September 20, 2021
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned ‘The Avanyu’. Let me explain:
Every now and then with this work, something from reality comes and hits me in the head. Here I think I’ve created all this as fiction – and then I find out that there actually is a real world parallel. Things that make you go, “Hmmm…”
The Avanyu is a water serpent, but also associated with lightning and storms. Sometimes it’s portrayed with legs. Often it’s very dark.
Is this starting to sound familiar?
Take the wings off The Lord of Storms in this work of fiction, and – you guessed it – you have an Avanyu.
I honestly did not know about this until I stopped in my favorite trading post in Arizona, and saw some pottery with portrays of the feathered serpent called The Avanyu, there for sale. I vaguely recall seeing images like that when I was in High School, but couldn’t find any further information. Now, I have it.
There’s also more than one, or so some of the sources I found led me to believe.
Every now and then something like this happens… Things that make you go, “Hmm…” Here are some images. Judge for yourself:
June 30, 2021
Dark Cloud is Available to the Public, starting today, on Comixology! Follow the link below for your copy!
This is truly a milestone…
Later in the year, it will be off to Comic Conventions for sales of the hard copy in person!
June 19, 2021
Wow! It’s been over a YEAR since I updated this site! Blame it on the Pandemic. I’ve felt like a turtle laying on it’s back, flailing my legs in the air… But a lot has happened, too!
Dark Cloud, the Graphic Novel adaptation, has now been picked up by Comixology! Wow… Excuse me while I do a little Happy Dance! Things are finally moving again.
Yes, I HAD a publisher a little over a year ago, but I was waiting on the contract being worked out before announcing their name. Then Covid-19 hit and that opportunity evaporated. In the time since, the publishing market has changed yet again. Now there are huge backlogs of people who want to get their work published, and many publishers are still saying that they are not considering new material. These are the same publishers whom, 2 years ago, if I’d had the finished Graphic Novel, they’d have been encouraging me to submit it to them! Things have changed…
Since then, a number of people have been encouraging me to publish it myself. Since I want to tell more Dark Cloud stories, that’s not a bad way to go. “If you’re willing to do the work of the Publisher (marketing / advertising), then go for it.”
Myself and my husband went ahead and declared a publishing label, De la Frontera Press LLC, (he has experience at this,) and I submitted it to Comixology. They contacted me back 3 days later and asked me to adjust the file I sent them. Sure, not a problem. Then I submitted it again. They wrote back in a week and told me they’d decided to carry it for distribution! Yay! That was fast, especially given that on their website, at this time, they say to give them up to 3 months to consider something for distribution! So someone there must have really liked Dark Cloud. It will still be another 8-12 weeks, from the time of this writing, before it’s available online – but it is coming!
Now comes more work on my part…
Comixology distributes digital versions of comics and graphic novels. I will need to make hard copies available through Amazon, their parent company. I’ve priced the digital version at $3.99, and the hard copy will be priced at $19.95, tentatively. I realize most sales will be through the digital version, but my goal is to have a lot of people buy it. I highly doubt I’ll get rich off one graphic novel.
Then there’s Social Media Advertising… My brain has been dealing with learning all about that. It’s a new animal to me, yet something else I must master for this to take off.
Plus there will be Comic Conventions to attend and set up booths at, making the hard copy available to any who’d like to pick up a copy. That won’t be until probably late fall of 2021, but I’m looking forward to those. If me and Evan wanted to, we could hit Comic Conventions every weekend – and that’s just within Southern California / Arizona / Nevada. In fact, we couldn’t get to them all! I’ve got a good feeling about this aspect of marketing / sales…
Plus there have been a couple bookstores that have expressed interest in carrying hard copies of Dark Cloud. (!!!) I haven’t really made any attempt to pitch hard copies to brick and mortar stores. This is just what I’ve found in the process of traveling around. This is yet another option I’ll be pursuing further. I don’t expect a lot of sales from this aspect of things, but every little bit helps. I want the word out! One of those shop owners asked me to host a signing at his store. I’ll be happy to do that, too, and will probably hit up a local radio station to do a chat about the project, which then gets broadcast. That’s an idea, anyway. Details will come.
As I process through each of these elements (digital release, hard copy release, Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising, getting the word out to brick-and-mortar stores…) I’ll be automating each of these tasks as much as possible. Of course, full automation isn’t possible, but my goal is to be as efficient with my time on these things as possible, provided the real goal of exposure is met. Never turn down a possible sale, even if there are only a few of them, because that may result in a fan for this project who will spread the word. Why my focus on efficiency? Because I deal with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I really do have only so much energy. So let me be as efficient with that as possible – provided the goal is met… Not all of these things I’ve talked about here are going to be implemented in a day, just as this website wasn’t built in a day.
Since I’m talking about hard copies now, that means I’ve had to get an ISBN and bar code for the book too. It took me about an hour to figure out the process and get that taken care of, but I paused for coffee.
My plate has suddenly gotten very full. Frankly? It’s full in a good way. =)
June 4, 2020
I may have a publisher for all this… No promises, and I don’t want to jinx things by naming the publisher who’s expressed an interest, but it may be on it’s way.
I’m currently waiting to go into negotiations with them. This has been the case for a couple weeks, but there have been things that have had it all on hold. Things like that happen. This is not a death march.
But I will be so happy when I can announce to the World who the publisher for Dark Cloud is…
I realize this isn’t much of a post, but this is to just let people know what’s going on, for as much as I can at this point.
March 21, 2020
I am not a happy camper. Few people are. The whole country is shutting down with this pandemic.
The portion of the scene where it comes out that Dark Cloud also knows plants and practices a rudimentary Herbalism was cut from the script before it went to production, but I’m putting up a relevant post, here.
Here’s my formula for a chest rub that treats Pneumonia, gunked up lungs of all kinds, is anti-inflamatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and I don’t know how (probably the White Camphor,) but it even stopped a cardiac arrest that was about to happen when I spotted it in a friend who refused to let us call 911. (Her doctor had spotted the potential that very day, and only let her go from his office if she promised to call 911 if she started getting the signs of an oncoming attack, which she promptly renegged on once out of his office,) so I know this is good stuff. Like a lot of Herbalism, it treats a broad range of (breathing) ailments. I’m making the information public here, like I have on other forums. In a pinch, you can use Vics Vapo-Rub, though this is by far the superior product for a number of reasons:
Supplies are available from just about any Herbal supply company. There’s Starwest-Botanticals.com, Bulkapothecary.com, and just plain Google ‘Herbal Supplies’ to find others. I get my jars to put it in from Amazon.com, though any container will do.
Everyone, please be safe.
This, too, will pass.
I, too, will be glad when society resumes some semblency of normal.
In the meantime, I share, because I know this recipe can save lives. I’d bore you to tears if I explained here how all I know it works as well as it does. Seriously. My husband is in a high-risk group, but I’m betting he won’t need a ventilator if he gets sick, because I know how well this stuff works.
It’s better than nothing. If nothing else, realize that. Ventilators are in short supply. A ventilator shouldn’t even be needed with this stuff, so if the hospital doesn’t have one for your sick loved one, know there’s an alternative. DON’T TAKE THAT RISK GIVEN THE CHOICE! But know that this is really good stuff, and works sheer miracles.
