"5 Dates" didn't win the Suzanne's Prize at Screenwriting Expo. It just reached semifinalist, and I'm bummed. Yeah, it's great for the script to have gotten that far -- but it deserved to at LEAST hit finalist; after that, it's a coin-toss as to who wins.

Funny, but this is a totally different attitude from how RDP's placed. With that script, I wrote it as a compromise, and I've treated it as one ever since. I've done that with a couple of other scripts, as well. I guess I still have a two-tiered attitude towards my writing -- some of it's deserving of recognition while the rest surprises me at how well it's done. Makes me feel guilty at how I keep lowered expectations for certain scripts while others are expected to kick ass...even as I believe ALL of my writing is of a higher caliber than most.

I dunno...maybe I ought to end this nonsense of writing scripts my way and write a couple of Syd Field pieces of crap just to get my foot in the door. Problem is, I've tried doing that and I wind up caring about my characters too much to limit them to that A-B-C stupidity. Thank God I never had kids; they'd be spoiled rotten.

1 am

I just finished proofing the galleys for "Bobby Carapisi - Volume II" and sent it off to the publisher. Not many typos -- though there were still some, even after my proofing it three times before submitting it -- but I am asking to have a couple of paragraphs switched and I don't know how that will go over.

Now I can focus on MFD and try to get it done before the end of the month. But the way my mother and brother keep bothering me, I can't guarantee I'll make it, even though I have more than two weeks.

You see, NaNoWriMo begins on November 1st, and I want to jump into writing "Place Of Safety" and that will be a monster to do -- mainly because of my insecurity about the story. I should be digging into my research and reading the books I have...meaning I should drop MFD and focus on just that. But I'm torn between the two. I just achieved a breakthrough on MFD and don't want to lose any more momentum. And I do have SO much research still to do for POS, I halfway think getting a first very rough draft down is best so I can focus that research into what the story needs.

Good thing is, I don't have to look for a job till Thanksgiving since I have enough money to pay my bills through November. December is another story.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A hop, skip and a dump...

I hopped back to SA via Southwest Airlines and it wasn't too bad; both flights the middle seat was empty so I could stretch out and do some writing.

I finally realized I was taking "MFD" the wrong direction once Chris, my lead, winds up at the police station, so I skipped back and cut to another location in a manner much used by Hitchcock -- it looks like your hero's dead so you jump to another point in the story and keep the suspense running until you explain what REALLY happened. And it worked. When in doubt or confusion about a suspense-thriller, turn to the master. Now I have a vague momentum going...I'm now at page 55 instead of stuck on 52...and that's enough to get me to the end of the act.

The horror script I treated as a step-child -- "Return To Darian's Point" -- was dumped on...meaning totally ignored by "Screamfest-LA" and "The Horror Script Competition." From the titles of the scripts they chose, they sound very commonplace. Normally, I'd be upset about being dissed in so second rate a fashion...but the thing is, I'm so happy RTDP was a semi-finalist at "ShriekFest" and is a quarter-finalist in "Writers on the Storm" -- I don't care. My attitude toward it has been proven silly, since it became the 7th script I've done well with in a competition...with "5 Dates" being #8. I should never look down on any of my work. Which is something I need to change about myself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seattle, Lovely...

Worked 10 solid hours, yesterday, and five hours today...and I'm tired and feeling a bit cranky...but I'm sorry I'm headed back to SA Ugly, tomorrow. Back to an uncertain future in a town I very much dislike. Seems my possible job set-up with the freight forwarder will continue to be an "only on occasion" thing and money I'm owed by people (who shall remain unnamed...for now) isn't going to be paid to me anytime soon. The money I made this weekend will pay for a month's expenses. After that, I'm broke. Guess I'm slated to become a starving artist, because I can't seem to get anyone to be willing to hire me on a full-time basis. Must be my books; they can be a freak-out for the conservative crowd.

"Marked For Death" is taking some complex turns, and I wonder if I can get away with them in a screenplay. I need to put more thought into it before I further the story. It's not ME that has a problem with complexity in my scripts, it's coverage people who don't want to have to pay attention when they skim their assignments. And I want this one to get sold. Period. So I need to consider the fools I'm writing for, first of all, and THEN the market.

Do I sound arrogant or what? Hee-hee.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seattle's great, but the hotel...

