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Showing posts from June, 2020

30 June 2020

Song Mood: Ray of Light by Madonna. The song popped into my head the other day.  I watched the video and thought, wow this is tough to watch.  It’s like ADHD on speed.  I had a hard time connecting with it.  But the song still plays in my head. I’m heading to Fargo to visit my mum and sister unless my sister’s mad at me for no reason at all or for like being the oldest of siblings or something like that.  I don’t know if my favorite coffee shop will be open to hang out at, but at this moment, I don’t think I could just hang out at a coffee shop anyway. The Canadian border is still closed unless you have immediate family or if it’s an emergency.  So that leaves out more travel plans. I think any travel, besides going to see relatives will be like this: you find a hotel by a scenic area.  You go there, order take out.  Look at the scenery from the window.  Go to the park or beach or lake.  You go to the grocery store to get snacks and wine and or beer.  Go back to the hotel, ord

Trends on Horror

Here are some trends I picked up on recently. The big push for horror isn’t in October.  It’s June, July and August.  As someone who self publishes books, I’m not at all interested in what’s trending.  Mainly because I just need to write as many and publish as many books as possible.  Following trends gets thrown out the window when you want to publish four to six books a year. I already knew that books and dvds, perhaps most streaming get released on Tuesdays.  At one time I knew why. It was the whole business of everything getting shifted because of the pandemic that I realized that the push for horror was June through August.  Harrow the Ninth was supposed to be released in 25 June and now is 4 August.  The Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones was supposed to be released on 14 July and is now 1 September.  That was supposed to be my Birthday book this year. What I found out about Stephen Graham Jones is that a novel of his should have already been released, but i

A Thought on Directors

The other night, as I was waiting to fall asleep I wondered if Guy Richie could ever direct a James Bond film.  Many times I will watch a film because I like the director.  Guy Richie is one of my favorite directors, but he has distinctive style.  The Sherlock Holmes movies play off that style.  James Bond on other hand is a distinctive franchise.  Which is why I wondered if Guy Richie could pull it off because he has a style of his own and the franchise has certain limitations. I watched Disney’s Artemis Fowl because I like the director Kenneth Branagh.  Sir Kenneth directed Thor .  And each time he directs a pop movie, he gets trashed by the acting community.  The reason is because he is a world renown Shakespearian actor.  Critics have said that he gave Sir Laurence Olivier a run for his money on Shakespearian acting.  And Olivier was considered the best actor in the world.  So whenever Branagh directs a pop movie, you have the acting community saying look how far he’s fallen.  An

25 June 2020

After being fed up with the programs that I don’t understand anymore, I went out for a walk.  It was cooling down and not as nasty out as when I wanted to take a walk at.   You know it’s a bad day when you forget your fitbit.  After I logged off my work computer, I forgot that I took my fitbit off and ended going everywhere without my fitbit.  As I went to the lake with my fitbit and the battery dies on me. Every now and then I miss a night of writing.  Tonight is that night.  Just the whole process of seeing that the process of stuff has changed through me off a bit.  Tomorrow, I will get that hour in before dinner.  The most important thing is to press forward.  I want to create stories.  I have an idea and I’m going with it. I reached 19,000 words.  I’m getting to the tougher part of writing the story.  Fight scenes are probably the tougher bits to write.  In this book it is between Marianne who is twenty or thirty something fighting Kurt Grey who is thousands of years old.  Milo

Technology or More Specific Generic Design Programs

Today is one of those days that everything goes wrong. So I’ve been working on formatting a poetry book for the last week.  Like a few minutes here and a few minutes there.  While I’m at the cigar shop talking with my mystery writer friend.  The way I have been tackling it was the same way I did the last one.  It was a bugger figuring out how to manipulate the software ie. Scrivener.  I did it the way I had to for the previous version. The blessed thing about this, I’ve upgraded to the next version.  Once I compiled for print, or in this case for PDF, the pages were crunched together.  Not only that, but there are hashtags everywhere.  The page numbers aren’t on, or if they show up, it’s on top with my name next to it. I tried to upload a photo that I want use on the cover.  Except the format of the photo isn’t within guidelines for Amazon.  The weird thing is, Preview (on Mac) won’t let me crop the picture like it used to.  I open it through GIMP (the freeware alternative to Photos

The Concert 9 November 2019

I figured I would get some rest before the concert.  But for some reason, I thought I should break the Euro that I had to smaller bills in case I need to get a ticket for the ride back to the hotel.  So I walked around and found the shopping center.  There grocery store was two levels of the building it was in.  I bought a pint bottle of a sour beer, a package of grapes and a chocolate.   I was getting hungry and didn’t want look real hard for something else to eat.  I went to McDonalds and ordered an Egg McMuffin.  The high school girl noticed I wasn’t a French speaker, so she helped me with my order and it gave her a chance to practice her English.  I think she was throwing insults at me in French, because she said something and her friends laughed.  It really didn’t bother me, the conversation in English was pleasant enough.  As with all the people I spoke with in France, I thanked them very much in French.  Merci Beaucoup . When I got back to the hotel from that little excursion,

Invalides, France 9 November 2019

If there was any railway station that cause me grief, it was Invalides.  I had bought day passes at Nord for 10 Euro each day.  But for some reason I couldn’t exit with the ticket I had.  I went to customer service by a gate.  I explained the situation.  Told the guy I wanted to get back to Meudon.  I showed him the ticket.  He pointed to the gate, as he did so, the gate opened for me, he told me which line I wanted.  Oh, if it were that easy the following day.

