Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

      Well it's that time of year again, specifically, Christmas Day. No doubt you got that from the title of the post, or the time stamp on when it was done, but either way, Merry Christmas! I've always like the abbreviated styl of X-Mas because it looks close to X-Men and as we all know, anything comics-related is a good thing.

     The boys were up at a semi-resonable time today, just before 7, and managed to take their time opening their presents (although I've learnt to throw lots of little stuff at them or they'll be done in SECONDS) and seemed more or less pleased with what they got. I myself was the receipient of my very first pair of New Balance running shoes (SWEET! though I don't RUN, they will be awesome for walking) and a surprisingly cool Boston Bruins gnome. He looks like my kinda gnome. If I had a kind. Which I guess he is.

     It's always been an interesting time of year for me, giving gifts, amazingly, has always been my favourite part. I know alot of people SAY that but for me it's true. I like the challenge of finding something that they'd never thought of getting themselves or never knew was out there. It's fun. The kid in me though still likes to play at guessing what I'm getting though and, once again, I managed to predict at least one of my presents just by looking at the box (woo! After 8 chocolates! Mmmm...) and using my Captain Awesome psychic present-detecting powers.

     The part I liked the most this year though was having been able to spend time with some close friends during the hustle and bustle of the season. Good friends that made the time to see me and spend time enjoying each other's company. That, by far, was the best present I could have hoped for. Thank you to them for making the time.

     That's what this season is supposed to be about right? Spending time with people that matter to us? Not just the gifts. Actually... The gift of oneself, of friendship and love, is really the gift that matters. Think about it for a second. If someone stranger walked up and gave you a Ferrari that'd be pretty cool, right? But would that be AS COOL as your best friend handing you the keys to the blue and white 1957 four door Chevy Bel Air that you've wanted since junior high? (By the way anyone reading this that wants to buy me said car, I've since switched to wanting a '55 black and white 2 door hardtop Bel Air, thanks) A gift from someone who knows you and puts that effort of themselves into it is always the best. Because they cared. And that's the best thing of all.               

     Stay awesome my friends, and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Stuck! AKA Stuck Between a Block and a Hardcase

     If you have ever gotten into writing, at one point or another, unless you're some crazy-ass writing machine like Isaac Asimov was (read his stuff, it ROCKS), you've managed to find yourself at a dead end. Maybe you didn't plan ahead and wrote yourself into a corner or maybe you just lost steam and interest, either way it happens. That is where I have found myself for the past week. Difficult as it may be to accept, even I am sometimes at a loss for words. Or at least at a loss of words that make sense. Gibberish is always easy to come out with but people tend to expect better than that if they're going to spend their valuable time reading whatever it is that you wrote. (Ha! Joke's on you, you're reading THIS! But please, keep reading, I do have a point. Or something like that. It gets better anyhow. At least not AS bad. Please keep reading!)

     Ok, so as I established in the last paragraph, all of thirty seconds ago, unless your hooked on phonics course never paid off, I am in a bit of a writing rut. Writing rut. Say it out loud, it sounds funny. Yes, I am odd. SO WHAT? Where was I...oh yes! The rut! The last bit, say two weeks more or less, I have been working on a new comic script, this one being titled The Revenant. I started off well, had written up the character concept last year, sometime in October I think it was, and finally got around to plotting out what the initial story featuring him/her/it would be not that long ago. So here we are, pen to paper time. I immediately had a scene in mind, lifted from an ironically similar situation, story that I started years ago. We open on an alleyway at night time in a major city. It is dark, dirty and scary. A man, Japanese in ethnic origin, is running down the alley full-tilt, as though his life depends on it. It does. We see him glance up and over his shoulder to the rooftops above, searching desperately for something. He is terrified, with a capital T. His eyes widen, his fear increasing, as he spots the reason behind his fleeing. A shadowy figure with glowing red eyes jumps across the alley back and forth between the rooftops, stalking him. With the distance it covers with each leap it obviously is anything BUT human. It crisscrosses with each jump, seeming effortlessly and in no rush. Think a jungle cat chasing down it's prey. Graceful, powerful, confident in the inevitability of the result of its hunt.

     Sounds interesting so far? Sure hope so! I do have more to it but that's all I'm going to share detail-wise at the moment. For the purposes of this blog though, I will say that have the ending to that scene, the scene after that and one or two more. What I do NOT have though, is the scenes that come after those two or three others. middle and no ending. Do I have any idea what I want them to be? Sort of... Kinda. Ok I have a VAGUE idea for an ending. Now normally I wouldn't be TOO concerned about that. I've written myself into dead ends, corners, back tracked, flipped it around and done the standard, when in doubt add ninjas, kinda thing. But. I have never been on a deadline and had this happen. And therein, we come to the title for the blog. I hesitate to call it writer's block but I'm stuck and have yet to see any results of my slam-head-into-wall solution that usually works out well for him. As for the hardcase part, I now have an editor, one that not only has agreed to peruse my writings and critque them but to help me become (as close as I can get to being) more professional in my approach to my writing. That means deadlines. Deadlines that she harasses me about. Which is excellent, that's one of the many things an editor does. What they DON'T do, however, is tell you what to write. They may make suggestions, but at the end of the day it is the WRITER'S job to write, no one else's. 

    Now that we've established who's job is who's, how do I go about doing mine? And on time? Easy! You plead the holidays and say that you'll be a bit late! Wait. That doesn't work. It may buy you some much needed time but it doesn't get it done. In this case I decided to take some time out and write this. It's like talking out a problem to yourself, though this way it's in print and your cat or the guy across from you on the bus doesn't look at you like you're nuts. For the record, Captain Awesome does NOT take the bus. That's what the Awesome-mobile is for. I changed the format of the plot too. Instead of a one page summary/overview, I started taking the scenes I had in mind and on paper, and broke them down into page by page guides. Not the the point of each panel, just a quick draft to get the pacing down. It turned out I had alot more done than I thought I did and suddenly the mountain I had ahead of me to write is...well it's still a mountain but not quite as big. I'll keep you posted on my progress. Until then... Stay awesome, my friends!