I entered this contest a while back. To be honest, I'd kind of forgotten about it. They run various contests like clockwork and previously I didn't advance using a feature-length script I've had in my 'completed' folder . . . well, forever. But here we are! They liked 'Burnt Offerings'! It was a nice way to wake up this morning. Sure, there are a *ton* of other scripts/entries that made it this far, but it's the little victories.
I've had a few of those lately. Nothing big, but enough to keep me going, I suppose. 'Homunculus' getting published was fantastic. It wasn't 'career defining', but maybe those rarely (if ever) come along, you know? I think that success for most of the people who find it comes in the form of lots of little victories that you can stand on top of. After a while, you'll hopefully realize that you've built your own little 'Mount Hell Yeah.'
Don't get me wrong. I'd still LOVE to have a big win. Some would say I already have with Hacking the System. That was fantastic, but really, it's just another strata added to the pile. That's not to diminish it at all. I'm *incredibly* thankful for that opportunity. Just looking at the big picture while I try to create more victories to add to the modest pile.
Ugh. This is starting to sound like a self-help blog for writers.
To offset all of this encouragement nonsense, here's a pic Brian Boutin (www.brianboutin.com) did of the time Jeff and I were hanging out with Edward Kenway.
Oh, and a secret message for those still reading! Something cool is coming to this site soon! Hopefully before Halloween! If you comment here and are interested, I'll share a bit of it with you.
... What I just wrote will be called "Exhibit 149C". From the new novel I'm working on:
Snakes and worms spilled out of the fat man’s skull. He cried, looking up at the wound. The spider ate it all up. Then he and the banana kept walking, leaving the fat man and his empty head lying face down in the desert.
I'll be the first to admit - it took way too long to get here. I started writing this book back in the middle of November. I think it took me about 3 months to get through the 1st draft. I don't think that in itself is that bad, but . . . I only just (moments before writing this), "finished" the editing process. I could have kept tinkering with it forever. But 1 book per year? No, that won't cut it. Maybe if I were in my twenties, but those times have passed. I've got a lot of wasted years to make up for.
So take a good look. Look at me, ye creative types, and shudder. I am your future!!
... if you don't get off your ass. You see, I spent nearly 15 years in cubicle hell. I made good money, but produced very little creatively. A few short films. A few short stories. A few feature length screenplays. Had a couple of "almosts" with those screenplays. Maybe if my head had been in the game, those "almosts' would have become, "Yes, let's make your movie, Mr. Murphy."
So . . . don't be like me. I know that there are some fantastic and renowned authors who didn't start until late in life (Bukowski, Burroughs, Chandler, Twain). Hell, in the world of filmmaking, Ridley Scott didn't direct The Duellists until he was 40. But, if it's all the same, I'd rather strike while the iron was hot.
Maybe it took me this long to become a decent writer. Some of the ideas I had in my twenties, including the novel I wrote, were kinda terrible. I'm glad you're reading this blog post instead of *that* novel.
Anyway, the novel is off to a potential publisher. Hopefully, they'll like it. I'm going to try to keep my hopes at a low simmer. I'm sure most publishers read scores of books every year that get tossed aside. I know I still have a lot to learn. I still have a lot of sharpening to do with my skills (and always will, really). But I'll take this small victory.