I'm staying at the Sixth Avenue Inn...and it's comical. They advertise free internet in every room, but that don't mean WiFi; it means an internet hookup. WiFi's just in designated areas. My room's just over the entrance to the lobby, so people were coming and going till 2am, local time (4 am body clock time). The's too funny. No bar soap, just a liquid soap if this was a health club. It has a tub, but if you want to do a soak you can't reach the soap. No refrigerator for drinks. The coffee maker works but they provide neither sugar nor stirrers. The bed is nice but it has a pad on it that shifts under the sheets and bunches up. And the AC/heating unit is at LEAST 30 years old, probably 40. All in all, not really worth the price, since I can get better from a Motel 6 along with free parking. Next year if I come, I may do that.

Seattle's great, though. A civilized city that believes in human beings instead of just mechanics and money. Case in point -- you cannot walk to San Antonio's airport...not unless you're willing to walk out on the street or in the mud. There are no sidewalks leading up to the terminals. Period. Lots of nice beautiful roadway with pristine curbs and crabgrass growing now that the rains have come...but you take your life in your hands if you're dumb enough not to drive yourself or have a friend or taxi drop you off. As for the terminals...those are next to inhuman.

Contrast it to Seattle's airport, where everything is geared to people. The big beautiful atrium with food and seating and huge windows looking out over the runways and distant mountains. A train will take you downtown (after a short shuttle ride) and will actually have a station AT THE AIRPORT ITSELF beginning in December. People are willing to help you instead of conspire to make your life miserable (don't even get me started on the ludicrous trouble I had getting through San Antonio's security because I was wearing a shirt over a t-shirt).

Point being -- I'd leave San Antonio in a heartbeat. It's a third world village masquerading as an international city...and it's so obviously a false concept, it's laughable.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The script I planned to work on, "Marked For Death", has been getting the shaft this month due to everything else that keeps coming up. I planned to have a first draft done by the end of October, but I haven't really been able to focus on finding the second half of the story. Ideas come up but just sit there, not exciting enough for me to pursue. And now I'm off to Seattle for 4 days so I won't be able to even really think about this script until the 15th. Which isn't right; it's a solid story with a great lead for a teen actor like Zack Ephron or Shia LeBeouf (I know they're in their 20's, but they play kids and act like kids, so why not use them as kids?) I want to get it done and out for sale.

I finally did figure out the story's about lies -- the lies people tell to hide their culpability in a crime, lies used to hide and/or discover the truth, lies used to protect and/or comfort, lies used to pursue the cause of justice, lies told to one's self to justify actions that aren't justifiable. So far Chris, my lead, is the only one who does not tell lies in any way, form or fashion...which wasn't a conscious decision on my part; he just built himself that way and waited for me to catch on. So now I know my theme...all I need is a kick-ass finish since I know how everyone winds up.

Oh, least I can let the story percolate while earning my living.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I should pay attention...

I just noticed "5 Dates" is also a finalist for "Suzanne's Prize" for best love story at Screenwriting Expo. I'm 1 of 16, much better odds than 1 of 114. I honestly want to win this one, not for the money or prizes but because the story deserves it. My lead characters -- Mitch and Charl -- deserve it. I feel very warm about this story; it came to me while working in Detroit, last January.

I was packing up a HUGE collection of books to ship to Bloomsbury Auctions in London and New York -- over 300 boxes, took two solid weeks -- and the very pleasant elderly couple who'd owned those books had been together for nearly 50 years and still were in love. I chatted a lot with them as I worked and the long days passed quickly. Didn't hurt that Detroit was having one of their serious snowstorms, one that just kept drifting snow and drifting snow till it was nearly 4 feet deep and totally fun to drive in -- not. And was. I've lived in Grand Forks, ND, where it can snow like madness (the opening of "Fargo" brought back such memories) but I'd never been through such a beautiful, magical experience before. I so enjoyed it, when I finally had a down day, I drove down to Ann Arbor to give myself an excuse to look around the countryside...and I saw the University Hospital and the University of Michigan and the old Queen Anne style homes and then happened upon a little pavilion on a tiny island in the middle of a frozen river...and "5 Dates" formed in the space of an afternoon.

