Sunday, May 30, 2004

Revolt on Antares

I went to Dayton yesterday for the launch of Scary Camp, a new Horror/Sci Fi Con. A modestly attended show, but lots of interesting folks. I don't care if it's a comic book con, a gaming con, a fan con, what have you, it is the only place on the free earth where you will see radiation-hot girls talking to nerds. And acting interested in what they're saying.

My swag from the show included VAMPS 2, from my pal Mark Burchett from Cincy, the sequel to his definitive vampire stripper movie VAMPS (featuring Amber Newman and Jennifer Huss, two complete knockouts--Jennifer I paid tribute to by naming "Jennifer Dempsey" in AMONG US after her and Tanya Dempsey); ZOMBIE CULT MASSACRE, which I bought out of a briefcase (!) from a well-spoken guy named Jeff Dunn; SLUMBER PARTY MURDER MANIA, made by some high school kids who seemed to be having fun at their booth; and ABSENCE OF LIGHT, a sci-fi/horror film from some sincere-seeming Columbus Ohio filmmakers. Reviews on MicroCinemaScene forthcoming.

I had an interesting talk with genial, laid-back Dayton filmmaker Andy Copp about teaching college and cable access, but then I saw he had made a movie called THE MUTILATION MAN and I was too afraid to buy it. Maybe if I
wrote stuff like that instead of funny Bigfoot movies I could be more laid back and not get migraines. It's a thought.

In an odd jump from the cyber-world, I also met's kingpin Allen Richards, whose message boards I can thank and curse for getting me hooked into microcinema again, after a long layoff. When I left the scene, it was all Japanese rubber monsters and Russian Sci-Fi and Hong Kong action movies and Italian sandal epics, and now it's all backyard horror and shoestring sci-fi from across this great 'flyover country' between NY and LA; a real sea change, for better or for worse, depending on your perspective.

I talked to the high school kids for a while and realized how much has changed in the last two decades or so. When I was their age, there was really no way to be empowered to produce your own projects and get them out there. The 'net has changed all that, and the proliferation of grassroots DV. It's potent, and the potential hasn't yet been realized.

I say there wasn't any way to get your game on back in the day, but I think of the J.R. Bookwalters and Polonia Brothers of the world, who went out there with VHS and SVHS anyway and did their own things and put it all out there; either nobody told them they couldn't, or they didn't care because they had their own stories to tell, good, bad, or indifferent.

And to see a whole roomful of those people in Dayton, I think we are at the beginning of the next phase of the scene. Have you heard the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times?" Indeed.

Give me a shout at

Friday, May 28, 2004

Hell Comes To Frogtown

I've decided I'm going to the Scary Camp Horror and Sci Fi Con this weekend over in Dayton, Ohio; it's a first-time Con, so it may not be that big, but it's close by, always a plus. I'll be nosing around for freelance work and chasing that elusive mistress known as networking. If nothing else I hope to get some material for MicroCinemaScene out of it.

I didn't like any of the "Daily Dirt" memes for this week, but I stumbled across this site called The Friday Four which might fill the void in my life left by the passing of Friday Five.

1. Michael Jordan is to basketball as I am to ___ ?
Bigfoot movies.

2. Black is to white as I am to ___ ?
George W. Bush.

3. The fountain of youth is to Ponce de Leon as ___ is to me?
An Academy Award.

4. Sammy Davis Jr. is to Frank Sinatra as ___ is to me?
My thumb drive.

Maybe I'll see y'all in Dayton. If not, give me a yell at

From the Archives 2

Kids, it leads to harder stuff. Man, this is an ebay wet dream. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 27, 2004


I finally got around to reading this month's Premiere magazine, which features the 100 most influential people in Hollywood. Man, if they ever do the 100 least influential, I am so there. I also read somewhere (maybe TV Guide?) that Bill Lambier of Detroit Pistons fame played a Sleestak in Land of the Lost back in the day, as a kid. Funny how the world goes 'round.

