Sunday, January 15, 2012

Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled

Pfffftt...trying to blow all the dust off this blog. No promises but will try to get back in the saddle of posting.  Enough of the cliches.

Last year was a great year for reading but a lousy for writing. Started a couple of projects but finished neither. The plan this year is to finish the first draft of screenplay by the end of January. That's doable as long as I can stick to a daily writing schedule during the week followed up by furious keys-a-clacking on the weekend. Rewrite all of February then submit the bastard child in March. Keeping it simple in 2012.

Just finished "Hell & Gone" by Duane Swierczynski
Listening to "The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo" soundtrack

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Writing Space

This is where 80% of my writing takes place. I need to invent a steering wheel writing desk attachment but otherwise this is the quietest place for wool gathering and actual writing. The tough part is transcribing my scribbles onto my laptop on the weekends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Steven Pressfield is Doing The Work

Steven Pressfield is a novelist and screenwriter. He writes historical fiction blended his way.  Please go explore the many facets of his fascinating website.  A strong supporter of the writing life is where I first discovered him. "The War of Art" introduced me to what Pressfield calls 'Resistance' aka the enemy of all creative endeavours.  Steven Pressfield has written another motivational tool for the writers tool box.  


This one is called "Do The Work".  He calls it more of an action guide than a motivational book.  It breaks down any creative work you want to accomplish into steps using some key ideas.  Stay Primitive is an example. I harken it to the Bull Durham movie when Kevin Costner told his rookie pitcher, "Don't think Meat. Just pitch." Pressfield says, "Don't think, write." Get your brain out of the way of your writing muscle.

'Resistance' is always lurking though. But Pressfield knows that if you slay this dragon once, you can do it again and again. It will never have power over you again.  He makes the pursuit of writing sound epic. Of being worthwhile.  "You have done only what mothers and gods do: You have created new life."

Order it. Get it for your e-reader. Then use it as fuel to start your next project.   You won't be sorry. You will become a target of 'resistance' but everything worthwhile is.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Want To Write Like Walter Mosley

I really do. I fell in love with his writing with the Easy Rawlins series, a crime series set in LA after World War II. Hard-boiled and socially aware, a perfect series for an ideal college boy who grew up in the 'burbs.  The rough, tough world kept me interested but the use of language inspired me to try writing myself.

Walter Mosley has written several series (Fearless Jones, Socrates Fortlow) and stand-alones.  He's dabbled in other genres such as science fiction(Blue Wave).  But it's the crime fiction that enthralls me.  His character interaction is par excellence. His prose succinct and so specific, so telling of character.

That's why I'm jealous again of his new series with Leonid McGill, a P.I. trying to be a better man to himself and his family. The new book is "When The Thrill Is Gone".   Mosley's is  a masculine world with Leonid balancing the need for violence and the need for reason. Here is a short example:

"If you're lucky, I said before he could announce his own undoing, "you will one day get to be old enough and infirm enough to have some young man yellin' at you to hurry it up. If you're unlucky you'll lay hands upon me."
I want to write like Walter Mosley.

Movie: The Lincoln Lawyer-Pretty good interpretation of Michael Connelly's novel. Except the "awright" voice of Matthew Mcconaughey.
Musick: Jessica Lea Mayfield- She keeps hitting me over the head with her black songs of bad love. Coming to Louisville April 9th.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Forgotten Realms: Sandstorm

Christopher Rowe has a new book out in the D&D Forgotten Realms universe called Sandstorm.  I just got it myself so the review will be forthcoming. I've read many of Christophers wonderful, farsighted short stories and know he will lend thisperspective even to a novel in a shared world. Plus the D&D tie-in novels were gateway drugs to reading for me and so many writers in the speculative field.  Here is a blog article about that influence at Gwenda Bond's.

Muzak: The Decemberists "The King Is Dead"- getting ready for their Louisville appearance! 
             Billy Squier "The Best Of"- come on that's some pure 80's sexual mojo there

Reading: just finished "God's War" by Kameron Hurley (review forthcoming), on deck "Sandstorm"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Onward and upward," said the Cork.

Writing ain't easy. Every January starts off the same way--slow, as in molasses.  I spend several days before the end of the year crafting well thought out daily, weekly and monthly goals. Then nada. My synapses do not fire. Ideas dry up. My head is corked.
A lot of it is due to work being mad crazy for the last six weeks of the year. I get out of my writing routine. Get out of my idea casting routine. Lose my will to write. But that's all whiny excuses in the long run.  I need to stick to the axiom of putting the most important things first in my day.  Give my strongest energy to writing in the morning. Yeah.
So I bought this book for writing practice.
Basketball players practice. Saxophone players practice. Why shouldn't I? I don't screen write but the writing exercises are good for developing stories and characters.  "Onward and upward," said the Cork.

PS: Go read Vicki Hendricks new blog on writing.

 The Last Run

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vertigo Crime Gave Me The Good Heebies.

Vertigo Crime from DC gave me the highest entertainment per dollar spent in 2010. Hands down the coolest and creepiest books I read last year.  Writers such as Jason Starr,Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter Milligan and more.  A few of the artists were Chris Samnee,Victor Santos, Antonio Fuso and James Romberger.  I have not heard if they are continuing the line but I’m hoping they keep assaulting my sensibilities with excellent crime fiction authors and stellar noir artists. Crime and comics are my literary Reeses Cup.