Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fear Mongering

"However young,
The seeker who sets out upon the way
Shines bright over the world."

I touched on this subject once before in my Confessions of an Asshole entry, but I wanted to elaborate on the topic a bit. It's something that I've been witnessing first-hand over the past few weeks, and I feel the need to address it some more.

Before I get into the bad, though - let's talk about the good.

The online screenwriting community, without fail, has got to be the most helpful group of people I've ever come across in my life. From the working screenwriter who has penned a dozen blockbusters, down to the amateur working on her first script - it's a community of genuine people looking out for one another.

Every single working screenwriter I've had the honor to chat with has been open and honest with his advice - going out of the way to offer bits of wisdom from personal experience. And I've never had a fellow amateur decline to take time out of their day to read something and give feedback on it.

Without getting too gay on you - I just want to say I'm truly impressed by everyone I've met so far.

Now let's get to the bad.

There's one major difference, that I've found, between the working screenwriter and the amateur - and that's fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. And a perpetuation of this fear.

A professional will tell you not to be scared. To put your balls out there. To give it a shot.

A fellow non-professional will tell you to tread carefully. To not lose your "one chance."

Now say what you will about me, but I've never been one to not take chances. I've never been the type of guy who is afraid to hit on the prettiest girl at the bar, I've never been afraid to just pick up the phone and cold call a potential client, and I've sure as shit never been afraid to take risks.

"All glory comes from daring to begin."

So why is everyone so afraid to fail? I've seen it so often now that I've become baffled by it. This cycle of fear that goes from one new screenwriter to the next, like a plague. It's as if no one is willing to take a chance until they achieve some sort of perfection.

Perfection is a myth.

For every person that likes your screenplay, two people will dislike it. It's the same anywhere else in life. Except this is the only world where people are so afraid of rejection and failure, that they're not willing to take that extra step forward. To make a leap of faith - that yes, I might fail, but I'm going to try.

"Simplicity before understanding is simplistic; simplicity after understanding is simple."

Don't buy into the fear mongering. Understand that it's a tough business to break into - and understand that you very well might fail - but don't let that stop you from trying. Go into it knowing the risks, but go into it anyway.

Failure will only help you improve. Rejection will make you stronger.

Put your fucking balls out there.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Pitch

Coming from a background in Advertising, I'm not unfamiliar with pitching - something I hear I'll be required to do once I make it in this business. I'm curious to see how a "Hollywood" pitch differs from some of the most outrageous ones I've been a part of.

Here is one of my more memorable ones.

I had just started my own firm, and was hungry for clients - any clients. I was willing to take meetings and work with people I normally wouldn't have. But that's okay - you gotta do what you gotta do to survive sometimes. Bring it on.

One such meeting was with a group of individuals so sleezy - they made even my womanizing, crass self flinch. Our first meeting was in a strip club.

This in and of itself wasn't so shocking. It definitely wasn't the first time I'd had a meeting in a strip club, and it wouldn't be the last. There was something about the group of guys, though, that made me feel dirty.

You know the type, right? Greasy, slicked back hair. Expensive suits that look cheap. And always trying to get shit free or at a discount. Including drinks and lapdances.

I wasn't impressed.

Didn't matter, though. They had lots of money, and I wanted some of it. Our original meeting went great, and they were eager to get started. After three weeks of their "eagerness" to get started, I'd had enough. I called up the CEO of the company who invited me to their offices for a second pitch.

At the time, I was sleeping with my assistant-slash-girlfriend who would accompany me to my meetings. She wasn't that well versed in the business, but she was good eye candy and smart enough to answer questions intelligently.

Unfortunately, we were fighting at the time.

We showed up 10 minutes early, and were immediately pulled into the meeting.

Here's how it went down.

Good to see you again.

Likewise. So, how're we doing this?

Well, see, this other firm wants to go in a different direction with the campaign - and I think maybe we agree with them.

Let me guess. They want to do something darker. Something a little more risque--

That's right...

Typical. That's the direction every other firm would want to go with a product like yours. I'll admit, we even considered it at first. But I think you'd get far better reach with the campaign we proposed. I mean, sure, we can go in that direction and do something like--

At this point my assistant-slash-girlfriend kicks me in the leg.

I'm not exactly sure what she's trying to tell me, so I try to finish my sentence and give him an example of the direction we could go if they really wanted to - but letting him know it wouldn't be prudent to do so.

She kicks me in the leg again. This time, they take notice of it. Whatever it was she was trying to get me to say, or not to say, she should have just said herself. Instead, I'm stuck there being kicked in the middle of a meeting - with no idea of what the fuck she wants.

And they've seen it.

Now I know I haven't mentioned the product, but hopefully I've done an adequate job of describing the types of individuals I was pitching to - because my response to the situation was tailored specifically for them. In most other professional circumstances, I'd have either lost any chance I had even before I could speak - or this would have definitely sealed the deal:

Sweetheart. I have no idea what the hell you're trying to tell me. Either say it, or stop kicking me in the leg.

To make matters worse, this set her off. Big time.

She stormed out of the office, and I was left with a bit of an uncomfortable situation.

So I do the only thing you can do - I smirk, and continue with my pitch - just as their secretary, almost as if on cue, walks into the office with our coffees.

I stop her before she leaves.

Do me a favor and sit down next to me. I think better with a female nearby.

They're eating it up at this point. They tell her it's okay and she sits down next to me and I go into my close. They love the pitch. More importantly - they love me.

And now, it was time for the finale.

The assistant-slash-girlfriend has composed herself and walks back into the conference room to rejoin the meeting - except now there's another girl in her seat.

Sorry, babe. You've been replaced.

I give her a wink, and a furious girl who would never again play hide the salami with me exits the room.

The CEO looks at me be with a big shit-eating grin on his face.

