Words are the writer’s only tools. The rest lies in an ability to create a story and see it through from beginning to end. It is a creative process fraught with pitfalls.
The world of fiction knows no bounds, yet every story must contain its own limits. Non-fiction is ruled by facts and history, but in order to make them come alive, those confines must be pushed and bent to discover the story that lies within. It’s no different with corporate marketing, technical writing, ad copy or web copy. The story is in the idea. It’s up to the writer to see it and be skilled enough with his tools to bring it to light.
For examples of my corporate and technical writing, please visit the website of my other company: www.writersinkllc.com
With Our Good Will – 30 Years of Shakespeare in Idaho
When a small group of actors in Boise, Idaho put together a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the summer of 1977, little did they know they were giving birth to an institution. With Our Good Will chronicles the first 30 years of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, through good times and bad, through the stories of the artists who made it happen and the community whose support remains a primary reason the Festival is alive today. Over 600 photographs augment the narrative, which includes interview comments from some 75 Festival actors, directors, designers, board members and community volunteers, all of whom played a part in ISF’s journey from the green at One Capital Center in downtown Boise to a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art theater complex and wildlife reserve on the banks of the Boise River. And in the process becoming the state’s largest performing arts organization.
Snake River Discovered
Award-winning Sun Valley, Idaho photographer, Kirk Anderson, spent four-and-a-half years capturing the nuances of light along the full length of the West’s most productive river. A series of essays sprinkled among his stunning images reveal the river’s beginnings and the people whose lives flowed with it through the high plateau desert of southern Idaho.
Circling The In Between
Landing back home in Los Angeles after three weeks island hopping the Pacific on his latest series of travel articles, Ryder McLean is spirited away by a bright white light that erupts from the magazine in his lap. The next thing he knows he’s looking through a rifle scope focused on the keynote speaker at a high-class reception. He feels the rifle go off and a heartbeat later the speaker’s head explodes. Instantly the light reappears and he is back on the airplane.
Once home, the bizarre waking dreams begin to come more often, and last longer. They take him to a place called Nord, and to a young lawman called Badger, one of four lifelong friends who seek guidance from a spirit helper using the ancient Indian philosophy of the Medicine Wheel. It has never worked for them, until now, and through some cosmic wire-crossing Ryder has been tapped to fill the bill. But while Ryder is fully conscious of everything going on in their world, no one there is able to see or hear him. He remains stuck somewhere in between the two.
Ryder’s connection is strongest with Badger, who is tracking the dead man’s killer. But he’s also the skeptic in the group when it comes to spiritual powers. So when more murders put Badger’s life in imminent danger, Ryder and the beautiful Anita Nebraska, whom fate throws in his path, must find a way beyond the limbo of the in between to save his friend and help destroy the evil that threatens Nord’s way of life forever.
Loose Ends (in progress)
Will Hickock just wanted to indulge in a few of his favorite things: an evening alone by a beautiful mountain river, a self-caught trout dinner, and his guitar. Just a couple of miles away, a remote mountain farmhouse is burning, taking the life of retired Sheriff Wardell Linehart, his surrogate father. Before he can bury his only real friend accident turns to arson and the current Sheriff is hell bent on convicting Will for murder. The reclusive ways of the mountain bike guide and sometime songwriter have made him somewhat of a novelty around Shambles, Idaho, but he’s about to discover that hiding from his past is preventing him from having a future.
Common Ground (in progress)
Small towns on the edge of National Forests generally offer two prime sources of employment – lumber mills and tourism – and the two rarely mix well. Fourth generation forest ranger Sophie Williams is tough, idealistic, committed to preserve her precious wilderness home. She was still a teenager when her husband was killed in Viet Nam. She has known few men since then, and none like Sean McKenna. Clues to the murder of a U.S. Congressman in Washington D.C., lead the FBI Agent deep into the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho where the two of them uncover more murders, and a plot to skim millions of dollars from a Federal land and water fund. But when the murderer winds up dead, the trail goes cold, and finding answers amidst a struggling timber industry, corrupt Forest Service officials and scheming land developers force the unlikely partners to make some hard choices between the people of one small town and the millions of acres of wild lands that surround them.