For breathing problems, and pneumonia / pneumonia-like symptoms, this may keep the illness from getting so bad that you have to rush that loved one to a hospital, and you may be able to continue to nurse them at home. But if they get that bad? SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP, BY ALL MEANS! Here’s hoping it doesn’t get that bad! I’ve got a husband who swears by the recipes I create, and this is the first line of defense I’m going to be using on him if he gets really sick from this virus.
Let us all be prepared.
I share, hoping it saves someone.
March 10, 2020
A lot has happened, and hasn’t happened, since I last put up a Blog Post here.
First, know that since the first Graphic Novel has turned out so well, and chances are much higher that I can tell more Dark Cloud stories via Graphic Novel than Film, although a film franchise is still a goal, I’ve shifted focus a bit and intend to tell a lot more Dark Cloud stories via Graphic Novel first.
Dark Cloud and Klaatu are also characters that I want to bring to the public as cultural archetypes, like Zorro, Spiderman, or Batman. Those characters aren’t limited to one medium. They started out in print, but cross multiple medias. That’s probably the way to focus, here too.
Last weekend I attended the San Diego Comic Fest. I seem to do my most effective work in person, and love networking, so that’s what I was doing. Here’s the result of everything that went down:
Chris Ryall, CEO of IDW Publishing (MAJOR Label,) looked over the Graphic Novel and said that it wasn’t what IDW would carry at this time, predominantly because they focus on big name items with an established base. I understand this. I thank him for his time.
Ted Adams, former CEO of IDW Publishing and now having started another label called Clover Press, said he’d read over the hard copy I left with him in the next week or so. Then we can sit down and talk about where to take things next. I don’t know that his company will be a match either, but hopefully he can give me some leads and some insight.
I heard back from Paul Levine. He’s the major Agent in L.A. that I’ve been talking about. He doesn’t feel that I need an agent to pitch this to publishers at this time. Again, it’s a matter of not being a big name – at this time. It’s also not in his genre, so he doesn’t feel qualified to even say if it’s good or not. Fair enough. I do appreciate him getting back to me! All in all, interacting with him has been rather pleasant.
But he did say that once I find a publisher, please get in touch, and he’d be happy to negotiate my deal in exchange for a couple paid hours of his time. That’s actually not a bad deal! He’s being straight with me. This is also his business. He knows what he’s doing.
Weighing everything, it sounds like I’ll have better chances with a publisher that isn’t one with the biggest distribution and the most popular names. After all, I’ve got to start somewhere.
Hopefully the day will come when I actually am an A-Lister. In the meantime, I’m actually not doing too badly when it comes to getting in doors – provided I do it in person, that is.
February 24, 2020
I seem to do just about everything upside down and backwards…
Right now the book is at a printers for a small print run (400 copies,) slightly smaller than standard comic book size (it affects the print cost,) and with no indication of any ISBN (there isn’t any at this point,) and a dollar will never change hands in using these to show people what this is all about, because that would then constitute self-publishing.
For promotional purposes only. Nor has anybody seen it yet! Nor will they until I get a go-ahead from someone I’ve been in touch with, now, who knows what he’s doing. We’re looking at, minimum, another 2 weeks of sitting on all this.
It’s also going to take another 2 weeks before I get these copies in the first place. I also need to hear back even further from that Literary Agent I talked to – and I only heard back from him last night. It turns out that he didn’t receive the file for the Graphic Novel after all. I resent it 4 different ways to make sure he gets it, and got a confirmation email from him this time that said he has, now.
His schedule is really busy this next week. Totally understandable. Then he asked for another week just to make sure. Fine by me. I understand.
– And I’m still going to be sitting on those copies I’m having made until I can run by him the question of how that might affect things. I don’t want to blow it at this point! Still, making copies for my own use is something that needs to be done.
I may be sitting on them for awhile, too, since ‘2 weeks’ is just the time for him to digest this. Then we need to get together and sit down over lunch. (Or coffee, or whatever… His schedule, which is fine.) It’s a valid excuse to go back to L.A.
I really hope I accomplish what I’ve set out to with these, well before going through every copy that I’m having printed up. Then, those copies (and remaining copies,) can be marketed as collector’s items, down the road, and I can start to breathe again here.
People may think I’m nuts to do this, but I guess I’m a bit old school, just like many people that I work with. We don’t want to look at glorified comics on a web screen. We want to handle them in person. It’s also much more portable and not dependent on electricity or Internet connections. I can think of where to place 100 – 200 copies right off the bat, and most of those people are in the Film Industry and related.
In other news, yes, I’m wondering what comes next. I’m standing on the edge of Terra Incognito here. I know from a business sense what comes next, but I don’t know about the personal element, or what to expect from the people involved. Civil behavior, yes, but beyond that? The Dance of Interaction. There, I said it. That’s what I don’t know at this point, because things now shift to a different caliber of getting things done. I’ve researched the business enough to have a idea of what’s goes on and at what time schedule, but I have absolutely no experience at the personal interaction side, at this level.
The only thing I know are stereotypes and personal experience – and neither of those have been good. To even have a reference point I’m going into my past, before I took up with Evan – and none of that was good. I could be a poster child for both the #MeToo movement and an example of what turns women into Feminists. So far, going back into the business now that Evan’s in my life and getting to this point, things have been good. But what comes next? I have no idea what people are going to be like, when, how, any of that.
When I first went into pursuing this business (Film aspect of Entertainment,) I tended to run into people who were a lot of fluff but no substance, or didn’t have my best interests at heart. In other words, they either wanted me to spend a lot of money on their ideas of self-promotion (then you get a little further on in the business and find out that no one has heard of them,) or else they encourage you to be an available porn actor and they will get you work in porn, saying that is the way to get a break. IT’S NOT! (Don’t do that or you’ll get black-listed!)
Soon enough, with some persistence and education, you find out what’s really going on and suddenly those people don’t show up any more. You start getting to the people who work hard and take all this very seriously. But when you network, you still meet people who don’t want to give you much time unless you’ve got product or something else to show. Doors are still closed to you.
This is now back to moving things up a step. Now I have that product. Now I am someone that could be considered. I’m back into Terra Incognito.
Admittedly, I’m feeling stressed…
February 21, 2020
Yes! The book is currently being reviewed by the Literary Agent who first showed an interest in it, some time ago, and told me to get back in touch with him once it was completely finished. He accepted my query, and I sent him an actual file of the whole thing (web resolution quality,) a couple days ago. Now I need to give him time to look it over, digest it, and decide if he wants to go with representing it to the Publishing world.
Once an agent is settled with all this, then I need to be talking to people about how the Marketing and Advertising is going to go down. I really don’t intend to just sit back and say, “Not my job.” No. That’s not the sort of thinking that I embrace! If I did then things would have never of made it this far. I’ve done a little preliminary research, and was surprised to see that some of the ideas I had are actually discouraged. So, live and learn. Apparently it’s not what I thought, but that’s actually normal in the kind of world we live in today. Things change quickly! One must keep up with it. Learning never stops one’s whole life long…
There are other goings on, but really? This is all much like the related aspect of Entertainment, i.e. Film, which is definitely known as a field where a person must thrive on herding cats as a prerequisite before embarking on such an adventure! No specifics at this point, but as things evolve I will let you know.
Job Description: “Must thrive on herding cats.”
And that is Life!
February 14, 2020
The book is Really finished, now. The next file I get from Jared should be It! I just need insertion of the new cover page, adjustment of the logo in a couple other places, and clearing up one last typo in the Bio section.