To keep the thoughts going, I drove back through Detroit and up to Port Huron then across to Sarnia, on the Canadian side, and walked in a park overlooking the lake. After 12 straight days of packing books and shifting boxes and preparing artwork for transport, I didn't feel tired or weary or anything negative; it was like the world was born anew. And I associate that with this script.

I want it to win because it's like my child...and what parent doesn't want his child to do well?


Man, it poured for over an hour, this morning. Had to drive my mom to get some blood-work done, in it...and just loved it. I prefer the rain and cool to heat and humidity. It's supposed to rain more, tomorrow, as I'm heading out but be sunny in Seattle. Don't care. Just wanna go.

Signed the official contract for "Bobby Carapisi" today. This marks a shift in direction for me because "Bobby..." doesn't really fall into the category of erotica. I have one more very gritty erotic book to write...and the last volume of "Bobby..." will be pretty harsh, considering who's telling this part of it...but the rest of the stories I have lined up are more romantic and fun while still making my radical left-wing "homosexual agenda" political points. Hmph, I LOVE putting it that way, though I'm probably exaggerating the intensity of my actual feelings. Anyway, I'm still in control enough of it to where I'll be putting entertainment and fun at the fore and the lecturing done under my breath. Marx, I am not. Nor Lenin. And I SURE as hell don't want to wind up like Theodore Dreiser or Russell Banks; their writing is damn near unreadable.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, today, and I'm of two minds about it. I don't really think he deserves it, yet...but I can see the points people are making about how he's so radically changed people's views about America (after those catastrophic Bush years), I guess I don't mind. I do think Bono would have been a better choice, though not Clinton, as some people have posited.'ll be hard to take the Nobels seriously after this. They've helped make the case that they're more of a political choice than a serious one, even if that's not really the case.

What's funny is, it reminds me of how I dreamed of getting a Pulitzer for "Bobby Carapisi" because I wound up doing such a brilliant job of telling a story that no one wants told, and did it through three completely different voices. Never say I can't be grandiose.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I worried for nothing. Here's the cover of my newest book --

I'm so very pumped on it, right now. The dark model is very close to how I picture Bobby; the model is the shirt is perfect as Eric. And Nazca Plains licensed them for Volume 2, as well.

Now comes the fun part -- making it sell.
I finished proofing "Bobby Carapisi-1" and sent my corrections off to the publisher. I'm still waiting to see what their artwork will be for the cover...and if I have to be an obnoxious jerk about it. I sent then a mock-up of what I wanted -- very low-key in comparison to their other titles -- and told them up front I wanted the cover to look as much like what I'd done as possible. We'll see how it goes.

Right now I'm prepping for a trip to Seattle. I'm helping load out the Seattle Book Fair this weekend, which means a paid jaunt to one of my favorite cities. If I could get a job there, I'd move in an instant. I may still try, once my sister's able to take over handling our mother...which will be in January.

More good news on the competition front came in yesterday -- my gentle updating of "Beauty and the Beast" into a teen romance is a Quarter-finalist in this year's Screenwriting Expo in LA. I've gotten as far as Semi-finalist with them but no further, so I'm not expecting this year to be different. My work doesn't conform to the Syd Field school as much as they like, and my characters tend to be too deep and real -- and it's not me saying this. I was told this by several actors who've read my screenplays. They like that I give them plenty to work with.

Hmm...perhaps I should also note this was from when I was part of The Playwright's Kitchen Ensemble at the Coronet Theatre in LA. It was a wonderfully beneficial set-up for writers, where you bring in 25-30 pages of a script or play and actors who are members of the group do cold readings. You get to hear your words interpreted and spoken by fresh voices (instead of just the ones in your head) and get feedback on how the work comes across by the other writers in the group. My writing improved exponentially while a part of this.

I think my favorite moment in the whole time I was there was when I was having the third part of "Find Ray Tarkovsky" read. A young actor named Paul, whose last name I wish I could remember, was playing Damon (the lead), and he came out with a reading of a line that totally upended the story. It's when Damon's explaining to Tara, his ex-wife, why he was desperate to make sure their son was all right, and he finally convinces her he's being forced to help the Russian mob find a snitch hiding in the witness protection program. She explodes with, "You got our SON involved in this?!" to which Damon responds, "Oh, they threatened you, too." To me, the line was like a warning. But Paul read it as if Damon was just reassuring Tara she hadn't been left out of the danger, that she got a death threat, too, so nothing to worry about. Got a HUGE laugh -- and I actually shifted the line a bit to indicate that's how it should be read...then went through the whole script and flipped as many other lines as I could to be read in an off-beat manner. Made the script a LOT funnier and WAY more fun.

