Lonesome Dove Theme: A story of friendship and love written in music by Basil Poledouris

I am not a fan of Basil Poledouris. Much of his music sounds the same with sweeping themes, grand entrances and quiet interludes. That's what he writes and he does it well with with poetry...but he writes it too often. However, if you have to listen to Poledouris you can do a lot worse than …

Dialog with Story: Care and Feeding of Your Story

Story: Feed me. Me: What? Story: Feed me. Me: What are you on about? Story: You're not feeding me properly. Me: You could be a little more specific. Story: May fault. I forgot I was talking to someone who needed it spelled out in detail. You're not feeding me. Not only do I need to …

Pandora’s Box (1922): Iconic Flapper Louise Brooks as Man-Eating Vamp

I wanted to like this film. And there is a lot to like about it. It is directed by G.W. Pabst, a German director, and it stars American actress Louise Brooks. You may not know who Louise Brooks is, but if you see her picture you will be immediately familiar with her startling for its …

“We will live on the leavings of the devil.”

I am headed to Fort Griffin and Abilene today for research purposes. I don't have to do this. As far as that goes I don't have to leave the house to write anything anymore. Not with resources like YouTube and Google Earth and Wikipedia and what not. But as I mentioned before the actual experience …

On NaNoWriMo and Why as a Professional I Have Reservations

I must admit I get a little bothered how some people beat themselves up because they're not on pace with NaNoWriMo. I don't like to see that. Writing is hard enough without having to go through that. I see way too many beginning writers pulling their hair out over this. I don't think that's good. …

A Conversation with Story: I say goodbye, you say hello

Story: You have to let me go. Me: No, let me tinker with you some more. I think I can get it right if I rework this one scene. Story: You've been tinkering off and on for months and you're still not happy. Me: I can get it right if I tweak you here and …

Writing Update and Research Problems: Losing the thread of the story in weeds and thickets

I wrote twelve pages yesterday on the new Haxan novel. I think I am finally in a safe place as far as the novel goes. There is still a lot of research to do. I am planning a trip to Fort Griffin this weekend. I'm looking forward to that. As a writer I want to …

Why the Zombie Genre needs to be Re-animated from Splatter-Chomp to Mysticism

I mentioned this earlier and want to examine it in more detail. As good as it was, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead has done more to limit the zombie genre than any other movie or book I can think of. Here's why that's not a good thing. Prior to this zombies were never …

Philosophy, Death, and a Virgin Murder: Three Superb Films You Must Watch

My Dinner With Andre This is one of the best movies about philosophy ever filmed.  Even if you don't like philosophy you're going to like this film.  It's about two friends in a French restaurant.   One is the Everyman and the other is Knowledge and they both learn from each other.  Nothing but dialogue here …

Writing Update: Progress on the novel, and a side trip to Fort Griffin, TX in the works

Last week was the first time I had completely to myself. Well, not really, but I had enough time to myself to get past the initial (and for me problematic) creative phase of the novel and make real progress. I am pretty happy with what I have accomplished so far on this project. I have …

Conversing with Story: Selling same, and what to do next

Me: I sold a story! Story: Congratulations. That's a big accomplishment and very well deserved. Me: I couldn't have done it without you. Story: Not to toot my own horn, but that's pretty much true. Me: It was only to a small market, though. Story: So? What does that matter. Big or small, selling a …

Haxan (1922): Superb Horror and Dark Fantasy Painted in Silence

If you haven't seen this phenomenal silent film then by all means do. It's a Swedish film about witchcraft and the frenzied denials and condemnations that surrounded it during the Middle Ages, and up until the present. Well, 1922, anyway, which is when this film was made. The visuals of Haxan are astounding, on a …

Argo Navis Publishing – from beyond the stars to your imagination

It's almost here! We are slowly getting things in line and will be able to launch soon. I want to thank everyone for their interest so far. We will continue posting banners and little teases like this but I do want everyone to know we are working very hard on getting this lined up for …

On Magra Snowberry: Carried by the wings of blood and dust

I.      Magra’s braided hair shone like the wings of a raven in the morning light.  Her face was like a sword. I am rarely surprised by a story. When I write I always feel I am in total control, sifting and judging words and sentences and actions as I move through it. I hold …

Engaging with Story: The Eternal Flame of Human Consciousness

Me: Morning. Story: Morning. Ready to write? Me: Yes, but first there is something I don't understand. Story: Your natural state of affairs, I believe. What is it this time? Me: This has to do with you. It's more along the lines of a personal question. Story: Oh, dear. I hope this doesn't get awkward. …

White Zombie (1932) – Old Fashioned Love and Death Sprinkled with Haitian Magic

White Zombie (1932) is a classic Pre-Code film starring Bela Lugosi. Though it was roundly panned at its release it has, over the intervening decades, become a seminal horror film as regards subject matter, direction, and artistic photography. To be sure the acting is a heavy handed and creaky, not to mention the squeaky musical …

The Challenge of Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have always believed the best stories and the best writers are those that operate outside a comfort zone. Don't get me wrong. I like easy-to-read and quick stories sometimes. But when I first envisioned this novel I instinctively knew it would A.) Be hard to write, and B.) Be challenging to write because it …

Frustrated Writer: Finding a clear path through life

This is a tough novel I am working on. It's nothing like I've ever attempted before. I have said this before but I will say it again mainly because I am still trying to process it all out and come to grips. If this was just another novel I would be hitting my stride right …