Wednesday, December 26, 2007

364 Days shopping days left!

Now that I’ve got your attention…

I’m not a big fan of Christmas (above picture not withstanding). My experiences growing up weren’t all that good. I’m not sure it would have mattered if it weren’t for the society surrounding you that places such a high priority on your Christmas haul. I dreaded going back to school after Christmas break. The obligatory “What I got for Christmas” essay was painful and to this day I wonder if the teachers ever realized. Sometimes I made stuff up, other times I just didn’t do the assignment. God blesses everyone my ass…

My wife is the polar opposite of me when it comes to Christmas. Her family goes ape shit with presents and shopping and holiday cheer and all that bullshit. I’ve done my best to stay cold but over the years my lovely wife has warmed me up. Then my son arrived.

The first few years he just rolled around and ripped paper. This year he was four and a half and it was a blast. We took him to see Santa and he actually sat on his lap this time and gave him his list. He watched Christmas movies all month. On Christmas Eve he sprinkled oatmeal on the lawn for the Reindeer. We made a ginger bread house that barely stood up. He ran around with a constant grin for days.

Christmas morning was awesome. Santa brought him all the things he asked for but one which, disturbingly, he remembered and asked Mom if Santa forgot the skateboard he wanted. Mom told him Santa probably thought the scooter was good enough for now. She's on her game when it comes to all things Santa.

As a side note-- how fun is it to remove toys from their packaging these days? Either they are vacuumed sealed like they are being shipped in cyro-statis to fucking Mars or their tied down with steel twisty like suspected Al Qaeda. For the love of time and sore fingers can we please back off the security measures? My son was continually hoping up in down in front of me dying to play with his new toy and I couldn't find the hidden tie down holding the fricken toy hostage. The pressure was amazing.

Anyway, we stayed in our jammies all afternoon, played with his new toys, and watched “A Christmas Story” two and a half times over the course of the day (Best Christmas Movie EVER). He told us over and over how much he loved his new things, he was such a good boy. My wife made sure everything was perfect for us.

It was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

Oh and the Seahawks won. GO ‘HAWKS!!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… and shit.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holy shit I won something!

I met Blake Snyder when he came to Seattle to talk to the Northwest Screenwriters Guild. He is the author of two screenwriting books; “Save the Cat” and "Save the Cat Goes to the Movies”. He is a really fun man to listen too and his screenwriting techniques are fun in my opinion. The books are good reads and I recommend them.

A few weeks back Blake posted a contest on his blog

Basically you had to pick three names from a list of made up ones from email spammers and create one or two word sentences for each one, totaling 100 words. This little rule escaped most folks as they went long on their descriptions. You can read the entries in the comment section of the link above, but here were my entries...

Jim Endecott Says: December 10th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Millie Willimeter, 89, a retired schoolmarm and town harlot, loves her 69 cats and knits banana hammocks. “I’ve just always been able to size up a man, born with it I guess.”

Jane Puppums, 21, a junior at Chico State majoring in Custodial Avoidance, loves long walks in the mall and collects credit cards. “I live everyday like it’s the prom!”

Ollie Gause, 45, a mechanic from Dear Lick, Ohio hates foreign cars and thinks the metric system is trick-or-treating solo. Favorite color: Foreign Oil Black.

When slap my ass and call my JUDY! I won. Mainly it was because others don’t follow the rules. Let that be a lesson to you! I was thrilled to get a personal email from Blake complimenting my on my entries when I posted them. I was floored when I won.

In the grand scheme of things it’s small I guess but to me it’s huge. It’s my first “win” in the writing world and I think it’s pretty damn neat and I am proud as hell

Thank you Blake! So I have both books and his software headed to my house right now. Merry F’N Christmas to me!


Monday, December 17, 2007

The more I know the less I know.

The scribosphere is a vast cyber-verse that is full of all types of theorycraft regarding screenwriting of which I am thankful… most of the time.

I had a dream the other night that I got caught in a huge tsunami. I kept telling myself that as long as I held my breath and covered my face I would be ok…. (Don’t ask, it was a fucking dream OK.) Eventually surfaced and I was fine.

I think it was my way of telling me that even as I read the tidal wave of blogs and articles on the subject of screenwriting and feel like I am drowning I just need to hold my breath and swim for the surface.

Tomorrow I suspect my evil subconscious will be adding sharks… It’s just how I think I guess.

Sunday as I watched the Seahawks vomit all over Carolina’s field their shitty version of offense I got really fed up with all the frontloaded preconceptions of what a story and screenplay needed. I said fuck it and wrote the scene I had been working on in my head for quite awhile. It was completely out of sequence and it is not complete as is it will be intercut with another scene but it felt good, it came easily and it was fun.

I remember a workshop I attended by Cynthia Whitcomb where she said that she would sit down and flip through her scene cards as she wrote. If she didn’t see the scene she went to the next card.

