The Thing of Evil: My New Kitten

Well, one day your shooting a short film and the next you get adopted by a kitten.

I took a drive up to Fresno a few days back to shoot a short film that has been in my heart for three years. It is called The Dragon In The Warehouse. It tells the story of two siblings, a pair of twins in their twenties, dealing with the impending death of their mother by cancer. The sister takes things seriously, preparing for what she believes is the inevitable. Her brother on the other hand becomes somewhat withdrawn. He insists that he has seen a dragon in a nearby warehouse in the spirit of a game the pair used to play. Is he just living out a fantasy to deal with the death of his mother, or is there something more to his story?

It is a little Twilight Zone style story dealing with themes of life, death, end of childhood, and holding on to that sense of wonder that just seems to come naturally when you are young. Time will tell if those themes come across onscreen, but so far we are feeling pretty good about what we’ve shot. Of course that’s not why you all are here. You want to here about the kitty.

We were in the second day of shooting and just picked up our actress when we hear a noise. A tiny meow. We figured it was coming from one of the nearby houses and paid it no mind. Then from around the corner comes bounding a little kitten, just past suckling age, its eyes wide at the sight of us.

 

the-thing-of-evil-the-final-conflict

The little feline ran over to us and immediatly tried to domesticate us. Didn’t bode over too well for our shots. I had to lean down and pet the kitten so the fucking thing would shut up while we were shooting, though now you can probably hear purring on the soundtrack.

the-thing-of-evil-sad-face

So then I try to get rid of the kitten and put it back where it came from, nearby a dumpster. I figure it belonged to somebody. It was in too good a shape to not have a home. Maybe it did. But it seemed Mrs. Kitty wanted to adopt me.

I Christened her The Thing of Evil. And she is evil.

Adorable, adorable evil.

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I’m not exactly what you call a risk taker, and it has caused me much regret over the last few years as I approach the age of thirty. I’m also a person of some faith, and I believe certain events happen for a reason. I wonder if this little spawn of Satan is my maker’s way of telling me ‘Here’s a risk to take, kid. Start taking them now or you’ll regret it later.’

So now I have a cat. Wasn’t expecting that, but I was wanting a pet sooner or later. There are many things I want to do in life apart from my art. I want to date. I want to fall in love. I wand to have kids and travel the world before I dry up like an old prune and yell at kids to get off my lawn. Those days are a long way off, but they will come. Life doesn’t last forever, much less youth.

The Thing of Evil will be the first of many chances I’ll take, hopefully leading to a long, happy, and adventurous life without regrets.

I’m Now A Paid Writer

It was a hectic week. Several job interviews and rejections, going to a temp agency seeking work, completing three chapters on the book I’m writing, blowing through 117 pages of the book I was reading, preparing to patch a hole in the wall of my apartment, some good news and some bad. Today I got some very welcome news.

My application for MoviePilot went through. I will now receive my first ever meager payments for written work.

This had already been an interesting seven days, filled with ups and downs. My existential crisis continues with swings from optimism to bleakness, and I wonder which one I’ll finally land on. Hopefully the former because I don’t want to waste this life being a Bob Bummer.

But it had also been one of my most productive time periods, with bringing my manuscript past 115000 words and completing some 320 pages. With the cover ebbing onward and our next illustration taking exciting shape, I had a lot to be excited for.

Now I have one more thing to look forward to. I will now be able to count writing credits among my earnings. How exciting is that?

I will not be receiving too much for my work, mind you. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 dollar for every thousand views. But it’s still something. It’s still money I would be getting from what I wrote. It is the first step to making a living out of the craft, and there are few things that could make me happier.

I signed the tax paperwork and sent them my Paypal addy. It still doesn’t seem real. Maybe it will once that first deposit comes in.

I wonder what this means in the long run. Will my articles get more views because of this? How much will be added to my monthly income? Is this the second job I’ve been seeking or merely some extra creative work and money on the side? I don’t know. The future isn’t here yet. It’s still very dark outside.

Hopefully this news is the beginning of a bright dawn, and the exciting next chapter in my journey to master the craft.

