max news

November 28, 2015

Max Adams

Max Adams, Evil Script Sprite Incorporated


So, things happening now and on the near horizon —

Right now — as in right right now and on through Monday — – I’m doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal on script analysis.

On Wednesday, December 2nd, I’m doing a Stage 32 Next Level Webinar: Crash Course: High Concept Writing.

I’m on the narrative jury panel for the Digi60 Ottawa Digital Filmmakers’ Festival.

In January, I have a fun prose story [yes, prose, sometimes I do prose] coming out in an anthology — but I don’t have a heads up it’s okay to say more about that yet so you will just have to stay tuned for more news about that. Oops.

Also in January I’m launching a new AFW class, The First 30 Pages. There are 8 seats left in the new class so if you are interested in the class, reserve your seat now before seats are all full.

That’s the news.


Your Maybe My Slate is a Little Full Adams Girl


how to enjoy coleslaw

November 26, 2015


coleslawHow to enjoy coleslaw:

1. Throw coleslaw in trash.
2. Order fries.
3. Eat fries.


stage 32 webinar ahoy

November 20, 2015


In AFW news, we’re now putting seats in chairs for the upcoming January classes. One of these classes is new, The First 30 Pages. It’s going to be great. Please reserve your seat early, new classes fill up pretty fast.

And in Stage 32 news, I’m going to be On Stage With RB this coming Tuesday doing an online interview with Stage 32’s Richard “RB” Botto, and the following week will be doing a next level webinar with Stage 32: Crash Course, High Concept Writing. It’s going to be great. I hope you can join me.


Max on Stage 32




nowar_IIOkay, not really.

The Middle East crisis is a pretty big crisis and I can’t solve it. But —

We’ve been avenging ourselves on Middle Eastern countries for 911 and fighting a “war on terror” now for 14 years.

Did we win yet?

Has terror stopped?

Does anyone feel safer?



I’ve given up every privacy in the furtherance of safety here. Every time I get on a plane I have to give up shampoo and my lighter, strip halfways naked, and stand in a police pat down position while I am dosed with cancerous x-ray bombardments that take a photo of me naked.



Police and security types prowl the streets with fun boxes that let them look through and listen through walls so there’s no expectation of privacy in my apartment.



My text messages, emails and phone calls are recorded so I can’t even talk dirty. [Rude!]



If I drive a car manufactured within the past five years it has chips in it so the government can keep an eye on my comings and goings. [HEB, holy shit, now that spells Al Qaeda.]



If I talk about the wrong story elements with a student while discussing an action story, my whole website goes on the watch list and I have to worry about no fly lists. And that’s in the US, home of the free and home of the brave. Holy shit did that go down the tube fast. Meanwhile —



I have lost count of the number of military adventures our Nobel Peace Prize winning president has launched.

Is it six or seven countries we are in military conflict with now courtesy of our peace loving Commander In Chief? You know, the “Democrat” in the White House who holds kill meetings every Tuesday to decide who to execute with drones next?



Again I will ask. Fourteen years of vengeance and fighting terror? Did we win yet?



Most of the Middle Eastern figure heads declared “Public Enemy Number One” over the course of wars and altercations in my lifetime appear to have at one time or another been funded, trained, and armed by the United States and counted as friendlies – till they wandered off with the cash and weapons and declared the US their prime target.



Here’s a thought. What if we stop arming and funding everyone in the Middle East? Just stop doing it. Stop giving weapons and cash to anyone in the Middle East?

We appear to regularly be handing out cash and guns to both sides of most altercations — this is called a balance of power, in political and military terms I guess — or, you know, sociopath politician terms — but wouldn’t it be a real balance of power if both sides just didn’t have our cash and guns? They all appear to be fighting each other and at times us with weapons and cash we gave them. Why don’t we just stop giving them cash and weapons?



How about we stop buying oil from the Middle East? The US exports as much oil as it actually uses. What if we stop exporting oil and just use US oil here at home and stop shipping US oil overseas and then buying oil from the Middle East?