I’ve already started using the cover and the new logo on this website!
Then I submit it to the first Literary Agent has expressed interest… [He’s also the most qualified.] If he doesn’t bite? There are others out there…
Submitting on a weekend usually isn’t the thing to do – except that all major decisions in this business take place outside of regular hours, so you never know! Besides, I’m sure he’ll want time to actually read it and digest it, first.
So it looks like tomorrow, although it’s a Saturday, I’ll be submitting it, and taking the first step into a whole, bigger world…
February 13, 2020
I know I said that I’d be querying a Literary Agent today (or near today, based on when I can document that a print-out reached the Library of Congress,) but I’ve decided to hold off. Why? Jared sent me a new mock-up of the overall cover, based on some chicken scratches (my drawing) that I shared with him – and I am blown away.
This is good.
This is so good.
Now, I’m waiting until I get the final cover from Jared. I want to show the very best of everything when I approach anyone! Also, looking at the new cover design, I feel a lot more comfortable doing a print run for personal uses, knowing that in the future I will never look at the book and grimace a bit. (“That’s not the cover we went with.”) That sort of thing.
February 12, 2020
Yes, the Book is complete…
Me and Jared are still working on an overall front cover, since *that little sneak* (Jared – I say that with affection) went ahead and designed one without telling me. I looked at it and sadly had to say it smacked a bit too much of ‘Male, Action-Hero’. “Please thumbnail stuff and run it by me first,” I told him. “I hate to see you put all this work into stuff that I have to say, ‘Huh-uh’ to.” =( (I really do hate to see him put in a lot of work that I can’t use. Surprises are not welcome on projects like this!) Still, aside from the front cover, it’s all finished and print-ready.
There are other things he’s done that are Phenomenal! For one, I notice how he really treats Font Faces like yet another art form! Well, they are. Thank You, Jared, for all the little touches you’ve put into this that make it all the more special, and makes the quality just Pop! =) [Yes, we will be talking shortly about a Sequel!]
A couple posts before this, in the February 4th post, I went ahead and lined out what the next steps are. C’mon, don’t tell me that your scrolling finger is that lazy. =S Go ahead and look.
For all those that I plan on sharing a complimentary (free!) hard copy of the finished product with? From my own, personal print run for hard copies? I ask that you bear with me just a little longer. “Patience, Grasshopper…” (Gee, I should add that to my library of lines. =S)
Besides, I may have some fabulous news and a lot of development to talk about in just a few days, but there are no guarantees. If I do? Wonderful! I’ll have a great Blog post. If not? I’ll update for that too.
In the meantime, “Patience, Grasshopper…”
February 5, 2020
Every now and then Reality pings me in the forehead, and makes me wonder if I haven’t created something prophetic. Let me explain:
Today, the Senate acquitted Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean he’s innocent. It just means they don’t have the cajones to stand up to him. How does this relate to Dark Cloud?
Even General Stone – the Uber Bad Guy in all this – has a backstory. I just haven’t told it in Book 1, here. Maybe at some point in the future… Briefly, it’s this: In this Future West, although there was a Federal Government before everything fell apart, it was actually very corrupt. Stone is someone who donated 1 or 2 million to the election campaign of his buddy, who did succeed at getting ‘elected’ President. That ‘president’ then rewarded Stone by giving him a cushy governorship of sorts in the area that Dark Cloud would come to wander. Then civilization severely weakened, to the point of near collapse, and we have the world of Dark Cloud.
See, our Democracy died today. It just doesn’t know it yet. I could point the current decline back to Newt Gingrich in the Reagan era, who successfully promoted the idea that politics should be treated like war, not working together to govern; but that’s not what this blog is about. Suffice to say, something happened today that leads to this dystopian world that I created so long ago.
I would gladly be wrong if I could, happy that I had never seen the death of our Democracy. Trust me! This isn’t something I’m glad to be right about, or see come to pass from my doomsday writings. I would so much rather have been wrong.
Since we’re talking back stories, what else happens? How did civilization collapse or at least severely weaken in the first place? I’m leaning towards a devastating solar flare, or even a cosmic ray burst as the reason for that. If we got hit with a solar flare as bad as the one that hit us in 1859, then we would be knocked back to 1859 or earlier. Everything electronic would get fried. The last time this happened the only casualties were telegraph wires and transmission stations, since we were not that invested in our electronic technology.
That’s not what would happen today at all. Society would come screaming to it’s knees. No computers, cell phones, automobiles, or transit as we know it. No electricity even. Although we can insulate our electronics against such events, nobody’s doing it. The planet is a sitting duck. There’s about a 1 in 8 chance of this happening, each decade. We’re way overdue. Three days after the event? Well, we’ve seen what happens about 9 meals out from major disasters, only this would be worldwide.
That’s something else that I would be perfectly happy to NOT see happen.
BTW, Klaatu, the combat robot, is insulated from this sort of thing. He’s designed to wander a post-nuke battlefield autonomously, which means he’s impervious to EMPs and the like. He’s also designed for optimum self-reliance. This is no one to come to his aide when things finally get so bad that the likes of him is unleashed.
In the meantime, Rest In Peace, Democracy. Your time was all too brief, and you had so much more, and beneficial, to accomplish. As always, it falls to every one of us to fight for those ideals and principles, and practice them. What’s the alternative? Give up? What happens then… No, it is up to every one of us to do all we can to champion the values of equality and opportunity that this country was founded on.
They’ll be suppressing me and those around me, kicking and screaming, over my dead body.
How about you?
February 4, 2020
The book is mostly complete now. I’ve had enough inquiries that I feel I should say something about that, here. We’re still putting a few tweaks and polishes on it, but it’s mostly complete. I’m also working with Jared on a cover for the overall book. (I’m glad he has ideas! At this point, I just know what considerations should be there to make it vision-appropriate.) I’m going to be conservative and say it will be complete and print-ready by the 10th, but we will see.
Then the real work begins!
The next steps, before I give a copy to everyone involved in the production and more, involve:
- Printing out a copy of the final and sending it snail mail to the Library of Congress to register my copyright. (The copyright already exists, but registration affords some important rights and remedies should someone do a knock-off or try to claim credit where none exists.)
- After I get the postal Return Receipt back, approaching that particular Literary Agent who expressed an interest. He’s the best choice for the job, so I’ll give him a shot first. If it doesn’t work out there are always other Literary Agents.
- If he decides to pick it up, I then need to bounce off him that I want to do a personal print run, since I can think of where to place 100 – 200 complementary copies right off the bat. Most of those are contacts in the Film Industry. I’ve had a dickens of a time getting people to read the screenplay, but a lot of people want to see this! I’ve been itching to tell this story and still want at least one film out of it. That means that people need to know. One agent told me that as long as a dollar doesn’t change hands and there’s no ISBN on the book, then it’s not considered self-publishing. But at that number of copies? I’m just double-checking.
- Then I do a print run for personal purposes. (Getting copies to send to all those people on a complimentary basis.) I’m pretty sure I’ll go with a company out of Canada, but more on that later as it happens. The time that takes to happen is all of: submitting the print-ready file to the company, they set it up, they send me a proof copy for approval, then they do the print run, and finally they send the copies back to me. Then I have to actually snail mail the hard copies to those that are on the running list I’ve been keeping of who all get a complimentary copy.
