Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wrapping It Up

There's very little use in making lists this year -- a whole lot of good and bad happened and to try and fit any of it into a list... it just doesn't make sense.

Tho, if there's anything to be said about it all, looking back on it, it really is all about balance.

For every Jonah Hex there you have an Inception.

For every Shit My Dad Says you have a Walking Dead.

For every BP oil disaster you have a...

Okay, no, that one really doesn't have a positive counter-point.

Um.

Right. Let's scratch the comparison thing and eschew the big picture for a bit -- 'cause frankly, that's starting to look rather dark and grim, what with all that talk of the looming Canadian Mortgage Bubble and all (get out of debt while you can folks...).

On a more personal level, I managed to get a book written and out into the world... and people actually seem to like it. Hopefully I'll have a print version ready soon and maybe even a few reviews...? Fingers crossed there.

Looking forward, to the new year, in mid-February (yes, only 6 weeks away now) we'll be welcoming little Aaron Laraby to the world... and then immediately setting upon his Jedi training.

Also, I've been working on a webseries with some friends. With a bit of luck, that'll be finished and see the light of day in the coming year ahead.

Other than that, whatever time that's left (which may not be much) will be going back into TV and scripts, getting myself reacquainted with that world and seeing what I've missed in the last while. (A brief peek at a Google search says 'a lot).

On a final note, something positive for those of you who are of the 'writer' type and are looking to fall in with some good people, check out Ink Canada. Karen Walton is looking for a few good people for their 2011 'Inkterns'. Read up more about it and find out more about the site here. Good Luck!

Happy New Year, all! See you on the flipside!

Cheers,
Brandon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And We Are A Go!

Okay, so apparently I had some problems with my formatting. Some seemingly innocuous issues that snowballed into making the launch of my book one heck of a headache.

On the bright side, that all appears to be over and done with now after many, many nights of messing with formatting and other such things. 404 -- in eBook format, at least -- is live and ready to roll!

It's at once both an exhilarating and a terrifying time for me, having never actually completed a novel before, let alone release it to the public and ask people to pay money for it. To consider it 'entertainment'.

Oh, I've tried writing novels before, back before I ever dreamed about writing for Television. Back before I learned how to write a script, how to think in images. It's been an exciting run for me these last few months, especially when I realize just how much I've learned in such a short period of time. Feeling the rush of a constant deadline, pushing myself to always be thinking of the next new idea... and if it doesn't work, to toss it and move on and find another.

Anyways, after a ton of work -- writing and re-writing, pulling my hair out trying to make sure ever single puzzle piece was polished... it's done. Well, as done as it can be. I can always pick and niggle over the little bits and I know if I let myself think about it, if I let myself continue to tinker with it, it'll never see the light of day. I'll never be 'happy' there will always be some little part that I'll look back on and want to spruce up or say better. But I've been cleaning now almost every day for the last couple months... and I've come to the conclusion that, for now, for my first novel, this is a good start.

Time to think about new things.

I've got a new spec pilot for a TV show that I'm putting together, a new spec script that I'll be tackling in the new year and, yes, a new idea for a novel.

Until then, please enjoy '404'.

And to those of you who've encouraged me and supported me from the very beginning, I want to thank you so very much. I couldn't have done it without you.

Cheers!
Brandon

P.S: The other formats - .Mobi (for Kindle) and .epub (for most other readers) will be coming soon. The print version will be up in January!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost There...

Looks like today's not a good day to launch a book. *sigh*

Let's try this again on Monday.

In the meantime -- and still inspired by Mr. McGrath's great posting here about increasing your story literacy -- here's an interesting interview with Paddy Chayefsky, talking about a little film he wrote called 'Network'.

Now, if you haven't seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check this movie out... 'cause even though it's over three decades old, it blows me away at just how relevant it is in this day and age.

Truly the hallmark of a great film. Or any work of Art, really.




Just so you know... that interview happened back in about 1976. I'd say he was pretty far ahead of the curve there... on a whole host of points.

And, of course, I'd be remiss if I put a post up about Mr. Chayefsky and 'Network' without sharing the most famous scene of the movie. Again, if you haven't yet seen the film, rent it. Find it on Netflix or whatever and give it a watch.


Cheers,
Brandon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiRebels: How Non-Americans View WikiLeaks

A fascinating Documentary, take an hour or so to watch this.


Cheers!
Brandon

This Made My Day

I'm an old-school gamer. What can I say? Some of my best childhood memories involve storming the castle with Mario and bouncing Bower's reptilian ass into a pit of fire.

Newer games have come and gone, and I've loved a great deal of them, but Mario's always held a special place in my Gamer heart.

Apparently that sentiment is also shared by the guys who made this:


So good.

Cheers,
Brandon

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yay! Good Stuff!

So, I've been working away like a crazy person trying to make sure that my novel is finito and ready for the world. It looks like, should everything pan out okay with the timing, it'll be going live this Friday!

Consider my fingers to be firmly crossed.

The downside is that due to the Christmas rush and shipping during the holidays being what it is, the actual 'physical' version of my book won't go on sale until early January.

