I’ve been busy lately. The creative work got pushed to the back burner for a while. However, I completed and sent out two new stories in the last couple of months. So that’s progress. I received good news regarding a reprint of a story. Plus, an editor has asked me to rewrite a story that he liked but found some difficulty with, so I’m hoping I ultimately sell that. I’m pleased to hear from a Canadian magazine that my story is in the last selection round there. Crossing my fingers because if I get into that magazine, it’s a new one to me and very well distributed. December 9th – I had another ‘2nd round’ email which makes me very happy as this one was for a prestigious USA magazine!
This morning I received my contract for the poem “Dangerous Gods” to be published in Polar Borealis #8 this month. So I’m excited about that.
Also, it’s the holiday season and I’ll take some time off my day job to work on creative endeavors.
News: At last, the new story is out and available in print:
This features my story “Night Market” as well as the stories of Rob Boffard, Holly Schofield, Nicholas Jennings, David Wright, Elisha Betts and Alban Goulden. This was edited by up and coming SF/F editor Ellen Michelle. The front cover art which is terrific is by Elisha Betts.
POLAR BOREALIS Magazine #2 is finally published and available for free download to anyone who wants to read it. It contains the following goodies:
- Stories by Stan G. Hyde, Ron Friedman, Steve Fahnestalk, Michael John Bertrand, Holly Schofield, David Perlmutter, R. Graeme Cameron, Catherine Girczyc, Dave Duncan, Nina Munteanu, Matthew Hughes, and Spider Robinson.
- Cover art by Eric Chu.
- Poems by Colleen Anderson, Rissa Johnson, Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, Rhea Rose, and J.Y.T. Kennedy.
Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.
Cover art by Eric Chu
- My advice is twofold:
1. Look for a day job in film.
Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity! Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots. This includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera. That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts. I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).
2. Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible. I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not. As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea. They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey. If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent. Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.
In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.
So, for example, if you are ready to look for an agent, look at the public list on the WGC site: http://www.wgc.ca/resources/agents.html
It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project. I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).
All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’. I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself. However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.
I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts. Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory It costs $29 US but is worth it.
TO film list – good for applying to current films. These are often updated: https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf
BC file list – from the DGC site
Unions to check out:
Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train. See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html
ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience. Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.
IATSE: This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first. https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver. It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.
DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors. But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers. If directing is your interest, though, it’s good. They have offices in Vancouver and TO.
The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!
p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes. Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!
One of the most venerable markets in Cdn science fiction and fantasy is open to submissions again! On Spec 2016 here we come!
Today in Kerrisdale, Vancouver ~ the first snowdrops
Enjoying my WOTF badges! It helps me to feel like a creative writer when Corporate Job makes me feel like a technical person.
Plans for the Christmas break include trying to get back into my novel and also writing a pitch up for the Women In Film Horror script contest More on that at: Women in Film (Canada) genre writing contest.
There are writers who produce 12 books a year. The rest of us have developed various stratagem to avoid writer’s cramp.
This weekend I’m at VCon 38 in the quite decent, clean, good- natured, and very understanding Delta airport hotel in Richmond BC.
It can be argued that it’s a useful thing to come and sup with friends of like mind; all of whom know what a Bjoran ear cuff is, or who wrote SandKings, and why we weren’t surprised at the success of Game of Thrones.
I listened to some new authors read from their works. Due to this con, I now know who Mur Lafferty is and will be picking up her book – The Shambling Guide To New York – which sounds very amusing.
I supported other artists by buying handmade jewelry and- fabulous stone coasters with Buck Rogers space ships painted on them!
I have wish lists of art I can’t buy yet – love Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk’s metal sculptures – my fav is Benny!
Also child purchased excellent crocheted Koshi Stuffy by Cat.
Not every morning, but definitely by late evening, I write in a journal. It’s an old habit – Anne of Green Gables did not have a diary but Miss Emily of Emily Climbs did, so like a lot of girl writers, I owe a lot to PEI’s fav writer.
Many decades later, I’ve kept it up. Once I read Julia Cameron’s work, I realized it wasn’t just useful for basic sanity, but that it could help to focus my writing.
Now, it’s not always the gorgeous Westside coffee shop Butter, where the photo’s from, but this May be the ideal spot. The sky is visible as are busy people walking by. The interior’s amazing- sweet and flowery. Okay, it doesn’t suit a bad mood, but it can raise your spirits with the amazing baked goods.
What about the writing, you may ask?
When it rains, it pours in Vancouver. Sort of like my week . Dance and coffee shop corner inundated just now.
The level of ‘just stupid’ things happening was high for the past 2-3 days, so having to wade through a foot of water here, when the rest of the city’s sewers work is not unexpected.
Writing suffers when this happens.
The live screen-savers experienced an irretrievable failure of environment – which is developer-speak for ‘the fish tank leaked’. We’re still considering whether we buy another tank or give them away. Gotta decide soon as the hurricane glass candle holder they’re in isn’t ideal. Temperature is an issue – but child came up with an excellent temporary solution. We use the magic bag (cloth filled with barley) heated 3 minutes in microwave, then wrap it around the bottom of the container. It heats up gently thus delivering that couple of degrees the fish need.
So, I guess the truth is just like the fish situation, I must seek solutions to my ‘writing time and energy’ dilemmas.