A bit more ghostly action from the rousing conclusion of RING OF THE SORCERESS today:

A moment later comes solitary CLAPPING. Luther Osric--young, fit, and smiling--steps from the shadows.
That wasn't hard, was it? Though you and the king were never close.
SHADOW old friend, my killer.
The slayer and the slayed...both done for the other. Can there be two friends closer?
Is an old friend inviting me to the grave also, then?
Nay, tis a dull and shadowy place despite what King Hektor said.
Then what have you to say?
Luther looks more serious for a moment.
I was your friend, Kelvin...but I was also a knight in the Queen's Silent Guard. We are sworn to be her right hand, and do what it is bid. That is why I shot you, though it tormented me.
Putting you to the sword was no welcome task either.
Tis of no consequence. In truth, I was already dead.
(more seriously)
So take this counsel as from a true friend with no ill feelings. She can never love you truly.
Shadow pauses.
Who do you mean?
Luther laughs harshly.
Who else could I be speaking of? Of course, you have chosen poorly in the past, but are highborn, she an orphan...She is of a religious order, you are undead...
This is not for a woman, Luther.
(mock surprise)
It isn't? Everything is in the end, Kelvin. So there is no reason to fight Ayob. For in the end, the day belongs to him. He fights for a woman, after all.
Shadow shakes his head.
You are no more Luther Osric than the other phantom was my father.
Luther smiles sadly.
Oh, but I am. Mayhaps we were not as close as I once would have hoped. I will not say farewell--for I will see thee soon.
He disappears into the shadows from whence he came.
I pray that you do, friend. So that I may end this shadow play once and for all.
Shadow turns a corner and keeps searching.

Give me a yell at

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Lust for Freedom

I couldn't get onto Blogger yesterday, probably because eight million people were hitting this blog, where a guy is claiming to be Andy Kaufman for some reason.

I get a lot of hits from Polonia Brothers fans, and as the b-twins are extremely elusive on the Internet I thought I would break the interesting story of a "lost" Polonia Brothers movie that Mark found and is currently assembling. It was considered gone, no forwarding, for quite a few years until Mark found the raw footage in a box at work. It was shot quite a few years ago, and features Mark, John, and Bob Dennis (Billy D'Amato in AMONG US)as three guys who get trapped on an island with a bunch of dinosaurs. Working title: "Raiders of the Lost World." Polonia Brothers fans, you heard it here first, now go forth and rejoice.

Closing in on the end of RING OF THE SORCERESS; here's a bit more today, copped right from the Bard himself:

Shadow makes his way through the darkness. A HOLLOW VOICE pierces the gloom.
Shadow is more startled by this than by the skeletons. He whirls around.
He sees an older, bearded man in kingly attire.
Kelvin, my son.
You should have come into the light with me, son.
Vengeance burns brighter than that light, father.
I care not for vengeance. Let Ayob have cold Esme and this colder land. What would you do if you were able to defeat this Ayob? Rule in his place? No man would follow you. You belong in the grave...with me.
I did not chose to rise. I cannot chose to sleep.
Surely you can, my son. The earth is cool, and comforting, down here. Just lay down your sword, and lay among your ancestors...they call you from all around.
Shadow looks about, as if he would like to do nothing better. He takes out his sword and looks at it. But awareness begins to dawn upon him, and he steels his resolve.
Then Hektor shows his own resolve.
You dare defy your king and father?
You are neither. For my father would never ask me to lay down my sword and quit.
Shadow spears out with his blade, and drives the apparition through.
Hektor looks down at the blade with sadness. He is lit entirely in a red glow. Then he vanishes.
Shadow sheathes his blade and continues on.

Give me a yell at

Monday, May 24, 2004

Hercules Against the Moon Men

So I was driving to a funeral for the second Sunday in a row and the weather was terrible. I got to Ossian, Indiana, and there was power out and trees down all over. I couldn't help but remember I wrote in my blog about my first grade teacher Mrs. Miller, then saw her, then wrote about my old friend Matt Booty, then got an email from him, then wrote about tornadoes in Indiana and---thankfully, nothing. Still a wild ride, though.

A lot of hits this weekend (though my counter looks broken on the site for some reason, I can read it behind the scenes), including people searching for:

slynus son of a monk

esme salinger lass

the enemy of gem and the holograms

and most alarmingly

moms spank kids bare asses over here knees

Why do I get so many spanking hits, anyway?

Disaster at every turn today; hope to write more tomorrow. Until then, give me a shout at

Friday, May 21, 2004

From the Archives

Old School. As much as things change, as much they stay the same. Posted by Hello

Johnny Firecloud

Here's my Friday meme from Daily Dirt, the Blogosphere phenom, right off the top of my head:

What is:

1. The word you know how to say in many different languages ?
Like most people, probably "hello."

2. Your favorite word to say ?

3. The word you love to hear ?

4. The word you are always embarassed to say ?
Query, because people always ask me what I just said.

5. The word you're constantly saying ?
At work, probably dovetail. At home, probably damn.

In honor of this meme, I dug this little treasure out of a double-locked file cabinet I have tucked in a corner. It was a list of "sayings" compiled by a friend of mine called "John Daltonisms" which in retrospect should never have seen the light of day. But here it is anyway. I will neither confirm nor deny that I said any of these things. To say that these are taken out of context is putting it mildly.

