Monday, November 17, 2008

Grist:This Dude is Awesome

I love this guy and I want his life. I'm getting there. Time.



A Quantum of Free Time

Over a week without a post? Lame, I know. But I've been hit with a couple of deadlines at the same time, and most days, the thought of slapping a few extra words into this little white rectangle seemed about as appealing as crawling across a few extra inches of broken glass. I mean, it's no big deal, I'm already bleeding... but there's no pressing need, either.

Ever since I became a full-time freelance comic book writer/novelist/whatever, I've tried to hit a daily goal, and it is this: five comic script pages and at least one thousand words of a novel/fiction. The daily emails, proofreading, corrections, edits, Q&As... that's all extra. At the core of my writing day are those five script pages, and those thousand words (which is about four pages of double-spaced typed text).

I figured if I could keep that up, I'd be on fire. Five script pages x four days = twenty pages, which is just two pages shy of a full comic script. And one thousand words a day x 30 days x 2 months = first draft of a decent-sized short novel (60,000 words).

So do I hit my daily goal? Well...

I've found that my fancy "daily goal" plan doesn't factor in what I call the "recharging my batteries" factor. When on deadline, I can write like a demon for a few days, back to back. I might crank out as many as 10 script pages, or 2 or 3,000 words of fiction. But if I try to push it that extra day, my brain refuses to give me anything useable.

And that's the problem: I'm still a creature of deadlines. I do work ahead, and I do manage to hit my daily more often than not. But my brain really doesn't kick into high gear until the clock is ticking. Which works... until I experience something like the last two weeks, when there were several clocks ticking all at once -- each slightly out of phase with each other -- and the noise made me want to leap from a church bell tower. Scripts aren't due a week at a time; sometimes, I need to produce two in a given week. When this happens, there is no time for recharging batteries. There is no try; there is only do.

All I can say is: thank God I love the doing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

journal: Work Completed

I finally finished The 12 page sample script of StarGate SG1 StarGate Atlantis crossover comic book for Avatar comics called The Teppes Machine (or Engine, I'm undecided). The reason it took so long was time constraints.  Now, I'm gonna work on a couple of reviews, correct the script, get busy on my novel, finish Midnight Snack Script, write a few poems (I'm attending a reading on Monday and I want to have new material to read) and percolate a couple of more ideas for sample scripts to Avatar that involve The Characters from the Friday the 13th and Chainsaw Massacre franchises.  Heading over to the office with the Hopester for a picnic.  Watched The Happening with my newly turned 19 year old daughter.  I freaking loved that movie and so did she. Reminded me of Hitchcock. Yeah some of the dialogue was corny but I thought the characters behaved like any "normal" person would behave in an insane situation. I also liked the Mist and the Cruise  remake of War of the Worlds.  The realistic behavior of character is more important to me than the action and special effects. Probably that is why I disliked the Day After and Independence Day so much. I could see the directorial hand moving the characters around like chess pieces and pushing all of the emotional buttons of the viewer intentionally.  In the Happening, like life shit happens and then it doesn't...  And on another note involving the movies: I am supposed to be giving a lecture to my daughter's film as lit class about Citizen Kane. Now that was a hell of an American movie.

grist: Original plans for Auschwitz found

From correspondents in Berlin
| November 09, 2008,25197,24624248-12377,00.html

plans for the construction of the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz,
including a gas chamber and crematorium, have been found in a Berlin

The daily Bild published
copies of some of the 28 plans, which the head of Germany's federal
archives, Hans-Dieter Krekamp, called "authentic proof of the
systematically planned genocide of the Jews of Europe".

Saturday, November 1, 2008

grists: spider god found in peru, new cultures

"Spider God" Temple Found in Peru

A 3,000-year-old temple featuring an image of a spider god may hold clues to little-known cultures in ancient Peru.

of the Cupisnique culture, which thrived from roughly 1500 to 1000
B.C., built the temple in the Lambayeque valley on Peru's north coast.

The adobe temple, found this summer and called Collud, is the third discovered in the area in recent years.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]

grist: Magnetic portals connect sun and Earth

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth

the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high
overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A
magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles
away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before
it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]

grist: The birth of an ocean

Birth of a new ocean

a remote part of northern Ethiopia, the Earth’s crust is being
stretched to breaking point, providing geologists with a unique
opportunity to watch the birth of what may eventually become a new
ocean. Lorraine Field, a PhD student, and Dr James Hammond, both from
the Department of Earth Sciences, are two of the many scientists
involved in documenting this remarkable event.

[View as single article...] [Follow article link...]

My Friend: Erin Lonergan of Lonergan Designs

 For anyone interested in redecorating their home  with fine plaster artistry check out my very talented and beautiful friend Erin Lonergan and her website

The woman's love for life and and art is contagious!

