is two guys collaborating to write on writing and collaboration.

May 2006 Archives

Wednesday
May 31, 2006

Round 11.0003 [Terminal Connection] posted by kza

Question for Burley:

In all versions of this story so far, the following phrase is used:

…that the crime of which he’s accused, but hasn’t committed yet, is murdering her.

However, going back through the archives, you also said this:

…and I especially don’t mean that computers can predict the future…

So, while knowing that I have the freedom to alter all this as I see fit, I’m still curious about your intention. Do some people in this world have the ability to predict the future? Or is this a semantics problem, and what you meant to say was that the husband is accused of conspiracy to murder?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Wednesday
May 31, 2006

The State of the Blog: May 2006 posted by Martin

Human secularists, satanic majesties, crimson overlords and clarified-butter dharma dolls, welcome to the State of the Blog for May 2006. May was a month of 21 posts, an average of .67 posts per day, which is a sequential kind of number. A memory of the Summer of Love, in that number. A memory of a to-do list overflowing with actionable items.

The month began with the tail end of the Radical Idea approach to stopping an argument. In good form, we made some rules, and then discussed them for quite awhile to make sure they reached the patented Spitball! gold standard of needless complexity.

Once that was done, we finished up our Round 10 discussions about which stories to move forward, and then moved on to Round 11—which started by defining the �in a world� scenario that we never did define for Terminal Connection when we created it as a frankenstein story idea.

Starting this month, character bios for Round 11—which, according to our new rules will not be an either-or proposition, but instead a situation where both could potentially move forward.

I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but when I think of how close we are getting to actually starting the writing, I get a little excited, in culturally acceptable ways. Won’t you join me and let’s be excited together in culturally acceptable ways?

Comments (0) — Category: communications

Tuesday
May 30, 2006

Loose Ends posted by kza

(The following is an attempt at the kind of post they sometimes do over at Signal vs. Noise — that is, a “statement of purpose” kind of deal that’s both kind of controversial but also kind of vague. Is mine a homage or a parody? I’m thinking a little of both.)

SCREENWRITERS:

Stop tying shit together.

Yes, if you’re writing a mainstream narrative, cause and effect is often necessary. Foreshadowing — that’s usually a good thing. It’s good to be introduced to a character, concept, event, etc. in a “teasing” way, only to get the full introduction later on.

But not everything needs to tie into something previously shown, nor does it need to tie into something later on. Not everything needs to be a “plant”. Not everything needs to be a payoff. I don’t need to be constantly paid off. What am I, a mob shakedown guy?

When everything is a plant with an accompanying payoff, you’ve gone from creating a world to creating an artificial world. It’s not clever. It’s not “good writing”. It’s hermetic. In a sense, it’s paranoid. Ultimately, it’s suffocating.

Open that world up. Bring up something — a character, an image, a place — and then drop it. The real world is too big to encompass in a screenplay. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t suggest that enormity. And just because your screenplay takes place on the dragon-infested island of Mythia doesn’t mean you can get away with hermeticism. For every noble prince, there’s a peasant somewhere toiling in the mud. For every exciting quest, there’s a courtier who’s fallen in love with the princess, or a steward trying to run a castle, or wizard trying to make the mortgage on his tower. We don’t need the full stories — we can fill them in ourselves. But we need the sense that this is a living, breathing world, one that exists outside the boundaries of the protagonist.

And living, breathing worlds have loose ends.

Comments (0) — Category: technique

Monday
May 15, 2006

Note to self: remember the sounds posted by Martin

There was an amazing bit on NPR’s Morning Edition earlier today about some of the sounds in the dense neighborhoods surrounding the Forbidden City in Bejing. I think it’s worth a listen for the wild and varied things you hear.

I was thinking about those sounds, which stopped me dead in my tracks, and how as writers we need to shape the world of the characters. Especially in movies sound is important and omnipresent. Don’t forget to put them into worlds with noises that can confuse, startle and interact with them. Sound can be character as much as visual. In official news:

Burley, you said you had some ideas about this you wanted to go over? Cuz I’m ready to jump in with character bios.

Go man go! I’m ready too.

