“Luka and Iso”- Top 10% in The Nicholl Fellowship!

Hello wonderful blog readers!

I received an email from the Nicholl Fellowship today.

Every year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picks five writers and pay them, based on the strength of the script they submitted, to produce another feature length screenplay.

I didn’t make the cut for the Fellowship, but my script scored in the top ten percent!

7,251 entrants, and I’m in the top 10%?  Pretty awesome, but of course, disappointing not to advance.

Ah well, I’m hoping I can find someone out there as excited about the story of the first genetically engineered dragon as I am!  Perhaps this will help me along.  It will make a killer film.

Congratulations to everyone that is advancing.  I’m sure there are some amazing scripts, and how they’ll ever pick just five is completely beyond me!

In other news, I received my second ever royalty cheque!  Seems that A Quick Bite of Flesh is still selling.  Want some zombie flash fiction?  Then this book is forrr yoooouuuu!

I am waiting on an awesome agent for a new book I’d like to see in print.  Paranormal romance/urban fantasy here I come!  I’m well into the sequel already, and hitting short stories out of the park on a daily basis.

I’ll keep at it until- BWA HA HA YOU CAN’T STOP ME

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh what’s that?  This is my 100th post?

Hurrah!

Oh man, if I’ve been this into my small successes so far, when I get my first novel picked up I’m going to be happier than a kitten with a feather.  More excited than a porcupine with a banana.  You do know porcupines love bananas, right?

Anyway, thank you for stopping in and staying with me on this long, long journey to authordom.

Heidi out.

Time to type every word I know: Coffee, Writing, Iron Man, Duck

As you may know, I enjoy participating in the various gift exchanges through Reddit Gifts.  It’s like doing a secret santa, only with thousands of other people, and for specific categories of things.

I was so pleased to open my Coffee Exchange parcel yesterday!  My package came from Macedonia– and contained Turkish coffee!  I tried making a cup this morning, and it was delicious (Without cream?!  Amazing.).  Very flavourful, and unusual.

In writing news, my short story “The First Gentlemen’s Galactic Scavenger Hunt” has been shortlisted for the World Weaver Press anthology, “Far Orbit- Speculative Space Adventures”.  I’d be super happy to see this one in print; I feel like it’s actually a project I’d like to expound upon a bit.  A scavenger hunt in space: what’s not to love?

I have also entered my screenplay in a contest to win tickets to PitchFest, where I would get a chance to hook a studio.  That would be totally mathematical.

Currently, I’m continuing a read-through of my Spell Carriers series, and I’m into the second book.  The first book took me three days, though it would have taken less if I weren’t making edits here and there.  It was a pretty easy read.  Trook Hunters starts off more complex, having had book one to set it up.

Anyway!  Enough ramblings.  What’s important here is seeing how they did the Arc Reactor makeup for Iron Man.

Painting on the latex.

A lot of latex.

A good sport.

Different colours for the different layers.

Airbrushed to make it look real!

They can peel the latex back and make it look like skin.

Final effect: amazing.

And, seeing as I have duck brining in the fridge, this:


:O

Well, I’ll keep you posted.  I hope one of these days to have some truly excellent news for you.  For now, I’ll keep at it.  I know that one day all this work I’m doing will pay off.  I hope it’s soon, but I’m in it for the long haul.  🙂

Cheers guys.

Heidi out.

PS: Leaked Jurassic Park 4 logo!

Deadline in mere hours? Time to learn how to make marshmallows!

But seriously, the script is almost completely done.  I just have a few things to check, using the intertubes.  I’ve spent three days reading it over and making final adjustments, minor tweaks, and even a few major ones.  I’ve shaved pages off of it to try and get it down to a more acceptable length (145 pages currently).

So, in a few hours, I will be submitting it to The Academy.  I will hear back from them in October, I think.  In the mean time, I’ll be shopping it around.  And writing, always writing!  I’ll keep you guys posted.  In a few days I’ll have another story in print.

But yeah, I’m totally making marshmallows.  They’re setting in a pan right now.  And then I will have the most glorious Victory Hot Chocolate you’ve ever seen.  🙂

{Behold, my standard hot chocolate}

Later crocodiles.

Heidi out.

The Nicholl Fellowship, Google Glass

I was really pleased to see sci-fi becoming a reality, as it tends to do.  In my latest novel and screenplay, I take Google Glass to limits, exploring such a devices purposes and practical uses.  Today they showed off the preliminary interface.  I’ll be interested to see, as the years tick on, if I got it right in my work.

Also, one of my test readers got back to me (with some very good feedback, useful edits, and much welcomed praise) about my screenplay.  He suggested I submit it to the Academy Awards Nicholl Fellowship.  Apparently they actually *pay* five writers for a year to write a screenplay!  This would be a dream.  Getting paid to write, and exposure for my work?  Maybe it would get “Luka and Iso” picked up for production.

If you’re interested, you can check out the Nicholl Fellowship here.

I am ensconced in the Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer.  As ever, he strings me along at a good clip, with wonderful characters and a great hook.  Sentient dinosaurs advancing their culture from the bronze age onwards?  What’s not to love!  I can hardly put it down.