1. "Get your own damn girl!"

2. "Is that one of those 'spank me' books?"

3. "$1,000? That's pretty good for a wife."

4. "She doesn't look like she smells good."

5. "What's up homedogs?"

6. "Shite!"

7. "Shit-ola!"

8. "Damma Lamma!"

9. " What the hell does (he/she) want?"

10. "Good work, thanks for chipping in."

11. "This is my all-time favorite song."

12. "Hey Tone-Loc!"

Give me a yell at

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Ain't Even Done With The Night

For everyone who wanted to know exactly what SEX MACHINE from director Christopher Sharpe is all about, especially all the kids at my daughter's high school who think I'm mixed up in porn, here's a summary from the newly-launched website:

Frank wakes up in a room full of dead bodies with a warm gun in his hand and no memory of who he is. To make matters worse he has apparently been the victim of scientific experimentation gone awry which has left him with a body that is not entirely his own. One of Frank's strange new features is a mysterious tattoo on his arm that reads "Sex Machine." As Frank's memory gradually returns, he manages to find his way back home where he reunites with his best friend and his traumatized ex-girlfriend. His only desire is to lead a normal, quiet life, but he is haunted by the mystery of what happened to him. As he begins to unravel the mystery, it threatens to destroy the life that he holds dear. If that sounds overly serious and self important, it's probably because we forgot to mention the gratuitous bowling, ancient Nazi war criminals and exotic dancers with a taste for murder.

You can read a lot of cool info about this project, which I am very excited about, right here. There's even a bio about me that eschews reality a bit by calling me a "well-known screenwriter in the low-budget film community." Woo hoo!

In sporting news, my daughter's sectional track meet was a bust yesterday due to a tornado warning that drove everyone inside the high school. Nobody fools around with tornadoes in Indiana. In the spring, every other day is the anniversary of somebody's school getting knocked down (including my kid's school, back in the 70s, and one of their rivals down the road as well). We were lined up in the halls, just like the drills we did back in the day, and surprisingly I saw two people I went to high school with, there with their own kids, and it was the early 80s all over again.

You know, I look at footage of mudslides and earthquakes in California and people boarding up their windows against hurricanes in Florida and I think "Not me, brother," but it's all perspective. In Indiana a tornado will tear through and flatten everything and everybody will just look around the next morning and go, "Okay, time to build a new town."

The other thing people who don't live in Indiana flat don't understand is why we don't observe Daylight Savings Time. It can get confusing as hell, because cable TV shows jump around, but other than that I can't see any reason for it. But tell that to a non-Hoosier, and they will look at you like you advocated sacrificing a goat to Satan.

Oh, and we love high school basketball. Nothing will get my eyes misty like hearing the Star Spangled Banner in a full gym as our kids get ready to go against a cross-county rival on a Friday night. There's nothing like it, anywhere, methinks.

Give me a shout at

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Working at the Car Wash Blues

So how great is Blogger? Yesterday I got an email from my first childhood pal, Matt Booty, whose name I listed in a meme a few weeks back. So you don't get in trouble trying to google his name at work, he is now at Midway Games in Chicago. Hadn't talked to him in a decade or so. How cool is that?

Blogger helped me get a rewrite job, and has put me back in touch with a couple of old friends and acquaintances. Thanks, Blogger!

Sometimes when I'm down and feeling tapped out I like to cartoon a bit to try to recharge my batteries. I just finished a little crappy-looking photocopied 'zine called VOLUNTEERS where I used "found art" principles to write the plot and dialogue. If you want to know what I'm talking about, give me a shout and I'll send it to ya.

Today, RING OF THE SORCERESS on a Harryhausen trip:

Shadow descends the staircase, his sword at the ready. At the bottom, he stands in a shadowy cave heading off into darkness in all directions. After a long moment listening, Shadow heads off in one direction.
Shadow sees a row of skeletons chained to the wall, dressed in the rags of villagers as well as the cloaks of nobles. Shadow gives them a long look, then ventures forward.
Suddenly one of the skeletons lunges forward and begins clawing at Shadow. He cries out in surprise and hacks at the skeleton with his sword.
The skeletons head comes loose from its neck-bone and bounces on the stone floor. Then, finally, the skeleton collapses into a pile of bone.
With a flurry of strokes, Shadow hacks at the other skeletons as they begin to move with unnatural life.
In a few moments, Shadow has reduced the group to a mound of bones. He moves on.
But in a moment, he cries out.
He sees that a skull has attached itself to his leg, and is trying to gnaw through his trousers. He tries to shake it off like an annoying puppy.
But a second later another skull has latched onto him, then a grasping hand lands on his back and begins digging in.
Shadow kicks one foot, and then another, against the wall of the catacombs and splits the skulls in half. Then he pounds his shoulders against the stone until the hand is just splinters.
Shadow takes a ragged breath, then steps forward.