Comments (0) — Category: inspiration

Friday
May 12, 2006

Weekly Wrap-Up (5/6/06 - 5/12/06) posted by kza

So one thing and only one thing has crossed the lips of the Spitball! boys this week. Listen, and listen carefully, and you too might hear it. There it is! Can you hear it? Across the wind and through the trees, it falls upon your ears like the whispers of a long-forgotten lover. It says…

Terminal Connection.Terminal ConnectionTerminal Connection

Meaning: What the hell is this story, anyway? As Burley recounts, this was the first story that was formed out of the consolidation of two competing stories, and as such, never got a proper write-up. It was determined that, before Round Eleven began, it might be a good idea to determine just what Terminal Connection is before starting the bios. Then Burley provided a write-up, and Shockah found it just dandy. And unless Burley wants to expand on the idea further, Shockah will start with the bios… on Monday, that is.

Also this week: Shockah put up the link for the hilariously accurate Do It Yourself Giallo Generator, and Burley highlighted the fascinating (and to Shockah, somewhat unnerving) found (vintage) photo site Big Happy Fun House. Spitball! Sez: Check ‘em out.

Comments (0) — Category: communications

Wednesday
May 10, 2006

Round 11.0002 [Terminal Connection] posted by kza

Before we get started…

Terminal Connection
In a world where telepathy is a disease, and known telepaths are imprisoned, all laws are built by consensus over the internet via double-blind anonymous computer terminals to guard against undo psychic influence. One politician is called to jury duty, also conducted over computer terminals, but doesn’t realize that the accused, whom she thinks should be dealt with harshly, is actually her husband. Nor does she realize that the crime of which he’s accused, but hasn’t committed yet, is murdering her. And what would she do if she knew that when she’s deliberating, her husband could read her mind and was plotting to kill her precisely because she’s about to send him back to the living hell of forced labor known as the Prison Planet?

My name is Urban Shockah and I approve this story idea.

Burley, you said you had some ideas about this you wanted to go over? Cuz I’m ready to jump in with character bios.

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Wednesday
May 10, 2006

Inspiration in a lens posted by Martin

Inspiration: I take it anywhere I can get it, although as we’ve discussed before, our problem is not so much ideas but the time to express them. Maybe that’s the basis of our philosophy that the real work is the execution. I’ll bet there are diligent writers for whom the idea part is the hardest.

If you’re one of them you might find inspiration at Big Happy Fun House, one of my favorite blogs. It’s only vintage photos—new ones every day, cherry picked and edited by a guy with a great eye.

http://bighappyfunhouse.com/

His shadows series was particularly good, I thought.

Comments (0) — Category: inspiration

Monday
May 08, 2006

Round 11.0001 [Terminal Connection] posted by Martin

UPDATE: 5/10/06 — I had to change the title from a ridiculous number of zeros down to only a few too many zeros because the post title was breaking the blog layout. We’re always living on the edge for you, dear viewer.

To recap, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention: There were two stories called The Infected and If It Pleases the Court. For some reason we decided to blend the two stories into one, which Shockah smartly titled Terminal Connection. But, we realized we haven’t written a description of it yet. So, here’s mine. After Shockah does his, I’ll discuss a few ideas about this that I have, and see if we can’t whip it into shape for the true Round 11, not so far away.

But first, the stories we’re blending:

The Infected
In a world where telepathy is a disease and the infected are prisoners, one woman will discover a shocking truth that could change everything… but on a world where a mind can be read as easily as opening a book, how can any secret be safe?

If It Pleases The Court
In a World where crimes are judged and juried by encrypted, anonymous computer terminals, one jury foreman doesn’t realize that the man she’s arguing so strongly should be committed to the Prison Planet for life is actually her husband—and the crime he’s accused of—but hasn’t committed yet—is murdering her.

And now…

Terminal Connection
In a world where telepathy is a disease, and known telepaths are imprisoned, all laws are built by consensus over the internet via double-blind anonymous computer terminals to guard against undo psychic influence. One politician is called to jury duty, also conducted over computer terminals, but doesn’t realize that the accused, whom she thinks should be dealt with harshly, is actually her husband. Nor does she realize that the crime of which he’s accused, but hasn’t committed yet, is murdering her. And what would she do if she knew that when she’s deliberating, her husband could read her mind and was plotting to kill her precisely because she’s about to send him back to the living hell of forced labor known as the Prison Planet?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Friday
May 05, 2006

Re[2]: Round 10.6 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by kza

…even though we had stories for The Infected & If It Pleases the Court, we’ve never had a log-line or pitch for Terminal Connection. Why don’t we both come up with one, and then I say we toss some ideas about it around before really starting the round. What do you think?

