Budgie’s Journal #112 – The End of Freedom Lane

It’s over… It’s all over!!

Not completely. The latest season of Freedom Lane, Season 12, ended this past Tuesday night with the finale Da’Quarius Sees a Gynocologist. The finales are always bittersweet for me. I’m glad I can look back at a job well done, but I’m sorry to see the characters go for a few months.

But this is by no means the end of the series. I’m already working on Season 13, and I’ve written the opener and the following episode. I’ll probably premiere it around the first week of March.

I have more to go, a lot more. My master outline is still full of unwritten episodes, and we’re coming up with new ideas all the time. Freedom Lane won’t end until I say it ends!

If you’re unfamiliar with the sitcom, it’s about an elderly lesbian couple, Rose and Helen Masters, who adopt a black tween, Da’Quarius, after their adoption paperwork is lost for twenty-something years. Throw in a pizzeria and its wise yet unconventional owner, a dozen or so side characters, and the back drop of New Haven and you’ve got Freedom Lane in one big-ass nutshell.

I love this show. I have since BluntSharpness and I first started it with a mock season on six episodes of a sitcom in short story form. We kept it going for eleven more seasons and two books, and it gets better every time I come back to it.

Sorry for the gushing. I’m in love with this project, and I have a lot of fun writing it. I always have since day one. I’m happy people still keep up with the characters, and I’m happier when I can drag new readers into it. I promise to keep it going as long as it’s fun, and I can’t ever see it not being that way.

So here’s to twelve more seasons (maybe), and one big-ass book in the end!

Check out Freedom Lane here if i put the bug in your mind:

Click here for Freedom Lane!
-Budgie Bigelow
12/14/17

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Budgie’s Journal #111 – Something About 2018

There’s something about next year that has me looking forward to the future for the first time in a while. This last year brought about a lot of changes for me, and I didn’t think I’d make it this far.

Before I go on, I’m not going to get waylaid with political rants or other such garbage. That’s a tale for another day.

Maybe it’s my writing. I’m still working on what I want to publish next year, and I had a lot of fun with all of it. I’m still having fun, writing the end of Ant-Head and the opening chapters of I’m Still in Sci-fi Hell. I have one more surprise I want to announce, but I’m going to hold off until these current projects can all be in the editing stage.

Winter sucks. It’s cold and snowy and there’s nothing to do. But I can also get some writing done as I’m wrapped in my blanket, lounging with the dogs on my lap, and eating soup. Sure, it’s not as productive as my summer park time, but it’s something. At least there’s an excuse to be lazy when it’s too cold to play frisbee or bocci. 

Plus I’ve changed along with my ever-fascinating life. Still something I’m not ready to divulge, but I’m happy where I landed after the shit-hurricane tossed me about. A little chaos can sometimes do you well, and sometimes you end up finding exactly what you need when the flood waters finally recede.

That was all metaphorical of course. No hurricanes made their way up to Connecticut this last season, and I’m grateful for that.

And I’m looking forward to what next year brings and publishing these books I had so much fun writing. And more Freedom Lane too. Let’s not forget that I’ve been working on a thirteenth season!

I know it’s too early to look ahead; and my optimism may be met with roadblocks and clusterfucks, but I don’t care at the moment. I’m enjoying life for the first time in a long while, and fuck you if you try to bring me down.

-Budgie Bigelow
12/12/17

Budgie’s Journal #110 – The Whore Ghosts of the Admiral Inn… COMPLETE

What’s this? Did I finish two 50k+ word manuscripts within a week and a half of each other? Yes I did.

Ok… That’s enough of me tooting my own horn. I’ve been working on a few projects simultaneously now, and I’m in Sci-fi Hell and The Whore Ghosts of the Admiral Inn are two of them. Ant-Head is still there, just lagging behind these two.

But I digress.

Yesterday I finished the first draft of Whore Ghosts (Not “Ghost Whores”, Ginger!). It was an amazing push, getting the last two parts written and off to my beta readers.

For a little background: my beta readers are the five people I named my non-ghost characters after. I wrote this with them in mind as my audience as a tribute, and I’m hoping they approve of the book they’ve left their names to. Jim is the former priest / exorcist who isn’t willing to take shit from anyone, living or dead. Tonja is the washed up reality TV ghost hunter who has something to prove. Curt is the hotel manager who wants nothing to do with the paranormal or the eight spirits haunting his hotel. Lily is the head maid at the Admiral, and nothing goes on in the hotel without her knowledge. Rick is the wildcard of the group, the one who knows the whore ghosts more intimately than anyone else.

Writing this book was chaos. If you’ve seen my previous posts or tweets about writing this book, you probably noticed that the eight titular spirits drove me crazy. Every time I turned around they were causing more trouble that wasn’t in my outline, and my characters had to work around this. I guess they took on a life of their own. Seriously, these women caused so much trouble I almost had to exorcise them from my brain!

