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Posts from the ‘Spirit’ Category

My First Guru Had Four Feet

October 15, 2013

brookeburgess

(the following is reposted from a submission of mine that was featured on Tiny Buddha last month, and again on Life As a Widower.  It’s a true story from my childhood, though my folks would probably say I was leaning into ‘literary license’ territory. 😉  That said, this is the unedited version of the tale, which includes a pictorial peek at my old stomping grounds.  More importantly, I want to commemorate the completion of the outline for a long-in-development series of four children’s books, directly inspired by the events recounted below.  For all of you taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo…know that I’m there in the literary trenches with you – BB)

webmd_rm_photo_of_green_eyed_cat

I’ve always been a ‘cat guy’.  This was long before my Buddhist friends told me stories of how cats are true earthly masters, here on earth to show us the Way. Or, to demonstrate the meditative perfection of the feline purr.  Or, how the life of a cat is seen in some traditions as reward for ‘good Karma’.

When I lived in rural Nova Scotia, the house was blessed with two cats named Midge and Mooch: tabby mixes, who would come and go as they pleased, and were kind enough…if not overly affectionate.  I kept asking for a cat of my own, and my folks eventually buckled.  For my seventh birthday, I received a black and white kitten with golden eyes and a salmon-pink nose.  He took to me instantly. Love at first meow.

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ECKHART TOLLE FILM GETTING A ‘KICKSTART’

September 30, 2013

brookeburgess

As featured in this project post, my friends and collaborators at Hulo Films in Vancouver have been working with acclaimed producer/director Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) and celebrated spiritual author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) to bring the inspirational children’s book Milton’s Secret  to life as a live-action feature.

I was honoured to be brought in during the early phases to help shape their transmedia strategy, contribute to branding (‘When life gets heavy, find a better way to carry it’), and offer story notes.  Now, with the script receiving kudos from all corners, the project securing support from the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Hollywood legend Peter Fonda signing on to star, the next phase can now be revealed.

In a little over a week, the official INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN for Milton’s Secret has already raised in excess of $100,000!  The goal in the next 30 days is to raise the $1M necessary to match gov’t and tax credit contributions, allowing this special work to be completely independent of the studio system.

Check out the following short for the straight skinny from Barnet Bain, Hulo producer Stephen Huszar, and Eckhart himself.

There are heaps of great incentives for all levels of contribution — limited edition scripts and videos, mindfulness tools, and even red carpet events — so please consider ‘kicking something into the kitty’ to help bring this inspirational story to eyes and minds around the world!

Of Endings and Enlightenment (RIP)

September 10, 2013

brookeburgess

(I’m breaking with formalities and the usual distractions to feature not only a ‘mindful’ side of the creative process – meditation practice – but also to honour one of my most treasured personal influences.   Joanne Telfer passed away in Sept 2008, and I haven’t spoken of it publicly since.  I hope you’ll do me the kindness of enduring this lengthy and somewhat maudlin post for the sincere revelations within.   Many thanks, BB)

 

This hurts.  

So much so that I don’t want to be here anymore. 
 
All I can think is that I’d rather be with you.  Wherever that is.
You’d probably just mock me, and call it a ‘cop-out’.
 
I haven’t suffered anything compared to you.
 
But you only need to see it once, remember?

You only need to know that it’s real…

 

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It seemed like a grand idea at the time.  Self-discovery!  Personal improvement!  Spiritual progression!  Ten days at a remote Buddhist retreat in southeast Thailand.  Eighteen hours each day to focus on ‘mindfulness’, in whatever task was assigned.

The wake-up bell at 4AM.  Using candlelight to wash and dress oneself.   Bare feet on cold, wet grass.  Orion’s jewelled belt pointing the way through the jungle from a sky made of black velvet.

The sexes sit on opposite sides of the sand-floored sala.  This divide persists for the duration.  Separate dorms.  Dining areas. Walking paths.  Eye contact is discouraged.  A deeper, deafening silence.

