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Posts tagged ‘philosophy’

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…

December 7, 2014

brookeburgess

BBSite-Logo

Happy December, kittens and cats!

With the Holy-days in full swing, it felt like high time for a wee creative break from all things bookish…you know…at least until the Boxing Day deals kick in.

I’ve been a fan of spoken word pieces for a few years now — good storytelling is good storytelling, and it ain’t useful being a slave to format or genre.  But truthfully?  I’ve never had to guts to perform one live.  Live audiences can be insanely hard to impress, particularly when you have a world champion spitting hot truth in your backyard.

Still, the itch remained.

Yup.

I’ve been quietly nurturing a vid channel for a while now; mostly it’s for short films and animations, trailers, and the odd caffeinated rant, and subscribers seem to dig it.  But now, thanks to some solitude, a little tech, WWW image searches, and a pair of mirrored shades..?

It time to get slammy.

There are currently three pieces live.  I hope to post a new one monthly throughout 2015.  Sure…I won’t be approaching Epic Rap Battle’s turf anytime soon…but, if this thing catches on, I’ll (eagerly) begin taking topic requests.  Huzzah.

Peace on Earth, and goodwill to Men…and Women…and furred and feathered friends.

BB

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WORDSMITHS: 5 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR EDIT

January 7, 2014

brookeburgess

The Edit

I’m about to edit a book. Seems like a straightforward mission statement, right? But for me, the prose editing process generates a special, singular kind of fear. I’ll get to that in a second.

When you’re launching an initial assault on the blank page, there’s a leap-into-the-void, roll-the-goddamn-dice, what’s-the-worst-that-can-happen? kinda quality to the whole thing. That’s why I actually enjoyed the NaNoWriMo exercise – you show up, put your head down, and commit to your daily word count. That’s it. So, if your outline was strong enough, and your characters were clearly defined, and you respected your narrative roadmap (no matter how many shortcuts or off-road excursions you indulged in along the way), you’re gonna end up with something. And, unless you’re a complete tool, said thing will resemble an actual ‘story’, with words and paragraphs and dialogue and chapters and a beginning, middle, and end. Groovy.

But then comes the hard part. You see, in keeping with my oft-stated transmedia philosophy, Storytelling (on singular or multiple platforms) is akin to the mining, cutting, and polishing of a precious gem. Writing in prose has only reaffirmed that for me. The story outline is where one surveys the land and takes soil samples. The first draft is digging and sifting until you find the raw stone. Which makes the hardest part – the detailed cutting and polishing phases, which give the stone its unique beauty and shine — the edit.

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An Early Present

December 17, 2013

brookeburgess

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Seasons Greetings, friends and followers — I truly hope the season finds you happy, healthy, and sharing/basking in goodwill with all!

It’s been quiet in this space for a few months, and there’s a reason for that. As some of you already know, I’m working on something new. Honest. Not a sequel (to this), or a one-shot (like this), or even another screenplay. This labour of love is the first in a five-book fantasy series for ‘middle grade’ readers (8-12yrs) — think Narnia or Potter, but more contemporary. With (appropriate) horror. And pirates. And lots and lots of cats.

Early Concept Cover -- Art by Dane Cypel and Sara Machajewski

Early Concept Cover — Art by Dane Cypel and Sara Machajewski

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My First Guru Had Four Feet

October 15, 2013

brookeburgess

Old Ghost...

(the following is reposted from a submission of mine that was featured on Tiny Buddha last month, and again on Life As a Widower.  It’s a true story from my childhood, though my folks would probably say I was leaning into ‘literary license’ territory. ;)  That said, this is the unedited version of the tale, which includes a pictorial peek at my old stomping grounds.  More importantly, I want to commemorate the completion of the outline for a long-in-development series of four children’s books, directly inspired by the events recounted below.  For all of you taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo…know that I’m there in the literary trenches with you – BB)

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I’ve always been a ‘cat guy’.  This was long before my Buddhist friends told me stories of how cats are true earthly masters, here on earth to show us the Way. Or, to demonstrate the meditative perfection of the feline purr.  Or, how the life of a cat is seen in some traditions as reward for ‘good Karma’.

When I lived in rural Nova Scotia, the house was blessed with two cats named Midge and Mooch: tabby mixes, who would come and go as they pleased, and were kind enough…if not overly affectionate.  I kept asking for a cat of my own, and my folks eventually buckled.  For my seventh birthday, I received a black and white kitten with golden eyes and a salmon-pink nose.  He took to me instantly. Love at first meow.

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ECKHART TOLLE FILM GETTING A ‘KICKSTART’

September 30, 2013

brookeburgess

Milton's Secret

As featured in this project post, my friends and collaborators at Hulo Films in Vancouver have been working with acclaimed producer/director Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) and celebrated spiritual author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) to bring the inspirational children’s book Milton’s Secret  to life as a live-action feature.

I was honoured to be brought in during the early phases to help shape their transmedia strategy, contribute to branding (‘When life gets heavy, find a better way to carry it’), and offer story notes.  Now, with the script receiving kudos from all corners, the project securing support from the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Hollywood legend Peter Fonda signing on to star, the next phase can now be revealed.