Somewhere in the shuffle I keep forgetting that. My vision is clouded with the big picture. The 110 page, act broken, twist filled masterpiece that you need to have before you peek your head into the screenwriting world. Sensory overload and frankly I think it prevents me from writing.

I want to grow the story. Write the fun, pivotal “trailer scenes” that gave me the idea for the story in the first place. Then go back and write some more scenes that complement those and so forth. Who knows, I might be completely crazy. But I find when I do sit down with just an idea crazy shit starts popping into my head as I write that I find a lot of fun.

It’s all about finding my stride. I don’t believe I can follow any one person’s technique. I am going to have to write to find my own. Self flagellation for the win!

That is all.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Update

My wife and son drove down to California to see her Dad for the holidays. An empty house sucks and they will be gone for a week. Showering has become optional and dinner consists of cereal and lunch meat straight out of the package. My wife, bless her heart, bought me all sorts of meat and vegetables to cook. Eating healthy is a distant second when having to do dishes is involved.

I saw Beowulf this weekend. I liked it, good stuff. My buddy commented on the Angelina scene as we walked out to the lobby, “No wonder Brad is hitting that”. I concur.

I fail to understand why people, young and old, think that they can act like total jackasses when they go to the theatre. Talking through the movie, laughing at inappropriate times, eating like fucking pigs, you name it. Well I reached a boiling point on Friday.

Two guys and a girl, high school’ish, were behind me and a few seats down. They were yacking it up through most of the trailers and in the beginning. At one point where Beowulf was screaming in victory they were laughing out loud. When one of the maidens with big hooters bent over to clean a table and they were bulging out the girl loudly stated a few times that they were “gross”. For the record they weren’t and the guys beside her were strangely quiet. I suspect she will be buying a set once she realizes that men like that kind of shit.

I let it go for a bit but they were really ruining the movie. So I stood up, walked down the aisle, leaned over the seat directly in front of them and said, “We all payed our money to see this movie, I would like to enjoy IT instead of you”. Paused for a moment and walked back to my seat. I used a very low tone so only the three “trouble makers” could hear me.

I was sincere, polite and didn’t use the normally colorful language that I am prone to. They were respectful and quiet the rest of the film. In fact I would say that they got into the movie and perhaps even enjoyed it more. It just pisses me off that it even has to happen.

Seahawks won the division with a 42-21 spanking of the Cardinals. Congratulations and Go ‘Hawks!

Seems like WGA-AMPTP negotiations took step back last week which is unfortunate. Twenty years ago the AMPTP might have got away with acting like buttheads then releasing a statement to the press that they own and spinning the shit out of it. What’s puzzling is apparently they haven’t really kept up with the times. The newspapers are becoming obsolete. There are hundreds of new information streams available to the public that they have no control over. Information, good and bad, is free flowing. It’s up to us to read them all and disseminate in our own minds what is going on...

Or just read Nikki.

My take is the AMPTP are being assholes and the WGA is being a little stiff on some things. Figure this thing out so everyone can get back to work. Merry Christmas guys.

Writing is going OK. I am having some good discussion about my logline over on Blake Snyder’s forums. I don’t have a writers group here in Seattle so it’s nice to get some feedback. Thanks guys.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Writing in Pain

I received a “deep cleaning” to the right side of my mouth at my last dentist appointment. I was schedule to do the other side but canceled it until the first of the year. I don’t want to be in uncomfortable pain through the holidays.

For those of you who don’t know what a “deep cleaning” is, it’s where they numb the shit out of the side of your face and proceed to dig way down into your gums and pry out all of the crap that’s settled in there. I’ve read it’s supposed to be good for you. Well I hope so cause one week later I am still a wreck. I am on a steady dose of Ibu and Tylenol. My gums do look better except the area around my wisdom tooth. He had to dig in a little deep there cause it’s nestled up against my cheek and it’s taking awhile to heal.

If ever I needed a wake up call to floss everyday I got it. Other things I have learned are; gargling with saltwater isn’t as bad as I thought it would be; gargling with hydrogen peroxide is. Man that shit is nasty.

I’ve also discovered that, at least for me, it’s kind of hard to create when you’re in pain. Every night since, “the cleaning”, I sit there with my laptop staring at the screen. I know what I want to write. I’ve played the scenes out a hundred times in my head. I just can’t shake the dull throbbing of my gums. It’s like an air horn that interrupts my thoughts anytime I clench my teeth or my tongue brushes a sensitive spot. I’ve also found this to be the case when I am mad, really depressed or worried about something.

I am not sure if this is something that, over time, as you get more experience writing you can push through or if it’s a common problem. To me a professional writer would have to be able to write under any condition and all kinds of pressure.

