Speaking of productivity, Justin finished another comic page recently [re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], and you can see the rest of the sketch I've posted part of here over on his blog. He's really in the thick of the book's action now, and has been making my sub-par action writing look really dynamic on the page. I haven't gotten to see the whole page yet - Justin's been swamped, as usual, and I haven't exactly been lucid during regular business hours as of late. I'm sure we'll fix that soon.
I haven't been getting out much, and I think it's starting to worry me a little. There hasn't been much in the way of "fun" on my calendar in a while, something that's easier to forget when the work's there. And the work has been there, between finally working out my book review scheduling, and spending a couple hours each night on the current short [re: The Tagalong]. I've gotten some really encouraging feedback already, and have been tweaking this and that, occasionally dropping back to 19 pages, and then finding myself back at 20. It's the usual song and dance for me, delete, undo, then rewrite, copy, undo, paste. I don't know if I could have ever been a typewriter guy.
Still, making headway, and might be finished with this one way ahead of schedule. Probably going to make "Walks with Angels" my next project, in hopes to get one more short script in the bag as quickly as possible. "Angels" is a weird script, my take on adaptation and biopic, without actually making either one, and if I wanted finishing it could be a really easy job as - full disclosure - it's already technically written. Right now, I have five pages, a sort of shortest-of-the-shorts, something that I think could be really useful to have in my portfolio. But...
In a weird sort of way, I'm not sure anymore if "Walks with Angels" should be a movie script, especially since, reading it recently, I noticed the tone was a bit more in line with the two comics I did with Ander [re: "A Change is Gonna Come" and the current project "VHS Generation"]. It has a lot of the same feel, a real 90s touch to it, and plus I've always seen it in my head as more of long comic than a short movie. Still, I've already written it as one, and would like to have it polished, and would like to have it to send places as a five-minute-movie, so...
Maybe I'll do it as both. It's against my principles, all told, as I've always thought comics are already treated too derivatively when their ideas are used interchangeable with movies. It misses the point, I think, and neglects the fact that with every story, there's a perfect medium to tell it in. Plus, I find people who talk about comics in movie terms to be pretty self-hating, and I can't stand that.
I tend to stress pretty hard over whether or not I'm telling a story in the wrong way, in the wrong medium, so I guess at worst I could just call this experimentation. If the subject matter of "Walks with Angels" wasn't so short and well-known, I might even be able to figure out a way to make the two different versions unique to one another, but... not sure if that's possible, not sure if, story-wise, there'd be much chance to focus on one thing more than another in the different versions. I'll have to think about that. And remember what Moore said - that comics, essentially, are about the reader taking his or her own time with things.
We'll have to wait and see on that. If I do both, it'll be interesting to see how they differ. Not sure how I'll make the judgment which is better. One of those times when I'll just have to trust myself... assume that, if I'm really good at what I do, I'll make the right decision. And if I'm not good, well, it won't much matter what medium a crappy story works better in.
Unrelated to any of this, I went on a little rant the other day on Twitter, thought I'd put it here too. Felt like something I wanted to say to everyone at the time, now it just feels like something I don't want to lose forever in the impermanence of micro-blogging. So here it is. "Enjoy."
I have always been a big proponent of bitching about burdens. People who silently shoulder shit just because they think its noble bug me. This is, ultimately, immaturity on my part. Because when I would preach that, I had never realized there are burdens that if people know you have, it can hurt them. Worry them unnecessarily. Think about that person you know who cares so much that if, say, you mention sideways your stomach's upset, dinner plans change. The whole day changes. Suddenly, you've slyly been tricked into taking it easy. And taking it easy is rad. But sometimes you need to get things done. Even if you have a headache, or a stomach ache. You just deal with it, because it's not as major as you made it sound. And I always saw bitching as a nice way to taper that. Oy, I don't want to do this in this condition but I will. It made me feel better. It, apparently, scares the shit out of people. Hang-ups take precedent over the tasks at hand. Why? Because people are generally pretty kind. To the folks that folks give a shit about. Everyone gets solution oriented. Forget some things just need to be weathered. But you don't explain to someone their kindness is wrong. Eventually, you shut your damn trap about the complicated things. It is actually kind of ridiculous, if you think about it. Like in space movies, when one person knows something is broken, but to not worry the other person about it, they keep their mouth shut, try to fix it. In those instances, things go horribly wrong, guy who was doing the nice thing gets sucked out into space through a crack in the hull. Real life's not so different. More cracks maybe. Takes a little longer to wind up in the abyss. I guess my point is, sometimes you can't bitch about your burdens. But if you can, I encourage it. Wholeheartedly.
Finally, I wanted to share something I should have put up a link up here to right away - it was one of those things where what it's saying is really important and worthwhile, and how it's saying it is really skillful and lovely, and because of that it has to be looked at. But on a more personal level, it's just one of those articles that said some things I really needed to hear when I read it, perhaps more than I even realized. So without further ado, here's Kimberly Kaye over on her blog "The Trouble with Poet" with "On Creative Vampires (A Letter About The People Who'll Suck You Dry Through Two Holes if You Let Them)."
Can't recommend that enough to all my fellow writers, and any other creative-types who may be reading this. And thank you, Miss Kaye.