Werewolf Transformation Scene From Scarlet Gate

Greetings all. As I near the completion of my fantasy adventure novel, I’ve been prepping to adopt one of my scripts into novel form, the werewolf/crime thriller Scarlet Gate. As an exercise, I free wrote a scene where one of my lycanthropes finds himself stuck in a library after dark and goes through the change. I’ve posted it here for your entertainment. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

               Kotori Dan George sat alone in the campus library of San Francisco state. It was early evening now, and the big game was coming up against the visiting team from Texas. All the boys had gone back to their dorms to prepare for the occasion with the usual tribal chants, and all the girls were busy getting annoyed when the boys got too loud. Of course there was another reason the library was empty today, other than the student body not taking their dwindling university time seriously.

               A student had attempted suicide at the reception desk a few hours ago. Floyd Darnell, Kotori thought the name was. The college was like an old ladies’ bridge club. News always traveled fast around the campus grounds. Floyd was an architect major. His family wasn’t well off and blew a lot to send him to this place, so much that he couldn’t afford any of his class books. So he had to check them out of the library instead. Problem is others were in the same boat as him.

               Darnell couldn’t find a studying partner, and in one crucial class he turned in a D on his first exam. Wasn’t that unusual and not the mark of a future failure, but Darnell thought it was the end if he couldn’t get his hands on that book. But the other student checking it out would return it and renew their lease, keeping it away for weeks at a time. Darnell had just missed them by ten minutes. Knowing he would never get the book in time, Darnell pulled the scissors out from his pocket and unzipped his jugular. It wasn’t exactly a half assed attempt. This kid meant business.

               The receptionists didn’t much want to work their afterwards. They did all their receptioning down by the coffee machine. Whenever someone asked why, they would inevitably see the blood. It hadn’t been cleaned up all day because old Timmons was on duty in the library that day, and he was too busy because someone dropped a deuce in one of the upstairs urinals. Timmons viewed his urinals like museum exhibits. He always worked them to a fine mirror shine. He somehow failed to grasp that they were specifically made for excrement, and would flash any student a dirty look should he find so much as a drop of piss on the side.

               That must have been why the deuce took priority over the bloodstain that Darnell had been so kind to donate. Kotori could hear him ranting and raving in the superintendent’s office when he first came in. Timmons ranted and raved himself right out of a job, and they couldn’t find a custodian to cover the shift. None of the staff wanted to get anywhere near it, so they sloppily threw up some wet floor tape and hoped that would do the trick until the night crew came. The night crew was still around forty five minutes away.

               The blood. Koori could smell it from here, and so could the thing inside him.

               Sweet like honey, the beast thought. Sweet like honey.

               It was always like that when the sun hung lower. Most of the day the beast slept soundly, but from dusk onward, it began to stir. It demanded to be fed, always before its time. Always ravenous.

               Kotori had to endure the whispers often. He would go back to his dorm, but the parties would be in full swing by now. He wouldn’t be able to read a single word with all that ruckus going on. He would join in, but Kotori never had much interest or use for the game. Watching a bunch of grown men kick some balls around wasn’t his idea of a productive use of one’s time. Of course the hick Ethan always dragged him to a game whenever he could.

               For the food he always said. Admittedly a good stadium hot dog wasn’t a bad midday snack. Of course the thing inside him didn’t much like it. The beast thought it tasted bad. He could always hear it whispering even when the sun held it at bay.

               This is bad meat, it would say. Not like the real meat. The good meat.

               Somewhere in the back of his mind it looked at the players on the field, all the fresh bodies in the stadium, and drooled.

               That’s the good meat, it said. The real meat. The thing inside him always wanted the meat.

               Kotori looked back over to the stain of blood on the floor.

               Sweet like honey.

               It wasn’t like that girl he and Ethan had found earlier this morning. Even the thing inside him didn’t like seeing what was left of her. Bad meat, it said. Very bad meat.

               It took a lot to turn off the beast.

               The cellphone in his pants pocket fluttered to life. A song by Creedence Clearwater told him who it was.

               “Hey, Jordan.” he said. “Not at the station?”

               “Got off early tonight.” she said. “Hopkins birthday. Boss decided to give her some more air time and extra pay.”

               “Not bad news for us.” Koori said. “You find a good prowling ground for tonight?”

               “Eating might be good down on Pier 39. You getting out here soon? Sun won’t wait.”

