I'm the co-founder of ADK MOGUL, a film and writing resource program that provides location and production management for films shooting in the Adirondack region. I'm developing a seasonal journal featuring the best in local student writing.
Currently, we are working with ten small independent movie theaters in the Adirondack Park in helping them transition to digital film and provide alternative and sustaining programming as part of our campaign, Go Digital or Go Dark.
We just released our first short film, The Deal, which was written and directed by my better-half, T J Brearton.
I'm also an English teacher. I wrote my thesis on comics writer Grant Morrison and Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. I'm teaching English at Paul Smith's College and North Country Community College, while assistant coaching the PSC swim team. I may never sleep.
I was just reading this profile of Noah Hawley, the author of the book I just started reading Before the Fall, and creator of the tv show, Fargo. I haven’t watched the show yet, but it’s on my list. Here are a few things I liked about this profile:
I don’t think we have to suffer personally to make great art. If you’re prepared and organized and you know what you’re looking for, you can make great art and then go home.“
This is also something I ask myself every day: “when am I writing today?” Usually my best chances are in the morning, for half an hour or in between when life happens. When he was writing his fourth novel, Before the Fall, he was trying to approach the film medium as a novelist and vice versa.
"I try to approach the film medium as a novelist and the novel medium as a filmmaker on some level. It’s that question: Do we think in pictures or do we think in language? And the novelist believes one thing and the filmmaker believes another thing—and I’m fascinated by that balance.”
That’s interesting because that’s what I’ve been doing, especially with the Emerson Novel. I approached it with an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mentality of comics in novel form, (there are comics creators as major parts in the novel), and now I’m kind of working on a comic book anthology series that will weave between interconnected short stories and comics. It’s a little bit what Fargo sounds like.
The last thing I took from this profile was to not give up. Hawley’s third book, The Good Father did not do well, and he thought about giving up.
No we don’t give up. I don’t write stories for the rewards that come back to me. I write them because i have to write them. It’s a sickness on some level. A compulsion…If you’re only a novelist, and people don’t want to publish or review or buy the book, then you’re stuck. But mostly it just comes from the fact that I love all these things. Part of this whole multitasking identity just comes from not wanting to wait. You write a book, it takes forever, and then you send it out, and then you wait. So the best thing to do si start something else–you get up every morning and are looking forward to today’s problem to solve.
I get the first part of this quote, but I don’t live it. That’s the thing–I don’t put it out there. I don’t submit anything, and that’s about to change–this week in fact. The second part, the multitasking, is exactly what I’ve always done. So my resolution for 2017 is to start a spread in my notebook and start submitting fiction to journals.
Like many influential and innovative thinkers, the bulk of Bruce Lee’s education was attained through his voracious reading and his dedication to a lifestyle of self-learning. At 32 his personal library contained over2,500 books. I have compiled a list consisting of books Bruce Lee either confirmed ownership of publicly, or quoted from and discussed in his personal writings and published texts.
You download the ones highlighted in green.
At any given moment you’re failing to see the way things actually are. The manifestation is that you’re failing to be kind. You’re anxious. You’re neurotic. I don’t think it’s so much about external things. I think you could be a very happy, high-functioning person and still note the moment-to-moment failures.
okay, I’ll play: #2006/2016-on the left (2006) unemployed, unbearded, no relationship at Rockaway Beach; obsessed with writing comics and writing in general. 2016: bearded, father, married, great job, actually producing comics. The only thing that is similar is a beautiful setting and still in #NewYork. Here’s to another ten years of change!
Ok so maybe this is a bit more of the Bona fanbase than the team itself, but obviously you can’t help but link the two. The Bona fans are among the most hydrated in the conference and are a fun-loving group who, after big games like last night’s win of the Franciscan Cup, likely wake up wondering why they are in Olean and how the hell they ended up there. Deep down though they are good people and are perhaps destined to rule, or at least be close to the king.
