Monday, August 11, 2008

Is this thing on?

Holy crap.

Talk about time flying and so forth once you get busy. It helps when your personal life spirals damn near out of control and by that I mean it totally consumes you. So let's hit a few highlights before moving on, shall we?

1) Last year I left my job on account of not getting paid for the three months prior. That would be too many pay periods by far, for those keeping score at home. A year later that account was settled up. Ahh, liens on deadbeat property enforced by the Texas Workforce Commission are a fun tool to keep in one's back pocket.

2) While out of work, attempted to make it as a professional writer. Quickly discovered that my lack of drive for the past year and change combined with my natural ADD tendencies meant I was not ideally suited to being my own boss. This resulted in...

3) Finding a temporary job as a substitute teacher at my old high school and middle school. The middle school I went to has long since been torn down and the shiny new one standing in its place made me resoundingly angry that I lacked such awesome tools when I was there. Back in my day we still had an abacus and WE LIKED IT, DAMMIT! This job resulted in pretty consistent work there on account of hitting it off with all the kids and knowing instinctively how to corral the anarchists among them. Finally, I got to deal with people on the same devious intellectual level as my own. Teachers kept calling me wanting me to cover for them, and the kids loved hanging with me. I now have a personal resume designed by two fifth grade girls hanging on my fridge because it's too adorable. More tales will follow.

4) My Fair Lady and I went through a pretty substantial personal loss last winter only to follow it up this spring by the discovery that Yours Truly packs a .44 Magnum that has six bullets in it, punk, and not five. Our little bundle of Holy Screaming Fury is slated to arrive on or about Thanksgiving of this year. Said spawn has already shown a predilection for chocolate brownie sundaes, hamburgers, and ice cream shakes. Definitely mine. Gender is unknown and will remain a mystery until the birth, and many names have been picked out. If you have thoughts or suggestions, feel free to throw them in the pot.

5) Yours Truly obtained a 9-5ish job as a writer this year. While it's in the industry of commercial real estate, something I plum knew nothing about, I know people and I know marketing and I know how to market to people. As such, I was slick enough in my interview to land the gig and have since been working steadily as a marketing guru designing brochures, documents, and the like until recently when I inherited the metrics project from Hell. I am not a spreadsheet guy but fatefully answered yes when El Jefe asked if I knew Excel. Subsequently, I found myself building an extensive database out of Excel which brings up thoughts of suicide roughly once every 45 minutes or so. This is actually down from once every 5 minutes when the project first started. Not sure if this is good or bad progress.

6) Script writing has been extensive to say the least. Wrote a script off and on all last year then finally finished it early this. I'm looking at it right now and it is desperate need of rewriting. Ran into my old college writing professor at school during Brother G's graduation in May and said prof recalled a script I'd written for his class, and expressed his disappointment that I'd never done anything with it. I returned home, pulled it out, skimmed it, threw it out, and started rewriting it from scratch. It's nearing the end and is 100X better than the crap I threw together in 72 hours 10 years ago. He is expecting to read it by the end of this month and shall, come Hell or high water. Ideally, he will pass this on to his agent who will reward me with a sale. Or a very nasty letter saying how much better this was when it was called "Titanic."

7) Also landed a scripting job two weeks ago for an animated short film. A former co-worker rang and wanted to adapt a children's book specifically targeted at cancer patients into an animated film. The idea was to script a short story from it (the book is a series of short stories told by animals to one another), have it professionally animated, then pitch it to possible investors. I turned in the script this past Thursday and my friend read it today and loved it top to bottom. I meet with her and the animator tomorrow and hopefully we'll get something going on this.

8) Also did a rewrite on another former co-worker's short film about spies and that was a lot of fun. He offered me a wordless part as a guy who gets sniped which of course I leaped at. Then his DP got a job working as the DP on Oliver Stone's future bomb W so obviously the short was put on hold. Expect it to resume sometime this fall. Said short is planned to be shopped to various festivals and no doubt my 15 second cameo will result in a sale.

9) The house My Fair Lady and Yours Truly bought last summer continues to take shape. The nursery has been finished save for the installation of new closet doors followed by furniture. But the room is painted, a new fan/ceiling light is installed, new blinds are hung, and the crib is built all courtesy of Yours Truly. Apparently, I know how to install lights on the quick which saves a ton on paying an electrician to do it. Next up is a new entry way fixture which we should pick up in the next few weeks.

10) The future of this blog remains in doubt. While I definitely need to blog more, I'm pondering changing the name to something else. Casa de Skim was funny for me, not so much for people actually looking for something which increasingly I see the value in. I guess it depends on whether I can actually post more than once every other year. Funny enough, I've actually kept up with blog posts but they remain on my flash drive. Call it laziness on my part but the more Word docs I see on that drive the less inclined I get to transferring them to this blog. I'll do it someday. Maybe.

And that brings us up to speed, pretty much. My primary focus now that the nursery is done is the completion of this full script. I'm currently in the 70s and the story continues on at full speed. The problem I hit with the script earlier in the year was that the story ran out around page 86. I know a subsequent rewrite will help that along, but the good news for the current script is that the story hasn't run its course at all. The way things look now it should blow past page 100 easily and in theory top out around pages 110 and 115. In theory.

More as it develops...

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