               “Well, give me a few more minutes. I’ve got finals in a week.”

               And Jordan did like she always did. She gave him two minutes. And Kotori, like he always did, took those two minutes and turned them into thirty. Maybe it was him focusing on the book so he could stop thinking about that blood.

               The stain that smelled sweet like honey.

               By the time he tore himself away from the textbook, the sun was already almost down.

               He reached up to scratch the back of his neck. It always started with an itch, and whenever he scratched it, so many thick black hairs would spring from his skin and stand on end, just like they were doing now.

               Kotori looked to the clock on the wall. 7:15 pm

               “Son of a bitch!” He always let time get away from him. A book will do that to you. He wondered what he should do now. Could he run back to his dorm? When the beast started stirring he could get a pretty good pace going. But it was half a mile away. Even running that was ten minutes. Outside the sun was already gone, casting the sky above in a faint violet as the stars began to shine.

               And the change was happening. He could already feel his own human self slip into a half slumber, and the beast clawing its way out a little bit at a time.

               “Not yet!” he ordered it, but the beast never listened. This was its time now. The darkness belonged to it, and it wanted every moment.

               Kotori felt his fingernails change shape, from the dull trim job he’d done this morning, to a lethal set of claws that could slice leather like butter. His teeth climbed out of his gums, stretching his jawline long as if someone had attached a wire to his canines and pulled it into this new shape. It didn’t hurt. Not really. It felt like a series of minor electrical shocks, or like when you lean on an arm and cut off the blood to it so long the arm will feel like it’s full of marbles.

               While he still could, Kotori stripped out of his cloths. If he didn’t, the beast would tear right through them. Unlike Darnell, Kotori could afford his books. Clothing was something he couldn’t afford to keep replacing.

               Kotori threw his jacket, shirt, pants and shoes onto the floor. He was working on his boxers but it came too quickly. When he tried to take them off, his now fully formed claws tore right through the fragile cloth. He felt the hair grow out from the back of his neck and spread all over. His shoulders arched backwards and his head hunched down.

               It came different for everyone. Jordan always shook when her’s came out, like someone stuck a live wire under her shoe. Each little tremor brought the thing out a little at a time. Ethan always fell and squirmed, like a fly trying to writhe its way off a pin. For Kotori it came in lurches. Great, big, heaving lurches that threw his bones into new, grotesque, and strong shapes.

               The final lurch always came from the spine. That last bit always got both him and the beast. It arched back, like the drawing of a great bow. Koori could feel the bones cracking and bending in ways that should have brought agony, but never did. This was his second life. He relished in the feeling as it bent back, further, and further.

               The bow was released and the spine snapped and straight.

               The beast was now out.

               He looked around this strange place he found himself in night after night. A clump of strange, colored fur like things lay on the floor, and he knew they were important. The beast’s daylight voice never let him forget.

               Don’t leave those, the daylight voice said. I need them.

               The beast crawled over to these strange things and prodded them with its thick, leather like palms. He knew these. He had no use for them, but the meat outside always wore them. He always became like the meat in daylight, and would again once the sun returned.

               From a nearby opening in this strange place, he could hear the howls of the other two, the Alpha and the Little Brother, crying up into the night. The hulking thing knelt down on all fours and darted over to the opening, out to the forest of square mountains and metal trees that stabbed into the sky. The other two howled above it all, their voices carrying above every murmur from the grass below.

               The beast howled back at them, letting them know he would be along, once he had his meat. He looked to the campus beyond, filled with ripe, fresh bodies, walking along, completely unaware they were being watched by hungry yellow eyes. He could see the blood flowing under their skin.

               It smelled sweet. Sweet like honey.

               Meat, the beast thought. Good meat. Tasty, rich, juicy meat. He need only go out there and take whichever one he pleased.

               But that would be bad, he thought. Most of the meat you couldn’t take, because it would bring others. You had to find the ones that lurked in the shadows like they were seeking meat themselves. They were the ones none of the other meat missed. You took those, the enemies wouldn’t come.

