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Racin' Writer

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4th February 2009

6:27pm: Hollywood, Oklahoma
I walked out of my apartment this morning and for a moment thought I was back in California visiting my friends Lisa and Ricky. But then I thought, No, it's 20 degrees and there's not a hill in sight, so I must be home.

Several cop cars had two streets (including the one to my parking garage) closed and about twenty people were gathered around a car rigged up with a camera on the hood, filming the people inside.

My first thought was that it was my buddy Chris shooting his new film, but an e-mail to him today confirmed he does not start shooting until March. Then I thought perhaps it was a new episode of Saving Grace, which is set around these parts and occasionally filmed here.

But no.

I found out it's either another one of those annoying lottery commission commercials or one for a local Indian casino.

In more exciting news, I'm super stoked about my new novel SLASHING. The narrator of the book is the play-by-play announcer of a bush league hockey team, who suspects one of his players is a cold-blooded killer and sets out to do something about it. The book is finished, but now I'm just going in and sprinkling a few game details for the fictional team and its season (based upon a hockey computer simulation I ran to give the team a "real" schedule and results, injuries and suspensions, etc.). It's some of the most fun I've ever had revising.

22nd December 2008

8:27am: Wind Chill
You: Hey Jason, what's the wind chill in Oklahoma City this morning?

Me: Three.

Good Lord! You know, windy as it is around here, I usually tell people: "It's a good day to be bald." Today is not a good day to be bald.

Well let's see. SLASHING is finished (that's my new werewolf novel), and I'm starting to outline a new one called BORROWED TIME. I actually started writing that one a couple of years ago and had a big chunk of it before it went a little haywire.

That's about all.

12th February 2008

10:39pm: Happy Darwin Day!
Whether you agree with his ideas or not, he is a writer whose works, especially ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, forever changed the way we look at the world.

It was published 149 years ago today, and Charles Darwin was born February 12th, 1809. (Next year is a big one!).

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful, have been, and are being, evolved."

11th February 2008

10:57pm: 50 Years
This week, my parents have been married 50 years. In 1983 some friends surprised them with a silver anniversary party. My parents thought they were just going out to dinner so they didn't bring me along, and their friends didn't tell me about it, so I missed the shindig. This time, my brothers and I are throwing the party, so I'll be there this weekend honoring Mom and Dad. We expected about 25 people from the invite list to come, but so far 80 have RSVP'd and they're coming from all corners of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky. I can't imagine a better tribute. It's going to be wall-to-wall standing room only.

My parents are like rockstars. I love them. My mom and I go to all the Oklahoma football games together every fall, and my dad is just like a big kid. He still loves the car races and he said he hoped to get a Playstation 3 for a present for his anniversary. He already has a Wii! For his seventieth birthday all the boys chipped in and bought him a leather jacket to wear when he's riding his motorcycle. I think I have the coolest parents in the world. My mom gave me my first book (ALIVE, by Piers Paul Read, and I've never read a better one), and she let me read all her Stephen King books as well, even when a lot of my friends weren't allowed. My story I WAS A TEENAGE EULOGIST is a semi-autobiographical tale about the day they surprised me with my first portable typewriter.

And speaking of writing, it's been slow lately. I have a project in the works for which I'm going through some of my old stories, trying to find a match. Planning the anniversary party and getting ready to move at the end of the month has kept me busy. I'm due to write a review for SLASH, the guitarist's autobiography, for Bookgasm. The short version is, Slash drank a lot, and he jammed a lot, and he always had trouble with lead singers. But look for the real deal at Bookgasm, maybe next week. Hopefully.

And that's about it. I'm looking forward to the move. I'm moving into a studio apartment in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. I'll be on the fourteenth floor, overlooking the downtown art museum and the downtown library, in walking distance of Bricktown and the big movie theater and baseball park there. It's a little more than I can afford but I thought it would be fun for a change. And it's only two miles from work, so that'll be nice. I'll post some pics of the view when I get moved in.