God, I miss that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I must be blind

After half a dozen passes through "Bobby Caparisi" for typos and corrections, I've found 3 more in the first hundred pages. This is driving me crazy...or maybe I already am.

Back to it. I'm working the Seattle Book Fair this weekend so want it done before I fly out. I'll get back to "Mine To Kill" during my down time.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm a bit sidetracked. I was sent the proof for "Bobby Carapisi - Book One" and I'm going through it to make sure as many typos are corrected as possible. This will be my fourth published book...but it's the first one coming out that I'm being really anal about to the point of obsession...and it's driving the publisher crazy. Because this one is more than mere erotica -- no, that's not the right way to put this. My books were never "mere erotica" because each one has a message and meaning in its story beyond the gay sex aspects.

You see, my first book -- "How To Rape A Straight Guy" -- is a very in your face kind of story about revenge, where an ex-con thinks he has control of his life and finds he hasn't any, but not before he destroys the lives of a number of people.

My second book -- "Porno Manifesto" -- is also about revenge, but in this one it shows how vengeance cannot be controlled and innocent people often get hurt.

Through both of them ran a theme of the casual corruption and hypocrisy of our so-called system of justice in America -- a system that is too easily manipulated by the wealthy and is very much stacked against those who cannot fight back. So I made that the whole basis of my third book -- "Rape In Holding Cell 6 - volume 1" -- where a gay man is falsely accused of raping a child, winds up beaten to death in that holding cell while awaiting arraignment, and no one is willing to do anything about it beyond put the men who committed the murder into prison for a few years. His lover discovers it's happened to others and begins tracking down a corrupt triad of public officials who seem to be deliberately targeting gay men for punishment...and sets out to wreak his own vengeance against them. Volume 2 will be about how it finally plays out...once I write it.

The thing is, with all of these books, I put in some very graphic sexual encounters (both gay and straight). Nothing much more than what you'd find in a Judith Krantz or Jackie Collins novel, but they're still seen as just erotica in most people's eyes...including mine, to my embarrassment. Deep inside me is something that basically says these books are not as of high a value as my other writing...and that's a failing on my part. NONE of my work should ever be seen as less than worthy in my own eyes, so I feel I'm letting my stories down by having that idea stuck in my brain.

That said, "Bobby Carapisi" is about the human toll of sexual assault. Two men are raped -- one gay and unknown, one straight and a budding celebrity -- and books 1&2 follow the destructive effect it has on them and how the world perceives them. (Book 3 is still coming together in my mind so I won't talk about it, yet.) But this book has always been more important to me, held more meaning for me, so while I was willing to kick back and just give suggestions to the art department for cover art and basically skim over the proof to make sure it's correct enough on the first three, on this one I know EXACTLY what I want all three covers to look like and won't accept anything less. And I'm obsessing through the proof for the umpteenth time to find any and all typos and irregularities I can.

Sometimes I spook myself. This is one. And I don't care. So be prepared. Book 2's proof should be coming my way soon, and I'll be even nastier about that one.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

MEandering Sunday

I woke up with a headache -- tension initiated -- that's taking its time leaving me, so the writing will be minimal, today. Instead, I'm focused on working up an action and character bible for "Marked For Death." I found while writing my 2 volume (so far) book, "Bobby Carapisi," that it helped immensely in keeping track of the complex directions my writing takes me.

And there's no question my stories can get convoluted. I have one script -- "Kazn" -- that drives coverage people insane, because it tells its story in both past and present, with each informing the other, and uses visuals as much as dialog to highlight information. I was sent the coverage on it a couple of times (from people who were trying to help me "learn how to write") that showed that one had gotten half the story completely wrong in her synopsis while the other suggested I do things that were already in the script. Hysterical.