Right now my writing “space” seems very fragile. I have to be in a good mood and have my story “loaded” in my head where I can visualize the characters, setting and tone. Only thing I can do is forge ahead the best I can.

A few other thoughts:

The BCS is total horseshit and the bowl system overall is outdated and retarded. So here’s to all us football fans who get to see Viagra’s Rock Hard Man-Meat Bowl between two 5-7 teams instead of a thrilling 16 team tournament that they could still piggy back onto with their sponsorships.

Seahawk’s rocked the house last Sunday. Eagles are a tough team to beat at home. I was listening to the game on the freeway coming back from a road trip and screaming at the radio, “Don’t kick it to Westbrook”! Well fuck me in the beard they did it anyway and almost lost the game. Little mistakes like that make you a mediocre team.

I watched Polar Express with my son last night. I really enjoy that movie. My son also informed me that he was not happy that Christmas wasn't here yet and that he didn't want to wait anymore. I told him I would take it up with the big guy.

That is all.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meaningless deaths or just being a wuss?

I want to discuss two movies that will involve spoilers. So if you haven’t seen “Disturbia” or “The Lookout” then please skip this post.

As if anyone reads this tripe… whatever, here goes.

The first case is “Disturbia”, specifically Officer Gutierrez (played by Jose Pablo Cantillo), that gets called every time Kale, (played by Shia LeBeouf) activates his ankle bracelet. Jose introduces himself as the brother of the teacher Shia hit thus his punishment of house arrest for the summer. This story point establishes added tension to the scenes with these two in it throughout the movie.

During the climax Jose is called to the house because Shia is again beyond the bracelet boundary as he fights his serial killer neighbor, (played menacingly by David Morse), and tries to rescue his mom. As Jose is checking out David’s house David snaps his neck.

I don’t’ see the significance of this event. It served no purpose for the last 10 minutes of the movie. I found myself wondering why the creators decided to go with it. David had already been established as a stone cold killer. Would it not have been better for Jose to be disabled in someway so that Shia could save him? In a round about way this would have made up for hitting his brother the teacher. Instead I left the movie hanging Jose death, in a way, on Shia's head.

The second case is “The Lookout”. Deputy Ted, (played by Sergio Di Zio), is an expecting father who looks in on Chris Pratt, (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and brings him doughnuts as Joseph cleans a bank a night.

The scene where Sergio comes into the bank, gun drawn, as the robbers are hiding is seriously intense. His wife has beeped him because she is going into labor and you know he is fucked. Sergio gets shot and then “finished off” with a shotgun to the head.

I love the tension and “aw shit” moment that was created for the film – just awesome. My problem was any empathy I had developed for Joseph’s character to that point went right out the window, to the point that I was pissed. Was this what the creators wanted? I’m not sure. I can tell you that in my perspective the movie really lost all appeal to the point that I really didn’t give a shit what happened to Joseph. He probably needed to die as well for the movie to end well for me.

I loved the scene but I didn’t think they needed to kill the deputy. Perhaps I was supposed to lay blame on the bank robbers but I didn’t. I put it on Josephs head and it ruined the rest of the movie for me.

So there you have it. Tell me what you think. I am interested in hearing other peoples takes and angles on these two story points. I could be that I am just a wuss and need to be a hell of a lot more ruthless with my antagonists. If so, show me the way.

That is all.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Long Weekend

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. Hold on to your butts this is a long one.

My pre New Years resolution is too post at least three times a week from now on. Not that anyone outside my immediate family reads this blog but that doesn’t mean I don’t have shit to say. The whole “If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound” theory will be put to the test.

Weekend football roundup:

Sorry Ducks. Season is over. Let’s hope Dixon can get healthy for the draft.

Go Cougars!!!! Great win for the Apple Cup this year.

Go Seahawks! The ball bounces funny sometimes. Thank goodness it bounces our way once in awhile. Note to Mike Holmgren: Loosen the fuck up with the play calling in the 4th quarter and trust your offense. That’s two games you’ve almost lost with your three and out run plays. I like Mike but I think he’s at the end of his career and playing a little tight. Maybe he should take a few during halftime and tug one out… loosen up a little.

Good try Philly. A.J. is gonna be sick until Sundays kick off this week thinking about those interceptions. Was awesome seeing Brady and Moss get knocked on their asses a few plays. They are still the team to beat though. By the way does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that Belichick is gay?

I saw two movies over the long weekend, both rocked. The first was “No Country For Old Men.” I suspect most of the country, like myself, had no idea who Javier Bardem was. Well holy shit is that about to change. After he cleans house at the award ceremonies expect to see a lot of him in the future.

There is nothing better than a slow moving, deliberate psychopath and Javier pulls it off scene after scene. Anytime he interacted with another human being on screen my ass was clenched so tight I walked out of the theatre feeling like I just got pounded by a rhino. Great toning exercise though, the DVD can double as a workout tape.

