Ghost Key loglines, trump, and dystopia


In 2013, my Gemini buddy  Hilary Hemingway and I spent a week together, writing the first draft of a script for my novel, Ghost Key, initially published by TOR/Forge Books.  She’s am author and  screenwriter and was teaching me the fundamentals. Eight drafts and months later, we felt we had a completed script.  She added an entire new layer to the story – a medical mystery angle – that enhanced the original idea in the novel.

The script didn’t go anywhere, Ghost Key went out of print and is now available as an ebook. Through a sequence of odd events, I recently decided to take another look at the script – only to discover that my Final Draft software didn’t work on my new computer. I downloaded an updated version, to Final Draft 10, and ran across something called Ink Tip, which partners with Final Draft.

The idea with Ink Tip is that you can submit a script, logline, and synopsis and for $60, it remains on the Ink Tip site for 4 months, where it’s supposedly seen by producers etc. There’s also a site called Blacklist which does the same thing, for less $ per month. This lengthy explanation brings me to the point of all this: the logline.

A logline is the pitch for the idea. After endless rewrites, here’s the logline I used for Ghost Key:  A government biologist uncovers the shocking truth behind the quarantine of a Florida island, where inhabitants are being seized by ancient ghosts.

And this led me to wonder if we’re living primarily  in loglines. In this trump era of lies and more lies, of hourly scandals, where every media outlet is fake news and the Dystopian prez speaks to the country through his Twitter madness, who has the time or inclination to absorb anything else?

A special prosecutor closes in on the Dystopian prez who reveres his Russian handler.

Russia has dirt on the U.S. prez.

The mad hatter laughs wickedly whenever a young child is torn away from his parents at the border.

An obese, 71-year-old, whining  dictator with orange hair makes fun of overweight women, older women, women of color, women who are smarter than he is, all women. He boasts that if Oprah runs against him, he’ll win.

I think my favorite logline, though, hasn’t fully happened yet:

Fat Boy, the 71-year old mental case, wanna be dictator, and illegitimate prez is exposed as a pauper, racist, misogynist, criminal, and traitor. He’s now doing 20 years to life with most of the republican members of congress who were complicit in his attempted  heist of democracy.

Now: back to Ghost Key. Somehow, being seized by ancient, malevolent ghosts seems far preferable to a world in which the republicans hold onto congress in 2018 and Fat Boy wins in 2020. By then, we may well be living in a Dystopian universe of blatant racism and hatred toward “other,” with Roe v. Wade a footnote in history, breathing toxic air and fleeing  inland from the coasts, with corporate giants and banks reigning as the true kings.

Yeah, give me evil ancient ghosts any day.


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17 Responses to Ghost Key loglines, trump, and dystopia

  1. lauren raine says:

    It seems that reality is getting stranger than fiction? It is indeed a crucial time, and our “leader” is pushing the envelope again by planning on bringing Putin to the White House in November, just in time for the elections and his 30 million dollar military parade. Which I find ominous, a vicious dictator who clearly wants to recreate the Russian empire.

    I go to Mexico often, and feel always apologetic at how their beautiful country and unique culture has been insulted by the fools in power here. And I have to say, it is a tragedy for all of us, the way Hispanics and people of color now look so often at me with fear or anger because I’m “white”. We are a nation divided.

    Anyway….sorry to go on. Wishing you great success with your book!

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Thanks, Lauren. As usual, I feel as you do. I try to brace myself for the next shit show, whatever it’s going to be, but trumpo’s brand of bedlam is unpredictable. Ultimately, my sense is that he hopes to become prez for life- otherwise known as a dictator.

  2. C.J. says:

    Laurence, as an RN and mostly oncology RN with Hospice, for many years my ‘spidey sense’, otherwise known as my clairvoyance, etc., had led me to the conclusion that cancer in any and all of its myriad forms IS INDEED A LIVING ENTITY. Similar to parasites which take up residence inside our bodies, malignancies are just much, much more malicious and much, much worse. The medical/clinical communities long ago named this living entity “cancer”. No matter the form it takes and whatever part of our body it attacks, I consider it a true living entity with innate intelligence and address it as such. It is an enigmatic monster that thrives within human vehicles, devouring cells for its food and growth. I will never believe otherwise. In my opinion, cancer is far and above the most deadly enemy we face, and we are far from being able to eradicate it. I’m sending you healing thoughts, Sir. It is an enemy that wears us down. Highest blessings to you.

    • Laurence Zankowski says:


      It has taken from me much. I am working to find how to neutralize this in my non local life. To stop the wheel of karma, a quote from Robert Anton Wilson’s daughter. I take it to heart. I feel there is a troubled entity that throws “ darts” and causes this to express itself in me as cancer.

      “Darts” from the huichol Indian yarn paintings.

      Be well

  3. Laurence Zankowski says:


    Sort of off topic, but fits with your work and final draft. Have a pitch party. Take a group of you local writers or creative types, have two play studio executives and others pitch log lines. Whether real ones from their / your work or make up on the spot. Could be a fun game, and knowing the type of non local energies you bring to this, it could be quite enlightening or stunning

    And record it

    Be well

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Sounds like fun! Thanks for the suggestion! If you can, get the new issue of scientific american. Very interesting stuff in there, incuding an article on how the immune system is a kind of 7th sense

      • Laurence Zankowski says:

        This , the immune system, probably relates to the newly named organ called the interstitium. My medical oncologist and I have great convos discussing this as the mechanism how cancer gets into the lymph system , where my latest tumor has shown up. Uggh!

        Also the Chinese are looking into how the interstitium relates to accupuncture.

        Now to go to the extreme. If, and this is a big if, do cancer cells have an intelligence outside our regular dna/ rna? Is this why after decades of no activity breast cancer cells re activate? Could or if you were Ingo Swann, say that our non local template runs aspects of us that can not be attributed to physical expression?
        looking for non 3D answers.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          Really interesting question, Laurence. We really do seem to be in the infancy of mind/body research. I remember reading in one of Jane Roberts Seth books that all cells are intelligent. I suspect the non local template runs a big part of the show.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          I also think you would really get something out of this scientific american article. August edition.

          • Laurence Zankowski says:


            I went to Jonathan Kipnis lab blog and found more info. I sent links to my oncologist, hopefully she will read. Now that I am doing infusions of Opdivo, and I am on monitoring schedule, an area of off target affects is in the brain and/ or its functions.
            This is good!
            Thank you for the heads up!

            Be well
            Laurence Zankowski

  4. Blah says:

    HEAVY… I must living blind… or maybe like a disenfranchised associate would Express a parent’s commenting towards his own personal situation the parent would say “oh well”… and I’m not saying that’s a good thing cuz it surely isn’t

  5. Nancy says:

    Or speaking Russian. Man, we are in really scary times. Helsinki will go down in history as the turning point. We will either have some real movement by a government that knows it has a traitor in the White House or they will go down in history as helping the Russians conquer the US without ever firing a shot – just as we were warned in 1956.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Trump is scared. Putin has something huge on him, and unless this complicit congress acts in some decisive way we can kiss democracy good-bye. Then we, like the protagonist in Handmaid’s Tale, will be saying, “How did we get to this point?” Why are we here?

    • Blah says:

      What government knows or doesn’t know it’s known for a long time