thehefner: (Default)
Life these days is a series of situations that are all relatively easy to deal with on their own, or even two at a time, all coming at us at once. I'd post about them more, but I can't help but feel like it'd be a whole lotta complaining about stuff that we're already on top of combined with the stuff that's out of our control. So I'm going to cut this post with images of owls with stupid expressions on their faces, just to make it all go down easier.





For my part, I'm tired. More tired than I've ever been, more tired than I was trying to pick up the pieces after Dad's death. And that tiredness has made dealing with my everyday neuroses just that much harder. And I was never that good at handling them in the first place! But after yet disappointing another Fringe Festival (and like all the disappointing Festivals over the past year, there have been entirely logical reasons WHY they were disappointing, but that doesn't help my emotional state), AND the moving situation, I'm wiped out and not really looking forward to doing CapFringe and IndyFringe this year. I've never been one for regrets, but I do so wish that I could go back a year and plan this all out better.





As for that moving situation, we're currently living at the beach while the Cabin John house... my home... is on the market. It's been repainted and rearranged to the point that it's effectively no longer my home anymore. It looks depressingly like... like a NORMAL person's house! Ew! But we can't stay there, since it's on the market, thus we're in Delaware. This means that we'll have to drive a couple hours to the hospital once she goes into labor, which should be within, what, a week? Two weeks? More? Any day now? We're just waiting, and we have to wait here, because our actual home has to be clean and free of people. Hard for prospective buyers to impose their vision onto a property with a fanboy and a pregnant Henchgirl squatting in the living room.





We're staying at the new house Mom bought in Delaware, which will be our main base of operations once renovations are completed by early next year. We're by Broadkill Beach, near Slaughter Beach. I fucking love that. In reality, it's not so much the site of a boobtacular slasher film as much as the nation's site for Horseshoe Crab Orgies. So, almost as good, right? That almost makes up for the fact that we're going to be living in Delaware.





In truth, living at the regular house in Rehoboth Beach is great, as we adore that place. But unless you all come to see my show at CapFringe in a couple weeks, and bring your friends and family and pets in people costumes so that they can be charged as adults, that beach house will be my sole source of income. Did you know that we're still renting it out? Because we totally are still renting out the house in Rehoboth Beach!





I guess what it all comes down to is the fact that we have a lot to do, all of which costs a LOT of money and causes a lot of stress, onlt some of which might possibly make us some money in the process. What I'm saying is, if you want a piece of Hefner, you have options!

Want to own the house where Hefner lived? Well, you can! Want to just rent a house where Hefner lives? You can do that too! Want to rent Hefner himself for an evening (I mean, as a performer? I mean, as a non-sexual performer? I mean, to talk about himself for an hour with jokes and slides?) Here's your big chance! And if you still want a piece of Hefner's creativity but aren't able to travel, well, I'm finally starting to post the Harvey Dent novel, chapter by chapter. For those who've read it already, I've changed a lot and I'll be changing even more after the acid hits. It's gonna be a whole different story by that point, and with Henchgirl as my editor, I'm going to finally finish this for good.






That's about it for now. Back to life. Mine, hers, and the brand-new little one that's about to arrive. Any day/week/minute now.
thehefner: (Default)




Now that I have that post out of my system, I'm increasingly feeling a sense that I'm spending too much time in fan-related things.

Man, would that I could be a professional fan, like Forrest J. Ackerman or somebody! Or hell, I wish I could be the Roger Ebert of comics, but for whatever reason, this industry and its fans scorn actual criticism. It's either "this is awesome!" or "this sucks!" with no thought in between.

As it is, I worry that I'm wasting time and energy on trivia, even if it's trivia about which I'm incredibly passionate. I love this shit. Love, love, love it, and I want others to love it too. But am I wasting my time celebrating the works of others rather than creating my own? My brother would say yes, he always has, but he's never been a fan of anything.

I suppose this could just be signs that I'm finally getting ready for Fringe season. After all, during my most stressed and exhausted times, all I wanted to do was talk about comic stuff. Makes sense I'd throw myself into it utterly in my downtime.

But I have other things I should be writing. Original works, things that might actually get published. I'm finally ready to get back to work on Johnny Go--for those of you who still remember Johnny Go--but the project still intimidates me. I don't want to force myself, because that does no good, but I can't just sit and wait to feel like writing, because professional writers all seem to say that doesn't work either.

