Sunday, August 20, 2017

Story Shifts from Slashing to Psyche

b-maze
That makes the writing sound rather highbrow. It's not. This project is an uphill run wearing leg weights.

For the latest book, I've been inspired by two old outlines for the same supernatural detective story, only in different genres: one graphic novel and the other an animated TV series. As one might gather, both outlines are action-oriented, very visual.

As I struggled to develop the outlines into an ebook, the process felt awkward and forced, like two kitchen magnets with similar poles. Nothing fit together. I stopped trying to develop characters and event sequences and started to research various aspects of urban life, Islam, Vikings, and police procedure. Fortunately, I caught myself before ditching yet another book.

The action is still there, but diminished or unseen. Now I'm unsure what kind of tale I have. A minor character grows into a major player, while the main character's psychological struggles assume a larger dimension.

On I go, watching my subconscious sort out all the elements. I find myself being presented with the characters I need to write this book.

Eventually, I'll have a first draft.

Then I can research.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Waltzing Museum


Autry Museum

Sung to the Tune of Waltzing Matilda

Once an Aussie Tourist stood alone in Griffith Park,
Under the shade of a California Oak,
And he asked an old jogger, shuffling 'long the bridal path,
Will you snap a shot of the Autry and me?

Autry Museum, Autry Museum,
You'll photograph the museum with me,
And he sang to his camera, waiting for the jogger man,
You'll photograph the museum with me.

Basically, that's what happened yesterday. As I finished my modest run in hot weather, a short Aussie man in a large Outback Hat asked me to take a picture of him with the Autry Museum of the American West in the background.

Glad to help out a cobber, I took the photo, but realized he was in shadow. Informing my subject that his face was not visible, I suggested he move closer to me and I would change position, thus capturing both features and museum. He agreed, then glided back into the shade.

I gestured him forward to a spot where there was sufficient light. He stepped where indicated, then backed away. There was something in his mind. Something about the composition of the shot. 
Something as solid and immovable as Ayers Rock. Perhaps he'd thought about the photograph with furious concentration, flying over the darkened Pacific between Oz and LA. In any case, it seemed the man held the museum in greater esteem than himself.

After a few more pictures, I returned the camera to this humble fellow from a land far off and commenced stretching my ancient tendons and ligaments.

A pleasant trip and a safe journey back to your island continent, sir.

Or, as Gene Autry himself might have crooned, 'Happy trails to you.'

Chris Ford@flickr




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Death by Research


Learning in Tandem

A subtle end to any story, garbed in a cloak of righteousness.

By stopping to obtain details that will lend verisimilitude to my tale, I impend momentum, ignore troubling logic woes and character growth, and busy myself with a seeming good that is, done out of turn, a corrosive bad.

Sooner or later, research bores me, and I decide the book's premise was built on sand. From there, it's a short step to a new project. Like various toxic political theories, the next book is always going to be different, better, finally done right.

And, once more, hope will triumph over experience.

So I persevere with the latest book. I hope to release this supernatural mystery as an ebook for Christmas, with a softcover roll out in the first quarter of '18.

And I will succeed, provided I stop premature researching.

Watched San Andreas the other night. You knew where this movie's going from Fade In. But that was the charm. My mind hurt from a long day of researching. I really didn't want to be challenged. I sought visual relaxation and found it. (A few nights later, I watched The Master. And while I loved the acting, I have no idea what that movie was about, other than Scientology.) 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Uber Alles in Motoring Satisfaction

NPR

Visited Chicago for my niece's wedding. Rather than rent a car, I chose to Uber about. Very fast, these Windy City drivers, and I saved myself a lot of headaches, especially since Virgin America delayed my flight for three hours, depositing me in Chicago around 2:30 AM. But an eager Uber wheel man saw me safely to my hotel.

Great moment with one Uber driver on the way out of town. I told him to drop me at Terminal 3, Alaska Airlines. For some reason, he believed I was traveling to Alaska, or else, that Alaska Airlines only made trips to and from our 49th state. He was curious about life in the far north. An attempt to explain that I was returning to Los Angeles, my home, went nowhere. He'd decided I was a true Son of the Tundra, perhaps being coy. Since I'd been to Alaska, I played along and spoke about Fairbanks and Juneau and glaciers and Devil's Club.

He wanted to know if extreme cold harmed partying. I told him there was always a night life. (My instincts tell me this is true.)

We parted on good terms.

Am I writing? Yes. Let's leave it at that and not jinx matters. I'm on Ch. 5 of something that started out as a paranormal comedy and now veers into mystery. Fine. All I require is a first draft. All genre questions will be sorted out at that time.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bookangel Applauds 50ZG


Bookangel

Free UK ebook site Bookangel saluted my western-romance parody over on Goodreads. Among other complimentary remarks, they referred to 50 Shades of Zane Grey as ". . . a hysterically funny and very keenly observed skewering of Fifty Shades of Grey."

