a few bad apples

January 8, 2015




In 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on author Salmon Rushdie’s head. Rushdie wasn’t wanted “dead or alive.” Khomeini wanted Rushdie dead. I don’t know what the original price tag was for one dead author, but as of 2013, the price on Rushdie’s head was over 3 million pounds.

The Ayatollah is gone. The prices on artists’ heads are not.



In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot dead on a busy Amsterdam street. The first bullet took Theo off his bicycle. He tried to make it across the street. Theo’s murderer followed him on foot and shot him again. Then Theo’s murderer slashed Theo’s throat and stuck a letter to his chest with a knife. Theo was 47 years old. His crime was a short fiction film aired on Dutch public television depicting a Muslim woman’s difficulties in an arranged marriage.  

In 2005, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s drawing of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban put him on Islam’s hit list. There have been multiple attempts to murder Kurt. He lives in a home rivaling a Brinks security office and under police protection to this day.  

Also in 2005, Danish publication Jyllands-Posten’s former editors Carsten Juste and Flemming Rose made the hit list – for publishing Westergaard’s drawing.  

In 2006, Swedish artist Lars Vilks made Islam’s hit list. He, like Rushdie and Wetergaard, is still alive. He sleeps with an axe by his bed.  

In 2010, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received death threats for their depiction of Muhammad in a bear suit in their animated cartoon. They were assured they too were on the road to Theo van Gogh’s fate. A photo of Theo with his throat slit and a knife in his chest was attached just to make things festive. The South Park guys are still breathing. Probably because stations caved and censored a lot of the episode.  

In 2010, in response to the South Park threats, Seattle artist Molly Norris, who worked for a Seattle paper, publicly suggested an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” Molly received so may death threats she quit her job, fled Seattle, and changed her name. As far as I know, she’s still in FBI protective custody.  

In 2011, the Paris offices of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo were firebombed, forcing the publication to move after its offices were destroyed. Editor Stephane Charbonnier, you guessed it, was on Islam’s hit list. Had been for a while, fending off litigation and death threats. Charlie Hebdo’s crime? A few satirical and not particularly tasteful cartoons featuring Muhammad.  

Apparently Muhammad seriously does not have a sense of humor because In 2015, armed men stormed Charlie Hebdo’s new Paris offices with automatic weapons and shot Stephane Charbonnier and 11 other people dead.



There is now an Al Queada Most Wanted poster being passed around the internet showing Charbonnier’s face struck out in red.


Think about that. These murderers, these serial murderers, don’t just keep little photos of their victims to themselves they can cross your face off of. They put your photo on the fucking internet. With a big red X through it.

THAT is fucking blaspheme.



The above is the short list. There are more.

And that’s a long time span.

17 years. For 17 years, artists, filmmakers, satirists, journalists, comics, authors, editors, gallery owners have been threatened, attacked, murdered in the name of defending the honor of a man who heard voices in a cave and has been dead for 1500 years. In Switzerland. Sweden. The US. France. Denmark. All over the fucking globe, artists are targeted, intimidated, threatened, and murdered.



A few bad apples, I am told. Most of Islam is not like that, I am told. Most Muslims are just nice people trying to go about their daily lives, I am told.



You know what a few bad apples are? The Unibomber. He was a bad apple, with a couple buddy bad apples.

This is a fucking orchard.



It’s time to burn that orchard down.


The Silencing of Theo van Gogh
FBI Warns Seattle Cartoonist About Threats
Salman Rushdie bounty increased amid anti-Islam film controversy
Al-Qaida’s ‘dead artist club’
Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier crossed off chilling al-Qaeda hitlist
Swedish Police Hide Threatened Cartoonist
Seattle Cartoonist in Hiding After Death Threats
The Danish Cartoonist Who Survived An Axe Attack
Jihad Against Danish Newspaper
South Park censored after threat of fatwa over Muhammad episode
France manhunt: Police raid homes, arrest several suspects after Charlie Hebdo massacre
Paris Killers Got Wrong Door Before ‘Decapitating’ Magazine
Satirical Magazine Is Firebombed in Paris



Patricia Burroughs, This Crumbling Pageant

This is a guest post from the fabulous Patricia Burroughs, who has somehow run below the radar to talk about exactly what I told her not to talk about on my blog.