17th December 2007

4:56pm: Re-jec-she-ooonnnn
Well, got the reject for my story I WAS A TEENAGE EULOGIST from Glimmer Train magazine. I knew it was a long shot. It's not a very long story and on their pay scale it would've come out to like 40¢ a word. I don't think that was it, though. They said they liked the story, but it reeked of Form Rejection, so who knows?

Oh well, time to shop it around!

7th May 2007

4:07pm: Sex Machine
I haven't been updating much because I've been writing much.

I owe book reviews to Bookgasm but haven't gotten around to reading the material for the same reason, which is a good reason, I guess.

In other news, my buddy Chris's movie (www.sexmachinemovie.com), filmed in OKC before he moved to Austin, TX, was released last week on DVD. I read an early draft of the screenplay and made a few suggestions. He later hired another writer who now has top-billing in the writing credits, so it's possible not a single one of my lines of dialogue survived the cut. But that's okay. I'm thrilled for Chris and I hope he sells a million copies.

We met in the fifth grade and hit it off immediately. Shoveled snow to save money for Stephen King's CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF limited edition, wrote stories together. He and his wife Leah are just super-talented and nice.

As you can tell I haven't even seen the movie yet, even though it's played locally at the biggest theater in town on numerous occasions. I've either been busy or just missed knowing about it. It played last Friday night but I didn't know till Saturday, and all I did was sit around the house Friday night moping about the rain.

It's ordered on DVD now, though, so it won't be long to see if any of my inspiration made it in.

Watched two MASTERS OF HORROR installments the last couple of weeks. I hadn't seen the show before but bought both of John Carpenter's episodes on DVD. Didn't care much for PRO-LIFE. It had an interesting message but the whole thing seemed terribly uneven to me. I thought CIGARETTE BURNS was much better.

I'm not sure what to think of Bentley Little's THE WASHINGTONIANS as an MoH episode, but I'll definitely have to check it out when it comes to DVD, just because he's my favorite writer and it's one of my favorite stories. Hope they didn't fuck it up too bad.

19th March 2007

10:07pm: A New Personal Record
Today I wrote 10,377 words on a new werewolf novel called SLASHING.

Here's how it happened: We started moving our shop last week. I've been with the company fourteen years and it's been at its current location since 1972. It was weird walking through the finishing department -- always the building's most crowded area -- and seeing a big empty warehouse. I was happy we're just moving and not closing the doors. It was an emotional experience walking through there, because it's usually such a busy area that always gives me a boost of confidence about the state of the company.

My department is not scheduled to move until April 6th, but since I'm on the front end of the production process, and the production department was busy moving last week and today, I found myself with very little production work to do. There was not much on the schedule, and Production wasn't demanding anything from me. So beginning with morning break, I started writing. And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. My morning break period runneth over a little (don't tell).

And I wrote again at lunch. And kept going, and my lunch break runneth over again, and again at afternoon break, and again for three hours this evening.

And that equals ten thousand plus words. I feel like a full-time writer. I did do some actual dirty work at the shop, purging my area of unneeded things, including four stuffed boxes of rough drafts I've written and stored there over the years. (I had to add this in case one of my bosses stumbles across my little corner of the web -- yes, I did get some things done today, guys, something besides twenty-one pages of SLASHING).

If you've sent me an e-mail in the last week or so, I might not have received it, as we've been in the process of transferring our network to the new location. If I missed something from you, you might try me again, or do the gmail thang (you can reach me at darkhouse@gmail.com any old time).

I'm going to go now; my eyes are blurring over. I'm not counting on another ten thousand words tomorrow, but I'll let you know how it goes.

7th March 2007

7:52am: Finally got settled in to the new apartment, moving the final piece -- a heavy entertainment center -- last night.