I was ready to just jump in with both feet, but we might avoid a Round Nine-style quagmire if we figured it out ahead of time. I have a concept in my head about what Terminal Connection is like (that I already know you won’t care much for), so next post, I’ll probably talk about that — but I’d better refresh my memory first. Telepathy? Double-blind juries? Cake? Something along those lines?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Friday
May 05, 2006

re: Round 10.6 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by Martin

Heh heh heh… Here’s what I thought when I first read that bio: “Wow — Cemile! Of course! Obviously she’s the lynchpin of the entire story. I wonder what Burley’s got planned for her…”’

Damn, I should learn to keep my mouth shut. I’m much more mysterious and interesting in your mind than in reality.

Meaning I have to write a bio for Terminal Connection, an idea that currently has less story than Rasputin. Can I claim Conscientious Objector status?

You bring up a very good point, which is that even though we had stories for The Infected & If It Pleases the Court, we’ve never had a log-line or pitch for Terminal Connection. Why don’t we both come up with one, and then I say we toss some ideas about it around before really starting the round. What do you think?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Friday
May 05, 2006

Weekly Wrap-Up (4/28/06 - 5/5/06) posted by kza

Hey there, loyal Spitball! readers. The Weekly Wrap-Up is back, after missing a few weeks. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything, unless you wanted to hear Shockah complain about people complaining and Burley complaining about his own complaining. Oh, Burley already made that joke. Nothing to see here, folks, move on.

The week began with an interesting question from Burley: Why aren’t there any big-budget epic movies about American Indian mythology? If the Chinese can mine their own history and mythology for kick-ass movies, why not one based on Northwest Native American folklore? (Shockah’s one word answer as to why we won’t be seeing one anytime soon starts with “r” and ends with “m”, but that’s the kind of answer one expects from Shockah.) Still, sounds pretty cool, and maybe one day someone will get it done.

Then Shockah finally posted his second bio, President Jones Alan Porter, for the idea Rasputin the Translator. It was… different, to say the least.

But then the Spitball! boys… excuse me while I get into my Dukes of Hazzard narrator outfit… but the the Spitball! boys found themselves in one dilly of a pickle. Seems like they both fell in love with the two stories, wouldn’t you know it, and couldn’t bring themselves to do the right and honorable thing and show one the door. So Burley Duke proposed a new way of goin’ about things: both stories in a round can move onto the final round, and a winner would be determined through the magic of Needlessly Complex rules. Now Shockah Duke, he aint the brightest bulb in the bottom drawer, so he had to have the new rules explained to him. Twice. But he finally got it figured out, and so it was then agreed that these new rules would be in effect for the rest of the heat. Until Boss Hogg got wind of the new plan…

Anyway, after a little bit of discussion, both Rasputin the Translator and Time to Die were voted through to the final round. Hooray! Only two more rounds until the moment America has been waiting for: the winner of the First Spitball! Tourney of Story Ideas. Who will it be? Rasputin? Little Black Stray? The Scabs? Stay tuned as the competition is only going to get hotter!

Shockah out.

Comments (0) — Category: communications

Friday
May 05, 2006

Round 10.6 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by kza

It is funny—I did have to look it up…but, I actually never imagined her as a character that might need a background, but now that you mention it, I think she would be a great character with a background. Hmmmm. I can see her playing an important role in the film…

Heh heh heh… Here’s what I thought when I first read that bio: “Wow — Cemile! Of course! Obviously she’s the lynchpin of the entire story. I wonder what Burley’s got planned for her…”

Rasputin the Translator: YES
Time to Die: YES

My vote is as follows:

Rasputin the Translator: YES
Time to Die: YES

Both stories move on. Congratulations, stories.

This Round Goes To Eleven is next. Little Black Stray and Terminal Connection. I’m doing the starting bios. Meaning I have to write a bio for Terminal Connection, an idea that currently has less story than Rasputin. Can I claim Conscientious Objector status?

Bios coming soon.

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Friday
May 05, 2006

Round 10.5 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by Martin

Ooops! I meant Cemile. Knew I shoulda looked that one up. Now, if you don’t know who that is… that’s gonna be funny.

It is funny—I did have to look it up…but, I actually never imagined her as a character that might need a background, but now that you mention it, I think she would be a great character with a background. Hmmmm. I can see her playing an important role in the film…

should we take a vote?

Hell yeah. I’m ready. My votes?

Rasputin the Translator: YES
Time to Die: YES

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Thursday
May 04, 2006

Round 10.4 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by kza

Wait—who’s Cecile again?

