Promised an update, only two days late...

Exhausted and in a foul mood. My night was highlighted by a several hours long battle against the hard water stains in my toilet bowl. Hours of scrubbing and some fancy screwdriver work yielded results, but my fingers are now so stiff that typing is a chore.

Have a couple of ideas in mind for future posts, even something I'd like to talk about that [loosely] has to do with the origins of this blog. Hopefully, I'll get to it, and if I don't, I hope it's because something useful is taking my attention.

The reunion went relatively smoothly. There were a few complications, but nothing worth getting into here. Met a couple of..."cousins" I guess, who even bothered to seek me out on the internet despite my boring them with tales of art school during dinner. New friends are always good.

More soon, I hope.

Also, Happy Birthday Julia.


Tomorrow's the family reunion on my dad's side -- a refresher course of condolences from people I don't really know, and possibly a lot of tears from the few I do. I don't think I'd dread it so much if it weren't for the fact that it feels too soon after, but then again, had it been six month or a year since, I'd probably be complaining about re-opening old wounds. There will also be people there that I am only tangentially related to, through marriage or the like, who'll have no idea and won't bring it up, or ask about it. And that thought amuses me tonight, for some reason.

I'll also have "Song Summoner" on the iPod, and the food will probably be okay. Small favors.

Today was busy, for the wrong reasons. My photographer called off again [Re: The Familiar], which... was actually something of a blessing, because my grandmother was freaking out about getting ready for the reunion today. So I did a lot of that. Justin and Staci also had to stop by for newspapers [she's having complications moving, it sounds like], and then Aaron [Re: kid brother] and I went out to the mall to... well, not really do anything, but get coffee, watch youtube videos on his phone, and argue if whether or not the professional candy stripers were indeed putting together a giant palm tree made out of balloons in the center court.

I also saw a girl with a mohawk and checkered knee pads. I'd have said hello, but she had a boyfriend with her, and would have probably headbutted me for my trouble.

The photographer cancelling on me is... troubling. I still think they're dependable, but with the exception of going out with Justin and Staci, I had a pretty tight schedule this week and the cancellation threw me. Plans changing are one of those things I should handle learn to handle better, and keeps popping up in my self-improvement initiatives. Which, don't actually exist, but if they did, it would.

Probably write tomorrow.

P.S. Slipped my mind to mention this, but while out earlier in the week with Justin, he showed me the most recent finished pages for "Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name." Very pleased with how it's coming along, and with the movement that Justin has managed to convey from panel to panel, particularly in the action scenes. He's about half way, and it's looking great. Finished product is going to be outstanding.

Professionalism II

Cutting right to the chase as it regards my previous post.

It was always my intention for this blog to be something different from most of the blogs out there. I wanted a record -- of what I was working on at a given time, how I felt about it, and what I was obsessing over. A production diary, not just for a single production, but for anything I was giving my time and creative energy to. Stuff like my birthday post really doesn't fit those qualifications at all -- and though that sort of introspection is not odd for me on a nightly basis, privacy, personal principles, and the existence of the black book usually means those grievances don't get aired here. But some still make it past all that. I think, sometimes, maybe they shouldn't.

Yet sometimes putting stuff out here makes me feel better. And there's not a long list of things that do that, which makes me think I shouldn't swear off the practice completely. And nothing I said yesterday is any less true today. Yet the blogs I admire, the ones that made me think a space like this could work for me, don't let the depressives rants slip through.

I'm too split on this subject, and I feel it would be unfair to promise to myself to do one thing or the other from now on. Some days I get things done, and some days things are bad. Similarly, some days the things that get done won't be posted even though they should be, and some days the bad will probably take center stage. What I do know, and this might not make sense to everyone, is that things like yesterday's post say to me that in the future I may have to abandon this journal.

And why does that scare me?

To other things. I'd like to thank Ian and Julia for looking at "Nova" for me. I can't thank them enough, and hope to pick their brains further on it. I know John and I have also gone over it, I imagine Kyle has had a look, and I sent one to Savannah too. However, that's only five people so far, and ADrive tells me that eight different ISP's have downloaded it. Not calling anyone out, but if you have taken a look, I'd like to talk to you about what you thought. You can comment in this post, or send me an email at I'd really appreciate it.

