October 25, 2018: Robert Cooper’s new series!

Many of you know Robert C. Cooper as a writer and/or Executive Producer on such shows as Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  Well, his new project, Unspeakable, sees him reunite with a number of familiar faces including Paul McGillion, Lexa Doig, Aaron, Douglas, and Michael Shanks on a poignant eight-part limited series.

About the show

Unspeakable is set to premiere January 9th, 2019 .

It’s an important project for Rob, one he’s been trying to get made for years, and I hope you’ll all take the time to check it out when the time comes.

So we’ve booked our first trip to Japan in two years.  We’ll be gone for ten days – which means that Suji will be without us for TEN WHOLE DAYS!  She and Lulu will be in great hands, but I do wonder how she’ll do without us to boss around.

Our ten day trip will come at the tail end of my fantasy football league regular season – and just in time for the playoffs!  How, you’re no doubt wondering, are the Snow Monkeys doing?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Across both leagues…

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Is it possible?  A double championship for my Snow Monkeys?

I’m feeling it!

October 24, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorite comic book covers of the week…

Batgirl #28 (cover art by Mattie Hollingsworth, Sean Murphy, Julian Totino Tedesco)

Books of Magic #1 (cover art by Kai Carpenter)

Incidentals #13 (cover art by Ryan Brown)

Isola, vol. 1 (cover art by MSASSYK, Karl Kerschl)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

So, which was your favorite?

October 23, 2018: Things are moving along…

Well, I must admit that your varied bucket lists made for some fine reading.  When the time comes, schedule permitting, I may tag a long on your various globe-trotting/culinary/ill-advised adventures!

This morning we delivered the first draft of the UF episode 1 script as well as the outlines for episodes 2-5.  Hopefully we get the notes on all turned around in a speedy manner so that we can move on to rewrites and script go’s.  The plan, so far as I’m concerned, will be to do the rewrite on episode 1, write episode 3, and then do passes on all 9 episodes before scripting the season 1 finale.  Start prep in November, have all scripts done by January, and then start production in mid-February.  Piece of cake!

This afternoon, we finally had that much rescheduled conference call related to that comic book adaptation.  It’s a terrific book, and the writer and artist are equally wonderful.  At this point, it’s a matter of reviewing and revising the existing series overview before talking about how we want to approach the pilot.   I think we’re all in agreement that the first issue of the comic book offers the ideal blueprint.  This one is going to be a blast.

I wrote up the character summaries for Untitled Awesome Project.  It’s a little more intimate than the bigger family unit we saw on Dark Matter, but these characters will be no less endearing.  I already have the pilot episode’s opening tease, fifth act out, and episode tag in my head – which fairly parallels my approach to the Dark Matter opener. Shocks, surprises, and oodles of fun!

The pitch for that supernatural small town mystery is pretty much complete.  We finished up the bulk of the bulky 25+ page series overview months ago and it is now in the fine-tuning stages.  This one is…very ambitious.  I’ve never seen an approach like it.

Finally, there’s that horror novel adaptation.  The deal is closed almost closed close to almost being closed, but given the workload ahead of me on UF, I realistically won’t be able to start on this one for a while.  Still, it will be nice to meet up and chat with the author.  But only after I read his latest award-winning release.

At this rate, I don’t know when I’ll get around to checking out Killing Eve and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!

October 22, 2018: My Bucket List

A difficult day for reasons I’ll not elaborate on in this blog entry.  Suffice it to say, however, that days like these make you stop and think about not only what you’ve done with your life, but what remains to be done.

MY BUCKET LIST

  • Buy a place in Tokyo and spend more time visiting and exploring the country.
  • Take a tour of the southern U.S.  Hit Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans.
  • Spend a couple of weeks in Tuscany.
  • Attend one Worldcon and finally meet many of the authors whose work I’ve enjoyed the years.
  • Create and produce at least one more dear-to-me sci-fi series.
  • Produce, at the very least, a Dark Matter miniseries to give the series closure.
  • Get the band back together and join them for at least one season of a new Stargate series.
  • Rescue a whole bunch of senior pugs.

I reserve the right to revise and amend this list.

So, what’s on YOUR bucket list?

October 20, 2018: Spend wisely!

Bad news, guys!  No one won the Mega Million jackpot.

Good news, guys!  No one won the Mega Millions jackpot.  We’re still in play!

Things you can possibly buy with your 1.6 billion cash prize…

Almost any team in the NHL.

One of roughly 20 NBA franchises including the Spurs, Pistons, and Raptors.

Select from about half the teams in Major League Baseball.

The Buffalo Bills.

More specialty channels than you would think (Plus the perk of being able to cancel the professional cancelers!).

Several comic book companies.

At least twelve seasons of an awesome sci-fi series.

Swimming pools full of this bottled water: https://luxurystndrd.com/only-beverly-hills-90h20-would-come-up-with-a-100k-water/

Balmoral Castle.