You have got the be the biggest asshole we've ever met.

Does that mean I get the job?

He looks over at his COO and President and they give him the nod.

Let's sign.

Now if I ended this blog here, I would have just called it "Confessions of an Asshole, Redux." Because let's face it - I was a huge asshole in that meeting. Gigantic asshole.

But that wasn't the point - you guys already know I'm an asshole. No need to start repeating myself just yet.

What I was trying to say, is that if Hollywood pitches are anything like the ones I'm familar with - then you need to be malleable. You need to constantly be aware of your surroundings.

You have to know who you're selling to, just as much as what you're selling.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Three Month Recap

Three months sure goes by quickly.

The end of May officially marks the end of the first quarter of my journey. It's been an interesting ride so far, so I thought I would recap all that's happened.

  • Wrote An Entourage Spec

The very first thing I thought I would do, was write a TV spec. They're short, but still allowed me to get the hang of the "craft." And that's exactly what it was - a great, short writing excercise. It was fun to do, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

I blew through it pretty quickly - it took me maybe two weeks to go through a couple drafts and settle on one that I was happy with. I'll probably go back to it eventually, but I had keep moving forward.

If you haven't had a chance to see it, you can find it here at Simply Scripts.

  • Missed My First Deadline

That's right. If there was any doubt that I was destined to become a screenwriter - this second bullet point should squash that in its tracks. I missed my first deadline - The Nicholl Fellowship.

Through a combination of procrastination, learning curve, and failure - I managed to miss the biggest screenwriting competition of the year. Such is life.

At least I got the procrastinating down. I'm ready.

  • Shelved My First Feature Screenplay

It wasn't making any real progress, and I hated every word of it. But that didn't bother me too much - I appreciated the fact that I could look at something I had written, and be objective enough to notice its weaknesses.

Still, it was disappointing to have to backburner my very first attempt. Especially since it was a story that was very near and dear to me.

  • High Concept Inspiration

The day after I shelved my original feature spec, inspiration struck - in the form of a high concept gem. My second attempt would not follow in the footsteps of my first.

I was genuinely excited about this one.

  • Found A Writing Partner

Just as I was starting to gain steam on my second feature, I found a potential writing partner. I've already talked at length about her on the blog, but I will say that we work well together.

She loved the high concept spec I was working on, and we got along famously. It didn't take much deliberation to see that we should write together.

Since then we've had our ups and downs, and have definitely wanted to kill one another - but at the end of the day, I think we write well together and our writing has benefited from the relationship.

  • First Draft In Two Weeks

We knocked out a first draft of the feature spec in two weeks. No easy task, to be sure.

We really loved the idea, and were pretty happy with our first draft. We knew it was rough around the edges - but what first draft isn't. Did I mention we cranked it out in two weeks?

  • First Round Of Feedback

We sent out the first draft to five trusted friends, and waited patiently for the feedback.

It was an excruciating few days. We couldn't wait to hear what people thought - good or bad.

Finally, word got back to us - and it was positive. We had some issues with tone and such, but overall, people liked what they saw. Especially considering this was my very first draft of my very first feature script, I was quite happy with the feedback. On to the rewrites.

  • Writing Is Rewriting

I fucking hate cliches. Mostly because they're usually right.

The rewriting process was painful. Writing Partner and I almost came to blows a few times over differences of opinions on which way to go with the script - based on the feedback we'd gotten.

We both came out of it alive, though - and we'll have our second draft completed by tonight.

Go team.

  • More Feedback

I don't think we'll have enough time to get a second round of feedback - unless a couple of you are kind enough to be willing to turn around some feedback for us in 24 hours?

We'll be sending this second draft to the Austin Film Festival. It'll be my first competition.

As always, I'll let you know how it goes.

We'll of course continue to get feedback and revise the script, but Austin will get the second draft.

  • Looking Forward

That's where we're at - not as optimal a position as I had originally hoped to be in after three months, but definitely worthwhile progress in the journey. I'm not unhappy, for sure.

Next, along with the continued revisions to the first spec, we'll start working on a second feature. I also plan to start sending out query letters to agents and producers once we have a draft of the script we're both happy with.

We'll see how that goes.

  • Special Thanks

Most of all - I wanted to thank all of you who have been nothing but great during this entire process. Whether through email or blog comments, I appreciate every single one of you - from my writing partner down to the Mr. Anonymous Commenter who insists on correcting my horrendous grammar.

You've all been awesome.

Thanks for sticking around and reading my boob stories.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Google Diaries

It's time once again to address the random people finding their way to this blog through various, odd keywords. So without further ado, here are just a few of the search terms that have somehow directed some of you here.

"on my lap" our ankles tied together tits

Hello, fetish boy. I'm almost certain you were disappointed with what you found here. If it's any consolation, I appreciated the fact that you seemingly threw in "tits" for no reason at the end of your search.

male forced to grow breasts

Really. Really?

Who the hell is forcing you to grow breasts? And more importantly, why the heck are you Googling about it instead of calling the cops.

big biodomes boobs


sister fucked hot tub

I think I've seen that DVD.

forced grope boobs

Please don't force a grope on the boobs, sir. If the boobs don't come willingly, the grope is much less satisfying.

stranger grabbing boobs

I seriously write about boobs way too much.

ahhh, she'd like this

Yes. Yes, she would.

boobie connoisseur

Yes. Yes, I am.

How can I be of assistance?

super enhanced boobs

Jesus. Do you people search about anything else?

marine dudes+morning erection

I'm sorry I asked.

You took a wrong turn somewhere on the internets, Mr. Marine Dude Morning Erection.

You've come to the wrong place. I write about boobs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Confessions of a Chauvinist

I am officially no longer sick - and it's a good thing, too. With only 8 days left until the Austin deadline, my body picked a really bad time to render itself unproductive. So, hurray - we're well again. And in celebration of my full recovery, I have a story.