When pretty Penelope Persimmon asks quirky science detective Ozzie Shaw to help locate her missing father, he is too smitten to refuse. Besides, Professor Persimmon was a mentor during his college days, and has since become one of the world’s leading tectonic and earth fission experts, last known to be working on a top secret energy project with the CIA. Almost simultaneously, large areas of the Pacific Rim suddenly begin loosing all electrical power, throwing entire countries into chaos and threatening the world’s energy supplies. Their investigation tracks the missing Professor to the lair of the evil Dr. Kalamatos, inside a hollowed out mountain on a remote island off the Canadian coast, where he is being coerced into an attempt to tap the earth’s crust and release the nearly limitless energy in the planet’s inner core. The Doctor’s army of mercenaries, led by the delightfully deadly Tamara Nevercombe, is also causing the mysterious power outages to increase the demand for his new source of energy that will save the world. But the Professor’s theory has never been tested, and there no proof that it will do anything less than cause a huge volcanic eruption that would destroy a large portion of the planet. Ozzie’s investigation prompts several more vicious and brutal attempts on his life, the last of which steals Penelope from him and drops her into the hands of Dr. Kalamatos. With the help of some tribal fishermen, and his faithful butler, Bradley, he leads an attack on the mountain fortress and, just in the nick of time, saves Penelope, the Professor and the planet.
The Long Way Home
After battling four years of World War II in Europe, Leon Stark comes home. But he is not really back, not yet. Still haunted by terrors he survived while others did not, he battles his visions of holocaust and death alone in a half-burnt shack on the high desert outside his small Idaho hometown. His only companions are a young Indian who reluctantly joins him on his midnight raids of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards in order to feed his outcast family, and a mysterious vagabond who appears from time to time to haunt him with songs of life on the run. He tries in vain to escape the maddening memories of war on a battered motorcycle, using gas stolen from farm tractors and cars, but it seems he is doomed to battle his demons forever…until he meets Donna, and a past he had all but forgotten.
The Trojan Horse
Jack Hogan is a computer jockey for the CIA. Nothing dangerous, just routine data checks he sends off to a secret contact from his cushy cover job. Then it’s home to a blissful life with the woman he loves. A car crash changes all that in a heartbeat. He wakes up in a small country hospital and is told he’s been in a coma for five years. A CIA big-shot tells him his contact is dead, his girlfriend is married to someone else, and he must reveal everything he knows about the secret computer virus he developed so they can resume his operation. As soon as he complies, he discovers the whole set-up is fake and he’s up to his eyeballs in real CIA activity – the kind he’s not supposed to live to tell about. A daring escape gets him on the run and fighting for his life, but before he can do anything to get his life back, he has to find out who turned on him, and why.
Haight – A Love Story
In the summer of 1966, the last place Harry Longmont expected to be was San Francisco. But when his high school sweetheart bags the bourgeois family life he has planned for them after college and runs off to be a hippy, conservative uptight Harry runs after her. In the year he spends searching Haight-Ashbury for her, he goes through many changes trying to adapt to an evolving America. Some are gradually acquired, others are forced on him, and suddenly he finds himself mired in the dark underground of the anti-war movement , complete with clandestine drug deals. In the end, it all comes down to one question – has he changed too much to go back?
“Lullaby of Love,” a big hit for breakout songstress Darla Franklin, is climbing the R&B charts fast. But to Jeeter Wilson, blues guitarist par excellence, it’s a haunting melody that puts an end to thirty years on the road playing juke joints and dives from one end of the country to another. It’s his past, calling him back to Chicago, where 40 years ago a hot young guitarist named Rulon Burdine had a hit song of his own, and an ambitious young record producer pushing him to sell his songs to the white groups for quick, easy money. Rulon’s dreams of riches and fame ended with the suspicious deaths of his wife and baby girl. Falsely accused of murder, he ran, and started a new life, with a new name. But now he must return and face the demons of his past, even if it kills him.
