Just a quick note to let friends & subscribers know that I am finally bringing Another LA Cartoon back from hiatus. Finally figured out a way to make & manipulate the images without the help of PhotoShop. So, with any luck, ALAC will be posting a new cartoon every Thursday morning for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your interest, and your patience. Click the link above or the cartoon in the sidebar –>
I received the yearly email from the good people at WordPress containing my “year in blogging” review and the numbers weren’t good. I don’t mean the “traffic” or the clicks or the incoming comments. I mean my own performance. I only put up two new posts in 2014. Two. It was that kind of year.
While I did do a lot of things and accomplished some important personal/creative goals, it was still a bit of a down year. I’ve described it to friends as a feeling of “being on hold” for reasons I still can’t quite put my finger on.
I wrote less this year – in terms of completed projects and in terms of pure, raw word count – than I have in any of the past 15 years… and yes, I do track these things with an almost OCD-like compulsion. I won’t cop out and blame “writer’s block” or anything like that, because I have never really believed such a thing exists. Maybe I was suffering from some burn-out, sure, and was just a little tired in an existential sort of way.
But even through the writing was lacking this year, I did much more than the usual amount of performing. I climbed up on every stage that would have me and did many “spoken word” “storytelling” and “essay” shows, some as a returning guest and some as a newcomer. I also acted (if I dare to call it that) in three comedy shorts that will surely find their way online whenever they finally make it out of post-production. All the performance work was fun and exciting. It also helped fill some of the void I have felt since my improv theater/home of 13+ years closed down (going on 2 years ago.) It is a loss I am still coping with.. with varying degrees of success.
I also helped a lot of friends with a lot of their own projects. I formatted and did the artwork for a friend’s ebook novel. I must have read & given notes etc for at least two dozen friends’ scripts. I helped with some post-production editing, I even taught a little guitar. So, even though my word and page counts were hovering near-zero, I wasn’t completely shut down creatively.
Now I have to look ahead to the new year and figure out what I’m going to differently, what I’m going to do better and what I’m going to do more of.
I’m not sure I want to revisit old ground – like my Ask A Punk blog which, although I loved it dearly, I still feel like I was answering the same questions over and over again. I do hope to re-launch the Another LA Cartoon photo-blog soon, but there are still some technical difficulties that I haven’t figured out how to handle yet.
I will get back to my straight-up screenwriting. I have two comedy features that I set aside in 2014… not because I didn’t think they were good ideas, but because I just couldn’t commit to the writing itself (as I said, this was a new, and difficult sensation to sort out.) I am also planning on launching a podcast later this year, which I know is a pretty ambitious and time-consuming undertaking, but I think I’ve come up with an idea small enough to be do-able, and big enough to be interesting to me, and (hopefully) other people.
…and of course, I plan on being more dedicated to the Planet OConnor blog.
It is a new year people. I know some folks say the whole “New Year, Fresh Start” mentality is dumb because our calendar is really just an arbitrary thing (on a cosmic scale.) But I say ANYthing that helps us consciously note the passage of time and the incredible opportunities that still remain to move forward, grow and improve ourselves, to look outward and create, and help… well, that has to be a good thing.
Stay Strong !
…but I often wish I did. Especially when I’m doing a “script adapting” job like the one I did last week. When I tell people I’m working on something like this “adapting an animated feature from Korea” into English, they assume I’m some sort of multi-lingual genius.
What happens is this: I get a copy of the film in the original language (with ‘visible timecode’ burned into the picture) along with a script (actually a huge Excel document) that includes the dialogue in usually poorly translated English, along with the ‘in’ and ‘out’ points of each line of dialogue. I have to make sure those in & out points are accurate (to within one frame ) and then I have to re-write what the character is saying so that it matches the ‘lip flap’ seen on the screen AND makes sense plot-wise and character-wise… all while ‘American-izing’ slang and metaphors and whatever else might not make sense to a Western audience. If it sounds tedious to you, I can promise you that it is not. At least not to me. It does, however, require patience and a whole lot of time. It often takes an hour to ‘adapt’ just one or two minutes of dialogue, but for some reason I find it to be enjoyable work – rewriting not just by the line or word, but by the syllable… and of course trying to slip in some good jokes along the way.
Things have been admittedly quiet here on PlanetOC, but I can promise that I have been busy.
First news is: a couple of upcoming shows.
and then this one:
In both shows I’ll be spinning some of my tales of punk rock misadventure, with an eye toward figuring out which ones to include in a new version of my solo show. These days a standard solo show should clock in just under an hour, and I have the luxury problem of having about 2 hours of stories & material so some of them aren’t going to make the cut.
In other news, development continues on OGRE STONE, which we’re turning into an animated series. We’re hoping to have the art etc. pitch-ready in about 2 months. I’ll post some images as soon as they’re finalized.
And yes – still writing other scripts. As always.
Things are getting busy after a low-key Summer. Unfortunately, won’t be attending the Austin Film Festival & Writer’s Conference in October this year, for the first time in what? three years I think… but the good news is – I’m busy partially because of the AFF.
“OGRE STONE” one of my “spec sitcom pilot” scripts that did well at AFF last year has now been picked up by a small animation company for development into a possible animated series. We are now busy creating presentation and pitch materials as I also start outlining the multi-episode story arc(s) for a possible series. It is all very much “early stages” but it is exciting.
In other news, I have shows booked in October and November but I still haven’t found a smooth, and visually appealing, way to post “upcoming shows” …so I’m still working on that. Meanwhile of course, I am still meeting my weekly deadlines for Ask A Punk and Another LA Cartoon. I hope you check them out.
Stay Strong everyone !
I am holding in my hot little hands a copy of the Hard Cover “Special Edition” of the entire (and somewhat legendary) DC Comics “Solo” comic books.
This is a volume of amazing art and writing by some top-notch people, and the good folks at DC have done a great job of presenting it all in a beautiful package.
I was thrilled when artist Brendan McCarthy first asked me to contribute a story (“Johnny Sorrow“) to “his” issue of this series and I am now doubly-thrilled to see it again, this time between hard covers. Get yours today.
It has been a quiet lately. Sometimes Los Angeles is like that in the Summer time.
The biggest news is that one of my spec sitcom pilots “Ogre Stone” has been picked up by a small animation company and it looks like we’ll be developing it as a possible series. Obviously there is still a loooong way to go, but it is a nice start.
Ask A Punk continues to pull in new readers and friends. Sales of the ebook have been slow lately, but I can tell you that the whole ebook/self-publishing thing is definitely worth the effort and clearly the wave of the future. I’m working on another non-fiction title and dusting off a 1st draft of a ‘New Adult” detective-ish novel that I wrote some time ago.
I have been having trouble with the “Upcoming Events” calendar plug-in that, until recently, was visible in the right column of the website. When they say “works seamlessly with Google Calendar” …don’t believe them. I’ll get it straightened out soon. Then I’ll be able to post details about some upcoming shows in August, September and November as well as some upcoming “Improv for Writers” sessions that I’ll be teaching.
That’s all for now. Don’t forget the sunscreen.