               But he had to have something. The daylight voice was growing more quiet, and though the beast was proud and able, he knew that somehow he needed the daylight voice. The daylight voice was smart, a guide that sought to keep them both from harm. The voice knew the ways of this good meat, and how to avoid being caught. It could be trusted, so the beast had to find some way to keep him. But he was losing that other voice, and would need something, anything to keep him from slipping away. But the only way to keep this voice from daylight was the meat, and there was none. None close enough to quench the growing, rabid hunger that would silence the guide and send the beast on a rampage.

               Then he smelled the blood. A big stain of it on the strange grass that surrounded him, wet, thick and red. The aroma lured the beast over to the great red circle, blocked off by a strange yellow web with black markings. The beast tore through the web and threw itself onto the stain.

               The daylight voice whispered to him. Go ahead. It’s yours.

               The beast pressed its tongue to the blood and licked, each lick bringing the daylight voice back a little more. Alpha and Little Brother howled again, calling the beast forth to the hunt, where they would prowl the square mountains in search of their meat. He would be along now, once he was done with the blood in front of him.

               Sweet like honey.

The Future of My Werewolves

As I come up on the ending of this book, I wonder what my next shall be. I’m certainly no slacker when it comes to writing. I may have found the answer in an earlier script about werewolves.

On this week I finished Salem’s Lot, and was able to completed a whopping three chapters of my fantasy adventure epic, more than enough to warrant a break while I shoot a short film in Northern California next week. But it’s no problem. 117,000 words and 315 pages. This book is shaping up to be everything I wanted and more. The polishing process is sure to be lots of fun this time around.

But what next? I would like to take a brief break from Never Heroes. Let the world rest a bit while I write another book and then move on to Never Heroes 2As you may recall from this previous post, I wrote a script that told the tale of werewolves partnering up with a detective to hunt a serial killer. The script was originally titled City of Wolves, but was later renamed Manhunters.

I love werewolves, and I love crime fiction, so I thought blending the two would be great fun, and it was. The script is among my personal favorite that I’ve written. It is flawed and could certainly use improvement, but it inches ever closer to what I want from it.

Only now I wonder if it would be a good book. The thought originally came when I wondered if my original plan of a career in movies would ever happen. That is a real possibility. Making a movie requires a lot of things, a cast, a crew, a budget, a studio willing to put it out, sets, special effects, you name it. With a book, you need just one thing, a keyboard and an imagination. The universe is yours when it comes to writing a book.

Perhaps I wondered if movies don’t work out, some of my scripts could make some pretty solid novels. Manhunters was one I wondered about often. How fascinating would it be to write a transformation scene. How sweet would it be to write the book from the point of view of a werewolf. How much deeper I could delve into a story, character backgrounds and pasts. How I wouldn’t have to worry about sticking to that pesky 120 page limit most scripts have. With a book, the borders are open, and everything is free reign.

I think reading Salem’s Lot is what did it. I still liked my current title but it wasn’t anything as catchy as King’s tale that blended Dracula with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (that’s seriously what Salem’s Lot is, and it’s awesome). It occurred to me that the place gave the story such a good character, and that my story, set in San Francisco, got much of its character from the beautiful City By the Bay. Golden Gate some people called it.

Only Golden Gate wasn’t a scary title. This city wasn’t one of gold but it ran red with blood. It was a Red Gate. A Scarlet Gate if you will. That sounded nice and ominous. Maybe not a final title, but it is a step above the last one just like Manhunters was a step above the first.

Yesterday the ideas were so overflowing on it I free wrote some pages, clocking in at 2200 words before returning my attention to my beloved Haiden set epic. It’s only five pages, but those five pages are right. I will post them here tomorrow, and hopefully you will agree.

 

Mourning My Pinky: Two Chapters In A Day

Yesterday was not a good day to be one of my digits. I finished two chapters of my re-write in a single day.

Now I didn’t start that first chapter, chapter 11 on that day, but I did start chapter 12. I ported over much of the material and thought I would think nothing more of it, But there was nothing else to do. I had finished Salem’s Lot the previous day, had watched the long awaited Tobe Hooper adaptation and caught up with an old friend over the phone. What else was there to do but write?

I started working on the re-writes for chapter 12 at noon, and didn’t stop until eight that night. Of course I took breaks to eat and let my fingers rest, but after a certain point, I figured, screw it. Let’s get this thing finished. And finished it is. At twenty seven pages, chapter 12 of my novel is among my longest. We now stand at 308 pages and 114,000 words. And there’s still a ways to go.