Good movie. I won’t give it a “great” because of the ending. I’ve taken to staying put after movies too listen to peoples reactions as they leave. I heard a lot of confused grunting and murmurs. I had flashbacks of the Soprano’s final episode. Overall I enjoyed it.

The second was “The Mist”. It was not what I expected, but in a good way. I liked it, it made me think, and I was disturbed by it. I kept going over in my head what I would have done.

For those of you on the fence about whether or not to go see it I will say this. The “Mist” and the creatures it brings are, in my opinion, secondary to the characters, humanity, and what happens when you put them all in a pressure cooker and turn up the heat. Good, good movie that I will never watch again.

Good reactions from the audience. Been a long time since I was at a movie where people clapped and cheered at pivotal moments. Lots of positive chatter, it’s a thinker.

Audience disturbance wasn’t too bad. My wife would be so proud of me. I restrained myself from turning around halfway during a movie as the ass hat behind me couldn’t handle being “off the grid” for more than an hour so he had to start texting someone. At least have the courtesy to turn off the key stroke beeps dick head.

Moment two was when some lady beside me (a grunter) decided to wait until the movie started to unwrap her ungodly loud cellophane wrapped candy or whatever the fuck it was. Me and another guy on the other side of her leaned forward and stared at her until she stopped. Good times.

Note to moviegoers: Unwrap you shit during the trailers.

For those of you who don’t know what a “grunter” is. It’s the person that grunts every time something happens during the movie like a revelation, gory part, or they are just plain fucking confused. Annoying as hell.

I had a lovely moment when I tried to open my bag of Reeses Pieces. I couldn’t find the pre-cut tear on the package so I grabbed it at the seems and pulled. I must have had a defective package cause this thing was fucking welded shut. It was too late to get the jaws-of-life from the car so I cowboyed up and tugged that fucker like I had a pair…

If you’ve never seen an explosive shower of Reeses Pieces in the dim flicker of a movie light your really missing something. The way the tumbling pieces catch the light as they come crashing down loudly on the cement floor is just…beautiful.

Note to self: Unwrap your shit in the lobby.

Took my son to see Santa Clause. He could barely contain himself until we walked into the room where Santa was sitting. The awe and reverence as he walked up to Santa, hoped on his lap and gave him his list was just priceless. It was a good day.

I video taped the whole thing, I guess I lingered a little long on “Santa’s Little Helper”. When the wife reviewed the tape she congratulated me on the nice “leg shot” I got. Nice of Santa to include something for the adults.

Finished the preliminary outline and busted out 15 pages this weekend. Even the wife commented that this one seems to be coming easier for me. We will see.

Going to finish catching up on Sam and Jim go to Hollywood this week. I am really enjoying their podcast.

That is all.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Band-Aid Sauce

My son came to me other night and requested a band-aid for a small cut underneath his pinky-toe. I of course referred him to his mother. As my dear wife was about to place the band-aid he stopped her. “No mommy, you forgot the band-aid sauce.”

I am in the other room and hear this statement so I poke my head in the room. “Did he just say band-aid sauce?”

With my wife and I puzzled about this mystery product my son hops off the desk and goes to the hall closet and grabs the tube of Neosporin.

“See Mommy, band-aid sauce.”

I will be telling this story to my grandchildren.

Writing is moving forward. Glacially but moving just the same. I’ve switched gears and working on my techie comedy.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Best of luck to the WGA and AMPTP next Monday at the table.


Monday, November 5, 2007

A shout out!

Thank you to all the WGA writers out there sacrificing today so that scrubs like me who hope to join your ranks tomorrow can benefit. If you were picketing in Seattle I would join you.

Let’s hope both sides can get some compromising done and everyone can get back to work feeling good about the next three years.


Friday, November 2, 2007

The disturbing truth...

I added a new link to the blog today. “The Guild” is a hilarious online series about a group of gamers. It’s really good, really funny and disturbingly accurate on a few levels.

Check it out when you get the chance.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Harvest Festival My Ass...

I’m a big horror fan. I love the gore, a good scare, an intense story and best all-- I love it when the bag guys win! Needless to say I dig the movie channels during Halloween. IFC and TMC are the shit this time of year. Old school scary movies with campy effects and young actors who are on their way to becoming stars or forever type cast in the characters they are inadvertently developing.

So HAPPY HALLOWEEN to the scribosphere!

Around this time of year I am reminded of a story about my mother who’s been gone 13 years now. It’s one of my favorites.

Mom would sometimes stop by the video store on the way home and pick up some movies to watch. She liked the standard fare and I was in high school at the time so she often tried to grab some sort of action or scary movie for me.

