The Horror…the horror…

I didn’t do well with sleeping, last night. I woke up an hour after drifting off, switched on the TV, switched it off, switched it on again, switched it back off, and finally turned the fan up so high that I could hear the wind rushing past my ears. I often need cold temperatures to sleep, as if going into hibernation. Maybe my brain atrophies just enough to allow my inner worlds to recede into the ether. Maybe, I just need a good snuggle. Dunno.

I also had quite a bit on my mind with the holidays returning and the completion of principal photography for HorrorCon. Have I forgotten to get someone a gift? Have I forgotten to shoot something? There’s that gift card I wanted for a couple peripheral members of the family. There’s that stock photography I need to stand in place of something beyond the scope of my budget and time constraints. Will both or either suffice?

What the hell am I doing with Yellow Horse? Can it ever be more than a shingle? Its conceit is that a collection of quality products can shine light on one another as they become known, growing the brand, and filling the gaps caused by having not spent years of networking in the publishing and entertainment industries, industries that keep changing. What does it mean to place a book or market a film, anymore? What if a better than average film draws attention to a brilliant book, which in turn draws attention to an eerily adorable animated series. Can YHP&P be a golden pot of projects from which larger, more connected entertainment entities can mine?

Should I sell my condo at the shore? I love the inside, but I’m no longer wired for associations and their by-laws upon by-laws that seek to prevent all conflict with adults who cannot act responsibly with an intact intellect? How much longer can I allow a few dozen people to legislate my peace of mind? Mandatory annual inspections? Too many damn noses for too little whiffs of common sense, if you ask me.

Christ, I’ve got lots of driving to do in the next few weeks.

Then there are a few new projects I want to start. I think. I want to draft a sequel to HorrorCon that begins right where the original ends. I’ve got three book ideas, one a non-fictional account of the ten months it required to shoot the film. I think I want to call it My First Rodeo: A Year-Long Account of Indie Filmmaking. I also like Herding Cats: The Unlikely Capturing of HorrorCon the Film. Had thirty, terrifying days in the span of three months shooting a film in several busy, public spaces cooked my brain too much to focus on what would come after? Possibly. It could be that being “in over my head” had become what life feels like, which would explain my suicidal compulsion to complete two novels of fiction, with at least one in mind as a screen adaptation, all in the span of a year. The Thunders tells the story of a lonely, phobic writer who, while researching a little-known tribe of demon-battling Native Americans who used evil spirits to fend off imperialist settlers, follows too closely in their tracks. In doing so, he winds up caring for a desperate crush who he’s inadvertently helped fall into demonic possession. Another, The Unveiling, takes us back to the turn-of-the-20th Century when the Impressionists were making their mark on the art world and introduces us to a mysterious Picasso that may hold some important clues to a series of horrendous murders happening around Paris and New York.

And what about sWitch? Shouldn’t I adapt that one, too?

And I still haven’t experienced my “ahhh” moment, or that moment of blessed relief after a film’s final scene is wrapped. We shot it, I remember that. I remember a congratulatory hug from my leading man, and holding my leading lady while she expressed how things would be so “weird” from here on out. There would be no shoots to look forward to – or to fret over – in the foreseeable future. Then I remember packing up and the smack of bitterly cold air as I left the hotel. But I don’t remember feeling much of it. We wrapped very late after a very long day, so maybe that’s why I only rolled into a strange exhaustion and am now sitting here trying to piece it together a full ten days later.

There’s also still so much to do. I now have to prove that I knew what I was doing when I was forever pointing and instructing. Of course, I’m not sure I really did know. I went wholly on instinct, an instinct that I’d honed from nearly forty years of movie watching. At one point I was digesting three a day. It helped to lose weight when I was a wrestler. Instead of dreaming about food – any kind of food – I would enter the dreams of films. I did have my experience as an industrial video producer to help support some of my assumptions. Having been through some grueling shoots covering tens of thousands of square feet in a single day did teach me to move fast, yet carefully. How careful was I? I guess I’ll find out soon enough. One thing I’ve learned from my research is that, regardless of the name making the film, few have professed to know what they were doing when they were making it. That helps a little.

So, I find myself in a languorous sort of limbo. I’m tired, but my brain is busy. That seems to best describe my life up to this point. Oh…almost forgot the ticking bomb in the closet. That’s what I call the force that pushes me to finish these projects before some form of disease catches up with me. If one doesn’t in premature time, I’m thinking car crash. I’ve had my share, and a frayed nerve somewhere in my medulla feels I’m due. It’s troubling to drive, to be honest. I tap my finger whenever a car passes too close to the median stripe, or if a car rolls up too quickly at a cross road. There have been no fewer than three occasions in the last month where I’ve either had to lock up my brakes or swerve thanks to the thoughtless driving of others, and I sense the sickening moment is getting closer. Or is that just my mind, drafting another tale? How I loathe being between projects/tasks/opinions…holidays.

Have I mentioned all the driving I’ve got to do in the next few weeks?

And yet, I am happy. My kind of happy.

Now, off to locate two, 2-terabyte drives. I woke in a panic this morning realizing that a few of my shoots hadn’t been backed-up in triplicate.

About S. Norton

Writer, marketer, musician.
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3 Responses to The Horror…the horror…

  1. Ryan Chin says:


    Forgot about ya. Glad I am subscribed to your feed. Sounds like you’ve got tons going on and are pressing on without a clue where “on” may take you. Cheers to that because you never know!

    I finally launched my multimedia memoir after close to five years of work. The tablet version of the book should be out in January. I can fill you in on the format and such if you want. With your writing and film skills, it’s a perfect platform for you.

    Cheers Scott


  2. scottyus says:

    That looks fantastic, Ryan! Love the idea, as well. Please do report on the format, as I am thinking of making one of my other projects exactly that. Would love to get my hands on a “copy”, as well.

    Congratulations, and thanks for checking in. Yeah, lots to do and much is uncertain. But I go with my gut. No matter where I land, I will have done my soul’s bidding, not someone else’s.

    Take care.

  3. scottyus says:

    Incidentally, I added a link to the film’s website in the body of the blog entry for anyone who is interested. It can also be found under the menu title “HorrorCon”.

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