Ooops! I meant Cemile. Knew I shoulda looked that one up. Now, if you don’t know who that is… that’s gonna be funny.

In retrospect, I should have chosen something less open to…shall we say, interpretation?

Oh, I knew you had a reason for it (and it’s a good reason, I think), but yeah, not sure how that would end up playing in Peoria, to coin a phrase.

Well, whaddya want to do now? We could keep talking about these stories, but since it’s not an either/or game anymore, and I think we know how we feel about them… should we take a vote?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Wednesday
May 03, 2006

Round 10.3 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by Martin

1. We don’t really seem to know what the actual story is for Rasputin the Translator. Should that be a factor in whether it advances or not?

That’s a good question, but I say no. We both were excited about the character bios, and we’re both excited by the possibilities of it. Besides, this heat was never about defining the story as much as it was about exploring it obliquely through extraneous characterization. Our work, while maybe not clarifying anything about the story, has certainly not made me doubt it at all.

2. There are a still a couple of bios that I’d like to see: Rasputin’s Cecile, and Time to Die’s unnamed warden character. Should those be written now, during this discussion, or wait until the stories have (potentially) moved on, or what?

Another good point. I would say it’s in our hands — if the bios would be handy, I say we divide them up and each take one on. I don’t see it influencing the decision to move the stories forward, but it might help down the line. Wait—who’s Cecile again?

3. What are we looking for when we decide whether to move these stories on? Is it simply a gut thing, or can it be stated in a quantitative way?

Either. I think, like Steven Colbert, that the gut has more nerve endings than the brain. Or, at least, it’s sometimes right. If you have a feeling, vote it through. If it doesn’t have enough meat on the bones, I doubt it will become the #1 pick anyway.

4. Did we ever decide what Time to Die’s prison was like?

No, we didn’t — and I’d actually like to put this question off a bit until we do more brainstorming (or, dare I say it? Spitballing….) about this story. The reason is that I think the environment will play a really large part in the plot (both in a kind of “doomsday” device that you had in mind, and also in the set up that allows the prisoners to take over the prison). I want to make sure the choice is informed by some different options before I commit.

5. What exactly were your plans for September’s stripper and dominatrix pals, anyway?

Bastard. You had to bring up that again. Well, I was thinking tough, independent women who would be a bit wild and never conform to the expectations society had of them. I saw this as an influence on September, who in general is a more mainstream person. What influenced her life to make her completely disregard the authority figures who tell her that what she wants to do can’t be done? That’s the gist of it — and, I totally confess that I didn’t support those ideas at all, and that out of context it looked a little bit like drooling geek boy fandom. My angle was looking at the characteristics I wanted to fill, and then thinking of a profession to support them instead of the other way around. In retrospect, I should have chosen something less open to…shall we say, interpretation?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Wednesday
May 03, 2006

Round 10 - Discussion [Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die] posted by kza

Well, I guess we now open the floor to discussion about the two stories. As Burley already knows, I’m feeling a little bit under the weather (but hopefully not the Boogie Woogie Burley Flu), so my thoughts aren’t as coherent as I’d like them to be. So rather than pontificate in a woozy state, I’m just going to throw out some questions, and let Burley run with it where he may (which may or may not include answering the questions — he’s not like, under oath or anything).

1. We don’t really seem to know what the actual story is for Rasputin the Translator. Should that be a factor in whether it advances or not?

2. There are a still a couple of bios that I’d like to see: Rasputin’s Cecile, and Time to Die’s unnamed warden character. Should those be written now, during this discussion, or wait until the stories have (potentially) moved on, or what?

3. What are we looking for when we decide whether to move these stories on? Is it simply a gut thing, or can it be stated in a quantitative way?

4. Did we ever decide what Time to Die’s prison was like? Last time we talked about it, it seemed like we had different conceptions (I was thinking something more traditional, just on a different planet, but you seemed to be thinking about a more expansive, outdoorsy “prisoner reserve” kind of deal, if I’m not mistaken.) I got no preferences, I can go with the flow, but setting helps determine character, so it might be a good thing to figure out.

5. What exactly were your plans for September’s stripper and dominatrix pals, anyway?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Tuesday
May 02, 2006

Re[4]: A Radical Idea posted by Martin

Assuming this is correct, I vote “yea” on this plan, with the caveat that I may want to Needlessly Complicate how the winner is generated in Step 3; but that idea’s for another post.