An ex of mine and I used to enjoy reading together. It was something we did pretty regularly. I would be sitting up on the couch and she'd come and lay her head on my lap and we'd both sit quietly and read.

There was a problem, though.

I had this weird thing about it. Anytime she was in that position on my lap and we were reading together, in order for my right arm to be comfortable, I had to be cupping her boob. I know, I didn't get it either.

As with most quirks, they're only cute during the beginning of the relationship. Eventually it started to annoy her, and she'd try and move my arm. I'd move it back. She'd turn a little, I'd turn a little. It was physically impossible for me to sit with her like that if I wasn't cupping her boob. Next she tried sitting up next to me.

That didn't work either.

Now my hand had to be on the inside of her thigh. It wasn't only confined to when we read, either. We both realized that anytime we'd be sitting next to each other on a couch, my hand would be on her thigh. I'd never noticed these quirks of mine before.

So I thought back to every relationship I'd ever had - and sure enough, in just about every instance where the seating positions were similar - my hand would either be cupping the boob or on the thigh. It was really perplexing.

Then years later, as I'm breaking up with a completely different girl, it came to me.

I was just territorial.

The chick was insisting that we remain friends, and as usual, I wasn't having any of it. I gave her my patented "I'm a dog" speech. It goes something like this...

We should stay friends.

No. Sorry. That'll never work.

Why the hell not?

Because I'm like a dog--

Well, I already knew that--

Let me finish. I'm like a dog, see. Once I've pissed on a tree, I don't ever want to think about another dog pissing on my tree again. Even if I'm sick of that tree. Even if I never want to piss on that tree again in my life - just the thought of another dog pissing on my tree would drive me fucking crazy. I'm sorry, I just can't handle that.

You didn't really just compare me and our relationship to a dog pissing on a tree.

I'm afraid I did. Goodbye.

So as I'm walking away after giving this same speech for the who knows how-manyeth time, it all came to me. I was simply territorial. I enjoy cupping the boob and putting my hand on the thigh because, in my eyes, those are my boobs and my thighs. That's just how I'm wired.

If you don't like it, don't sit so close.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Gentle Giant

That's me on the right.

It's official: I say some fucked up shit when I'm drunk.

As I woke up from my NyQuil enduced coma earlier, the strangest thing happened - I remembered something I said during a blackout. Out of the blue, as I'm waking up, I get back a little memory from a night I can barely remember.

Picture it. I'm passed out in front of an apartment - not my own - and the cops pull up and flash their bright lights on my face. As I'm wobbling up to my feet to greet the fine officers come to haul me away, I utter six magical words: "Don't worry, I'm a gentle giant."

Let me say that again.

"Don't worry, I'm a gentle giant."

What the fuck? Now I've said some weird shit while drunk in the past - like, "This is the new me. The old me? That was a beta version. This is me 2.0." I've even pissed in places no housebroken human being should ever urinate. But to look a police officer square in the eyes and reassure him with, "Don't worry, I'm a gentle giant?"

I couldn't make that up if I tried.

And why that memory? Out of everything my brain could have grabbed from the tangled web that is my memory of that blackout - why would it pick the one that would make me cringe the most?

I'm being picked on by my own subconscious.

I mean, granted, I am a giant. But you don't just come right out and say something like that.

Go easy on a brother.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Screenwriting Challenge

Inspiration can come from the strangest of places.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with a logline and spec idea based on the picture above.

Good luck.

My Brain Hurts

Today's entry comes at you bullet point style.

  • My sleep schedule has gone to shit.

Not like it was great to begin with, but now it's just all kinds of fucked up. I need to fix this.

  • I hated homework when I was in school, and I still hate it today.

Partner and I have been doing homework since we got our first round of feedback; (re)watching movies and reading scripts from within our genre before jumping into rewrites.

Homework sucks.

  • My balls may become wind chimes.

Boy did I piss off my writing partner something wicked the other day. I'm kind of flakey sometimes, and she didn't appreciate that very much.

She's since forgiven me, I think, but I'm not letting my guard down. I think she wants to stab me in the balls.

  • We continue to write.

At some point today, now that we've done our homework, looks like we'll be getting started on our rewrites. It's overwhelming to think about. So I try not to.

  • I'm sick.

Yesterday, out of the blue, I got hellaciously sick. Nothing terrible, mind you - just the shivers and light-headedness. But I don't get sick very often - so when I do, look out - I'm a huge fucking baby.

Expect much more complaining should I not get better in short order.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Confessions of an Asshole

Last week a friend of mine snapped and unleashed on me out of nowhere. Literally in mid-conversation, he drops a bomb on me: You're an asshole. There was a lot more to it, and other words were thrown around - but that was the one that stuck with me most.

You're an asshole.

That night, I thought long and hard about what that word meant - both to him and to me.

To him, I was an asshole because I would poke fun at the ridiculous things I'd come across in this online screenwriting world of ours. Stuff like that "Genuine Insanity" post below. This guy is so nice that it gives me a toothache most days, so it didn't surprise me that my aggressive, cynical nature would eventually get to him.

What did surprise me was the fact I was comfortable with it.

I am an asshole.

The screenwriting world seems to be built around a foundation of fear and self-doubt - one that isn't very conducive to success. The moment you even start to think about this as a career choice, you're inundated with so many cliches and mantras that your head spins.

Your first screenplay will suck.

Your first ten screenplays will suck.

It can take years for you to break in.

And we buy into it. Not only do we buy into it, but we take it to heart. We become self-conscious about our writing. Then that opens the door for these vultures who offer "script analysis" and "consulting" services with barely a credit to their name - because of the fact that we're being conditioned, right from the start, to fail.