A small, modest country like Lichtenstein.

Let’s not waste time, people!  The time to start planning is now!

October 19, 2018: The Plans! The Plans!

I’m pleased to report that you needn’t worry about me and, specifically, my right shin.  According to the doctor, it’s a bone bruise that should clear up in 3-4 weeks.

Unless, of course, it’s a stress fracture.  In which case I’ll be in a walking boot until it clears up – in 3-4 weeks.  But we won’t know for sure until he receives the x-ray results  early next week.

Guys.  Guys!  We did it!  We have a first draft of our series opener.  Almost.  This weekend, my partner in crime (also writing and hip-hop) will review what we have, make the necessary changes, and deliver it on Monday.  Meanwhile, Courtney is going to draft on Episode 2.  I’ll be switching off to revise the outline for Episode 3, while Alejandro and Nicole do the same for Episodes 4 and 5.

Also next week, I start work on Untitled Awesome Project.  I had a great meeting with the gang on Thursday and everyone is very excited to move forward.  We discussed the overview, tone, themes, and possible landing spots for the series.  As I said, if you enjoyed episodes like Dark Matter’s All The Time in World and Isn’t That A Paradox, or Stargate’s Window of Opportunity, and Wormhole X-Treme, you’re gonna love it!

Thursday was a busy day.  In addition to the writing and the meeting, I also had a call with a comic book company about the possibility of collaborating on an original comic book series along the lines of what I did with Dark Matter.  I”ll take the next couple of weeks to fine-tune my pitches (I have three!) and deliver them in early November.

And…other stuff.

So, what are your weekend plans?  Do you usually follow routine or are you spur-of-the-moment types?

October 18, 2018: Aches, Pains and Fifth Act Frustrations!

I was stumbling back from the bathroom in pitch darkness when my shin connected with the bed frame with such force that I thought I actually moved the damn thing.  But no.  Akemi was still fast asleep.  Not a surprise.  She is, after all, a notoriously sound sleeper, snoozing through everything from doggy accidents to car alarms.  But the next day, she asked me if I’d run into the bed.  “Oh, you WERE awake,”I said.  Turns out, no. She just noticed the dried blood on the frame.

The impact had left a nasty bruise and slight indent that I treated with polysporin and hope, then thought nothing of it.  In the ensuing weeks, I did A LOT of walking.  To the writers’ room and back.  To the grocery store and back.   To the dog park and back.  And I started to notice a certain pain that I initially attributed to shin splints.  Further (internet) research suggested that what I had initially assumed to be a shin splint is probably a stress fracture, and the only way to relieve a stress fracture is rest.  I need to keep off it – which is, as it turns out, easier said than done.  This was made abundantly clear yesterday after, a day of meetings had sent me zigzagging across the downtown area, I returned home late last night to pain, swelling, and a girlfriend insisting I get it checked.

So, tomorrow, at noon, I get it checked out.  I’ve got a little over five weeks before my Tokyo trip and have to be fully healed before then.  I average around 25 000 daily steps on my Tokyo travels and I can’t afford to be hampered by a leg injury.  Unless, of course, Akemi is willing to piggyback me around Ginza and Akihabara.

I’m just going to consider that as a last resort.

In the meantime, I’ll try to make the best of things – and rely on my downstairs neighbor, Ivon, to help me out whenever I need to run errands…

I was assailed by another kind of pain this evening, that singular agony that comes from trying to crack a pesky fifth act scene.  Only six more pages and I’ll be free to catch a Halloween matinee.  So near and yet so far!

October 17, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Aphrodite V #4 (cover art by Jeff Spokes)

Batman #57 (cover art by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey)

Cemetery Beach #2 (cover art by Jason Howard)

Gideon Falls #7 (cover art by Tula Lotay, Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart)

Harley Quinn #52 (cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco)

Nightwing #51 (cover art by Dave McCaig, Mike Perkins)

So, which were your favorites?

October 16, 2018: Non-Stop Birthday Festivities!

I woke up this morning to discover a waiting email in my inbox informing me that the application I had sent in to the government of Canada and had been returned not once, not twice, but three times prior to my re-re-resending it out in late July as apparently lost, meaning I would have to re-re-re-refile the application on more time.  So, I spent the greater part of the day filling out paperwork, getting the proper photos taken, and sending the application out yet again.  What is it they say when it comes to dealing with our government’s finest?  Fifth time’s the charm?

Also, to commemorate my special day, I am finishing up the final treatments for my frozen shoulder.  I’m pleased to report it has thawed out considerably.  But lest you think I’m going to miss the rehab center I’ve been visiting for the last couple of months – rejoice!  I am apparently suffering from either shin splints or a stress fracture to my right leg.  

Gifts from my gal!  Chocolates, chamomile tea to help rest these weary bones, two re-usable straws (one glass – too large, and one metal – too small), and a couple of massage coupons (I already sold on craigslist!).