Give me a yell at

Monday, May 17, 2004

Summer and Lightning

For those keeping track, my daughter's prom went well, and I kept my murderous rage at her date's black fingernail polish in check, always a good thing. The next day I had to go to a funeral (not his), always tough. When I left the funeral home I saw a young woman testing out a motorcycle at a house across the street. I couldn't help but think that one day the motorcycle will be discarded and useless, the sunny spring day will turn to winter, the smiling woman will be touched by tragedy. But what's the alternative? Eh, not so good.

At any rate, here's a bit more from RING OF THE SORCERESS today, closing in on its semi-to-partially startling conclusion:

Boris strides through the tapestry-laden hall. Desmond, stil puffed up with importance after presiding over the earlier executions, tries to bar his way.
Sir Boris, what is the meaning of this affront? Your orders--
With a deft move, Boris unsheathes his sword and runs the aide through. The other two look on in amazement as Boris calmly puts away his weapon.
I've wanted to do that for a long time.
He strides forward.
Boris enters the chamber and bends his knee to the queen, who is sitting at her dressing table and looking at herself in a mirror.
My lady.
Were you successful, Sir Boris?
I present the queen with her son, Prince Kelvin.
Shadow and Peryl shoulder into the room.
Esme turns and looks at the trio without expression.
Once I feared this scene, though now I know not why. For I am glad you are here.
Is it you?
Of course...though I have undergone a few...changes since last we spoke. You as my son should appreciate that.
I understand the nature of my own changes...treachery and murder. Yours I do not.
Esme smiles a cold smile.
Your father the king was often gone, defending our borders...the nights were long and cold...but soon my empty nights were filled with dreams. In these dreams I was visited by a kind friend and teacher. My dream-friend told me to go into the catacombs carved by my grandfather King Leto beneath the castle, catacombs which have been shunned since my his time. Soon I learned why. When digging the tunnels, my grandfather uncovered this ring, deep within the earth. He feared its power...but I fear nothing.
She flourishes the glowing band, which draws all eyes to it.
When I wore the ring, my dreams grew stronger. Then one day this friend arrived on the steps of the castle, sailing a ship of bright steel, offering his assistance in the flesh.
Boris' hand unconsciously goes to the hilt of his sword. Shadow looks on intently.
He came from a far-off land, farther than any land we had mapped. He brought with him knowledge...of things man had never spoken of.
Mayhaps for good reason.
Ayob told me of things, and places, that made the people of this land seem like nothing more than rats scuttling in cellars.
Ayob...I have read this name. Written in a witch's own blood.
Esme finally acknowledges Peryl's presence.
His name will be written in blood on every wall of the letters a hundred hands tall. Let your blood help write the word.
Esme's eyes glow with unnatural red hues as a STRANGE HUMMING fills the air. The two men look on with surprise.
Then Esme's ring SHOOTS a BURST of corrosive fire.
Suddenly, Peryl's talisman, given her by the ghost of her master Silverthorn, glows white-hot, deflecting the unholy red flame.
Esme squints her eyes against the glare and ceases her alien-enhanced assault.
Later, perhaps. Now I must know why my son the prince stands alongside a common priestess.
A more pertinent question would be, why you are in league with a...person such as this Ayob?
Esme raises her head high.
He is my leader, my lover. And I will be his queen over this world and many others.
Shadow takes this news ill.
Many others? Mayhaps I should meet my new king and father. Where might I find him, mother?
Esme points to the curtained alcove.
He dwells below.
Rats in cellars, indeed. That seems hardly fitting for such a noble person.
There are some things about our land that are ill-suited to him. That is all.
Shadow nods and moves toward the alcove. Suddenly, Boris is at one elbow and Peryl at the other.
Prince Kelvin, I believe I have seen this Ayob. Mayhaps I should accompany thee on this visit.
Shadow puts his hand on Boris' shoulder.
Your job is to guard the queen. Do so, Sir Boris.
Boris nods.
As you command.
Shadow turns to Peryl.
I must do this alone.
I know.
She squeezes his hand, and with a long look back at the little group, disappears behind the curtain.

Hopefully I'll have news on a new project shortly. Until then, give me a shout at

Friday, May 14, 2004

Dear Mr. Fantasy

So somebody found my blog by typing into a search engine: "what did john dalton come up with to see small things?".

