Sunday, November 29, 2009

Harlequin puts on the Evil Clown Mask

Holy Moly, do interesting things ever happen when you're off doing something else!

I just popped into (onto?) some of my favorite writing forums and message boards, only to be confronted with the Harlequin Horizons thing.

What is this thing?

Romance giant Harlequin is putting out a new line, called Horizons. That itself odd (publishers run new lines all the time), but the details?

Harlequin has partnered with Author Solutions (that's vanity press AuthorHouse, guys) and this ENTIRE line is going to be pay to play.

Hoo Boy!

For only $1500, give or take, any writer can now say they've been published by Harlequin, regardless of whether that manuscript is publishable, or even functionally literate. (That's the beauty/horror of vanity presses, innit?)

Of course, these books will not be on the shelf at your local bookstore - like any other vanity printed manuscript, all sales are left up to the writer.

Which is a HUGE stain on Harlequin's reputation. Do they want to remain a legitimate publisher, or become yet another vanity press?

Update: Apparently the backlash was violent enough that HH changed it's name to DellArt press. Smart move guys - I bet the RWA would have had fits about a thousand vanity press writers claiming Harlequin publication!

For more conversations about the entire mess:

For the vanity site:

They also seem to have taken a cue from other vanity presses by using a name that could be confused with a standard publisher (Dell) which is still incredibly underhanded - but at least Harlequin gets to try and dust off its reputation.


Even the New Yorker got in on the scent of this rat:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving All!

My trip was awesome (seriously considering becoming a vagrant on Venice beach).

I went and saw Deadmou5 until 2am last night - he puts on an AMAZING show!

Pictures from the concert and trip coming soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Salvation (Army, that is!)

When looking for costumes and props on a low budget adventure, thrift stores are your best friend!

So far, we've found matching candle holders, stripper shoes, and various other errata to add that all important perceived value to the production. (More on that later!)

Now, for really specific items you'll have to do more digging and have more time than we currently have; but I swear, you can find ANYTHING in these places...

I wish I was home, so I could actually get that creepy wire dress form! Somehow, I doubt that shipping would make it a worthwhile purchase.

In any case, our next installment of this blog will discuss how to add that perceived value to your short film.

On a completely different note, finished and sent off another chapter of the novella - it's chugging along like a coal powered freight train, but getting there!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

There and back again, part 1 - preparing...

As the leave date for sunny California approaches, I find myself more and more excited - and more and more small details crop up that I've forgotten about.

Not the least of which is that, no matter how extensive your wardrobe may seem, after enough travel, you WILL run out of clean clothes. I was teetering on the edge of acceptable in Ohio, then took another short 'away' job immediately upon my return.

I am now on my last set of socks that doesn't smell like old vinegar. (Why do dirty socks smell like vinegar when you put them back on - or is it just me?)

I've run into some snags or hiccups while uploading files of footage for my documentary - for some reason, the camera and computer don't wish to communicate regarding the long files! Ugh. I'll try a card reader tonight or tomorrow, before I postpone the rest of this issue until I return.

I've transferred most of the 'literary' files onto my netbook, so I can pound out some drivel while on the traveling portions of all these trips.

Can I just say how much I love that little wonder? Ten inches, fits in any backpack, about two pounds, and the keyboard is close enough to a normal size to allow me to write on it! I did try the nine inch model previously - while even smaller and lighter, the Lilliputan keyboard left me typing like a drunken epileptic - jittery and slurring. Not so useful.

If all you need to do is check email and maybe jot a quick note, and space is imperative, go with the nine. If you need a bit more beef, deal with the extra inch and few more ounces; you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Updates and adventures!

Back from Ohio!!!!

I'm packing again today to leave for another super short shoot (that's some painful alliteration, right there...)

Other news:

The short that I gaffed won the Stella Ortois short film contest - it was pretty n stuff.

Psyched about shooting this next piece in California. Psyched about the warm weather. Not so wild about having to leave the day after I get home (again).

I did join up with NaNoWriMo again this year - I doubt if I'll get out 50k words in between all this other stuff, but gosh darn it, I'm going to try. Already off to a late start...

Sometimes I feel like that cartoon racehorse that's standing in the gate backwards. I miss hearing the gun go off, realize that everyone else has already left, and then have to take the time to turn around and get pointed in the right direction.

Remember that prioritizing stuff that I talked about way back at the beginning? I need to follow my own advice.

Right now, the focus is on getting paid work - the dry season is coming up, and I have to be a busy little chipmunk. That focus will shift when the work gets hard to find, and having that cushion allows me to focus on the writing and the personal photography rather than panicking so much about the bills.

Get your 'gottas' covered, and it makes that productive 'leisure' time much more useful - you don't have to worry about those bills in the back of your head the whole time.

Maybe I should find some part time something when I get back, so I can concentrate more on the personal stuff...