Of [Redacted] and Aubergine

Max wouldn’t let me write about [redacted]. I had to do that on Magical Words where I wrote about [redacted] and how Max mentored/bullied me into writing about them even though I Did. Not. Want. To).

Yes, there is Irony there.

So instead, I am writing about fashion.

Max is the Goddess Max in my pantheon for many reasons, one of which is her fabulous sense of design and All Things Fashion, including the Screenwriter’s Uniform in The Screenwriter’s Survival Guide.

And so when she nixed any mention of [redacted] on her blog, even though she made me write about them in my script, I decided I would write about fashion instead.

The problem is, I didn’t spend a lot of time writing about fashion in my dark epic fantasy, This Crumbling Pageant. And when I did write about fashion, I am not at all sure I wrote in such a way that Max, the Goddess of All Things Fashion, would approve.

I wrote about aubergine.

Aubergine is the French word for eggplant, that dark, dark purple that is almost black. In England in 1811, including the Magical version of England I write about, it is only worn by elderly dowagers.

Certainly not by young girls being presented to the Queen and to Society.

Persephone Fury’s sister [a beautiful duchess and a goddess of fashion in her own right] chose a lovely pale blue for her to wear.

But Persephone’s older brother interferes:


“Good gods,” Cosmo drawled. “So this is what they did to you?”

She blinked up at him, not believing her ears.

“I told them at all costs to avoid yellow, but I never dreamed they’d stick you in infant shades.”

She swallowed thickly. She looked nice; she knew she did.

“You’re fortunate to have me as your brother, poppet.” He sauntered into the room, waving the door shut behind him, locking it with a flex of his fist. “I thought they’d never leave.”

“What are you doing?” she demanded, fighting tears, all warm feelings gone in a flash. She curled her fingertips into her palms in an effort to calm herself. “You’re a wretch, Cosmo Fury, a wretch!”

He winced. “Oh good gods, and they even put a padded corset on you?”

She crossed her arms across her small breasts, her humiliation complete. She wouldn’t go downstairs, would never go downstairs, would leave London and never return.

“My sweet poppet, you’ll thank me.”


Should a seventeen-year-old girl ever have her older brother interfere and snatch away the dress the women in her family chose for her and replace it with one that doesn’t suit current fashion and worse, is an old woman color?

I guess it’s kind of obvious to say, read the book and find out. [Hey, that’s what blog tours are about, saying, read my book!]

This Crumbling Pageant is a book about magic and evil, about action and violence, about dark things and Dark things, about secrets and lies, and even in a scene or two, about [redacted].

But, it also has its moments of fashion, because this hero’s journey is happening to a girl.

And if that includes girly things like her menarche, her crush on the first man she meets, and her desire to be pretty for him?

Even better.

As for being trotted before Society to find a husband to further her family’s political ambitions…

Well, they can try.

And as for Max, and her opinions on the fashion choices in the book? Well, Max is always right. That’s a given.

But my characters? Will Persephone in aubergine be considered an Original or an Oddity?

The jury’s still out on that one. You’ll just have to read it to find out!

This Crumbling Pageant is available in print and digital at Amazon, BN and Kobo.


Patricia BurroughsNicholl Award-winning screenwriter and bestselling novelist Patricia Burroughs loves dogs, books, movies, and football. A lifelong Anglophile, she treasures her frequent travels in the British Isles researching The Fury Triad, the epic fantasy that has taken over her life and heart. She and her high school sweetheart husband are living happily ever after in their hometown of Dallas, Texas.



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We did the BOOK MEME. That was awesome.

We did GOING BANKSY. That was awesome.

We did TNSSG T-SHIRT PHOTOS. That was awesome.

We need to do something new and fun for the book.


One of the coolest things people used to do when the first book was out was send in photos of themselves with the book.

Here is David’s Baby Luke with the original book. Yay!

Luke The Smartest Baby In The World

Here is Ben with the original book. Yay!

Benjamin Green With The Screewriter's Survival Guide



















Post a photo of you with The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide to the book’s Facebook Page.


Sure sure sure, “Why Facebook” you ask. Isn’t Facebook a device of the devil?

Yes, yes it is, but less a device of the devil than me trying to single handedly play catcher in the photos in email game.

