Month: November 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I am Thankful for all that the Lord has given me.

I am Thankful for my family who has supported me through thick and thin.

I am Thankful for my fiancée who has so much patience.

I am Thankful for the part time job I currently have.

I am Thankful to you for reading my blogs and my serial and comic book.

Most of all, I am Thankful for Jesus Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. God Bless.

The Road is Narrow and Long, but full of Curves

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I finally got a job. I still have it, Thank God.

As I got started it soon became obvious that I’d be doing something a whole lot different than I expected.

While I am a writer with a background in comics and animation and fully intend to continue to do more of both as well as episodic television and my novels, I had gotten to the point that I had to find a job outside the entertainment industries.

In the past, however, anytime I moved off my original path things never went well and I found myself guided back on to the road of my goal.

So what does this have to do with my current job? A lot, actually.

Through people I know personally I got an interview at my local community college. The very college I got my AA in Drawing and Painting. What I understood the job to be was as an office assistant, using Word and Excel and answering the Phone. Well, that’s not quite right.

What it turned out to be was managing and writing the Alumni News Letter.

Wait, did you read that right? I’m writing. I actually have a job writing. You don’t know how thrilled that makes me.

Not only am I just going to be writing the “look what’s happening on campus” and the “we need money” articles (I’ll do those too), but I’ll also be writing more creative articles about the people and the history of the campus.

It’s not animation or comic books, but its still back on the path where I belong.

I’m a writer, and I’m writing. It’ll only get better.

My point in all that ego boost is that many times you will hear that no matter what you need to stick to your dream. If you love it, no matter how hard it is, you’ve got to keep at it no matter how hard it may seem.

And this is where I return to the road I began on. Where you want to go, your goal is on a long narrow road. As long as you keep moving forward you’ll reach eventually. Sometimes that road has a lot of bends and curves in it, and it feels like its taking you far from your goal but what its really doing is taking you on the scenic route so that you’re all the more prepared for the goal when you reach it.

Enjoy the road, its an adventure.

Can I write a Book Review? – PAST MIDNIGHT by Mara Purnhagen

As mention previously, Twitter has become an excellent networking tool as I make contacts through out the entertainment industries: I’ve gotten to chat with fellow writers, comic book artists, animation producers, and publishers.

Because of networking with those publishers I’m doing a something different with this column. I’m writing a book review. Or, I hope I am. Those familiar with my writing will know this won’t be an ordinary book review.

Through Twitter I connected with Harlequin Books when they made a request for bloggers to read a few of their Paranormal Romance novels and write about them. So that’s what I’m doing. Harlequin provided a list of books and I selected three to read and see if this was possible for me. If from the first of these is any measure, I chose rightly. So…

Tonight’s ghostly tale is:

PAST MIDNIGHT

by Mara Purnhagen

Published by Harlequin TEEN

It’s hard enough for a normal teenager to make friends when they move into a new school, and the greatest fear is that their parents will embarrass them. For Charlotte Silver, who sees herself as far from normal, being embarrassed by her parents is only a small part of her horror. Her family are paranormal investigators with the intent of disproving the existence of ghosts. This time the ghosts have chosen to prove they are very real by attaching themselves to their daughter. Charlotte must discover if the ghosts are haunting her or asking for her help while trying to maintain the semblance of a life at school.

Hopefully that said everything it needed to with out any spoilers.

PAST MIDNIGHT drops us quickly into Charlotte’s life and relationship with her family. How she both admires and is jealous of her sister Annalise, and how she feels ignored by her parents who are always into their work.

Then introduces her and us into the world of a new high school.

I was very pleased that no time was wasted on the “new kid” cliché of being scorned by everyone else. Yes, there is one who doesn’t like her and makes it well known, but Charlotte is a strong girl doesn’t let it get to her and is soon making friends and fitting in with out too much trouble.

That’s when local secrets are discovered and the ghosts go bump in the night.

I won’t go on any further about the story, other than to say I really enjoyed Mara Purnhagen’s take on both the supernatural and the natural world of high school. All the characters were interesting and multi-dimensional, and not one cheerleader acted like a ‘cheerleader’. That alone was refreshing.

One other reason I enjoyed PAST MIDNIGHT was its ease of reading. No, I don’t mean it was a simple book, by no means. Charlotte and all her friends are intelligent and worth getting to know. What I mean by ‘ease’ is in the practical ability of reading it.

Let me explain. Though I know the sales of e-books are increasing, I haven’t yet purchased a tablet reader like a Kindle or iPad, (if you’ve read my previous blogs on my job search, you’ll know why). In the past I have found reading extensive amounts of text on my computer monitor to be tedious and I would quickly loose interest and move on to other things like drawing my comic book or my own writings. (It’s also why I don’t like my blogs to be extremely long.)

I say all that to make a point. When I opened the pdf for PAST MIDNIGHT, I placed it on the right side of my monitor to read while working on other things. The intent was to read a little at a time, but quickly found myself distracted from my work and returning to reading the novel. With each new page of Charlotte’s life I wanted to read more and was never once bothered by the fact it was on the screen.

Maybe it was because Purnhagen’s writing style is smooth and similar to my own, (more likely it’s a whole lot better than mine), but I actually found it difficult to stop reading and was hoping for another chapter after the last.

Even though I’m not a teenager (by a long shot), this was an enjoyable book worth my time, and I am truly interested in reading Mara Purnhagen’s other books (there are two sequels to PAST MIDNIGHT in the works). This time I’ll even purchase them myself.

Now if only I had a tablet to read them on.