I’m leaving it up to the Literary Agent I’m thinking of to get me the Best publishing and distribution deal possible, so the ball is in his court there. (That’s why he gets a percentage.) It could easily take 3 to 6 months to do that. Then it’s another 6 months before it hits the shelves, easily. Don’t worry. If worst comes to worst, I’ll be doing the personal print run as soon as a publisher picks it up – with it clearly laid out that a dollar is not changing hands. This is merely for promotion.
A lot is still up in the air right now. There are a lot of things that are not firm, that still have to transpire for me to give people actual dates. Go ahead and look over what I’ve said here and do the math.
I’m a bit on pins and needles, too, because so much of this depends on other people. I don’t like relying on other people to get something done. In my experience, it usually doesn’t when relying on someone else. That’s one reason I’ve enjoyed working with Jared so much. He does get off his tail end and get the job done! I can’t say how much I appreciate that.
I’m also in that state because, for the people I’m going to be approaching, all of them have basically said to follow up with them after I have the finished Graphic Novel. There hasn’t been any hanging out with them, building rapports, speculative talk… I really don’t know.
I feel I’m about to step into a whole different world of people, compared to where I’ve been so far.
…but when has that ever stopped me?
January 26, 2020
Chapter 4 is now complete! Whew! Let me pause and catch my breath!
Part of this is unbelievable… I have spent so much of my life, so much work in creation and educating myself about ‘telling stories’ in the Entertainment Industry. It’s actually coming to the point of having some product that I can share with anyone. I’m just stunned! This has been such a long road – and I’m only now reaching the point where I can really begin to tell Dark Cloud stories.
Oh Yes! There have been PLENTY of people who have tried to stop, block, or derail me one way or another. Some of them have succeeded – temporarily, and until I figured out for myself the games people play. It really pisses me off, too, because all that does is waste a lot of everybody’s time! Don’t those people realize that there is no stopping ambition? Some of them picked up on me because of that ambition – and then tried to bend me to what they wanted. Well, guess again, because “That ain’t happenin'”
See, there’s a little game that a lot of men play – especially on attractive women. It’s been one of the biggest stumbling blocks I’ve faced just to get here. It goes: 1) He spots an attractive woman – and he wants her. 2) He then acts nice towards her, expresses interest, and gets her to talk about what she’s interested in, especially her life goals. 3) Once he can wrap his head around her most important goal, he instantly proclaims himself an expert at accomplishing that very thing! (He just hasn’t achieved it yet, depending on the goal, due to the fault of other people. Yeah, right. Gimme a break!) 4) He then tells the woman that he will help her achieve that goal, provided she sticks with him. However, 5) the real goal is to distract and wear her down from pursuing her goal until she gives up and either a) makes her life revolve around him, or b) makes her life revolve around what he thinks it should be.
This is a big problem! – And little girls aren’t being raised, warned about this very game! A lot of people get dragged out of the running over this. Personally? I think a law should be passed, so that the bastards who pull this sort of game could be prosecuted for FRAUD. That’s what it is! I’ve heard some people say, “You can’t blame a guy for trying.” I CAN. Watch me.
Before I noticed that pattern I kept falling for it. (I remember the sales person who was suddenly an expert, when he had read maybe 2-3 articles in passing about how to make a feature length film, and had the audacity to really believe he was qualified to disagree with my 2-3 years of experience studying the industry, when I told him that his advice didn’t present as sound. He really believed he was right and I didn’t know anything!) That’s what kills me about those people. Are we teaching little boys to grow up with such a warped attitude towards women that they honestly believe they know better when the knowledge base is still stacked that much against them?
Usually I would shake free of such people in 3 months, tops, but the worst incidence was my ex-husband. That marriage lasted 3 1/2 years, partly because I don’t like divorce, and had just shrugged, thinking, “Fine, I’ll do it myself. At least he’ll be supportive.” Guess again. I got really tired of coming home and having him jump all over me over his insecurities, his needs, and why couldn’t I just be happy staying home with him. It bugs me that he used to celebrate my doubts, too. When I felt down after a set-back and felt intimidated by the odds, he would chime in like he was wise, and say things like it was good that I was realizing how unrealistic my goals were, and how he was the best thing that ever happened to me, having “brushed the fairy dust off your forehead,” I get so mad when I remember how he used to weigh in with his what-did-you-expect and told-you-so (though he hadn’t) when I’d get a set-back!
After him I swore off men for 20 years… I get sick of this!
OK, let me lighten up a bit, here.
I wonder if things like that happened because I didn’t know the signals that the really valuable people in life put off. But then, I really didn’t have any kind of a good example growing up. Then I hit the real world, and no one is there who either is qualified to warn me about this stuff, or inclined to. Little girls need to be warned about this thing! Sometimes it’s used for other purposes too, as in the business man who tried this, with the purpose in mind that I would give up and become his personal call girl for his company, sleeping with whom he directed me to, for the benefit of his business goals. I got out of there fast, but Boy! He sure screwed my head to a wall for a few months. That includes the time I was dealing with after effects after getting away from him. Oh well, I got that job on a referral from my ex-husband (see above.) So what’s to be expected…
OK, I took that to a Debbie Downer place again, and need to back up.
The good news is that as time has gone on, I’ve gotten better and better at spotting these people sooner and sooner. It now takes a fraction of the time to spot them, sometimes only one interaction, and I refuse to have anything further to do with them. (I still say Little Girls need to be taught about those jerks, and how their game works.) Then I looked up the man I’m now married to today.
I need to pause and thank Evan here. He’s been the first person in my life to really recognize that ambition, put me down in the middle of resources, and say, “OK, what do you want to do?” (A lot of people have tried to tell me what I should be doing – and some have tried to force me to comply. That don’t work either.) Then he did the wise thing by not man-splaining to me how to go about it, but let me determine that. (I have to!) Instead, he continues to fill a very supportive role in my life.
Those people – skipping back to before the prior paragraphs – are part of the reason why it’s taken so long just to get to this point. Well, let me pause and stick my tongue out at them and go, “Nyah-nyah-NYAH-Nyah-nyah.” (I’ll save naming them for when I stand up at the Oscars to accept an award for the Film adaptation.) <*wicked little grin*>
The next steps involve tweaking some details, plus adding about 5 covers (one for the book itself and one for each chapter,) adding the pages of written material that I’ve composed such as the Foreword (available on this website to read,) the back cover synopsis, and a lot more. Of course I want Jared to add material that toots him horn. <*grin*> “Go, Jared! Yay!!!!”
I am so glad I collaborated with him! Looking over this all, he’s created such a detailed depth to the illustrations, that it really creates the feel of being drawn into a film. I really think that’s going to help it stand out. This was not a quick production! Quality never is.
I plan on doing a little happy dance for the next several hours – before getting back to work on the Sequel.
Life is Good…
January 23, 2020
Expecting Chapter 4 – the final chapter – any day now.
This is coming down to the wire! After we get Chapter 4 it all then goes on to adding the other pages, such as the Foreword, Bio, Disclaimers, Back Cover Copy, the How We Did This section… I’ve been working on those pages for awhile. Then I sleep on it and change my mind by a few words or a paragraph.
I also got my updated, professional photos back from the photographer. I’d cite her here, but she said that she doesn’t want her name on them given that I’ve retouched them with more of a glamour look, and that’s not her style. She still did a good job. I just had no reference to show her what I wanted, so I wound up doing some retouching myself.
