And we're back.

I actually would have been back sooner, but my grandmother went into the hospital at the end of last week, and that took precedence over almost everything. It wasn't anything too serious , and she's thankfully back home now [they released her this morning], but whenever a trip to the hospital is involved it's hard not to get worried. There's also a weird sort of etiquette in my family when someone's in the hospital, which this really isn't the time or place to get into, but makes this whole thing a little more stressful. But it's over now, and she's settling in well, and feeling better, and just glad to be back home. A few changes might have to be made in the way we've been eating around the house, but I guess it won't hurt anyone to be a little healthier.

And to anyone who checked in or asked, I appreciate it.

On to business. While I was away, Justin filled out that panel we both previewed. The finished panel can be seen over on his website, and by the time this posts I'll be back in touch with him and probably know better where the comic is. He's been moving, or at the very least working on the place he's getting ready to move to, so I haven't heard much about the comic. He's a busy man.

And I'll admit, I'm starting to know what that feels like. The past couple of weeks have been as manic as I expected, with probating Dad's estate being at the top of the list of things to get done. It's not finished and out of the way completely, but everything is filed and now we play the waiting game, to see who is going to make a claim, and what from his estate I'm going to have to sell to cover that. I also need to start work on a small insurance claim, though admittedly I just got the proper paper work out for it and am not entirely sure what my next step should be. Plan currently is that if they don't call me, I'll call them.

It also looks like both jobs I spoke about in this post are going to work out. The first starts this Friday with my old boss Terry Lively [who I worked on "Crossings" with], and is just some copy work for a website she's doing for a local business. I've been brought in mostly to give it a... warm feeling, and just make sure that what goes on the website reflects the wishes and personalities of those involved in the business. Also, spell-check. And though I haven't seen a contract yet, I'll probably talk about it/link the finished product on here, unless for some reason I'm just sworn to secrecy [I really can't imagine why I would be for something like this though]. The hope is, if the work goes well, this could turn into a semi-regular freelance gig for me, and it'll be something else to add to my portfolio.

The other job I mentioned has also started, though I'm still in the early stages and probably shouldn't get too excited until all the paper work clears. It's a pretty straight-forward work-for-hire review writing job, and while I would love nothing better than to post about it here [trust me, I already want to], I'm just not allowed. Sorry. On the upside, it's pretty flexible hours-wise which means it'll fit into my schedule well, and while I won't be making big bucks [it is freelance work, after all], it could easily turn into regular, steady income. Hard to say how much at this juncture, but we'll see.

Now, on to this space, and creative projects. I think even though what I'm doing is a far cry from the kind of writing for money that I'd like to do, until I figure out how to insert these new jobs into my routine, I don't know what in the way of creative work I'm going to be taking on. I will say that in-between meetings over the past couple of weeks I've been turning "Trendsetter" over in my head again and had some movement there, and I've promised Kyle and the Brainwrap crew that I might turn out some work on a project that's their current focus. So it's in my plans to do something creative next [and soon], I'm just not entirely sure what -- especially with the later stages of probate, and these new jobs, and a few other personal things going.

That said, I've hated that when I stop doing the creative writing, the work on comic scripts, or movie scripts, or anything like that, that I suddenly stop posting here. I think I'm going to work on that, and you might be seeing some slightly different sort of things on the Mojo Wire in the near future, things meant to keep me writing for myself, and not just for others. It'll take a little time, but I don't want to neglect this space, since it does seem to help keep me going. And I'm starting to realize that, out like I am, no longer in the boondocks but not exactly in a real social, happening place, this blog does help me feel a little more connected. Which I think was one of the reasons I started it in the first place.

Loneliness fucks with everything.

So, different things are coming. Even I'm not sure what's next. Probably more journal-like stuff is going to crop up, probably more me-centric stuff, which if that isn't your thing, I apologize, and am slightly confused as to why you're still reading now. And maybe some reviews too -- I really need to do some more of those, even unsolicited, something I realized while trying to put writing samples together for the aforementioned new job. I keep talking about it, but I really, really should have a portfolio.

It's on the list.

I'm back. That was the point of all this. Easy to fall off once you get out of the habit. Here's to not doing that. Cheers.

New Calamity Cash sketches.

Justin has a new preview from the comic [re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name] up over on his blog, though I will admit without asking him, I have no idea what this bit of panel is from.

At this point in the game, Justin's been getting pretty creative with the layouts [for the better], and improving on the rougher stuff I had down in the script. Remembering also that this is from the part of the comic I did a massive re-write on, and it might explain help explain why I can't immediately call to mind some anecdote about this particularly part of the book.

Also, I am quite fried. Cramming this post into one of the few "I'm sitting down, lets look on the internet" moments. I had some [rare] free time the other day, and Justin and I got together, and talked at length about how important it is to have a moment to just unwind -- to sit in front of a computer and idly surf, to watch something brainless yet engaging on TV, to have a private drink alone, or tinker with something that doesn't have a deadline behind it or is, you know, just for fun. Some people need more or less of this, with yours truly preferring more, and not getting it lately. The more pressing things I'm up to have kept me from this, and I've done my best to squeeze little things in to try and keep me from getting overwhelmed, and keep my mind sharp and productive.