Do the oil companies get extra tax credits for shipping oil back and forth between continents? Do they own stock in shipping companies? What the hell is the story there? And —

Even if we did have to depend on foreign oil to power cars, which we don’t, we have the technology to run electric cars instead of oil so that’s all crap too.

We don’t have to buy oil from the Middle East. We are exporting more oil than we use. And we could get off the oil teat altogether if we wanted. So. Why?



What if we stop sending US soldiers to the Middle East? I know it’s a novel concept, not sending 18 year olds to sweat and suffer and die in foreign countries in blood baths and explosions on foreign sand. Jesus, what would Kissinger say? But it’s worth consideration. Also Kissinger was an asshole.



What if we stopped blowing things up in the Middle East and rebuilding what we blow up? We can rebuild the buildings, sure, but not the people. So we’re kind of spewing death and putting up fountains which is not working out to my way of thinking for the people who got blown up before we build the pretty fountains. Kind of a downer there.


If we stopped blowing things up in the Middle East, we could stop rebuilding all the stuff we blow up.

Holy shit, maybe if we weren’t pouring out cash blowing things up and rebuilding the things we blew up in the Middle East, not to mention killing women and children and reporters and humanitarian aid workers in the process, (I know, collateral damage — you do know “collateral damage” is dead people right?), we could actually spend some of that cash rebuilding things in the US — you know, at home?

Like bridges and roads and nuclear power facilities that are collapsing here?



Here’s another thought. Instead of following suspected Isis loving peeps around withholding their passports so they can’t leave the country when they want to head off to Syria and trying to arrest them for wanting to travel to the Middle East and join Isis? Creating a bunch of Isis wanting to join frustrated pissed off yahoos here who want to blow things up, not to mention all the cash it’s costing to follow them around and keep tabs on them? Not to mention, if we do arrest them, having to house them in jails and prisons and try them in courts and all that sash?

How about we just let the Isis lovers go?

Fly free little Isis birds, go to Isis, here is your passport, have fun.

WHY do we want to keep them?

Let them go.

Just don’t let them come back.

Sheesh. That’s a no brainer.



We’ve got a ton of problems and I don’t have the answers. But maybe we could start by bringing the troops home, stopping a 14 year war o’ vengeance on terror that let’s face it, if it ain’t won in 14 years, it’s lost, no longer arming and financing multiple sides in the Middle East who either kill each other with that money and equipment or turn around and kill us with it — in fact usually turn around and try to kill us with it — stop blowing things up overseas and rebuilding them when we could just not blow anything up and then use a little of that cash rebuilding things here at home, use our own oil instead of imported oil, or better yet, start working our way off the oil model, and letting people who want to join Isis just fucking go join Isis. Enjoy the AC over there. Don’t come back. The end.





If we let the Isis lovers go? We’ll have some open beds. Beds we could give to women and children trying to get the fuck out of Syria and save themselves.

People like the 17 year old kid who walked 300 miles carrying his dog.

I’ve got an open couch. I like dogs. That kid and his dog can stay on my couch.






I am so tired of stories about serial killers. And about murders. And about murderers. And about cops hunting serial killers and murderers. And about lawyers trying murderers and proving murderers murdered people. And about terrorists. And about kidnappers. And about death and people hunting other people and people who kill other people and just — I am wrung out by and exhausted by murder as entertainment.

So I’ve been watching other things.

News Radio. Black Books. Beginners. Chalet Girl. About A Boy.

A lot of the time when I am working I have something playing background while I work so it does not matter that I have seen it before. It is keeping me company. And I cannot fall asleep alone in total silence. The shows keep me company then too.

Tonight I thought, Wow, I really need a list of shows and movies that are not about people killing people.

So that’s the start of my list. News Radio. Black Books. Beginners. About A Boy. Also The Station Agent and Wristcutters, A Love Story. Though people could argue there is death in there some places, it isn’t murder.

Feel free to add to my list in comments.