There’s still typos to correct, plot points to flesh out and prose to polish, and as I suspect will happen today, one more chapter to get done. Because other than a video phone call and a stroll down to Universal Citywalk, what else is there to do today but write?

But the day’s spoils were not shared by everyone. The pinky on my left hand suffered greatly.

I have this habit when I type. I only use three of my fingers. My index, middle and ring fingers, and occasionally my thumb whenever I heed to punch the spacebar, are forever pounding away at the keys. Because of that, my pinky finger forever stands curled up to it may not accidentally tap one of the keys. It’s fine for short stretches, but after six hours, that posture really begins to hurt. A lot.

With another chapter on the way, I mourn my pinky and wonder if the little fella can survive one more day of constant keyboard waltzing. But It shall happen. I have a ported chapter in front of my that I can likely finish in four or five hours, if that is even what it takes.

Maybe the trip down to Citywalk once we’re done will give my buddy a much needed rest, but I worry for his health. So I ask everyone to join in support for the smallest digit on my left hand. He needs your love and solidarity right now.

Here’s some sappy music for the occasion.

Reflections On The Halfway Point

I did not expect for this latest draft to be going by so quickly, nor did I expect a revived excitement that rivals, perhaps even exceeds that day I started typing this thing some two years ago. Hello everyone. Your favorite aspiring author has returned with more news on how my manuscript is developing.

Today I completed my latest draft of Chapter 10 of my novel and ported over a whopping fifteen pages for chapter 11, and that’s just for starters. There is much more to come for the ports, which promises to make chapter 11 one of the longest in the book. Funnily enough, old chapter 11 will be made up primarily of ports, so it’s not a stretch to imagine it being wrapped up today.

We currently stand at 255 pages and 93,000 words. That’s at 10 1/2 chapters, and I expect this book to clock in somewhere in the neighborhood of sixteen or seventeen chapters.

It is surprising to me just how quick this entire thing is coming along, and better yet how well it seems to be coming together.

I mentioned before there were always those nagging worries about plot details and contrivances. In my stubborn insistence on working within the box, I tried to figure out how I could make these contrivances work. Two main villains only appearing for a few scenes, one character getting very little build up, seeming inconsistencies in the universe of this world, lack of character development on certain key plot points, and so forth.

I never thought to make a list of the things that worried me and figure out how to fix them. It would entail doing something that was both difficult and incredibly fun. Just re-write them. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes on this book I wrote just to fill out my self designated chapter quota. Now that’s a big no-no. If a chapter if fifty pages, let it be fifty pages. If a chapter is a single word. Fine. Let it be a single word. But don’t write just to fill in a desired number. Writing like that is as sturdy as a house of cards, and the only thing entertaining about it is watching it topple.

I should have known there was a problem, because those passages were always a drag to edit and proofread. They bored me. If they bore me, they should have no trouble boring the reader. I realized that earlier last month, and sought to remove all that bored and replace it with all that could awe.

So I did that hard, fun thing and got to re-writing. I made a detailed outline with a list of all those little nagging worries, and in the outline I checked them off one at a time until the story, which by this point had been nearly edited to death, sprung to life on the operating table. The worst of the last draft was thrown in the bin, and the best of it carried over to live on with the new material that gave this story a revived voice and character.

Even managed to squeeze in an all new chapter with all new material while I was at it, and noticed an increased smoothness with how it came to be. I was writing quicker than two years ago, and writing a lot better too.

Now I have the opposite problem. Some of my chapters are too long. I find myself trimming fat that either no longer fits in this new version or is just dull. But that’s good, because the dull things are lost, leaving behind only what shines.

What do we have in the end? Those two villains are now much more active, that character is better built, the world is more consistent and reliable, and that little plot point is developed enough to finally have a punch. And the exciting conclusion of this story is coming, which if you recall, involves Two Dragons Punching Each Other.

I’ve crossed the halfway threshold many times for this story, six times as it were. Nobody has been harder on it than me. I was hard on it until I had no more questions. The passages that bored are replaced with ones that awed, the questions that so worried me are now all but gone. The story finally moves with a purpose.

It’s alive.