I once had a sleeper sofa, but vowed it would not move with me again. Besides being virtually immovable, the cushions and mattress were shot. So instead of carrying it down to the dumpster, my brother and I managed to hoist it up onto the rails of the stairwell, and we just let it ride. I wish I'd have filmed it. I'm almost tempted to go fish it back out and do it again. Nah.

The downside: if anyone wants to come stay with me now it's sleeping bag time.

Finished the improved "Living Dead Society" short story this week. This was published in Whispers From the Shattered Forum magazine some years ago but it was the final issue and not very well distributed. I took Lisa's advice and changed some things up, and now it's ready to shop again.

1st March 2007

11:56am: After the Fire
I didn't lose anything to the fire last week. Had to clean a little bit of soot off some things, but everything and everyone is fine. Heck, the apartment itself is fine, but it's one of only two in the whole building not damaged, and the power is cut, so they've moved me to a new unit.

That's where the trouble begins.

Renter's insurance wouldn't cover my moving costs, and since none of my stuff was damaged there was no reason to file a claim. So I moved what I could and paid to have the rest done. And I had to take off work parts of four days to do it (Saturday was unmovable -- if you live in Oklahoma you know there are some days it is just too windy to move -- really!). So I asked the landlord if she'd give me a one-time rent break to help cover the sudden, unexpected costs. Y'know, hundred bucks off the first month, or something. I figured since I've lived there for eight years and have another lease already signed that will take me near to ten, she would have no problem helping me out. Nope. They did what they were required to do according to our contract -- transferred my lease to another apartment -- and acted like they were doing me a favor.

When I went to the office Friday to get my new keys, I had to show the same girl who moved me into my old apartment eight years ago my ID. "Because I don't know you," she said. Well, I did start shaving my head sixteen months ago, and I've probably only handed her a rent check a dozen times since then, so maybe that's it. Then as I was filling out a form to have my electric service transferred, hurrying because the office was closing in a few minutes, she insulted my handwriting. Finally, I wanted to make sure I would not be charged a transfer fee by the electric company since these were special circumstances, and all she could do was shrug her shoulders at me. But what was I expecting, something like, "Let me call and check for you"? It was nearly five o'clock on Friday, after all. Does anyone go above and beyond anymore?

I know, I'm bitching, when things could've been a lot worse, but it's been a frustrating week.

23rd February 2007

11:18am: Now You'll Have Kiss' "Firehouse" Stuck in Your Head All Day--Sorry!
Stayed home from work Thursday. Just my third sick day in fourteen years, so you know I was feeling pretty low.

About 5:30 I was feeling better, kicked back finally watching MONSTER for the first time, when I smelled smoke. I thought to myself, "Who would build a fire on a day like this? It's almost 70 degrees!" Then I thought, "Uh-oh."

The unit behind mine caught fire. I went outside as every fire truck in the city crammed itself into the small parking lot. They put it out pretty quick. Within an hour I was back inside. Before that, the fire chief had me open my door and we walked around my apartment. It was real smoky. He had me open the windows and turn on the ceiling fans. Everything was fine. In the back, in the bathroom, the bathtub was black around the edges and the floor tiles were coated with a thin layer of... soot, I guess. I didn't really notice it till I walked through on my stocking feet and left white footprints behind.

All the firemen left and that was that. Until about ten minutes later the maintenance man is banging on my door again, hollering "It's back!"

I grabbed the iMac, the DVD folders, a couple of rare books and high-tailed it out of there again. This time the fire department gutted the two units next to mine (the upper floor apartment, right next to mine, is vacant). This time it took them till about one this morning to finish up. They sent me to a seedy motel for the night after they cut the power, and told me I might have to move this weekend if there proves to be structural damage to the building. And there probably is damage. I saw a lot of axes and they even had a couple of chainsaws going at one point.

As for smoke damage, there's probably some of that, too. I'm sure the furniture, carpet and my clothes are all saturated in that popular mesquite fragrance.

Everyone is fine, as far as I know. I don't have any pets but there were lots of dogs ushered out.