The writer's block has been stronger than ever lately. I never used to get it! I always had something to write! It's still the case, but most of those "somethings" aren't something that I can publish. At least, not unless DC would let me. Man, I wish DC would let me.

I just keep reminding myself that I'm young, that most writers don't really write their great stuff until they're forty, at least. But the only times I ever feel like I'm expressing myself anymore is when I write about films or comics. I want to create, but too often, I've found myself able to only write a paragraph or two before I collapse into a shivering, screaming ball of neuroses. It's the classic "I suck, everything I do sucks, I have no real life experience compared to (fill in name of somebody I know), I have no imagination, no one cares, I should just die!" thing that I think most artists go through.

Even writing this here feels like a waste of time. Like procrastination. Like wankery. It's one reason why I've been so absent from LJ (that and real life in general). Maybe I should be channeling this energy into art, or maybe I need to drain the wound here so I can move on.

Either way, I'm sure one or two of you have insights into this, and ways you've gotten through 'em. Feel free to pass them along. Or not. I know, intellectually, that this too shall pass, and the drought will end, and that I will someday write again. Hell, I know I'm capable of it. I've written three full-length novels. I have to remember that. I just need to work through whatever's gumming up the works so I can get onto the fourth one, which will hopefully be the one I can actually publish.

So... how do I feel now? Cleansed? Dirty? Exhausted? Energized? Right now, I kinda just want a taco. That much, I know I can handle.
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
When Henchgirl's in town, I rarely seem to ever do any LJ updating. Part of that is to do with the fact that anytime I feel the urge to rant or rave or ruminate about anything, she's already here to be on the receiving and responding end.

But even if that doesn't get it out of my system, I have a hard time writing in anything less than a vacuum. I need utter privacy and silence to compose my thoughts, otherwise the slightest distraction feels like being ripped awake after almost falling asleep. It's the kind of stress that gives birth to ulcers, leaving me feeling emotionally constipated, so that I'd rather avoid all writing altogether and drown out the nagging creative drive with booze, movies, and comic geekery.

That said, I have been finding myself using Twitter and Facebook more often for short nuggets of Hefwit and Wisdom, but even that's fallen to the wayside this week. Christmas stuff would be reason enough, but to top it off, Henchgirl's mother passed away. Needless to say, creative stuff has been put on the back burner.

But Henchgirl's ready to press onward, so I'm gonna get back on that horse as soon as I can. The 2010 Fringe Tour is starting to shape up, and she's gonna be with me every step of the way. We're already in the Rogue Festival in Fresno, CA, and the Indianapolis Fringe Festival, plus I've applied to Fringes in Minnesota, Cincinnati, and just yesterday, DC.

If we get into CapFringe, the new show will be called THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, rather than THE HEFNER TRAVELOGUES. It was suggested I go all-out and call it THE HEFNER TRAVELOGUES: THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, but there are two problems with this:

1.) I'm not Werner Herzog, and as such can't get away with titles like THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS

2.) It may confuse a lot of the same people who thought that THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES: HOW HEFNERIAN is the exact same show as the original HEFNER MONOLOGUES. In Orlando, Henchgirl kept hearing, "Oh, I've already seen that show last year!" Over. And. Over. Again. It's a different poster and everything, people, it... dang it, I'm establishing a brand name here, people! Feh, fine, I'm not taking any chances with this new show. At least with DC.

The title itself, THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, came because of one of the route in ROAD TRIP USA, even though I never actually traveled along the real Road to Nowhere. It's not meant to be a Talking Heads reference, although I do plan to use "This Must Be The Place," as my theme. Well, the Miles Fisher cover, anyway. I actually prefer that one. Besides, the Talking Heads' version is too "NPR" at this point.

So yeah, I have high hopes for this new show. I just need to finish writing the damn thing. Soon.
thehefner: (Batman: I Am The Night)
Baltimore Comic Con has thrown me off the wagon. Hard. I am now scouring eBay to find:



-- 1.) Every single issue of the Timmverse animated Batman comics. That's THE BATMAN ADVENTURES, BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES, BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES, and BATMAN ADVENTURES (I have no interest in BATMAN BEYOND). Because at their best, these really are some of the finest Batman comics I have ever read, period. Time and again, I read an issue that makes me go, "YES. *THAT* is what I love about these characters." There's more consistent quality from these runs than almost anything else I see in canon DCU, and it pains me that these aren't better known nor loved by kids and adults alike.



