Pretty much as I expected, I didn’t make the 100 pages. However, I more than doubled my attempt from 2009. I have, what I consider, 28 very solid pages. I really enjoyed working on this and am going to continue because I want to see it through.
One thing I’ve heard of other people doing that I have decided to start myself is what is called “Morning Pages”. Essentially, most people are better at planning in the early part of the day before conflicts and new items can screw up your plans, so you write three pages a day in the early morning to get them done. Seeing as how these days I tend to get up at 6 A.M. but don’t go to work until 8 A.M. I’ve got time I currently spend reading message boards and watching TV. Writing would be a better use of my time.
If I had done this throughout April, I might have been able to hit the 100 page mark. There’s always next year.
The Princess and the Frog:
Pass. I mean, the trailer for this didn’t exactly excite me. It is more for kids, more for girls I think, and I just didn’t really seem to care for much of what I saw. Maybe I’ll see it on DVD or something eventually.
I was completely unaware of Nelson Mandela’s attempt to utilize the South African Rugby team to unify his country behind a common love. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon are both incredible, and not knowing how things turned out made the sports parts exciting. Thumbs up.
Me and Orson Welles:
Not a wide opening, but since I did see a screening I wanted to mention it. Set during Orson Welles’ production of Julius Caesar at the Mercury Theater, Zac Efron plays Richard Samuels, a high school kid who dreams of acting, who runs to the city and talks his way into a small but important roll in Welles’ production. Welles, played fantastically by Christian McKay, runs roughshod over his company to get the vision he wants. Richard falls for Sonja Jones, played by Claire Danes, a production assistant, but she has her eyes on a future career in theater and movies. There isn’t a lot of action here, but there is a lot of heart and humor. However, the real reason to see this film is to see McKay playing Welles. Completely worth the price of admission if you are in to that sort of thing.
Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible is an interesting read. It is a story set in a world where superheroes exist, but the two points of view you are given are that of an evil genius super villain and a female cyborg fledgling hero. The story begins with our villain escaping from prison where he had been incarcerated after his twelfth attempt to take over the world. You get to see behind the veil most comic books keep in place as Doctor Impossible tries to contact old allies and track down supplies and avoid detection while he pieces together his latest scheme. On the other side, the cyborg, Fatale, has been invited to join the reformation of The Champions, a superhero team that broke up years ago, whose main priority is locating a missing hero, CoreFire – who also happens to be Doctor Impossible’s nemesis.
I found myself excited and entertained throughout the book. I was amused quite often by the situations and interactions. Dragging comic books closer to reality isn’t something new, but the humorous touch in this book makes it well worth the read. I’d recommend it to just about anyone.
This morning’s doodle was my attempt at drawing in the negative. I wanted to do an image set at night, but I didn’t want to draw in white on a black background, so I doodled with black on white and when I got the image to where I wanted it, I inverted the colors. It came out well enough that I didn’t bother doing any touch ups after the invert.
Moon over a Castle
Of course, my edge bleed to white works less well with this theme’s image border, but if not for that, I like the effect of the uneven edge like perhaps looking through a window in winter.
I have stumbled across this on the Internet a few times now, and I decided that I would post it to share with my readers, whoever you may be, and perhaps someone out there can point me toward the origin of this brilliant piece of work, because I can not find it.
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.
And that, my friends, is how a company policy begins.
I have found this to be true.
Last year’s attempt to participate in the NaNoWriMo did not go so well. I’m hoping this year goes better. I don’t have any more unmarried brothers, I can’t afford any vacations, the open projects at work don’t look like they are going to surge, so this may just be my year.
I’ve been thinking about what I want to do, which story I want to write, and I’m still floundering, unfocused. So, here provided is a list of the things I am thinking about doing, cast your vote.
- The Jumpgate War: In the future we have finally discovered how to travel between distant star systems, in two pieces, the jump ship and the jump gate. The ships are large hulking vessels, expensive and requiring monstrous amounts of power to jump the ship across space. There are very few of them. Once they find a suitable planet, the crew sets down and installs a jump gate and dials home, with a source at both ends the gates are far easier to use. The nations of Earth (and its nearby planets) have their own goals in the universe, and it turns out that we are not alone.