It is correct, and I gleefully await your next addition to Needless Complexity.

What’s a magic penny song?

Are you sure you were raised in California in the 70s? I couldn’t escape this song as a kid. The Magic Penny is a song by Malvina Reynolds, whom many of you may know for song Little Boxes, which is the opening tune to the TV show Weeds. It’s pure commie propaganda tainting our children with ideas of love and giving. We should be singing Let The Eagle Soar to our children. Who wants kids to love? We want them to be tough! Anyway, I digress.

The lyrics go:

Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away
Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more
It’s just like the magic penny
Hold it tight, and you haven’t got any
spend it lend it and you’ll have so many
they’ll roll all over the floor

As you can see, it’s basic buddhism. Do good, and karma will repay you. Or, appealing to the lowest common denominator—greed of money—to change the lowest common behavior—greed of love. Or maybe she’s advocating orgies and gambling—not quite sure. In any case, it’s a beloved sing-song youthful ditty. You can hear the woman herself singing it on iTunes.

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

Monday
May 01, 2006

The State of the Blog: April posted by Martin

Friends, paper monsters, chicken-sqwaking parakeets, and CIA agents who were working undercover in Iran on nuclear proliferation before being outed by the (as of this date) still unfired presidential monkey boy, welcome to the state of the blog looking back on April, 2006.

April is a special month. The showers bring flowers, the rain falls on plains (at least in Maine, so they proclaim), but here the great sickness of 2006 was just ending. I, a stalwart and upright fellow—sound of body and mind—not, pray tell, athletic per chance, but nor feeble or prone to sudden illness—I fell under the spell of one wicked and hideous influenza, passed to me by a globe-trotting photographer who is a good man, so shant be named here. On that first day of April where minds turn to fools, I turned mine to the simple task of walking (slowly!) four blocks for a taco. No metaphor lives here—a real, fresh taco, bathed in Blue Water and Chipotle salsa. I made it, this walk, with the accompaniment of my inspiring and faithful companion. It was she that bought me the taco, for indeed—and here’s where you’ll lend me your sympathies a mite—it was indeed the celebration of the day of my birth.

But let’s not dawdle on me—because this experience of Spitball! is about us. Our Google ranking fell, and then rebounded and we’re back on the first page—the only reference on that page not about baseball. If you feel that this Spitball! is more important then, say “Spitball: the Literary Baseball Magazine,” (which appears to be an Angelfire.com site), then please do link to us and help us increase our standing with the processes and bits of binary that we loving call Google. Which reminds me—big shout out to brother-in-law Ron for his new job, at the very same company.

And, I only bring up my illness and birthday because it is the bookmark at the beginning of this shelf of thirty upright days, and let us know run our fingers over the spines of the others and see what we can find.

There were 28 posts in April. We started finishing our decrepit and argumentative Round 9. Oh, Round 9! You bite and thrash when you should lay and drown. It was suggested that we kill both ideas that were bogging us down, but then it was agreed that we would move a proxy forward in place of a winner. We began Round 10 renewed, and energized by some very solid ideas, and both were tremendously inspired to write our character bios. Shockah, in particular, deserves recognition for his truly marvelous, bio-genre smashing sketch of our future fictional president, John Alan Porter.

The last week of April we broke away a bit, and complained about things, and even complained about complaining about things. We felt it dutiful to mention Jim Emerson, whom we both enjoy reading spectacularly.

We discussed, at great length, more needlessly complex® rules, which we love above all else. And now, we forge forward into May—expecting the flowers so promised to use in rhyme.

In the meantime, you might gander at Apple’s hilarious new ads. How is it that a company that size can keep the ads completely secret and launch them worldwide on national TV and on the internet at the same time? And, more importantly, did they use the genius Errol Morris again?

Comments (0) — Category: communications

Monday
May 01, 2006

Re[3]: A Radical Idea posted by kza

Okay, I think we’ve got it figured out.

I think.

Man, this just underlines how good you have to be when writing the rules for board games and role-playing games, even really simple ones. It doesn’t take much to cause a misunderstanding.

So:

1. We will continue the Spitball! Tourney of Story Ideas through Heat #2, which consists of the following rounds:

Rasputin the Translator v. Time to Die

Little Black Stray v. Terminal Connection

La Commune Planet v. The Scabs

2. In each round, we will each present a character bio, and then we will discuss each story. We will then vote Y or N on each story. However, these stories are no longer pitted against each other; instead, what is being voted on is whether the story is worthy of being a Spitball!-approved story idea. Both stories have the possibility of advancing.