... and...



-- 2.) Every single major Two-Face appearance ever. Well, at least some of the more obscure ones from around 1976-1990.

Here are some cover scans of the ones I'm looking for specifically, for parties interested in old back issues. )

I'm totally doing that Two-Face-centric blog at some point. I managed to salvage the old essays I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily (my three-part Gilda retrospective! "The Ballad of Harvey and Renee!" "Harvey Dent: Comic Writer?" And the classic, "It Sucks to be Harvey Dent!"), and I plan to revise them accordingly with more insight and whatnot. Ooh, ooh, I can finally have an excuse to do that essay about how Harvey has been the trial by fire for all the male Robins. I'll say it again, he's the Wacky Uncle of the Bat-Family!

Of course, none of that will happen until I've finished the first draft of a new show for Fringe 2010. Such geeky self-indulgence shall be my reward. And this, ladies and gents, is why Heffie never does NaNoWriMo.
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: Scream)
Hoo boy. Okay, good news and bad news for those of you following the progress of my Harvey Dent novel.

The bad news is that it's gonna be a couple more months before the next draft will be done, now that I realize just how much I'm gonna need to revise, restructure, reorder, and just plain write. Nothing like working on a book for two years and realizing that you're gonna need to rewrite a good third of the whole shebang.

The good news?

I finally know how it ends.

I mean, I thought I knew before, but no. Now, I think I've really got it. The giddy rush I've felt all afternoon is only now starting to fade as I ponder how the hell I'm gonna pull it off. But it's perfect. More perfect than it was before, at least. And I liked how it ended before, but now... oh yes. Oh yes. If this isn't it, then it's right in the neighborhood. This is how you truly end the downfall of Harvey Dent and the origin of Two-Face, in a way that no one has EVER done before, yet is absolutely true to the heart of the character(s).

Here's a hint: the coin isn't the crutch that everyone thinks it is. It was at the start, after the acid hit. But that's not what it became when Harvey really became Two-Face.

Let's just cryptically put it this way: [livejournal.com profile] suburbfabulous, [livejournal.com profile] tragical_mirth, you were right. Now, I realize, Harvey truly would be half of a Green Lantern, not Blue. It's not about hope, passively/helplessly standing by and hoping for salvation. From how things look right now... it really is all about willpower. I still think Blue would look better, but there now seems little room for doubt. It's the Green light that keeps the Red rage at bay.

Not that I've been trying to figure out the best way to actually make a Two-Face Green/Red Lantern costume for this year's Project: Rooftop costume contest, along with a revised, sexier, nastier, and professionally-photographed version of our Two-Face and Typhoid Mary costumes, which I'm honestly using for THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES: HOW HEFNERIAN, thereby giving me a legitimate excuse to cosplay for my job.

Heavens, no.

*cough*
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: Bolland)
Notice to anyone who is reading or has read my Harvey Dent novel so far: I'm going to majorly restructure the second half. Which is to say, pretty much everything post-acid.

Because I realized that, to a certain extent, I was guilty of doing what I accused THE DARK KNIGHT of doing. Namely, having him go too crazy too quickly. I lost sight of my own goal in this depiction of Harvey, that it was no single event which pushed him over the edge, no single moment where his sanity crossed the line.

I disagree with TDK's assessment that "madness is like gravity: all it takes is a little push." It's too simplistic. There needs to be something already there before the breaking incident, and even with Harvey's history, I think it's much more important and meaningful that his downfall not be a single moment, or even a handful of moments, but rather an accumulation of events over time.

So my goal now is to rework the book's arc post-acid so that it does continue to accumulate, that just because half his face is burned off doesn't mean he automatically turns into a monster, or even a mobster. I've already started tweaking, and even the little bit I've done feels worlds better.

I made the mistake of taking this book into full-blown Two-Face territory mid-way through, when the only place for that in DENT is at the very end. When everything really *is* lost. Until then, I need to go back and add the rest of the layers that'll eventually crush the poor guy.

