Most recently I was inducted into the South Florida Writers Association and voted into their Board of Directors. Something I am exceptionally honored to be a part of, including taking on the Director of Publications position and editing the organizations Author's Voice. I'll be @ PhilanthroFest 2014 with Jonathan Rose, SFWA's Director of Community Affairs representing the organization and hope I can see a lot of Miamians there.
I recently became a part of the Florida Writers Association and the Miami Film Society. To say that I am keeping myself busy in my chosen professions would almost be an understatement. Although I won't be official with MFS until later this month as a listed Producer on their site. I started doing Indie outreach with UofM's Italian Film Festival with my old high school pal, Manny Rossi, who is a tenured professor at UofM and runs the festival events #UMIFF. Because of all this extra involvement in the community I got a chance to meet Billy Corben from Rakontur, the man behind the company behind the amazing documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which just got reloaded and released here in Miami.
So far I've been back in Miami and working as an Associate Producer for the last few months and oddly enough while here I'm experiencing a bit of a language barrier with the level and intricacy of my Spanish speaking and writing. Despite this awkward difficulty with one of my first languages I am doing well, even being groomed for a higher production position that I will be taking-on later in the year.
|On set @ El Gordo Y La Flaca|
My first book, I Think? No, I'm Sure...God Hates Me is out on the market and I couldn't be happier and more proud. Yet I continue to write and work on other books. My publishing company also put out two other novels, Rhest for the Wicked, by Robert V. Aldrich and The Pack, by Dan Coglan.
Everything has not always been sunny as bumps on the road over the last year sometimes felt like minor drops off a cliff. However, enduring failures and adapting to change has always been one of my strongest suits. I seem to amaze people that constantly ask something to affect of "How do you brush yourself off and carry on?" believing that failures can't be corrected. My simplest answer, "I don't like the floor." Whether I fall flat on my face, ass-backwards or just drop to a knee I always get up and move on. What else would I do? I'm not 'Floor-Spec' (Only World of Wacraft players will understand that last reference).
I meet a lot of folks and constantly wonder why there is so much fatalism, pessimism and general lack of motivation among them, my peers, elders and the incoming generations behind me. It irritates me that working hard, making mistakes, learning and moving on seems to be too much for most people to do; let alone comprehend. People expect a degree is their hall pass into life and things are either handed to them from there on or not. I don't get it...
Of the last few films I've seen I wrote an In-Depth piece, as usual, on the Comic Book Movie entry for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is currently featured on the CBM website. If you've yet to see this amazing film you are missing out on a treat. Check out the review if you need some convincing. For UMIFF I was able to marvel at the beautifully written Io Sono Li by Andrea Segre, which was about two separate immigrants living in Italy. One of which was Chinese the other from the country formerly known as Yugoslavia and the various circumstances that surrounded their simple lives. From the turmoils of prejudice and ignorance to simple sacrifices and love affairs that never were. "ships passing in the night" is the phrase that comes to mind which alter each others courses ever so slightly and ever so profoundly.
Rakontur's Cocaine Cowboy's Reloaded was as amazing as the original, and contained over an hour of additional never-before-seen material. I was able to have a simple conversation with one of the main subjects from their documentary, Mickey Munday, who at one time smuggled well over 56 tons of cocaine into Miami within a year. The stories and ramifications of Miami growing into the metropolis it is from the billions of dollars that flooded the city from this drug money was amazingly staggering to witness come to life in the context of the documentary.
Going back to my review of Winter Soldier, I had noticed that while we (CBM) had a very large and healthy chunk of comic book reviews alongside the websites eponymous pieces; it (the website) lacked Indie Comic reviews. So I sought out to correct that void. Luckily and recently I got to meet quite a few Indie artists and writers at a small but amazing courtyard-side comic-con piggy-backing the release of the Winter Soldier film at a theater location in Miami. There I was granted an enormous trove of amazing and obscure comics by their creators that blew me away. The first of those reviews was Creature Entertainments Ravenous by Juan Navarro and John Ulloa. I also put up another review this week for Cosmic Times' release of Decisions #1 and recently was given access to Decisions #2 and #3 for further review. I'm currently reading through Creature Entertainments Zombie Years and a separate book titled The Thirty-Six, a graphic novel by Kristopher White. I also picked up a campy title named Old Cuban Samurai which tickled my curiosity.
Other news that isn't so new but because I lazily ignored this blog for a small tick of time I will mention it. One of the films I was able to work on as an Executive Producer, The Fellows Hip: Rise of the Gamers was picked up by a great distributor, Phase 4, and released on iTunes, Netflix, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Basically anywhere you can get DVD's and Blu-Rays. The film was released under a new name, Rise of the Fellowship. I still love seeing peoples faces light up at this wonderful family film. So I hope you get a chance to see it if you haven't seen it pop up on your Netflix or iTunes advertised films. Support #IndieFilms
My kids are growing up fast, my wife digs her toes into my legs as I type this and I continue to make the cheesy joke "I am not a writer, I 'write' on a computer, therefore I am a 'typist'!" and still get a few laughs among my peers. Until next blog post, I'll keep my adventure going and for now I leave you with the view I usually have every morning being back in Sunny #Miami