Saturday, October 2, 2010

Catching up again

Okay, so I missed the September post altogether. Hopefully, I can make up for that by posting more than one this month, including a couple of book reviews.

On September 25, I went to Frankfort, KY, to the shooting of the climactic scene of Swordbearer, the independent film based on scenes from Ascendant. The cast and crew got there before dawn, and it was a very cold start to a very long, but productive, day. I traveled with my friend Chris Prince, who good-naturedly stood by and watched me make a fool of myself as I yelled and screamed my head off with the rest of the extras during the fight scene. It was loads of fun. Someday, I may regret it, but not today.

The gist of the scene was this: the two warring Houses (Thran and Suum) have agreed to a single combat between their champions to determine who will have pre-eminence. The winner takes all in this combat, the losing House ceding all claim to any political influence, forfeiting its holdings, and losing its position in the ruling Council. It is a true final conflict, designed to decide once and for all the outcome of a blood-feud more than four centuries old. The combat comes down to the champions Hennock (Al Snow) of House Thran, and Tchek (Benjamin Wood) of House Suum. The fight scene might only run a few minutes in the final film, the shooting itself took hours.

The actors, both professional wrestlers in real life, performed using actual weapons - live steel that spelled real danger. My old friend Allan Gilbreath, who is well versed in martial arts and weapons, served as fight choreographer, and even he was uneasy about the use of real hand-and-a-half swords. As it turned out, except for a couple of minor scratches, the combat went extremely well.

I cannot praise the cast and crew highly enough for their professionalism and enthusiasm for this project. In the end, this film will be for me the once-in-a-lifetime event that few people get to experience: the manifestation of a dream.

But enough of that. There will be much more on the film as time goes by.

I have several stories out for consideration and now in print. He Who Hesitates is out for consideration for Elder Signs Press' High Seas Cthulhu 2. Sparks and The Real Magic went to Kerlak Publications for upcoming anthologies. Person-to-Person has been accepted by Midnight Screaming Magazine and will appear soon. End Game is now appearing in Sam's Dot Publishing's Infradead anthology. I shortly intent to inflict No More Running and a couple others on unsuspecting periodicals. I'll keep you advised as that goes along.

Many people have asked me if I am enjoying my retirement. For those of us who are "retired", we know there really is no such thing. My writing career continues to expand, from short stories to novels and now into screenplay. What new adventure is around the corner? With the ever-increasing technological advances in the west, the growing political movements in the east, and the inevitable conflict or marriage of the two, who can say?