Don't get me wrong. I don't reject these things outright.

For example, there are genuine people out there willing to read your script and give you honest feedback for a fair fee - like Scott the Reader.

I also don't deny that my first screenplay needs a lot of work. Because it does. I don't even deny that my second screenplay will need a lot of work. Or my third.

What I do reject is this notion that it's somehow foolhardy for us to go into this expecting to succeed. That is bullshit. If you don't think that you can write, and write well, then you shouldn't be doing this in the first place. If you're not going into this thinking you'll be great - you're doing yourself a disservice.

Believe that you can write something outstanding. Believe that you will sell the very first thing you write. Believe that you can succeed at this if you just put yourself out there and try.

Believe in yourself.

Don't expect your first screenplay to suck. If it does suck, figure out why, and do it better the next time. But don't go into this expecting to fail. Go into it thinking you're bringing in a fresh point of view. If it takes you twenty tries to get it right, so be it - but don't expect it to.

If it makes me an asshole to be confident and expect to succeed, then I proudly admit to being one.

And you should too.

Now my friend and I have long since kissed and made up.

But I'm still an asshole.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's Done! It's Done! It's Done!

Ladies and Gentleman,

I am so unbelievably proud to announce that Annabel (my writing partner) and I have just finished the first draft of our new feature spec.

This is such a great feeling.

We've sent it to a very select few people for a first round of feedback.

I pray it goes well.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Genuine Insanity

I'm sorry I've neglected my blog for a few days. We're wrapping up the first spec this weekend, and I've been caught up in avoiding doing the work.

That being said, I had to take a few minutes today and write about the first genuinely insane person I've ever come across. He is, without question, the most fascinating person I've ever seen on the internet. And that's saying a lot.

Come on, I'll give you a tour of his strange world.

I first stumbled across his post on the MySpace Film Classifieds.

Subject: selling comedy script to anybody with the money

click the green at

it's a comedy script that i wrote, that has been promoted on LATE NIGHT by Andy Richter, a while back.

i'm a java genius, and i can make it look like the audience is in the film.

--bulbo fish, that you've been looking for
Xxx Xxxxxx

currently i'm leading 4 mafias--should you need to know my background--Helios mafia is running your sun and the sky, the way i wrote it in java, i should hope to get some respect for my hard work

$50,000 for me, should be good enough for this script

That would get your attention too, right? The man effortlessly transitioned from his comedy script, to Andy Richter, and finally to being a java genius who runs four mafias. Oh, and he wanted $50,000 for his script.

Immediately, I was hooked. I wanted to find out more about this person.

So I checked his MySpace blog. This was the only entry:

just incase you, like myself, have discovered "ions" to be related to anger, do not run (ions--) this is the wrong thing to do. i'm a physicist that knows that the term "power" is with the large variety of atomic structure and to be low on this is to gain a problem from everybody not experimenting of talking ones voices, to fix this problem you should probably start of with "suck ions to tongue"

contact me if you need any medical advise, i can cure depression, i can fix hyper active nerves, i can rebuild brain, i can increase memory, i am the only variety of jackass, sorry, doctor, that is willing to do it for free for anyone of you, the brain is good when it is without air, air in the body is meant to disrupt clotage and evacuate parial matter (the weaker variety of matter)

i believe i've heard nothing smart from all variety of pyschiatrist i've talked with

list your problems in response, i''ll try to figure something out to fix things

What. The. Fuck.

I was momentarily stunned, but quickly hungry for more.

If his classified ad and one blog entry were this awesome - his script had to be the tits.

What I came to find in his 53 page script would change me forever. A glimpse into the mind of a madman. I would like to live inside this persons brain, even if only for five minutes. It's got to be fucking fascinating in there.

I picture it as a tangled web of jungle plants and overactors.

So I read his script.

Jim Carrey: I have a problem
Steve Buschemi: Give me the overview
Jim Carrey: My sister once groped my mom; I still hate her
Steve Buschemi: Hmm…what’s the matter, can’t share?
Jim Carrey: I rubbed your belly and farted; I wonder how you rubbing my belly helped you release that nasty aroma; it bubbled out in rainbow colors, does that help?
Street2: Yes, it’s funny you should say that... I'm so happy for you
Jim Carrey: Well, I’m not happy. …I’m going to go to a shrink
Steve Buschemi: Poor shrink

I needed more.

Jack Black: Ah, everybody likes a zinger… I’ve got one… how do you clean a vagina in a can?
Jim Carrey: I don’t know. How do you clean a bottled vagina?
Jack Black: I give it to your father
Jim Carrey: Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…
Jack Black: Perch hats, perch hats, perch hats, get that fish off your head!
Jim Carrey: Yes, well, since I will no longer be hacking you or anyone else, I think I’ll have an ice cream and we can be on our separate ways
Jack Black: Nope. Ever skydive into a pool of blood?
Jim Carrey: Never

Holy vagina's in a can, Batman.

Just as I was getting into it - Tom Cruise and Faith Hill appeared.

A new scene appears at the beach with a bikini blonde

Faith Hill: Blonde…? No sharks on this end of the coast
Tom Cruise: Delightful. Hey, did you know I’m in a movie?
Faith Hill: Sure. And so am I, the camera is right there

If that weren't enough, our own Exquisite Emily made an appearance in the script.

Emily: I’m hungry
Jim Carrey: Join the club
Emily: Done, now what?
Jim Carrey: Pay me your dues
Emily: How about I pay you in doo-doos?
Jim Carrey: Whenever I think of feces, I think of monkeys throwing it
Emily: Is this normal?
Jim Carrey: You should think about poop. That's what my doctor tells me anyway. Saying random words isn't as good as saying synonyms in the word association game. Tube of meat?
Emily: Like salami?
Jim Carrey: Of course I do, that’s what I’d bring. I hope you have bread, I’ll spread mayo and meat between the pieces
Emily: Party hardy
Jim Carrey: You’ve got a party what? I wasn’t planning for anything social until you called
Emily: That’s OK. I’ll bring the party, you bring the hardy
Jim Carrey: Oooh-la-la

Oh, and apparently she's horny.

