Sunday, May 31, 2009

Heigh-ho! It's Pan!

Muppet Peter Pan
I've heard about this brewing for some time now.
The part of the equation I missed, however:
Comic books.

Just not quite as engaging, if you ask me. I mean, hey, if you're going to have Kermit as Pan, don't you think we should get to see him fly? Other than a still drawing, I mean.

I must say Miss Piggy is the perfect choice for Tinker Bell. Great match of blind love and super jealousy. Then again, she would have made a plausible Wendy. Very in love with Peter but unable to have him. Sound familar, Piggy?

Here's a blurb on the tweak and who did it, which I've cut and pasted from The Muppet Newsflash.

"The 4-part arc is planned to hit comic book stores and newsstands around August. The timid Kermie Pan resides in the magical realm of Neverswamp, where the pushy fairy Piggytink tries to toughen him up! One night, while searching for his shadow, Kermie Pan and Piggytink encounter the Darling children, who run away to Neverswamp and encourage Kermie Pan to battle Captain Gonzo! Written by Grace Randolph with artwork by Amy Mebberson, the issues in the 4-part comic will also feature special covers by David Petersen."

Not sure which of these covers is the final. I bet you can guess that I prefer the outfit with the leaves rather than the Disney-esque.

Cute, huh?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Is it XMAS yet?

Can it be Xmas NOW? Please?
Okay, okay, I don't really want it to be the Holiday Season yet.
We finally just got rid of Winter here in Chicago.

But WOW, if I'm not excited to see the new version of A Christmas Carol coming out this year!
Robert Zemeckis has some great insights into the tale.
A couple that made me nod in assent and wonder why I didn't see it that way, too.

I'm not exactly a fan of Jim Carrey. Okay, wait, yes I am. I just don't like when's "JiM CaRreY!!" But he's proven he has another side and quite a wonderful range. (The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Man in the Moon) And damn. If he doesn't have Scrooge down!

Take a look at this featurette. I'm thinking this will truly be THE Definitive version of the classic Dickens story.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Carol...

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Well, it's a good thing I brought the wrong file yesterday/today. Creatng "real" fictional characters from various pictures can be a delicate process. Perhaps I'd been overtired when I decided Andy looked good. I had Bart take a gander. He kind of winced, then made his suggestions. I agreed with his tweaks, but I also had to work under the restraint that it still look like Andy. Happily, it does, even more so. So there he is on the left, folks.

The boy in Midnight Chaser.

Off to the other side is a little pic I whipped up to show him with Zihn. Yes, I'm aware that they are not "fully integrated" into the background. I could probably accomplish that if I spent enough time on it. But I like them "popping out." As I've said before about these imaginary photos, I'm not trying to win any sort of photo manipulation prize. They're not even necessarily good. I make them just for my pleasure and as a fun "tool" in writing. And I think they're pretty cool.

As vaguely promised, I've included a "back of the book" type synopsis. Chances are it will be rewritten or even scrapped. Time will tell - HA.
Click on the image to make it larger/read text.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just another Midnight minute...

I meant to post last night.
But then I started to feel bad that Andy's really the main character of the new book and I didn't have a photograph of him. So, I set to work in my mind's eye and the world of internet and pixels. I managed to devise him nicely. I'd be showing him to you now, but, alas, I brought the wrong file along with me. (I had several saved versions in various stages of development.) But he'll be more interesting in a scene with Zihn. I'll put up his picture at midnigh (in my zone.)

In other news, I have completed-finished the book. Meaning I've had my read/revise through. I'm quite pleased with it. It turned out well. It's by far the most fast paced book I've written. I couldn't believe how it glides along, pulling you into the next chapter. Even for me, when I wrote it and have read it a various points. Other times I found it difficult to read my work so soon after finishing. (Not that I'm unhappy with it. It's just very different when you've crafted it yourself and know all that's to come.) But not the case here. It flew by... which is vexing considering how long it took me to write it. But, such is the craft. :) I've also mentioned it as my shortest novel besides Peter Pan's NeverWorld. This book is about 76,000 words.

