Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Toe Tags

This will be good for when all the little white boys grow up and want to pick up Asian women. I've got no clue what's in it for the little white girls, I'm afraid.

This is humorous, for people who enjoy laughing.

Adaptation on my mind. A. Dah. Ptay. Shun. I love it here, Wendy. I wish we could stay here for ever, and ever, and ever...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"raCe caR" is a Palindrome

Watched Les Quatre Cent Coups (The 400 Blows) recently. "The 400 Blows" apparently comes from a French expression which roughly means "Raising Hell". My asshole DVR stopped recording right before the final, iconic shot. So in the version I saw, he just keeps running and if you hadn't seen it before, you'd never know where he's gonna end up...

Doesn't really help me with my current adaptation. (Helps a little with another script I'm redrafting.) What an amazing film. As amazing as Mars. But no, it dudn't help me too much. It's a filmmaker's film. Like "The Shining" is a filmmaker's film. They're great for inspiration, but I can't be writing an art film.

The adaptation's coming into its own, I think. It's good exploring these characters new. Reestablishing them for a world that may never encounter them on a stage. Outsiders.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mars is Amazing!

One day, I'm going to produce a child like this.

(And he'll kill me.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Darkly Dreaming Malice

A reminder to myself that my "commence date" was October 30th and thus the deadline for the first draft of my adaptation is January 30th.

After all, the blog's for me. Yes, a splatter of people may read them, and I take that into consideration (these could be a lot more confessional than they are), but ultimately it's a personal journal. The fact that it's online is an invitation to voyeurs.

It's no secret I've done some serious wrestling with this adaptation, but progress is being made. Problems are being identified and dealt with. It's not Iraq. I've got an exit strategy. It might be argued that I'm sacrificing my personal life a bit, but that assumes I've got a personal life to sacrifice.

The thing's like a jigsaw puzzle. You've got to dump all the pieces on the floor. Out of the chaos, you look for pieces that fit together. Small parts that become bigger parts. With patience and care, something larger and cohesive begins to form.

Still a few days left of November. I am resigned to the fact that I shall be a mental case throughout December. Light a candle for Malice. He needs a warm thought.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We Could Live for 1,000 Years

Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow
And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I ever had

Dealing with feedback is a special skill, I think. Some people seem to revel in getting criticism. Those super-positive people who love receiving and giving the bluntest possible feedback for the purpose of improving a piece... as if the piece were some math equation that could be fixed by tending to a few steps that were overlooked or miscalculated.

Some people criticize a writer for not being able to take criticism. But I can't relate to the people who don't have a hard time weathering it. Is the writing process that easy for them? That mechanical? Such that they don't wince a little when their baby is torn open and dismantled in front of them?

But yes, it is part of the price for putting your work out there. Letting your child walk out onto the streets.

For me, I've gotta keep in mind where it's coming from. Who it's coming from. What they're saying and how much of it is valid and/or useful to me. All the internal self-doubt is inclined to latch onto the negative shit for validation. That is not fucking useful.

It's so easy for some writers. To hear their own words spoken by other people, to field the spectrum of reactions. Do they have souls? Do they dream of electric sheep?

And then there's me. Putting way too much effort into everything. A gentle wind hurts my skin. I've probably chosen one of the most dangerous careers for my personality type.

At the end of the day, it's just you and the computer, and whatever it takes for you to get more writing done. Trying to block out all the negative bullshit, and the small-minded feedback, and the well-meaning comments from people who may resent you because they have some preconception of who you might be. But no one has any idea who you really are. Not at the end of the day when there's no one around except the demons that like to watch your progress...

Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Talked to Death

For a person who whines about the isolation of writing, it's pretty easy for me to get fed up talking. 3:15am. I hate these nights. I go to bed at a reasonable hour but I can't sleep through. I end up waking up at some awkward time of the night/mourn, hangover in full bloom, left to meditate upon all the stupid things I may have said or done.