Next semester, I’ll be teaching X-MEN: God Loves, Man Kills, because I think it’s especially topical to today and now I want to go down to Columbia just to take a look at his papers on what went into writing that project to use that as a teaching aide. I don’t know if I can make that happen between now and next semester, but I’d like to do it some day.
Christmas with Love from Mrs. Claus. This was fantastic.
Worrying has never finished a paragraph or fixed a slow opening. You can worry away your writing life, or you can catch yourself the next time you start to worry, go for a walk, and replace those worries with work.
12. If you want to publish, you need to hustle. You probably already know how to do this; you work several jobs, you do what you need to do in order to survive. Apply that passion to your art. If you’ve never hustled before, just talk to your parents or grandparents. Treat editors with respect. Listen to them, let them turn your drafts (they are never as good as you think they are, admit it) into stories that readers want. Essayists: you need to pitch. Actually, you need to love to pitch. Start thinking in pitches. Be concise, precise. Write three paragraphs: hook the reader with a story, explain the current significance of your idea, and then show why you are the best person to write this essay. Be kind, but be direct. Stop assuming editors will say “no” — and when they do, pitch elsewhere. No one is going to come find you and beg for your wonderful ideas. Get pitching.
What should we do? The answer seems clear. We should wake up. Let this election of Donald Trump call forth a great awakening. Specifically, I call on people like me—soft white liberal upper-middle-class college types—to get off their asses, our asses, and fight. That’s what this is, a fight. If you doubt it, if you’re telling yourself (perhaps for reasons of emotional survival that are forgivable) that this is just another election, that the Republicans and the Democrats pass power back and forth in a kind of game and that only fools get overexcited, you are telling yourself a story.
Who is to blame for this state of affairs? We are, if anyone. The left. I am. Let’s confess it in all transparency. We were stupid. We forgot about a huge part of this country. We forgot about “regular folks.” We forgot about middle-class and working-class white people who don’t like the same things we do. It began a long time ago, this forgetting. They weren’t sexy. And anyway, enough of them were usually on our side that it didn’t matter. That was not just stupid but criminally negligent. We were also repeating a mistake that is older than our nation and that may doom us: the inability to understand who it is with whom we truly have common cause. It goes back to Bacon’s Rebellion. For the colonial elites to win, they first have to convince the “regular folks” not to side with the blacks and Indians. Best yet is if you can get both groups not to trust each other. Don’t fall prey to it. Greater polarization serves the other side. We just learned that. We have to reach out to the Trump voters. We have to present them with a vision of liberalism inspiring and coherent enough that those among them who can be swayed will be swayed. The margins are razor thin and can be moved.
There is a President Trump. I’ve received maybe two hours of sleep. When I broke the news to Meggan at the 12:00 we were both crestfallen. I was terrified.At 3:30, I was frantic and worried. This is when Meg said: “It matters more what happens in this house than the white house.” I live in a white house. Every time I come home from work, like Mr. Rogers, I go into the coat closet and take off my Converses, hang up my jacket and put on my hoody that I only wear at home. I’m reminded of something Mr. Rogers said: “My mother used to say, whenever there would be any really big catastrophe, she would say ‘always look for the helpers.’ Because if you look for the helpers you know there’s hope.” As a teacher, I’m a helper, and the reason why I voted for Hillary Clinton is I refuse to live in fear.
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Avett Brothers.
1. Just after Trump said he liked to grab em by the –censored–,
friends of mine on social media were reacting with smug glee – they referred to
his campaign as a sinking ship, assured any remaining chances Trump had were
floating to the bottom.
To one such friend I said, Nonsense, his chances are the
That friend then questioned the reality I lived in. I said,
the reality where Trump supporters have been with him since he said he’d build
a wall, through every other scandal and gaffe, they didn’t give a shit then,
and they don’t give a shit now about things like his hot mic comments.
