Glitches in the Matrix

Ever have one of those days/weeks/months?

Where time slips away from you while you are a) doing what you are supposed to be doing and/or b) doing what other people were supposed to be doing, and thus c) getting not much done because of the many points where a) and b) intersect in your life?  Like glitches in The Matrix, weird stuff just keeps happening that shouldn’t happen in a well maintained virtual reality.

So it’s Monday, and nearly the end of February. I killed my workout earlier today, then went and ran errands. Came back to edit an exercise video (from the workout I filmed) and the camera goes into charge mode. This is an annoying looped state of uselessness where it does nothing but flash the “charging” symbol and won’t shut off even if you unplug it–even though it’s not really “on” either. Oh sure, the screen lights up, but will it allow input? No. It will most likely stay just the way it is until fully charged because that’s what cameras do when they’re begging to be replaced!

Earlier this month, I went to upgrade a software application for my consulting biz and the payment failed. This was after needing to send my web hosting provider a renewal payment through Paypal because that charge also was denied. Were there funds in the account? Absolutely! Was there a problem with the new chip card? Apparently not, as I found a competing app while trying to locate an alternate payment option for app #1, and there was no trouble with that transaction. So. New app. Now all I need to do is port over all the data I had in my ex-app to the shiny new app. I still have no idea why Armed Forces Bank hates charges from perfectly legit businesses in Vancouver, BC, but apparently that’s mutual. At least one of the charges that didn’t go through didn’t register on my bank’s end.

And that was prior to Facebook denying an ad campaign for this same biz by saying “your ad wasn’t approved because the image depicts physical attributes in a way that may upset some viewers.” This was a surprise. Never had that happen before. Once I saw the part that said “you can appeal this disapproval” I thought–hey! I’ll do that. Someone will then see that the image in question is in fact the header image to the biz page on Facebook. Then there will be no problem. Right? Wrong. FB apparently doesn’t want small businesses advertising with them (at least not those that show images of what might happen to you if you get off your ass and work out).

So, thanks everybody! Those were very effective time wasters.

After all that, I printed out a script and wound up needing more ink.

When I find Agent Smith I am going to Kung Fu the living hell out of him.

 

 

The “Other” other story project

A few nights ago I printed out the first script of the story drafts of  another project I am working on whenever time allows. This is an A/V project that I hope one day to film and put out there. It has a diverse set of influences, so the project will involve an original Urban Fantasy storyline, some martial arts choreography, a design aesthetic inspired by Steampunk/Cyberpunk–but is neither, and  a few other experiments I’d like to see happen with special fx and drone footage.

This will be an Indie project, and I am hoping to be involved in every aspect of its development and production so I can learn as much as possible. One of the first steps I am going to take after finishing the next two scripts, is to show them to two of my old martial arts teachers who have both worked on multiple Kung Fu movies and get their opinion on what challenges we might face in realizing the vision for the story on screen. After that, I’ll be moving on to working out the specifics of some of the choreographed fight scenes I’ve been imagining, and commissioning some more high level concept art of some of the design elements that will be well beyond my ability to create.

For now it’s just one of the stories I am working on. When I take the binder with the first three episodes of the story to my advisers for feedback, it will start to become a much more ambitious project with multiple collaborators. I’m looking forward to that.

The story has been building itself in my mind for  a few years now. It has influences from Babylon 5, to the Dresden Files, Bruce Lee movies, Warehouse 13, and some very impressive Indie productions that made themselves look amazing with very little capital behind them. The quality of independently produced entertainment has skyrocketed in recent years. From DSLR cameras that can film cinema quality imagery, to special FX software that is more affordable than ever, effects that were very high end years ago can now be replicated at your house with enough time and effort. It’s an amazing time to be alive!

When it reaches the point that it is more than an idea I have in development at the hacienda, I’ll be sure to let everyone know. Whatever form the project takes, once it’s more than just me and the narrative of the story, it will get its own social media channels, website, and whatever else it needs to reach the audience that might enjoy it. Until then, it may be the subject of the occasional blog topic, because there is a lot that goes into realizing a story in film. One of my primary motivators in considering the idea was that there would be so much to learn, and the opportunity to collaborate with other artists in a variety of areas to realize the story in a multimedia format. That, to me, is inspiring. In this story I have much more to look forward to than just sitting alone in a room pouring words onto a page. There will be other people involved! I hope I remember how to talk to people that aren’t only in my head. That could help. 🙂

Now that I’ve blogged about it, I have to get back to writing the first draft of the next script and then get back to work on the second novel that is making itself difficult for me to finish.

Until next time, true believers!

 

The Ghosts of Autumn

A few years ago I decided to try participating in NanoWriMo.

It wasn’t something I had done previously, and if I am recalling correctly I got to about the halfway mark of the word count goal before getting stuck and putting the project on the shelf for a while.

The premise of the story never changed, but the approach in writing the story did. I thought initially that I would follow three perspectives through the narrative, but after some experimentation, it became clear that to achieve the tone I wanted for the tale, it needed to center more on one character’s journey. Other viewpoints still come into play at several points, but the novel turns on the growth of one point of view.

It is interesting how the tale has changed and yet at times still seems the same in my mind. While writing, in my mind’s eye I can shuffle through the scenes that never happen in this version, and touch on events that won’t be seen in the final narrative, but they are still part of the story. What we end up with is the director’s cut, if you will. When the version I have settled on as “final” is submitted later this year,  it may have an editor’s cut as well before seeing the light of day.

The working title when it began was Perspectives–and was always intended to be a working title. After making the changes to the old narrative, and finding a better balance when alternating POVs, I’ve renamed this novel The Ghosts of Autumn. It captures the spirit of the story. There is a unique collision of influences in it, from Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series to Edgar Allen Poe’s tales of horror and suspense, among others. It has been fun to write ever since the story told me how it had to go.

I will keep updating on the process as this story wanders out into the world. It has a few more stops to make.

Hidden Leaves

the novella cover

Hidden Leaves is on sale at amazon.com thru the 18th of January!

Dani Brandt turned sixteen without her father and grandfather. Her family moved away from the only home she had ever known to escape the stigma of her grandfather’s trial. He was exonerated of the murder charges, but that didn’t matter to most people. A year after her father passed away she reaches her breaking point–setting out to prove her grandfather’s innocence. Enlisting the help his oldest friend, Mr Deveraux, Dani takes a daring risk to uncover the truth. But he warns her that “whatever you think it is…it’s not what you think it is.”

https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Leaves-Peter-Newland-ebook/dp/B01JM541JY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1484339791&sr=8-4&keywords=hidden+leaves

 

Hello world!

This is a test of the non-emergency post-cast system. Had this been an actual emergency, I would have been frantically texting somebody or dialing emergency services. IF this posts, there is  no emergency.

Next time: an actual post!