It was exciting, at least. Took my mind off being sick for a while.

12th February 2007

11:43am: Happy Darwin Day
Today is Charles Darwin's 198th birthday and the 148th anniversary of the publication of ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. If I thought anyone would come I'd throw a party in his honor in two years for his 200th, but he's not exactly a revered figure in my neck of the woods.

I bought myself the Original Twilight Zone box set as a late Christmas gift and have been cycling through those episodes lately. The remastered video is amazing. There are 28 DVDs in the box, containing every episode from the original five-season series, all in High Definition, with lots of extras. It retails for $300, but Deep Discount has it for $194 with free shipping.

I recently reviewed a book of TZ scripts by Richard Matheson for Bookgasm, and watching the results of those scripts has inspired me to dust off the FinalDraft CD-ROM and convert some of my short stories to that medium. It's a relatively quick transformation and I've always enjoyed writing the dialogue-driven stuff. And if there are ever any good open markets for horror anthology movies, I'll have something already in the queue.

31st January 2007

11:30pm: Finished second at the races last Saturday. Had a great run from start to finish. Actually had my brother the all-pro beat in the second qualifying heat race, before a bearing about the size of a kidney stone fell out of my front axle and relegated me to three-wheel drive. I had about a half a lap lead on him with thirty seconds left in the five minute race, but when the car went to hell, so did the positional gap. He ended up putting a couple of laps on me in no time. My last five laps averaged about six seconds as I limped the car around the track, while the first sixty-eight or so laps averaged about four seconds.

My review for Jack Ketchum's CLOSING TIME AND OTHER STORIES was posted on Bookgasm Monday.

My friend Chris Sharpe has secured a deal to get his indie film SEX MACHINE distributed on DVD. It should be out and available everywhere in the next couple of months. A few years ago Chris asked me to read the first draft of his script and I made a few dialogue suggestions. I don't know if any of them made it to his final draft, but it will be fun to see.

I've been working on the outline to a novel called BORROWED TIME. I've bounced around a little on this project (big surprise right?), but think I have finally settled on a theme I can work with. I'm very excited about it. Still messing around with revising a bunch of short stories to submit around to magazines and anthologies this year. Currently, I'm putting the finishing touches on a story called The Living Dead Society. It was originally published in Whispers from the Shattered Forum magazine, but the publication was just starting to go under when my story appeared, and I don't think it was distributed widely. The changes I'm making to the new version will give it greater market appeal, and I think it has a great chance to land somewhere it will get noticed.

Read Neil Gaiman's CORALINE, a short young adult novel I enjoyed. I think I'll read ROSEMARY'S BABY next. I've never read the novel but it's one of my favorite movies. Also have a couple of new anthologies in the stack to review for Bookgasm, from Cemetery Dance.

Here's to a busy February!

20th January 2007

10:46pm: You Don't Mess Around With (Charles)
Was having perhaps my best night in the expert modified late model class at the race track tonight, until disaster struck in the Main.

Finished second in the first qualifying heat, one spot ahead of my brother, the many-time national champeen, and one spot behind the guy who owns and operates the speedway. In five minutes, we all turned 70 laps and finished within two seconds of each other, lapping the rest of the field numerous times.

Finished third in the second heat; I was running second again when my battery started "dumping". The track had a little more traction in the second round and the car picked up a bit of a push in the corners, causing the motor to put more of a stress on the batteries.

I only ran five laps in the Main. I settled into third and everything was fine. I could tell the car was going to be excellent. There's a long blind spot on the front straightaway, just under the driver's stand, where the railing hides about two feet of the wall from view of the drivers. My buddy Charles got stuck up there and when he got going again, I was just coming onto the (seemingly) clear straightaway. It happened so fast. Charles tagged the right side of my car; I was able to drive out of it, but when I got to turn one, the car wouldn't steer. I went straight into the wall. Full speed! Glad I wasn't inside driving it!