Since the untimely demise of my favorite blog meme FridayFive I've been sniffing around for another one, and found Daily Dirt, which is also pretty good:

1. Do you speak any other languages than the one you speak everyday?
Sadly, hardly.

2. Would you like to speak another language?
Yes, Japanese, to understand anime and manga, and Spanish, because it's everywhere.

3. Have you ever tried to learn how to speak another language?
I know a little Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, from my summer spent in a Far East Exchange program while an undergraduate.

4. If so how did that turn out?
I never had to speak much Korean or Japanese because so many people spoke English, but in China I got to use my language skills fairly often, that I still remember just enough to be polite at Chinese restaurants.

5. Have you ever tried to speak another language without knowing what you were saying?
Probably Klingon.

My daughter's off to prom tomorrow, and my wife is off to a writer's retreat starting the day after. More dark days to follow.

Give me a yell at

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Standing in the Shadows of Love

Somebody actually translated my blog to Spanish to read it, according to my blog tracking program. Yesterday's entry looked like this:

Roble Dalton De Juan
El noveno círculo del nerd-dom.

Bien, estoy comenzando a oler el extremo del ANILLO DE LA BRUJA (así que hablar), la escritura seleccionada para leer después por los lectores leales de este blog humilde en nuestra encuesta en línea, tan aquí estoy más hoy, y la vez próxima tenga cuidado para qué usted desea:

Heady stuff. More alarmingly, someone found my blog by typing in "Gem and the Holograms fan sites."

My new blog picture to the right is well-traveled. It was taken some years ago by Linus O'Brien, now known as D.J. Slynus, when he was a student working for me at a modest midwestern university, uoccasionccaision that I was named Employee of the Week or Month or something. Just off screen is my award, which honestly looked a bit like an Academy Award, but if I left it in the picture there would have been more questions than answers. I had it scanned and tucked away somewhere, and it has come in handy a few times since. So there it is. Linus was a remarkably talented individual, full of kinetic energy, and so is his dad, for that matter.

Give me a shout at

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Jive Talkin'

Well, I'm beginning to smell the end of RING OF THE SORCERESS (so to speak), the script selected to read next by loyal readers of this humble blog in our on-line poll, so here's more today, and next time be careful what you wish for:

Boris stands at the head of a handful of zombie swordsmen. He is carefully scanning the treeline for movement.
From a distance, he sees Peryl and Shadow walk into the field. He is too far away to see them clearly, but could not mistake the pair for anyone else.
Wearily, he unsheathes his sword, and points it heavenward.
Boris lets the sword drop, and leans on it heavily.
And be quick about it.
The zombies shuffle forward.
Shadow steps in front of Peryl and brings his sword from its scabbard with a mighty flourish. It flashes in the sun.
The first zombie to step forward loses his sword-arm in a quick stroke. He leans over to grab the sword out of the hand's quivering grasp when Shadow runs him up on his sword, spearing the zombie to the ground.
Shadow leaves that one flopping as another lumbers forward. This one runs straight into Shadow's sword and stands there. Shadow's sword is fixed as if in a trunk. While he is trying to wrench it free, the first zombie--who he now has his back to--gets to its feet and produces a dagger.
Peryl shouts and rushes forward.
Peryl lays her palms on the first zombie's skull.
Suddenly, the zombie's skull erupts in a gout of gore.
Shadow and Peryl, spattered and surprised, exchange stares.
Boris, who has been looking on with disinterest, suddenly perks up. He lifts his sword from the dirt and strides forward.
Shadow sword-fights another zombie, giving Peryl the chance to slide up behind him and detonate his head with one curt word. A corpse, gouting blood from its neck stump, flops over.
Shadow turns to face the next zombie, and sees that he faces Luther, who is now slashing at the former prince with jerky movements.
Two slightly more clever zombies each grab Peryl by one arm and begin pulling her back into the woods. Shadow does not notice, as he is facing off against his old squire.
It is you, killer.
The two parry for a moment longer. Then Luther drops his sword and stands there.
Shadow looks on with surprise.
What, you care not for the taste of the grave? I have been in its cold embrace for some time, yet that seemed to concern you not. Should I give my enemy the release I cannot have for myself?
Luther GROANS. Shadow's sword dips to the ground.
Enemy, no. One who was once a friend, yes.
With a sudden, swift movement, Shadow brings the blade up and takes Luther's skull off at the shoulders.
The skull skips, and hops and rolls for a while, ending up against Boris' boot. The camera tilts up to look at the grim determination in his face as he stands across from Peryl.
Peryl, struggling against the two zombies, pulls hard. Each zombie loses an arm. They stagger, and she steps back and cracks their two heads together.
Surprisingly, Boris steps up and lops off one of the zombie's heads, and then the other. Peryl looks on wordlessly. Boris extends his sword in greeting.
Let us dispense with what does not concern us. I see a worthy opponent, and I have fought frightened villagers too long.
I am Sir Boris Halfmoon, of Queen Esme's own Silent Guard.
I am Peryl, a foundling, though now of Crescent Abbey and the Order of the Crystal Skull.
You need a new introduction. That Order is no more.
Thank you for the reminder. Now I can kill you without remorse.
You may try.
Boris brings his blade down in a death-dealing swing, but Peryl catches it between her two palms. Boris tries to wrench it back and forth.
The sword grows red, then white. The blistering heat makes Boris lose his grip with a gasp.
There's a new trick.
I have more.
So do I.
With a deft move, Boris flicks a short dagger from his boot at Peryl's face. Peryl catches the blade in midair, then coolly lets it drop to the ground. Boris nods in admiration.
I swear, fair maiden, to make this painless.
He takes another dagger out of his belt.
This dagger is coated with a quick-acting poison. I have only used it in honorable combat against the most noble warriors.
Peryl snorts in derision.
Honor? Noble? How the words sound strange on your lips.
Boris pulls up short.
I have given everything for queen and kingdom.
Mayhaps that was too much.
Boris sags a moment.
Then, suddenly, he is upon her with the dagger.
But that is for the gods to say. Mayhaps they will tell me soon.
As he comes down with the dagger, there is another sound: the CLANG of steel on steel. Shadow is upon him, his own blade hard against Boris' neck.
Sooner than you think, Sir Boris.
Boris is frozen, as his mind processes who is speaking. He lets the dagger drop, and Shadow steps away.
Boris finally looks Shadow full in the face. He slowly drops to one knee.
Prince Kelvin...
Once, perhaps. Now I am but his shade.
Had I not turned the dirt on your grave myself, I would dispute it. But your mother the Queen has shown me that there is more in this land than I knew.
Shadow thinks on this for a long moment.
I would like to talk with my mother.
Boris registers this and inclines his head.
As you command.
Shadow and Peryl exchange curious looks, but follow on Boris' heels as he leaves the field of battle.

