An Overly Ambitious Day – 4-14-20

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This is a trail

I’m writing this at 5 am, and have been awake since 1 pm yesterday (I work graveyard, ok?). Today I am filming episode 3.

This episode has given me more anxiety, hassles, and all around pressure than any other one. I know I hardly have any viewers – that’s not where the pressure is coming from.

The pressure exists for so many reasons, but the main one is the story combined with my resources. The story is about a guy whose wife goes missing, so he searches the hills for a mysterious cult. Obvious sources of conflict – the cult, his wife’s family and friends, police, detectives. Shit, this is a big world!

But I have to keep it contained. Why? Oh because my budget is $0. Ok, maybe $60 for props. I don’t know any actors. I find people who like to drink and convince them to try and act. Also known as friends.

So why does this matter so much now? Because if this were a screenplay, I’d be working on page 10-15. At this point we’ve gotten to know our main character and what his problem is. He’s on the verge of entering a new world. There’s always rules in the new world – what’s the cult going to be like? What authority figure is going to be on his trail? Who will help him on his journey?

All these elements are rapidly coming into play. Case in point – there is a detective in this script who contacts Ryan early on. I’m not shooting that part today (thank God), and as a matter of fact I don’t even know who will be playing him.

But back to today. I’ve written at length about my frustration last time we tried to film the opening sequence. After 4 hours we got nowhere and I had nothing but bullshit to work with in the edit room.

Today we’re starting over from scratch. I’ve made some tweaks and added props along with story telling elements (ticking time bomb, subplots, etc.). I’m happy with how the script looks, but I’m TERRIFIED about filming it today.

My awesome friend signed up for a gym workout at two pm today, which gives us about 4 solid hours to film. I have 5 (!) pages I wants us to get through.

For the first time ever, I created a shooting script. It lists the various angles I want each take to be filmed from, along with various objects and reactions. By doing it this way, I’m able to break the script down into about a dozen little chunks. This will make mastering our lines much easier, and hopefully cut back on down time between shots.

Another thing that has come to mind for me – a second microphone. I really want one, because as it stands I have to do any takes that put us at a distant speaking range 2 times over. Otherwise, the audio quality can only be good for one of us.

Anyway, wish me luck. Last week was a really cool week for me because I gained about 10 subscribers and have now accumulated nearly a hundred views on all my uploads. I know those are pipsqueak numbers, but any of you who have created a youtube channel or a blog from scratch understand how difficult it can be to get internet strangers to click on your stuff. Good day to you, and good luck to me (I need it more sorry).

Here’s episode 2 in case you missed it:

Master Update – 10/18

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Waddup, waddup.

Haven’t been posting as frequently as usually. That’s mainly due to finishing up edits and preparing for the release of Master.

First thing’s first – I need to be %100 convinced the book is worth pushing. So far, the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. Nonetheless, I’m still adjusting a few minute details and polishing it off each and everyday. I want to receive another round of reviews before I decide there’s no more changes to make. I’m seeking out well-read individuals who are willing to race through it and give me a basic, overall perspective of the book (If you’re interested, drop me a note in the comment section. No special knowledge required).

Once I have the novel completely ready to go, there’s still a lot of work to do – send it out to book review blogs, hype it up across the web, and honestly, just promote the hell out of it.

There used to be this small burger joint in town. Hole-in-wall type place. First time I went entered I took a look at the menu, then decided to grab lunch at the Subway next door. A while later I gave it another visit, and let me tell ya – it was the best goddamn burger I ever tasted. Third time I couldn’t even get in – Place was boarded up, there was no more burger joint.

What’s the point of this story?

That burger joint kicked the shit out of its competition. But nobody was aware, because people are always reluctant to try something new. That first burger purchase took a leap of faith by me, but by God I’m happy I devoured it.

Master is essentially my first novel. It’s the first time I’ve put something together that people will enjoy reading – like that burger I was fortunate enough to sink my teeth into. So I plan on marketing the hell out of it, but want to be absolutely sure it’ll be worth the time and effort. I’m expecting to generate a whole bunch of downloads and sales early. If readers like what they see, then word of mouth will help the book spread.

The equation is simple – product x push = success. I think Einstein won a prize for that one. But if you don’t have a good product, or neglect pushing it, you can never achieve the success you’re looking for. That’s my theory, at least.

As for this blog, I know I’ve been MIA for the past few days. That’s because I want to get this book hot-and-ready, that way I can put out an official release date and blog the first few chapters leading up to it. I want you to know I’m not just blowing steam up your… who blows steam, anyway?

Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Sunshine Blogger Award

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That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I have been nominated for not one, but TWO sunshine blogger awards. Many thanks to both lovely ladies, Jennifer Calvert and Karina Pinella. I have received a grand total of sixteen questions to answer. Due to my smart-ass nature, I’ve elected to answer them in a press conference format, along with two of my other personalities. Make sure to read through to the bottom, because I’ve nominated 5 others for the award along with my own list of questions. Without further ado, I bring you the joint press conference.