One night I came home after practice and she mentions to me that she got me a scary movie. I said cool and asked what the title was. She couldn’t remember, just that it was some horror movie. Cool Mom thanks…

Later that evening she went to bed and I popped in the movie and settled down for a good scare. The movie started well enough, as far as I can remember, and then… it got a little weird. Then it got really fucking weird. At this point I stop it and check the title, thinking that maybe I got the wrong tape or something. Nope…

Thus the night I was introduced too… The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Maybe it was my sudden plunge into this “horror movie” that has damage my ability to stomach this film to this day. Much like my utter distaste for watermelon after the time I ate too much at a BBQ and vomited all that red fleshly fruit all over the deck.

Either way Mom thought it was just fucking hilarious the next morning when I told what she had exposed her son too. She let me pick my own movies after that.

Good times though. I love you Mom. Miss ya.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday Night Meltdown

My good friend Achim calls me up around 3pm yesterday to tell me he scored some sweet tickets to the Sunday night game here in Seattle. We hustle down to the stadium and park it in the plush club level seats for a great game… Whatever.

The moment the ball rocketed through the punters leg and both teams proceeded to muff it all the way to the end zone I should have known we were in trouble.

To put in perspective I’ve been too two regular season games at Quest field. The first was last year; Seattle vs. Minnesota. Not only did we get our ass handed to us but we lost Hasselbeck for several weeks. What a shity day.

Last nights game managed to top that game on an unprecedented level of suckiness. The Seahawks are broke. Alexander is runs like my four year old son, the first time anyone gets near him he falls down and curls up into the fetal position. We showed brief flashes of promise but our O-line couldn’t run block for shit and our D-line looked like it was playing Red Rover with the Saints… and losing horribly.

Ah well. The club seats were awesome and Quest field is just a neat place to go and free tickets are always nice.

Writing is cruising. I feel the momentum really starting to roll. I am enjoying my story and getting 2-5 pages done a day. It feels great.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Helpful Safety Tip

Never been a fan of bicycle pants, or bicycling for that matter. I, like the majority of non bicyclers, think of these four way, 7 1/2 oz, nylon/lycra, tricot knit second skins as some vain way to expose your man junk, camel toe or if your unfortunate the unsightly terrain of your ass and thighs.


During a break between DOTA games the other night (Warcraft III mod, leave a note if you want to know more) one of my friends relayed the following story.

Apparently some poor fellow decided to go riding in regular shorts. During his xtreme bike ride he somehow hung his ass out over the back tire. Well, Lance hit a bump and he landed on the back tire, which quickly grabbed his sack and rammed it through the metal cross bar. There was tearing, I am not sure the boys were completely detached but the damage was done.

So, while it pains me to say this, please, for the sake of mankind and those of you reading this blog, mouth agape and holding your jiggly bits in empathy, wear the silly shorts. I certainly have a new found respect for these fine articles of plum smuggling.

Oh and I guess they come padded for comfort as well.

Writing is going good. The ending scene to "MvA" is really starting to become clear in my mind which is very cool. I am going to start outlining my next story soon. I have some key trailer moments I want to get down on paper before they fade away.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Weekly roundup

The Unit has finally drawn my wife in. The show does a good job of going from the warfare to the emotional strain of the families left behind. Dennis Haysbert for president.

I was a little worried with the pilot of K-Ville. The camera was in constant motion and I hate cinematography like that. If I wanted to watch music videos I would YouTube MTV footage of the late 80’s when those ass hats still played them. The quick cuts and head shots where it looks like the camera is sliding off the table makes me feel like I need to watch the show with a wallet in my mouth so I don’t swallow my tongue.

The second episode was much better. I like Cole Hauser, I wish Anthony Anderson was bit funnier. I hope the show continues.

Life rocks. Damian Lewis has been a favorite since Band of Brothers, although he’s a little more “Dreamcatcher” here. The show is really laying down some good plot lines. I am struggling with the LT played by Robin Weigart. I’ve only ever seen her in Deadwood so seeing here looking somewhat attractive and not spewing out obscenities every third word is a huge stretch for me. Keep it up folks!

Chuck is ok. The super agent is hot. I caught some inaccurate techno jargon and that distracts me from the story. Chuck flying a helicopter was a stretch. Homage to “Last Starfighter” I suppose. It’s a great premise; let’s hope they hire a few nerds to get their shit straight and some better show stories.

Writing is going well. Crankin out scenes at lunch time at work and emailing them home so I can get them into Final Draft.

Listening to the Creative Screenwriting podcasts on iTunes, great stuff.

I have a short term goal of getting some scenes put together for submission to get into an online writers group. I need the deadlines and support to help me get over the edge. I am working hard to get daily writing a habit. Way to many story ideas to get down on paper, not enough time to do it.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

DVR/Tivo run down this week

I laughed my ass off. I came in knowing it was light hearted and riding on the coat tails of the current comic-superhero trend going on. I will be watching it again although Kevin Smith only directed the pilot so far as I know so we will see where this goes. I wonder if there was a run on Dirt Devil hand-held’s.