- Superhero Harry Potter: Those three words are the easiest way to describe my idea without spending pages to lay it out. A girl, the daughter of superheroes, comes into her own abilities, has to deal with High School and maintain her secret identity.
- “A Willful Destruction of Life”: This is a very odd idea, because it is no idea at all, it is just a title… the thought here is “Come up with an interesting title, then create a story that fits it.”
- American Apocalypse: A story about the US after terrorists detonate a nuclear device in Washington D.C. on inauguration day, essentially wiping out the political side of the federal government.
- Land of the Fairer Sun: A fantasy tale about the return of incarnations of forgotten gods, the rise of a brand new religion of a single god and the kingdom caught inbetween.
I’m also trying to put together a writing group this year to meet on a semi-regular basis, probably at my house, so we can cheer each other on and maybe keep each other from quitting.
15 days until go time…
I’m late, I know. But I finally got around to seeing this movie. It is good.
The story is about two guys both from “the neighborhood” in Boston. Both of them have just graduated the police academy. One has been practically raised by the local organized crime leader, and he’s joined the police in an attempt to get a man on the inside. The other is a kid who’s father was an honest man, and he’s been trying to get out of the neighborhood all his life, but he’s been recruited to go undercover into the local organized crime and be their man on the inside.
The narrative flips back and forth in the lives of these two men over the course of more than a year as one works his way into the ranks of the police and the other works his way into the ranks of the criminals. In a “Six Degrees” sort of way, they are very close without ever really meeting.
Scorsese put together a top notch cast to tell the tale, and every actor does their job well. It deserved the awards that it won.
The end left me feeling… well.. its hard to say without spoiling it. I’ll just leave it at that it was satisfying on some levels but unsatisfying on others. It is definitely worth the time to watch.
Not much to say here… The Opal Deception, like the other Artemis Fowl books before it, is good fun. Fairies and magic and sci-fi technology. Opal Koboi is in a coma after her failed attempt to take over Haven… or is she?
These books are great for kids, although this one, like some of the Harry Potter books, might cause you to have a few conversations with your kids if you haven’t had them yet. A character from the pervious books dies in this one, and it may lead to some questions on what that means.
I enjoyed it alot, and I think other people will too.
How freakin’ cool is this?
I’ve been a long time user of MapQuest for getting directions. But in Google’s attempt to control the universe, they’ve put up this mapping tool. Its neat. Even more so, because over on the right side, near the top, there is a link labeled “Satellite” which switches you from boring cartoon like maps to actual satellite photos. Now, there is nothing to be afraid of, the pictures are 6 months to a year old, so its not like people can spy on you, and they can’t zoom in and peek in your windows. But, it does give you an actual picture of the place you are driving, so you can see parking, buildings, etc.
We’ve all heard the stories, now its time to hear the truth.
Time and again, stories like this one grace the world’s newspapers. Dolphins selflessly saving people from danger, often from sharks.
It’s all a ruse. Dolphins want safety for humans about as much as the sharks want to eat them. Each of these so-called “rescues” is in fact a failed attempt to capture a human.
These dolphin terrorists seek nothing more than to kidnap unsuspecting people to use them as bargaining chips in their fight against the oppression of zoos and marine biology centers.
How is it that these sharks find people anyway? The dolphins tell them. And do these dolphins ever notify the authorities? They do not. Instead they swim, circling the victims until one of our many Navy or Coast Guard security vessels happens upon them. Then its all squeeks and cute tricks to buy time for an escape and to confuse their captives.
People “saved” by dolphins unanimously agree that they were in fact rescued by the dolphins, completely unaware of the reality, the gravity of their situation. They continue on with their lives regailing stories about the dolphins, and spreading the propaganda of their kindness.
Recently though, scientists have cracked the code of the dolphin speech. Their plans are clear: to obtain and hold human captives to exchange them for the release of their brothers and sisters languishing in captivity.
Make no mistake people of America… Dolphins hate freedom.