Bill Maher recently opined that he, along with other
liberals, had been crying wolf these past years – and regrettably so – Bush Jr.
was nothing compared to Trump, he said on his show and on the Tonight Show with
Jimmy Fallon. Romney was nothing. Reagan was nothing. The real wolf had yet to
But worst of all was the endless punditry from the left and the right downplaying Trump’s
chances. And now this false penitence, Oh how could we have gotten it so wrong?
Because you live in a bubble. Because you didn’t understand
how a good bullshitter outplays a genius, or a scientist, or a seasoned expert
any old day of the week.
So, liberals, liberal elites, smug liberal media pundits and
commentariat, I blame you, first and foremost.
(*I realize writing that that calling Trump a wolf is
probably endearing to his dyed in the wool supporters, but the metaphor sticks.)
2. Speaking of those supporters. They are the obvious group
to blame for this debacle. But as everyone knows, we have to look deeper at the
political parties which helped create the conditions for a Trump to rise. And
we have to look deeper still at the showbiz culture we’ve cultivated for the
past sixty years, the very different ways we process information in an era with
TV and the internet as our dominant forms of communication.
This is a big nut to crack, but essentially it boils down to
people responding to an emotional message, or entreaty, not any objective
reality. It boils down to confirmation bias, and the bubbles we live in,
reinforcing our tribal politics and filtering any objectivity.
Facts and figures can easily be chalked up to something
skewed or outright manufactured by a balkanized media, and an objective,
baseline reality is lost.
3. But it’s mostly Bernie people, third partiers, and
non-voters I want to fucking throttle. I was a Bernie supporter. And after he
lost the nomination, my feed was filled with schismatic rhetoric about how the
DRC was responsible if Trump won, people needed to “vote their conscience,” and
so on. And then Stein popped up, and Johnson, offering “alternatives” to voting
Watching the election unfold last night, it was clear how
Johnson stripped away those vital votes from Clinton in battleground states. A
pothead candidate who couldn’t name a single world leader was drawing off
crucial votes from a candidate with decades of experience. In places like
Wisconsin and Michigan, the margin between Trump and Clinton was going to Mr. “What’s
And to the non-voters….well. You know who you are. Some states
came so incredibly close – at one point New Hampshire had a 96 vote disparity.
That’s all I have to say about that.
Honestly, I am not as upset with the outcome as I thought I
might be. For one thing, I was prepared. Not tooting my horn here, just saying
that I predicted Trump’s nomination nine months before it happened. I did think
Hillary would squeak in, but now I see that it might be better she didn’t.
Obviously saying that declares me a privileged white male.
Which I am. The great grievance here is for all the people who will suffer
under Trump. Like people who have suffered for millennia under despots and
demagogues the world over. Women who have endured abuse and double standards,
minorities who have endured discrimination, religious persons who have endured persecution.
But being a recovering addict forges my perspective here.
When we ameliorate symptoms of an underlying disease or chronic issue, we only
continue limping along, we only push back the inevitable reckoning a little
while longer. Clinton would not have been able to accomplish much. Obstructionism
would’ve plagued her at every turn. And I feared for the potential backlash
from disappointed Trump supporters. I feared shootings and riots. Clinton would
have been a bandage on a festering abscess. An anti-anxiety pill for a raging
Trump is no such bandage. Trump is the addict engaging in
even more unhealthy, abusive behavior. The addict thinks they are doing the right thing – but their perception is, of
course, way off.
Denying climate change. Clinging to white nationalism.
Ignoring facts and figures for perceived slights, be they fiscal or social.
Denial. Homophily and resistance to change. Ignorance of facts
and a sense of persecution. These are the attributes of an addict, and they are
what motivated Trump voters.
We’re addicted to our lifestyles. We’re addicted to money
and power. We’ve elected an obvious narcissist, who reflects our own inflated
sense of entitlement.
The addict is never to blame for his actions in his mind.
The rest of the world is. Other people are. The addict can do no wrong.
