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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Riots of 2020 vs The Good in People

If anyone told me all the events that happened in 2020 would happen, I wouldn’t have believed them.  The stay at home orders to help fight against the COVID pandemic.  Then the tragic death of an African American to a racist cop was unthinkable.   The protests that followed were to be expected.  What wasn’t expected was the violence and looting that happened during those protests.  At most of these riots, the instigators and looters were out of state at the riot sites.  Who took advantage of a troubling time.  Who wanted to smear the names of the protesters, to stir angst against the people who were protesting peacefully. It is strange that the city I live in is under curfew. Intolerance has grown in this nation for the last five to ten years.  I wsa a afraid to live in this country for a while.  I still am.  I may not be African American, but I’m still a minority.  I thought many times that it would be a good idea to move to Canada.  That it would be safer.  But I’m still here. I th…

Doctor Who 1963

Today I watched the first four episodes of Doctor Who, first aired in 1963.  It was a different show then than it is now.  Almost like Dark Shadows that first aired 1966.  The episodes were a half hour long.  And were just segments of a larger story.  A serial. They were trying for a mysterious element where there was confusion over his name and so they just called him Doctor Who.  It was like the first Doctor rejected the idea of companions.  And they fought their way into the Tardis and he relented.  The actor who played the first Doctor had health issues and convinced the show’s producers that the Doctor should regenerate and there by keeping the show going after his death and created a unique loophole in the story.  Far better than the original Lost in Space.  I think though, that Dark Shadows was slightly better than the original Doctor Who but they were different kind of shows.

Ebooks on Que 23 May 2020

Over the last week I bought these eBooks:
Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen.  I met the author once at a writer’s conference in Aurora, Nebraska.  She was on a panel with other agents.  I felt sorry that she didn’t get to talk as much as she did.  The other agents and publishers, all male, dominated that panel.  She sounded brilliant when she did talk on the panel.  The novella, I believe is a paranormal thriller that takes place in a haunted house.  I read a few pages and am enjoying it so far.
Endless Ideas by Neeve Silver and Sean M. Platt.  Which is just like the title, how to come up with ideas.  And is kind of like if a book were a cheerleader giving a pep talk.  I can generate ideas, but this book dispels the doubts I may have.  I’m hoping that somewhere in the book there is a brainstorming exercise.
Keeper: Coup de Grace by Cort Fernald.  The final book in my friend’s trilogy.  He finished the manuscript before he died and worried that it might be a little short.  I reassured hi…

On Que for Listening 22 May

I am currently listening to Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.  Which is a sci-fi mystery that Netflix made a TV series out of.  It is very similar to the Netflix series, except that it takes place on Earth instead of Harlan.  I can tell that the guy who wrote it wasn’t a fan of Catholics.  I expect there will be more differences as the I listen to the book. Next up: Lucy Worsley’s Queen Victoria.  The book covers twenty four events that shaped her life along with England.

On MFA programs and Creative Writing

If I had really gone to plan, I would have earned a Masters in Victorian Literature.  Then I would be have spent an eternity teaching basic English at a university making less than what I do now.  Then I would have had my ‘big break’ and taught Old and Middle English along with linguistics. Instead, I applied for the MFA program at the University of British Columbia and failed miserably.  I went over to Korea for a couple of years and came back to the States and struggled to make as much as I did when I was a drafter. It wasn’t the actual rejection that threw me off but a series of negative people in my life.  Two of them being creative writing professors.  I had one fiction professor and one poetry professor that were positive and helped me in my writing journey.  But a series of negative people made me doubt myself.  Something, I continue to do.  It has taken me well over a decade to realize the opinion of the negative people doesn’t matter as telling a good story matters. William …

Agatha Christie: Writer

When Agatha Christie would write a story, should sit in her room with a typewriter and paper.  She would start the rough draft, early in the morning and would write for three days straight.  She would finish the rough draft of her novel within those three days. This happened because she would set herself up.  She knew her characters and had an idea of what she wanted to write.  Then on the time she choose, she just typed for three days straight. Back in those days, a published author could live off a book for a year or two or more.  But the world changed.  A writer these days needs to get published, nearly an impossibility these days or self publish four books a year just to earn a little cash for holiday.