But I've seen that consistently in coverage -- that it's done poorly or ignorantly, and I'm not talking about just mine. I especially love it when the coverage person obviously has no command of English grammar and consistently confuses "your" and "you're" and "its" and "it's" and such while writing in sentences that go nowhere. Yet these are the people determining whether or not your script goes up the line to production or straight into the trash. Too bad they don't have to prove themselves competent in story analysis or even reading comprehension.

However, I think my favorite comment came from a woman who gave me feedback on a gentle teen-romance I wrote ("5 Dates") and said I really shouldn't have my lead male's mother pimping him out to the lead female so she could meet the girl's father! It was so out of left field, I actually went back to the script and reread it to see if I could figure out what the hell she was referring to -- and I'm still at a loss...though I did find a couple more typos, even after proofing the script a good four times. Dammit.

But that's me and typos -- and that is a whole 'nother story.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Updating the connections to the info I updated

I updated the excerpts of my scripts on Winning Scripts and now am linking to the correct page for people to look it over --

Had to do it because I no longer have representation and had to change all the title pages of the excerpts. Little things cause so many problems that take so long to do.

After going over "Marked For Death," I find it's a solid 50 pages, so far, with a couple of other scenes written. All I need to do is figure out the last half of the script and what the big-blast-action-ending will be. I know the very final's just getting there that'll be the fun part.

Of course there are so many distractions -- mainly from my mother and brother. I'm living with them, right now -- half because they need someone to steady them and see to it they take care of themselves (my brother, Kelly, just recently got a steady job at a livable wage and is feeling a LOT better about himself, and my mother finally went through with cataract surgery and is seeing a doctor on a regular basis)...and half because it's a nice place to hide and not spend a lot of money since I'm damn near broke. I'm owed money for various jobs I've done; the trick is getting these weasels to pay me without going all the way to court.

Whimper whine blah blah.

Back to my writing. Another good thing about San Antonio is there is NOTHING to do here if you care about film or theater, unlike LA where it's an embarrassment of riches or New York City, where you'd go mad from the selection.

Friday, October 2, 2009


While going through my notes and over a list of all the scripts I've written (27, thus far) I came across one I'd started a few years back but got waylaid from at about the halfway point -- and I've decided to finish it this month. The title: "Marked For Death". It's an action-packed thriller and has a major role for an up-and-coming male teen along the lines of Shia LeBeouf, so I figure once it's done I have a decent chance of selling it. Start on the road to building my reserves to live in Galway for 4 years.

Of course, this reminded me that I have a number of scripts I began but never finished. Some were just bad ideas, some I got confused on where they were going and had to stop and a few I just got sidetracked and never went back to them. I'm the type writer who feels an obligation to finish a story or script if it wants to be completed, and two others have made sure I know that's exactly what they want -- an existential-thriller ("Bandit Country") I was going to set in Scotland and a romance ("Butterfly Champagne") set in Berlin. Hmph -- two "BC's" and no "AD's". Wonder if that means anything more than me being silly?

Anyway, I have another script that I reworked into a book that desperately needs a polish ("The Golden Sea"), and yet another about an artist accused of being a serial killer ("The Six Days Of Jemmy T") that're just waiting for me to be ready to make them happen. So I have a lot on my plate in need of focus on top of my Irish story, "Place Of Safety." And that's with my savings about gone. Damn -- talk about your perfect timing.

If anybody knows anyone willing to back me, financially, so I can focus on nothing but my writing for the next few a patron...I'll dedicate everything to you. Really, I will.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Competition News

Something I wrote for an anthology is now part of a "make a movie" competition at BigStar TV. The deal is, anyone anywhere in the world is invited to make a short film from one of the 8 stories in the anthology. Six of the stories are already scripts, but one's a short story and mine's a one-act play. The lead characters are all the same in the stories, and the focus is the retrieval of stolen jewelry. Mine's one of the simplest to shoot -- one location (it's set in the Weisensee Jewish cemetery in what was once East Berlin), four actors and not much running around -- so I think I have a good shot at being chosen. Fingers crossed.

All I get from this is the privilege of having my story shot...but if several different people do choose it, it'll be fun to see the different takes on the characters' interactions. Maybe it'll even get mounted on a stage, at some date.

If you want to check it out, here's the direct link --

This is the town I would live in -- Galway, at the Salmon Weir. I was there in March 2002 and it felt...right. Took me long enough to get back to considering how to live there and finish my Irish works, didn't it?