So yeah. If you're currently reading (or have already read) the book, know that everything after the acid is gonna be reworked in a rather major way. Let me know if you'd want to read it when the draft is done.
thehefner: (Two-Face: Coin Flip)
At the encouragement of the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] greedyslayer, I here present the prologue from the current draft of DENT (working title). At this stage, I'm experimenting with a bit of Cormac McCarthy style. Hopefully it works and isn't confusing, as I think it'll pay off in the bigger picture if done well.

But for now, here it is: a stand-alone chapter that can also operate as a teaser trailer for the ultimate finished book. Comments and criticisms are very welcome, but just be sure to treat this for the excerpt that it is. Hope you like it.

Half the time, I didn’t know what to make of my father. )
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: Community Organizer)
And Draft Six of the Harvey Dent novel is finished. 82,000 words currently. At this point, I reckon it's one or two drafts away from the final one.

Of course, until it's published in some form, I imagine I'll always be picking at it, or coming back with some brilliant new revision here or there. And even then, who knows? Some filmmaker once said, "films are never completed, they are only abandoned," and I think that sentiment may hold true for all forms of story. Perhaps all art in general?

I really should have been working on far more important things, but dash it all, with everyone talking about how much they're loving THE DARK KNIGHT on DVD* right now--which lead to rekindling my rants regarding how they wasted Harvey's whole character, arguing with several others at some poor other person's LJ--and add to that my dissatisfaction in the latest arc of NIGHTWING**... I just had to get back to the novel. To actually do something rather than just be another bitching, powerless fanboy.

God, when I think about how much time and energy and effort I've put into this fictional character I'll never own, this by-product of a faceless, soulless corporation... man, I'd be thoroughly depressed--even ashamed--if I weren't so proud of how it's come together since I started two and a half years ago.

This book's been a damn important part of my life for the past couple years, and I know it'll stay with me long after I've finally put it to rest. It's just thrilling to think that time might be upon me rather soon... give or take actual, far-more-important original work.



*Methinks it's time to finally bite the bullet and get a Blu-Ray player.

**I was actually driven to return to that vile hive of scum and fucktardery known as the DC Comics Message Boards to angrily post my ranting passionate thoughts. Not that the experience was full of wankery like usual, I just learned... well, it's a message board for fans of Dick Grayson, not Harvey Dent. In the end, they'll always side with the guy who has the best ass in the DCU.
thehefner: (Al Bundy: Shoot Me)
So CHUD.com's doing a list of The Best and Worst Movie Voice-Overs (Round 1: DUNE and A CHRISTMAS STORY), inspired by the infamous screenwriting guru Robert McKee. Well, Bryan Cox playing Robert McKee in ADAPTATION:

"And God help you if you use voice-over in your work, my friends. God help you. That's flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can write a voice-over narration to explain the thoughts of a character."

I already knew that the mere mention of McKee's name would bring out such comments such as "Brad"'s:

McKee is a hack of the highest order -- a failed screenwriter who makes a pile of money lecturing wannabe writers and studio development execs on things any monkey with a keyboard can pick up by watching movies. The end result; everyone following the same template, banging out the same crappy movies with the same beats, same turns, same plots.

I'd heard this commonly-held opinion about McKee even before I ponied up for his super-intensive three-day seminar (9am to 8:30pm, with fifteen minutes breaks every two hours and an hour break for lunch, but still), and had been warned by [livejournal.com profile] adaptor--who lives in the Land of Screenwriters, where McKee's name is most controversial--that McKee has his own strong beliefs and ideas, and that I should go into it with a grain of salt.

Thankfully, that was the best advice I could have gotten. McKee's like one of those awesome professors you had in college: dead-on brilliant and right 75% of the time, and when he's wrong, he's at least entertainingly wrong. Ultimately, his course didn't teach me anything I didn't already know on some level, but it was an awesome way to restructure the rules of storytelling.

Actually, "rules" isn't right at all. That's what people like Brad seem to think he's teaching, and McKee made it very clear that he's not teaching rules (which say, "You must do this") but rather principles (which say, "This has always worked."). His main idea is to teach classical storytelling design, with the opinion that one has to master to craft before one can really start effectively deconstructing it.