Journal: Tinker Toy Thoughts From a Buble Gum Mind


Journal: Tinker toy thoughts from a bubble gum mind

couple of things: I just finished a new review about a book called Threshing the Cosmic Chaff, it is a short book about Christianity that...well, let me put it this way, think about the title and when the review is up I'll supply a link. The annoying thing is that book had completely slipped my mind and I had to scramble like mad to write the review. I had to refresh myself with parts of the New and Old Testament, familiarize myself with agricultural techniques and bone up on the Socratic Method, Dante, Barth and Aliens. Yes, it was a challenge. I also went a bit over my allotted 500 words (hopefully my editor will overlook that). I have another book review due today, fiction this time...I'll get started on it in a minute. And, I was sent a couple of graphic novels to review from Dark Asylum Press, Warlash: Dark Noir by Frank Forte and The Bomb by Steve Mannion. I'm going to combine the reviews with my opinion about The Victorian, another graphic novel, perhaps write and extended article for ForeWord. Keep your eyes open for an article by me about Web Comics in the soon to be up Web mag, Graphoscope. I sent a query to the editor and it will probably only be a matter of time before it is up and kicking. One page left of my Avatar sub sample and a tiny bit of tweaking. I'm on twitter now, so look for me if you want to know what tinker toy thoughts go through my bubble gum mind. My poetry muse has bitten me very hard. I'm not ready to share any yet. I must write a Three Bears parody for Apt. My play When the Angels Fall has been put on the back burner for a while. I'm still working on Grave Tales sub, Mid-night Snack. Short story, Until My Darkness Goes has morphed into a novel. Dabbling with a novel titled My Home Town. My novel Uncertainty of Knowing needs more work. I applied for a comic book reviewing job @ popmatters. There's more, but it all slips my mind. My roof appears to be leak free this week. In two weeks I'm having book shelves built (much needed) in my office. Wife is good, kids are great and now I must go back to work. L

Morrsion on All Star Superman

Both Meltzer and Morrison are are fantastic. Meltzer's novels, The Book of Secrets and the Recent Book of Lies kicks ass as well as his runs on JLA. Grant Morrison needs no introduction, his work on stuff like We 3, his JLA run and X-men run, his graphic novel Arkham Asylum...literally beyond words.

Grant Morrison And All Star Superman

This is why All Star Superman was the best superhero book of the past few years. And why Grant Morrison is as relevant as ever.

From today at Newsarama

Grant Morrison:

A key text in all of this is Pico's 'Oration On The Dignity of Man' (15c), generally regarded as the 'manifesto' of Renaissance thought, in which Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola laid out the fundamentals of what we tend to refer to as 'Humanist' thinking.

(The 'Oratorio' also turns up in my British superhero series Zenith from 1987, which may indicate how long I've been working towards a Pico/Superman team-up!)

At its most basic, the 'Oratorio' is telling us that human beings have the unique ability, even the responsibility, to live up to their 'ideals'. It would be unusual for a dog to aspire to be a horse, a bird to bark like a dog, or a horse to want to wear a diving suit and explore the Barrier Reef, but people have a particular gift for and inclination towards imitation, mimicry and self-transformation. We fly by watching birds and then making metal carriers that can outdo birds, we travel underwater by imitating fish, we constantly look to role models and behavioral templates for guidance, even when those role models are fictional TV or, comic, novel or movie heroes, just like the soft, quick, shapeshifty little things we are. We can alter the clothes we wear, the temperature around us, and change even our own bodies, in order to colonize or occupy previously hostile environments. We are, in short, a distinctively malleable and adaptable bunch.

So, Pico is saying, if we live by imitation, does it not make sense that we might choose to imitate the angels, the gods, the very highest form of being that we can imagine ? Instead of indulging the most brutish, vicious, greedy and ignorant aspects of the human experience, we can, with a little applied effort, elevate the better part of our natures and work to express those elements through our behavior. To do so would probably make us all feel a whole lot better too. Doing good deeds and making other people happy makes you feel totally brilliant, let's face it.

So we can choose to the astronaut or the gangster. The superhero or the super villain. The angel or the devil. It's entirely up to us, particularly in the privileged West, how we choose to imagine ourselves and conduct our lives.

We live in the stories we tell ourselves. It's really simple. We can continue to tell ourselves and our children that the species we belong to is a crawling, diseased, viral cancer smear, only fit for extinction, and let's see where that leads us.

We can continue to project our self-loathing and narcissistic terror of personal mortality onto our culture, our civilization, our planet, until we wreck the promise of the world for future generations in a fit of sheer self-induced panic...

...or we can own up to the scientific fact that we are all physically connected as parts of a single giant organism, imagine better ways to live and grow...and then put them into practice. We can stop pissing about, start building starships, and get on with the business of being adults.

The 'Oratorio' is nothing less than the Shazam!, the Kimota! for Western Culture and we would do well to remember it in our currently trying times.