Saturday, September 20, 2014

Crazy Family Feature and Christmas Children’s Story

I'm just plugging away on the outline.  I have, what I believe to be, a strong opening that captures the overall theme of the movie and the main character.  The beginning is set up where the crazy family is encountered for the first time.

Many years ago, my wife and I wrote a Christmas Children's Story.  We really liked it and read it to a few kids that we knew (we didn't have any kids of our own at the time) and had some parents read it to there kids.  We made notes on what they thought worked and didn't and wrote another draft.  But we didn't know anything about the children's market so it was filed away.

We first envisioned it as a picture book, but as we are now well acquainted with how they are structured, we knew that it was too long and wouldn't fit.  We were at the library a few weeks ago to get some prizes for our kids for the summer reading program.  There was this book called, "The Notebook of Doom:  Attack of the Shadow Smashers," by Troy Cummings.  It was a children's chapter book for early readers around 1st to 3rd grade.  I showed it to Eileen and told her maybe our Christmas story would work well like this.

I found the first book in the series, "Rise of the Balloon Goons," at the library and checked it out.  We both read it so we had a good feel for what the structure is like.

She went through and made the reading level easier and made sure our scene changes worked well for chapter breaks.  We started going over it together this week and I think it turned out wonderful.  It had been so long since I've seen it, it was great to read it again.  It's a fun story with a good character arc, and I think it works well for a chapter book.

We also started working on names for the chapters which has been almost as much fun as writing the story.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back to the Crazy Family Feature

My goal was to write a new screenplay while I had readers looking at my WWII novel.  But there is too much going on right now to start such a big project.  (One of which is I've been working on my Best Man Speech for my brother's wedding.)

I decided to get to work on outlining my Crazy Family Feature screenplay.  It's been a lot of fun to work on a screenplay again since it has been a while.  I have a ton of notes for it, so it's a matter of getting them all organized into scenes.  This will probably take up most of my time for the next couple of months.

Lannie read my "Those Who Remember" short story and made some comments on them.  He had a lot of good ideas, although some of which would expand the story and make it longer.  I'm already at about 6,300 words, so I don't think I want to increase the length.  It's nice he wanted some scenes expanded, but I still want to keep this a short story and keeping it to a length that gives it the best chance of getting published.  I'll have to think about when I'm going to work on this one again.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Gardening Kid's Book Finished

I finished the first draft of my Gardening Kid's Book.  Overall I think it turned out nice, but it definitely needs another draft.  I'll need to go through and see how it would all fit with pictures and read it as if I'm reading to my own kids.  I'm not sure it has the right "feel" to it right now.  I'll put this away for a while (as I always do after finishing a new story) and I'll read some more kid's picture books before tackling this one again.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gardening Kids book

I've been needing to work on smaller projects lately.  I've started working on my gardening kids book.  It's one that I've outlined a few months ago, so it's just a matter of writing (and re-writing) it now.

My wife and I have come up with a small business idea which has taken up most of my available free time.  I've been able to put into practice a lot of the marketing skills I've learned, but there is a tremendous amount that I don't know.  It's in the very early stages, so I won't be going into any details for several months.

That's really it.  My WWII novel is being read (hopefully) by readers, I need to work on my one page synopsis to work on my next screenplay, and I'll continue to write every day when I have the time.

(I can't believe how early I posted this, it must be a record for me.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Carjackers Sketch and a new commercial about bank fees

I figured out the ending for the carjackers sketch and a couple of other details/characters I needed.  This would be pretty easy to do, so I'll have to put this up maybe for episode six of, "Just Watch It."  Which of course I don't know when we'll start filming.

I haven't decided really what next project I'm going to work on.  I'm thinking about working on the outline for the crazy family feature screenplay, but there are some steps that need to be taken first.  I wanted to get some feedback from Mr. G about it, but I wanted to also send him a couple of other scripts he was interested in.  But before I send any of those, I wanted to work on my one-sheet synopsis of them.  I found an article about it, but it's actually a video to watch and I haven't had the time to pull it up yet (more on that later).  Ugh.  Maybe I'll get my clone to work on it.

I decided to work on something really short so I wrote up another commercial idea which dealt with bank fees.  This was a nice challenge because I had to make bank fees interesting which I think I did nicely.  It's definitely adrenaline pumping.

Sunday the 17th was the Gluten Free Food Fair that Deby's Gluten Free attended.  I texted Doug to see how it was going and he responded that it was completely insane, but insane is good.  He also said the brochure looks great, so I'm happy he liked it.  I'll have to give him some time and then contact him to see if it resulted in any more business.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Storm Kids book, Those Who Remember, and a new sketch!

I finished the first draft of my children's story about a thunderstorm.  This one was a lot of fun to write since it had a comic book vibe to it.  There was a nice little character change that I don't see too often in a children's book.  My son brings this one up once in a while as something that he would like to make with me.  It's a little more complicated than our monkey kid book, so we'll have to wait and see how this one goes.  As usual, I'll put this away for a while and bring it back out with fresher eyes for the second draft.

I finished another draft of my new short story those who remember.  There wasn't anything too big that had to be changed at this point, just a lot of minor tweaks to make it read and flow better, and just making sure it's a good story.  Most of the characters are based on old friends of mine, so I handed it off to Lannie, who knows all of them too.  I'm curious what he would think of it.

I wasn't sure what to start on next so I chose a smaller project, a new sketch about carjackers.  It had been a while since I wrote any sketch comedy, so it took a little while to get back into that kind of thinking again.  I'm also not sure how it's going to end yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams

I can't begin to explain or understand my thoughts on the passing of Robin Williams.  I'm at a loss for words on such a great talent dying at such a young age (really, 63 isn't that old), and also apparently by his own hands.  I've read the usual stories of his struggle with addiction, but one never sees the personal side to a celebrity.  You can never know how much of their public persona is an act.  But then, we all put on an act, depending on who we're dealing with.

We may never know the demons that he struggled with that would make him think that death was the only answer.  With such a brilliant and long-lasting career, a new wife, and three children, it's hard to think what he could be depressed about.  He was successful in every sense of the word, and could pretty much do anything that he wanted.

The biggest tragedy is those loved ones he left behind.  What must they be thinking on how he will no longer be in their lives and if there was anything they could have done to help him through this dark time of his?

Anyway, it's a sad day and a shame that he wasn't able to find the kind of help he needed to keep going.  He has left a legacy of film and charity work, and the world is a little bit darker without him.