I wanted fried chicken for lunch so of course we had to settle for pizza.  Then, we swung by Soma Chocolates and stocked up on the His (pistachio) and Hers (Hazelnut) spreads.  And assorted other goodies.

Later, we visited Dogs & Coffee, a dog-friendly cafe in downtown Toronto where I got a mocha while Suji went crazy for (while Lulu roundly ignored) a cup of frothy steamed milk.

Between working on the second act of this pilot, I fielded birthday messages from friends, family, and former co-workers.

Tonight, we’re off for sushi!  And later tonight, it’s more writing!  And later later tonight, it youtube food videos and fantasy football waiver picks.  Good times, good times!

October 15, 2018: Back on the bike! The Suji feature!

Writing is like riding a bike.  A bike that will experience sudden inexplicable gear shifts and the occasional chain jam.  Also, sometimes, the seat comes off when you go too fast.  But the point is, you never forget how to ride.  Or the feel of the wind in your hair, and the bugs in your teeth.

Yes, I’m back at it, furiously pedaling away, around that first act obstruction, over that rocky second act terrain, speeding towards the downhill third act slope whose momentum will carry me past the fourth and fifth act mud patches to the tag’s finish line.  Barring any ass over fender crashes, I should be done a week from now.  Ambitious?  Most certainly.  But once I’m in the groove, I can set a pretty solid pace.

I’ve often said that humor goes a long way towards allowing viewers to connect with our characters, and I’m pleased to report that this script offers some wonderful moments in this regard.  Even the supporting players are coming fully alive on the page.  It’s as if I’ve already known these characters for years.  And I can’t wait for you to meet them.

Hey, check out Suji’s modeling gig for Rover Boutique.  It includes a feature profile and awesome pics of our gal strutting her stuff:

https://theroverboutique.com/blogs/news/suji-must-have-fall-looks

Photos by AnneMarie Minardi

 

October 14, 2018: Suji Sunday! With special guest star Lulu!

You know what day it is?  Yeah!  It’s Suji Sunday!

All smiles.

Free tummy rubs!

A sneak peek shot from her photo shoot for Rover Boutique.

Suji models the outfit she got from auntie Andria.

Lulu tries on her matching outfit – but doesn’t quite succeed.

Lulu hits the showers!

October 13, 2018: My Favorite New Show!

We are in the era of peak t.v.  To some, this means a plethora of programming to help fill their days and evenings.  For me, it’s an avalanche of shows that leave me paralyzed by the overwhelming range of choices.  And so, rather than choose and make a commitment, I just start another book.

While in the writers’ room these past five weeks, I was amazed by how much my fellow writers watched.  They raved about shows I’ve heard great things about. They raved about shows I’d never even heard of.  And they raved about shows that sounded like utter trash.  In the end, I was left intrigued by some of their recommendations…and appalled by a few of their viewing choices.

So, even though I’m going to have my hands full writing these next few months, I thought  it might be interesting to consider watching something.  Note, I wrote “consider watching  something” and not “watch something” because, when all is said and done, my plate is full and an entire season of t.v. watching is daunting.

All the same, I value your opinions.  Of the following shows, which should I consider watching and – most importantly! – why?  Convince me!

October 12, 2018: And that’s a writers’ room wrap! PLUS the season finale verdicts!

Yep.  That’s a wrap.  Now, we all go our separate ways to pursue other assignments.  For Courtney and I, it’s writing the pilot and episode 2.  For Nicole, it’s Hollywood-bound to pitch her original new series.  For Alejandro, Andrew and Natalia, it’s off to parts unknown to help stage a military coup with their fellow soldiers of fortune.  Still, we made the most of our last day, one marked by much hilarity, desserts, and booze punctuated by occasional show discussion.

So, what was the verdict on the outline for our big season finale?

I’m going to miss this crew!

 

 

October 11, 2018: Highlight of Week Five!

We’re completing our fifth and final week of the writers’ room and have accomplished much in such a short time.  We’ve broken the show’s full ten episode first season, written the outlines and, this week, are well  on track to completing notes sessions on all ten.  We’ve unkilled characters, dismantled mass transportation systems, and even succeeded in figuring Episode 9’s double distraction and complications.  And yet, despite this accomplishments, and with one day still to go, I can already tell you what the highlight of this week has been.  Behold!

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 The California Double from Burger’s Priest: cheeseburgers with a ring of sautéed onions, sandwiched between buttered buns, topped with secret sauce, lettuce, and tomato.

Honorable mentions to –

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The pistachio cake from Nugateau – and the side jar of pistachio halva from Halvana.

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This tablecloth-size laffa bread from Me Va Me.

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The eclairs – also from Nugateau.

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Alejandro’s awesome artwork.

Tomorrow, we wrap the room – and we move on to script work!  Goodbye laughs and camaraderie!  Hello solitary afternoons and yogurt bowls!