Give me a yell at

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

What A Fool Believes

Now that Blogger is all new, I browsed a lot of people's blogs to see what they were doing too. And I found out I'm behind the curve on a lot of stuff. I don't write about politics, because every time I see George Bush on TV I just turn the channel real fast. I didn't care about the end of Friends. I want to see the Pacers win the NBA championship but I haven't watched any of the playoffs.

But I'll try to do the best I can.

In day job news, something broke deep in the unseen bowels of the mechanical underworld and the office is 90 degrees today.

In night job news, I got the outline for a possible new project with the Polonia Brothers yesterday. Had a videotape with some location scouting on it that looked great.

Until everything settles down and becomes either more (or less) interesting, here's more from RING OF THE SORCERESS:

In blurry, fast cuts, as seen through other eyes, Shadow catches glimpses of worn-out boots on the march, of the glassy-eyed countenances of the undead, the echoing SHOUTS of Sir Boris egging them on.
Shadow grunts and shakes his head.
Another vision?
Shadow nods.
As with my visions, I am starting to see through other eyes as I wake as well as sleep.
Why would that be?
Mayhaps because I sense that there are so many...or that they are so close.
Peryl feels a chill, and looks around.
Certainly not an army of walking dead.
Shadow nods gravely.
With that dark knight nipping at their heels.
But we are so close...
Mayhaps that is why.
Shadow takes Peryl by the shoulders.
I cannot die again...but neither can my foes, save one. Your powers will be needed to turn the tide.
Peryl shrugs out of his grasp.
I am but a humble monk.
You are more.
Peryl turns her back and looks off into the trees.
Mayhaps I could have been, with training. But my master is dead, cold in the ground of Crescent Abbey.
Why do you fear your powers?
Peryl won't look at Shadow.
I...I want to know...if my powers are good or evil.
Shadow steps up and puts a hand on Peryl's shoulder again. She turns to it, ever so slightly.
Were I to walk through a town, instead of staying to the wood, the villagers would be upon me with torch and pitchfork. But I have done no evil.
The witch, Cymballine. A woman with cruel whims and dark desires. But in the end, she saved you. Yet she would be considered evil.
The knight. Sir Boris. A knight, one of the most noble and honorable of souls. Yet his hands are stained with innocent blood.
Peryl nods, but hesitates.
I fear my power.
Shadow turns her around.
I am only now starting to remember fragments of my former looking into a broken mirror. But one thing I do remember...that is to fear power. Fear power, and you will not use it for evil.
Peryl strengthens her resolve.
I will stand beside you.
The pair walk out of the clearing and up the path.

