Back to Old habits: sports and wringing groups.

Here are some things we learned since our last entry, in no particular order.

My daughter has gone back to NAU where she belongs.

Clay Buckholtz is now firmly the #3 starting pitcher for the Diamondbacks, who are inexplicably leading the NL West at this writing. You can point to Paul Goldschmidt if you want, but the real reason they are ahead of the Dodgers and Rockies is solid pitching and league leading interior defense. If Nick Ahmed doesn’t win a gold glove this year something is rigged.

Feels good to be jabbering about sports here again.

I have kinda committed myself to producing a distributable PDF version of Go Action Fun Time by month’s end, which may impair other projects. I am looking at making it a Drive Thru RPG product to test the market if no other reason. I’m pretty happy with the text (V 1.4) but there are a lot of details regarding layout that will suck up a lot of time.

We have some notes from tonight’s writer’s group.

One of our alumni has pushed a project into print!

Ivy Millicent Learns About Diabetes was work-shopped in our group a few years ago.

51-wxg06lyl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Alas, the phrase “in the limelight” has nothing to do with plague bodies being tossed into glowing lime pits. That would be awesome, but the internet disagrees.

Limelight comes from the chemical lighting process that replaced gas lighting in theaters by the 1860’s, and was the standard for lighting vaudeville and melodrama until practical electric lights came about by the 1920’s.

Finally, the Zapfino font:

 

zapfinoone

Available here.

Now we know.

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A Beanstalk Review and a Parade of Other Notes

First, the good news: My novel Beanstalk and Beyond received a review from a publication that people might actually read, namely the Nameless Zine.

Reviewer Chris Wozney writes:

I am quite impressed by this blending of fairy tales and historical setting. The author is himself a wanderer, and he imbues this story with some of the compulsion a wanderer feels for the roads and ways that lead out to the world beyond one’s doorstep.

I will choose to believe he has read some of my hiking guides, rather than discovering their existence while Googling my name. No-shh! Don’t wreck this moment for me.

Now the break even news, everyone forgot I was going to run Go Action Fun Time at Rincon, including me. I found the commitment in one of my many notes this afternoon, but was relieved to find I am not actually scheduled for any game or event.

I don’t have an episode ready to go. (And I’m likely out of money).

If you go, give them my regards, and no hard feelings, OK?

Bad News: the primary purpose of an HP printer is to extort ink sales from the user. If they happen to successfully print a document along the way, that is an unexpected bonus. My HP Deskjet 3520 is skipping every six lines because it believes I am using counterfeit ink (I’m not). Multiply this user experience by several million, and you understand why Carly Fiorina will never be president.

NOTES FROM WRITER’S GROUPS:

The #30 for the Arizona Diamondbacks is currently worn by LHP and bullpen resident T.J. McFarland.  Previous owners of note have been pitchers Todd Stottlemyer and David Hernandez.

The Devonian period began 416 mya, and ended with a as-yet-unexplained massive marine extinction 319 mya. Curiously, the first land plants that evolved during thgis age survived the extinction. Also, of note, the first distinct insects apear.

Flowering plants will not appear until 120 mya.

Free Companies were the only clear victors in the Hundred years War.

Finally, authors Jamaica Kincaid,  and PJ O-Rourke.

Now you know.

 

Random geography and other writer’s notes

Yes, the Thursday night writer’s group is still going, and I have been able to attend most of the meetings, despite my neglect of just about everything else that didn’t have money attached to it for the past six months.

Dolce Expresso closed, and we were sad – and homeless.

Restaurants make poor meeting places for writer’s groups.

1) the wait staff will interrupt the read-aloud without remorse – because they don’t know.

2) A large party tends to be put in a booth – which is troublesome.

3) You will baffle or annoy those around you.

BUT

4) (and most importantly) if you’re going to tie up a chair for two hours, you’ll need to spend $10+. A cup of coffee only buys you about 45 minutes.

Also, the particular restauraunt we chose slapped an 18% gratuity on all of our checks because we were more than six butts.

So now we meet at Urban Beans – and life is much better.

For those who attended – and those who enjoy random, out-fo-context facts:

There are two Kashkars – one in Kyrgyzstan (Kara-Kashkar), and one in Chines Turkestan (aka Kashgan). The latter was on the Silk Road and is at least 2000 years old in one form or another.

More famous than either one – at least according to Google – is Cafe Kashkar, your source for Uzebek cuisine in times square.

Novosibirsk, Siberia, is actually a big place, and lloaded with all the culture and class you would expect from Siberia. Actually, it odes contain a major university and the State Opera Academy.

Add this to your try before you die list: Absolut Pepper vodka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By-the-wind jellyfish (above) are properly called Velella Vellella.

And Ace Carson is not Buck Rogers. Really.

This is Buck Rogers:

(Yes, that’s Gil Gerard and Erin Grey – the stars of the late 70’s movie and TV series.)

Now You know

 

Writer’s Group Notes return

In the past, I followed up the writer’s group I participate in with some remarks relevant to what was discussed about writing and other things.

These are the notes (mostly links, actually) from the 7/14 meeting:

New word: numismaty – the study of old coins.

Numismatic Doug Smith gives an overview of the subject in one of the 100+ pages of his comprehensive site.

Looking for a specific name? Try Coin Community’s Numismatic Glossary.

Hohman transfer orbits are the bicycles of interplanetary travel – fuel efficient compared to any other vehicle, but really,really slow.

The Polaris Project from Iowa State University patiently explains it all (and we mean all).

