Skip to content

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The Cat’s Maw turns 1!!!

October 5, 2015


SymbolXL copy

POETRY CORNER: ‘Whispers…’

September 23, 2015


SymbolXL copy

(to celebrate the 100th blog entry, I’m re-posting a short poem scribbled on FB last week, based on true events. I was driving on some spooky/abandoned back-roads on the island — pondering everything to come in The Shadowland Saga — and then this happened. Make of it what you will…)

Lost in a trance on jungle roads
Twisting the throttle and banking hard
Flashing through the night, wheeled firefly
Tracing unseen things and
Whispers on the Wind

Three street-lamps flicker down the hill
And beneath each one: a cat
Unmoving and unblinking in the strobes
Holding vigil between the worlds
Of Wakefulness and Dreaming

So I slow, and nod to each in turn
Thanking them with secret names
Before flitting back into darkness
To chase more shadows and
Whispers on the Wind

PATTERNS = Memos from the Muse

September 15, 2015



Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…

In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns. 

Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:

(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)

Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???

And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.

Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.

How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?

So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.

Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.

I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.

I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.

I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:

The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.

Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project

‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.

Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’

I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:

A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.


A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch —  ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’.  I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.  

You can probably guess what two words were exchanged. ;)

That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.

Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.

Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…

To be useful in this moment.

Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!

The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!


What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?

And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?

Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…

Because WHIMSY!



August 1, 2015



A little more love for my YA fiction debut!!!

Originally posted on mypennameonly:

I received a mobi.file [KINDLE] version of this book through a giveaway on LibraryThing in return for an honest review.

My OH and I have no children but have enjoyed our “fur babies” since being married for the past 21 ½ years and know how wonderful they can be in making us feel better when we need it the most. Being a cat lover I enter any giveaway that is offering a book where a cat is one of the main characters, which is why I’m grateful I won a copy of this book.

Billy is a sweet kid who’s been dealt a bad existence which no kid should ever be put through. To begin with he’s the adoptive child of a pair of parents who don’t seem to know how to deal with him. He’s constantly being bullied by his classmates, made by victim of pranks, and naturally because…

View original 236 more words



TIMELINE:  Fall 2014/Ongoing

PLATFORMMobile (Android, iOS)


Contracted for text/dialogue creation, cinematic scripts, and ongoing narrative design consulation for this Vancouver studio’s diverse mobile game slate. Titles include action/sci-fi (WARHAMMER: Carnage), niche/casual (Trophy Bingo),  and a celebrated global music/entertainment IP. (TBA 2016)

Vulnerability = The Key

May 21, 2015


After the annual silent retreat, I can’t help but feel sensitive. Intensely aware. Exposed, even…

And this is a GOOD thing.

I was going do a follow-up post about dropping facades, strapping Ego down to the examination table, and embracing the countless creative rewards that come hand-in-hand with embracing vulnerability. I really was.

But then I read insightful, frank, and deliciously open piece from one of my fellow OM’ers and, well…I’ll let her take it from here.

Thanks for putting my thoughts into words, Jo — see you in the ether.

Let’s get vulnerable.

Let's get vulnerable.

The Cat’s Maw gives middle graders a good, creepy story!

May 19, 2015


SymbolXL copy


The annual meditation/detox retreat is officially complete, and this lovely post was there to greet me upon entering the ‘real world’ =)))

Originally posted on Mom Read It:

catsmawThe Cat’s Maw, by Brooke Burgess (2015, CreateSpace), $10.99, ISBN: 9781500971656

Recommended for ages 10-16

Billy Brahms has luck, all right – it’s all bad. He’s an accident looking for a place to happen, and an easy target for bullies. His parents don’t know what to do with him, but they don’t seem to try too hard to connect with him, either. When he’s struck by a car and risks losing his leg, they’re all at the end of their respective ropes. One day, though, Billy wakes up to discover a cat has adopted him – he just shows up at Billy’ bedside. His mother puts up a fuss, but the neighborhood cat lady manages to talk her into letting Billy and the cat have some time together to bond, saying it will be good for poor Billy, who’s stuck in a cast all summer.