That was an interesting little experiment. Let me know if you think I should do other book reviews, or comic and movie reviews (My blog about Megamind earlier this week doesn’t count. ). I’ve still got two more of the Harlequin books to read; even if I don’t do reviews will let you know what I think.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Who looks forward to having someone write a review of his novel when it’s finally published.)

That was a good movie, I had nothing to do with it

Wow – That was a really good movie, and I had nothing to do with it… kinda.

As part of my continual desire to work in the entertainment industry I have taking many temp job. Not as many as I would like, in the areas I would have liked, or for as long as I would have preferred. They have varied in the different types of companies and departments I’ve worked for.

The jobs have mostly been desk jobs, answering phones, typing, and filing.

One job I had a few years ago was at one of the major motion picture studios. Which in itself is a thrill to me, being able to walk the studio lots is really exciting. I don’t care if I see a celebrity or not, this is where the magic happens. I am part of that magic.

This particular job was actually for a producer and his production company that was leasing offices upon the studio lot. His regular assistant was out and I filled in for a couple of weeks. I answered the producers phones, arranged conference calls and meetings, filed, and arranged delivery of scripts and other required necessities. Another assignment I handled, usually during the down times of the day, is what is called “Script Coverage”.

Numerous scripts are delivered to the producer each day ending up in his ‘slush pile.’ Agents, representing their client writers, send these scripts with the idea that it would be ideal for the producer to consider it for production. The producer, however, doesn’t have the time to read each and every one of these scripts; it just isn’t possible or he’d never be able to get anything else done like produce that movie you worked so hard on to write.

So one of the producer’s assistants (little old temp me at the time) reads the script for him and writes a brief summary about it and whether he should consider purchasing the script and eventually producing it.

While working for him I read multiple scripts, wrote up my thoughts about them and if I thought they would make good movies or not. Two of the scripts were terrible, one was interesting but I wasn’t certain could find an audience in the current market.

The fourth script was a super hero movie. As a comic book fan this was something I could get into even if it was bad. I also recognized why the agent had sent it to this producer for he also has connections to comics. So when nothing else was going on in the office I sat down to read it.

Interesting. This is a super hero movie from the point of view of the super villain. I like. Oh, that next bit was unexpected, and the villain wins. Or does he?

After finishing the script I wrote up my summery and opinion and told the producer that he might like this one, and to consider it.

Several days later my temp job there ended as the regular assistant returned.

A few years have now past and a certain big headed, blue skinned, super villain is stomping all over the adverts for an upcoming film. Okay, another super hero film, cool. Then in the last couple of weeks before the release of the film they start showing a new series of commercials for it with certain scenes that seem very familiar. So I was very curious to see if this was the film I thought it was.

So yesterday, my fiancée and I got the chance to attend a studio movie screening:

MEGAMIND

I sat there enjoying the entire film, and loving the fact that the audience was laughing at all the right places, and the story held together very well.

About ten minutes into the film I no longer had any doubts. Here before my eyes was a successful animated super hero film, and it was the script I had read several years earlier. I got a bit of a thrill of that. Especially since I had written up positive Script Coverage for my producer.

Megamind had an opening weekend as being number one at the box office earning $47.7 million dollars (according to the Hollywood Reporter).

As much as I would like to believe that what I wrote about that original script got this movie produced, I know that isn’t so.

Remember how I said that agents send out copies of their client’s scripts to producers. They do, to multiple producers and studios. The producer I was temping with at that time was probably only one of many that received a copy of the Megamind script. He did not produce this movie, nor did the studio where I temped.

Somewhere out there in the great Hollywood wasteland is another assistant, maybe a temp, who wrote up script coverage, which made it to the right producer at Dreamworks. I tip my virtual Script Reader’s hat to them. Maybe they’ll read one of my scripts someday soon.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

A change in the weather, a change in the Deadline

Hey, look, it’s Thursday evening and time for my weekly brain dump of a blog.

Thanks everyone who has been taking time out of your busy schedules to read my rambles. I really appreciate it.

This blog was always supposed to be about my writing and about my career. Sometimes, however, it became a place for me to vent and complain. I don’t want that to happen regularly.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my job search and how it hadn’t been going well, so I have been devoting a lot of my time to writing and drawing the webcomic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, my novel, my serial REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST, and this blog and pushing to keep a deadline for each one of them as if I was on a paid assignment.

It looks like my deadline schedule is about to change.

I have a job.

(I can hear you all cheering out there. No wait, that’s a cricket outside my office window.)

Yes, that’s true, I have a job. Or rather a short term, part-time job between now and this coming February, but it is a job.

I praise God for this job as I would any other.

Being a part time job of only twelve hours a week I should still have plenty of time to write. Hopefully I will find someone who will pay me to write, but I’m still going to write no matter what.

Which brings me to the shifting of my deadlines. I don’t want to really change anything, but know something has to give a little.

Each new page of the webcomic will still be posted on Sundays, and this blog should still be able to make its appearance each Thursday (as you can tell it doesn’t take much brain power). As much as I don’t want to, am going to post the serial every other week. Not only will it ease up my schedule, but I’ll be able to improve on the story.

I intend to post the next chapter this following Tuesday, and then two weeks later.

Thank you for your understand and support. It’s really been great to know that people are out there reading my stories. Know any publishers or producers you could point my way? (Seriously: Does anyone need an assistant for a couple days a week?)

Would love to hear from you either here in the comments section or at my Twitter account: Kevinpsb00

Thanks, have a great weekend.

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