I'll tell you what. I hope to have a Query Letter type synopsis/enticement for the oft asked question: "What's it about?" If I do have that done, I'll post it along with the Zihn & Andy picture.

Until then...

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Well, I've completed another book.
Yes, the novel MC which I've been giving random updates about is now finished.
Yes, that's the title.
Yes, I tend to create my own title logos.

I already spoke about how I have "photos" of my characters in this post. That's Zihn, one of the primary characters. Without him, there is no story. But I'd have to really call it Andy's book. In much the same way that Peter and Wendy could be considered a story about Wendy (but Peter is needed for her adventure to occur.)

In all fairness, I have a little bit of tweaking to do. I need to add a description of a location. I'm waiting on Banky to give me a statistic. And I, of course, as always, need to read through it all again as a whole and make any and all necessary revisions.

Then it's on to the "delightful" process of crafting a Query Letter to send off to agents.

Always nice to finish another project. If you've been keeping up with my posts, you've heard me state how much freaking research this book required. Never a complaint, but... ok, maybe just a little. But then, it's self inflicted. :) And I learned a great deal about the planet we call home. The ending actually took me much longer to write than I imagined. I stopped nearly every five minutes to look up something else. I've also mentioned it as my shortest book, not including Peter Pan's NeverWorld. This novel clocks in at about 75,000 words.

I'm quite sure of my next writing project. It will be book 3 in a 4 book series. I'm quite excited to revisit with Thom. But I'm not even thinking about when I begin to compose it. I'm just damn glad it won't have to be written chronologically! (Which had been the case for my last three writing projects!)

All right, until next post...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Picky About the Trash

Well, I am now officially one chapter away from finishing MC.*

Back in this post, I spoke about not being afraid to trash ideas. Even if it means scraping out a whole section of story you'd planned. If it doesn't need to be there... well, you know the rest of that speech. But right now I want to state yet another obvious axiom. Don't actually trash what you're throwing away. It might come in handy later on...maybe even for the same book.

No, I am not turning around and using the parts I disposed of in the other post. But I did remove something from my pile of notes (which often collect one page beyond the current endpoint) only to discover I still needed it. Initially, I thought it would be fun to arrange the book in a certain way, but the more logical solution played out. I kept it on the bottom of my page, this narrative structure idea, but the rest of story events never lent itself. So I erased it. Good thing I didn't forget it entirely. It turns out the last chapter fits this device.

In this particular case I happened to remember the structure device I'd scrapped. But we wouldn't want to rely on just our memories. My notes, of course, are backed up as well. To an unobsessive degree. But I can always go back to the original set and outline.

So... go ahead, be a trash picker. You just might need a spare part.

"Bonus points" if you know why I chose the first picture.
*Title initials.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fur Sure

Once upon a time,
as I walked along past a park, I saw a few dogs playing. It occurred to me that the dogs didn’t really give a damn what breed the other canines happened to be, much less about the color of their fur. They're just happy to have other dogs to play with...

Humans think they’re smarter than their pets.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'll Stop Ranting If They'll Stop Remaking...

I’ve returned.
On the trip back with Cassidy from visiting with Lemonie and Jiboo, I brought up that a bunch more remakes are coming. I asked Cassidy: Did this happen before? Meaning were we (our generation) flooded with remakes? We decided that there had been an occasional redo, but no… we had a plethora of new (or adapted from sources other than previous film) stories. So what’s wrong with Hollywood? Why this sudden barrage of these (mostly) unnecessary remakes?
What are the latest ones that prompted me to rant AGAIN about this problem? Only one of the next batch springs to mind. I Saw What You Did! The reason this one comes to mind is Bart had TiVo record it out of curiosity. (He has a Wish List for Joan Crawford [who is in the movie for the briefest amount of time]). Though it may have been utterly unnerving in the mid-60’s, we couldn’t help but laugh at it. And now… it’s being redone. I wonder if they’re going to get another well-known actress for the BIT part. Note the "top billing" for almost no scenes at all. I remember my father complaining how they over-hyped Farah Fawcett in Logan's Run [also slated for remake] when she appeared all of five minutes.
By the way, the line in the movie is: I saw what you did and I know who you are! It's spoken by one of two girls making crank calls… and YES, one of the calls they place just happens to be someone who committed murder moments before. (GASP!) It might be a little easier to find said girls in this day and age…