OK, I guess I’ll share the picture of myself that I’m putting in the Bio section, here. This is the whole picture. I have yet to see which picture Jared will be using for himself, but mine will be cropped to proportionately match his, and possibly be in Black & White:
Yes, I still need to lose yet more weight… (*sigh*) I’m also too old to play Dark Cloud myself, and too pale. I never really had the right boning for what I pictured for that character either. I’ve been telling people that this is not about me! I mean it. So a different actress played Dark Cloud. (You’ll see her name in the credits.) I really think there’s at least a little bit of Dark Cloud in a lot of women, especially young women. To that end, I have no problem with stepping aside and letting someone else play her.
I actually don’t play off my look that often. My personal email account has a picture of a frog for the profile pic. I like looking nice, but there’s such a thing as that becoming too much of a focus.
Hey, I also have a mind. That mind created Dark Cloud. Yeah.
December 19, 2019
I was reviewing Chapter 3 again today. This really is shaping up to be an awesome looking Graphic Novel! But it reminded me of something I’d shared with someone a short time ago.
At this point, I dare say that Dark Cloud is making a better Graphic Novel than Feature Length Film – for this first adaptation, anyway. Why do I say that? It’s because of all the exposition (speech that clues the audience in to details that enrich the story.) Things like that are fine in a graphic novel. Film? That can be another story… Most script reviewers and professional readers will hold it against a writer if it shows up in a screenplay.
That’s one thing that’s frustrated me in writing the screenplay. Some exposition is absolutely critical to this story! Yet exposition is considered ‘lazy writing’ in screenplay format. Most people don’t like it. What drives me batty is that I know that exposition can work in a film! It’s all a matter of whether you do it right or not. Example: The first 7 minutes of ‘The Road Warrior’ is all exposition! – and that movie was a HIT.
So I haven’t updated the screenplay version of Dark Cloud yet because I’m still looking over the exposition from every angle. I think once myself, and anyone else involved in the film adaptation sit down and decide what and how we’re going to work with all that, the updated screenplay will essentially write itself.
For a first adaptation? As I see the Graphic Novel take form, I become more and more comfortable with the notion that going with telling this story via graphic novel is exactly the best way, in first form, to share it with the general public. I’m not disappointed! This has turned out to be a very excellent choice for how to introduce the characters and world that I’ve created.
…But I still want to make movies. =P
December 15, 2019
Whew! I’m exhausted! I just spent a week freezing my tail off, taking in the sites around Moab on the Colorado Plateau. Beautiful country! – but I don’t think I’ll be setting a story there. I think I’ll have DC going south during the winter at least. Either that, or holed up in a secret government installation inside a mountain for the winter. (Think NORAD-type base.) Not out there freezing her tail off, either!
But Chapter 3 is complete! =D Yay! (*Little happy dance!*)
Chapter 3 has some wonderful touches in there that are Jared’s design, definitely. They’re good! When next I talk to him, I’m going to have to let him know much I appreciate what he’s adding to the telling of this story. He’s obviously someone who thinks!
I’d really like to write more about this, but frankly? I’m exhausted from my trip! Canyonlands, Arches National Park, and the other places are absolutely gorgeous! I like them better than the Grand Canyon. Still, I’m just absolutely exhausted for right now!
I saw an awesome, flaked obsidian knife with a deer-antler handle, up at Dead Horse Point (sad how it got the name – and inexcusable.) I wish I’d picked that up, but it was not so. I’ll just have to make or get one another time, then custom make a sheath to go with it, beadwork on the leather and all. I notice these things, and knapping out stone tools is a skill I picked up a long time ago. Besides, that way I can make sure it has a functional edge; not a decorative one like most stone blades that are out there. Mahogany obsidian is wonderful material to work in…
OK, back to recovering from the trip…
November 26, 2019
I was talking with someone today and realized something. I need to put more African-American characters in the Dark Cloud universe. It’s a little late to add more for this particular adaptation (and the first story,) but it’s something I need to keep in mind for the Film version, and definitely fix in the sequel.
I’ve been aware that 3 out of every 5 cowboys in the Old West were either Hispanic or Black. This certainly isn’t the impression you’d get looking at old Westerns out of Hollywood! Gee, even the Native Americans in those movies look oddly White. Things that make you go, “Hmmm…” The Clint Eastwood Westerns from the 70’s remedied this a bit, but not fully. As a Creator, I feel a responsibility to at least base what I create in some reality.
At first I wanted to slap myself for not reflecting things accordingly, but it actually bugged me so much that someone would point this out (correctly so,) that I wasn’t satisfied until I figured out how I could have possibly let this go over my head in the first place. Then I figured it out: I write from what I see and what I know. Where do I go to connect with that? Rural areas, BLM land, National parks, State parks, archaeological sites, Native American nations, the smaller cities and recreational areas… Not really any real, sizable cities. Sometimes I drop into communication blackout for two days at a time, where there’s no way I could raise a cellular signal or internet connection if my life depended on it. I go that remote at times. I have been creating from what I see.
Although still in the West and Southwest, I just haven’t been in the right areas to notice more than a scattering of African-Americans. I sure do see an awful lot of Native Americans, though. More than is proportionate to the population overall. Only logic has kept me from creating a world where 1/2 – 2/3 of the population is Native American, because I know the statistic for the overall region I’m looking at is less than 10% – easily.
So this is in part an accident born out of very specific demographics within a given region of the country. But after a holocaust that weakens civilization? All bets are going to be off in a situation like that, and I enjoy the reminder that the population is actually more diverse than I’ve been previously focusing on.
I’m sure some people are going to say, “OK, so you included a Black character, but the name Blade is awfully stereotype.” That’s an accident. That character was originally a White, blonde dude with a machete. Then, years ago when I first attempted to pull off this project, a Black actor came and auditioned for me. I hate to turn down real talent, so I told him, “Sure, go ahead. Show me a monologue.” I was stunned. This guy was Good! I thought, “What am I going to do with him? I don’t have a part.” Then I looked at my script and slapped myself. I realized that with a couple tweaks, I could give him the role of Blade. (Sorry, but the character of Coyote Joe needs to stay as-is as a counter-balance to the head Bad Guy. Otherwise, I’d have considered re-casting him in a different light too.)
The project fell through, back then, but I kept the character of Blade as African-American out of respect for what I had seen. Important Lesson: It taught me that I needed to be more mindful of whom comprised the actual population I was setting this story among. Talk about a wake-up call! – And Thank You for it as well! Sure taught me something.
Part of the challenge in the first story (the current adaptation,) is that the Uber-Bad Guy, General Stone, is, indeed, a White Supremacist. A White Nationalist at the least. It’s amazing that there’s a character in there who works for him who isn’t White (and male. That also tells you where he feels women belong, and the story is written accordingly.) So it kind of limited my palette. Hey, I was making a statement.
But I stand by the observation I’ve shared with people in the process of pitching this project: You never see prejudice against any ethnic group, without seeing prejudice against women, and vice-versa. The two always go hand in hand. Always. That means that there are a lot of us in the same boat, so it’s in everyone’s interest to watch each others’ backs and stick up for each other. Maybe we’re in there in different ways, but it’s true.