And if you’re worried about traffic on the orbital highways, check with these folks first.

Finally, GRR Martin does not have a blog, except he does, and he updates us on the casting and other production progress of HBO’s adaption of his novel Game of Thrones.

Now you know.

Accumulated Writer’s Group Notes

First, Palo Verde Pages, the Central Phoenix Writer’s Workshop’s very own quarterly anthology, is available as a PDF on Amazon, and will be available in print any moment now.

Hurray. There will soon be a dedicated blog to that project.

Submission deadline for issue #2 (July) is May 6th. 3000 word limit, any genre, no particular themes BUT it must be workshopped in one of our groups. So mention you have a PVP piece, and you go to the front of the line.

Back when David Mamet was exec producer on The Unit, he wrote a memo to the writing staff that, now that it has surfaced, is a classic primer on dramatic screenwriting and by extension, dramatic writing in general. Apparently his CAP LOCK KEY had seized.

YES BUT YES BUT YES BUT, YOU SAY: WHAT ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WRITING IN ALL THAT “INFORMATION?”

AND I RESPOND “FIGURE IT OUT” ANY DICKHEAD WITH A BLUESUIT CAN BE (AND IS) TAUGHT TO SAY “MAKE IT CLEARER”, AND “I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM”.

WHEN YOU’VE MADE IT SO CLEAR THAT EVEN THIS BLUESUITED PENGUIN IS HAPPY, BOTH YOU AND HE OR SHE WILL BE OUT OF A JOB.

Read this, my friends. Read it many times.

Related, Script-Frenzy guest-poster Xander Bennet on Kick-ass protagonists

Xander has his own blog on screenwriting: Screenwriting Tips … You hack – which is very addicting.

One more good site to follow: Make a Living Writing

More soon, I trust.

Now you know.

Hold my beer – blog this…

I stare at the screen

so many thoughts to share, still

I play solitaire

Even though I haven’t updated this blog in some time, it has still drawn a reasonable amount of traffic, and

Even though no money changes hands over this blog in any direction, I am still grateful for the attention.

Never write e-mails angry. You squander the one advantage they give you over personal communication.

Take your time. Think it through. Figure out what you really need to accomplish with your reply, and for the love of God get your facts straight.

I am pleased to report that I believe I have just taken my own good advice for once. But we shall see.

Some more links of interest to writers are up at Writing Made Visible. And you can all scroll down for some Haiku nonsense.

Brazen Wonk:

David Frum explains how in terms political productivity, social progress is over-rated.

David Walker talks like the civics professor you wish you had listened to – but as he explains on NPR’s Fresh Air, our folly has real consequence:

“What threatens our [country] is the structural deficits that will exist after we are out of the recession, after unemployment is down, after the wars are over, and after we get past the current crises,” he says. “Structural deficits represent a fundamental imbalance between projected revenues and projected expenditures even when the economy is growing, even when the wars are over, even when unemployment is down. And in that circumstance, we face — because of known demographic trends — the retirement of the baby-boom generation primarily and rising health care cost — large, known and growing structural deficits that could swamp our ship of state.”

Writer’s Group:

The purpose of Haiku:

“The primary purpose of reading and writing haiku is sharing moments of our lives that have moved us, pieces of experience and perception that we offer or receive as gifts. At the deepest level, this is the one great purpose of all art, and especially of literature.” (Bill Higginson)

Japanese Death Haiku

And finally, as once heard on NPR’s Car Talk:

Four-wheel drive pickup
I remember his last words:
Hold my beer, watch this!

Mike and Vicki Stroeher

Leading inevitably to this:

“Told ya I shoulda gotten my cooler outta there…”

Now you know.

Notes from my new and nifty sky chair

Which I bought at the Renn Faire with money I made from phxsunsnews.com

It’s like a hammock – only a chair – and mine has armrests and a cup-holder -because its a deluxe!

If it had a fold-out desk and a plug strip – I’d live in the damn thing.

I added the sheet clipped to the thing for shade.

[photo by Julia Padegimas]

Also at the Renn Faire, my kids learned to make noise for digereedoos. We all learned how predatory birds have far more relative grip strength than humans. And we learned that jousting at the Renn Faire has more in common with pro wrestling than with the rodeo.

According to the American Psychiatric Group I have autism or nothing.

They found the part of the brain that governs spirituality

Boredom doesn’t cause death, but it causes behavior that leads to death.

On that subject, I have been assigned by my day job to comeup with a power point tutorial on basic theatrical carpentry.However dull that sounds – it’s actually worse than that. Power Point is like a slide show, only with bullet [yawn] points, and without the exciting possibility that a slide might be upside down or jam.

Writer’s Group Notes

We couldn’t remember the name of the software that kept track of plot threads for you, so here’s a round-up of the better writing software.

It’s Ross Sea – not Ross Bay. My bad.

Space elevators are only practical at or near the equator, since they rely on inertia from the Earth’s rotation tohold ther tension. At or near the pole (like my fictional Ross Spaceport) you need something like a Space Fountain. Cooler anyway.

Other random nonsense

Zombie fiction authors,in general, are apparently relatively conservative. Witness the fall-out to the possibility of gay zombie fiction.

Zombies are also at war with Unicorns. I don’t know why? Unicorns are liberal?

Ok – who wouldn’t want to slaughter such a thing?

“The First Follower can make the difference between a leader and a lone nut…”

Finally, some props to Eric Turner – who didn’t steal my blog title after all.

Now You Know