On Star Wars 22 May 2020

I watched The Rise of Skywalker for the second time and decided I liked it way better than I did the first. I don’t know if they took out a few of the Carrie Fisher scenes, but it seems like they did.  Which were a little jarring.  It seemed as though the surrounding script was written to go along with the footage that they already had instead of moving along with a story. I think some of the issues I had with the movie would have been eliminated had they foreshadowed in the previous two movies.  Setting up the audience for what was going to happen.  Instead they used ideas that were a part of the old Star Was cannon without explaining.  Banking on the ‘big reveal’ to carry the movie.  Setting the audience up is better than the big reveal any day.  Like a scene in The Force Awakens introducing a character at the very end.  It would have created buzz for that character and promoted a sense of unity through out the series.
I see a lot of trash talk about the new movies on social media.…

'Cursed' by Jeremy C Shipp

I am currently reading Jeremy C Shipp’s Cursed.  It’s a good thing I read The Atrocities first otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered with this one. It is: 1. Terrible 2. Overuses lists 3. Has really off the wall characters.
When I say it’s terrible, it’s necessarily bad, I didn’t enjoy it.  The narrator lists everything.  The first time I saw a list, I thought, yeah this cool, I like this literary device.  But then narrator mostly speaks in lists there after.  The repetition of lists is annoying, especially after a hundred pages of it.  If I didn’t like The Atrocities so much, I would have given up on it a long time ago.   The other thing that I’m all together keen about is the off ball characters who feel they would fit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  And so that gets annoying as well.  I will continue reading Cursed but only because I liked the other book so much.

Writing Tools 14 May

I did a little writing today, and that was a good thing.  I did a little editing and that was a good thing too.  Which leads to the first writing tool I used to day: Prowritingaid.  An editing software that can be incorporated into whatever writing system you use.   I fought with it on the style issue of was.  I’m okay with a couple sentences that has was as the verb, many genre writers are.  The key is not to over use the was sentences.  All of my favorite authors, most from England have ‘was’ all over their writing, mainly because they focus on telling stories.  With many of Neil Gaiman stories, I can imagine him telling me the story at a pub over a nice pint of bitter.  And the next morning over a cuppa of Earl Grey, or in my case a doppio espresso. Prowritingaid checks for spelling, grammar and style issues.  I was impressed.
The second tool I used while I was writing: The Emotional Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman.  This is an awesome book.  It has a 130 entries fo…

Upon Reading 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'

I finished reading The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christi.  The first book with Hercule Poirot.   When I came across a certain clue, like a smashed coffee cup, I was afraid that I would remember the ending.  I had seen an episode while in London where the coffee cup was smashed.  While in London, I would hit 18,000 to 21,000 steps by 3pm and would just watch television for an hour or two.  Poirot shows would play back to back on ITV3.  Fortunately I didn’t remember the ending. Unlike Murder on the Orient Express, even after ten or twenty years of either reading the book or watching a movie rendition, I still remember the ending and figured it out with in ten minutes of watching the latest version.  That ending, for some reason still sticks in my head.
Hastings is kind of like Dr Watson, the loyal sidekick who tells the story.  He’s not as smart as Poirot because Poirot is the detective and at that time they needed to show that the detective or private investigator was so m…

The October Poetry Serial

I’m thinking that, I should write a short story for Halloween.  In specific.  I’m going to write a story in which I will write a month of Haiku based off the story and really nail the poetry serial for the month of October.  It’s a thought.
I’ve been told that I should go to Hummel Park.  My fellow crime writer and former photographer for the Omaha World Herald told me I should really make a trip there and during the night too.  I’ll start with a day trip or two.  Work up the story and finally write the serial for October that I always wanted to do.

Stargate (1994)

I just watched the original Stargate movie and I must say, it still holds up to the times.  It’s still a little cheesy, or really it’s a rather hokey.  But it’s not as cheesy as the original Star Wars.  Gasp.
I watched it to get a better idea of how I want to do my fourth book in the series that I’m working on.  If I get that far.  I don’t wan’t to say if it will or will not happen.
Ra, the antagonist is a bit effeminate.  I wish they would have spent more time showing his power.  But when I’m in the situation of writing the story, I’m pretty sure that I will glance over things as well.  C’est la vie.
I remember my father telling me that Kurt Russell’s salute wasn’t a proper military salute.  That was too easy to spot, really.
James Spader, back then looked like John Lennon.
I actually like the movie, after all these years.  I didn’t get into the TV show that followed because it was a thousand times more cheesy.

8 May 2020

When someone loses a pet, I can only say that I am sorry for their loss.  Pets are what make life bearable and become treasures in our lives.  I have only had a hamster named Charlie, whom I named after this elderly guy who lived down the street.  My sister had a dog that lived for 19 years.  But I have always been around people who have pets.  I'm not sure what comfort I can give but to say I'm sorry.