Let's Speak The Same Language

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I've started another screenplay, but it's not catching fire in my psyche yet. Based on the horrific story of actress Susan Cabot, the plot has some very intriguing possibilities. Then the rewrite of Ghoul World awaits. It has to be changed if it can have any chance of success. Got another rejection yesterday from Western Humanities Review. That's three rejections after an initial invitation to try again, and now they go into my file of disappeared magazines .

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The real story is how this past week has become another horror story of declining health, declining quality of life for me. I've got sciatica, and I slept very little for almost 5 nights. Honestly, I was near tears when my wife came home yesterday. Unable to write, unable to exercise, unable to sleep, I felt irrevocably old. Well of course. But I don't have to feel old just because I am old. Right? 

Fortunately, it's not degenerative bone disease or bone spurs. It's just situational and brought on by my declining ability to exercise because of fatigue which is a side effect of the hormone treatments and the real effect of the lack of sleep caused by having to get up nearly hourly to pee created by the radiation treatments that damaged my urinary tract. It's perfect storm of debilitating effects. When I'm in the worst of it, I imagine I'll never feel good again and will never write another decent sentence or bit of dialogue. It's not death I fear. It's being unable to move around and live a life of feeling and love and experience. Trapped ... I hate the thought of it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


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I'm disheartened today, unable to write because of lack of sleep. A curtain hangs between my creative self and the words on the page. Nothing means anything. The characters are dead, the plot lacks liveliness and meaningful action. Up a zillion times last night to pee so I'm pulling up stakes at this here Starbucks and heading home in this soon to be 105 degree day to where the curtains are pulled and the darkness of despair awaits this silent beatnik boomer. Actually, I'm going to turn up our window air conditioning and pig out on Curb Your Enthusiasm. "If one can't create himself let him watch something creative," I always say. 

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THEN what happens! The air conditioning comes on strong in this Starbucks, and I get a second wind as I realize it's allergies that have me down. Now I'm joyous. I'll stick around and work some more.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


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I'm currently tearing to shreds the structure of my science fiction film script Distant Enemies with an intention to add more action in middle of script. I have about 10 to 15 things [poetry and short stories] out to several literary magazines, and I'm facing another rewrite of Ghoul World to correct several major tactical decisions I made in envisioning the whole. They were comical ideas, whimsies that should have never survived a critical look at the novel. For example, the key evil corporation I call McDaniel's and they sell Irisher meat that sustains the non-Irish population. They're called McNugguts. Funny, eh? But really not up to the seriousness of the themes. The poetry manuscript that once was Up Your Ass has become You Awake One Morning, Remembering, primarily because the "you" pov calls so many cultural and political memories into the text. My daughter Eva wants me to keep the original title, and I understand that whole argument too. For all I know Up Your Ass may again become the title. 

My major problem these days is depression and confusion when first awakening. I have trouble making decisions about what's next, and I constantly forget things when I leave the house. Like this morning when I drove to Costco and on the way remembered that I'd forgotten the shopping list. I hate spending so much time in the bathroom too, either pooping or peeing. Ages I spend in there.  

Friday, July 14, 2017


<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px;" href="http://unsplash.com/@jesuskiteque?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Jesus Kiteque"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white;" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title></title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;">Jesus Kiteque</span></a>
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A week! A freakin' week between entries, and I thought it had been only a few days. But I've been busy, getting in final touches on film scripts for contest entries ... maybe. This morning I sent off three poems to an on line magazine called Big Lucks. I prepared a short story to send to Virginia Quarterly Review on September 1st. It's ready to go. The VQR pays and it's big time as far as little and lit mags go. I've got several ideas in mind to turn into film scripts. Could even see Ghoul World as a film script. I wrote it with movie in mind, but thought the story was so good that someone would buy and publish the book and someone else will write the script. Really, the back story is marvelous. Possibly another rewrite is absolutely necessary. Absolutely possible, yes. Oh no, not again.

Big activity this week was my wife's birthday. Read about our fun times together here. Found a wonderful website called "Unsplash" where you can submit photos and use free photos by other photographers. I'm using a photo from that site in this posting. 