I sulked off the driver's stand to get my sure-to-be-mangled car from the corner marshall. Come to find all that happened was the switch (located on the right side of the car) turned off when Charles hit me. That's why I didn't have steering and that's why it wouldn't go anywhere when I tried yanking on the throttle when it finally did land back on its wheels. I could've gone back out there and finished the race, but I didn't want to interfere with anyone else, and I was already several laps down (one lap takes about four seconds) so I called it a night. Anyway, my tires are on the ragged edge of being too worn to race anymore (that's actually when they're the best), so at least I'll get another race on the same tires next week, and will have a little more time to break in a new set in practice.

And I can't get mad at Charles. It was a racing deal. I think I did the same thing to him on the dirt a couple of years ago. And Charles goes about 6'3, 250. The kind of dude Jim Croce would've written a ballad about. And when he's not racing toy cars he's working his job as a prison guard. So yeah, it's cool, Charles. I forgive ya!

Don't think I haven't noticed I've fallen into the same trap I did last year, when I blogged more about racin' than writin'. I did spend this week working on a new short story, with a working title of "Nonstop to Nowhere." I should polish that on up this week. And I also have a review due to Bookgasm this week, for Jack Ketchum's "Closing Time and Other Stories." Goddamn, he's good. And that'll be the gist of the review, if you don't make it over to Bookgasm to read the whole thing.

13th January 2007

11:30pm: Finished 3rd
Had a much better night at the races tonight. Braved the icy roads and glad I did, after last week's poor performance.

I qualified second and finished third in the toughest class, the modified late models. I might've been able to hold on to second, but one bobble early in the race proved the difference.

I settled in to second and ran there for a few laps. Coming out of turn four, the leader tapped the inside rail and slid out just enough for me to get underneath; I thought I was going to make the pass for the lead. I didn't quite have enough room and was afraid I would get in to the leader and take him out (and since he's my brother, and the car setup genius who helps me get my car to perform at its peak), I checked up. I don't usually make a move unless I know for a fact it will work cleanly. I don't like to win by taking someone out.

Unfortunately, when I checked-up to keep from making contact, third place took advantage and scooted underneath me and remained in second the rest of the race.

Still, it was a marked improvement over last week. Next week: First Place.

I've been playing The Movies game, which was just released for the Macintosh. It's a lot of fun, very addictive. Was up till three am playing this morning and am getting ready to hit it again. I started to make a movie for my recently finished short story, Stalemate, then started adapting The Living Dead Society, before finally settling on Head Wounds and Other Musings. I think it will be the easiest to do with my limited knowledge of the game so far.

When it's done I will post a link so you can watch it and tell me what you think. It will have to be subtitled as I don't currently have a microphone to record a soundtrack.

11th January 2007

8:47pm: How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
No, a spambot didn't hack into my journal. It's me.

As I was getting ready for work this morning the local news broke away from its weeklong coverage of "the storm that be imminent -- WINTER STORM 2007" coming Friday to an Oklahoma near you, to bring in a financial expert to explain how to get rid of credit card debt.

An interest junkie myownself, I grabbed a bowl of generic crisped rice and settled in for the wisdom.

And you've probably guessed it: the best way to eliminate credit card debt is to A) pay off the higher interest rate cards first -- and quickly! and B) pay at least double your minimum payments on the rest of your cards.

And there you have it!

Oh, okay. Um... thanks. Great! I'll go ahead and do that. Double all my payments. I'll just... pay one of them off right now. Never thought of that.

Goddamn!

I'll just... sell one of my screenplays tomorrow. That ought to do it.

Now to go clean up the cereral-shaped vomit from the floor beneath the tube. And then work on the rewrite of Dust and Bones. Which is coming along nicely, by the way. And not a minute too soon. I'll just ship it on off to Little, Brown when it's done and all my troubles will be over.

Ahhh, she's right. Being debt free does feel good.