November 16, 2015



the shaming has begun

November 15, 2015


I drink Coca Cola, eat red meat, dairy, wheat. Smoke cigarettes. Drink alcohol. Every time I mention anything I consume, someone is leaping at me shouting the evils of the food I eat, the beverages I drink, the vices I partake of. Shaming me.

I was helping organize a rescue for a dog. Put some people in touch with other people to organize a ride for the dog to a new home. The shaming began. Why wasn’t I helping rescue all dogs? How dare I care about or put my time into one? How dare I care about animals at all people are in jeopardy!

A young woman went missing in San Diego – a friend of a friend’s daughter. I was helping circulate information to get word out to try to help find her. The shaming began. How dare I care about one missing girl? Didn’t I know there are hundreds of missing girls? And damn me for trying to help find a white girl!

France has been attacked. I care. I grieve. I send sympathy. And. The shaming has begun. How dare I care about Paris? Don’t I know people are massacred every day all over the world? I should be ashamed! Ashamed! Damn me for caring about Paris!

Shut. Up. You. Shaming. Fuckers.

If in my day I find one dog a home, help bring one missing girl’s body home to her grieving parents, send one sympathy card to one nation devastated by violent tragedy — and sustain myself with a Diet Coke, a cigarette, a cheese sandwich on wheat bread and a beer while I do it, I have done what I could do in my own small back yard of influence. I will not apologize for it.



November 14, 2015


I spent 12 hours yesterday working on a two minute clip, concerned with things like light, sound, makeup, and squinty eyes. A largely self involved project that involved me looking at my own face way more than is comfortable on camera — though it is actually my job to do it sometimes, it can be somewhat horrifying. And then I logged on online, wearing too much makeup and jacked up on five Starbucks double shots, to discover over 153 people are dead in Paris, and Japan has been hit by another tsunami.

And sat here thinking, Jesus, I was obsessing over eyeliner while 153 people were dying.



There is a terrible thing that happens to artists in the face of tragedy. This sinking feeling that all of our struggles are meaningless and small in the face of death and mayhem.



It’s a message perpetuated during times of no tragedy. That art is “not a real job.” That art is “not meaningful.”



Artists shove past that most days. We have to. But when real mayhem and tragedy strikes, that message echoes again in our minds and it’s easy to cave and believe it. That whisper we’ve heard since we started on this path and that we will continue to hear until the day we die following this path.



Don’t. Artists are the voice of possibility in the midst of tragedy. The visionaries who can see a better future and can share that vision with others. Who can give voice to a nation and peoples’ pain. And its healing. Who can paint an image that brings others together to rally. Who can give voice to hopes of healing. Of unity. Of peace. And remembrance of those lost. But only —

If artists keep going.

Don’t cave.

I’m trying not to.



November 13, 2015

Words cannot express the sadness I feel today.

My thoughts are with those lost, with their families and loved ones, and with the people of France.

veteran’s day

November 11, 2015


us flagI am never quite sure —

What to say on Veteran’s Day. As an American I apparently have a histrionic duty to thank all soldiers for defending “America” and “freedom” and “democracy.”

But. America is pretty much in the tank, elections are a sham, as is “democracy” which for sure is not what we are exporting these days, let alone exercising at home, and “freedom”? The US prison industry is a for profit Wall Street commodity that makes its profits stuffing more American citizens into prison cells. We’ve got so many incarcerated American citizens today we scare the red Chinese. Freedom my ass.

Here is what I will say:


Dear US Soldiers and Veterans:

Thank you for risking your life and welfare to protect and defend a nation that has a government that does not value you enough, does not pay you enough, does not take care of you after service enough, and continues to send you into lethal combat that is not justified enough to risk your limbs, life, and blood on foreign soil.

I honor you, I give my love and respect to you. I apologize for my government’s gross misuse of you.

May we change this in the future. May we protect our troops on foreign soil and on home soil. May we bring you home.

And may we bring you home soon.


That Adams Girl

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