Ah, the redundancy of Hollywood… Please stop the inanity.

I am going to attempt to finish MC* by Friday night. Don’t hold me to it… as I re-discovered last week, Life has a way of throwing curves…

* Initials only of the book I am currently writing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Posts Postponed...

Please excuse my absence for a little while.
Two events supercede thinking up (or finding) cool, witty and/or silly posts.

First, my friend Lemonie’s mother passed on over the weekend. I’ll be making the trip and attending the services. Our thoughts and love are with you Lemonie and Jiboo!

Also, Andy and ZJ have been extra talkative lately. I believe I will be completing MC* very soon. I thought perhaps by Friday night, but the above trumps finishing fiction.

My prediction turns out correct - writing this part of the book is a blast.

To quote a fictional character from a movie franchise that has gotten way out of hand:
I’ll be back.

* Initials of title only.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Sync with Friends

This past Saturday night Banky and Clara came over for a round of Trivial Pursuit. Old school, as in first edition. One of the answers: West Germany. My, how times change. But the coincidence "magic" of those two continued (albeit minorly) for my first question had been (not verbatim question phrasing):

What character touted happy thoughts and fairy dust?

(Banky won.)

(For more on their coincidence magic, see here.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009


He knew he had but to say "Mother" ever so softly, and she would wake up. They always wake up at once if it is you that says their name.
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Sir J.M. Barrie

For every mother everywhere, thank you. For all their devotion, sacrifice, assistance and wisdom: thank you all.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Historical Day

Once again it is the anniversary of the day that Sir James Matthew Barrie entered into our reality. He left his mark, and we salute him. (I know I do!) Last year I displayed a special decorative, (commemorative?) envelope featuring Barrie. See it and read how I obtained it here.

Just imagine if I paraded around like Schroeder in Peanuts.

As if inspired by Barrie's celebratory day, I came up with a location that shall be found on NeverWorld in subsequent adventures. I've hinted and teased quite a bit about projects... so I'll let you in on this new idea: Londoom. Like the charming city we all know but as a darker, nightmarish, dangerous version. Peter will recognize it...until he flies in closer. I almost want to write some of it now. But it shall have to wait.
Much gratitude, Mr. Barrie, for your marvelous puer aeternus mythology.
Bravo, Sir!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shhh...Heroic Writers at Work!

I've made it no secret that I'm fan of Heroes. Sure, it had its wobbles in the middle, we all know so... but it found its niche again just in time. At least for me and some friends. We're still enjoying it. Well, Heroes: Fugitives is now completed. Moira Lewelyn asked me in a recent comment how I liked the finale. I did like it. Not stellar, but not without shine either. The expected twist at the end managed to acutally be a twist - unforeseen. (At least for me.) It's quite a disturbing use of Matt Parkman's power. I applauded that... even though it seems a little gimmicky. But it's a gimmick I felt willing to accept. It's important to remember the show's arguable source material - comic books. It's even self-referential to them since the beginning with Isaac Mendez's paintings being described as a comic book. So with that notion comes a great deal of fantasticary. [Though as we learned from the sagging middle too much can spoil the brew!] What surprised me most is that I'm satiated. I imagined I'd be "jonesing" for another episode, to be tortured by needing to see what happens next. But no. I'm content. It felt completed. A chapter ended most definitely.