Friday, July 7, 2017


I'd been trying to rewrite the prostate cancer manuscript, Up Your Ass, all morning, but the world outside my head was in a parallel universe. I was forced to squint through an opaque curtain to see my poems. I miss hit so many keys I thought my fingers were drunk. Nothing creative happening.

I'd been that way all morning, then out of nowhere by sheer coincidence my wife drives by the Starbucks where I'm "not" working, and she sees my car in the parking lot. She's on the way to visit one of her clients and only has time to say, "Hi, honey," kiss me and mention that I look tired. "Did you get enough sleep?" 

Now she's gone, and I realize yet again that this familiar feeling is the result of not getting enough sleep. Ever since the cancer treatments, my pissing problems get me up all hours of the night, and I have drugged days like this. Way too many of them. Who can work effectively under such conditions?

As if to put a exclamation point on my dilemma, an overpowering and familiar urge to defecate hits me, and I race the length of Starbucks to stave off a dirty diaper, then as I try to type this happening into the blog ... what the hell ... the same urge sends me scurrying again.

Such is the life of a prostate cancer survivor — spontaneous ambivalent happiness.

Friday, June 30, 2017


Got back the critique of my screenplay Distant Enemies from the BlueCat Screenwriting Contest. Although I didn't win any cash prizes, I was encouraged by the feedback. The anonymous critic agreed, I think, with Randall Jahnson, my Northwest Film Center's screenwriting teacher, that my script was a solid attempt. The BlueCat critic wrote that my plot was "fresh and original". He thought my plot twist was "a fine touch by the writer". He noted the "pod" element in my script, and it's reference to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". He said my handling of the pods was "neither unoriginal nor identical" to the earlier films. True enough.

About my character portrayals, he wrote, "There was an array of characters ... each of them gave a powerful image and had their own individuality that made the story stronger and fluid. It was quite disheartening to see some of the characters die off or appeared (sic) to have died." That sympathetic reaction was exactly my intention. I love dialogue writing and the character it reveals.

On the negative side, both screenwriter Randall Jahnson and the anonymous BlueCat critic thought the action in the middle segment of my screenplay was slowed down by elements that might be eliminated or shortened. I'll definitely see where action can be sped up in future rewrites. The fact that two separate writers agreed about this belt line sluggishness, made the suggestion specially forceful. 

Finally, my anonymous critic encouraged me when he wrote  "Distant Enemies is a solid script and could be rewritten to improve the pacing." I agree wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


For sleeping w/o scratching itchy eyes...
I value those of you who follow this blog. Seventy persons checked in over the last 24 hours, and I apologize to all for the 14 day lapse between this and my last entry. It's been medically trying for several  weeks. At this very moment I'm having a hot flash that makes me sweat as if I've just completed a marathon while I'm seated in a very chill Starbucks. I remain in physical therapy in an attempt to gain more control over my bowel function. Monday I had cataract surgery and am now in process of recovery from that. I'm having to wear reading glasses to see this blog or read a book or newspaper. Creative work is not possible when one is straining to see. From radiation treatments for prostate cancer to bladder stone and cataract removals ... this is the most extended period of time I've ever experienced of discomfort and office visits to medical doctors, ORs and physical therapists. If I didn't feel so youthful, I'd swear I'm growing old. Okay. I laugh. But the truth is I'm not the most courageous captain of my fate. I feel like whining a lot and must exercise some control so as not to overburden my wife whose father died last Wednesday morning after a lifetime of dealing in a very brave way with Type I diabetes. Heart failure. He was a sheet metal worker, and I earned my bread as a CNC machinist. Blue collar earners, the both of us, and I think that has a lot to do with the love my wife and I share. He was a good and humble man, and I'm so grateful that he raised the woman who is my wife. I'm also happy that my cancer treatment seems to be successful for reasons beyond my own survival as you can well imagine.

Has anyone noticed how this blog has devolved from an account of a man on a bucket list quest to the diary of a sick bed? I have several creative projects in mind, including another film script. If I can just get these metaphorical catheters out of my wrist and arise from my metaphorical sick bed, more will be revealed. The screenwriting class went very well. Bye-bye and buy bonds.