The Rapture of Daniel Webster


I think it’s been… like almost 3 weeks since I’ve really gotten any work done on the Novel- maybe less, maybe more like 2. Email from a good friend this morning, from the lovely Nova (ha! A superlative!) asking how the writing was going. In part, I responded:

“I know what is GONNA happen, I know what NEEDS to happen, and I’m pretty sure HOW it happens.

So why can’t I just sit down and start writing it? Normally, that is what I do, but this time… 2 weeks, I think, just sort of circling and scowling and kicking the tires, but without ignition-even though (to flog the metaphor) the spark plus are clean, the tank is topped off…

The beast is ready to hit the cracked and battered two-lane blacktop for some hellacious super-king moonshine drift hell-ride straight to the vanishing point…”

The funny thing is that last run-on blurb is EXACTLY the kind of energy I need to dredge up to put into the fricking project. I even went in and tweaked it slightly, adding a few more descriptives…

So why can’t I push through this sludge, this malaise and morass of immobility. It’s intellectual impotence! I KNOW what to do, I know HOW to do it, but I’m unable to…

It’s frustrating, as I imagine any other kind of impotence is. But this is kind of tearing at me. The pressure is increasing, and so is my frustration- the pressure of Not Writing, of Not Creating… and I want to continue with the Novel. I don’t want to take a break with another project right now, whether it’s toying with the script A & I have started playing with, or editing DOGS which so deserves it…

Every morning on the ride to work, on the ride home from work, while I’m working, while I’m working out (5 days a week) at the gym, in the bath with Sammy, in bed waiting for sleep to kick in… I’m thinking about this tale, this epic fucking story of fumbling teenaged sex, devestating magic, high octane violence, and freak-energy comedy. I’ve even started dreaming about it.

FUCKING SHIT I just want to write some of it. Daniel Webster indeed.

Frustration and Jubilation on the Devil’s Loading Dock

The Frustration comes from Time, Time, Time. As in: Never Enough.

I know, you hate me for saying it. Here I have this job where not only do I have Time to write, but my Bosses are aware of this and it is fine with them: it is a job with an apparently huge attrition rate due to boredom. Apparently that old adage is at least partly true, because I am rarely, rarely bored- there is so much to learn, to read and to write, and the internet is free on the Devil’s Loading Dock.

But still, writing a novel (possibly two, not sure where the first story-arc ends) and a new script (very funny, weird, probably low-to-no-budget “get the gang together” kind of project) takes a lot of creative time…

And I KNOW I need to be editing DOGS OF WAR, the first novel. It’s a pretty good, not great, but solid sci-fi/shoot’em’up thriller, and I really need to edit the beast, but it’s taking FOREVER! I’m 99 pages in- out of 227- and I think I started editing it in… April? May? Fuck. It’s the Bear of the bunch (o’ projects), to be sure.

Yes, my wife is a talented and exacting copy editor, but she’s got a full-time job as wrangler of hairless monkeys: I can’t foist this off on her and need to do it myself. Plus, she’s trying to write HER novel, so other than a reciprocal read-and-chat advice line, I need to leave her to her own efforts and keep to mine.

That said, the Two-Fisted novel is coming along fucking GREAT. A says it’s some of the best writing I’ve done- and I think she might be correct. It’s flowing easily, organically, and keeps taking me in directions I didn’t know it would go in. It’s funny, scary, a little sad, and surprisingly sexy. The new script is frickin’ high-larious, if I do say so myself, and an absolute treat to write. Compared to our last screenplay effort, it’s about as apples to cheeseburgers as any two scripts can be- which is fine, we’re not looking to sell this bitch- we understand the basic stupidity of the industry that says “but you can only be one thing! A comedy writer, or a horror writer, or a_____ writer-“.

I think, incidentally, that is partially why our last attempt to gain honest representation fell through the chasm. The guy had been a big fan of DOGS (the script), loved the premise of our planned follow-up (an ensemble military/horror/thriller piece) and completely blanched when we handed in HIDE PARK. Of course, our good friend CP laughed and said: “well, it isn’t like HP is an easy log-line, unless a lot of people get excited when you say ‘Did you like The Proposition, but wish there were less Australians in it?’ or ‘sometimes having blood relations means never actually saying anything that you feel, and doing something you don’t really want to do, and also there are some little side characters that pop and sizzle like in Dead Man, ’cause it’s a story about a journey. A really downbeat journey-but with less Neil Young'”

Anyhow, that is neither here nor there, the new script isn’t to be shopped, it’s something we’ll work on and dust off when we actually have the cojones to try and make something with the people we want to work with (And you know who you are).

So it isn’t all bad, we all have our health. The Devil’s Loading Dock enables us to keep a roof over our heads and some food in our bellies. But there is some bitterness, some wistfullness around the edges- we’ll work on that.