  • * *

Three candidates take the stage simultaneously. Standing at the podium on the right is Thomas M. Watt, who takes a sip from his bottled water then adjusts his microphone. The middle podium belongs to McWatty9, whose devilish smile and fiery eyes are enough to prompt any parents to put their children to bed early. Hunching over the third podium and breathing with his mouth open is Henry Huerto, and it appears he forgot to brush some potato chip remnants off his t-shirt.

“Any a you idiots got a question?” says McWatty9.

Most journalists lower their hands and take up their pens. A woman in a purple blouse speaks up.

“Who are your favorite published authors?” she asks.

“Great question,” says Thomas. “I’ve always enjoyed anything written by John Steinbeck, but some of his work stirs me emotionally, particularly East of Eden. I tend to shy away from anything that hits too close to home, so I’ve never been able to finish that book. Right now I’m really into Vince Gilligan-”

“Lady asked about published authors dipshit, not television writers,” says McWatty9.

Thomas nods. “Yes, I’m aware. Thing is, his shows include so many awesome plot twists and feature strong, dynamic characters. I really enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, so I guess I should include him, too.”

Man with a hawaiian button-down shoots up from his seat. “What did you want to grow up to accomplish in your life?”  Other journalist raise their eyebrows at him. He gradually sits back down.

“A lot,” says Henry Huerto. “But you know, I didn’t do any of it. I guess I’m just a loser…”

You could hear crickets. Every person in the room avoids eye contact with Henry.

“Right, uhh, what are your favorite Movies?” says a journalist.

“The one I made with your mom,” says McWatty9. “And it’s about how we made you-”

“I’ll answer that,” says Thomas, racing to grab his mic.

“‘Cause I boned her,” says McWatty9.

“Favorite movies,” says Thomas. “I’d have to say the Matrix tops my list. The moment when Neo stands up after being shot dead inspires me every time. I watched Silence of the Lambs recently, that was an incredible body of work. Also enjoyed se7en, especially the ending – it’s funny how much of an impact the ending of a film has on your overall impression of the movie.”

“If you got to choose your last meal in life, what would it be?” asks a reporter.

“Hot cheetos and a gatorade,” says Henry.

“You a teenage girl?” says McWatty9.

“No… that just sounds good right now.”

“Ya know where the Brooklyn bridge’s at?”

“Yea,” says Henry.

“Good. Go there and Jump off it.”

“Next question,” says Thomas.

An eight year old girl wearing a backpack stands up. “What is your favorite… temperature?”

McWatty9 jumps to respond: “Eighteen hundred degrees.”

Room falls silent.

“Why?” asks Thomas.

“Because that’s the temperature I’m gonna have Henry cremated at.”

“Introvert or Extrovert?” asks a journalist.

Thomas answers. “Introvert, for sure. I like people, but I feel the majority of social gatherings are pointless and irrelevant. People respond to you better when you’re successful anyway, so I’d rather pour my time into whatever skill I’m currently trying to develop. Currently that’s writing… besides, no matter what group of people I spend time with, they inevitably begin bashing some other person who doesn’t conform to their group. I genuinely hate that, and the more I open my mouth I discover I’m a disagreeable person. My mind is always working toward fixing some kind of problem. Interactive, or extroverted people put a lot of time and effort into their relationships. I put mine into stories.”

Media members nod.

“What are your favorite past times?” asks a young women with a low-cut top.

“You,” says McWatty9.

Thomas clears his throat. “If I’m going to be honest, I have to say I don’t care much for any hobbies or endeavors that don’t bring me closer to my long-term goals. I have an obsessive, addictive personality, and don’t live anything close to a balanced life… So I have to say none.”

“What about yourself would you change, if you could?”

Henry grabs his mic. “Self doubt, paranoia, overthinking. Emotions get the better of me. I hate myself.”

An unsettling silence comes over the crowd.

“Brooklyn bridge,” says McWatty9, through a cough.

“What scares you the most?”

Thomas answers. “I hate spiders.”

“Bet ya like turtles,” says McWatty9.

Another journalists stands. “Why do you blog?”

“I like to see the responses I get to my stories. It’s a free way to get feedback, and an easy way to tell whether I’m putting out quality work. For a long time, people only seemed to enjoy the poems I would post. My short stories have only recently began to entertain my followers, and I’m really thrilled about that… for a long time, I couldn’t pay people to read my work.”

Guy with a rasta cap shouts: “Who is your favorite musician?”

Thomas says, “Currently I alternate between Eminem and Coldplay. Chris Martin is a genius, but I have mad respect for Eminem, especially because I relate to his struggle to make something of himself. He faced a lot of adversity and didn’t have much support. I should add that Ocean by John Butler Trio is the most beautiful song in the world.”