One reason there are so many shitty stories these days, he believes, is because people want to jump right into minimalism or dadaism or whatever without an understanding of the conventions they're trying to subvert! He says there is no cinematic avant-garde anymore, because all we're getting is people regurgitating the avant-garde of forty years ago! He also pointed out that Igmar Bergman followed classical design for decades, mastering it before he finally began taking it apart.

When you combine that with McKee's enthralling lecturing style (it was honestly one of the greatest solo performances I've ever seen), the result was an absolutely fantastic and thought-provoking experience for me. Yeah, I didn't always agree with him, and sometimes he was spectacularly wrong, but as long as one has a basic understanding of story going in, you'll have an absolutely amazing time exploring all the nuts and bolts of storytelling. Because when he was right, which was most of the time, he was fucking right.

But you know what I want now? I want a second opinion. I want a rebuttal to McKee's teachings. Oh, there are plenty of anti-McKee screeds out there, but they all sound like Brad's: bitter, sour-grapes bitching from people who obviously don't understand McKee's teaching at all, who've never read his book or taken his seminar and are going pretty much by word of mouth (or misunderstanding his role in ADAPTATION).

And they're not simple ideas that can be summed up in a book sleeve or by some schmuck in his LJ. To really understand them... well, there's a reason why the seminar is over three days. Even his "principles" all have caveats and complexity and subtlety and disclaimers. I'd like to see a serious discussion about storytelling arise, with people genuinely exploring what makes a good story and what's missing from Hollywood/literature/comics/TV/whatever today.

I'd like someone to intelligently, sensibly respond and perhaps even rebuke McKee's ideas. Someone who understands his theories and can offer an equally-intelligent rebuttal. So far, the closest I've seen to one is... well, this list on CHUD.

That said, right after I my response to "Brad," pretty much saying all this, another guy--"Joe"--immediately left the following comment:

Robert McKee is full of shit and needs to be impaled by a giant cock.

Perhaps going to CHUD.com is kinda the opposite direction from where I should be looking.
thehefner: (Dethklok)
Hot damn, I've officially signed up for Robert McKee's "Story" seminar! Most of you probably know McKee from the great--and frequently misunderstood--Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman film ADAPTATION, where he was played by man-god Brian Cox. Yes, I think this will indeed serve as a fine excuse for not going back to the Studio Conservatory.

I'll need to find a place to stay in NYC for the weekend of October 24-26. I have a couple relatives up there who will hopefully be able to let me sleep on their floor, otherwise, I dunno, find a youth hostel or something.

After that, I might stick around NYC a bit, catch a play, or maybe I'll hit the road. After all, that might well be the perfect kick-off for my next big plan: freaky beatnik road trip!

I'm currently scouring routes in Road Trip USA, thinking about taking the interesting routes to Chicago, see Bloo and Misty, then hit Route 66. I'll post more as plans solidify (I'm not rushing into this unprepared, rest assured), but I think I know how I'll be spending the next four or five months.
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: I Believe In Harvey)
For the first time in four months, maybe more, I've finally returned to revising the Harvey Dent novel. In the time that I've put it aside to work on the far more actually important work of the Hefner Monologues, I'd come to see the novel as my hot mistress.

But rereading the prologue out loud, the first six pages of the book, the very first part I wrote and the section I've revised more than any other... it was like coming home again, or catching up with an old friend.

Writers, you ever get that moment where you revisit something you wrote a while ago and come upon a section or sentence or even a turn of phrase and you think to yourself, "Hey, that's pretty good"? It doesn't happen often enough, but damn if it's not a nice feeling.



Similarly: man, sometimes I'm glad I lack mad Photoshop skillz. Otherwise, I'd totally be wasted a good chunk of free time designing an image of Aaron Eckhart ala Shepard Fairey Barack Obama "HOPE" poster. Just have it say, "BELIEVE."
thehefner: (Oh NOES)
Last night, Mom tried to put her foot down and forbid me from doing the new one-man show I've been struggling to write for the past couple months, to instead just go and do the 75-minute version of the original HEFNER MONOLOGUES for DC Fringe. Just do the same show again, only the revised and slightly expanded version. She said this new show is heading me towards a nervous breakdown.

Concerned and overprotective as she is, she might not be entirely wrong.

... Okay, so I'm now 90% positive I'm gonna hold off on this script for now and instead go THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES: HOW HEFNERIAN, which will adapt such beloved Hefner Highlights as Carolyn and the Egg Whites, The Butt Hole Girl, and of course, lesbians galore!