Many happy returns.

Couldn't seem to get to sleep... I suppose 24 isn't that different after all.

So many things on my mind, so many things better sense says to keep to myself. Let's see how it goes.

Today was my birthday, and I spent it with my kid brother and my divorced parents, the latter part being as strange and awkward as it sounds. But I suppose it was fine, certainly nothing bad, and it was very good to spend time with Aaron -- I think we might finally be getting this sibling thing down. It was not a bad way to spend a birthday. I had a steak, and laughed at my waitress for talking about "World of Warcraft."

But I should stop being so coy. The cosmic joke to this year's birthday was that I shared it with Father's Day, barely a month after my Dad died. It is hard to not feel like the universe is some vindictive little shit just out to get me. It is harder still to not act like an petulant child about it.

I've seen people get parties for their birthdays. Friends around, smiles, a general sense of good-natured reveille. Cake. I've even been to a few. There was singing.

Happy birthday to you...

I feel bitter, and this chip on my shoulder hasn't gotten lighter. Why was I reassuring everyone? Did anyone else look at the strongest woman they know, and see her break down into tears when they asked her if she needed anything, and all she could say was "Yes - yes, my baby. I need my baby back"? There's no answer to that, and no malice meant by it -- but still it's there, and will be there, every day from now on.

The constant presence. "If there's anything I can do..." seems to have expired about a week and a half after, and even then it felt like it only existed in what some might call "peak business hours," not at all prudent to the 3 a.m. call time my own panic and loathing is scheduled for. The best of them -- of my friends -- would likely reassure me here that I shouldn't worry about that, but I know from experience that opinion changes when roused from a deep sleep and a pleasant dream by phone ring and an insomniac's rambling. Besides, as far as the best of them are concerned, I couldn't bring myself to do it.

I can almost hear this being called a pity party.

Happy birthday to you...

We're all a mess. We all cling to those closest to us, and those without those close are just left out. I am not some Hottentot Venus to those I love, I am neither passe nor boring, and even if I were, this would not be a reason for abandonment. I have more time, and others have more pressing things to do. It would be cruel, to more than just myself, to cleave to that word -- absentee.

And there is no drought on well-wishes or affection. A few people sent me "Happy Birthdays" on Facebook, and there were a couple gifts. A phone call or two. All very good things, all things I feel very appreciative for. And the few absences, though conspicuous, will likely yet be explained.

Happy birthday dear Randall...

And I was never much for cake. Never much for sweets. Best to focus on the highlights -- things that make me smile, like having my coat rack back, or thoughts of Mia Zapata, in life, and not how she died. "Nova," for one, how proud I am of parts of it. Pre-order on the new Regina Spektor album.

Focus on the girls who said they wanted to kiss me, and not think about why days later I'd fallen from their minds. Happy for the extra time the sleepless nights bring. Be thankful for finding out I could still have hope for the future, and not worry so much about what happens if something... well, happens, and takes that away again.

And then there's that little thing that I finally picked up, which I have no plans on using, but feel so much better having, for some reason.

Happy birthday to you.

Hang this year, hang 23. Humbling me, making it hard to even pick out a shirt in the morning. Let alone have any real judgment left. I wanted to celebrate today, to welcome 24, celebrate just being alive. But it is hard to fight my better nature. The intent was there. Dad would have appreciated that.

I'm tired, but there is much to do this week. Justin will have pages for me to see [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], and there is work to be done on "Trendsetter" yet. My photographer is still booked for Friday [Re: The Familiar], and I'd like to squeeze in some time for my brother, which is harder now, as he's taken up football, and practice seems to consume his time even in summer. Then the family reunion on Saturday. And other family, coming in after that -- my uncle and cousin -- which means I'll have to clean, and make my room presentable for someone who probably expects far more organization from a living space than I do. And at some point, to the old house, to retrieve my posters from the walls. Little errands, great importance.

Best to those who sent their best. Thank you.

Insomniac's Solidarity

Short update.

Met with my photographer today [Re: The Familiar]. Very productive meeting, though she was feeling under the weather and we decided to push back this Friday's sessions to next week. Absolutely no harm in it -- important to take care of your people in these situations, and it also has given some time to look at the script. Might present some new possibilities.