3. Once Heat #2 is finished, then we each order our favorites from #1 to #whatever, take an average, and the story with an average closest to 1.0 is the Winner; the other stories become Runners-Up, and may get the script treatment in the future.

4. If, during Heat #2, there is a split vote, then the person that voted Y may try and convince the person who voted N of the idea’s worthiness; if the N voter is convinced, then the list that was generated in Step 3 is re-generated.

Assuming this is correct, I vote “yea” on this plan, with the caveat that I may want to Needlessly Complicate how the winner is generated in Step 3; but that idea’s for another post.

Also, in a previous post, I wrote this:

One more thing: During the iChat, Burley and I were concerned about how this will play with one of the elements of our Mission Statement: that the scripts developed here are released into the public domain. Do we really want to commit our best ideas to that? (It was one thing when it was only one idea, one script; it feels different when it might be more like three or four.) It’s true that we feel like we can come up with ideas at the drop of a hat, and that it’s about execution and not ideas. Yet, a few of these ideas seem, to me at least, very commercial, and it’s not like we plan to make a living putting screenplays into the public domain (if we even knew how!); in fact, we’d like to, you know, get paid one of these days. I had the idea of voting to “Vault” certain ideas — meaning, removing them from the Spitball! Tourney of Story Ideas, but keeping them for ourselves for later development.

Here’s the new version:

One more thing: During the iChat, Burley and I were concerned about how this will play with one of the elements of our Mission Statement: that the scripts developed here are released into the public domain. Do we really want to commit our best ideas to that? (It was one thing when it was only one idea, one script; it feels different when it might be more like three or four.) It’s true that we feel like we can come up with ideas at the drop of a hat, and that it’s about execution and not ideas. Yet, a few of these ideas seem, to me at least, very commercial, and it’s not like we plan to make a living putting screenplays into the public domain (if we even knew how!); in fact, we’d like to, you know, get paid one of these days. I had the idea of voting to “Vault” certain ideas — meaning, removing them from the Spitball! Tourney of Story Ideas, but keeping them for ourselves for later development.

Short version: Fuck That Noise. Let the best ideas come forward and be worthy of the prize.

(Last night, I finished Getting Real, and something there made me change my mind. Of course, I can’t really remember what, now.)

And finally:

What’s a magic penny song?

Comments (0) — Category: the screenplay

HIDE Down Arrow

What is Spitball!?

Spitball! is two guys collaborating to write about writing and collaboration. We're writing partners who have worked together since 2000, and placed in the top 100 in the last Project Greenlight for our script YELLOW.

Currently, we are both working on multiple screenplay, short story, and novel ideas independently and together, and collaborate on this blog.

What Spitball! used to be

Spitball! started as an attempt to collaborate on a screenplay online in real time. From January 2006 to July 2007 we worked on an interactive process to decide the story we were going to make. A full postmortem is coming, but you can find the find all the posts by looking in the category Original Version.

During this period, we affected the personalities of two of the most famous spitball pitchers from the early 20th Century. Look at our brief bios for more info about this, and so as not to be confused as to who is talking when.

We rebooted the franchise in early 2009 in its current form.


 Subscribe to our feed


Our Twitter account, where we note when longer articles are posted. While we're at it, here's Kent and Martin's Twitter accounts.

Kent M. Beeson

Urban Shockah pic

Kent M. Beeson (aka Urban Shockah) is a stay-at-home dad and stay-at-home writer, living in Seattle, WA with his wife, 2 year old daughter and an insane cat. In 2007, he was a contributor to the film blog ScreenGrab, where he presciently suggested Jackie Earle Haley to play Rorschach in the Watchmen movie, and in 2008, he wrote a film column for the comic-book site ComiXology called The Watchman. (He's a big fan of the book, if you couldn't tell.) In 2009, he gave up the thrill of freelance writing to focus on screenplays and novels, although he sometimes posts to his blog This Can't End Well, which a continuation of his first blog, he loved him some movies. He's a Pisces, and his favorite movie of all time is Jaws. Coincidence? I think not.

Martin McClellan

Burleigh Grimes pic

Martin (aka Burley Grymz) is a designer and writer. He occasionally blogs at his beloved Hellbox, and keeps a longer ostensibly more interesting bio over here at his eponymous website. You can also find him on Twitter.