(Ideally, I was originally thinking of performing this show with the Emm Gryner story with a lovely female musician, piano or guitar, to offer musical accompaniment and even play Emm, but at this last stage, there's no time for love, Doctor Jones.)

Not that I've entirely given up on the Family show. No, this will give me a breather, but will also (ideally) provide a nice bridge between the original MONOLOGUES and the Family show, which would be the climactic third part in my opening trilogy. It won't be the huge ambitious leap that the Family show would/should be, but it will definitely still be a step forward from the original, building upon themes while laying out the groundwork for the big third part finale.

And if HOW HEFNERIAN falls apart as well in the two months I have before opening night... well, fuck it, I'll just do the fucking original show again. But that would be bad form, eh wot, old chaps?

Based on the responses to stories such as the ones I posted above (and again, I'm adapting them, not telling them in their current rusty old forms above), I know that these are stories to which people respond well but are also fun for me to tell! And really, I just want a good, solid, funny, entertaining, meaningful, moving, witty, and thoughtful show that won't kill me.

Now I'm going to try to breathe and go to the gym for the first time in a week. Because all I've been doing for the past couple weeks is stay home, feel stressed and miserable as I struggle on writing, and gobble down the cupcakes and cookie dough that my depressed mother keeps buying. If we start getting into the Crisco frosting, please, kill us all.
thehefner: (Darkplace: Author plus Actor)
They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


--Philip Larkin



That's probably going in the program for my new show.

The new script is... well, the first draft is done. I'm pleased only in the sense that I now have a basis, but it's far from ready, obviously. Far from I want it to be. I've got about three months to whip it into shape, give or take travelling to performances in Orlando and Seattle.

This is the single most difficult thing I've ever written, harder and more terrifying than even the largest college essay, but if I pull it off... well, it might well be a huge step for me as a monologist.

For now, I'm gonna curl up with a trashy legal thriller and then crash. I'm hoping to have an appointment tomorrow with a certain Judge.
thehefner: (We Know Drama)
I was lamenting to [livejournal.com profile] little_dinosaur how stressed I've been over HEFNER MONOLOGUES stuff of late, namely the constant trimming/slashing of the original show and my difficulties finishing the new script. More and more, I told her, I just wish I could be writing the Harvey Dent novel. It's just a joy to write that book, even if it's a likely-unpublishable side passion project.

Miss Sam considered this, and proving her utter awesomeness yet again, responded:

"The Harvey Dent novel is like your hot mistress. You just have to put the magic back in your relationship with the Monologues! Not that you should leave your Dent-mistress. But your wife is pretty hot too."

Yes, I feel that's quite astute. Perfect reason to go to play hermit for a couple more days. The wife and I will be spending the next few days in the mountains together, alone, trying to bring the spark back into our marriage. Just the two of us, maybe a bottle of wine from Judge "Day in Traffic Court" McKenna's vineyard, several cans of Amy's soups, some Hot Pockets, ramen, and Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars (William Peter Blatty's creative "power food").

This means no working cell phone and limited internet access since they only have dial-up. I'll be able to check e-mail occasionally, but LJ will be severely hampered. Which is for the best, as LJ really is the biggest distraction I face as a writer, using up precious time and energy that should be better devoted to my wife and/or mistress.

Indeed, from a creative perspective, I think LJ is kinda like internet porn. But I'm still working on that metaphor. Maybe I'll give it some thought while I'm up in--

*slap!*

You stop those wandering thoughts right now, buddy-boy!

... yes, HEFNER MONOLOGUES script, sorry, HEFNER MONOLOGUES script.

That's more like it! Now go to the mountains and start writing me!

Yes dear. I love you, dear.

Hmph. I should have listened to my mother.

Be back Sunday, folks.
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: Gilda)
You really start to notice how much you procrastinate when you cut yourself off from your usual distractions (TV, high-speed internet, IM, and other things we won't mention in polite company). As such, every single time you want to slack off or run away from a project, it's sort of like constantly trying to flip on the lights during a blackout: "Oh, right, SHIT!"

