Weekend Update

Yeah, so I haven’t been a good blogger lately. Things have been a bit hectic. I have a couple of irons in the fire that I don’t really want to say much about until they happen (or fall through.) There’s an upcoming publication, a possible upcoming game writing gig, and a third thing that I should just shut up about but that I’ll know more about in July, if it’s really happening. 2013 has been a weird year: I’ve had a couple of big irons in the fire nearly all year, but the wheels are turning slowly. I keep feeling like I’m right on the cusp of something big.

Here are some of the things I can tell you about…

YAHOO! TV

Over at Yahoo, I’ve been writing  a ton of TV-related content. I recently interviewed former “Project Runway” contestant (and all-around nice gal) Valerie Mayen. You can read the interview here, and check out some of her current designs here.

I recently wrote a response piece to Thrillist’s recent article about why girls don’t like “Game of Thrones.” Because, of course, they do. Or rather, some of them do, just as only “some” men like it. Because nothing breaks down cleanly across gender lines. I wrote the article before this study was done, but I totally agree with those findings.

I also wrote this article the day before NBC renewed “Hannibal,” entitled “If ‘Hannibal’ Gets Canceled, It’s Because of NBC’s Laziness.” I was flabbergasted when I saw how much traffic that article got. I guess it really resonated with TV fans.

In the article, I basically called out NBC for their recent practice of making boring, derivative works, be they prequels like “Hannibal,” sequels like “The Firm,” or adaptations of an existing work, like “Do No Harm.”

All three of those shows struggled in the ratings, and I feel like it’s because audiences find it hard to get invested in shows that they kinda already know the outcome for. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for high name recognition on these properties, but high name recognition doesn’t automatically guarantee audience interest.

CREATIVE WRITING

I can’t tell you about some of the stuff, because SECRETS. And fear of jinxing myself by talking about a good thing before the ink is dry on the contracts.

So this awesome Science Channel series “Prophets of Science Fiction” arrived on Netflix, and I promptly devoured all of the episodes in about two days. Each episode basically focuses on the work and life of one SF giant, such as Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, or Philip K. Dick. I had caught a few episodes when it originally aired, but watching them all at once really got me thinking about the role of a writer in disseminating subtextual messages in their work.

Each of these episodes so succinctly explains what made each of these “prophets” so special, and what their vision of the future was. And as a young writer, that made me look inward and think about what I want my work to be about. Not the plots and the characters, but what it means underneath all of that superficial stuff. Because it isn’t enough to just tell a good story.

I think I have a clearer picture of what I want to say. And it won’t always be the same thing, but it will be in the same ballpark. I have a feeling I might have worked through some stuff and had a bit of a breakthrough, in a small way.

So in addition to the things I can’t super talk about, I’m working on some other projects. One of them is an idea that’s been slowly sending out taproots in my brain since, oh, 2007 or 2009. It’s sort of Greek mythology meets Love Canal meets Joe Meno.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so young and inexperienced, or just because that’s the way my mind works, but my stories tend to have a long gestation period. Granted, there are a few that came together within just a few weeks or even a few days (“Concerning the Last Days of the Colony at New Roanoke,” “The Mechanical Turk.”) Anywhere, it finally feels like this one is ready to be born, which is exciting! I’m thinking it’s going to be novel-length, which is terrifying because I so much vastly prefer short-form.

I’m also working on a zombie story that’s not about zombies. Again, novel-length. Again, terrifying. Work’s been pretty hectic of late, so I’m hoping to get some serious progress made at the lake this summer.

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