Also recently, my friend Brie and I have teamed up; she asked me to write something for a comic she was making, and I did.  I’m excited to see the inks next week.  Hopefully we can have further collaborations in the future; her art is mega, mega cool, and being on a writer-artist team with her would just kick so much butt.

That’s all for now, folks!  I’ll keep on tightening up my script, and let you know how the process goes with applying for the Nicholl Fellowship.

…And if you know of anyone looking for a sci-fi screenplay/novel combo about the first genetically engineered dragon, would you point me in their direction?

Cheers.

Heidi out.

Adding to the melee of ideas

I’ve been seeing a ton of great writing recently.  Not in print mind you, I’ve been woefully inadequate in my reading habits lately, but on screen.

Skyfall was just fantastic.  The direction was brilliant, the cinematography a veritable bath of candy for my eyes, and the script- well damn.  The actors of course brought it to life with gusto, but they couldn’t have done so without the words there to work with.  Javier Bardem took it and ran with it, to great, great effect.

Some possible spoilers (but amazing images) in an album of amazing shots from Skyfall.

Fantastic imagery.

Also, something you may not have seen, is a cartoon called Gravity Falls, which I’ve been hearing all all about and finally started watching.  It’s a) extremely well written b) cute c) hilarious d) all of the above.

I can’t wait to see Grampton St. Rumpterfrabble as the rousable cockswain Saunterblugget Hampterfuppinshire.

Here’s an episode to get you interested.  I hope it can get some more buzz so we can see more episodes; the writers on this one have got it goin’ on!

And then there’s Wreck It Ralph.  Amazing!  The script is just awesome.  I’ve never heard the term “Pixar Level Script” until I heard people all abuzz about this film.  And it’s true.

How awesome for Pixar to have put out such a consistently amazing product that it’s become synonymous with tight storytelling. Trailer below.

And now I’m off to the cafe to sit and think and drink awhile while I stir the pots that have been simmering on my back burners.  Recently my mind stove has upgraded from a two element deal to four.  :O!  This means I have to pick my next project?  I have multiples I could be pursuing?  Man oh man.  Well, time to go suss them out.

Thanks for reading.  Hope you get a chance to take in some amazing storytelling on the big or small screen!

Heidi out.

P.S. Cloud Atlas is next up on my list, and hopefully this week I’ll get to Seven Psychopaths as well.  It’s a good fall for movies! 

Prometheus, Prometheus

If you’ve had enough of Prometheus, skip ahead to the picture of a pretty flower.

Oh Prometheus.  Such promise, such potential.

The visuals were stunning, the sound design absolutely fantastic, and the acting tremendous (having a crush on an android is totally normal, right? Straight up.).

But the story- the story was so flawed it made my head hurt.  The characters were constantly doing things that didn’t make sense, the plot was constantly advancing in completely unbelievable ways, and did I mention all the characters are idiots?

I mean, by the time this movie takes place, humanity has had several centuries of sci-fi to learn from.  Countless tales of first contact, of exploring alien worlds, and all the problems that come along with such scenarios.

So I am to believe that this crew of highly trained scientists go in to this alien installation, take off their helmets, and just touch everything?

The level of stupidity regularly and consistantly displayed in this film is mind boggling.  My writing-brain was screaming the entire time.

…And yet I went and saw it a second time.  Granted, about 15 minutes into the rewatch, I was making that I’ve made a huge mistake face, but then I sank into it, tried to look at the pretty pictures and appreciate all the high tech gadgetry, and ended up enjoying it again.

Aside from the acting, visuals, and sound design I’ve already mentioned being great, there were a few other notable things.  There was a scene which made me cringe, cringe, in uncomfortable squeamish distress.  Scott knows how to build tension and really punch me in the gut with a distressing and gross scene.  Gosh, that one’ll stick with me.

Also, I really liked the costume design.  Their helmets had a full 360 degree view, being clear acrylic all the way around, enabling both their and the audience’s view to be unhindered by parts of a helmet getting in the way.

Gosh.  Ok, that’s enough of Prometheus.  I suppose ranting may be part of the healing process- a bad film is one thing, but when a film with a huge budget and amazing people working on it ends up this bad, it’s a sad tragedy that really makes my heart ache.


Pretty flower, right?

In other news, I had the pleasure of taking a long hike with my father-in-law and his regular hiking group on Sunday.  It was a spectacular hike in the woods, around lakes, to the ocean.  Birds everywhere, a deer, amazing greenery all around- a welcome relief to this noisy city life.

On the hike I had the pleasure of talking with two writers: Clint Budd, who is the President of The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association, and who runs the Aurora Awards, and his partner Donna McMahon, who has published two books: Second Childhood and Dance of Knives.

I’m going to hang out with them at Vcon, which I look forward to attending at the end of September.

It was just nice to talk shop with some really experienced writers.  Also nice to have some more role models to look up to.  Then, when things start to feel impossible, I can remember these people and ground myself again.

In the meantime, the rejections continue to pour in, the submissions flow out, and I’m outlining my third book.

Onwards to blood-borne nanobots, carbon nanofiber skeletons, and the ethics of bioengineering new lifeforms.

…But perhaps it can wait until after I watch another Fassbender film. o_O

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.