“How do you feel about awards?” says a teenager with zits.

“Same as I feel ’bout you,” says McWatty9.

“What is your favorite dessert?” says a big guy with a mustache.

“Um, I kind of like good and plenty,” says Henry. “I don’t know, those sound good right now… Does anybody have some I could share?”

Crickets.

“What makes your world rock?” says the young woman with the low-cut top. She bites the end of her pen.

“Dreams of the future,” says Thomas. “That always beats my current reality.”

“Waddup,” says the guy with the rasta cap. “Favorite music?”

Thomas grins and answers: “Similar to my taste for cinema and novels. When something is well written, it speaks to you. I don’t limit myself to any one genre, I’m more a fan of the individual artist.”

“How important is it to you to be a famous writer?” blurts out a father.

“I’m happy just to write,” says Thomas, before scratching the back of his head, then biting his lips. “Actually, it’s everything to me. That’s what I want to do with my life.”

The moderator walks out onto the stage, and claps his hands. “Ok folks, thank you all for joining us. That’ll be the end of the questions, so… get the hell out!”

  • * *

Now for my 5 nominees, and my ten questions. If you are nominated, you have to answer these… your wordpress contract obligates you under penalty of prison time, in case you never read the small print when you signed up. My nominees are:

  1. Storytime with John – Kid’s a natural. He’s up there with A Opinionated Man (see below).
  2. Ben Myatt – Writes bad ass characters, though his latest post has me concerned.
  3. Kevin Cooper – Ally of indie authors everywhere, great person and writer of the Miedo series.
  4. A Opinionated Man – King of internet blogs, far too big to bother with this.
  5. Ray M. Meadows – Fantastic writer and confrontational twitter-er

And the questions I have for you:

  1. If you could instantly learn any one skill set (i.e. fly a plane, fix an engine, surf), what would it be?
  2. It’s a beautiful, bright sunny day. What are your plans?
  3. Neighbor’s dog defecates right outside your front door. How do you respond?
  4. You just won the lottery. What’s the first thing you do?
  5. What do you think of these questions so far?
  6. I disagree. State something that most people consider completely normal that always feels bizarre to you.
  7. Zombie apocalypse – Which personality are you in your group of survivors?
  8. Do you regret accepting this award?
  9. Why do you blog?
  10. Any current projects you’re working on you’d care to share?

Thank you again to Jennifer and Karina for the nominations, and congratulations to those whom I nominated! I’ll be back blogging a new short story soon.

  • Thomas M. Watt

And the Liebster Award Goes to…

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1.) Where do good ideas come from?

2.) Five minutes with any celebrity – who would it be and what would you say?

3.) Who is your favorite writer, and why?

4.) What is more important for authors today – being an artist or having networking skills?

6.) Would you rather have great sex or an avid readership?

7.) You are walking down the street and see the most awful sight you could ever imagine. What is it?

8.) The life of a writer – Blessed or burdened?

9.) SpongeBob SquarePants or television news?

10.) Tell us about your most current book or WIP –

  • Give me the title and a quick pitch.
  • Why are you in love with this idea?
  • What am I going to get out of this, as a reader?

And the award for this years, 2013 Liebster goes to…

1.) Misha Burnett – Exceptionally smart and a true recluse. Wrote, “Catskinner’s Book,” a science fiction/urban fantasy novel.

2.) Adrienne Morris from Middlemay Farm – Gifted writer and nostalgia fanatic. Winner of the Editors’ Choice award for, “The House on Tenafly Road.”

3.) Kevin Brown – Writes with directness and purpose to each and every word. Published close to 200 articles for Examiner.

4.) Christine Keleny –  Writer, reader, author, and publisher. She’s most famous for writing the entire Rose trilogy, and runs CK Books. Her blog is a must-follow for any aspiring author.

5.) Ayse Juaneda – Her paintings are legendary. Genius. Beautiful. Best artist in the world? I think so.

Congratulations to all you award winners! Answer my questions and nominate the bloggers who you think are deserving. Fill out your own list of questions, then spread the Liebster love by announcing your own winners.

What do I make of these comments?

  1. So I just read the comments to my latest short story, and here is what I got. Not really certain how a blogger is supposed to respond to this, let alone interpret what it all means. 
     
    1. Tricks R. Forkids says:

    But he didn’t touch her, see her or call her again so why is he about to be killed? DONT KILL HIM!!!!! NO!!!!!

    • He’s referring to me Tricks. Now off I go, 3 hops I must take, let’s hope I don’t fall in the lake!