Bitch gets in his car, pulls out of the space, gets on the freeway, gets off at a seven-eleven, makes himself a (white) pina colada slurpee, pays, and leaves for home, then he gets a phone call from Emily, hangs up and looks down to put the cell phone away while pulling a u-turn, he slams the breaks, then hits the corner of a traffic light post

Emily: Hi, what is this word we call “sex?”
Jim Carrey: Word? Do you mean word like werd? As in hello?
Emily: Of course
Jim Carrey: I see. Werd
Emily: “I” like “eye?”
Jim Carrey: You damn well do!
Emily: No, what’s another word for sex?
Jim Carrey: Hmm… you want a “fuck?”
Emily: Yes, thanks, i want an orgasm
Jim Carrey: I’ll give you five
Emily: Could you imagine having five at once?
Jim Carrey: No, but I could imagine having a Supersoaker penis
Emily: You pump it then you fire?
Jim Carrey: I do. I have to refill the tank too
Emily: Hose in the ass?

In the words of Keanu Reeves. Whoa.

I couldn't put the fucker down.

I think he ran out of famous names towards the end, though - because by then everyone was just named Actor...

Actor: i got other large balls of ice if you want a cone
Actor: DUNCE!
Actor: "It's not an act of God," said Carlos Javage, whose son's car was wrecked by the mystery ice. "This came off an airplane."
Actor: acting good, the icicle looked much larger than a falic sculputure for it was not yet in the bat cave for
Actor: humungus humiliated spell checker
Actor: dead car, screamed the bat
Actor: smack dat
Actor: homer
Actor: doh


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Writing With A Partner

When I shelved my first spec, I began toying with the idea of working with a partner. I'd entertained the thought before, but this time I was set on actually trying it. And like with any big decision, the first thing I did was talk to a couple of people who work with writing partners (one of whom was the piquant Emily).

They basically told me what I should have realized on my own: writing is a lot like having sex. Sure it's fun to do on your own, but so much more pleasant when company is present.

They were right.

We're about a week away from finishing the first draft of our screenplay - and neither one of us can contain our excitement. We're literally itching to have a select few of our friends read it and get our first round of feedback. Whatever happens, I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we've both thoroughly enjoyed the process.

The back and forth of a built-in sounding board is such an amazing asset to have. We laugh, we refine and compliment each others work, and most of all, I think we make strengthen each others talents and abilities.

Every screenwriter should experience writing with a partner at least once before discounting it as an option. I can't recommend it enough.

Now let's see what happens next week when we show the script to people for the first time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

These are not the droids you're looking for.

You can thank the scrumptious Emily for the inspiration to this blog entry.

Here's a small sample of the interesting search terms that have brought people to this blog:

i'm bored boobs

Ironically, I've used this exact Google search before. Welcome, friend.

lucious boobs

A man after my own heart. I hope you weren't too disappointed when you just found a bunch of words here instead of pictures of said lucious boobs.

forced tit growing stories

This one kinda scares me a little. What does it mean? I've never seen tits be forced to grow before. Is it painful? Does it work? I will have nightmares about this search for the rest of my life.

"writing about boobs"

I clearly write about boobs way too much.

what is fred savage doing

Whoever you are, sir, know that this is a question that plagues me on a daily basis. What is Fred Savage doing?

"fucked his girlfriend" smashing his guitar

I found this one interesting. Does he mean smashing his guitar while he fucked his girlfriend? Was he looking for tips on how to do it right?

My advice: use a safeword

Anyway, that's all for today. I think I'll turn this into a regular feature. Thanks again, Emily.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Way Back Machine

Welcome to the Way Back Machine - today we present you with something from my younger years. A book/story which took place in a video game. No, I didn't mistype that. Yes, you heard me right. I will cringe as I click the "Publish" button for this entry.

I don't even know why I'm posting this - it can only discredit my current attempt at becoming a professional screenwriter. But here I am, doing it... Here is just a small section of it for you to mock.

Be gentle.

* Crash has logged in.

Crash says, "So much for changing my life today."
Silvean peers at you quizzically.
You slap Silvean across the face.
Crash says, "Don't eyeball me, kid. I say what I want."
Silvean snarls at you.

Heh. I bet that pissed him off. Silvean's my arch-nemesis here. We're both powerful Sorcerers with quite the distaste for one another. It also doesnt help that we're interested in the same girl. A Sorcereress named Lylia. A beautiful, green-eyed, red-headed goddess with wit that paralleled our own. It's a good thing she wasnt around to witness that smack I just threw Silveans way - he'd have had to defend his honor and one of us would be dead in a pool of blood already.

"You touch me again..." Silvean begins to say.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Black clouds. Demons. My soul. Burning. I get it." I cut him off.
I chuckle as I walk off.

As I make my way towards Grey's Tower to kill some Elven Marauders, I'm ambushed by three trolls, equipped with black steel armor and enchanted flaming axes. I could immediately tell these were not your average trolls. Trolls typically wore leather armor and carried clubs, not to mention they werent native to the part of the continent I was in.

"Take his money and his head!" shouts the first troll as the other two leap towards me, dripping fire from their axes, dousing me as they descend upon my neck.

I try to jump back to avoid their attack, but I'm not exactly limber. They slice my left leg wide open as I fall to the ground in agony. The fire on their axes did nothing to cauterize the wound. I was bleeding like a stuffed pig.