Personally, I wonder if the White males on ‘top’ aren’t victims in their own way too, or at least some of them: They get automatically expected to take on a lot of responsibility and aggressiveness in life, be the bread-winners, authorities, and handle the pressure of a lot of people looking to them, by default, to make the heavy decisions, when in fact the individual might have a gentle disposition and prefer to focus on nothing more than working with children (that’s not easy in itself, either,) rather than slug it out among other men in a dog-eat-dog corporate or other environment. What if its the woman who’s got a temperament better suited to dealing with the people in life who try to run a scam on them and deserve to be torn a new one? Ever notice that White males make up a disproportionately larger part of the homeless population that is actually on the street than their ratio in the population as a whole? The visible ones, at least.
[I suspect that what’s going on there, although not a hard and fast rule, is that if someone is other than a White male, they’re going to be more likely to have a social safety net, whereby if they fall on hard times, a relative will consider it more acceptable to take them in and see that they have a roof over their head and some cornbread to eat. But if you’re a White male facing hard times and homelessness? You’re more likely to get lectured by relatives that you’re supposed to stand up on your own – period – and you’re left to be homeless. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, of course, but I suspect its a factor.]
Something is going wrong for everybody…
I’d just as soon ditch the whole ‘expectation’ thing and leave it up to the individual to do what they want, irregardless of other people ‘typing’ them.
Another consideration I have to keep in mind is that some areas that I place these stories in aren’t as mixed as other places. For the sequel, I’m thinking of setting it in central/south Western Arizona, where, in fact, a lot of Native Americans came together from 4 different tribes to form a new tribe, to start farming the newly usable flood-plain south of the Hoover Dam. (That’s the setting, anyway. Trust me, I plan to make it a lot more interesting than watching people farm the land!)
These are things I need to be aware of if I want to create something that at least touches reality in some form or other. I want Dark Cloud to be for everybody. Some of it I’ve known, but today I realized how I’ve been affected by a very good White-washing (literally) of the historical narrative, so have a new aspect of reality to explore that I’m honestly stunned I wasn’t as aware of before. Hispanic? Got that. Anglo? Got that. Native American? I’m learning more. Guess what I wasn’t so aware of, or at least in part… I need to fix that. As I learn and realize more, I need to incorporate it.
The day when these considerations aren’t deliberate for anyone, will only arrive when integration has been achieved, and people create characters from every group possible without giving it a second thought. It happens as naturally as breathing.
I’m only part of the way there.
November 12, 2019
I was talking with Jordan, Jared’s brother, when I was up in L.A. over the weekend for a film screening. Jordan handles all of Jared’s legal stuff and did the contract negotiation for him when I was working stuff out with Jared before commencing with the Graphic Novel. Neat guy to talk to, just like his brother.
One of the things we were talking about, is that I don’t really know what to call myself. (!!!) Content Creator, sure, but I really do a little bit of everything to make this project happen. I write, I know how to look at a contract (and of course have my own attorney look over it first before signing anything,) I fill the shoes of a producer… But really none of that is my specialty. In fact, I don’t seem to have a specialty aside from creating the stories, back-stories, and some of the details (such as costumes and researching the settings,) for all these characters. Then I bring in people who specialize in these different aspects and have them weigh in, or really bring them on board in kind of a contract employee capacity to do some real work towards moving this project forward.
Jack of all trades, Master of none? I think I’m more than that. For sure. But I don’t really know what kind of ‘title’ I’d assign myself. I write up a story, turn it into a screenplay, then get together with other writers to see what they have to say about it. I can read a legal document, but I always have my attorney look over it first before signing. I network and scout people, but I’m not an agent. I put the whole package together, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a producer. I can’t draw my way out of a wet paper bag, but I seem to be able to thumbnail well enough to convey a concept. There’s always someone who knows more in any of these specialties…
But I do seem to be the master coordinator, connecting all the dots, and always learning more, all in the process of making this project happen… I just don’t know what to call myself!
I feel comfortable doing it, whatever it is. No shyness problem for me! I love meeting people. Evan doesn’t know how I do it. I keep telling him to watch ‘Ferris Beuller’s Day Off’, but he just doesn’t get around to it. (Come to think of it, that film should be prerequisite viewing if someone wants to be in the Entertainment Industry. You want to be here? You should aspire to being able to pull off being that outgoing at the flip of a switch.) Most people in this business aren’t like that in their private time, but all of us need to be comfortable with being outgoing, as needed.
I think Evan’s objection to watching that movie is that he thinks it’s going to be one of those flicks that only teens and teen-minded people get into. But hey, I tricked him into watching Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and he laughed all the way through it. His grin was so big I thought his jaw would break! (Updated Laurel and Hardy comedy format. That’s why it works.) Maybe I can approach him about it again, saying, “See? I only bother with the good stuff.” <grin>
While we’re on the subject, here’s a link to the song that plays during the opening credits of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Big Pig, “I Can’t Break Away”)
November 7, 2019
Chapter 2 is now complete! (OK, so I’ve got a few little things to go over with Jared, but, WOW!)
I have wanted this to happen for so long… Wow, it’s happening… Step by step, the Graphic Novel comes closer to completion.
I am speechless… (So I guess this may not be a long Blog post!)
Tomorrow me and Evan are going up to L.A. for The 2019 Studio City International Film Festival. Jared’s film, The Incoherents, will be screening there on Saturday. I definitely want to see his Directorial style! Possibilities when it comes to the film adaptation of Dark Cloud? That’s what I’m thinking. I just hate to commit at this point with so much yet to come together on the film version front. But if the Graphic Novel is any indication? Definitely on my short list…
So if the film is showing on Saturday, why are we going up on Friday? Because it takes several hours to get to L.A. from here. I want to go to the After Party after the showing of The Incoherents, and that will go on for awhile. I only have so much energy, and I don’t want to deal with it being sapped by having had to come up to L.A. on the same day as well.
It rather bites to be so lacking in energy. It really does. I have to pace myself. I wish I didn’t deal with limited energy, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I guess I just have to pace myself…
WOW. Things are happening!
October 27, 2019
I was sitting on the fence with regards to putting this next post up. Then I talked to a friend and found out she experiences the same thing! That’s it. I’m running into too many other people for whom this is true. Time to write about it:
A number of people have asked me what Synesthesia is. It’s one aspect of the character of Dark Cloud, though there’s a lot more to it for her. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:
“Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.”
People with Synesthesia ‘taste’ colors. They might look at a shade of violet and experience a certain taste in their mouth. (For me, it’s anything along the spectrum of yellow to all shades of brown. Lemon Drops? Chocolate? Fudge? Really tempts me from my diet.) They may assign colors to given days, or personalities to numbers, or place a spatial sense on a calendar. There are so many things it can be. Listening to music sure is a trip for me, given the show of light, color, shape, and movement that plays out between my ears in the process of listening to it. Very inspirational! Very entertaining…
But to really explain what the character of DC experiences, I have to go a step further. I also have to drop the separation of myself from the character for a moment, because the only way to really explain how that character perceives the world is to share how I perceive the world. DC just experiences it in a more augmented form. Exaggeration for the sake of fiction, to make a point.
For me, and I’m sure many others, it goes beyond ‘tasting’ colors. This is probably something different, but related, that I’m going to share here:
It’s a sense where you can look at a tree and be aware of the life flowing through it’s core and branches, of the leaves and their relationship to the rest of the plant. – And more.