Writing for eight different spirits with very different personalities was a challenge too. Each time the group encountered a new undead call girl it was a new adventure, and each one had its own agenda and reasons for staying at the Admiral. Some even popped in and out of the story when I wasn’t expecting them. You can see now why they drove me a little crazy.

So here’s the math: can the group of five exorcise the eight whore ghosts in a single night? I guess you’ll eventually find out.

I also want to take a moment to thank Janet Davis AKA KarmaroPayne, who read the first third of the book and helped me flesh out the paranormal details and give me lots of options I could use when writing the rest of the book. I look forward to her reading the rest of it and letting me know how accurate I got it and helping me beef it up for the second and eventual final draft.

This has a projected release date of October of next year, maybe sooner depending on reading, second drafting, and editing of this and my other 2018 releases. Stay tuned for updates on everything!

– Budgie Bigelow
12/6/17

Budgie’s Journal #109 – FIGHT!!!

Someone recently tweeted that writing fight scenes is tough, and as someone who’s written many: I agree. Whether it’s with fists, swords, spears, guns, etc; the art of writing a proper fight can be a pain.

The first advice I gave came straight from Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, although I watered it down: go out and pick a fight. This is probably bad advice, as you’ll likely get your ass kicked. I’ve been in a few fights, and I’ve won and lost. Hell, I have two brothers, and we used to kick the shit out of each other on a regular basis.

But can you write a fight scene if you’ve never been in a fight? Sure. I’ve never come across vampires or werewolves, but I wrote an entire novel about them.

If you don’t want to experience that adrenaline rush or humility of an actual fight, I’d recommend watching one. Take in some amateur boxing. You can probably find it easily enough on the internet. Some Asian cinema will do you well too. Try some Tony Jaa movies or something in the fighting genre. There’s tons of them out there as long as you don’t mind subtitles.

But here’s the thing about actually writing the fight: it goes by quick. You think you’ve written an epic beat down, only to check your word count to see it’s only three hundred words. There’s been plenty of notes in my drafts that say to expand fights or action scenes, but your reader will recognize padding if that’s what it is.

Fights in writing can be repetitive. Look at a boxing match and imagine it written out. How many times can you put “Budgie threw a jab” before your reader rolls their eyes and says “enough with the jabbing already!”

Multi-fights or bigger battles are easier, because you can have multiple things happening at once. This is also true for a drawn-out super hero fight scene. If you’re writing a one-on-one fight, then you’re better off keeping it short and sweet unless you’re writing a tribute to Raging Bull. Actual fights in the real world don’t take too long to reach their conclusion.

I think I beat this point to a bloody pulp. Take it for what it’s worth, but it’s only my opinion. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?

-Budgie Bigelow
12/6/17

Budgie’s Journal #108 – Space

I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t even know what I’m writing here. This isn’t an update, preview, or a blog entry. I’m just making statements, sentences, paragraphs.

I do know I’m happy. For the first time in a long while I can actually say that. I was hit off guard, taken by surprise. I was lifted up when I needed it the most.

And she knows why and how.

Being alone isn’t necessarily good or bad. Time to reflect is a must, but empty time can be bad if your mind can’t occupy it well. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Familiarity breeds content. Cliches bring extreme thinking.

I should write fortune cookies.

I can fill the empty spaces with my stories. I make them up in my head if I can’t write. I’m lucky like that. That little voice shuts up if I occupy him, and sometimes he needs to do just that.

But there’s times when paying attention actually pays off. You might do like I did and miss the parts where you were unhappy, mistaking continuum for bliss. It takes a moment of pure happiness to show you what you didn’t even know to miss.

The silence is always waiting, though. How will you greet it?

-Budgie Bigelow
12/1/17

Budgie’s Journal #107 – Sci-fi Hell: Complete

You read that right. It’s Monday morning, and I’ve completed the first draft of my action-comedy I’m in Sci-fi Hell. I thought for sure Ant-Head would be done first, but this book edged it out.

This is one of the books slated for next year that came to me out of nowhere. I had the idea to put a regular, surly detective into a world where anything sci-fi can and does happen. I built the world and the plot around him, and I wrote his story.

This is also part one of a two-part series. The story got too huge, and I decided to split it up. Book one is really in four different parts if you’re counting, and book two will be the same way. I found a good place to split the story, and part one is well over 50k words on its own.

Depending on how 2018 plays out, Sci-fi Hell will probably be my eleventh release. It’s in the beta-reading stage now, so there’s still more work to be done before this one drops.

I’m done tooting my own horn over this book. I’ll share more as usual. Happy Monday!

-Budgie Bigelow
11/27/17