Focus on the Positive – October 20th, 2016

With the conclusion of last week’s Austin Film Festival Writers Conference, I have wrapped up a year long stint of con and festival attendance. I’ve been to Austin, Portland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, San Diego and New York — and I am exhausted. I can’t imagine how real con warriors (those that make more than a dozen appearances in a year) do it.

In that year I’ve learned everything from how to pack more efficiently (leave the hoodie, bring a flannel shirt)…


…to how to find a nicer bathroom at a con (trade secret).

But maybe the most important thing I’ve learned: focus on the positive because…


Time to get back to writing.

Also, I’m already planning my trip to Emerald City Comicon 2017. Who’s with me?

Posted in General

Hitting The 2016 Austin Film Fest Like Godzilla – October 13th, 2016

Today I’m at the Austin Film Festival and I’m THIS excited to meet you!


This is me…


This is my bio…


Come find me!

2016 Austin Film Festival Half Hour Spec Competition – October 6th, 2016


And to prove that I am, in deed, bipartisan, here are the half-hour specs that placed in the second round (or better) at this year’s Austin Film Festival.

TV Sitcom Specs 2016
Create your own infographics

What can we take away from this gorgeous infographic?

-Everyone and their mother wrote a Broad City spec (and they were mostly good).

-Comedy thrives on Fox.

-Second and third season shows rule (just like in the one-hour competition).

That’s all for now. See you in Austin real soon!

Posted in Festivals, Writing

Consumed September 2016 – September 30th, 2016

September, you sucked giant donkey d**ks.


Yet somehow I was able to consume a metric ton of entertainment (probably because my computer died). This is what I shoved into my media gullet.

Rick & Morty – Season two was pretty good but couldn’t compare to season one. It’s near impossible to top the scenes that used DMX and Mazzy Star. Those moments made that season and won me over.


Casual – The further one gets from the pilot, the better the show gets… except for that season one closer. They ran over a huge, emotional decision and I’m not sure if I’ll jump back in for season two.


Doctor Who – [SPOILER WARNING] – I felt nothing when Clara died. Bring back Rose.




The IT Crowd – Caught the final episode. It was a nice bookend but I would have been happy without it.


Gotham – So I got to that part where the Original Poison Ivy jumps into the sewer and Busty, F**kable Poison Ivy emerges. I turned off the TV. Not sure I can go back to the series. Maybe if they squeeze her into a Power Girl suit.


Lucifer – Looking forward to more fun with these devils.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine – If they don’t get Jake and the Captain back to Brooklyn, I fear they have jumped the shark.


Flaked – Curious about white privilege? Catch some of this show.


The Jim Gaffigan Show – Lord help me but I’d go back to being Catholic for Ashley Williams’ smile.


Continuum – Am I going to finish the series because I once had a massive crush on Rachel Nichols?


Son of Zorn – Two episodes in and it’s fun. Favorite bit is each episode’s title card.


The Good Place – Heaven help me but I lurv Kristen Bell.


Bob’s Burgers

Justified – Approaching the end of season two and lordy this show is awesome.


Designated Survivor – Cool concept but I don’t know if I’ll stick around for the whole season.


The Hateful Eight – So it’s a Western Reservoir Dogs? Okay, not bad.


Creed – Exactly what I expected, exactly what I wanted. Bravo.


Amy – Did she always have a camera on her? Is this how it’s going to be for everyone going forward?


Hell or High Water – Maybe the best American film (about America) of the year.


La La Land – Yeah, I saw it. I can’t tell you about it but I saw it.


Reamde by Neal Stephenson – I now understand why someone told me this was “like 14 Die Hards” rolled into one book. Holy s**t, this was AWESOME!


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett – Maybe the best book I’ve read this year (but probably my second favorite).


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – If you loved Locke & Key (and I did), then you’ll love this book.


Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – savoring every word.

Midnight, Texas – Still reading my way through the pilot script.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
DC Comic’s Bombshells

Video Games
Doom – My mission: to brutally murder all monsters. Where do I sign up?


Here’s hoping October sucks less.


Over and out.

Posted in General

2016 Austin Film Festival One Hour Spec Competition – September 29th, 2016

Another year, another complete whiff with my iZombie spec.


Still, I don’t want to be that sourpuss that gripes. I want to be that sourpuss that gives you an awesome infographic about the drama specs that made the second round or better at this year’s Austin Film Festival.



TV Drama Specs 2016
Create your own infographics

So what can we glean from this beautifully presented info?

-The popularity of Daredevil and iZombie prove that comic books rule the small screen.