Give me a yell at

Monday, May 10, 2004

Fly Me To The Moon

Hey, the new Blogger's here! The new Blogger's here!

The down side is that it will probably take me a few days to catch up my links and such and do general updates.

A good Mother's Day, as any day I get to grill pork chops is a good day. I bought my wife a thumb drive. Her birthday is so close to Mother's Day it's always something wildly impractical for her birthday (like that painting)and something wildly practical for Mother's Day. went kaput, so that was why there was no Friday Five this week. So it goes.

I will have more about a new project to talk about in a few days, I hope; until then, more of RING OF THE SORCERESS:

Shadow and Peryl leave the woods behind. Before them looms the black castle of Shadow's dreams.
The pair look on for a moment. Then Shadow looks around the clearing, his face clouding.
There is the sound of a BOW TWANGING, and an arrow hitting home. The sound echoes, a phantom sound.
What is it, shadow?
I...I have been here before.
Shadow rubs his ribcage. Suddenly, pain splits his skull, and he drops to his knees, squeezing his temples.
(through gritted teeth, moaning)
DISSOLVE OUT TO a group of young royals traipsing merrily across the clearing. Shadow is resplendent in a fine doublet with cloth-of-gold piping, and is carrying a strong bow. Luther Osric is his squire. Other dukes and young princes are laughing and drinking.
The buck you chase is swift, my lord.
Another young fresh-faced prince, ITON, raises a flask.
Nay, the buck is not swift! The prince is slowed from a night of drink!
A bawdy chorus of "Aye!" ¬and "Here Here!" ¬greets the smiling prince. He hefts his bow.
I'll be back with venison. But you'll eat your words first.
Shadow disappears into the trees.
Luther stands to the side, apart from the laughing group, his face clouded. Then he fingers his own crossbow and follows on the prince's heels.
Shadow is treading carefully, but his face shows confidence. He senses movement to one side, and slowly notches an arrow.
Luther steps from the shade, his crossbow at the ready.
Shadow drops his with a smile.
Good Luther! It was almost your head we saw in the trophy room!
Without a word, Luther fires. The arrow finds its home in Shadow's heart.
His eyes questioning, his mouth gaping soundlessly, Shadow falls.
From his POV, we see a cloud scuttling across the sky. Luther's face looms into the frame, his expression still unreadable.
Feature Shadow, as the life seeps away and his eyes slide shut.
Shadow, back in the present, opens his eyes, his face is composed. He looks at Peryl.
What is it?
They will open the gates for us at Castle Ebon.
How are you so sure?
I am the prince. Slain by treachery in this very field.
Peryl reels with the news. The long silence is broken when Shadow gets another jolt of pain to the skull.

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Thursday, May 06, 2004

Mama Told Me Not To Come

Until the end of the semester, probably more RING OF THE SORCERESS:

Boris looks cleaner, but still haggard. He sees a group of armored men nearby and heads toward them.
Desmond rushes by, a queasy look on his face. He gives Boris a half-frightened, half-pitying look and scurries away.
Boris ponders this as he steps up and squares his shoulders.
All fall in for the Queen's own Silent Guard!
The group of men turn, and Boris cannot hide his revulsion himself.
Before him stands several long-dead men, skin flaking, death-dealing wounds open but long dried, cold dead eyes, yellow exposed bone and gray flesh. Boris swallows hard.
I am Sir Boris Halfmoon, captain of the Silent Guard. This morn we do the queen's own business. We are looking for a young female monk, possibly keeping the companionship of a swordsman. We must stop them before they reach the castle, and I believe their trail is not far and still warm.
Are there questions?
Boris does his best to look along the line of faces.
Boris' head snaps around.
Suddenly, Boris' old sword-mate Luther Osric shuffles between the silent men. His neck is crooked where it was snapped not long ago. Boris blanches.
Boris steps closer to Luther, and speaks quietly, shaken.
Yes, old friend, you will have your share of blood-sport.
Boris takes a staggering step back, as if punched in the stomach. Then another. Suddenly Boris drops to his knees and vomits up his breakfast.
A moment later he is wiping off his mouth reflectively.
(to himself)
Gods...what have I done?

