Should you choose to peruse this particular bio, you'll notice my addiction to "words, words... more words" (to bum a Beavis and Butt-head phrase); but don't falter. My scripts are skinned bare, peeled to bone and finally scraped clean to story giving marrow.
Love the Sonoran Desert where I've cohabited more than three decades, but not sure why as it's not a friendly or safe place to hang. Everything burns, bites, sticks or trips; is further away than you think and you're always thirsty. Maybe I bought into "it's a dry heat" and now live a desert conditioned, matrix induced, delusional pseudo-reality? If you get to know me, perhaps you'll splain it? I'll thank you.
In any event Nan, my brilliant spouse, Lola (canine), Prada, Bebe and Chanel (felines) and I are moving south to another warm location in Coolidge, AZ. in December, 2016). Marginally longer bus ride to L.A., but nothing's ever easy and I'll meet interesting people, like on a celluloid bus trip; quintessential cross-country vision quest.
Probably not of interest (I'm sharing here), but exciting as a hard learner type is realizing nothing's more fun than COMPELLING CONFLICT...except my gorgeous wife. I'm convinced writing compelling conflict will complete my life and cement my relationship with Nan who has faithfully and courageously guided me through every unanticipated delusion, compulsion and obsession for more than forty years now. (I never anticipate these side trips, they're a mystery to me, but she always sees ahead and gets me turned before the cliff - turned because I was built without brakes.) Anyway, she's teaching me to trust and it's pretty damn cool just like they said it would be. We'll talk about they some other time.
Historically speaking, I was once upon a time, in a far away land eulogized as North America's fruited plain, an English major - after being a Catholic alter boy (no longer mired in the confessional guilt of religiosity, which by the way won't save you... from whatever), paper boy; high school jock of sorts; long-haired hippie; raising horses; farm laborer; warehouse worker (I can do wheelies on a good fork lift... or could anyway); philosophy/psychology/sociology major - a gray period; before being a biology/genetics/environmental chemistry major - indecisive period; before being a truck driver - evasive period; before finally graduating with a B.S. degree from U.W.-Madison, WI. in civil & environmental engineering (...that's Bachelor of Science, not BullShit - it only took 11 years and somewhere near 200 credits) in 1980. Am now a retired Professional Civil Engineer, retired Project Manager, retired General Contractor and retired over-the-road truck driver (twice - told you I learn the hard way). I write a lot.
Have completed three, total P.O.S. screenplays over the past two decades; none of the three fixable. They were: SOMETHING ABOUT LUNCH - a romantic comedy I collaborated on with my wife, Nan and a friend, about a codependent family (personal demon purging with this one) where the oldest son is marrying a gal the family (read Mom) doesn't like. SHORT LINE - a coming of age, competitive water skiing, young person romance movie set in northern Wisconsin (less personal demon purging here) where the quintessential low income, small town, unrecognized local goes up against high income, big city, judge connected competition; and VASALLIO (not much personal demon purging at all left in this one) - a sequel to Paramount's Cobra (1986). Vassalio had the same number of letters as COBRETTI, my sequel title I had no rights to, so Vassalio is my non-script-reformatting name change (also a distant family name) for that day when I would get the rights, which I never did. These three 120 page screenplays no longer exist in any form by the way. I have no reverse gear - a character disorder I was born into this physical world with...or so I imagine. Working on a wam doozle thriller now called MACHUPO and its sequel, EYES OF CAIN that have earned my focus. Beginning a rough outline for MINISTER AND DEACON, which I'm sure will ultimately become a cult-classic loved by many; do custom leather work as a side business (www.gritwest.com) and have an ETSY Store called Grit West Leather. Story development apparently occurs naturally while carving leather and listening to tunes, a symbiotic process that caught me stunningly unaware.
Immaterial, but have also researched and started three or four novels (hasn't everybody?), one called Spin Dry, involving demonology. Researched this for over a year, got about two thirds of the way through writing it - the good guys were gonna win; had crystal perfume bottles exploding in the bathroom, was attacked by flies, thousands of 'em, was seeing weird visions (envisioned I was anyway) and concluded; ENOUGH ALREADY - wife and two kids - don't need this. Nothing remains of these clever, visionary novels. No going back.
Married to beautiful wife since 1975; one daughter, one son, one dog, 3 cats and one imaginary friend, maybe two imaginary friends, but not sure if the second is friendly as she's a smart ass and carries grudges.
Hatched out and grew up in central Wisconsin (Stevens Point); lived in the Madison, WI area for five years ; then moved to sunny Phoenix, AZ in 1985 (shorter bus-ride to L.A.). As mentioned above, headed for Cottonwood, AZ. early this winter of 2016 or late winter of 2017 if bumps in the road turn up.
Libertarian political blogger since 2009 who doesn't care much for integrity challenged political parties. (www.1600watch.com) Haven't been blogging much lately - too distracting - writing screen plays instead.
P.S. Don't let 1600 Watch scare you; I have lots of liberal friends, mostly musicians, whom I guess are politely scandalized or at least confused by my Libertarian views. I just happen to believe freedom ain't free, Monopoly Fascism ain't capitalism, ain't nice neither and collectivism ain't no kind of freedom at all. Individual freedom is the only thing, other than family, friends, love, generosity, dogs, cats, birds, integrity, good whiskey, good cigars, good food, good stories, mountains, thunderstorms, windy days and ocean views I really give a crap about.