I've been trying to section off an hour or so every night to talk to a friend on the phone, and occasionally even pushed myself to stay up a little later than usual [quite a feat, considering the hours I keep], to watch a movie or catch an episode of... In Plain Sight, or Skins. Or whatever. And if I can push something back, move something around a little to actually get out of the house, I've been trying to do that too.

Though that is a very different kind of thing.

Anyway. Better handle on my schedule, things should be slowing down a little around next Friday.

We'll see.

Taking a short break.

So it's been about a week between posts, which normally I'd say is odd for me. But in all fairness, it hasn't been that long since it last happened [I was bemoaning the very same thing the week before the 24th], and looking at my schedule for the next couple of weeks I think I may be better off just cutting my losses and taking a bit of a break.

The big reason is that the majority of my time this week is going towards probating Dad's estate. It's not an unmanageable job, but my attention span is notoriously short when it comes to paperwork, and there are loads of people to be called and things to be set in order, and I've opted to try and get it all set up and ready by the 22nd -- which isn't necessary, but would really speed up the process. And as jammed up as everything has been so far, for the family's sake, for my sake, getting all this finished would just be... better, I think. It's hard, sitting with all these papers, these balances, and titles, what a person owned, and somehow think "Ah, yes. This is what a person is. Or at least was." Which is obviously nonsense, but it's upsetting nonsense, and as much as I'd like to go on and on about it, this is not the place.

So there's that. There are other, happier things. I've taken on a small freelance job with an old employer, doing some copy work on a website, with hope that if it goes well, more work will follow. I've been keen to build up something of a portfolio, and a little bit of income wouldn't be the worst thing either, so this, along with the generous pay for a rather small job, is a pretty good thing, and something that is going to demand a little extra attention from me until I get into a groove with it. Hence the other reason for this short hiatus, as I probably won't be starting anything new creatively until I'm sure I can balance it with this new thing.

I'm also pursuing a few similar jobs, sort of freelance-ish stuff, which I'm not sure if I'm going to be getting or not, and again, won't be anything ground-breaking. Just getting paid for putting words on the page, which is the dream, right?

I won't rule out, contracts willing, posting some things about any of this work here. I'm not saying all blogging is going to stop over the next couple weeks, but I do have a hunch there will be less. Justin has been understandably busy with his life lately, which has been slowing down comic output, and even though the good folks over at PCC have a few of my scripts left, with their impending nuptials I will be surprised if any of those pop up soon. If in either case new work pops up, I'll naturally take the time to post about it here -- because I will never be so busy as to not have time to pimp the things the folks I work with do. And I have a couple of posts planned already for when I come back [re: Things That May Never See the Light of Day], as I'd like to do a few things like my Chasing Amy blog, or even some stuff about writing dialogue, or at the very least just writing better dialogue.

In the meantime, I will continue to do my daily links over on Twitter, the last five of which will always be visible here for you non-Twitter folks on the right side of the page. This will include the usual things, and come tomorrow, I hear tell the usual suspects of John, Jaime, Zoe, Sarah, Glen, Hannah, Ian, and Jess [among others] will be joined by internet-friend/misery-brother Eric M. Esquivel's [re: Modern Mythology Press] new column over on Bleeding Cool.

It's new, and it starts tomorrow, so go show him some love. Just about any of us who want to write comics would love to write about comics, and he deserves the support.

And with any luck, I won't be gone for long. I can't imagine I will be -- on some level, so much of my productivity in the past year or so seems tied to having this space, so giving it up is not in the cards.

Be back soon.

"Huge" news for one friend, another is pro-rate, and a couple more are Bleeding Cool

So all this talk lately about getting "Nova" ready for submission, and I haven't really taken the time to congratulate some folks on their real accomplishments.

The first, and the one that I've wanted to post about the longest, is at least tangentially related to "Nova" though a much, much, much bigger deal. As I've mentioned before, my friend Savannah [friend is a vast understatement, but I'm afraid most people wouldn't understand if I called her one of "my girls"] turned me onto the competition, probably because she knew how downhearted I was by all my other projects falling apart in such short-order. What I haven't mentioned is that said Savannah is none other than the Savannah Dooley, writer and developer behind the upcoming ABC Family show "Huge."

Let me pause for a minute, to bend down and pick that name back up.