Hopefully, if this works out, I'll have a personal photographer for my work on the project in November. Too early to say, but I have a good feeling.

Spent tonight going over "Nova" with John. He was immensely helpful [can't even put it into words], and I've done another draft. Not enough significant changes to post Draft 4 here -- but I'm really pleased with how it's turning out. Proud, and enjoying myself. Obsessing a little. Want something nice, wrapped up, and finished. Hard to explain why that's so important right now. Just this driving need I have.

Few more cuts to make. Hope other people who've read are up to giving me feedback. Would very much like to hear their thoughts as well.

With my photographer's rescheduling, the weekend's free -- birthday waiting there on Sunday. Not sure how I feel about that. Hopefully something will come up.

Nova - Third Draft

This is weird for me. Not the multiple draft thing, but the actually feeling like they should be posted.

Nova - The Newest Version [Link removed -- sorry, if you'd like to see "Nova" email me at]

Basically shaved about a page and half off of this. Changed the TV scene completely [I think it's better]. I feel like some parts are still stronger than others, and I worry that I lost good dialogue by making the changes I did from draft #2 to #3. Didn't change the ending, because I couldn't think of anything better, and have not been ridiculed for it yet. Still a little long too. These are my gripes, but I honestly can't look at the piece objectively enough right now to know if I'm being paranoid or not.

I look at this as more of a polish than a "new draft," and if anyone needs "Nova" to give me notes, or to show this to someone, then this is draft to use. I'm leaving the one from the previous post up until it expires however -- if people want to compare, rad [I am a little worried about some of the dialogue tweaks], but it's not necessary .

I remain exceptionally proud of one or two scenes in this -- also weird for me.

I really want to use this a writing sample, I think. It's quirky, and that can always help get some attention. But Kyle has mentioned once or twice about wanting to make it, and that would be cool too.


"Nova" - Finished Draft

Spent most of the night after 2:00 a.m. working on "Nova." Hilariously, I see that four more people downloaded the original draft. If you have thoughts, suggestions, or notes, please send me an e-mail. And if you liked it, definitely download this next thing.

"Nova" Finished Draft[Link removed -- sorry, if you'd like to see "Nova" email me at].

The old link, originally posted here, is dead now. ADrive only lets me share so many files publicly, and anyway, there's no reason to live in the past.

Lot of things about this draft are going to need... tweaked. As usual, I use way too many beats, some of which are totally unnecessary. I was seriously dropping them in every eight lines or so, so in the next draft, those are going to have to go. I also worry about the newscast -- some heavy homage going on there, and I could probably streamline it a bit more. Page count, right now, is 33. I was hoping for a little under 25 for this "short." Some cutting is going to have to be done. But right now, this is everything, every conversation, every bit of rapport, and every awkward moment.

And not being arrogant at all, there is one scene in this I am just absolutely proud of. While writing it, it just felt special, and I'm very pleased. I expect everyone to hate it, now, of course.

Not wild about my ending. I like the visual, but there's something off. Won't say what. Don't want it to color anyone's perception. Maybe it's just me.

Anyone who reads it, please let me know what you think. Either by phone, or via email at

In other news, a dear friend of mine recently finished up his graduate program. He's a really talented guy, and he really deserves how well he's done. I can't say enough about what an excellent friend he's always been to me, and I couldn't be more proud of him right now.

Other things. My photographer seems to be lined up for next weekend [Re: The Familiar]. Should be a lot of fun, and really productive; I just need to get everything in order so she can do her thing unimpeded by any annoying eventualities. I really expect this to be a great experience -- I'll cover it at length here, once it's actually happened. Meeting with her is tentatively planned before the big day. Should also know more then.

Speaking of "The Familiar," Kyle said he'd take a look at it too. It's sort of shame it's still in the same shape it was in way back when I had everyone read it the first time. I have all these notes and ideas, and just haven't had the time or inclination to give it the attention it deserves. So many changes. Taking these pictures might light a fire under me, but there are really other things I should be putting my time to right now. I'm unfocused.