I'm not actually a good Libertarian. For example, I think public libraries and national parks are OK, but in my defense, still hold that Federal lands are an obvious Constitutional violation of recognized State's Rights. I mean, does BLM really need armored vehicles and automatic weapons? WTF? Maybe some kind of Christian/Buddhist/Constitutionalarian - don't really know and don't care much for labels anyway (just trying to be helpful regarding possible boundaries), but I definitely don't like rules and avoid Tavistockian inspired entrainment, which by the way suffocates imagination and as a side note; creative imagination is critical to healthy human society. You'll notice this idea of imagination versus Orwellian entrainment avoidance underlying much, if not most of my thematic content these days. I suppose it's a phase. Then again, it could be a condition as this all started in eighth grade, circa 1963 when I foolishly read Ferdinand Lundberg's The Rich and the Super Rich, began dabbling in existential metaphysics and reading existential philosophers - subjects I don't pretend to understand - but stubbornly consider anyway? NO PAIN, NO GAIN as Arnold says.
I don't enjoy being an employee, prefer to live by my wits, love free market capitalism (Anarchy with rules), hate monopoly (crony) capitalism (and Socialism/Fascism as twisted sisters) and suspect government is safest when limited to the T & T variety; that is, kept in a Tiny box with a Tight lid... and yes, I fully concur that political discourse is best left for Whiskey Wednesdays - but I'm sharing here so you can know these things about me and not be caught by surprise, potentially ruining a good Bourbon or other wonderful beverage moment, inadvertently trashing an otherwise pleasant, late night/early morning fireside chat covering centuries of esoteric nonsense - which to me is an important component of living.
Currently caught up in the thrall of compelling conflict and gritty characters living their story through an organic script within a loose, overall, 3-act structure. In other words, I believe in creative growth and imaginative flexibility, but still respect what the Greeks figured out centuries ago.
Unique traits: Addicted to creative freedom. Dreamer; smile a lot; have to write to stay even relatively sane; non-territorial within the team, but will fight dragons defending the team; believe the best idea is best whether had by the janitor, CEO or the crazy lady sitting in front of Circle K; huggable; can carry stuff; safe driver; love trout streams; enjoy strong, independent, heavily armed women with attitude; appreciate insane guys too, but not sure we should be allowed to play without a leash... problematic, given I don't like leashes.
Home is Where the Jail Is Drama ⋄ Comedy Wealthy retired railroad worker, 70-year old Eric James, wakes up one morning to find his retirement funds vacated in a major corporate bankruptcy. Unable to pay property tax on his paid for home of fifty years, he sells his boat, RV, tools, furniture and finally his car, but at the end of his rope, he's evicted and his home auctioned off. Ineligible for Social Security, disability, welfare or other government programs; unable to buy groceries, clothes or medicine, living on the street, he decides the last alternative to impotence is jail - but with 10,000 Baby Boomers per day turning 65, he's just one among many with the same brainstorm. How a decent person with a work ethic gets a more or less warm bed and three meals a day in jail is not as easy as it looks.
MACHUPO Thriller Geo-political power, global resource rape and corrupt monopoly profit result in a weaponized form of Machupo virus being stolen and released during a planned CIA false flag event blaming Nigerian Nationalists, going terribly wrong. The covert op uses foreign aid as cover providing powerful transnational monopolies access to rich Nigerian resources, but the op derails, putting its covert planners at risk. Subsequent loose-end clean-up forces Main Street truck driver, John Cain, to survive the cold blooded execution of his innocent wife, Rachel and later, his beautiful daughter, Julie and Lucinda, the family dog as collateral damage, driving Cain to become a monster obsessed with destroying the bespoke, wool suited monsters responsible for destroying his family.
EYES OF CAIN Thriller Sequel to MACHUPO. Truck driver, John Cain, having lost his loving wife, Rachel and beautiful, innocent daughter, Tess - not to mention witnessing thousands, millions actually across the globe starved, tortured and murdered for depraved Network greed has degenerated from husband and dad to feral hunter of Elite dynastic family members who behind the scenes, control world governments through their interlocked banking, energy, arms and media monopolies. One by one, Cain gives each a chance to defend themselves, reminding them of wars and horror they inflict on Main Street people from their sacrosanct, mahogany ensconced clubs and boardrooms... brutally beating each one to death with scarred, bloody fists, smothering exclusive northeastern estates of the inbred, privileged Elite under a dark blanket of stark, visceral terror.
Minister and Deacon Thriller Decorated Eagle Scout, (this is an original screenplay, so our protagonist can't be a deadly Marine Scout Sniper or Navy Seal can he?), now a cynical, hard drinking, stony eyed, not very professional gambler; lean as a hungry wolf, wide through the shoulders, narrow through the waist, fully tatted, in love with irresponsible women - is unexpectedly asked to marry two good friends, so obligingly becomes a Minister for $20 online; ordains his indica loving, younger brother as Deacon; proceeds to prepare for his friend's ceremony and stumbles into an awkwardly timed spiritual awakening. Never saw it coming and now, guiding his tiny new flock inadvertently places our new Minister innocently in possession of information CIA assets prefer not be floating around. Suddenly, ministerial life becomes serious. NOTE: Tradition requires putting this logline in one sentence, but respectful consideration for successful A list producers renders that approach too punishing; so three sentences for relief.
One day a Producer/Director will discover stuff I wrote, have it re-written and then I will have film credits as a screen writer or at least "story by" to post here.
I'd like to win an Oscar even though I don't usually prefer Oscar nominated movies.
University of Wisconsin-Madison