Once again, I laughed quite a bit. Being a software engineer by trade I got all of the jokes and enjoyed the set up. I like Adam Baldwin from his FireFly/Serenity days. I am excited to see where this goes. Gratuitous underwear scenes of the hot secret agent are worth at least another weeks worth of attention. I have yet to encounter a porn site that melts your computer. I wonder if Al Gore was the tech consultant.

The whole rehash of the cheerleader conflict was a huge let down for me. The Japanese hero being an Englishman was good. The rest of the story lines were ok. I am dying to know what Mommy Petrelli and Daddy Hero’s powers are. Parkman is my favorite story line. I want to see Noah wtf own some ass for the good guys this season.

This week’s episode was the first one in a long time that I have not laughed out loud. I feel like they are getting too dramatic for the shows premise. I like this show a lot and hope it stays strong but they will need to swing it back to the comedic side of things with deadly consequences. I think they made a mistake by weakening the sexual tension between Jack and Allison. But what the fuck do I know?

What’s Left?

Journeyman – Not sure about this one. Guy reminds me of Anthony Michael Hall for some reason.

The Unit – Dennis Haysbert is the shit and the rest of the cast and show are pretty damn good as well.

Haunted – Some Mathew Fox show on Sci-Fi I hadn’t seen or heard of. Fallen – Kind of a nut when it comes to guardian-fallen-death angels for reasons which will become apparently shortly…

And now I want to talk about Scrubs.

I hadn’t watched the show until recently when 80% of the Comcast cable line up syndicated it. I am fairly certain you can watch scrubs 24 hours a day if your channel surfing skills are above average.

It dragged me. I love the characters, the dialogue, the stories and it makes me laugh all the time. So for my 35th birthday my dear wife bought me the first season on DVD. I am almost done with all of the episodes and I will go back and watch the commentary on them as well.
It’s a great show and I recommend it to anyone who’s likes quirky comedy (give a shout out if you remember Herman’s Head!) with a lot of heart and great dialogue.

"I'm no Superman"


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brief Notes

I will be 35 tomorrow.

So many clocks are ticking its making my head spin. A good portion of the writing community seems to think that I am too old to start a writing career. My hair has noticeable gray (thanks sweetie). And to top it all off I can’t find a decent MMO to play to save my life. It feels like the entire gaming industry is incapable of an original thought and afraid to pop that Blizzard tit out of their mouth and quit making World of Warcraft clones.

Writing is going well despite my age. After frustrating iterations of attempting to write off of weak outlines I went back to square one. Grabbed a well known beat sheet example and filled that out. Yes it was Blake Snyders. I’ve met the guy personally and I like him and his approach. I then expanded the beat sheet into scene headings, added a few descriptions, included some notes on twists I wanted to include and a list of characters. I jotted down some general settings/location notes on some of the scenes to get me thinking about where all this takes place and started writing.

What a fricken difference let me tell ya. I’ve read quite a few screenwriting books up to this point; my night stand is piled high with them. Until you start doing it yourself, fail, and then go back and tweak-merge-adopt-adapt-modify a system that works for you, writing isn’t a whole lot of fun. It’s really is a breath of fresh air and the wheels are really starting to turn.

I also began preliminary writings on the other projects I want to do. Wordplay and John August are big on having several projects in some stage of development. I took that to heart and off I went creating a high level beat sheet of my “techie comedy” and a short story piece on my sci-fi space adventure. With three stories at various stages and my “primordial soup” notebook full of ideas and tidbits writing is constantly in my head and it’s a blast.

I also find myself really excited when I find a good title. Some people like to leave that open till later. I find myself really wrapping myself around a good clever title and it seems to drive me to write and keeps things exciting.

Most of these are newbish revelations to the pros but like any job, career or hobby you really don’t get it until you work things out for yourself. It is nice to be pointed in the right direction by a very helpful and giving scribosphere.

A few other thoughts….

Once again the Mariners suck. Thank god my wife bought tickets to early season games when they were still worth the price of admission.

The Seahawks killed me last week. Hasselbeck and Alexander decided to have a team meeting on the Arizona 37 yard line with less than 2 minutes to go, and dropped the fricken ball a which point the rest of the game went like this:

Denial - Oh hell no that just didn’t happen.
Anger - What the fuck are you ass clowns doing? Son of a bitch are you kidding me?
Bargaining - Is there a flag? Call time out? Do over? Mike, say something!
Depression- Fuck, the season is over.
Acceptance - Who’s playing the late game?

After I slipped into a semi-coma on the couch from being blown through the grief fire hose my son came up to me, patted me on the head and told me it would be ok. It was.