I really just picture it in my head as this great big vanity project. Just dump a lot of money into this silly little vampire flick and get the Gin Blossoms or Kaki King to do the soundtrack for it, and have all these sets built of places I grew up around. Really is the worst kind of film making, in a way. Don't care. As much as I hated it when it started out, there's something in it, something personal, something I want to say. And if I make it, I'll get to. As if I needed more motivation at this point.

Birthday looms this month on the 21st. I tend to eye the day as an ominous one; bad luck and my birthday have always went hand in hand, if I'm honest about my superstitions. But this year, I think, what's else can I be hit with? I don't think there's any annoyance or disappointment that can top how fucked my 23rd year on this planet has been. I'd almost be looking forward to it, if there was anything to look forward to.

Almost did 20 pages tonight. Exhausted, but... too late to crash now. Too early?


Swift movements [he means it ironically].

"I've noticed grief is like being the captain on a sinking ship - for some reason you're assuring everyone else, as they head for the lifeboats." - William Kurdt.

Just coming up for air.

David Carradine was found dead today. Something like four or five different people called me or texted me to tell me about it. Which at first struck me as kind of odd, but thinking about it, I have been a big fan of his for a long time. I used to watch both versions of "Kung Fu" with Mom during the summer, and I've always been a pretty big 'Kill Bill' fan. I read his autobiography in college, and remember watching "Americana" by myself and thinking he was a much better director than a lot of people ever gave him credit for.

And when famous people die, I do tend to take it kind of hard. Death at all is sad, but when one member of the eclectic bunch of artists and weirdos I tend to idolize passes on, it usually bugs me a lot. To my deep regret, however, I find myself somewhat tapped out right now. My only hope is that in less chaotic times I remember doing him a disservice on this day, and take an evening to write about him. As ridiculous as some might find this, he was one of the fictional surrogates I took when I felt most spurned by the father figures in my life. That time passed, but it still meant something.

Other things, before I found out about all that. Felt very heavy today -- weighed down. Simple tasks seemed more difficult. Perhaps in spite of this, I took on a few small errands. Went out in the evening, to visit with Chase and Shea, and Paul was there too. They watched the first game of the finals in the NBA playoff game tonight. I will admit to not getting the emotional investment in a sporting event -- I mean, maybe if you had some money on the outcome, I could see it. Still, wasn't about the game for me, I just really appreciated the company. Blocks some things out for a little while.

Talked to Cheryl. She hadn't heard about Dad. She said I had as much time as I needed, but I'd still like to go get my comics soon. I just haven't figured out how to work that without Dad yet.

Watched "Surveillance" last night. Interesting flick, definitely worth a look, if any one's curious. I had to see it after I heard it was about crooked cops. Sort of surprised me, though.

Kyle seems to be up to something with the "Trendsetter" blog, but he hasn't told me anything. I'm still tinkering with "Nova," and working on another short I'd like to put up here. I have all these notes, I just need to put it together. It's been helping a little -- certainly had a few ideas for "Trendsetter" from it, which was the point, in a way. Want desperately to have a breakthrough on it, get a full-length, working draft. Also realize how ridiculous of an expectation that is in my current mindset. Still, it's on my mind.

Rough schedule would be to finish the new thing, take another crack at "Nova," and then try and dive back into TS. No timeline though. And honestly, if a really good flash of inspiration hits me, I'll probably switch that around a bit.

Hoping to have something to distract myself with this weekend. Get out of the house. Sinking suspicion it's not going to happen. But I can hope.

More soon. Not much to this post, thought doing one might keep me motivated.

The P.S.D.

Can't seem to decide what I want to post about. Something on my mind, just keeps coming out wrong. And multiple edits aren't getting the job done.

Spent the evening uploading album artwork to my iTunes account. Strangely fulfilling, in a way. Cleared the air with a friend - thought I'd screwed up pretty badly [my judgment lately has just been garbage], and was worried about it. It was a relief, even if it was just a "ten pounds off of a ton" sort of relief.

Justin's got a new post over on his blog [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name]. New sketches can be found here, and he's shown me the newest page, and it looks absolutely outstanding. There's a huge reveal in this part of the story, and he's handled it very well, even making a few adjustments to properly convey the scope of said realizations. And don't forget about the M.R.C.R.W. either.

No sleep tonight. Maybe later today.