However, the electronic version will be up and available in several different formats, so hopefully you'll be able to find a version that works on your favourite ebook reader.

All that said and done, I'm incredibly nervous and excited to share this with you -- the very thought that I might try to write a novel was hard enough, but after seeing this:



Yeah, it gave me some pause. It's all in good fun, to be sure, but God help me if I ever sound like that guy. (Oh, I hope I don't :P)

Anyways, yes, I've been running on 5 hours or so worth of sleep, getting up at 6am, writing for as long as I can for quite a while now... trying to make sure this thing is as good as I can make it.

Guess we shall soon see if all this work has paid off!

Cheers,
Brandon

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Oooh! So Close...


So, you may or may not have heard that a mother-to-be recently turned to Facebook to name her child for her. It's true and, oddly enough, I ended up being pretty active in the contest, submitting the name 'Aria'... and almost winning the whole thing.

Now you may balk at the idea, but it actually turned into a bit of a world-wide phenomenon with the story being picked up by news outlets and blogs all around the world. Heck, someone even wrote a song about it.


That said, you also may have heard some people lose their collective minds and say 'why the hell would anyone DO that?'

Well, for her troubles, the mother's walking away with approximately $40,000 worth of swag from the site -- not exactly a small thing when you're a new, first-time parent.

If you were paying attention, you might've also noticed that for a good run there, the name I submitted was in the lead. Sometimes by a lot.

Alas, it was not to last. Try as we might to fight them off, last night the winning name 'Melania' was chosen over my entry by 9 votes. (Yeah, I know, talk about close!).

The final total?

Melania 2860
Aria 2851

The winner of the contest ended up with the equivalent of about $650 or so in site credit, to be used in their daily deals, gift cards and such.

As a runner up, normally, I wouldn't get much, if anything. However, I've received an email from the CEO of FabFind (the company running the contest) telling me that since the contest was so close, they've decided to award me the same prize.

Needless to say, since we're due mid-February, we're quite happy with this lil' development (I'm sure my wife will get a nice bit of pampering out of it).

It's definitely a nice little pre-Christmas development, if I do say so myself.

Incidentally, I came up with the name 'Aria' because that's the name we would have liked if we were having a girl... however, since we're not, we figured we'd submit it and see how it did. I guess, all-in-all, it worked out pretty well.

Congratulations to little Melania and the Alpinelli family, welcome to the world, kiddo!

Cheers!
Brandon

Monday, December 06, 2010

RIP Mark Dailey

I'm nowhere near qualified enough to give anything close to a eulogy for such an amazingly cool man...

But you, sir, were 'The Voice' of my city... and in my heart, you always will be.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Dailey.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Looking For Story Ideas?

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction... or just plain cooler.

Here's some cool Science/Tech headlines that popped up on the wire today, maybe they'll bump you into creating the 'Next Big Thing':

Spray on Stem Cells helps burn victims

Videogames Are Good For You, Especially At Work, Study Says

Pheromones A Myth In Mammals

With Space Shuttle Trips Ending, What Do We Do With The Astronauts?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take one of these ideas and write -- only for yourself, and for your own personal enrichment -- a minimum of a 5 page story.

You never know, you might just hit upon something that really speaks to you.

If not, nothing lost, think of it as an imagination/writing exercise.

Either way, cool stuff!

Cheers!
Brandon

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Ruby Skye PI: The Final Chapter goes LIVE today!


If you haven't had a chance to sit down and get caught up for today's ├╝ber-cool finale, I'm going to help make it real easy for you:


Go here and watch! Episode 12 is going live at Noon, so get caught up while you can!

Cheers,
Brandon

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

History Time

So I'm feeling a bit inspired today.

I'd popped over to Denis McGrath's blog recently and happened upon a fantastic trove of links to writing advice that he'd created over the years.

One link especially caught my attention, a great link about Story Literacy, and how we newer writers really don't have much of it. As he posits, our cultural memory is shrinking.

As I read through the post, I realized that I was actually just as guilty here -- there were numerous writers and actors that I'd simply never heard of.

So I'm taking it upon myself to do a touch of self-educating - acquaint myself with a bit of history, if you will.

Since I can count the number of radio plays I've listened to on one hand (and the entirety of my knowledge of Orson Welles was limited to 'Rosebud' and 'War of the Worlds') I decided to start with some of the old 'The Shadow' radio plays from the 30's.

I've been listening to them all morning and I have to say, it's quite an interesting experience, if you've never listened to them, I highly recommend it.

I'm posting one of my favourites (so far) here, close your eyes and take a listen. You'll notice a few interesting tropes here in this story, one of the most notable being the classic 'typewriter with the raised letter'. I'm not sure where exactly this trope first popped up, but it's certainly the earliest (time-wise) story I've seen it pop up in.

Anyone know who used it first or where it originated?








Do you have any favourite episodes? What are some other great radio plays to check out?

Also: Here's the original broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War Of The Worlds" as read by Orson Wells.

Enjoy!



Cheers!
Brandon

P.S: thanks to those who emailed me about yesterday's post. Your positive thoughts and goodwill is greatly appreciated.