The World is Full of Beautiful Things

The world is full of beautiful things, such as butterfly wings and fairytale kings, queens, princesses and ogres. At least, so says Dr. Doolittle–the Rex Harrison version from back when most people were mostly sane.

One of those beautiful things is the newest song from Son #2, the 14-year-old. He’s definitely veering in the cinematic direction, with a touch of introspection and melancholy. This one is called Moonlight, available at and in all places where fine music is sold (also, here it is on Youtube).

I’m trying to recall what I was doing creatively at the same age. I was writing stories, but they were pretty mediocre at best. I remember writing one around that time about a talking avocado and a blender and, perhaps, some kind of extra-terrestrial intrigue. At any rate, I think my teacher recommended to my parents that I get counseling. I don’t know if she said that purely on the basis of that story, or if that story was the straw that broke the proverbial academic camel’s back. By the way, I didn’t go in for counseling and have managed quite a few decades without any homicidal outbursts, kleptomania, hypochondria, multiple personalities, or even extreme paranoia. Though, I will admit to mild paranoia.

Anyway, my creative excellence at 14 does not measure up to Son #2’s composition and recording. He amazes me, but children do that? Don’t they? They amaze their poor, befuddled parents in big and small ways all through life. Such as, how did that toddler get out of his crib and onto the kitchen counter at 3 in the morning?

Another beautiful thing is the gymnastic ability of our 4-month-old kitten Pepper. She leaps in random ways, in sudden contortions of muscle and bone that defy gravity and also choice. Unless, of course, the leaps are caused by her spying the appearance of some invisible creature: angel, demon, leprechaun, honest lawyer, etc. Then, her leaps make sense.

Another beautiful thing is a good steak.

Another beautiful thing is the _____ project I was recently hired to work on by ______. Getting paid to write a _______ for ________ has always been a dream of mine that I gave up a long time ago. For an opportunity like _______ to suddenly materialize out of thin air is shocking, gratifying and pretty darn exciting. Once the ______ is ______, I’ll post all the details. Until then, I can only say _______, __________ , and __________.

This is starting to look one of those subpoenaed FBI documents the House spends years chasing after, only to be given pages of redacted information.

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.

A Different Turn of Events: when Jute and the Hawk returned to Hearne

I dug up another portion of the Tormay Trilogy that didn’t make it into the published version. This section (rather long) is intriguing for me to look back on because the events it describes morphed into something entirely different when I finished writing the book. The hunt for the Harlech soldiers was one of the areas that changed almost completely in rewrite. There were quite a few of those, but this one had a lot of reverberating ramifications. Always a fragile thing to deal with when editing…