Category Archives: updates

Everything & Everything Else

Yes, the title of this post is pretty weak, but it’s short and because I decided to pack everything that’s been happening in the last couple of weeks it’s more than appropriate.

Alright, well, what’s been happening?

Let’s start with the most important weekend of my creative life. Two and a half weeks ago my dear friend (I’d name her, but I’m not sure she wants to be named so henceforth she will be referred to as MDF) contacted me about an upcoming screenwriting opportunity wherein production teams have 48 hours to write and produce a short film. This was my introduction to the The 48 Hour Film Project. What an experience. Wow. MDF, who was also my writing partner, and I got together at 7pm on the night of October 18th and began our writing process. After two ideas, some delicious soup, a banana, an epic larynx crushing hug, two moments of goosebump inducing revelations, consultation with the production team, and a bunch of other stuff, we nailed an idea and had a first draft put into Final Draft at around 4am the next morning.

And that was just the beginning. The team then took our script and turned it into a BRILLIANT visual experience. As cliche as it may sound, words do not do justice to any part of this experience. It was truly a blessing to work with the uber-talented individuals that I had the pleasure of collaborating with on this project and I feel indebted to each and everyone of them. I describe this as the most important weekend of my creative life, because it gave me a chance to help create something, but also to work with such an amazing group of people who, without ego or personal agenda, committed their time, talent and effort to creating a film in a scant 48 hours. I am truly humbled to have been a part of this project and feel as though I should message each person every day to express my gratitude. Now, I haven’t done that because then, instead of the team thinking of me as “that writer guy who worked on the 48 Hour film project”, I would be, “that crazy, overly-grateful guy who needs a thesaurus to find other ways to say thank you and maybe a valium because he keeps sending me really happy and rambling thank you emails and now I just want to go to his house and shut off his internet”…so ya, maybe I should stop it here.

But Damnit! Good job to all! And Thank You!

Our contribution, “ex gratia” will be screening at the Revue Cinema, Monday November 4th at 7pm.

After we wrapped I met MDF and her lovely and talented boyfriend, MDCT (those are his initials), for a couple beers a few days later and I thanked her again for asking me to be a part of the experience and she said that one of the reasons she did so was because she felt I needed a creative kick in the ass. And without knowing it, she was right, I did need that. As good friends tend to, they know and can read parts of us that we have maybe let fall, unintentionally, dormant and after she said that I realized that I had been feeling disconnected from my creative self. This past year I went back to school with the intention to change careers and find something more stable to pay the bills until my writing career can handle them on its own. During that time, I keep up with reading, editing and story plotting, but the actual writing muscle was rarely exercised. I remember feeling as though I had “lost my muse” for lack of better phrasing. This project ignited it and combined with another reading of The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – I know I have posted about it before, but as a refresher it is easily the most important book ever written about creativity and living a creative life – the muse is back. And this wouldn’t be a blog post on without the accompanying music to express a sentiment. So I give you, “You” by Matt Skiba and the Sekrets (I’ll post the song and lyrics below…the vid is pretty guerilla.) The lyrics in this song perfectly encapsulate how it feels to have the muse back and to be able to create again, while looking toward the future and the bound copy of this first vomit draft that I am currently spewing out for National Novel Writing Month.

Ta DA! I have previously posted about NaNoWriMo, however, a quick refresher: the point is to write a novel, the baseline of which is 50,000 words, during the month of November. You can write an entire story or just the first 50,000 words, but the word count is what matters. You can write 1667 words a day, or 50,000 on November 30th (good luck!), but you have to get it done. The manuscript I’ve been editing for the last 3 years was written during NaNoWriMo 2010. So yes, this is my second attempt and with the muse back I’m killing it. Though it is only November 2nd.

I think that sums “everything and everything else” pretty succinctly. If not, I’ll hopefully write something here tomorrow, as the dates on my posts show I have been an utter failure as maintaining this blog. But “You”, my dear muse, are back and thus, so am I.