8th January 2007

11:38am: The Pursuit of Happyness and Stalemate
Saw The Pursuit of Happyness yesterday. I'm glad they explained the presence of the Y in Happyness early in the film so I didn't have to squirm over it too long. I liked it just fine. And any movie that mentions Thomas Jefferson more than once is okay by me.

Also finished the first season of Deadwood over the weekend. Now I have to figure out a way to buy Season Two.

Couldn't sleep last night. I was plenty tired but for some reason just could not doze off. So I got out of bed and wrote a new short story. Very short story called Stalemate. I'd planned on writing it someday, but hadn't planned on letting it jump up to the top of the list so quickly.

6th January 2007

11:11pm: Losing Sucks
Well, I officially stunk it up at the race track tonight, finishing sixth of seven cars in the Main.

I need a faster motor. Luckily, the guy I drive for is a retired high school basketball coach who hates losing worse than I do.

We're both still reeling over Oklahoma's loss to Boise State in last week's Fiesta Bowl, and the sting of a bad week all around might make his decision to buy a new motor an easy one. Let's hope.

4th January 2007

6:50am: Year End and Year In Review(s)
I loved Rocky Balboa. (May be SPOILERS to follow -- skip to next paragraph if you can't, for some reason, imagine how Rocky Balboa ends) I'm not even a Rocky fan, so to speak. I read a review wherein the reviewever complained that there was too much boring build up leading to the fight at the end. I knew then I should see it. The "Yo, how ya doin'" bit was a little Over the Top (again), but that's to be expected, I guess. And the fight scene faced the same real-time problems as in Rockys I, Ii, III and... oh, hell, couldn't Stallone have just assigned a number to this one, too? But there were some well-placed shots of the ghost of Burgess Meredith's character strategically spliced in I thought were nice touches. The training/fight sequence of the film was blessedly reserved for the end and the performances leading up to it were fun to watch.

I watched more movies than this but these are the ones I saw for the first time last year:

Land of the Dead
Rear Window
Escape from LA
What Dreams May Come
Saw II
Das Boot (uncut)
Blood Angels
Twelve Angry Men
Night of the Hunter
Dark Water (domestic)
Minority Report
Requiem for a Dream
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Prince of Darkness
They Live
Assault on Precinct Thirteen (original)
(must've thrown myself a mini-Carpenter marathon)
Deathdream
Downfall
The Warriors
House of 1000 Corpses
Devil's Rejects
Eraserhead
High Tension
Exorcism of Emily Rose
Blood Simple
Seven
40 Year Old Virgin
The Omen (new)
Omen II
Omen III
(couldn't make it through) Omen IV
Lifeboat
Bowling for Columbine
Stigmata
Taxi Driver
The Terminal
Friday Night Lights
JFK
Inherit the Wind
The God Who Wasn't There
Monster House
Devil in the Flesh (it was like three bucks at Dollar General, c'mon!)
Bringing Out the Dead
Cars

My favorites were Land of the Dead, Twelve Angry Men, Eternal Sunshine..., They Live, Assault..., Downfall, The Warriors, The Terminal and Inherit the Wind. Didn't care much for Escape from LA, Saw II, High Tension, The Omen or Devil in the Flesh (like you couldn't've guessed that). The others fall somewhere in between, I guess.

And here are the books I read:

Starting with the ones I reviewed for Bookgasm.com

Forever Will You Suffer by Gary Frank
Winds of Change by Jason Brannon
The Devil You Know by Poppy Z. Brite
Richard Matheson's Twilight Zone Scripts Volume 2

and the rest:

City of Truth by James Morrow
The End of Faith and
Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
The Dark Tower I, II, III and IV by Stephen King (tried to finish the series but... yeah, didn't happen -- but it will this year)
Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski
Utopia by Lincoln Child
Under and Alone by William Queen
Cell by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King

My favorites were City of Truth, Tales of Ordinary Madness, The Dark Tower III and Under and Alone. I didn't really hate any of them, but didn't care much for Utopia. I was lost throughout. Probably my fault.