 

The Public Reading of My Book

Well, I was able to read some of my book publicly in front of Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society. How did it go? In spite of a few hiccups, it went rather well.

For one there was a problem with the address. I punched in the wrong one in my GPS. Because of that I arrived twenty minutes later than I had planned and didn’t get a lot of networking opportunities. I arrived stressed out, upset and starving. I hadn’t eaten anything since 4 in the morning, and that was just a piece of bread. Fortunately a banquet was awaiting my attention. Pulled pork, biscuits, cookies, cake, and so much more. That filled my belly and left me feeling better.

As for the reading itself, about those flubs. I accidentally left one of my four pages on the floor of my car, so that sucked. I started reading from page two which didn’t provide as much context to the scene. Also, typos. Plenty of them. Don’t you just love how those little bastards don’t jump out at you until you read something out loud? Good at hiding they are.

I read through the typos careful not to skip a beat, and was able to get through the pages without the dreaded stage rearing its ugly head. Funny thing is I enjoy public speaking more than most people. As someone who always longed to have a voice, public speaking is an invigorating experience.

The applause was great of course, but that could have just been people being polite. Afterwards I was approached by several people who complimented the reading and said they wanted to hear more some time. One of the people who headed the event placed his hand on my shoulder and said “Well done.”

That made me feel very good.

It was a good confidence boost for an aspiring writer. I talked with a few of the people there, passed out some business cards and will see if any of them get back. I have been a member of this society since June and this was the first time I was able to attend. Hopefully I will be able to attend many more times. These people were wonderful.

I certainly look forward to delving back into the world of my novel. Chapter 10 as it were is nearly finished already. It is shaping up to me another long one with plenty of ports to be trimmed and re-written. Again, what I really look forward to is not the edits, but the new material fighting to get out. The material that will change the face of this story.

That’s always where the real fun is. That and sharing it with people. Writing, like any other art form, is about self expression and communication. For a first time effort at communicating, it seems this story went over rather well.

A Week Of Work & Writer’s Block

The aftermath of our store’s holiday party was not what I expected when it came to my book. Would you believe I only finished one chapter so far this week?

Granted, chapter 10 is looking pretty swell so far but it will be a long shot for it to wrap up by the weekend. There’s so much new material to write, so much old material to port and trim, and no shortage of ideas to sort through to see which ones work and which ones don’t.

So why was this week not quite so productive? Work for one. I was going around applying to temp agencies for work to see if a career in art and media could be jumpstarted. Then of course came MoviePilot where it turned out the evaluation on my final article had been sent but the email somehow didn’t go through.

So I got that evaluation and plowed through the article Wednesday. My article, on Why Guardians of the Galaxy Needs More Kevin Bacon, hasn’t proven as big a hit as I hoped, and I have yet to receive word on if this now makes me a verified creator. Throw in a little existential crisis and I wasn’t in the mood to write Wednesday night.

I struggled all through chapter 9 on Thursday. I was just not having very much fun. Downright miserable experience realizing I’m approaching 30 which puts me about a third of the way done with this ride before the coaster stops and we need to step off. I used to believe in an afterlife. Now I’m not so sure, and I work under the assumption this will be my one shot. That puts a lot of urgency in things.

Things were shaping up that night though. I was able to wrap up 9 and get started on 10. If I keep at it, I may be able to clinch the halfway point before turning in.

Tomorrow holds some promise. I’m going to a cookout for the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society and will be doing an open mic reading of four pages from my manuscript. It will be the first ever public reading of the material at this stage, so hopefully it will be warmly received. If not, it will be a nice meal to enjoy.

Indiana Jones vs. Smaug

Greetings from everyone’s favorite wannabe author. As expected, the holiday party for my store left me with one more completed chapter for my book Never Heroes, forty finished pages on the amazing Salem’s Lot, and a belly full of salad, biscuits, chicken and potatoes. As for my free gift, I got an electric iron. Was unaware people still used those things, but I’m sure someone I know will find use for it.

I haven’t done much writing since the party given my increased search for film related work. I have four interviews this week, so hopefully that will lead to something. Given the paperwork I need to fill out tonight, I don’t expect to resume work on Never Heroes until tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t have some fun.