And then the day truly begins…

THE SHADOWLAND SAGA

WORK

TIMELINE:  Current – 2020

PLATFORM:  Print / eBooks / Transmedia

GENRE:  Junior Fiction (10-14) Fantasy/Mystery/Horror

A BOY.  A CAT.  A NIGHTMARE IN TWO WORLDS!!!

In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from bad…to cursed. When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams — the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens. Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him…or to make the nightmares come true? Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet’s daughter, the town’s ‘crazy cat lady’…and the mystical tiger from his dreams.

  • VOLUME I (The Cat’s Maw) available in all major eBook shops NOWdeluxe paperback AVAILABLE ON AMAZON — and deluxe audiobook (Spring 2016)
  • VOLUME II scheduled for a 2016 Holiday release
  • Mythology App, VR experience, and live-action series in development

‘BECOMING’

WORK

TIMELINE:  AVAILABLE NOW!

PLATFORM:  Graphic Novel (96 pages)

GENRE:  Psychological Thriller / Horror

CLIENT:  In-House IP / Arcana Comics

Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry HitchbornBECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!

SYNOPSIS

When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death.  To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.  

TRAILER*

(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)

‘BECOMING’ TRAILER IS LIVE!!!

August 30, 2012

brookeburgess

 

It feels like I’ve been teasing this project forever…

You can get the ‘official poop’ from the press release here, and the publisher page here.  Expect exclusive pics, interviews, and creative revelations in this space soon!

And, if you’re the impatient (and tablet-toting) type, snag Act 1 from COMIXOLOGY!  They’ll be releasing the follow up parts in Sept and Oct before the official print release later in November.

Special thanks to Saintly maestro Tobias Tinker for the chilling trailer tune, which we hammered out together in his family’s idyllic country home last month.  As a result, I’m seriously craving more quality collaboration 😀

‘BECOMING’ to Premiere at SDCC this week!!!

July 9, 2012

brookeburgess

If you’re one of the lucky ‘few’ (ie: 180,000 genre fans and professionals) making the pilgrimage to San Diego this week for Comic Con, be sure to drop by Booth # 2415 and scope out the advance release of my new graphic novel:  BECOMING.

96 Pages.  Two years in the making.  And only 50 copies available!!!

After the big show, Arcana will be releasing the book digitally (for tablets and mobiles) in three acts between August and November, with print versions hitting Amazon and major retailers before Thanksgiving.  So be sure to watch this space for the latest scoops, interviews, and reviews from around the WWW, and spread the good word 🙂

‘Untitled’ Game High Concept

June 29, 2012

brookeburgess

(Here’s a narrative overview I recently created for a game dev client – can’t announce the developer or project specifics yet, but I’m definitely happy with the relationship and the results!)

SYNOPSIS

You and a host of powerful beings were charged with creating Life on a pristine world.  But something went wrong.  Through negligence and arrogance, your creations quickly evolved into a terrifying demon horde, threatening to scour the fragile Eden.   Outraged, your Master decides to wipe the slate clean, and imprison you (his Architects) and the abominations deep underground.  Now, you must harness your divine energy and scattered technologies to destroy your tainted creations, awaken your fallen Brethren, and escape the prison…or remain trapped in darkness forever!

You were the First. 

A being of pure Will, infused with unfathomable power, and charged with a sacred Mission.  But you were the first of many.  A legion of beings would soon join you in this new realm.  Together, you would craft incredible technologies, and harness near-limitless energies to engineer the primordial sparks of Life.  And as lightning and otherworldly fire filled the skies, and the first creatures twitched and stirred beneath swirling dark waters, you could feel the growing pride of the One that had set these events in motion.  And it was Good.

But it would not endure.

As time passed, and the web of Life on this young world grew infinitely more complex, a division began to form within the ranks of your Brethren.  The sheer scope of the plan and the energies at your disposal tainted the weaker amongst you. Some went mad with the weight of responsibility.  Some even whispered of rebellion.  But the greatest flaw was harbored in the hearts of those who fell prey to the lure of Ambition.  Fueled by newfound arrogance, these Architects used their powers to veer the course Life far from the intended design – one of harmony and symbiotic balance – and down a path both twisted and profane.  That was when the monsters rose from the mire.  When onyx-horned and cloven-hoofed things clawed their way from molten cracks in the world’s womb.  When creatures of unspeakable horror howled at the sky with blood-soaked teeth and mindless hate.  And that was when you understood what must happen next, for the grand design had been defiled.

You had failed in your sacred Mission.  The punishment was swift.

With thunder and fury, the One shook the foundations of the world.  The oceans drained into bottomless rifts, and towering mountains crumbled to dust. Through a veil of fire, the earth yawned open, and swallowed beast and Brethren alike in jaws of stone.   And there you would remain…for eons.  Trapped in a forgotten chasm beneath the earth, and shackled by otherworldly machines of your own making.  Abandoned in the dark, with nothing but the shrieking demonic hordes, and the cries of your fallen brothers.  Everything had been taken from you…save for your Essence.

And that is the key to your salvation.

Though disembodied, you are still an Architect.  Through sheer force of will, your prison matrix shall become your liberation, as the technologies transform into the armor and weaponry you’ll use to break free and destroy the abominations.  And as you battle through countless chambers beneath the earth, you are sure to find your fallen Brethren – imprisoned, as you were.  Free them, and you’ll become infused with their essence, as well as the unique tools and gifts that they possess.  Call upon them in a moment of despair, and divine Might shall rain down upon your foes!

You will taste defeat – it is inevitable – but each time you fall, you will retain the knowledge of your prison, your foes, and the arcane powers you have acquired.  Thus armed, you embark again on a desperate quest for freedom and redemption.  You were the First.  Now you are the Last.  This is your only Mission…

And you will not fail again.

MILTON’S SECRET

WORK

TIMELINE:  CURRENT

PLATFORM:  Interactive APP / Feature Film (2013)

GENRE:  Developmental / Lifestyle / Family

CLIENT:   HULO FILMS / BARNET BAIN 

  • Script Review
  • One-Sheet Design
  • Transmedia Campaign
  • App Design
  • Investment Pitch Package

INTERACTIVE OVERVIEW

Following in the footsteps of the Conscious Parenting movement – and tapping into the life-changing principles touted by celebrated author ECKHART TOLLE  The Conscious Parenting Guide will be a groundbreaking ‘lifestyle application’ that harnesses the unique tablet interface to foster personal and situational awareness for families. Our platform will use these unique interactive experiences to drill to the core of consciousness; across a broad spectrum of ‘gamified exercises’, users will focus on breath control, listening skills, and expanded ‘body awareness’ to navigate group and individual challenges.  Over the course of the program, they will share their experiences, journal personal progress, and be encouraged to download new exercises and reference material to further their growth.   Like any muscle or skill, we firmly believe such engagement over time will yield strength and proficiency – in effect, a deeper understanding of themselves, each other, and powerful tools to cope with emotions, stress, and personal conflict.

RISEN

WORK

TIMELINE:  2011 – CURRENT

PLATFORM:  Feature Film

GENRE:  Contemporary Sci-Fi

CLIENT:  In-House IP w/ HULO FILMS

LOGLINE:  Sheltered in a remote orphanage, a disabled teen (JACOB PRICE – 16) has terrifying visions of a technological apocalypse.  Little does he realize that the real battle will be waged within his very cells…and that the future of the human race will be HIS to decide.

With an original short story treatment, multi-stage development financing from Telefilm Canada and Saskfilm was secured for this teen sci-fi high concept.  Reminiscent of ‘thinking man’ cult hits including The Lawnmower Man, The Matrix, and Chronicle,  three (3) screenplay drafts have been successfully completed and reviewed by major distributors.  You can view the digital pitch package here, which includes some sweet concept art by David Cameron Sloan. UPDATE: Or check out the motion-comic proof-of-concept right here!

 

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