Yet just because it's off the air doesn't mean it's not running. The other side of the screen is abuzz... as the writers are hard at work. Info released yesterday said casting is underway for a new female character, reportedly a love interest. Speculation as to for who ensues... and I have my own theory given the info presented. I must share a snippet from the article I read on IGN. For those of you who watch Heroes, you'll understand. Ask anyone I talk to about the show... the latter is my one true concern. :)

All I'm asking is that Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) not be the one with the new girlfriend. Not until he can figure out a way not to get his girlfriends accidentally shot or trapped forever in an alternate plague-ridden future. - Matt Fowler

I found the above so true as to be hilarious. Hope you enjoyed it, too. (Poor Caitlin!)
So, along with everyone else, I will sit and wait until the Fall for Heroes: Redemption.
Tim Kring, Bryan Fuller and the rest of the team: Thanks for the fun.

Looking forward to more. Bravo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Peter's a Punk? Apparently...

Much to my surprise, I came across a manifestation of Peter Pan which I had not hitherto been aware. That’s not meant to sound pompous. It’s just that, for the most part, it’s difficult to bring a version to my attention that I had not previously come upon in my studies - from the Disney mini-comic of the Darling’s trip to a summer home (where Pan just happens to visit) to the Japanese language primer which uses the Pan story, I’ve seen it. I also own most of the variations available. Fact is I probably should have come across it before, as it came out in 1991. My bad?

This particular rendition is hailed as a parody. It’s another comic entitled Peter Pank.
A punk version of Peter. And as ironic as this sounds, an adult version. Not Pan himself per se (although he does seem more on the adolescent side) but in terms of content. The mermaids don’t have fish tails, for instance, nor are they wearing any clothes at all. (Gasp!)

I cannot speak specifically on the comic, as I have nothing to go on except for the pictures I’ll post the link to… and also…it’s in Spanish. I’ve taken Spanish in school, but school had been too many years ago and I don’t quite fair so well in the learning another language department. Thus, I cannot read but a few passages. However, I did notice the hook is on the right wrong hand. It does seem like it could be fun, though.

There’s a little bit more about this series created by Max (Francesc Capdevila) at Wikipedia. It details some of the reworked story… aren’t you curious what Max has done with the “Indians?” [I did find this line in Wikipedia odd: While in Peter Pan, Peter is simply a boy who refused to grow up to a man, in Peter Pank he's a vicious, rebellious, belligerent punk Obviously someone never read the original story… :) ]

Here’s the page (WARNING! Adult images!) I found which shows some more of the comic. Each page is click-able for a larger view.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Just a little to say on the “Indians” stereotype in the story of Peter Pan.
It’s been brought up in many different forms - from Barrie’s own treatment to Disney’s horrific portrayal. In the foreword of Peter Pan’s NeverWorld, I explain the wherefore of how I present them.

However, regardless of the way Native Americans are handled in the eternal boy story, let us not forget one essential truth: They’re not the only ones who “suffer” at the onslaught of a cliché. For instance, Mr. Darling can be seen as a parody of fatherhood, Mrs. Darling as the ideal mother (despite “losing” her children!), Wendy is all “girl” and John and Michael Darling have an overlaying desire to be English Gentleman.

Barrie didn’t mean offense. In his day, “Indians” (Native Americans) were a mysterious group in a far away land. Little had been known other than what adventure stories already depicted by stretching some truth.

All in all, I think Barrie shows them as noble, intelligent and with reverence while keeping their (now stereotypical) customary aspects intact. I strove to do the same.

So before bashing Tiger Lily, Great Big Little Panther and their tribe, consider how much Barrie is mocking the English aristocracy as well.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What Barrie Wrote Out the Window

Back in this post I brought up a discrepancy in Barrie’s work. Namely the amount of time Peter Pan spent at his parents’ house before flying away. It varies by version. But is it really a discrepancy? Let’s have a look.