In a little over a week, the official INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN for Milton’s Secret has already raised in excess of $100,000!  The goal in the next 30 days is to raise the $1M necessary to match gov’t and tax credit contributions, allowing this special work to be completely independent of the studio system.

Check out the following short for the straight skinny from Barnet Bain, Hulo producer Stephen Huszar, and Eckhart himself.

There are heaps of great incentives for all levels of contribution — limited edition scripts and videos, mindfulness tools, and even red carpet events — so please consider ‘kicking something into the kitty’ to help bring this inspirational story to eyes and minds around the world!

Of Endings and Enlightenment (RIP)

September 10, 2013

brookeburgess

Of Endings and Englightenment
(I’m breaking with formalities and the usual distractions to feature not only a ‘mindful’ side of the creative process – meditation practice – but also to honour one of my most treasured personal influences.   Joanne Telfer passed away in Sept 2008, and I haven’t spoken of it publicly since.  I hope you’ll do me the kindness of enduring this lengthy and somewhat maudlin post for the sincere revelations within.   Many thanks, BB)

 

This hurts.  

So much so that I don’t want to be here anymore. 
 
All I can think is that I’d rather be with you.  Wherever that is.
You’d probably just mock me, and call it a ‘cop-out’.
 
I haven’t suffered anything compared to you.
 
But you only need to see it once, remember?

You only need to know that it’s real…

 

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It seemed like a grand idea at the time.  Self-discovery!  Personal improvement!  Spiritual progression!  Ten days at a remote Buddhist retreat in southeast Thailand.  Eighteen hours each day to focus on ‘mindfulness’, in whatever task was assigned.

The wake-up bell at 4AM.  Using candlelight to wash and dress oneself.   Bare feet on cold, wet grass.  Orion’s jewelled belt pointing the way through the jungle from a sky made of black velvet.

The sexes sit on opposite sides of the sand-floored sala.  This divide persists for the duration.  Separate dorms.  Dining areas. Walking paths.  Eye contact is discouraged.  A deeper, deafening silence.

And then the day truly begins…

‘BECOMING’

WORK
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TIMELINE:  AVAILABLE NOW!

PLATFORM:  Graphic Novel (96 pages)

GENRE:  Psychological Thriller / Horror

CLIENT:  In-House IP / Arcana Comics

Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry HitchbornBECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!

SYNOPSIS

When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death.  To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.  

TRAILER*

(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)

BECOMING…

August 18, 2010

brookeburgess

"The Lessons we learn are the People we meet..."

COVER:  DR MAGUS IN MED CLOSE-UP

Stepping towards us out of the darkness is the story’s ‘antagonist’ – DR MAGUS (50’ish) – with a slender, hawkish face, receding hairline, and graying temples.  We see him from waist/lower-chest up, lit by a harsh and creepy spotlight from below.  He is wearing a tattered black suitcoat (or dark tweed) with rips and cuts in it, as if from a struggle.  The white dress shirt underneath is torn open, and stained with sweat and splotches of BLOOD.

Wrapped and hanging around his neck – where a tie would normally be – is a HEAVY CHAIN.  There is a fat PADLOCK where the tie’s ‘knot’ would sit.  His hands are raised and adjusting the ‘knot’; it’s as if he’s looking in a mirror and fixing his tie, preparing to go to work.  His hands are covered in fresh CUTS, like the work of animal’s claws or a woman’s fingernails.

Magus is wearing thin-rimmed GLASSES, whose reflection almost hides his piercing black eyes.  The lenses have small jagged CRACKS in them, and we can see the reflection of FIRE in the glass.  He is arching an eyebrow slightly with a COLD SMILE – it is a look of power and certainty and psychological danger; this is a man who has nothing left to lose…

and he likes it that way.

‘No Country For Bold Men…’

July 31, 2010

brookeburgess

VIDEO HAIKU
Tale of heart and foot
A long overdue V-Blog
Welcome to 40

AND AT THE END OF MY STORY…

May 24, 2010

brookeburgess

As most Geminis tend towards, I’m of two minds regarding the LOST finale.  After 6 years and 100+hrs of direct viewing investment – not including discussion forums, fan films, ARGs, and more than a few diluted attempts at transmedia extension of the property – we the audience craved Resolution.  And now, on the DAL (Day After LOST), a lot of the show’s Followers (Christian Shepherd, indeed) are of similar mind:

“Intellectually disappointing…yet emotionally fulfilling.”

And I agree with this to a certain extent.  It nagged at me throughout the broadcast, this ever-present specter of Unanswered Questions.  The canyon-sized plot holes of tail-eating logic.  The long-dangling threads of era-splintering Mythology.  Big Moments – imbued with seeming importance for many seasons – now dissolved like so much dirt in the glowing heart of the Island Washing Machine.   My rational mind – my scientist – kept pursing his lips and shaking his head and scoffing at cracks in the Design.

But then came the Sum of all things…

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