It’s an expanded sense of touch. I see things separate from myself, but I also feel them. Partially dependent on my sight-line, I often feel about 25 feet beyond myself in all directions, walls in place or not. I feel the density of air through that sense of touch and know, without seeing, that something is in that space or not. One day I became aware of how automatically I’ve been drawing on this when I walked from the bedroom to the office, past the closed curtains that lead to the office (no way I could have seen outside,) and felt that the car was not outside under the carport, so I knew that Evan was out and about on an errand. The area under the carport felt less dense, so I knew the car was gone. Logically that doesn’t make sense, but that’s how the experience came across.
One time I hugged someone, and mentally their body became a transparent burgundy, with the bones quite clear. I looked at their shoulder in front of me, saw something odd, and asked, “Do you have a surgical pin in your shoulder?” Yes, he did. I then went on the describe what it looked like in detail; the gold-colored endings; the type of plastic that looks transparent in a thin layer, but then looks oddly white as it gets thick – that kind of tone. Yes, he told me. I was right.
Incidents like the latter are special, though. It all depends on how much is competing for my attention at any given point, and how much I bother to slow down and listen to the vast array of input that available to us all.
Things like this happen with me all the time! I’ve only scratched the surface here, in regards to what I pick up on and how – every day!
Let me just clarify one thing now: Just like DC, I hate the term ‘psychic’ – nor is any of this about predicting the future. I’m not saying that’s what any of this is. Some day science will understand all this, but in the meantime it still exists. It’s just not generally acknowledged that some people’s senses work like this.
In the process of just talking, it dawned on both myself and Evan that he doesn’t perceive the world this way at all. He can’t do any of this, but at least he doesn’t try to tell me that I’m deluding myself. After all, I can’t be the only one. I suspect there are a lot of people like me. We just happen to live in a society that doesn’t even acknowledge the range of variation that actually exists.
It can give an additional depth of perception. If you’re sitting on the fence about figuring something or someone out, it can give that little extra information that lets a person make a decision. Example: One time I looked at someone (who later turned out to be trying to deceive me,) and I couldn’t decide whether to trust them or not. (They were trying to borrow money and assured me I’d get it back.) I told myself, “If this had an additional dimension, what would it look like?” I then saw them with a transparent, aluminum-like, angular mask over their face, kind of like a ‘layer’ in Photoshop, that was definitely constructed. I decided that their words were constructed to give an impression as well, but it was not the substance underneath. I decided not to trust them. I was right.
There’s a movie out that illustrates all this incredibly well. It’s also incredibly over the top, so don’t watch it and think that’s what world is like for me. It’s very much a matter of degree. It’s called ‘Lucy’ (2014), starring Scarlett Johansson.
Premise aside (that this is all due to using more brain capacity,) there’s so much that character does that I can relate to – and that DC does as well. I don’t know that it comes out strongly enough in this version of Dark Cloud, but it’s there: Of course, for DC it’s way over the top from how I perceive things, but it’s the same concept.
Awesome movie, BTW. I definitely recommend it. Even the major observations that the main character makes about life, matter, inter-relationship, and time, when she sits down with Morgan Freeman and the other scientists, are thing I can vouch for from my own awareness. I couldn’t improve on that dialogue. Somebody knew what they were talking about when they created that film.
It all makes for an incredible awareness when I travel to the Desert. Expansive. Big. Powerful. Throbbing with an unseen Force and many smaller Forces within, equally intangible and without human form, but just as present – and yes, they all have personalities.
So Synesthesia is actually just the start. It’s a term that provides an anchor-point in understanding. One day maybe I’ll have the chance to sit down with a neurologist or other cognitive specialist, and learn from them just how much all this stuff is really defined at this point. Hey, I got to adulthood before I ever found out about Synesthesia. How much else is not really known by the general public, but if you talk to someone who works in the fields of the perceptual sciences, they know exactly what you’re talking about?
I’m not so sure that Synesthesia and the like is caused by ‘wrong’ wiring in the brain either, like we get told (invariably by doctors who don’t experience this.) I’ve been comparing notes with others who experience things like this, enough, that I’m starting to think it’s more like an additional layer of perception. It’s taking information that most people can perceive, and running it through an additional layer of processing. That’s not ‘wrong’. That’s augmented.
I have no data for the following idea, but I’d be very interested in learning if people who have ADD, Tourette’s Syndrome, or something like that tend to experience things like Synesthesia by default. It would make perfect sense if they did. Those are conditions where the mind is in overdrive. Mentally, those people are going Warp 27 in at least part of their thinking. People like that tend to thrive on challenges and in occupational fields that would seem like chaos or are overwhelming to most people. (The ‘herding cats’ aspect of actually pulling off a film? Yup…) I suspect this is something that goes hand in hand with all that too. I just have no data to say one way or the other, so for now it’s just a logical presupposition.
Then, there are people like Evan, who don’t experience the world that way at all. Bless him; he doesn’t try to tell me that the way I perceive the world is B.S. There are people who will do that as well – and have tried to pull it on me. They’re blind, relatively speaking, so they won’t be happy until they convince everyone else that they’re blind too.
I don’t demand that everyone else perceive the world the same way myself, Dark Cloud, and Lucy do (especially on such a broad, over-the-top way as portrayed fictionally.) I DO ask not to be judged for it. I DO insist on my right to exist as I am.
I also know I can’t be the only one. That’s been another reason for creating Dark Cloud.
October 25, 2019
Wow! It’s been awhile since I put something here. My bad! But I’ve had stuff on my plate:
In addition to the lodging situation when I went to the L.A. Comic Con (will possibly blog about that later. Still working on how to tell it with a comedic twist,) I then came down with a cold on the closing Sunday of the convention. I hear it’s called ‘The Con Flu’, and it’s to be expected. I guess I got lucky with not getting it last year.
Oh well, that’s what happens when you meet hundreds of people, come in passive contact with thousands more, and yet other people prepare your food; you touch surfaces that others have touched… Jared says he virtually bathes in hand sanitizer when he’s at conventions. I should start doing the same.
But plenty of good news from the Convention! I walked away with 6 Publishers all telling me, “Yes! When the Graphic Novel is finished, share it with us! We want to consider this for publication.” That was just the in-person stuff. Additional publishing leads amounted to another 4, all positive. Plus, there were plenty of retail store and chain owners there, all of which said, “Let me know when this is published! I want to sell it in my store.” I also got an invite from another owner, who asked me to host a signing at his regional store when the Graphic Novel is finished and out there. It’s not too far away, and it’s smack dab in the middle of an area rife with my intended audience, so I’ll probably take him up on it.
…All this out of putting Chapter 1 in a folder and using it to illustrate what I’m trying to accomplish, here. (Not handed out. It’s not ready for that, yet.) I really just went there to test the waters and see what the general market reaction was, in addition to possibly getting some leads for publication. Wow! It’s better than I dreamed…
I think there was only 1 person / publisher who turned me down for consideration, and that was because Dark Cloud isn’t in the genre that he represents.
Based on this, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem getting a Publisher for Dark Cloud. The 64K question is going to be, “Who can market this the best way, to get it the most exposure towards it’s intended audience?”
That may be where it would be wise to have a Literary Agent step in.
I didn’t meet any of them at the convention, but I’ll keep you posted.
Wow! I really hope this is a sign of the interest to come. I’m still too close to this project, so I refuse to speculate on whether it’s going to be a big hit with audiences or not. What if I think it will be, and it’s not?