Did you get all that?

3rd January 2007

9:24pm: Bear Trap
THE BEAR... hit a snag today. One of my Bill Lumbergh-esque bosses (thankfully I don't have eight of them) moseyed upstairs today just as break time was beginning to discuss my department's future layout at the new building. We'll be moving in the middle of next month.

Still, the story will be ready to shop by Sunday, and I'll start prepping another Monday. The stories I'd like to sell this year are:

The Bear Who Swallowed the Sky
A Streetcar Named Zombie
The Loading Zone
The Road Home
Settled Down Like Rain
The Yard Workers
The Crawling Forest
Fumes (working title)
Snow Blind
The Savage Path
She's Not Alone Anymore (working title)
Head Wounds and Other Musings
The Living Dead Society
Nonstop to Nowhere (working title)
Two Minutes Hooking Five Minutes Slashing
Marjorie (working title)
Stalemate

Of course I know I won't sell all of them, or maybe any of them, but I want to get them all out there. Only Nonstop to Nowhere and Stalemate have not been written in some form. The rest are complete -- a couple of them just as first drafts, like Marjorie, which was written longhand. I just hope I can find that elusive legal pad.

As for novels:

Dust and Bones (revised)
The Sacristan
Shelter
Interview with an Empire
American Madman
Borrowed Time
Wasteland
The Embargo (working title)

I probably won't touch all of these this year, but these are my novel ideas (D&B, The Sacristan, Shelter, Interview and Borrowed Time are all completely outlined, chapter-by-chapter, Madman and Wasteland are partially outlined and The Embargo is just an idea at this point), and I'd like to at least keep them all active in the queue, somehow.

And then the screenplay, with the working title of Collapse, will definitely be finished this year. I have the majority already written. Just need to condense the lengthy build up and emphasize the search and rescue aspect.

Thanks Lisa and Ricky for the hits on my first post of the year.

2nd January 2007

6:11pm: The Bear Who Swallowed the Sky
Spent this morning preparing my short story "The Bear Who Swallowed the Sky" for the market. I plan on flooding the market with all of my short stories early this year, and make 2007 the year of the first big sale.

This year I want to write one movie script, a thriller about the collapse of a football stadium, and one novel, a time-wrenching, Twilight Zone-esque piece called BORROWED TIME. In between I want to finish up my incomplete short stories, polish up the completed ones, and get them out there working for me.

And I also want to write more reviews for www.bookgasm.com.

I wrote a few last year but always took too long. This year I'm going to do better and get more assignments.

Reading all my friends Best of lists for 2006 made me realize I didn't do nearly enough reading or watching cool movies as I want to this year.

I've just started Dan Simmons's THE TERROR (it wasn't supposed to be on the shelves yet but my local Borders store jumped the gun by a good two weeks), and my brother bought me the first season of DEADWOOD on DVD for Christmas. I've watched three episodes and am really digging it. I didn't think I would like it so much. I liked CARNIVALE as far as HBO series go, but early indications of DEADWOOD suggest it's going to be much better. Those cocksuckers at HBO do a pretty good job, I guess.

Watching it has also inspired my rewrite of DUST AND BONES. The current contract on the book runs out this year, and I want to submit it to some bigger publishing houses, or at least some good small presses. To do so it needs to be longer, and some of the writing shored up a good bit. I'm moving my locale from the fictional Bug Leg, Wyoming to the quasi-fictional Woodbridge, California (based upon the real ghost town of Drawbridge). I've been hitting the rewrite here and there for the past month, but once I have some legs on my short stories in the next couple of weeks I'll try to work on it more regularly.

And I'll be racing indoors again this winter. Haven't decided on a particular class yet. We've just recently moved in from the outdoor season and everyone is deciding what kind of cars they're going to race for the next three months, before we're back on the dirt again.

To my friends on the Dark Delicacies message board: I vow to return and participate.
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