Press Briefing – Sept. 2nd, 2013

(The reporters are all sipping on capri-suns and talking about how good the fruit punch flavor is. Several of them are eating lunchables, happily digesting bologna on crackers. The mood is light and hearty, until Bill whips out a pouch of gushers. Many of the other reporters get upset that he only shares with Snobert, who sits at his side. A new reporter enters the room, named Aaron, and catches the eye of most everyone else, as for some unknown reason Aaron is wearing whitey-tighties over his head. He has a nice suit on underneath, however. McWatty9 enters from behind the red curtain, stands behind the podium in order to address Wattie nation.)

McWatty9 – Ladies and gentlemen, people of the wordpress, I am happy  to inform you that my nation is expanding. We’ve taken in friends from countries all over the world, and have received visits from many countries I have never even heard of. I’m very excited about all this, but to say I’m not somewhat nervous would be a lie. As it stands, we’ve taken in one-hundred and twenty two followers. We have over a thousand views, and so many likes I feel super duper cool. I don’t have too much to say, other than I’m saddened by the recent drop in support from Sharplittlepencil, and very distraught by several former followers who have left us. For Sharplittlepencil, I’m setting up signs around the neighborhood that say, ‘Have you seen this blogger?’ And I am posting a picture of a woman with a pencil tucked over her ear. As for the followers who have left us, I have been flying around the world, finding out where they live, and throwing bricks into their windows at night. It is a very scary thing to do, and sends messages like, ‘Watch out for that brick that just flew through your window.’ Now then, the forum is open for questions.

Bill – (raises hand, finishes chewing up his delicious gushers, swallows down five at once, poses question) McWatty9, many of your original supporters are somewhat confused by the recent change in style. You’ve written more than a few post about God, which some of us don’t really want to hear, and you’ve become much more of a poet than a humorist. What is the reasoning for your recent change in style?

(McWatty9 nods, points finger confidently) Excellent question Bill. I’ve found that I enjoy putting poetry together, for the rhymes come quite easy for me. As far as God goes, I pretty much rely on Him for everything, and so I’m not about to deny that just to appease a few folk. Only a short while ago, I posted a short script about me hanging out with the Kardashian family. Shortly afterward, I published a post about me being on the bachelor. I don’t really know what happened, but the bachelor post bombed, and I just felt very sick about the whole thing. Sometimes I wonder if my humor is simply to childish and idiotic for others beside myself to enjoy. So in short, suck-it Bill.

Snober – (shouting back instantly) Many of your new supporters are not familiar with just how arrogant and profane you can be. Does it bother you too know that as your following grows you can no longer get away with such statements as ‘Suck-it’? It is a rude, classless thing to say, and I for one am always disgusted to hear you say such crude things. I liked the post about the horses, why not just stick with things of this nature?

(McWatty9 squints his eyes) Snobert, I think I’m speaking for everyone else here when I say, from the bottom of my heart, suck-it.

(Snobert appears outstandingly offended, then becomes really really sad, and then embraces Bill with a back-patting hug)

McWatty9 – Anyone else?

(Aaron, the new reporter in the back, with the fine-looking suit and whitey-tighties over his head, raises his hand)

McWatty9 – Yes, Aaron?

Aaron – Recently you’ve begun to post your quest for ’30 days of listening’. Yesterday, on day three, you neglected to continue this thread. Are you already finished listening? Don’t you realized the key to a good blog is all about consistency?

McWatty9 – Yes Aaron, thanks for asking. Yesterday, I did in fact fail to publish a post in continuance of my thirty days of listening. I didn’t have any in-depth conversations with anyone new, and I was simply too tired to write one up. I did expect to post two today, and label them ‘Day 3’ and ‘Day 4’ but now you’ve gone and ruined that. I shall do it anyways, I suppose.

Aaron – And another thing – in your recent air-strikes against enemy blogs, you’ve failed to be as aggressive as you should. You waste your bombs, you fly like shit, and you’re simply not very good.

McWatty9 – (Appearing greatly distressed) You know what Aaron, I don’t think anybody reading this will actually understand what any of that means. You are always so negative and so love to tell me what I do wrong. For that, I say unto you, suck-it Aaron.

(Aaron drops head, looks very sad)

McWatty9 – In summary, I am new to having an actual readership, and will do my best to bring my nation good content, while at the same time remaining true to myself and whatever ideas come to me. I am actively looking for more format, and specifically looking to give you all something to look forward to when you read my post. Consistency, I suppose. I am hoping to start up a short-story Sunday, and plan to form a routine something like poems in the morning, actual writing mid-day, and humor at night. These ideas are in the works, and I promise you the neurons in my brain are working overtime to create such a format on this blog. Thank you all for being part of Wattie nation, Aaron can suck-it, and I hope to bring you more quality content in the days and hours to come. Thank you for supporting this ever growing nation. Peace, I’m out.

(McWatty9 walks back behind red curtain, reporters all nod their heads and return to eating, several start a food fight, Aaron gets hit in the eye by a bite-size brownie and begins to cry)