If you value your cuddle time or being able to roll over and spoon your wife/husband/whatever, do NOT buy a sleep number bed. The bed is split into two sides where in each person can set the firmness of his/her/it’s side using a control. As comfortable as this is, any attempt to traverse to the other side of the bed to see your hopefully better half is problematic. Let me explain.

I have a fairly high sleep number which means my mattress if firm, i.e. pumped up with air. My wife sleeps on a cloud thus her side of the mattress is deflated quite a bit. I literally fall of a fucking cliff anytime I cross midfield. So now I am wedged in between my mattress and the wife who is elbowing the shit out of me to get the fuck back on my side. Inversely my lovely wife has to clip caribiners to the headboard and use a rope system to get onto my side of the bed. In the event that one of us makes it successfully onto each others sleep space the sleep number is all screwed up because it doesn’t adjust for two people. So you’re together yet bitchy and uncomfortable. That’s hot.

For added difficulty have your 4 year old son constantly fuck with your controller so you truly never know what setting your bed will be at when you get in. There is good news however! Hours of fun can be had if you wait until your partner begins to set their number. As the mattress is inflating/deflating to reach the desired firmness secretly place a leg or appendage on their side of the bed thus screwing with the pressure calibration. They will spend hours tossing and turning and readjusting their number. I advise you do this only on the weekend.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Mistress

I’ve had a mistress off and on for better part of a decade now.

She is a sweet, loving, nurturing, torturous, life sucking, murderous, attention whore. I’ve encouraged my brothers, friends, even my wife to jump on her over the years. I suspect when my son comes of age I will encourage him to get a piece as well.

As you would expect my wife hates her. We’ve had our share of fights over her and who I spend my time with. My argument is would she rather me be down at the bar getting smashed or playing with the mistress?

The good news is she is cheap, coming in around $10-$15 a month with an initial “get to know you fee” of around $50.

I am of course referring too MMORPG’s. In layman terms Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. If you haven’t heard of World of Warcraft by now I suspect you still get your news in paper form.

There is no bigger obstacle in my writing that this wench. It takes so much will power to step away from the keyboard and do some writing. I am not the only with this problem of course.

After reading that blog I kicked my mistress to the curb. Uninstalled WoW and haven’t looked back. Even when my gamers group posted the link to the new WoW expansion I could care less. It’s a good feeling.

But like any good feeling it calls me…every day. So now I play a Warcraft III mod called DoTA. Complex, fun and games usually last an hour. I can get one in before I settle down to write. Problem is I’ve been getting in 2-3 before I start writing and its slowing progress. Gonna have to kick in the will power and bring it back down to moderation.

The thing is I love these games. I love the worlds, being something powerful and cool on the screen, accomplishing tasks, defeating enemies, being recognized for good play. Pretty much all the things any normal human being would want right?

What better way to get all of these things and more than to create it? Build the worlds, make your own rules, imagine the heroes, live their adventures, pit them against your worst fears and conquer them. This, to me is what writing is about. This is what motivates me to create stories.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


There are many colloquial terms used to refer to a left-handed person. Some are just slang or jargon words ('cack-handed'), while others may be offensive or demeaning, either in context or in origin. In more technical contexts, 'sinistral' may be used in place of 'left-handed' and 'sinistrality' in place of 'left-handedness'. Both of these technical terms derive from sinister, a Latin word meaning 'left’” – Wikipedia

I new something was wrong with me but holy shit.

According to I am a stuttering, dyslexic, schizoid devil child who needs a sound beating anytime I use my left hand.

Oh but wait! While I am not stu…stu…stuttering through my plans for world domination with the evil twin (in my head) apparently I have a predisposition to creativity and intelligence!

“While there is an unresolved debate within the scientific community on how to operationalize both intelligence and creativity, some studies have demonstrated a small positive correlation between left-handedness and creativity/intelligence.” - Wikipedia

Although a small one…shit.

At the moment I am locked in a mortal battle with my left brain that wants me to go back and fix the writing I have up to this point but so far right brain and I are beating him back and things are progressing. If I allow evil lefty to overcome me I will literately write the same damn scene for-bloody-ever.

The story line is a little shaky but I am letting things flow naturally. I have no idea where I am going but I am having fun and good old righty hasn’t let me down yet. I like the free flow of ideas as I write. I don’t judge, I just listen and type.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dreams on Spec

A documentary following three aspiring screenwriters through their painful journey of trying to get their shit bought, made, noticed…anything.

All three subjects had industry contacts of some sort. I would have liked to have seen at least one of the subjects living in a dumpster and knocking on doors of agents trying to get noticed, on the outside looking in so to speak.

It seemed like the subjects were concentrating on their one great script that would ascend them to their WGA cards. One of the first things I learned when I began researching screenwriting was always be working on your next script, always be writing. The two subjects that really put all their energies in their current scripts for months, even years were unsuccessful. We entered the story of the third subject at the point where he already had a director interested.

