Long Time

Long time since I’ve been in these parts.

There are eleven more days until the darkest day of the year. For the northern hemisphere, that is. In many ways, though, it seems like this has been the darkest year for a long time, even with all this California sunlight.

I worked for a production company in Scotland, on and off, for several years. That was back in the late 90s. My boss remarked that one of the best ways to weave the light into narrative was to have it surrounded by the darkness. Makes sense. That way your eye is automatically drawn to the light. Stories like that can possess a great deal of power. Sometimes, though, the darkness can be overwhelming.

The last two years have been writing-dry except for two projects. I experimented with a light-hearted epic fantasy, somewhere in between the Tormay trilogy and the Fury Clock. That project is almost done. Doesn’t have a name yet, but I have one possibility lurking in the back of my mind. I’ll need to check if someone hasn’t used it already.

The other project… now that’s quite a serious project. A friend approached me two years ago and pitched an idea to me for a feature film. He was trying to get me to join forces with him (and do most of the writing). I almost turned him down because of the time commitment it meant. Also, because the story was one of the crazier things I’d heard in a long time. But then the craziness of it started to make sense and, after a while, revealed that it had a sane heart.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on that second project. Finished the feature film script. Went through more than twelve drafts on it. Had a first studio pitch for it, with an invite back. Rewrote the script into an eight season, sixty-four episode version. And now, joined by a third writer, we are rewriting the whole thing into a book series.

There’s a lot of discussion in and around the film world these days that walking in with a killer script isn’t good enough. Sure, lightning might strike, but there are countless amazing scripts walking around the (crime-ridden) streets of LA these days. You need more than that. You need to develop your intellectual property into other mediums before approaching the studio meat grinder: books, graphic novels, podcast, audible. Those mediums are all quite doable, if you have the time and focus to tackle them. The graphic novel route takes some money, but not at the same onerous level as an actual film or video series.

We figure it’ll take about five years to do the books, graphic novels and audible. Not sure if there’s any real reason to do podcast versions if we do audible.

At any rate, plenty of fodder for writing these days. Just watch the news… or not, if you want to maintain your sanity and hopeful view of humanity. Thank God there’s a God in charge of this little universe.

Project Update

The new Christmas album is done, of course.

12th draft just finished of the super secret script project. Not my idea, but my execution. Based on an idea thought up by an old friend. Fairly mind-blowing.

2/3 of a new epic fantasy done. 160,000 words and counting. It’s turning into a doorstop.

First song finished and recorded for next Inflatable Hippies album (just think of all those hippies floating through the sky–what a pastorally atmospheric sight, particularly during a beautiful sunset). Not a Christmas album at all. This one is more of a protest album. There’s plenty of things to protest on this, the third day of the new year. And the list will grow.

Every dream has got an end,

wake up in your bed.

But the light’s gone gray,

is this day

or are we dreaming instead?

Every story’s got an end

you know it in your head.

But the pages turn,

is there time to learn

before we wake up dead?

I’m kind of going in a Linkin Park meets Green Day, but in a more sensible fashion.