Young Josh Reynolds’ yearning for the wild country came from hanging around the San Francisco docks in the 1860’s listening to seafaring adventures and tales of gold and silver strikes in the mountains of the Northwest. The death of his drunken father cut his last tie with civilization, and he heads for the gold fields of Idaho Territory to seek his own destiny. The dead of winter in those rugged mountains is no place for horses, so the mail is carried overland on long skis by men of stamina and grit. Cantankerous mountain man Dan Jackson fit that mold better than most, in spite of his growing years. Destiny often horns its way in where it’s not wanted, and this time it brings Josh and Dan together on a mail run, complete with raging blizzards, ice-jammed rivers, and the Dick Mack gang, fresh off a prison break and looking for a little glory of their own in the form of a nice, fat mine payroll.
One Light One World – The Official Film of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games
A trilogy of one-hour television specials documenting the Albertville Games. Nominated for an Emmy and won a Silver Medal for International TV Programming at the 1993 New York Film Festival.
Legacy – The Wild Lands
We all value the land – the rivers, lakes, mountains and forests – but we value it for different reasons. As the 21st Century began, a new environmental code took center stage across the nation in which sustainable economic development and ecological conservation go hand in hand. Americans have long taken pride in the continued advancement of our modern, technological society. But the ideals that drove the first explorers to open a new western frontier have evolved into a concern that soon there might be little remaining evidence of the land’s original state. Aldo Leopold, one of the early champions of this movement, called it a “land ethic,” which changes the rule of man from “conqueror of the land community to plain member and citizen of it.”
As America expanded, so did our dependence on natural resources. Oil and gas exploration was needed for transportation and housing. Copper and coal were used in heating and lighting our homes. Growing crops and raising cattle provided food for our tables. All these traditional ways of life remain part of our culture today. But as some continue to exploit the resources of the western landscape bit by bit, and others seek to conserve and preserve the natural heritage that first drew settlers to the west almost 200 years ago, the pros and cons of today’s volatile natural resource issues have become so polarized that the middle ground is often overlooked, or disregarded altogether. “This country,” said Leopold, “has been swinging the hammer of development for so long it has forgotten the anvil of wilderness which gave value to the significance of its labors.”
Walking the wild lands of eight distinct and unique ecosystems with experts who discuss the necessary interaction of wildlife, plant life, soil, air and water that keep an ecosystem healthy and growing is the backbone of this documentary series. Likewise, discussions with natural resource experts will explore the benefits of maintaining these wild lands in order to balance the growing demands for products and services with protecting the resources for future use. Together they will paint a picture of the interaction that must occur between man and the cycle of all other life in order to keep our planet alive and functioning.
The Dreamer (“Magnum, P.I.”)
Out for a jog one morning, Magnum finds a body washed up on the beach. That, along with some expert P.I. work, uncovers a drug smuggling ring. It also calls up memories of Viet Nam that threaten not only his life, but also the lives of Higgins and Robin Masters’ niece, who, out on a wilderness hike, unknowingly stumble into a war over a crashed plane full of drugs.
The Lancers of Talon Ranch – Series Pilot Treatment
Hank Lancer is a widower trying to raise three kids, maintain his job as a field biologist with a major forestry corporation, and keep up with his internationally recognized work in raptor conservation. He decides to hire a trainer for the birds to take some of the load off. Enter J.B. Newton, a young troublemaker with no qualifications except an intense interest in the birds. Over objections from all the kids, he is hired, and so begins an uneasy friendship that will change all their lives. J.B. must prove himself to Hank and his family, but most of all to the birds. And if that’s not enough, he’s got a few personal problems to overcome as well. It’s a task that proves more difficult than anything he has done in his life, and more rewarding.