Still, this has never been about getting rich. That would be nice, sure, but moreso, it’s motivation is closer to what one reader of the screenplay observed when she gave me feedback: “Was this channeled? This almost feels like a cautionary tale from the Land itself.” It’s as though something wants it’s story told. Maybe there is something bigger than me behind all this. Madrina Tierra? (You’ll read a bit about her in the Graphic Novel. She plays a part too.) Well, she’s been a push in my life. She’s real. I push through for that. I’m not motivated primarily by dollars.
Maybe some day I’ll tell the story of how Madrina Tierra gave my own life back to me in spades, how I found purpose, and how I became aware of Forces much bigger and more powerful than myself. I have an allegorical version of it in the Graphic Novel. The RL version unfolded more slowly.
Looking back over those last 2 paragraphs, I realize that I must sound like a ‘goofy’ person. Well, admittedly, I usually don’t come out and talk about this subject matter. The thing is, this is all a balance between a sense of personal mission, and treating it like a business. You want it to make money, yes, but making money isn’t the most important thing in life.
Do something that has meaning to you, personally, too.
October 8, 2019
Tonight I talked with Jared. I asked him about the Graphic Novel he had been working on before this project. Last I heard they were looking for a Publisher / Distributor for that Graphic Novel. Did they ever get one? Yes, he told me.
Production on that Graphic Novel wrapped in December or so of last year. This year, just recently, he saw an advertisement for it in Diamond. (They’re a Distributor of sorts. They advertise a lot of things. Don’t quote me on exactly what they do. I’m not at that stage yet, so I haven’t explored exactly how they’re classified and what all they do.) According to him, Comic Mix picked it up, and it should hit the shelves this coming December.
My congratulations to them! =) I hope this bodes well for Dark Cloud. Another year, after producing the actual Graphic Novel, to getting it distributed and on shelves? (That’s if I don’t do it myself, which I’m willing to do, but it’s a last resort. It’s a lot of work to self-publish and self-distribute! If I can get someone else to do it, so much the better.) If I were to self-publish, sure, I could get it to the public a lot sooner, but I wouldn’t have the overall distribution that would happen if a major label picked it up. I have to weigh the immediate versus the long-term – and I want Dark Cloud to be seen by plenty of people. I’ve also heard that Hollywood really doesn’t sit up and take notice of projects that are self-published, so better to present it to the major labels first.
If that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. I do want this to be picked up on, essentially, ‘auto-pilot’ for me. In any event, it leaves me plenty of time to finish working out the story-line for the sequel…
Speaking of the sequel, I’m still stuck with about 60% of the story-line worked out. Could I just throw down a story? Sure, but would it be a really good story? That’s the hitch. I don’t want to create a mediocre story line, so that’s why I’m facing a bit of writer’s block right now. I want it to be really good, just like the original. That takes time.
I’m also not yet at the point where I can do what Spielberg, Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan did: Basically, to create Raiders of the Lost Ark, all 3 of them sat down together for about 3 days and brain-stormed until they came up with the story-line. Lucas got credit for the story. Kasdan went ahead and wrote up the screenplay, and Spielberg produced it. I still don’t have a core group of people together that I prefer, who all have that same creative energy, on the same wavelength as me, to do something like that. (OK, so there’s Jared, but that’s just one. I need more!) Otherwise, I’d be happy to come up with something like that in short order, share credit all around, and know I’ve got more material to run with.
Each of them got credit as is their specialty, and I realize I’m not the best of the best at everything, even on this project. If sharing makes for a better end product, then I’m all for it. Just don’t cut me out of the picture on my own baby. I’m still the one who has the overall vision for what I’d like to see stay on track. If I can be the Gene Roddenberry to this Star Trek, then that’s what I’d like to be.
In just a couple days I’ll be off to the L.A. Comic Con, networking like crazy and seeing whom all I can meet, especially Literary Agents.
You never can know too many people, and multiple options are always good.
September 26, 2019
OK, something goofy is happening…
Like everybody in this business, I network. Locally, there are two groups whose events I attend regularly, just to network. Both organizations hold raffles for door prizes at their events, held monthly. Usually 3-5 prizes are given out, and a person’s odds of winning at any given event are about 1 in 10. Fair enough.
Last year, before I’d settled on creating the Graphic Novel adaptation, before there was anyone else on board, a final script, anything, well, I never won. Then I started attending events again after dropping off the radar for long enough to work through settling on the script, camera angles, and layout of the Graphic Novel with Jared. I had started to make tangible things happen.
I started to win.
I’ve won 5 times in a row, now.
Evan (hubby) calculates those odds at 1 in 100,000.
Then last night I showed up at one of those events with Chapter 1 in a binder, just so I could start showing people what this is all about. I am now finally getting Product, and last night was the first time I was sharing it in person, outside of the little circle of people I deal with on a personal level.
I won twice! That moves the odds to 1 in 1,000,000! (At least? Are we really going to split hairs at this point? OK, so this is lucky.)
I had two tickets that both won. Sure, I usually get two tickets, but for them to both win? I know what you’re thinking. No, it is not rigged. I watch for that. I see how those tickets are handled, and I don’t see any favoritism being used. Evan was laughing with disbelief. I’ve now become his new lucky charm.
Every now and then it’s almost like I get some little message from the Universe that I’m doing the right thing by pushing this project forward. Things like this almost feel like a thumbs up from Something unknown and unseen, very powerful despite moving invisibly. It would have to be to manipulate odds to the 1 in 1,000,000 point. (Or more?)
A couple people have looked at the story I’ve created and dropped the suggestion that it’s seems channeled. “This almost feels like a cautionary tale from the Land itself,” one person told me. “She wants this story told; these characters shared.” Not consciously, I assure you. I do feel a connection and a rapport with the Desert that I can’t explain, like being inside a giant ‘Life Force’ battery when me and Evan travel around Arizona and the Southwest in our frequent trips there just for Road Trip purposes, but I’m not trying to channel anything.
It does make for a warm, fuzzy feeling, except that things like this don’t pay the mortgage, or get me in the door to meet the right people. I’d rather hedge my bets on something more tangible. That’s why I’ve bothered to study this business, learn how to write, and treat this like an entertainment enterprise. In other words, “Nice thought, but…”
Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”
September 16, 2019
A couple weeks ago I really got going with finally building the website for this project. Today I added a few pages and fleshed things out a bit more. I figure it’s time to start a Blog, among other things, just so that people can follow the progress of how this project comes to life.
Jared is getting back from the Coney Island Film Festival back East, where his first feature length film (“The Incoherents”) as a Director won yet another award. “Best Feature” That’s make 7 now! – Across 3 film festivals, with a nomination at yet another film festival. I can say “I knew him before…” since I met Jared last year at the L.A. Comic Con in October of 2018.
I read his Graphic Novel “Grey,” and thought to myself, “This guy can do it…” I’d gone there, looking for an illustrator for the Graphic Novel adaptation of Dark Cloud, and wound up deciding to go with him. Dark Cloud is going to be his 5th Graphic Novel, so he has experience. That’s one thing I had to look for. When a person vets, looking for others to bring on board a project, they also have to go through all the people who think they can do it – but can they really? People can fool themselves, too.
I’m glad I went with him.
I’ve had a good number of hits to this site already, which is good, especially since I haven’t had much up aside from an illustration, a logline, and some mood music. Maybe it’s time to put up an email subscribe feature so that people can be notified when major developments occur on this project. (Nope! Never sell information.) Well, documenting emails is a good way to show investors that people are indeed interested, which can translate to rear ends in the seats for the film adaptation.
OK, back to work…