Temple-of-doom-Indiana-Jones

I must once again state my undying love for the Indiana Jones series. To me, that is the standard by which I judge all other adventure stories. Like most of us, I always love to imagine how other favorites would be influenced by an outside character, in this case the Middle Earth saga.

Though I loved Tolkien as a person and learned much from him, I wasn’t really enamored with his work until this last year. Strange considering I’m writing a fantasy novel, but lets move on. Being a fantasy series, there will obviously be treasure, which would be fertile ground for a treasure hunter like the good Dr. Jones, but who could he fight? Not Sauron. I have no doubt Jones could pull off a gun vs. sword miracle in that case, but there was another rival that seemed more fitting. Jones is the ultimate treasure hunter, so he should go up against the ultimate treasure hoarder. Smaug the dragon.

indiana-jones-vs-smaug

It seemed like a match made in heaven to me. I made the above meme as a giggle and shared it with friends on Facebook. We all hope a little meme we make will go viral. Apparently though someone already did something similar with Smaug and Kylo Ren. Not sure why other than Star Wars fans trying to stick it to Tolkien, in which case, shame on you Warsies. Stop trying to kick everyone else off the geek mountain. You’re making the other Warsies look bad.

Of course there was another way to indulge in my fantasy, and that is my habit of making fake movie posters.

the-science-redemption-re-mastered-completed

I love the art of movie posters, in particular Drew Struzan’s work which I always found appealing. Now I can’t paint to save my life…I think. But I do know a few tricks in photoshop to simulate the look of paint using photographs and a few filters. I did the above poster a few years back as part of my Everything Is Better With Carl Sagan series, and I’m still very proud of it. By the way, I’m a pretty religious guy, so I don’t want to hear anybody say I’m bashing religion with this picture.

I could clearly do a good fake poster, so why not a fake movie poster for Indy’s battle with Smaug? I even had the plot worked out. While studying artifacts in Eastern Culture, Indy is transported to Middle Earth where he saves Gandalf and Bilbo’s party from some baddies. Indy learns that an artifact that may have the power to send him back to his world is in the realm of the ferocious Smaug, so he uncurls the whip and joins the party on what may be the greatest adventure of his life. But some have other ideas. Evil wizard Saruman believes Indy’s world is ripe to be conquered, and wants to use him as a tool that will lead him and Sauron back to our world. Will Indy succeed in returning home and preventing the evils of Middle Earth from following him?

So, without further delay, ladies and gentlemen I give you….

indiana-jones-and-the-halls-of-erebor

This is easily my photoshop masterpiece, and it’s hard to say what will dethrone it in due time. Why did I do this? Just for fun. It felt good to take a short break from the land of Haiden to create a blend of the two series that jointly inspired my book.

Come on guys. This would be awesome. Indy and Gandalf would undoubtedly have much to talk about, Indy could call Bilbo ‘Short Round’ all the time and lots of orcs get shot and thrown under carriages. If you wouldn’t pay to see that, you either don’t have the money or don’t have the soul.

Hope you enjoyed today’s random post. Feel free to whore out-I mean share my posters at your leisure as long as you link back to the site here.

Catch y’all later.

How I Feel About Draft 6

Writing another draft of a previously written book is no easy task. It may be less work than building up three hundred pages from a blank computer screen, but to get a more clearly defined vision of your story out in the open so it looks like more than just a vague image behind fogged glass can be as daunting as anything.

As the drafts go on, there are always the questions, those little nagging worries one has while lingering over your prose. You wonder if a character’s actions make any sense, but are in a bind because the characters need to go to a certain place for the story to function. So you strong arm them and force them to go wherever you need.

That’s just one example of the questions, and with any book, there are many. They always keep you coming with the mallet and chisel over and over again.

How many questions do I have with this draft?

None.

I cannot begin to tell you all how good that feels. I went through each one of my complaints point by point, searching for ways to fix them, and in finding those solutions, the creative floodgates were open. The glass was un-fogged, the story became clear, and I finally knew this was the last one.

For real this time, I swear.

I think in accepting I never would get 100% of the story I wanted was what freed me. I accepted that perfection was out of reach, but still wondered how close I can get. As it stands now, the story is at least a 90. I seldom sit in front of the keyboard with no ideas, because they continue to bounce around the old noggin, begging to be released in letters.

How I feel about this draft? I think I’m in love.