I had two choices as they took a break to mock my unpreparedness. I could summon a demon and pray that hed win the fight for me, or I could send up a flare in hopes that a friendly face was nearby enough to come save the day.

* Crash sends up a flare for help from Twilight Forest.

"Hahaha, big strong finger-waggler scurred!" mocked the first troll.
"Mommy not come to help little finger-waggler today," continued the second.
The troll in the back, the one who barked the attack orders, seemed a bit worried though.
"Finish jokes and kill!" he commanded.

In walks Silvean followed by his loyal imp, Cackles.

"Fuck me." I comment, bleeding from the leg didnt impede my ability to recognize irony.
"I could leave if you want," Silvean smirks at me.
"Can I think about it?" I ask.

The trolls, fortunately, werent smart enough to realize that this was no savior and he had probably come by just to watch. They looked at each other for a second before charging towards Silvean.

Cackles, sensing the danger, immediately cast a protective shield around his master.

The trolls first attack was thwarted as they bounced off the shield and fell to the ground. That wasnt about to stop them, though. The shield was a relatively weak one and had dissipated after the first attack. As they made their charge towards Silvean four round two, Silvean turned to me.

"I hope you're taking notes," he sneered.

He raised his arms and canted the words to the Dark Catalyst spell.

A stream of fire, ice, earth, and darkness shot towards the two trolls like a speeding locomotive from Silveans fingertips. A few bloody, torn limbs flew in my general direction as the spell made contact. A huge cloud of dust erupted from the impact, and by the time it settled, all that was left of the two attackers were their satchels and two corpses burnt beyond recognition.

Silvean smirked at me.

The mother fucker sure likes to smirk. I wobbly stood back up, gripping my arch-nemesis shoulder for support. He hated to be touched.

"NOW!" shouted the remaining attacker, as nearly two dozen other equally well-equipped trolls emerged from behind the trees of twilight forest.

"Fuck me." I reiterated.
Silvean nodded at me.
We simultaneously sent up flares for help.

Although we hated one another, there were times in the past where we had to fight side-by-side. Mainly because of Lylia. So we knew how to work together well, even though I think neither of us would be disappointed if we never had to again.

Silvean took care of casting spiritual and elemental defense spells on us both as I summoned my loyal imp, Smirkles.

Silvean scowled at my pet.
"I knew you'd like him." I chuckled.

Before he could react and retort with something clever, we quickly realized the small army of trolls that was in front of us moments ago had just encircled us.

I spun around, stood back to back with Silvean as we both summoned a wall of fire in opposing directions, buying us a few extra moments.

I quickly pulled out my lucky Dagger of Trollbane and put on my Defensive Robes.

"Nice color," smirked Silvean.
Smirkles slapped Silvean in the right thigh, about as high as he could reach.
"Only Smirkles do that!" my little imp was emphatic.
"Thanks little guy," I petted him on the head as he smiled, happy to have pleased his master.
"Remind me to kill him when we're done," Silvean grumbled.

As the walls of fire began to dissipate, I muttered a few arcane words and vines began grabbing at the ankles of some of our would-be assassins knocking them to the ground.

I immediately yelled another incantation, sending a roaring fireball towards my closest troll. He flew back in flames, knocking down and injuring two others.

They circled us hungrily. Careful not to exhaust their resources, theyd only send in a skirmisher or two at a time, slowly whittling away at our mana supply. The banter between us began to subside the more it became evident we were grossly outnumbered.

"What now?" I looked over my shoulder at Silvean.
"Void." said Silvean.
"Void?" I questioned.
"Void." he was adamant.

A void was one of our most powerful spells. It took two very high level Sorcerers to cast, summoning an implosion that spared no one, not even the casters. A black void would open above our heads, and begin sucking in everyone and everything in the vicinity. Spewing things back out only after they were properly dead. Us included. It was a spell used ever-so-rarely, and never so close to town.

The trolls closed in on us, aware of our diminishing mana.

"Void now!" Silvean shouted as he began the incantation.
I was reluctant, but muttered the charm for implosion along with him.

A black cloud appeared over us and grabbed the attention of the trolls. They began pointing at it and whispering to one another as it began to spark and crackle. A soft wind began pulling towards the center of the cloud as it darkened further. The trolls crouched a bit, uncertain of what was happening or what they were looking at.

BOOM! A loud explosion came from the blackness above as the gusts of wind intensified into a frenzy as branches and small rocks were sucked into the black hole. A imperial guard of the city that happened to be walking by, and that could have potentially aided us in our defense, was the first victim of our implosion. Not as heavy as a troll, and unprepared, he was lifted off his feet in a flurry and disappeared into the darkness.

The trolls gasped with both relief and confusion. It didnt take long before what remained of the guard came showering back down onto our heads. Soaked in imperial blood and now beginning to fully understand the situation they were in, our attackers one by one began to retreat as their commander roared with disapproval.

"Army not run! Army kill finger-wagglers!" he demanded.

It was too late. One by one as they turned to tuck-tail and run, they were sucked into the void and spewed back out in pieces. We knew we were going to die, but at least we were going to die victorious.

Or at least we thought.

With still a dozen of the trolls remaining and our void at full strength, like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day, in walked Lylia, and four of our mutual friends. Lylia both laughed and shook her head at us as she quickly took notice of the void above our heads.

Finkle Nimblethumb, a well-respected halfling rogue of the lands who had made the trip with Lylia for our rescue didnt stand a chance. "Aaahhhh!" he screamed as he disappeared into the nothing. Only a tuft of scraggly hair with a severed foot atop it remained of Finkle.

The empath and cleric in Lylias party took no time to dispel our implosion before joining us in the fight.

"You boys seem to have found yourselves some trouble," snickered Lylia.
"Yes ma'am!" I responded.