Post it to the TNSSG Facebook Page. It will be great.


The Rules: We are not big on rules around here, but let’s go with no blatant nudity.

The Prizes: There will totally be prizes for cool photos but we haven’t decided what they are, you already have the book, but we have other swag and prizes so photo up, sports fans, and let’s find out what you win yay!

The Photos: Your photo does not have to be with the paperback, take a photo with you and the book on the Kindle or iPad and that flies with us.


the drama book shop yay!

February 1, 2014

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In the cool news department, the book is shipping out to The Drama Book Shop in New York and will be on shelves this month.  Yay!


:::visit the book page:::




max_bio A friend


Was just asking about screenwriting, which she’s interested in, and getting up and running learning the basics. I threw some advice at her and here it is again for anyone out there looking to start and not knowing where to start, screenwriting:


I sometimes teach beginning classes through Gotham Writers, but I don’t have any on the schedule right now and they aren’t cheap. The bulk of my classes are through The Academy of Film Writing [AFW] and are master classes, you have to have the basics to get into those.

Screenwriting U advertises free classes from time to time which might be a good place to start. They have a Facebook page. I don’t know how good they are, but free is free.

A book I highly recommend is David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible, which is a good place to start. That’s on Amazon.

Also, hit Terry Rossio’s Wordplay and read everything in the archives, all of Terry’s articles on writing are really educational, I make a lot of my students read those.

Seger has a couple good books, one is How To Make a Good Script Great, and the other is Creating Unforgettable Characters. Those are both on Amazon too.

Read scripts. Scripts, scripts, and more scripts.

This is a good source site for screenplays online: MovieScriptSource.com

Not all of these titles will be on there but some really great scripts in no particular order are When Harry Met Sally, Moonstruck, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Romancing the Stone, The Terminator, Fabulous Baker Boys, Blade Runner, Accidental Tourist, Last Boy Scout, Jaws, Shawshank Redemption, John Carpenter’s The Thing, American Beauty, and The Fugitive.

Don’t get thrown by format. Format has five parts: scene headers, scene description, dialogue cues, parentheticals, and dialogue. That’s it. Five parts.  People get all whacked out by format like it’s this big complex math equation but it isn’t, script format has five very simple parts, the end, and some people don’t even use the parentheticals.

Pay attention to verbs in scene description, reading scripts, that’s where motion comes from. And to the details given in character descriptions when they are introduced, that’s character work and the first impression a reader gets of a character. Character intro’s are especially strong in Shawshank Redemption and in The Fugitive.


There you have it. Max’s down and dirty screenwriting primer for beginners.


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At the risk of being grossly commercial here [hey it is Christmas, never say I do not understand the Christmas spirit o’ commerce] if you are still running about and have not found that perfect gift for the screenwriter on your list [well diamonds would work too but let’s say you are thrifty and want to keep it under thirty bucks] The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide is available at these retail stores:


:::BOOK PEOPLE::: [Austin, TX]
:::BOOK SOUP::: [Hollywood, CA]
:::CINEMA BOOKS::: [Seattle, WA]
:::SAMUEL FRENCH::: [Hollywood, CA]


That only works if you are in Austin, Hollywood, Seattle, or Boston, but hey, we are doing our best here and you ARE the one who waited until Christmas Eve to shop, jeez.


*The book is also available on :::AMAZON.COM:::.  In case you get any pesky gift certificates and do not know what to do with them.


facebook for science

December 17, 2013


facebook_art_logo_200Ever since —

I started the AFW Facebook Page and the TNSSG Facebook Page, Facebook has been chiding me about not “boosting” posts.



Boosting posts is when you give Facebook money to send posts out to way more people than would usually see the posts. It is supposed to be savvy marketing. I have mostly given that a pass. But then came the Christmas book special. [That’s over now, it ran through December 15. did you see it on Facebook? No? Bummer for you. Next time hit the book site.] So I thought, What the hell, Facebook, show us what you got — and dropped a C note on Facebook for science.



What happened was one book sale coming out of a Facebook boosted post.

[Yeah there were more sales, but only one from that Facebook boosted post — Facebook you are not the only king of the mountain tracking where this stuff comes in from.]