Be good to yourselves and each other. All love.

and the lyrics as promised:

“Its alive once again
I feel it pounding in my chest and it hurts like it should
A sharp pain that feels so good
With your arms ‘round my neck leaving me a melting wreck
Now with you by my side I can breathe once again I have nothing to hide

And You – I watched you dancing, you
Out of the ashes, you – dreams of demons kissing in the fire so deeply
You – ya found me hopeless
You – ya gave me solace
You – dying for your kiss I can’t imagine my life without you

Its alive once again
I feel it pounding in my head and it kills all the pain
It’s been powerless vicodin with your hands on my face
Pulling me out of my hiding place with your mouth upon mine
I can breathe once again I do nothing but smile

And you – I watched you dancing
You – out of the ashes, you – dreams of demons kissing in the fire so deeply
You – ya found me hopeless
You – ya gave me solace
you – I’m dying for your kiss I can’t imagine my life without you

Dance with me, dance with me, dance with me
you’re the name of the place where time stands still
Dance with me, dance with me, dance with me
Dismembering this memory its true, I lost myself in you

You – I watched you dancing you
You – out of the ashes
You – Dreams of demons kissing in the fire so deeply
You – ya found me hopeless
You – ya gave me solace
you – I’m dying for your kiss, I can’t imagine my life without you”


Hello again.

The title says it all. I’m back. Deal with it. Love it. Hate it. Do with what you must. Here. We. Go.

NaNoWriMo update

I hope everyone is NaNoWriMo-ing. If not, it’s not too late. DO IT!


“Astoria” and Accomplishment

As every writer knows, what you set out to do isn’t always what you get done. At the beginning of July it was my intention to start a new writing project. I followed through on this intention, however, I hit a wall when I realized that I needed to do more plotting. Unlike Stephen King, I can’t just sit at the computer and pound it out until I have a manuscript. I need to know where I’m going which is why I usually come up with my endings first. That way I know what my characters ultimately want and then work back to where their story begins.

So after doing some plotting and some living, my mind wandered back to a television pilot (complete with a show bible) I wrote a few years ago titled, Astoria. I’ve flirted with idea of writing the story of these characters as a book before but never seriously until I thought about what voice to use. I had always thought I would have to write it in the 3rd person, but this time I looked at it and saw it as how it would be as a 1st person narrative (also I feel that I am following Jonathan Franzen’s advice and making sure my narrator is an interesting enough character to be able to tell the story in the 1st person). This has been “The Summer of Jonathan Tropper” for me with regards to what I’ve been reading (a full post about this to follow once I’ve completed his fifth book – probably somewhere near the end of August/early September) and Tropper writes almost exclusively in the 1st person. I’m not sure about the fifth book yet, as I haven’t cracked the spine on it, but, regardless, Tropper’s 1st person inspired me to look at my own work and characters and fiddle with the idea.

Long story somewhat short, I just had one of the best nights of writing I’ve had in a long time. A good night of plotting and a good night of writing (~1400 words). More to come.

Updated Pages

So I’ve updated and added some new pages up above. Check ’em if you so desire and thanks ahead of time for doing so.

The State Of jtkwriting’s Writing Update 2.0

As I said or learned or opined or whatever, this whole idea I had about going through all my major writing projects and seeing where I am with them has turned into something that will take me through to the end of the weekend. For more info on this process keep checking the tabs or “pages” near the top of the blog but underneath the title. I’ve been updating them as I’ve been going along. The two with the most updates and info are Novels in Progress and Screenplays in Progress. Thanks for reading and caring. 🙂

State of jtkwriting’s Writing Update

So what I’ve learned so far:

-this is not a one night venture

-I need to pick one story per night, study it, pull it apart and then put it back together, at least partially

-I need to write a Mission Statement for my writing which I will do when I get home tonight, or tomorrow, in case when I get home I can’t come up with anything

-I will hopefully be done by Sunday

-It’s never too late to start and “it’s always the wrong time to give up” – feel free to quote me on the part in quotes…I’m not sure I’ve ever heard or seen that written anywhere before, unless I have then it’s obviously not my quote

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