Read more here.

A depressing day, surrounded by much sickness and chaos. Very unpleasant time; wearying. I tell myself the classic, "It could be worse." But sometimes the old aphorisms fail to sooth. Humans are built to endure so that's what I'll do on a day when the birds are screeching, chirping, making a stinking racket right outside my window. Why doesn't Raid make anything for birds?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hallow Mass Hailed Again


TV Tropes

Reader and author Hans G. Schantz found my Lovecraftian horror tale "clever, amusing, and fun." Scroll down to Most Recent Customer Reviews and scope out his brief summary.

Still laboring to provide assistance to a very ill family member. Sometimes this very ill family member insists they're healthy as a young mare and that everyone, including cardiologists, are overwrought and misguided. This doesn't help.

I'm writing something. I'm writing almost every day. But I'm not going to say what I'm writing. For the last year, this has been poison to my craft. I'll drop the book or short story collection within six weeks and start on a fresh tale that I'll post about.

 So to keep the words flowing, I'm shutting my mouth. At least until the second draft.

  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Burnett Bids Bye to TV Animation



Nice guy Producer Alan Burnett wrapped it up after 26 years at Warner Bros. Amazing! Unbelievable! Who spends 26 years anywhere other than prison? I knew Alan back in the day and worked with him on a pair of Batman Beyond scripts as well as developing a project or two that never saw daylight. I wish him well in Florida, the land of his birth, where he returns now for grandchildren production, alligator enjoyment, and humidity



Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Today

memorialdayfacts
Not 'happy' Memorial Day. It should be a somber time with ceremonies tied to the theme that freedom isn't free. But we are a people cut off from our history, disconnected from our military whom many seem to view as a heavily armed jobs program in need of social engineering. Can't say the Romans were exactly the same as we, but, at some point, the elites of the western empire stopped serving and starting sub-contracting wars to barbarians who eventually conquered them.  I suppose anything not worth fighting for isn't worth keeping. May our honored dead rest in peace.

My family medical issue is lining up to be long term. I need to readjust my focus to accommodate an elderly relative in need of constant care. It's not pleasant, but a fair number of things in life just plain aren't.

Fractured elbow is healing better than I expected. Sprained wrist is back to around 85%. Ice and immobility are doing the trick.

Not a cheery post today, but my fundamental cheeriness is at low ebb, at least for the moment.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hallow Mass: You Will Be Triggered


keywords suggests.com

Novelist and author of The Risen Adam J. Smith shared a few kind thoughts on my horror novel. Over at Stranger Writings, Smith summarized Hallow Mass thusly:

"With Overtones of William Peter Blatty's Humorous Dialogue Style, Hallow Mass is Irreverent, Self-Deprecating And Amusing — A Paranormal Novel with a Personality."

Where one may peruse a review of Hallow Mass.


More importantly, from a domestic stand-point, Smith saluted the book's editing, courtesy of my wife and her many years of magazine production. 

Scroll down the page and read the paragraph. Then swing by Cultured Vultures for Smith's full review. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sizzle Reel Update


Medical-actu.com



Family medical problems command my attention these last several weeks. But, lo, gaze upon my updated sizzle reel, containing samples of my work not yet removed from You Tube for copyright violations.


Saturday, May 06, 2017

Where Have All the Old Ones Gone?


pixabay.com via Snappy Goat

Video Views Lack of Lovecraft Films


A serious illness in the family continues to absorb much of my time, but I found a few moments to watch a pretty cool short film delving into the paucity of big budget movies based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. 

(Colour Out of Space? Come on, someone green light that baby. And don't forget the funky English spelling on 'color.' Oh, and what's wrong with pumping cash into Blight, making that a feature length film?)

Lovecraft was an atheist, so settings such as Hell, or story elements involving the threat or Hell, or villains such as creatures from Hell, found no traction in his dream-soaked imagination. So he invented a fictional mythos about the nature of the universe—our cosmos is neither benign nor neutral, but intensely hostile.


H.P. cancels the future. 


In Lovecraft's mythos, caring, rational human beings, working in the best interests of humanity, would not be solving economic disparities and creating a just society. Eventually, humans would be ground underfoot like beetles under a boot—the clever with the dim—or consumed by monstrous beings called Great Old Ones, summoned from eerie dimensions to claim the Earth. (Or else people would go screaming mad and then be crushed or devoured, which is, arguably, a slim difference.) 

Rossatron explores the difficulty in capturing the mythos on film, but offers examples of select elements successfully rendered by various directors such as John Carpenter. Explore his take here:


In other news:


Horror author Samantha Gregory Salutes Hallow Mass


Also going by the handle of S.K. Gregory, the author of After and Daemon Persuasion left fine reviews of my Lovecraftian horror novel on Amazon and Goodreads, seeing within the text an "evil dead vibe . . . with "comedy/horror elements." I'll accept such praise. I surely will.