Concord, France 9 November 2019

Two stops down on a smaller train line is Concord, France.  I had always wanted to go to Concord Massachusettes, so I had to walk around in Concord.  As I was walking, I noticed that the Eiffle Tower didn’t seem to be far away.  I tried walking towards it.  What I didn’t realize was the Champ de Mars station, the one where the Eiffle Tower is at, is a couple of stops away.  The Tower is tall enough that it seemed close.  I realized that it would be a couple of miles to walk there.  My fitbit said I was already at 15,500.  It was then that I knew that I had to make some sacrifices and decided to go back to the hotel.

Madeleine, France 9 November 2019

There are so many little towns or sections.  Many of them are Marie de something, Marie of some place.  Or, something de Marie, some place of Marie.  There was one town on the subway map that was just Madeleine.  So I visited it.  It was only a couple stops north of Concord, which was on a main line.  When I got there, there is a Cafe de Madeleine.  And across the street was this large temple.  Which is called L'église de la Madeleine or La Madeleine for short.  It is a church that was built for the remembrance of Marie Madeleine or Mary Magdalene in the time of Napoleon.

The Louvre 9 November 2019

It is said that, if you were to gaze at each piece of art or artifact for ten seconds, it would take at least a week at the museum’s hours to view them all.  The Louvre is that large.  Like Paris, there are two ways of taking on the task of enjoying the museum.  One would be to spend days walking from section to section.  Two, get an idea of what you want to see and then go from there.   I took the tour for people who have never seen the Louvre before.  Highly recommended.  Next time, if I go to the Louve with someone who has never been there, I will take the tour.  But I would do some research for what to look for after the tour.  With the tour, they focus on the three masterpieces: the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.  The reason I got the tour was because I heard that there is a line for the Mona Lisa that is so long that people wait for an hour to the see the painting.  With the tour, the wait was like ten minutes.  I tried to take as many picture

Meudon, France 9 November 2019

Meudon is such a beautiful town.  Towns and cities within the larger cities are just sections.  Nord is a city near the northern heart of Paris.  Within this little town is the river Seine.  A few blocks away from my hotel was this amazingly large tree.  And to me the tree was Yggdrasil, the norse tree of life.  The tree was so broad and reached out so far. I walked around Meudon a bit.  From the day before, I knew the area far better.  I understood the trains better.  I looked at what I googled a couple of days before and figured out how to get to the Louvre with ease.  It would take about 45 minutes with the train.  I had to be at the Louvre by 10:45am as my guided tour at 11:00am. I hopped on a minor railway at around 9:15am and made my way to the Palais Royal Musée du Louvre station. At the station of the Louvre, I had a double espresso and a chocolate croisant or a pain au chocolat before taking the tour.  The barista even threw in a mini chocolate.

Paris 9 November 2019

9 November, Paris.  This was the big day.  I wanted to go to London and Paris.  The idea of the trip was from watching a Youtube clip of a-ha announcing they are going on tour that year.  The first thing I bought were the tickets to London.  Then I bought a ticket to the concert.  I planned the trip and bought each little thing piece by piece.  I paid for certain hotels on one paycheck and other hotels on another paycheck. It was just, I had a mishap on the very first night in London.  What I thought was a bed and breakfast turned out to be something different and the guy who ran the place I was to lodge at said that he doesn’t lodge people anymore.  I was fine, I survived.  But while in London, I began to doubt things.  I would ask myself what am I doing here?  Am I really going to Paris?  If I am, how much more debt will I incur, little things like that. I had already paid for the train tickets and the hotel, as if anything could I change anything.  Fortunately for me, the place I

Paris 8 November 2019

Paris is a city like no other.  The moment I stepped on a sidewalk outside of the Gare du Nord station, it was love.  My journey to Paris started out at Kings Cross St Pancras.  The international side of Kings Cross station.  I took a bullet train from London to Paris, which is a little over two hours on this fast train.  The Chunnel or Channel Tunnel is 50 km, which is roughly 31 miles and at it’s deepest is 75 meters below the sea bed. As I was in France, I zoomed past all these little towns with churches and steeples.  The downcast sky from England seemed to follow all the way until the Gare du  Nord station. While at the Gare du Nord, I had to figure out how to use the metro trains.  Gare du is just French for main line.  While in London, I learned that the easiest way to get around was to ask someone, you tell them where you want to go and then ask which platform you need to get on.  Platforms are very specific. So I asked around at the international kiosks.  I would learn late

