Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On literary taste, far better than I could have written it.

Candy, of the brilliant 'Smart Bitches, Trashy Books' writes a great essay regarding literary merit vs. taste.

I couldn't have described it better, so I'll just sent you over there -

Good Writing vs. Bad Writing vs. Writing you Love

Beyond the basics, I do agree that tastes are largely subjective. Personally, I don't read romance, but these reviews are so much fun that I enjoy the ladies who do, and love their insight and humor.

Two and a half scripts, and a small rant

People have started sending me screenplays again ('tis the season?) for a plethora of reasons, from a beta read, to 'would you be interested in shooting this'?

I'm down for shooting just about anything right now, the entertainment industry is a scary place to be in its current incarnation.

Today, I read through two complete scripts, one of which I could picture myself flying out to Texas for. The other... I guess I've read worse - I did read for BlueCat one year.

The one I'm going through right now is from a dear friend - 150 pages down from nearly 300! (For those of you not 'in the know', a horror or comedy is generally 88-92 pages, drama roughly 110-120.)

Figure each page is about a minute of screen time when in proper format (this isn't absolute, but a safe ballpark for guesstimating the length of the final movie - which is why screenplays are so fussy in terms of format.)

That can be one of the big issues when going from prose to screenplay mode, especially for those fond of intertwining plots, world building, and lush description. The page count is VERY strict, and the rules for screenwriting are very different. We can talk about them if anyone has a distinct interest.


On a completely unrelated note, the news has me really, really, annoyed. Is everyone in media convinced that listeners are mouthbreathers incapable of forming a coherent thought?

Issue one - the news wants to tell me that unemployment is down, and the world is coming up sunshine and roses. By way of admitting that claims are down.

Duh. How many people do you know who's unemployment insurance has run out? And fewer new claims are being filed - great, we're losing jobs at a slightly lesser rate, because those huge companies that went under are already gone.

This does not mean things are looking up economically. In my small city, shelters are turning away families for the first time, simply because there's no more room. If you don't have kids, you're completely out of luck.

The pennysaver (which never has the most amazing jobs anyway) was four pages this week. A quarter page was job openings - the lion's share of which were those 'make money at home' scams that appear every week.

Issue two: Spending is up slightly, so hurrah! Things must be better!

Uh - what?

I admit, we went to the mall to see a movie earlier in the month, because we just had to get out. The parking lot was busier than it had been at Christmas (when it was near empty).

We puzzled about this for about thirty seconds, until realizing that the Significant Other, like many other people, had just received his tax return. (Hence, we blew $20 on a movie.) Though the number of people who seemed to have gone a bit mad with not spending, seemed to be breezing through their entire return, judging from the number of bags frantically held in shaking hands.

Has the measure of so many people's worth really degenerated into whether they can buy new crap?

Anyway - yes, there's been a slight upturn in spending, at least until that small windfall is gone. Also not indicative of economic growth.

News, stop lying to your listeners, and you might get them back.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New stuff

Life has been a bit mad lately.

Just finished a small opera build. Working on getting paperwork together for a reality t.v. show. This will be my first adventure into that universe - I hope to learn a great deal.

I'll have the promo finished for the magic show this week, and I'll be sharing the results with all of you.

There are some other things in the pipeline, I'll let you know when time gets closer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hardcover or paperback?

It seems more 'impressive' to first have your book come out in hardcover, but that's not what I'm talking about.

When you buy books, which do you prefer? And why?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From The Science Fiction/Anime/Other Stuff con...

Just now realizing how much I haven't talked about that has gone on this year - I should be mummified in the begonia and beluga whale stick on wallpaper additions that we've been systematically tearing off.

(Have I mentioned the metallic gold paisley wallpaper in the kitchen? It looks the way migraine induced nausea feels.)

Due to the fates, four winds, and whatever other fortunes or happenstance one chooses to believe in, the SO and I live in a cultural null. There are too many people for it to be a wasteland. Interesting activities often seem limited to those with deep pockets, or those willing to make their own fun. (For instance, we have a few theater spaces. One for the wealthy, one for a childrens' educational group, and one that's an affluent community theater with grand delusions - would you pay $35 to see the local high school kids put on 'Oklahoma'? Me neither.)

The demographic is seems to be bent toward those with either enough money to have fun elsewhere, families/family entertainment, or the dive bar scene.

So, finding out that one of our colleges actually puts on a SFF/Anime convention was exciting. I'd never been.

I convinced Significant Other that we should attend. A whole weekend of . . . something, for about the price of a movie ticket. (And if it really wasn't fun, we were close enough to home that it wouldn't be a big deal.)

The convention was tiny, for being in it's 10th year; and not organized particularly well. Not sure why - perhaps the cycling of students every four years has a bit to do with it.

However, the few speakers that were there, were great - particularly Alisa Kwitney, I attended both of her well designed workshops. And got an eyeful of the desperate and clueless while I was at it.

Free advice - if you've done nothing, listen to the speaker. I can't even fathom why some of these people were going on and on about the ideas for comics that they hadn't started writing (strongly implying that this poor woman should suddenly make them rich and famous), artists who couldn't be bothered learning how to draw who wanted jobs at major comics guy was convinced that his D&D game would be the 'most amazing' comic EVER.

When asked what series' they followed, each and every one of these people responded with blank, glassy eyes - I'm pretty sure more than one started drooling.

How can you even PRETEND to want to be part of an industry that you have zero clue about?

What followed were excuses - not having time or money is the big one.

You MAKE the time. If someone claimed interest in being a novelist, but never read, what would you say?

As for the money, there's this amazing thing called a...wait for it...

LIBRARY. They carry graphic novels.

That doesn't even begin to touch the plethora of completely free online comic series that you can follow - which requires little time, and NO money. You don't even have to leave the house!

The artist's alley was similar. There were only four tables.

One had a promising duo.

One had a girl who made felt hats - so she really is her own thing, and not relevant here.

One was overly dodged and burned tracings of anime characters (sadly, that one seemed the most successful).

The last, had a sour, bitter, glaring girl with some rumpled doodles of chibis - they screamed of a lack of effort, and she seemed uninterested in being polite, and pissed off that no one was buying lousy art - no matter what the price.

Why are people completely delusional?

This stuff takes WORK. More than anything else. Ideas are easy. Heck, I get and discard at least 100 before my first cup of coffee. A few (like this blog) I kick around for a while, and then decide to do, or not.

I try to draw every day. I'm not improving as fast as someone more dedicated, and I know that.

I do write every day - not here, but I have several (seven) different projects, and I work on one of them every day. Even if the results from each day are not stellar, I just keep grinding away at it.

And that is what will separate those who do, from those who follow around someone who has had success, believing that it is somehow luck, and expecting that they are entitled to something, just by virtue of existing.

Don't be that idiot. I hope those people eventually pull their heads from their nether regions. Having been friends with people like that, they often don't. But I can hope. They forever blame something else for their lack of success, rather than their own lack of action.

Do something. Fail at it! Before every success are tons of failures. Learning experiences. The only true failure is doing nothing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bad blogger, no biscuit

I haven't been here in a while. I apologize. Were I a better apologist, I would write some stunningly eloquent letter espousing my guilt and begging for forgiveness. But I'm not very good at that.

I have been beta reading several projects, but that's not a great excuse.

I could talk about the great Attic Raccoon Battle of '09/'10 that seems to have finally come to an end (more on that later), random other life ridiculousness, being sick, busy, etc.

But I'm not big on excuses either.

So, thanks for your patience. There will be updates about raccoons, writing, and being one's own evil twin.