The odds and ends.


Growing as a Writer: SEEfest Writer’s Lab & Accelerator

SEEfest logo

I was lucky enough to take part in several South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) programs this past year.
What is this and what does it entail? I’m glad you asked.

There are hundreds of film festivals around the globe. Many are showcases for independent films, others are venues to shop movies without distribution deals. There’s even a long running one in my backyard. But what most of these do not have is educational and development opportunities for up and coming writers. Enter SEEfest.

I applied to their Writer’s Lab back in Fall 2023.
The requirements:

  • At least one completed script (feature or tv)
  • An outline for the project you want to write (time was allowed for revisions after feedback on this)
  • A brief resume
  • 5 page sample from a completed script
  • A zoom interview

I appreciated all of this because it precludes true beginners who may just need practice, while ensuring we are moderately prepared and serious to write this script. I submitted a relatively fresh outline I had for an action/comedy tv pilot (which was an adaptation of a feature script I wrote that was wayyyy too long).

The long and short? It was amazing.
I have never been part of a writing group before. But in recent years I’ve come around to the idea that most things I write can’t get close to “done” without extensive perspective from others. And that’s what this provided. Split into American/European cohorts, we met every other week with deadlines for pages (and notes on everyone else’s writing) each time. It provided a great motivator to get your work done, reading experience on other first drafts, and invaluable feedback on our own pages.

Each of us in the American cohort completed our scripts. And for us tv folks, we even got a few revisions in as well.

This lead seamlessly into an intensive 2 week accelerator program. We met with writers, directors, lawyers and other industry vets. Gaining important knowledge and practicing for the big finale: pitching our idea to a team of producers.

Can you summarize your idea in 3 minutes? Without sounding like you’re reading it? With a good hook? That conveys the “why now”? With enough modern comps? That emphasizes repeatability (for tv)? With character motivation we can easily understand?

I’m a writer, not a salesman. But a screenwriter must be both. You have to get someone else as excited about your project as you are.
I think mine ended up timing out around 3:40. I could have (and should have) gone even longer. My script has a lot of “wait, how did they even get themselves into this situation” questions that were a fun tease for everybody who listened to my pitch (I think I gave it 10 times total).

The Writer’s Lab itself culminated in a showcase (as part of the film festival). The rules: Find a 3 page scene in your script with minimal action, 4 or fewer characters, and that accurately represents the tone of your piece. You’re then teamed with a director and you go through the process of casting, scoring, rehearsals, filming, etc. until time runs out and you go with what you have. I was paired with a great director who found the actors, producer and more as we went about making this work. If you’re interested in the final product, drop me a line.

I highly recommend the whole thing. Everyone was so supportive and the structure they crafted for the writer’s lab really worked. My biggest life lesson takeaway is that I can’t wait to get into another writer’s group. Having those deadlines and that additional perspective feels like an integral part of my writing process now. And I’m quite thankful to SEEfest and the people involved for opening my eyes.


Star Trek TNG: S2 – Elementary, Dear Data

(part of the Season Two Episode Guide)


Data is too good at solving Sherlock-esque mysteries, so Geordi makes a wish on a holodeck star and almost kills everyone.

Meanwhile Geordi was one elbow patch away from being a young college professor trying too hard.

Memory Hole:

Moriarty calling the arch was a genuine surprise. Along with the wonderfully sexist “Mister Computer” when he talks to the ship (that speaks back in a female voice, but whatever).

“Mister Computer, I would like 20lbs of cocaine. Oh, and for my prostitute companion to not have the clap.”

The Quote:

Why would you even suggest that?!

After Geordi suggests using a particle beam to destroy Moriarty and all the human flesh in the holodeck too (which includes the new doctor).

Wife’s Favorite Moment:

Moriarty’s request to keep existing.

“But seriously, if you turn off the holodeck, I’ll die. Can you maybe figure out how to save me between your risk free orgies?”

Wife’s Verdict:

“I hope I’m not just a hologram traveling on someone else’s spaceship.”

What’s this About?

The definition of life. It’s no coincidence that Data is the lead in this mystery. Himself struggling with the meaning of life and sentience. A theme we’ll encounter again later this season.

And let’s not forget that this starts the “you have to tell the computer exactly what you mean” otherwise it’ll create something that might destroy the ship trend that permeates the series.


Star Trek TNG: S2 – The Child

(part of the Season Two Episode Guide)


Immaculate conception! Facial hair! Racist doctor! Space Whoopi!

Memory Hole:

Pulaski starts in on her Data hatred right off the bat. She wears her bigotry on her sleeve. If Twitter were still around in the 24th century, she’d be trolling him pretty hard.

Probably, but still rude.

Ten Forward is a great set. They really needed a big open space for people to converge.
And since when does the Enterprise have a puppy room?!