So, now we will see.
The addict has dropped the truck into high gear and is racing
around the dark curves.
If you believe in God, if you believe in love, if you still
can believe in humanity, we’ll survive the ride. And, in the end, it will prove
to be for the better. It will prove to be real
healing, real equality, and we’ll be
able to begin anew.
Lately my morning routine has been getting up at 6am with the last feeding of the wee hours of the night. Brewing coffee with some crushed cardamom, granola with pumpkin pie spice yogurt Green Mountain Yogurt, and morning pages where I dump whatever lizard brain stuff I have on my mind that day.
For me, the experience of writing a novel with a reasonably wide audience has been an education with, at minimum, one undeniable lesson: people read books for a million different reasons. And not different books for different reasons, but the same ones. Different readers extract different pleasures from the same text like plants absorbing different wavelengths of the same sunlight.
Mind map of Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey. The first book in The Expanse series.
I finished this over the summer and I loved it. Part detective novel and part space opera equals everything I want and more from a science fiction novel. Can’t wait to dive into the other books. And I hear the show is pretty great too.
“I am haunted by the fact that in that dictionary on my shelf is the best play ever written if I can just pick the right words and put them in the right order. It’s already there if I can just crack the code. And so basically…it’s hard to get me 100% present in the moment. I’m basically always thinking about this thing I’m having trouble writing.”
In celebration of finishing the ninth draft, third rewrite of #EmersonNovel I’m having a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel.
I cut 7,000 words on this draft making it a trim 64,000 words. Now it’s off to the second wave of readers and I’m not looking at the book again until 2017.
I’m also not going to talk about it again until if (when) it’s with an editor and getting ready to be published.
That said, “Huzzah!” Who wants to read it?
My process: #writingtools
I handwrite story beats, dialogue, and ideas into a Mnemosyne 199, using a Delta Serena Medium nib fountain pen with Noodlers Black Ink. I use a Medium nib Pilot Metropolitan filled with Fuya-Gaki Iroshizuku (red) ink for corrections and notes. I use a Creative Arts blotter to avoid smearing before turning the page. I then use my @datamancer Aviator (my favorite tool along with the Serena) to input everything into my computer and revise as I go (using Microsoft Word). This makes your first typed draft similar to a second draft because as you input you revise (a tip I learned from Joe Hill). I keep a Rhodia legal pad next to the keyboard during input phase for jotting new ideas, revelations, reminders, and doodles. Then I just hit send on the file when I’m done. There is a fair bit of daydreaming that occurs at various points (I allow myself 10 minute bursts at a time), and there is also a research phase that I try not to get hung up on. That’s about it aside from sketching and making thumbnails of pages when I need to. Hope you found this informative, and good luck!
#writing #comics #freelancing #process #writingprocess #doompatrol #dcyounganimal #umbrellaacademy http://ift.tt/2bfpaWi
Man, now I want some neat typewriter keys for my MacBook. I use a similar process–notebook for loose ideas, followed by a notebook dedicated to a specific project. I revise and take notes in the same notebook with revised thumbnails, which is something I wasn’t doing previously. That said, I think using a legal pad may be something I’ll try.
But according to Gleick, Wells was the first to marry the words “time” and “travel,” and in doing so, “The Time Machine” initiated a kind of butterfly effect, the novel fluttering with each passing decade through the souls of more and more storytellers, who in turn influenced more and more of their successors, forking from Robert Heinlein to Jorge Luis Borges to Isaac Asimov to William Gibson to Woody Allen to Kate Atkinson to Charles Yu, until, to use Bradbury’s metaphor, the gigantic dominoes fell. Nowadays, Gleick writes, “Time travel is in the pop songs, the TV commercials, the wallpaper. From morning to night, children’s cartoons and adult fantasies invent and reinvent time machines, gates, doorways and windows, not to mention time ships and special closets, DeLoreans and police boxes.”