This was a good idea, and I was kind of sad to return to a house filled with four big, hyper, perpetually-starved (if you're to believe them) dogs, my mother, my grandmother, and my brother (who went on a bitter rant yesterday about how much he hates 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and THE FOUNTAIN). I need to do this hermit thing for a week or so next time.

48 hours in the wilderness later, here's my progress report:



THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES: I think I have my 75-minute version nailed, survivable and complete even without the fan-favorite (yes, all fifteen of you!) traffic court story.



SON OF THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES (working title): The new script is shaping up, and let me tell you, it's been a fucking stressful endeavor. I was telling Mom about how it would be about my family, Dad's death, etc, and she sounded very doubtful. I'm like, "... what's wrong?" "But I like the funny stuff!"

Goddammit, as if it hasn't been hard enough trying not to insecurely shoe-horn in humor and jokes, to just let the strength of the story tell itself. This is hard for me anyway, but especially so since it'll concern my father and grandmother. It's going to be a serious tightrope-walk to discuss those subjects in an interesting, meaningful, and (in the latter case) sympathetic manner. Which of course means that the risk will pay off all the more if I pull it off.

Thankfully, I was encouraged by some of you as I reread this old entry last year, which will be the basis for SON. Your comments meant even more to me now than they did eight months ago.



HARVEY DENT NOVEL: Gilda and her relationship with Harvey has to be the spine of the book, the heart and soul, and I made some serious headway fleshing her out. Plus, I think I'm starting to crush on Gilda a bit.

I wonder how readers expecting a superhero crime thriller will react to a couple lengthy tangents entirely dedicated to a study of character and relationship? I can just see DC's rejection letter: "NEEDS MOAR ACTION/TIGHTS. THIS IS TWO-FACE, NOT THE CHERRY ORCHARD."



JOHNNY GO COMIC SCRIPT: Yeah, I did jack.
thehefner: (Army of Darkness: Stretched Face)
I have safely arrived up here at Gordon's place here in the Catoctin Mountains to have a weekend of utter solitude to be all creative-like. My cell phone doesn't get reception up here, so if you need me, send me an e-mail. That said, I'm going to be offline the vast majority of this weekend.

Since we got high-speed wireless in our house just two years ago, I think this makes Gordon the last person on Earth to have dial-up (cue folks telling me which relatives they have who still use it, or still using it themselves). Oh dial-up, how I did not miss you.

But it's just as well. I've got an assload to do, and only a weekend at my disposal. A whole weekend. Alone. In the woods. The fun part will be seeing if I still have that phobia of being alone in dark houses.

So assuming I don't burn down the house with the fireplace, or get eaten by bears, or run afoul of Necronomicon spirits and/or Jason Voorhees*, hopefully I'll come away from this weekend with a nice double-dose of progress and accomplishment.

And maybe a chainsaw for a hand. That'd be sweet. I'd be the most hardcore monologuist ever.



*Who's apparently going to be making a sort-of guest appearance on SUPERNATURAL now?
thehefner: (The Hefner Monologues Sign)
Egads. Three days out of Big Planet, and I'm wondering how the hell I ever got any work done back when I HAD a job!

The good news is that my writing is coming along much better than usual, now that I'm able to sleep in. I'm already pleased with how the original HEFNER MONOLOGUES are shaping up in revisions; this will be a richer, stronger show than before, hopefully improving with every performance.

I'm planning (assuming nothing's wrong with my car) to head up to Gordon's cabin in the Catoctin Mountains, near Camp David, so I can spend a few days being a hermit in the mountains to focus on 1.) revising/rehearsing THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES, 2.) writing SON OF THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES, 3.) researching/revising the Harvey Dent novel, and 4.) plotting a 22-page Johnny Go comic script.

The bad news is that I realized that I may need to cut out whole section of THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES for my Orlando performance.

Once again, I'm at the mercy of time constraints. I foolishly requested 75 minutes, when at this point, my show's a little over 90! Thankfully I'll have the full 90 for my Seattle dates, which will be filmed. But I'm afraid drastic measures will have to be taken if I'm to do a complete show within 75 minutes.

I'm afraid the entire "Day in Traffic Court" story has to go. Yes, on one hand, it's one of my best bits, beloved by all, and cutting it out utterly breaks my heart, but it's hardly essential to the points and themes of the show.