“They need a lot of attention, but you can beam their poop into space, so there’s that.”

The Quote:


Tinkerbell never heard of affirmative consent.

Wife’s Favorite Moments:

Wes and Guinan have a heart to heart.
Troi saying goodbye to her son/alien.

“I’ll miss you. Even though you kept me up late with your incessant twinkling.”

Wife’s Verdict:

“Life began before conception!”

What’s this About?

Growing up, letting go, and making tough (unexpected choices). They spend a lot of time with Wesley’s B story about whether or not to stay on the Enterprise or go out into the world, cutting short Troi’s exploration of her unexpected child.

The writers were clearly still figuring things out, and giving Troi a baby opened up more possibilities for her character, who didn’t have much to do in season one. But don’t worry, that lesson will be forgotten shortly.


Daily Routines

Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).

If you’ve ever been curious about the daily routines of some of history’s most prolific artists/philosophers/inventors, look no further. A definite trend visible in early morning work and 10pm bedtimes.


It’s Pisstifying

New word developed at work today:

Mystifying + Pissed = Pisstified or Pisstifying
Usage: “Why did they eat all of my leftovers? It had my name on it and everything. It’s completely pisstifying!”


Candy Corn Oreos – The Ultimate Review

Candy corn is one of the most polarizing treats in existence. Want proof? You were either intrigued or repulsed after just reading the title of this post. There’s no middle ground. Sides taken, let the candy war begin.

Nowadays every treat has variations, flavors and holiday versions. From Mint Oreos to Caramel Irish Creme to Crystal Pepsi. Everyone likes to try out a twist on the original. That brings us here.

You had me at "Artificially Flavored Flavor Creme".
You had me at “Artificially Flavored Flavor Creme”.

Intrigued by this new abomination, and firmly in the “candy corn good” camp, I decided to conduct an experiment. Gather friends, coworkers, candy and an audio recorder. Compare the candies labeling themselves as candy corn flavored with the real deal. Simple.



The Dragon & The Spider

I swear not everything I write about has to do with insects. Just this one. And, um, this other one. And possibly this.

The Setup: While exploring the many square feet of my backyard, I nearly run into a spiderweb at eye level. This is a common occurrence. I can be seen, on the regular, walking with my arms flailing about in front of me as I make my way around the property. Dog paddling in the air. It’s dignified.
Just as I spot this particular web and stopped, a dragonfly fails to see it and became entangled. Its wings flap furiously but it is unable to break free. It looked a little bit like this:

Ok, it looked exactly like that.

Dramatic, but I chose to take no sides in this battle of arachnid vs flying insect. After a short consultation with my significant other, I learned that was the wrong choice. So back outside I went to save the less creepy insect from his new role as supper. Hooray!

Upon my return to the scene of the crime the dragonfly was still as frustrated as ever. Don’t worry buddy, the highly advanced human is here to help. Snip. One of the 3 anchors of the web cut. Snip, there goes another. Now it’s just the dragonfly dangling from the top of the garage, just out of reach. I’ll need a longer stick to knock it down. Of course, just as I’m searching the ground, looking for the perfect stick to finish my journey and become Sean, insect savior, something else happens: WE HAVE A NEW CHALLENGER.
The owner of the once effective spider web before me is descending down the remaining thread. Rapidly.
I move faster, looking for a stick to cut off that last strand. The dragonfly notices the spider too and tries again to break free. I finally find a small branch on the ground, lift it up and throw it at the tiny target. And miss.

The spider, about the size of a silver dollar, compact hairy and dark, reaches the dragonfly. It does what everyone does when a spider lands on you: it flips its shit. Wings beating at an incredible speed, the dragonfly makes a last ditch effort to avoid being eaten.  The web rocks back and forth. SLAM. The vibrations jostle the spider loose, knocking it to the ground. It lays motionless where it fell. The dragonfly does a small “take that” flap of its wings and relaxes.

Ok, wow. This bug has earned it now. I grab the scrubber from the bbq brush and cut the dragon free. It celebrates its freedom by dropping to the ground like a rock. A foot away from the unmoving body of the spider.
So it seems that having wings covered in spiderwebs doesn’t make for an easy getaway. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to clean a bug’s wings without accidentally snapping them off (and I doubt the dragonfly would voluntarily let me give it a bath). So I go inside for a consult.

Long story even longer, guests arrived, hugs, conversation, yadda yadda. 15 minutes later I go back, fully intent to spritz the dragonfly with a gentle setting from the hose. Because every problem can be solved with high-pressure water. When I go back outside, I don’t hear any wings flapping. In fact, I don’t see the dragonfly anywhere. Curious. I keep looking. I also don’t see the spider (who I had presumed deceased) either. Oh.