And that’s why I wrote about it for this week’s Thought Balloon. So I was inspired by this bit:
Gleick’s epigraph to his penultimate chapter comes from Ursula Le Guin: “Story is our only boat for sailing on the river of time,” and she’s right, of course. The shelves of every library in the world brim with time machines. Step into one, and off you go.
With the books on Young Animal, I strongly feel that the best way to read them is in the prescribed monthly doses. This is because I learned something about comics, especially ones I believe to be good– they are a timestamp, a diary. Years later, when I look back at our run of Doom Patrol, I will remember exactly what was going on in my life during each issue. You can’t help but put almost 100% of your true life experience into these books– there is almost nowhere else the material will come from when you have to produce a book a month.
He’s also been getting up with his daughter to do morning pages, which is basically how I ever get any writing done these days. They come in half hour chunks and usually the best time is when I get up for good for my son’s 6am feeding.
Inktober 8: my daybook has taken on a Bullet Journal format with some modifications.
I have four indexes: personal, work, writing, and books. Then one page for the month’s tasks, and the Future Log is filled with dates to grade papers. The day log starts on odd numbered pages with the tasks for the day. Notes go on the even page for time spent on a task, interruptions, and progress on a project. I took that from @cullenbunn. Say, for example, handwriting an outline draft and how long that takes. The problem is I use Word Notebooks or Field Notes brand notebooks so I can carry it around in a pocket. I usually use up a notebook every three weeks. I’m on notebook number thirteen for 2016.
Gene Luen Yang’s piece on being a MacArthur Fellow. He’s awesome, and the style that he uses to rough draft his scripts is something I’ve molded my style into. He’s a guy I really look up to as a graphic novelist and teacher.
Hey so we’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls during the day just to have background noise and I just about flipped out when I saw that Rory Gilmore had a Dave Eggers poster in her dorm room. If I had known these existed when I was in college I would have had one in my room.
A century of research shows that traditional grammar lessons—those hours spent diagramming sentences and memorizing parts of speech—don’t help and may even hinder students’ efforts to become better writers. Yes, they need to learn grammar, but the old-fashioned way does not work.
Happily, there are solutions. Just as we teach children how to ride bikes by putting them on a bicycle, we need to teach students how to write grammatically by letting them write. Once students get ideas they care about onto the page, they are ready for instruction—including grammar instruction—that will help communicate those ideas. We know that grammar instruction that works includes teaching students strategies for revising and editing, providing targeted lessons on problems that students immediately apply to their own writing, and having students play with sentences like Legos, combining basic sentences into more complex ones.
I love these “Writer’s Unite” panels that @jimzub and Charles Soule do. Here are a few bits that I found especially important:
Collaborate with artists at your level: This goes back to the idea of the “profile” Soule touched on earlier. “Good art costs a lot of money” Zub pointed out “and you need good art to be taken seriously. It isn’t fair, but if your art is bad, the editor won’t take the writing seriously. It’s the first thing they see. This is a visual media.” You simply won’t be able to contact an established artist to work on your piece, and if they do agree, they’re going to ask an exorbitant amount of money. The reason for this is, you are sadly unknown, and they are not going to want to invest in you or your idea. As Zub said “you gotta show you can create consistent and professional work before people will pay you for it. Not all is hopeless though, Soule suggested to “Go to grad art shows in your area, search the internet, the talent is there.” As Zub so eloquently put it “fight in your weight class.”
Zub urged aspiring writers to talk about “other people’s work” and not always your own. Showing an interest in someone, may have them return the favor in the future. The difference comes down to “hunting and fishing.” You don’t want to hunt, that is “to zero in on one editor, or PR rep, or anyone in a company and hound them incessantly. Yes, this will get you known, but in a bad way. You don’t want that person thinking “oh god, here comes this person again” because you try to hunt them down at every convention. Instead, “fish” put out a bunch of lures, introduce yourself and be friendly. When you feel a tug, then you real that person in.