Tonight wasn't even that crazy. We presented a new scene of Fahrenheit at the BMI Workshop. I bought some food/drinks for my collaborators afterwards. I was a bit anxious to celebrate coz I finally got PAID something, after a month and a half nosedive. Three stupid drinks and I'm babbling like a nincompoop. About Fahrenheit, about Butcherhouse, about blah blah blah.

I am not a super-toy that lasts all summer long. I can wind up but I will wind down. And I know when I'm on the downward turn, and that's when I start searching for my exit.

But I'm thankful that I crash. That I can suffer unpleasant aftermaths from 3 girlish drinks. That I don't feel compelled to drink all night, or night after night. You can waste so much time talking about what you want to do with your life.

Enough. I hate in myself what I hate in others.

Salvation through work.

This is a very good week for getting things done and overcoming humps. This vehicle runs on self-contempt, and the fuel is cheap and plentiful. Don't come near me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This Sudden Darkness Fills the Air

It's always so obvious to everyone but me. It's not the darkness that gives me a problem. It's the light. It's levity. It's the misdirection before we plunge into hell...

Ah, this is good... this is great... oh yeah, this is what I'm talking about... this is why I'm number one... I should have been doing this all along, what the hell have I been doing, this is where it's at... everything is clear... everything is clear in this world... I can see for miles, it's so easy... of course, yes, there it is... okay, yeah, that's what it needs to be...



... oh my fucking christ... what was I thinking... useless, pointless, incomprehensible tripe... this is wrong, I am wrong, it's all wrong wrong wrong... I am an idiot, I am a despicable idiot, I should not be here...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Sweeter World (than this)

You're wondering, How's that big ol Butcherhouse adaptation going, Malice?

It's... coming along. I was officially "commenced" last week, which means I'm technically into my second week of the first-draft writing phase. So, what am I doing to procrastinate besides watching television, playing videogames and blogging...?

I'm revisiting screenplays I've already finished...

There's purpose here. It's getting in touch with how I managed to do this before. In addition, I'm getting contacted by managers/agents who love the play and would like to read more of my work. (I still have no idea how these people got a copy of my play to read, but I'll be sure to blog about that once the mystery's cracked.)

So anyway, there are two completed screenplays I'd be willing to show people, but I wouldn't dare send them out before rereading them and doing a bit of clean-up.

One of these is a script that was originally called "The Sugar Fix", which I've decided to rename "A Sweeter World" because it sounds like something more likely to be produced. It's a children's fantasy movie, unabashedly in the vein of The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Never-Ending Story. I wrote it many years ago, primarily to test how quickly I could crank out a full-length screenplay. Main reason I chose fantasy was I figured I wouldn't have to do any time-consuming research -- I'd just make shit up.

Hadn't read it in a while, but I'm shockingly charmed by it so far. I charm myself! It's a strange thing, reading something you've got so much distance from. I wrote it but it's as if somebody else wrote it. (Somebody else DID write it, coz I died a few years ago.) It's encouraging to me to know that I managed to write something that reads so cleanly, in such a short space of time. I know I'll reach some sections I'm going to have to fix, but I know this one's in good shape. And hopefully it'll give me some ideas for how to charm up my Butcherhouse script.

The other script that I'm going to be revisiting is called "Dystopia". My first full-length screenplay. My first horror screenplay. That one is due for a MAJOR overhaul. I wrote it in college and it received some very strong notices back then -- and back then, for a time, I thought it'd be my ticket into the major leagues -- but now I recognize all the problems with it. So many problems, I'm surprised that it received ANY positive notices, in hindsight. But I am better equipped to fix it now. And I've got a stronger motivation to fix it. So, that's what I'll do.

But yes, you're right. BUTCHERHOUSE is my primary focus. It's what I'm getting paid to do right now. I'm still finding my groove with it, but I think I've just overcome an initial hurdle with it. I've just got to shove on. For me, progress occurs in unwieldy spurts. I've got three months for this phase and I'd like to be able to crank out a rough-rough draft in about a month. That should give me ample time to rework and obsess over it before I need to submit it as my first official draft. I've got to make a good impression with it.

No pressure...