So I guess what I’m saying is: Don’t get involved in the affairs of insects. It’s trouble. Hell, maybe the spider learned the errors of its predatory ways, made up with the dragonfly, and they eloped to an island to live in sin (the dragonfly barely above the waves, the spider on his back, his hair blowing in the wind). Or they both went to their corners, called it a day and moved on.
Or a bird came along and ate them both.


Getting Buzzed at Night

Lint almost killed me the other night.
Not in a “Haha, I had no idea lint knew so many ‘Yo Momma’ jokes!” kind of way. Killed as in physically dead.
To the explanation booth!

Our laundering devices (you may know them as a washer and a dryer) are located outside, under an awning, backed against the detached garage. They are exposed to the elements. Spiders and raccoons are common visitors (tho not together, not since the war). An old and decrepit shelving unit sits next to the dryer. It mostly serves as a place to throw excess lint from the trap (because I’m too lazy to walk 30ft to the trashcan).

This has built up over the years. So much so that one entire shelf is lint. A multicolored fluffy wonderland.
I venture out there to put some newly washed clothes into the dryer, as is my custom. Given my carefree nature and disregard for social norms, I throw open the dryer door with reckless abandon. Ok, so I opened it a bit too enthusiastically (I love dry clothes). The door swings open, smacking into the old bookcase (take that!). And then, a soft buzz.

A buzz? Looking closer at the shelf, I notice a container of some chemical agent. Maybe it’s just letting off pressure from my abrupt jostling.
Instead of dissipating, the buzzing builds. Louder and angrier. The lint is mad at me.

Out from the castoffs of a million dried towels burrows a furry insect. And then another. And then 5 more. Then 20.


They come out into the crisp night air to get a good look at the assclown that thought he could disrupt their slumber and get away with it. A few take flight. At this point, three thoughts are going through my head (in this order):

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1) Do bumble bees sting?*

2) Insects are cold-blooded. How quickly will they die in the night air?*

3) Can someone edit my obituary so it doesn’t say that I was killed doing laundry?*


So I close the doors to the washing machines and dryer (distraction tactic!) and run for the house. They won’t take me this night! Of course, I was ducking and swearing and swinging my arms around like a fool while I was doing this. Dignity was not an option.

Oh, I should mention; I’m quite allergic to bee/wasp stings. I had angered the wrong insect.
But all is well. Sure, they’re still living in the lint, and now I do laundry wearing a hazmat suit, but maybe this is the opening salvo in peace talks between our two peoples.
“I’m sorry I hit your house with the dryer door.”
“It’s ok, we just think about what honey REALLY is and laugh our stingers off.”

*Turns out the answer are 1) Yes, as much as they like (the stingers don’t fall out). 2) They have insulation so that they can venture out into the cold, the tricky bastards. and 3) They’d keep it. It’s just too good of a joke to pass up. Once in a lifetime.


An Offer of Life & Death

My inbox is filled with delightful offers day and night. Various businesses seem quite concerned with my financial and sexual well-being. Today, however, was the first that dealt with issues of my safety.

Subject:  You have been betrayed by some close to you

Some close? Glenn Close? I don’t know her well enough to be betrayed, but thank you for the concern. Am I being betrayed by “some clothes” and they just left out some letters? I’m so confused (and scared).
Maybe they elaborate in the message itself.

You have been betrayed!!!

You said as much in the subject. Oh, now I see the three exclamation points. You’re serious here. Ok, I’m paying attention.

It’s a pity that this how your life is going to come to an end as your death had already been paid for by someone who is very close to you from all investigations.

Someone paid for my death?! Well, that’s generous of them. I’d hate to have to pay for it myself. Sounds expensive. This person (FROM indicates it is someone named ZECO) has even done investigations to prove that it was someone close to me. Aww, so sweet.

Read More of this Adventure!


Must Be Friday

In honor of the end of the week, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to my favorite alliterative day: Fuck You Friday. If you haven’t read all of Achewood, start at the beginning and say goodbye to the next few weeks.



Oh Naturale

Spotted a truck on the freeway with a name that gave me pause: Naturalist Carpet Cleaning.
Was this:
  • A cleaning business for atheists who only believed in the natural world?
  • A risqué service that would tidy up your house in the buff?
  • A personal cleaning service for naturists who also don’t believe in frequent bathing?

Because really, if it’s the latter, I think underpants would be more efficient.

Stay tuned for some screenplay material coming up (thoughts on loglines and my first screenplay review). Nudity will have to take a backseat for now (a popular location for nudity, coincidentally).

Obligatory Introductory Post

I realized at a certain point last year that my online presence was scatterbrained at best. Granted, I was online all of the time, but I wasn’t exactly moving my creative self forward. I needed to express myself, engage in a varied series of conversations about topics I care about with random people around the world. I needed to be more visible. But mostly importantly, I needed to get off my ass and give myself a project that would force me to write. Hello project.