The empath, a lovely elderly woman named Elisea Soother, ran over to me and put her soft hands around my mangled leg, transferring the wound over to herself before falling over in pain. She sat up and healed my remaining blood loss.

It was on now.

Silvean, Lylia, and I commanded our imps into battle as we began smothering our enemies with spells from every which way. The cleric, a man named Night Winged who made no secret of his dabbling in the darker arts, protected us with his divine magic before turning his attention to the corpses of the two burnt trolls - reanimating them to fight on our behalf.

With two troll skeletons as our front line of defense, taking the damage for us, Elisea could now focus on mending the wound on her leg as we took care of the remaining attackers.

If there was ever a time to impress Lylia, now was it. With just three trolls left, I leapt over Silvean and with one swift maneuver, grabbed the necks of the first two trolls - electricity crackling at my fingertips. A surge went through the trolls entire bodies, from their neck down, and they soon fell limp to the floor. Their necks charred.

Only the commander remained.

I looked over my shoulder and saw that Silvean was already preparing to cast a spell - I knew that I didnt have enough time to cast anything, as hed already gotten the jump on me in that regard. I charged towards the commander, Dagger of Trollbane in hand - and plunged it into his stomach. Looking into his eyes, which almost seemed human for a moment, I twisted the dagger upwards, gutting him.

"Not today, my friend." I whispered into his ear as he took his final breath.

Lylia clapped.

"That wouldn't have been for my benefit, would it, Crash?" she asked with a smile.
"Me? A showman? Never." I insisted.
She shot me a quick wink as Silveans spell fizzled away, unused.

Night turned our undead protectors away, and the fight was over. I could breathe again.

I turned my attention to Finkle's big toe and Night, "Is that enough to resurrect him?"
"You mean there was more to him before?" Night chuckled.

We gathered the satchels full of gold and treasure the trolls left behind, as Night resurrected Finkle and Elisea healed his wounds.

"Good to have you back, Finkle!" Lylia beamed.
"I think I shat myself," Finkle announced.
"I cant heal that," Elisea grinned.

We had a good laugh at poor Finkles demise as we made our way to the East Tower of town to scavenge through the riches our troll friends left behind.

As I drank my ale and counted my gold, it was becoming evident it was time to leave.

"I need to run," I said to the group.
"But I just got here," said Lylia disappointed, as she smacked my shoulder.
"I'll be back." I reassured her.
"Unfortunately," scowled Silvean.

* Crash has logged out.

Beware of Becoming Predictable

Condemned to live through our art, for we do not know how to live through our lives. We are islands.

It's amazing how someone can be so sexy, unique, and intriguing one minute - but the moment they become predictable, they lose their flavor.

It's like a rubix cube in many ways. The challenge of a rubix cube is perplexing at first, and even though it frustrates you to no end, if you happen to come across one, you can't help but pick it up and try again - even if it's just for a moment.

People are a lot like that for me.

I always see people as a mystery. Elusive, appealing creatures. Each one rich with his or her own story, complete with countless tales for you to absorb. I assume everyone I meet is complicated - until they prove otherwise, of course.

Then suddenly, much to my chagrin, what I once saw as a maze of material turns into a simple creature. No mystery. No appeal.

The rubix cube is solved.

The good news is, though, someone always needs to fill that void of mystery and appeal. A new muse is in order.

After all, it is the pursuit we seek, not the capture.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Procrastinate

The Vapor Trail
Random Brutal Love Master

Here today, gone today. You are The Vapor Trail.

Are you in a relationship now?

What about now?

Vapor Trails can be highly charismatic people--unpredictable, confident, and magnetic. You're experienced. You know how to handle yourself in a relationship, and many people appreciate that. Many people, all in a row.

You've had your share of blissful beginnings, to be sure. But things almost never turn out how you'd like, do they? The problem is you're never happy with someone for an extended period of time. Relate to the following:

Vapor Trails especially need a girl who will laugh at their jokes. They're also the most likely male type to be haunted by serious regret.

FACT: A few of your exes, the ones you were best to, will always love you. Nice going.

Your exact opposite:
The Backrubber

Deliberate Gentle Sex Dreamer

ALWAYS AVOID: The Intern, The Maid of Honor

CONSIDER: The Sudden Departure

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test

What type are you?

The Rebirth

If you're anything like me, you've always hated homework. To the bone.

Unfortunately, this latest blog entry requires some reading in order to understand (or you can just skip it and come back tomorrow). Anyway, this is about the rebirth that took place after this story here.

I was in quite the slump after what had happened. I felt destroyed. I had lost what little taste for life I once had. I was basically stuck in neutral for several months - but like a bad case of herpes, I eventually came back with a vengeance.

This is how I got my closure.

One Friday afternoon, while procrastinating from any meaningful activity, I posted a comment on a picture my old friend Emily had put up on MySpace. It said, "Nice hat, fucker."

This may seem like a benign comment, but it wasn't.

"Nice hat, fucker" represented everything that my life was missing. "Nice hat, fucker" was the carefree, less solemn me trying to break free. "Nice hat, fucker" made me realize I had no closure to the life I once had.

I realized that a big part of me was still clinging to that life I once had back in North Carolina. The sense of stability that time represented was gone for a while now, but it was a reality I wasn't willing to confront. Emily is the only remaining tie I have to that life, and I wish she had still lived there - because that weekend, I went back.

That's right - like Ozzy fucking Osbourne, I made one final return to North Carolina that weekend for the comeback tour to end all comeback tours. This was my epilogue. My closure - The North Carolina Comeback Tour.

I had to make myself a couple promises before I did it:

One - I would not make contact with anyone of significance from my time there. Those characters from my life had been killed off, so to speak, and they were under absolutely no circumstances to be reintroduced.