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Blue Light

More grading, so here's some from RING OF THE SORCERESS, which has yet to make the grade with anyone. Today, a battle of mental wills between a witch and an alien. See, I said this one had everything:

Peryl rises from a pile of furs and looks around. She is startled by Shadow's sudden presence over her shoulder. He is looking at her steadily.
You rose early.
I have no need of sleep.
Tis true. I forget.
Sometimes I forget...and think that a man's heart still beats in this chest.
Peryl looks Shadow full in the face. Shadow is looking at her frankly. Their faces slowly inch closer. In an abrupt move, they are kissing. Just as abruptly, Peryl is pulling away.
Shadow begins kissing her more aggressively. She is tentative at first, then begins to submit to his caresses.
Until Shadow bites a hunk of meat out of her neck.
Peryl falls, SCREAMING, blood gouting. Then Shadow is on her, biting and tearing. Peryl lets out another BLOODCURDLING SCREAM.
Peryl sits up suddenly, the scream dying on her lips.
A dream...just a dream...
She sees Shadow standing at a nearby table, his back to her. She stands up, and drawing her bedding furs around her, reaches out a tentative hand.
Suddenly Shadow whips around, his sword in his hand, and spears Peryl on its point. His LAUGHTER is loud and harsh. She gasps and cries out, blood pouring from her mouth.
This...can't be.
Peryl turns her head to the side, drawn by a sudden light. A red eye is peering at her from the darkness.
Suddenly Cymballine is beside her, her hair and black dress snapping in an unseen wind.
It isn't.
She pulls the blade from Peryl's stomach, and holds it stretched out. It crumbles into rust. She turns to face the glowing eye.
So it's a fight on the mindscape, is it? That is fine, creature...I have a fierce imagination.
Cymballine raises a hand, now turned into a lizard-like talon. She rakes it across the red eye before her, which retreats briefly into darkness with a HORRIBLE SHRIEK.
Cymballine smiles with satisfaction. She turns to say something to Peryl, but instead faces the glowing eye again. It spears her in its red beam. A low, unearthly WHINE starts up.
Your mind is a child's toy to be played with one afternoon and then discarded.
Cymballine begins to shake and froth at the mouth, trapped in the unforgiving beam.
Peryl and Shadow look on in horror. Peryl squeezes her eyes shut.
Wake up. Wake up. WAKE UP!
Peryl sits bolt upright a third time. She scans the room wildly.
Shadow? SHADOW!
Shadow appears at her elbow.
I am here.
I too had dreams this night. Something...was in my one cold, red eye...
I know. I have seen it.
Peryl scans the room once more.
Where is Cymballine?
There is a rocking chair and small endtable facing a hearth gone cold. Cymballine's back is to them, and the chair is gently rocking. Peryl goes up and touches the witch's shoulder, then recoils.
Cymballine has slit both her wrists with a dagger. On the wall beside her, written in red with one shaking finger, is the single cryptic word: AYOB.
Shadow looks on with regret.
We must go.
The pair leave the cabin.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

One Mint Julep

I have to finish grading all the scripts from my scriptwriting class by Friday (the end of the semester), so here's a bit more from RING OF THE SORCERESS, featuring--of all unlikely things--a zombie uprising:

A fair WENCH runs screaming from a limber zombie trying to draw her into his cold embrace.
She falls, and the zombie is close on her heels. She SCREAMS for mercy.
Suddenly, a STRANGE WAIL splits the sky. It draws the zombie's attention. He leaves the wench where she fell, and heads off to heed its alien siren call.

Two grotesque zombies are making a meal from the corpses of a slain family. An EERIE SQUEAL draws their attention, and they get up and lumber toward its sound.

A GRUNT comes from a small party finishing a grave, under the supercilious gaze of Queen Esme's chief aide.

And there lies the Council of Seven. Long live the Queen.

The others mutter "Long live the Queen" in a less whole-hearted manner.
Suddenly, there is muffled GROANING. The small group looks around.
Before them, a decayed hand erupts from the ground.
Then another, and another.
The frightened group turns and runs for the castle.

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Monday, May 03, 2004

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

A long weekend, but yesterday was nice as it was my wife's birthday. She claimed it was the coldest weather on her birthday ever.

It can finally be revealed that her best friend and I bought a painting from this woman for my wife. My wife met her in New Orleans on a recent visit and was really surprised to get some of her work, adding to our (hardly started) art collection. Of course, it still hasn't arrived in the mail yet. I keep telling myself that it's the thought that counts.

We also ate at Welliver's with the whole family, a great smorgasbord. Any place that has chicken livers is A-OK in my book.

Even though I decried 13 GOING ON 30 a week or so ago in my blog, it was the only show playing at the local movie theater last night, so my wife, daughter and I went to see it. And it really is pretty clever, in the end. I also watched WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON with my daughter and some friends this weekend, and it is less so.

Some people find my blog by typing in "decapitation by axe" (twice!!!) and "Tanya Dempsey's height."

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