So, yeah, if you don't hear from me for a few days, I'm up in the mountains being an old hermit. Probably with beer.
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: I Believe In Harvey)
Are there seriously no legal thrillers out there from the District Attorney's point of view?

I realized that I needed to gain a deeper understanding of the legal process from the D.A. office's perspective (for the Harvey Dent novel, obviously), but frankly, I don't know where the hell to start. I can't seem to find any dependable nonfiction books on the subject, except one super-dry account on which I gave up after twenty pages.

Really, a good legal thriller or two could give me an insider's perspective, while still potentially being an interesting read. But it seems like they're all about defense! The D.A. is always the antagonist, if not the outright villain! The thing is, I actually know an author of legal thrillers, but even he can't think of any resources!

I want actual lawyers to read the Harvey Dent novel and feel a ring of truth. "Yes," I want them to say, "I believe this is a man who, for the past ten years, has totally and completely immersed himself in the legal system." It's the only major level of Harvey's character that I haven't fleshed out. Maybe the gangster level could use a bit more sprucing too, but obviously, the D.A. one is the most important. Well, right underneath the "child of an alcoholic" level.

Am I going to have to slough through a season or two of LAW AND ORDER? Is that really my only option left when it comes to researching the life and career of a District Attorney?

Any ideas, my well-read friends?
thehefner: (Harvey Dent: I Believe In Harvey)
Bloo had finished editing the Harvey Dent novel (it's really going to need a title one of these days), and now I can finally say the first draft is truly finished.

Aside from the fact that my abuse of italics rose above wallop-worthy levels straight into "I am going to THROTTLE you if you italicize one more word...!" proportions, her response was mightily positive. She'll be sending her edits to me soon, a manuscript soaked in the ink of a dozen red pens, and I feel bloody great.

Once I incorporate her edits, I'll leave the manuscript be for awhile. At least until we see THE DARK KNIGHT, after which we will probably find fodder for further revisions. I'll keep coming back to it every few months for the next year or two, until I finally think it's ready.

(Hm, I wonder if I can get it in perfect shape by the time the third Batman movie comes out, where Two-Face will be the main villain? If ever I had a shot for getting DC to publish the thing...)

In any case, I'm damn proud of this book. I've put a hell of a lot of time, energy, and myself into this novel, took a number of risks, and by and large, I think it either worked out or can work eventually. Hopefully with time and editing, I'll finally have a real complete book I can call my own... even if none of the characters are mine.



And now, without further comment, I am just going to copy-paste Max Burbank's i-mockery blog entry here, for your enjoyment:

Gentle reader, last night I told me eldest daughter it was my plan to divorce her mother and gay marry Zac Efron. I advised her to get used to the idea that Zacky was going to be her new dad as quickly as possible. I did this because A.) I am the best Dad ever, and B.) Zac Efron is the most dreamiest dreamboat crown prince of unintentional comedy that ever was.

My daughters are twelve and seven, so I’ve seen “High School Musical” (or at least been in the room when it’s on) several times now. Zac’s big show stoppin’ song and dance tirade ‘Bet On It’ is so howlingly hilarious I was quite literally reduced to tears the first time I saw it. Check it out!




I’ve memorized large bits of the choreography and will sometimes burst into song and sometimes spring from my chair during breakfast. At work I lope maniacally past my co-workers cubicles, shaking invisible dice and advising them to “Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on me!” There’s something undeniably appealing about taking Zac’s boyish, cluelessly over the top intensity and forcibly translating it through my quivering, spastic middle-aged body. I won’t lie; the ‘ladies’ love it.

I want you to consider the many, many moments in your own life that would be best responded to with an homage to Mr. Efron’s “Bet On It”. Ideally I’d like to inspire thousands of people to adopt performances of “Bet On It” in its entirety as a response to tense situations. Imagine how scared your boss would be to tell you there are no raises this year if there was a fifty percent chance you’d soon be prancing around him shrieking about listening to your own heart talking and counting on yourself? How could any girl turn you down if in doing so she ran the risk of being exposed to a hip-wiggling, homoerotic, Zactastic performance of “Bet On It”? I honestly don’t think there’s any situation that wouldn’t benefit from a profoundly felt tribute to Zac’s artistry.

C’mon, sing it with me you splendid bastards! “Bet on it, Bet on it, BET ON IT, BET… ON… ME!!!!

September 2012

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