-Writers love to spec CW and Showtime series the most, Netflix and AMC the second most, NBC and FX third most. Also, there’s at least one talented writer watching Audience and El Rey, respectively.

-Folk are busting out the 2nd season shows.

Congrats to everyone that placed.

Posted in Festivals, Writing

The Computer Is Life – September 22nd, 2016

I finally got a replacement computer. It’s a used 13-inch MacBook Air (1.7 GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 500 GB SSD).


Today I’m reinstalling apps like a beast. By the weekend I hope to be back where I need to be.

BTW, it’s INSANE how much I relied on a computer. Disturbing, actually.


Posted in General

Computer S**t the Bed – September 8th, 2016

As the title says, the computer s**t the bed.


Am looking for a hold-me-over computer until those juicy new Mac laptops are available. Wish me luck

Posted in General

First Rejections of 2016 – September 1st, 2016

Got this…

Screenshot 2016-09-02 20.12.58

Then I got this…

Screenshot 2016-09-02 20.18.35

So, two rejections in two days. F**k you September 2016.

Posted in General

Consumed August 2016 – August 31st, 2016

I keep losing time. Some how it keeps getting sucked up by the secondary and tertiary needs of life instead of the primary directives.


Regardless, we must solider on. Here’s what I consumed this past month.

Wayward Pines – Season 2 had one crazy, amazing twist. Kinda wish it had happened earlier, and we could have explored the issue it raised.


BoJack Horseman
Mr. Robot – Finished season 1 and it was good but I didn’t feel connected in the final few episodes. Still, it is a singular television show. I praise it for its bold vision.


Stranger Things – While the finale got me, this felt like a nostalgia overdose. Too calculated, too cool, It felt like the Netflix algorithm had written this show (think of how McDonald’s put sugar in their salads to make them more addictive). Don’t’ get me wrong, it was well done, but it lacked a humanity for me.


Better Call Saul – Taking the slowest cruise through season 2.

Narcos – Finally finished season one. Really good. Not amazing. Maybe great.


Casual – I hated the pilot but so far episode two is a vast improvement.


The TownBen is a pretty good action director.

The Town movie image JON HAMM

Suicide Squad – Would have been cooler as a music video.


Jason Bourne – the movie equivalent of waking up after a night of heavy drinking.


Don’t Think Twice – The most depressing comedy you’ll see. But I love Gillian Jacobs.


Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra – Only if you have time to waste.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – Still the best book I’m taking forever to read.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson – Like 14 Die Hards in one book. Freakin’ excellent!


Midnight, Texas

Black Sunday

We Stand On Guard – Not my favorite Brian K Vaughn but if you like Canadians and mechs, you’ll find this irresistible.


Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
DC Comic’s Bombshells

Black Canary – The team behind this book is awesome! Annie Wu needs to do more.


Captain America – Goddamn, Remender and Romita Jr should do another book together.


Video Games
Fallout 4 – Finally finished the main campaign. Goddamn, that’s the kinda of rabbit hole that’s dangerous for me (because I love it so damn much). BTW, I sided w/ The Railroad (couldn’t get down w/ The Brotherhood of Steel or The Institute).

About ready to drop dead from sleep. Over and out.

Posted in General

A Tale of Two Leads – August 25th, 2016

I’m just starting to rewrite a pilot — the second pilot I’ve started rewriting this year…

… let’s not race over what I just said. I started the year rewriting one pilot, then gave up and moved on to rewriting a second pilot. Why? I was obsessed with fixing the first pilot and it resisted me at every turn.


After months of racing head first into dead ends, I talked to a friend about it. I spent 30 minutes explaining the first pilot and I could see that “sorry I asked” look on her face.


Kindly, politely, she interjected, “you said you had another pilot? What’s that about?”

I took 90 seconds to pitch her the second idea. She practically fell out of her chair as her face lit up like it was the 4th of July. “That one! Oh my God, you should do that one!”


So I shelved the first pilot and started to crack open the second one. And it flowed. So now I’m rewriting that second pilot, but I’ve digressed…

As I was saying, I’m rewriting this pilot and I’ve run into an issue. I have two main characters that I adore and I don’t know which perspective to favor. On the one hand, I have the classic fish-out-of-water character. His story point of view strikes me as the easy audience surrogate. But I also feel like I’ve seen that character arc before. On the other hand, I have a character that’s resisting change. She’s kinda badass but I can already feel that audiences might not find her sympathetic.

I was thinking to write the teaser from both POVs, then let a handful of readers help me decide. But I was wondering if you had a litmus test for this.

Posted in Writing