In the eternal boy's first ever appearance, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens*, we are told he flew away seven days after being born. Though just one week does not sound very long, it is in fact the most amount of time given for the scenario.

For when Barrie created further adventures in the play, Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up we hear Pan say he left the day of his birth. Aha! The discrepancy!

You’ve probably heard (read?) me say that Barrie preferred the book over the play. What does he write in the novel? Wendy, I ran away the day I was born. So does it stand to reason he’d definitely switched it in his mind to a day rather than a week? Possibly.

However, the book is technically not the final version of the story. Consider from his screenplay: I ran away from home, Wendy, soon after I was born. Aha! Peter states it a little differently now. Note the ambiguity – “soon after.” Could be any time from the same day to seven days later.

So what are we to make of the situation? We could just dismiss it right here, content in knowing that Peter Pan spent a very short time at home. Perhaps the exact amount isn’t important. Very possible, but one more factor must be considered.

It can even be considered the solution – one provided by Barrie. Don’t forget Peter’s memory is not to be trusted. Plus, he’s inclined to make stuff up. Just as with the directions to the Neverland, Peter said anything that came into his head at the time. In fact, it’s also supported by the text of the novel: “I don’t know,” he replied uneasily, “but I am quite young.” He really knew nothing about it, he had merely suspicions, but he said at a venture, “Wendy, I ran away the day I was born.” Therefore, it would seem definite that Peter is just wrong on the amount. He doesn’t remember exactly. Yet we also know from the text that he did live in Kensington Gardens for a while, so the first story did occur. (Yes, Peter Pan is the one who tells us this bit of history as well, but it's supported by an entire novella.)

So what are we to conclude?
The “soon after” of the screenplay is obviously meant to cover both accounts of the event. But given Pan’s lack of understanding and knowledge, we must look to the place which has no such ties to Peter relating the story. Which takes us back to the Peter Pan origin adventure, where the narrator states the duration as a week. Coupling it with Barrie's preference to the book form, it also makes sense as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is both a book and its events are not negated by any version of the story. Thus, seven days is the correct answer.

I hope I’ve cleared it up.

Unfortunately, Barrie is not without a few other mysteries in his most famous tale. And the “big one” of these is quite a doozy – but I’ve tinkered with it and I believe I have a Barriesque solution. I’ve mentioned my interquel of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy before. But that’s a story for another day.

*Technically, it's The Little White Bird, as PPiKG is a story within that story.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Still Standing...

By the way, the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens appeared "as if by magic" on this date in 1912.
You can read a little more about it in my post last year here.
[Just add a year... ;) ]

And to think... I'll be seeing it in person very soon!
I'm excited, despite my not actually liking it all that much.
But the prospect of being next to it is enticing...

Novel Novels

Here’s some wacky news from the land of the literary which I found on one of my favorite sites, Boing Boing.

Fantasy author Peter Brett wrote a book on an industrial-grade HP iPAQ. And if that doesn’t sound impressive (or delightfully insane) already… it’s a 100,000 word novel. He says: As I got faster and faster typing with my thumbs, I wound up just writing prose on it. After doing that for a while, and realizing I could do it from anywhere, I made a commitment to myself to write on the train everyday. I admire his tenacity. Although it’s a wonderful idea… to make creative use of otherwise ‘wasted’ time .... I’d imagine revisions would be a bitch. Sometimes one sentence becomes garbled up over and over into something else entirely… seems it would be frustrating to go back constantly on a small device like that. Bravo, sir! Quite productive.

A new work from author Jeff Burk:

It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

How on earth does one get away with this? First of all, it’s that strange “fictionalizing” of real people in an overly bizarre and slanderous (used hyperbolically) fashion. Plus, what about the rights to all of those characters? Jeepers. How does one even THINK of this book anyway? None of what I’ve said is meant to be taken as condemnation… just as a happy “What the hell?”

The Boing Boing posts for more info and links:
Novel on HP iPAQ