I’ll take “Potpourri” for $300, Alex

All this AND he plays hockey
All this AND he plays hockey

-I’ve been burning through my stash of unplayed podcasts at a rapid pace (including Scriptnotes), so I’m looking to add maybe one or two more to my library. Any suggestions?

-Since my current project has a 40s/50s noir vibe to it, playing era-appropriate music on Pandora really helps capture the mood (dig that crazy sax, man).  I may even don my fedora while I write to complete the transition.  If I enjoyed scotch or bourbon, there’d definitely be a glass of it on the desk. Guess a stiff cup o’ joe will have to do.

-My original intent with the rewrite was to completely start over, but the more I read the previous draft, the more potential I see. For now, it’s all about figuring the best way to combine ideas and elements from both.

-If there’s a writer whose work you really like, find out if they have a website, blog or on Twitter and send a friendly note telling them exactly that. Everybody likes a little compliment now and then.

-Could somebody please tell Netflix to get their act together and put Season 3 of THE WALKING DEAD and Season 7 of DOCTOR WHO on streaming? Haven’t we waited long enough? This might be my chance to finally start watching BSG, BREAKING BAD or MAD MEN.

-Definitive sign autumn is here – pumpkin pop-tarts (or toaster pastries, if you want to avoid the copyright infringement) at Trader Joe’s. They’re…okay. Maybe I’ll just make more pumpkin bread instead.

-Hope your latest project is going swimmingly. Enjoy the weekend, and try to write something.

Silent no more, or at least for not much longer

The tool of my other trade
What I use when I’m not writing

The first draft is coming along quite nicely. There was a little bit of writer’s block that held me up for about a day, but I managed to work my way through it (which included the creative placeholder SCENE INVOLVING BAD GUY & HIS GANG. This was the scene before the one giving me trouble.)

The current page count is somewhere in the mid-40s, and maybe about 5 pages off from where it should be, which actually isn’t that bad.

At this point, I’m not even thinking about a potential end-date because I don’t want to be disappointed if I go past it.  So for now, it’s all about cranking out a few pages a day.

In summary – this thing’ll get done when it gets done, and I don’t want to rush it.

Keeping that in mind, there’s now a slight chance this could all be delayed, but just by a little bit.

After way too much procrastination, and the realization that I’m actually capable of setting up a schedule and sticking to it, I’m going to complicate things even more by devoting a small portion of each day to finally getting my podcast up and running.

Learning the basics still seems a little overwhelming, but this phase is always an awkward time.  Like with most things, it’ll get easier the more I work at it.

No proposed launch date for this either, but hopefully soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

Just wondering – what podcast(s) do you enjoy and/or recommend?  They don’t have to be screenwriting- or film-centric. As long as they’re entertaining.

Blink and you’ll miss this post

Current script status: up to page 7, and getting ready to introduce my bad guy. Oh, this is going to be fun.

My page-a-day method seems to be working out nicely. Some days it’s perfect, while some days it’s just enough.

-Got to read a fantastic script similar to mine in a handful of details, while the rest is totally different.  Nothing to worry about.  If anything, it’s a great example of what works to tell this kind of story.

-Been woefully lax in getting this podcast up and running. Have to set more time aside for it. Just need another 1-2 hours in the day. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

-Movie of the Moment – CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) Man, did this suck.  Almost feel compelled to see how the sequel compares. Almost.

I’m guessing this was a result of studio interference, since Travis Beacham, the writer of A KILLING ON CARNIVAL ROW and this summer’s highly-anticipated PACIFIC RIM, was one of the writers. I’ll stick with the 1981 version with Harryhausen effects, thanks.

-Since you’re in the know about my stuff, how is YOUR latest project coming along? Good, bad, need help? Let’s work together, gang.

Don’t mind me. I’m just regrouping.

Cut a little slice out of each day for creativeness (and done literally, you get pie!)
Cut a little slice out of each day for creativeness (bonus – pie while you work!)

Remember that New Year’s resolution you made about being more diligent and really sticking to a writing schedule and how you were going to be super-productive in 2013?  How’s that working out for you so far?

Well, here it is almost the middle of February and what does yours truly have to show for it, script-wise?

Zilch. Zip. Nada. The proverbial big fat goose egg and other colorful metaphors.

An outline with barely any dents in it and podcasting equipment that’s been taken out of the box twice.  How am I supposed to move ahead when I feel like I’m standing still? Not acceptable!

I could claim that most of January was focused on the query letters, but that’s kind of a lame excuse.  There’s no reason I (or any writer, for that matter) shouldn’t be able to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to work on something. Anything.

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve got that constantly-burning fire inside you that makes you want to write, create or produce something, and when you aren’t able to do that, you feel like you’re taking a step backward.

So consider the reset button officially pushed.  Let’s call this my New Year’s Resolution, Take 2.

I will do my best to try and accomplish at least one important thing each day for both script and podcast.  To be fair, there will be days where circumstances are just beyond my control and nothing will happen. It’s inevitable, and I accept that.

But the rest of the time – no excuses.

-Movie of the Moment. Not necessarily a movie, but a rediscovered treasure.  All 5 seasons of ROCKY & BULLWINKLE on Hulu Plus. Want to see countless examples of smart and hilarious writing in action?

Bullwinkle and a general watch helplessly as a missile takes off with Rocky strapped to it.

GENERAL: That squirrel is headed straight for Washington!

BULLWINKLE: Do you think he can carry the farm vote?

Look no further, my friends.

Going for that streamlined look

No, no. The car.
No, no. The car. Aw, never mind.

With most of the querying out of the way, I’m now focusing on two things: getting the podcast up and running, and fine-tuning the western outline.

There’s not much to say about the podcast, except it just hasn’t been a priority. I could have spent more time on it, but opted to get the queries out, which was very time-consuming. It’s looking more likely now to be a February launch.  Stay tuned for more details.

Regarding the outline rewrite, although I had a pretty solid outline already done, it still needs a lot of work.  Up first: tightening things up.  There are just too many scenes.

Using the existing outline, I’m now figuring out ways to move story details and plot points around so everything moves along faster.

For example: the earlier draft didn’t really introduce the villain until around page 17 (he’d been lurking around in the shadows up until then). I’ve since moved things around and now he shows up around page 4, which also includes a follow-up scene to show just what kind of a bad guy he is.

There was also the decision whether or not two scenes could be combined into one. I’ve gone back and forth on this. Scene 1 advances the story/continues to set things in motion, while Scene 2 provides some backstory about the connection between the hero and the villain. Although each has merit on their own, I’ll probably remain undecided up until the end.

Happy to say I’m still enjoying the whole thing.

-Movie of the Moment Two-fer!: THE OTHER GUYS (2010)   I don’t really care for a lot of Will Ferrell’s films, but this caught me totally off-guard. It was actually funny and had a good story. Surprisingly entertaining.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011) Another clever film from Woody Allen. Probably doesn’t hurt that I love Paris too. Kind of wish he’d write characters other than those from the upper classes.