Today is my late brother’s birthday, and talk about characters…

31 07 2013

…man, he was impressive.
As a boy, Mike wanted to know how things worked. He took apart our mom’s typewriter. Was very angry with himself when he couldn’t figure out how to put it back together.
When a fifth grade teacher told our mom that a fifth grader was not capable of the quality of work needed for an A+, Mike worked until he got an A+.
He worshiped General George Patton. Became an Eagle Scout and a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.
Played offensive line in football, because yes, he was big, but also because it was an essential and overlooked job.
Random things:
Liked women with “thick ankles”, meaning athletic.
Relaxed with a bowl of nachos, a diet coke, and the “Beastmaster” TV series.
Loved the music of Meat Loaf.
Swore by Subaru automobiles.
Coined the term “pioneerish”.
Fond of cats and horses.
Could not abide pocket change. Before getting married, his car and living spaces were strewn coins he dumped from his pockets.
A geek: Monty Python, D&D, painted soldiers.
Went on to be an expert in his field, which included study of HIV.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmr.2157/full
He did that while dealing with an ill wife and his own chronic hospitalizations (at one point, he had a hemoglobin count of “four”. He was up at midnight packing for a business trip when they notified him).
Mike was the toughest man I have ever met.





Advice for Writers and Improvisers

26 07 2013

Some think it odd that I strike a balance between writing grotesque horror and performing comedy. The skills and frame of mind needed for both come from “art”, and these links would be useful for any artist.

 

Here’s Joyce Carol Oates, who is literary and morbid, with tips:

 

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/07/19/joyce-carol-oates-10-tips-on-writing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+brainpickings%2Frss+%28Brain+Pickings%29

 

Improvisational comedians need to know how to build characters by providing a few hints. Comedians need to know how to create worlds through sensory cues, create tension through conflict, and be able to surprise. Here is a page of links on how writers do these things:

http://thewritingcafe.tumblr.com/post/55258391868/writing-references?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer93505&utm_medium=twitter

Most important is the balance between life and work. Those who live deepest in dreams must have the humblest expectations. This is a link to an improv comedy site, and all artists on this planet should read this page:

http://secondcitynetwork.com/15-reminders-for-every-improviser/

 

 

 

 





SALE! Short Story to “Stupefying Stories” Rampant Loon Media

22 07 2013

“‘Til You Just Can’t Boogie No More” is a brief, darkly comic, body horror story. I’ll keep you posted as to when it comes out.





Movie Review of “Resolution”: Rozencranz and Gildenstern Are Dread

20 07 2013

This 2012 indie production is elegant in execution. The producers had access to a half-built cabin in a canyon, so they wrote a script using it and some easy to get 30 year old media players. They kept the cast to two main, and about three supporting characters. This simplicity yielded an honest experience in “Weird”.

In fiction, “Weird” is used to define just H.P. Lovecraft and stories that made mankind insignificant in a boundless universe. The best examples of this in movies would be “In The Mouth Of Madness” or “Dark City.” Key elements to Weird are the questioning of reality (not just identity or space/time), or questioning how humanity has defined reality’s major players. “Resolution” is billed as a horror movie in ITunes and Amazon. It is not, but it is Weird.

The movie begins with a twist on the bro-buddy movie: old school friends get together to reminisce before an impending wedding. However, instead of a week of babes and beers, one friend turns the tables to get the other friend clean from his meth habit. As the duo engage and banter over a week, someone leaves clues that their canyon is the site of unusual activity, and that the two are being watched.

So begins a slow descent into a recursion and reframing of reality. In other movies, this would have been hack and cliché, but “Resolution” has two leads who are engaging and believable. What kept “Rosencranz and Gildenstern” from being horrific? That those two were witty, slender, and familiar characters whose menace was a light mental exercise. “Resolution” has fully-fleshed, worried people trying to make sense of increasingly surreal circumstances.

As an aspiring writer and film-maker, this movie provides so much inspiration. “Real” is a construct no matter your location or budget. The characters were not obvious copies of the writer’s friends like with Kevin Smith. The actors were given a range of emotions and had the skills to convey them. The editing had no cheap shock scares or audio tricks.

This is a solid, innovative movie. The creeps are there. They are not lasting, but they are surprising.

Here’s one of its trailers:





Doctor Who Is A Sparkly Vampire, Right?

19 07 2013

At least the most recent versions:
Eternal.
Androgynous.
Compels devotion from his (usually) woman companions.
Sexual? Didn’t he have a daughter once? It seems he’d rather stare soulfully than do anything.
Tragic past over which he broods.
At one point, made a companion pine HER LIFE away for his return.
And that’s where he gets his vitality. Not blood or life energy, but from leaching potential and lifetime from his companions through their proximity.
He’s a Weeping Angel in tweed.





Death Is Only Skin Deep

16 07 2013

Death Is Only Skin Deep

I’m appearing in (and edited) a gaslight Guignol anthology, which begins a long and fruitful association with NobleFusion Press.





Exposition and Explanation The “Game of Thrones” Way, and more!

15 07 2013

This guy does great plot and screenplay analysis. Ten methods to conceal your exposition and four to explain…the “Game of Thrones” way:

http://arbitrarynonsense.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/game-of-thrones-exposition/

 

Rachel Swirsky is acclaimed and feted as a spec-fic author. She is not quite my cup of tea, but she gives BOSS writing advice:

http://weightlessbooks.com/updates/apex-magazine-author-interview-rachel-swirsky/

 

Part of creating a world is creating a new culture with its own mode of thought. There are words unique to any culture which describe complex moods or realizations.

http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/

 

 








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