Two - While this would be a tour of pleasures, there would be certain pleasures I would abstain from. After all, this was not for the closure to things, just a closure.

So with those two certainties in mind, I was ready to party like it was 1999.

One small hiccup with the plan, though - I'm not white. I was a man of middle-eastern descent (1/2 Greek, 1/2 Lebanese) who had purchased a last-minute cross-country flight ticket with cash. Before I could even yelp "I'm a Republican!" Donald Rumsfeld had on white gloves and was demanding I spread my cheeks. Having been thoroughly violated and my baggage checked multiple times, I was finally en route to North Carolina.

I eventually got to my hotel room in my luxurious Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and decide I'd waste no time on this whole closure thing.

I went to one of my favorite coffee shops and found exactly what I was looking for - one of the girls that I'd been meaning to take out when I lived there. She was excited to see me. I maneuvered my charm like a slippery ballerina and got her to agree to break off her commitments for the evening and go see a movie with me instead.

The evening was a fantastic reintroduction to my old world. And while I really liked this girl, sleeping with her was not an option. She was a single mother - and as everybody knows, you don't shoplift the pootie from a single mother. This particular comeback tour stop was not about sex anyway - it was about the people there that I missed, the old movie theater that I used to go to, and of course, a nice dinner at one of my old favorites. The evening accomplished everything it was supposed to.

I went back to my hotel room and fell asleep - alone.

Sunday afternoon I went to one of my old watering holes and had a nice lunch of cheese sticks and captain and coke - something that would make my old friend Emily very proud. I sat outside like we always did and recounted some amazing memories that were associated with that place. Fights, love affairs, and sharing drinks with a couple police officers that saw us smoking weed the day before - to name a few. I was alone, but not in spirit. I said goodbye to the aptly named Sunset Grill and headed to my third destination:

Naked women.

I wouldn't be who I am today if not for god's greatest creation - strippers. So it was inevitable that I would at some point end up at a strip club during the trip. Having lusted for them, dated them, and had sex with them on the job, it would be completely out of character for me to not make this third stop on my tour. After all, what would an Ozzy-like comeback be without its fair share of debauchery - and since drugs were out, boobies would have to do.

I hadn't been to a strip club since I'd broke up with my ex a couple years ago, but it was like riding a bike. Walking into that dark room and sniffing at that intoxicating mix of scented oil, cigarettes, and sweat was like being back in the crib. The club owner instantly recognized me and rushed over to see where and how I'd been. We caught up for a few minutes before I patted him on the shoulder and took my exit with a hurried, "Anyway Jim, boobies await."

I sat down on my old couch, and much to my surprise, I recognized a few of the faces. One girl in particular I remembered really well - she'd always been one that got away. For a multitude of reasons, we'd never hooked up.

I decided that I had to mark one last piece of territory before my comeback tour was over.

It didn't take much effort to convince her that she had to see the inside of my fabulous hotel room. As two in the morning rolled around, me and my bride-to-be for the evening took our leave and headed back to my hotel. I'll spare you the details.

It was now monday morning and my flight left that afternoon. I had one final stop to make before closure was complete.

I headed to my old office building. I didn't go inside or initiate contact with any of my old co-workers (see the above two caveats for my trip), but I did park outside the building and reminisce for an hour or two. I saw a few of the cars my old friends drove, I imagined what life would be like if I were still there - and occasionally, I ducked down really low in my seat if I spotted one of them.

It was a nice feeling. I've always had aspirations to become more than I am, and being there helped me realize that while life there was stable, it wasn't exactly vaulting me forward. That job did nothing for my insatiable appetite to become something bigger. I was now content with having moved on from there and being forced to take that leap into the unknown.

Adios, suckers.

As I drove off, I glanced over at my old doctor's office right down the street from the office and chuckled, remembering my last visit with her. I won't go into too many details, but let's just say it was on the heels of a binge-filled week and I wasn't exactly myself. I hope I left her with a few stories.

I was now officially done with my comeback tour. So I made my way to the airport for one final cavity search and a flight back to California.

It was good to be back.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Quick Writing Update

So things between me and my new collaborator are going really well. She laughs at all my jokes, and so far we're really proud of the stuff we're coming up with together. Hopefully the chemistry will translate to the page.

We're on a really tight schedule but cranking things out at record pace. Draft 1 has a deadline of May 15th - yikes. Good thing we work well under pressure.

If nothing else, this is turning out to be a great process. We're both having fun with the writing and looking forward to contributing new things each day. Before you know it, I'll be living a life of luxury as a professional screenwriter - a thousandaire.

May 15th here we come.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Fear of Commitment

Some people get the seven year itch. I get the seven month inch.

Sometimes the seven week itch.

It's true - I'm terrified of commitment. It doesn't just apply to relationships, either - it extends to all aspects of my life.

When I was making more money than I knew what to do with, people kept insisting that I buy a home. "Do it, just fucking do it!"

But I couldn't.

The thought of buying a home, growing roots in one place scared me just as much as the idea of binding myself to a single woman for the rest of my life. I don't know what it is, I'm incapable of any sort of long term thinking.

I always feel like the bottom's going to fall out. That any sort of future plans are wasted, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. And if you've read any of my earlier blog entries, you'll find that it has been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Well no longer.

Four months and two days away from turning 30 years old, I'm finally taking my first step towards adulthood.

No, I'm not getting married. I'm not even buying a house. But I am starting to work with a writing partner. Baby steps, right? So far we're working really well together - and while it's too early to tell, I'm really excited by the prospect.

We're very different people with completely different backgrounds. She is the Yin to my Yang. I'm crass, she's sweet. I'm insane, she's grounded. I have spurts of inspiration and stretches of laze, she's driven. Hopefully, it will be the right combination for perfect screenwriting.

I will keep you updated.