I have been criminally negligent in keeping up with my west coast friends the past several months [a fact that's made me really uncomfortable tonight, considering the whopper of an earthquake they just had -- if you're reading, I hope you're okay, Dooley], but I still know a little about the show, that Savannah and her mother [veteran TV writer Winnie Holzman, of My So Called Life fame] adapted it from a book by the same name, and that it deals with a group of teens working at a weight-loss camp -- more in the vein of "Glee" than, say, Heavyweights. Several name actors have already been cast, with go-to curvy actress Nikki Blonsky on board, and second-generation stars, or soon-to-be-stars, Haley Hasslehoff and Zander Eckhouse [look them up if you don't know who their daddies are] also on board, not to mention several relative newcomers I probably couldn't do justice with my limited knowledge of TV personalities after 1995[and one of my few celebrity crushes, Gina Torres]. So instead, I direct you to this plethora of links about "Huge" on "ohnotheydidnt," TVStar, Hitfix, Zap2It, and the super-classy Jezebel. Not to mention ABC Family's main page for the show, which includes a blog that is a tetch sparse now, but hey, it's pretty early on still.

I'm just so unbelievably jazzed for Savannah that collecting these links is almost like scrapbooking for me, though I have to admit I'm already starting to miss write-ups among all the buzz. And as awesome as it is to see a such a recognizable name as Blonsky's attached to "Huge," just the fact that a fellow writer and friend is getting this opportunity is just amazing to me. I have a small stack of writings from my Bennington peers that I saved from workshop classes, and one of Dooley's pieces [a screenplay called "Eddie"] is something I occasionally turn to for comfort reading, sometimes even inspiration -- I liked it that much. She's very skilled at what she does, and I can only wish her success, and maybe that I had some better way to congratulate her than just gushing about knowing her here.

I'm proud of her though. I can't say it enough.

While we're on the topic of friends and their accomplishments, I'd be remiss to point out that our buddy John over at the Bathroom Monologues recently got a pro-rate story over at Flash Fiction Online. The story in question is "Alligators By Twitter," or as I will always colloquially know it, "Holegators." It's quite the achievement, and great exposure for him. Tell your friends.

Finally, and this is a week old, and I hope they'll forgive me for that, but my online compadres Eric M. Esquivel and Dave Baker, hell, the whole Modern Mythology Press crew recently got a mention on the big-name comic news site Bleeding Cool. This is great exposure for them, and it happened under what might be the strangest of circumstances, so I encourage everyone, as always, to go check out what they're doing. If I had artist I was working with on a regular basis, I'd always be looking to the Mod Myth guys as my measuring stick to how good the work was. And I hope one day, if I do make this comic book thing work, that I'll be lucky enough to work with folks that talented.


Writing for Crying Children IV [Guest Comic]

CheriAnn and Ian have used another of my scripts over at "Pictures of Crying Children," meaning they have about four left, unless my math and memory is painfully wrong. And while I've no idea if they've any plans to use those leftovers, I'm really pleased with how this one turned out, especially since it's a little more slap-stick, and a little more straight forward than the stuff I usually write.

The funny thing is, if you look at some of my earlier stuff, some of the mini-Sulks I wrote at Bennington, and some of the other short comics, a lot of them had this formula, the long, explanatory dialogue with someone getting hurt by the last panel [my and Sam's first comic ended with a punch, I wrote another with a dude getting his hair yanked out, etc]. For some reason none of those [save the first] ever got produced as real comics, and I just hadn't written anything like them in awhile -- but at PCC, causing Nixon pain is always a good time, so we have me coming home in some ways, revisiting new territory in others [as is the case when you're so early on that you're not exactly sure what your "style" is].

Head over there and read the full comic. I'm really happy with what they did with my script, and think it's a pretty good laugh to be had on this all-too-warm Friday. And most definitely flip back through a couple of comics if you're behind on your PCC reading, because not only have they been using the scripts I've sent them, but one of them -- one that might have to do with Emilio's Hot Box Thrust -- wound up turning in to something like a storyline for them. I was flattered to see they got so much mileage out of one of the few pieces of 80s minutia I had in me, with the result being exactly what you hope for when you collaborate with someone new, but rarely expect -- inspiring someone.

That got a little too close to patting myself on the back, when CheriAnn and Ian are the stars here, and I encourage everyone to head over and check out the new comic. And with their impending nuptials, I know they're looking for guest work to fill in the time when they'll be doing... whatever it is newlyweds do [...scrabble?], so any artists or writers looking to step in and join the ranks of yours truly on being a small part of their comics, this is your chance.

And thanks to them again, for giving me the opportunity to write a little for them. Good times.

Just to mix things up, I figured I'd include my usual Twitter links in the post proper today. Give you a good idea just part of what we offer here at the Mojo Wire, in case you don't frequent Twitter or look to the right hand side of this page very often.

Glen Brogan gets psyched for the new Scott Pilgrim movie in a way that, quite frankly, puts the rest of us getting psyched for the new Scott Pilgrim movie to shame.

John Wiswell is harassing giants in today's Bathroom Monologue.

Finally, Sarah Crow does the post-April Fools gossip roundup, and we all have another reason to be interested in Anna Paquin.

Keep watching this space, and Twitter, for more links and updates.