Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reading Over Surfing

My friend Bernadette had this up on Facebook, touting a book that examines the importance of reading books in the face of Internet fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tom Sheppard in the Paper

Freakazoid!/ P&B writer Tom Sheppard got mentioned in the LA Times for his YouTube work. Tom's a good fellow, deserving of continued success.
Via Julie McNally Cahill on Facebook

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Devil

High concept: people trapped in an elevator and one of them is the Devil. Now add a game of Spin the Bottle and you have the ingredients for a top-notch horror/thriller, produced by suspense king M. Night Shyamalan. Directed by the Dowdle Brothers, the film's use of Satan in a simple childhood activity undermines innocence and reveals the dark side of humanity. Featuring a cast of little-known actors, the movie unfolds in a Philadelphia office building. Five people stuck in an elevator unmask one of their own as the Devil. Waiting for rescue, they grow bored and spin the Devil around on the floor. Whoever his horns point to when he stops must tell a sin. The Devil promises to reward the biggest sinner with political power, gold and carbon off-sets. However, all the spinning makes the Devil ill. Suffering from motion sickness, the Father of Lies upchucks inside the elevator. The horrified passengers now learn that Satan had tangerines for lunch. Brian Nelson's 75-minute script, with a story credit by suspense king M. Night Shyamalan, keeps you on the edge of your seat and will do to elevators what Psycho did to shower stalls. Rated PG-13 for language and depicting citrus fruit as disgusting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Commence to Read

Ever grown up? Started something? Opened a door for the first time? Check out the writing at Dysfunctional Beginnings and give yourself a fresh start.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Latest Writing Formula

I've finished the next part of the novel's first draft. It comes out to exactly 27,522 words. Throw in my original story and you've got about 150 pages of mostly junk. I'll take a wee break, then write the last section. I've stopped trying to craft coherent sentences and have settled on a method that is part writing, part outline, part stream-of-consciousness, and a lot of notes to myself. In any case, like the erosion of the Rocky Mountains, I'm getting there.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cthulhu Con A'Coming

A film festival devoted entirely to all things Lovecraft. This weekend in LA and October 1 - 3 in Portland. Having just sold a Lovecraft-inspired short story to Necrotic Tissue, I'm thinking of heading down there and hobnobbing with my fellow Lovecraftians. The event motto is: "The only festival that understands." Ieeeee to that.

via Mike M. on Facebook
Video: mikeboas

Review: Machete

A breathtaking film, Machete is director Robert Rodriguez homage to beloved children’s tale Charlotte’s Web. Set in the southwest, the film employs the subtle storytelling and layered characterizations that have built Rodriguez’s reputation as the David Lean of Texas. Teen heartthrob Danny Trejo portrays Machete, a blade-packing, Wilbur-like character. Forced to move about like a runt pig in order to remain alive, Machete lives on the allegorical chopping block. In a deft choice, Rodriguez crafts a web of racism and corruption that only Machete can slice. Rotten Senator McLaughlin (Robert DeNiro) is the anti-Charlotte. He is assisted by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey), a hate-filled businessman who kills illegal immigrants and grinds their bones into bone powder. But Machete has his own Templeton the Rat—Shé (Rebecca Rodriguez). Shé is a taco-truck driving revolutionary who hopes to reclaim Texas for Mexico. Once back in the right hands, Texas will be transformed into a paradise, modeled after the Swiss-like order and civic honesty of Tijuana. Rich with themes of loyalty and undying friendship, Machete, not surprisingly, includes a scene at the Texas State Fair. There, Machete wins a blue ribbon for throwing knives at a spinning target on which is tied a pretty girl in tights (Lindsay Lohan). I believe E.B. White would heartily approve.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Patsy Cline Bio Piece

Patsy Cline would be 78 today. Check out my mini bio of the talented, but doomed, country/pop star.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Circuit Riding

Speaking of buzz, Nate Ruegger does the necessary work to promote his film.

The Year in Fiction

Back in 2009 around this time I wrote a post in which I hoped to sell ten short stories in six months. (Note: the fire I mentioned finally went out and Colin Wells returned safely home from Afghanistan, got married and is completing his Army service.)

I have sold 4 stories—my sidebar tells the tale—out of 21 submissions with one story still out. I expanded a short story into a novella which I'm now expanding into a several hundred page novel.

For the last three years, animation writing has morphed into a maze consisting mostly of dead ends. That could change rapidly, but so far has resisted the impulse.

In any case, nothing gets finished by wishing and wanting, so on I go. Halloween is my deadline for finishing the novel's first draft. I hate and resent the novel. It's like a five-pound bee you can neither kill nor drive from your home.

October 31. Death to the bee!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Review: The Last Exorcism

Teen comedies aren't my first choice, but "The Last Exorcism" had me chuckling like a fat man in a dryer. This light-hearted spoof of religion, dating, and southern mores carried with it the bawdy overtones of American Beauty combined with the serio-comedic stylings of John Hughes' Breakfast Club. Director Daniel Stamm employed a first-person camera ala "Blair Witch" in this often touching tale of 16-year-old Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) who finds she has a demon in her life and must grapple with maturing needs as well as those of an evil being from Hell who desires her degradation and destruction. Patrick Fabian portrays Cotton Marcus, a cynical preacher called upon to exorcise Nell at a remote Louisiana farm. Fabian captures the same hapless frustration as Jeffrey Jones' principal in "Ferris Bueller." Writers Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland weren't afraid to insert a little slapstick as Cotton Marcus and Iris Reisen (Iris Bahr) discover slaughtered cattle, then share a scene straight out of Johnny Puleo and the Harmonica Gang. Unknown Caleb Landry Jones steals the film as Nell's brother Caleb, exhibiting an innocent buffoonery reminiscent of beloved Mexican funny man Cantinflas. "Last Exorcism" hits all the right notes for a late-summer, light-hearted romp to take your mind off the heat and give the funny bone a good workout. (Rated 'R' for scenes of torture and mutilation.)