18 June 2020

Song Mood: Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen. A superb writing day.  I wrote 1200 words in my timed hour.  I figured out what to do with the two flashback scenes that did not seem to be organic at all and was a little jarring where they were.  One of them will be the beginning.  The one where the hero has a fight with his girlfriend and she backhands him using her special power.  The other remains a flashback.  I stole 614 words from the rough draft and it all just fits into place.  I’m now at 16,000 words.  I think I will write a fight scene over the weekend. I worked on the formatting for the poetry book that I’m not sure I will promote once it hits the market.  That gave me an idea.  I forgot to write poems inspired by other poets during National Poetry Month.  So July poems will be poets. The long weekend coming up.  I’ll have five days off in a row with the Independence day holiday coming up.  I may go visit my mum for the first couple of days.  I may go to Winnipeg for a da

The Murder Mystery

A murder mystery would be so easy to write.  I don’t know, I may have watched or read or listened to a few thousand of them.   The other night I just finished watching Rosemary & Time , a mystery about two gardeners going about the English countryside and solving murders.  It’s easy to see why that show only lasted three seasons.  Two women drive around the countryside or to other countries and wherever they go, someone gets murdered. Just like Father Brown has had eight seasons and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  In a small town, there might be a murder once every 10 to 20 years.  Kembleford has 7 to 12 murders a season.  Tonight I watched the 1974 Father Brown and that is more like a play adapted from a G.K. Chesterton short story. Here are the parts to a murder mystery.  The first scene is usually about the victim, or the murder takes place.  In a Wallander novel, it would be a 5 to 10 page bio of the victim, which has nothing to do with the murder and then the murder. Ne

Writing Progress

I’ve been making progress on my second draft that feels more like a rough draft.  Each day, I’ve set an alarm for an hour and I end up writing 1,100 words in that hour.  In the past week I’ve hit 9,000 words. It’s been a week where I feel better about my writing.  I’m happy with the new outline.  It’s not super detailed, just a series of paragraphs of where I want the story to go. What I’m thinking is that I need another writing partner or two.  Other writers and artists whom I can bounce ideas off of.  Someone who can hold me accountable.  Now that I’m writing more, there are other things that a writer’s partner would be useful for. And with the writer’s partner, I would do whatever I can to help the needs of the writer’s parter. It would be great to be able to hang out someone, a fellow artist, and just talk about stories.  I have a friend, a writer, I hang out with at the Cigar shop and that's great.  But it would be great to meet someone at a coffee shop.

Paused to Prolific: A New Writing Guide

There are a flood of books on writing.  Every now then I will buy one and hope that I get one idea that I haven’t thought of before.  I just found one that said all the right things at the time.  Paused to Prolific by K Webster. This book captures the writing strategy that I so want.  There was nothing new, but the way it was presented just made things seem obtainable.  The way she wrote the book seems like it was written for someone who has ADHD.  She introduces the concepts as squirrels.  And ever better for me it was presented in a shorter more condensed version.  Without all the extra fluff that goes with books on writing.  Like why write 300 pages on a subject when 70 will do. So yesterday I made a point to sit down and write for an hour set to the timer.  And found that I could write 1100 words in an hour on a story.  I used a formula to set up a goal with. For the project I’m writing, I wasn’t sure where it was going.  I knew I liked the idea.  So I did a twenty minute f

The Stone of Destiny

The other movie I watched this weekend was also a biopic: The Stone of Destiny .  It was about four Scottish college students who went to Westminster Abby and stole a six hundred pound stone, which was a Scottish treasure.  I enjoyed it.  A bunch of Scottish students banding together to steal a national treasure back from the English. The movie was based off of a book, the writer was the leader of this little band.  After the events of the book, he went on to become a lawyer.  They pull off the heist and a few months later they returned the stone.  All involved were accused of stealing the stone, but never charged.  England was worried that if they charged the students with the theft of the stone, there would be riots by the Scottish and so dropped the charges.


The other day I finally watched Rocketman , the Elton John biopic.  At some point I will watch Bohemian Rhapsody .  Any way, Rocketman was a biopic befitting Elton John.  It was part musical, part slice of life.  I have a sneaky suspicion that someone saw Taron Egerton in Kingsman and said OMG, he looks exactly like Elton John.  Because Elton shows up in the sequel to Kingsman , his first actual movie appearance.  And then shortly after, Rocketman was announced. I kind of wonder if his autobiography follows the same storyline.  The book has to be 600 pages long.  Anyway, Taron Egerton did an amazing performance.  They actually had Taron sing the songs instead of using Elton John’s audio. I wonder if they will do a David Bowie biopic.  I know if they do a Billy Joel biopic, it would include one of his brother in laws running off with his money and also his marriage with Christine Brinkley.