I liked the show. It was funny and sad. It didn’t pull any punches on how tough the industry can be. The interviews with successful screenwriters throughout the movie were great. The DVD has an extended interview extra that’s worth the price in and of itself.

While the realities of becoming a screenwriter are far out there it doesn’t stop me from visualizing what I want and working towards those goals. I want to tell stories for a living.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Up a creek with a map and a GPS and still don't know where the hell I am...

I spent the last few weeks filling out beat sheets and outlining my story. Forging ahead with great expectations and the thrill of the hunt I blasted through the first two scenes…

…and effectively dismantled the rest of my outline.

I am not sure if it’s my outline that’s too vague, I am not being strict enough in following the outline, or if this is the way story writing works and I should go with the flow and let it be.

I wish I could describe how the scenes unfold and where the story comes. I sit down, read the outline header and start typing. Most of it is crap, some parts I read and go, wow. Hopefully as the pages mount up I will find myself saying, “wow” a lot more often.

I don’t have a clue and time will tell. For now I am letting the story tell itself and having fun.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Smokin' Aces

A quick note on NetFlix:

If NetFlix shipped porn it would be the all time greatest internet business model ever. There is more than enough room in the small white envelope for a wet wipe, they need to consider it.

What would be really neat is if IMDB hooked up with NetFlix and as I research movies on IMDB I can click somewhere on the page and add the current movie to my Queue.

So on to Smokin’ Aces…

Not a review per se, more like a short rant.

This was the first movie I could tell a scene was cut immediately.

The small Tremor brother is peeing on the car and the tall buff Tremor brother, (played by Kevin Durand who by the way was voted the funniest new COMEDIAN in CANADA in 1994! Who’d a thought that shit?), looks back at him and all of the sudden they are mad at each other and fighting. I rewound that scene twice to figure out why the hell they were all of the sudden beating the crap out of each other. Totally lost me. Well after the movie I headed over to the extended and cut scene features on the disk and there it was. About a minute worth of dialog triggers the fight. Not sure why the cut it but I thought it was cool I caught it.

Entertaining film over all. Alicia Keys is hot. Lot’s of gun play. The ADD Karate Kid was disturbing yet funny. I was hoping to see more of Jeremy Piven but there were too many other characters to cover. Still holding out for PCU 2.

There is a short documentary about the director that I think I enjoyed more than the movie.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The bad news:
I don’t live in LA.
I have no formal training in writing other than creative and technical writing classes in college.
I have never written a screenplay.
I have a full time job and a family that makes it tough as hell to find time to write.
I am 34 years old.

Who cares? Cry more newb.

I like stories. I like movies. I've always wanted to write. As long as I write good stories that I would want to see the rest will take care of itself.

It’s odd how invigorating this is. I created this blog yesterday, went home and did a complete rewrite of my beat sheet and outline. I have a few more plot points to put in and I will begin a draft. My first major hurdle is to not allow my self to stop, rethink or edit during this draft. I am horrible at writing a scene then scrapping it two minutes later.

Write the whole damn thing, let it age a bit then hit it again. I have four other high level ideas waiting in the wings that call out to me from time to time. I have to get this one written and move on.

Spellchecker owned me yesterday. I sent out a company email where I ment to apologized for any "inconvenience" an issue had caused folks. I hit send, the spellchecker popped up and I hit change because I knew I had spelled inconvenience wrong and sent it on its way.

I ended up apologizing for any incontinence I had caused anyone.

My writing career is off to a good start.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Post 0

Hello all,

My first post here on my blog. My name is Jim. I am a software engineer working in Seattle striving to be a screenwriter.

I try and stay current on quite a few boards and blogs. The screenwriting community online is entertaining and helpful. I will include the links to my favorites as I go.

I am currently in the outlining stages of my screenplay. It’s tough to work an eight hour day, commute two hours, spend as much time with my four year old son and wife as I can at night and still get writing done. It doesn’t help that I am avid gamer as well. You can’t take the game out of the gamer so I try and limit myself to a few hours a week. Good luck.

My goal with this blog is to keep a record as I travel down the screenwriting path. The odds are against me but I am determined to give it a go. All I want to do is write movies that I want to see, tell good stories, and perhaps make a living doing so.

A quick word on the title. I've always been a big Dungeon's and Dragon's fan. Of course that translated into MMO's as the pen and paper games found a new life online. One day a group of us were geeking out and telling stories about our gaming exploits and somehow it came around to weapons. The Titanium Spork (+5) was born. I know it sounds wierd but it was funny had you been there.

Anyways I have been carrying that around for quite awhile. Apparently it has gained some popularity as was already taken when I created this. No worries though. I own and Someday I will turn those sites into something.