After you figure time put in writing, publishing, editing, doing layout work, paying for design work, picking up little things like ISBNs, website and marketing support [not including a Facebook “boosted” post], and what not, what’s left over from one book sale is not a lot of cash and is for sure not going to justify dropping a hundred bucks on Facebook to boost that post.

Or to boost any post.



I’m okay with that. It was for science.



Here’s what is unsettling.



Ever since I boosted one post on Facebook? All other posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages suddenly aren’t getting “seen” much according to Facebook numbers.

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Used to be, a solid post on one of the pages got “seen” a couple hundred times — and in really stand out moments, pages got “seen” up to 500 or 800 times.

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Post the “boosted” Facebook page event, any and all posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages are lucky if they make 20 “seens.” And some are way lower than that, like around 5 or 7 “seens.” And the top top post right now? 185. Not so hot, in comparison to what the top top posts were pre-Facebook “boost” post. And definitely more uninspiring still, when you look at the current average [unbefore known to man or beast] “seen” count post “the boost”:

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Maybe I’m just misguided and underestimating how many people are off the computer during the holiday season. But it sure feels on this end like all posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages are being squelched or misreported on the Facebook end post the “boosted” post – more than posts normally are squelched or unreported because of weird Facebook viewer algorithms.



The only reason I can think of for squelching “seen” numbers post a “boosted” post would be to convince someone their viewing numbers are so low without boosting a post, they’d better boost another post or they are going to be invisible from here on out.

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That seems like a whole lot of stick and very little carrot to throw at someone who just for the first time handed some cash over to Facebook.

[Jeez did no one there ever take a dog training lesson?]



Also that would require, to be convincing, someone with a really short memory on the other end of those new reported “seen” numbers who hadn’t seen and remembered over a year’s worth of Facebook “seen” stats prior to the “boosted” post. And didn’t think that was pirate action, stomping someone after they gave you some cash, to try to make them give you more.



Or it could just be me —

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Not really.



tnssg_cover_christmas_250HOLIDAY BOOK GIVEAWAY:

In the interests of getting the book name and link out there as much as possible, the plan here is to give away free books over the holidays.

HOW:  ::Contact::: me and submit your proposal for a group or site giveaway, let me know how many people are in the group and what sort of deadline or date scenario you have in mind.  If it alls sounds good, I’ll supply the book.

WHERE:  Groups with an online presence of some sort that can spread the word and link back to the book site are best.   But in person groups and meets are also a possibility if they are influential and get the title circulating among members.

WHEN:  Any time between now and the first of the year.

WHY: To get the book title out there and circulating and gaining some recognition factor outside my immediate realm of influence.  Anyone on my sites or connected directly to me already knows the book’s title and/or probably already has the book.  The idea here is to have giveaways in venues not directly linked to me to get the title circulating in new places.

WHO SHOULD DO THIS:  Anyone with a significant writers membership and/or online presence.

WHO PICKS THE WINNERS:  It’s up to the organizer to pick winners.  I’ll supply the book.  I’d also like to know, if and when this flies, how many people entered or were present for the book drawing.

TNSSG: http://ow.ly/rfOd2


PS: Max will be a #Scriptchat guest December 29th, 8 PM EST, discussing “Do’s and don’ts to get your screenplay read, sold, and produced.” A lucky #scriptchat attendee will receive a free copy of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide.



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TNSSG | GOING BANKSY http://ow.ly/qDRNk

The current Banksy map. Banksy’d states are blue. Non-Banksy’d states are blank.

States still to go:

Idaho (*)
North Dakota
South Carolina (*)
South Dakota
Wisconsin (*)



Salt_LickThe TNSSG Street Team and —

Terry Rossio are having a total barbeque frenzy Wednesday, October 23rd, in Austin Texas [yes the kick off day of the Austin Film Festival] at a totally famous Austin barbeque place.




I could tell you how to get to this fabulous extravaganza, but —

I don’t want to coddle you.

And —

I am bored with trying to bribe people.



Choose the correct door below and you will get the details. And could totally show for this faboo barbeque extravaganza.

Don’t choose the right door?




Good luck, Sports Fans.

Love and Kisses,

Your No More Coddling Adams Girl


:::door number one:::
:::door number two:::
:::door number three:::
:::door number four:::


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