That’s when the dreams…

View original 314 more words

On Napster, the Creative Class, and the Future of FREE…

April 29, 2015


SymbolXL copy

(Note: listen to this featured chapter sample first and then, if you smell what we’re cooking, read on for the related transmedia insights)

Dear Friends, Fans, and Feline-aficionados,

I was catching up on eps of Silicon Valley the other day. I love the show. My tech and venture capital pals assure me that the portrayal is pretty much an accurate one. And, as I watched the latest, I was reminded of something I used to ponder often.  Specifically, when the douchey, monied bro’ below spouted the following:

‘I put Radio…on the Internet.’

Yes. That happened. And not just on the show.

Napster changed everything. But was it for the ‘better’? I can’t help but feel some days that they were singlehandedly responsible for planting the grotesque, rarely-before-thought perception in the minds of a generation of consumers — that they hand-birthed the reality where music (and, by association, nearly ALL creative output) should be free.

Read more


March 9, 2015


SymbolXL copy

Got a story to share with the world?

Join the freakin’ club.

Stats show that over 15 million ISBNs (book registry #’s) were created last year alone. That’s up from the LOW 6-figures just five years ago. The market is officially flooded, my friends. Tsunami’ed, even.

And with that knowledge comes the demoralizing realization that the lion’s share of folks will NOT be willing to take an impulse deep-dive into uncharted waters. That’s why we like sequels. And reboots. And re-tellings. Because people’s most valuable commodity is time, so they’d much rather play it safe and invest this precious resource in what they know.  

It’s like buying stock. In Apple.  Even if you think the new watch is bullshit. At least it’s familiar bullshit.

$10K+??? Totally Scientology.

$10K+??? Totally realistic…like Scientology levels of reasonable

So then…how can the little guy (ie: the independent author) chip away at well-established and deeply-entrenched mindshare (in this case, Big 5-published IPs)? What can we do to turn the tide as Amazon ‘free days’ go flaccid, cheap eBooks glut the market, and mainstream media channels — newspapers, review blogs, and core book sites — crinkle their collective noses at anything beyond their immediate (ahem…payola’ed) gaze?


Enter the ‘meme’.

Coolcat Maw

If you’ve written a cool story, chances are that it’s chock full of interesting ideas. Pithy observations. Humorous tangents. Snappy dialogue. The whole damn gamut. And if these snippets are crisp enough, while still maintaining the core brand message with a complementary image?

Then they are primed for your arsenal.

With a Google Image search and a virtual armoury of free (and idiot-proof) text generators, you’ll soon have an album full of unique promos for your book, blog post, screenplay, comic, or marketing blurb. And this ‘ammunition’ can be fired at so many willing targets. Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. G+. Reddit. Imgur. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Hell, you could even throw Yahoo a bone.

It’s as if media dashboards like HootSuite were made for this — to scattershot your creative brain bullets far and wide, scoring as many flesh wounds and critical hits as you can with daily firings.

Because the rules have changed, writerly friends.

The language of the Web has evolved to favour the visual.

And as indie authors..?

We’d be fools not to learn how to speak it.

QuoteAnimalsQuoteChange QuoteFlying (1) QuoteWave


February 22, 2015


Ebook Pimpcat

Hey Literature Lovers,

The #1 digital book broker BOOKBUB is featuring my mystery/fantasy debut!

THE CAT’S MAW is now available in all major eBook services for just $1.99.

This is a huge coup, as BookBub’s passionate subscriber list is nearing the 3 million mark. That’s some serious eyeballs, people!

Here’s the list of direct links where you can snag yourself the latest illustrated edition, complete with a haunting teaser for Volume 2 in the saga:

And in case you missed it, here’s the updated book trailer jam-packed with glowing REVIEW quotes. What are you waiting for?


Thanks as always for your support, and please spread the good word to eager readers far and wide (and, of course, to cat lovers everywhere!)

It ain't just for kids, lady :D

It ain’t just for kids, folks… :D



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,405 other followers

%d bloggers like this: