Christopher Burdick

is creating stories for the dejected & the degenerate

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Cinder Wench
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You get my undying thanks and a front-row seat to my ongoing adventures in obscurity.

Occasional humor posts and flash fiction.

Ankle Beater
per month

Longer fiction.

Occasional photo-essays.

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Who Am I?

I’m Chris Burdick.

More? Okay. I'm from western Massachusetts. I moved to L.A. in 1984 to attend USC film school.

I currently live in glamorous North Hollywood, where the stars go to die.

I have, at various times, been a screenwriter of some note (that note being in a typeface so tiny and faint as to be nigh-unreadable); a creator of Myst-style CD-ROM games (back when people knew what Myst was and had CD-ROM drives); a designer of websites; a director of music videos; and a producer of a vaguely bawdy YouTube comedy about an obscure sexual fetish (you know, that old cliché).

Some of these things paid well; some of them, less well; and some of them… well, the less said, the better.

Hallow's End and Cannibal Taboo were the biggest of my screenwriting credits (keeping in mind that "biggest" is a relative term). The rest of my filmography, you can read about here.

To those of you who are unfamiliar with me,
hello. To those of you who are painfully familiar with me, hello and I’m sorry.

Why Am I Here?

History's greatest minds have grappled with that question. If they couldn't answer it, I certainly can't.

Unless by "here," you mean Patreon. That's an easy one. Why is anybody on Patreon? I'm here because I want to make art and not die. Or at least not end up in the gutter. I've managed to keep out of it so far but I can see it from my window and there are days when it seems disturbingly close.

Here's what you need to know:

I like writing and creating stuff. In theory.

I like paying bills and living like a human being. In theory.

It’s where all those concepts collide that the theory begins to break down.

It has not been a stellar year for the Burdick brand. My primary revenue source recently took a critical hit from which I may not recover any time soon. And times are tough right now, not just for me but for creative types in general. It was never easy making a living through one's creative output, but it's gotten a little trickier in the Internet Age. The culture of file sharing, the glut of amateur content, and the growing expectation of "free" have made it increasingly challenging for creators to do what they do and to sustain themselves while doing it.

Not that there's no upside to all this. The old models are dying but new models are arising to take their place and to succeed where those old models failed. Patreon is one such new model.

For those of you who don't know Patreon, it's a mechanism via which folks like you can offer their monthly support - real, tangible, money-in-the-bank support - to those artists they enjoy, and whose work they would like to see continue and/or evolve. I’m hoping that, for a few of you at least, I am one of those artists.

I don’t go into this with any set expectations and I don’t go into it lightly. If you support me here, great. If you don’t, I’m not going to ding you for it.

My goals here are simple. I want to increase my writing output, hone my creative skills, pay my gas bill, keep my phone turned on, and do my laundry. Oh! And buy toilet paper. I should probably write this all down.

What's In It For Us, Your Patrons?

How about eternal salvation?

All right, all right, that I can’t promise you. What I can promise is that I will write fresh content every week and post it here for you guys. Some of it will be free for everybody; much of it will be just for my patrons. All of it will exist thanks to your contributions.

It may not all be to your liking - not every genre or topic appeals to every person - but I’m skilled enough at what I do, and my tastes are varied enough, that I'm sure you will enjoy quite a lot of it.

In the column to your right, you'll see specifics about all the rewards that I'm offering for each tier of support. In the column to your left (you may have to expand it), you'll see all the stretch goals that I'm planning for each milestone that I reach here. As new goals are met, I'll be adding new rewards.

The Stories

In the beginning, I'll be focusing on short fiction and microfiction. Some of these will be standalone stories. Others will fit into a larger narrative.

For now, these larger narratives will include:

Creeping Sunset is the ongoing story of Danny Nyström. He's a product of the 1960s as they bleed into the 1970s. This is when we meet him, living in Silver Lake with his old lady (his term, not mine) Eden Applewhite. Eden is a film school graduate who's eager to break into Hollywood but who, for now, works a thankless office job at a magazine subscription company. She doesn't have a lot of patience for Danny and she doesn't believe much of what he tells her (you'll know why in a second). Danny makes his meager living by writing sleazy paperbacks, taking odd delivery jobs, and painting murals on vans. Danny would rather earn money doing the thing that keeps him busiest: fighting and destroying the supernatural menaces that plague his everyday life. The only problem is that once he's done, there's rarely anybody left alive to pay him.

Somerset & Makepeace follows the adventures of swinging '60s superspy Somerset Hayes and her butler/bodyguard Makepeace, a taciturn man with a mysterious past and seeming connections to London's criminal underground. Working undercover as an international model - with Makepeace posing as her manager - Somerset undergoes secret missions for a mysterious agency called Argument Seven. Tasked with eliminating reality-bending threats that imperil the very cohesion of the world we understand, Somerset is at the same time determined to uncover the dark agenda of the organization that employs her. Think of it as Diana Rigg's The Avengers meets The Prisoner meets Yellow Submarine meets Antonioni's Blow-Up, with just a dash of The Long Good Friday added for flavor.

Ruin & Resolve is a series set in Regency England. It follows the very proper members of The Young Ladies’ Rare & Exotic Botanical Society, who go on flower-identifying expeditions that invariably end with the ladies fighting off ferocious dinosaurs, unseemly monsters, and rather rude gentlemen of suspect breeding and questionable intent.

Bonus Projects

I have two other ongoing projects that, while not fiction in the strictest sense, tie into my Patreon stretch goals. One is a storytelling engine that's designed to help writers randomly generate characters, locations, sources of conflict, etc. The other is a tabletop role-playing game system that emphasizes the freeform generation of weird little towns and urban centers (think Twin Peaks, Castle Rock, and the like).

You can read more about these in the Goals section.

In Summation

I could use your help a lot, and would appreciate it greatly. If you enjoy what I do and would like me to keep doing it - and if you're interested in helping me take it to new levels - please think about becoming a patron. I'll do my damnedest to make it worth your while...
1% complete
Short films. One a month. They'll be fairly talky and won't have a lot of special effects or anything, but I'll take camera in hand and will start creating little video vignettes for you maniacs to consume.
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