Thursday, March 20, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go Go Go...
Another reason to beat up the guy who invented the clock...or the hourglass for that matter...

You can't worry about yesterday, cuz it's already gone. You can't worry about tomorrow, cuz it may not come. But you can't exactly live every day like it's your last, cuz it just might not be so.

Jiminey X-mas, I have got entirely too much time for introspection...

Over time, I've gotten obsessed with time, and like I just said, that could just be the result of having too much time to obsess about it. Like that thing about the devil's hands, or idle hands for the devil, or sympathy for the devil, or whatever it was. Anyhow, the point is that I should feel pretty zen as I try to draw on the errors of the past, make sure I exist in the presence, and have some indication of where I want the future to take me. I don't feel that way just yet...but I'm still working on it.

Like regret, that's a tricky one. Everyone's got at least a little bit of some, and some have got it by the compost heap load. I guess it's all in how you handle it. I've got some, but not always on the stuff you would think it would be for. Like I don't have any regrets about anything I should've done for or said to my sister before she died, but I do wish I'd've gotten more out of my college experience in the way of education instead of just chomping at the bit to finally have it all over with. I loved my sister and she new it, but while I've always loved learning, I hated school. That's how it adds up. Go figure.

Anyhow, it's there, and I feel it from time to time. And what draws it out even more, if you're like me and over-analyze the hell out of things, is when you consider it against a framework of what's happening to you now or what's comin' down the pipe. Now, that all depends on how you feel about stuff like predestination or free will: Did you do it, or was it decided for you?

Some people like the destiny idea, haha, especially when everything's working out for them. "I always knew that I'd be standing here one day holding this award." I'm sure that's glossing it up some, icing over the doubts of the past, but at that moment, that's probably exactly how it feels. On the flip side, no one likes to look at the homeless guy or the homicidal maniac and think "Hey, that's what I'm destined for!" And if they do, well, perhaps they should already be in the padded cell.

I know I'm oversimplifying. Some people do feel that some of the bad things, the really bad things they chose to do in their lives were out of necessity. They feel they had no choice other than the one they followed. Maybe that's true.

Others, of course, feel like you live your life, make your choices, and you get to whatever end the path you chose took you down. Definitely seems a whole lot more grounded, and when you dig into someone's path, you do sometimes find that the choices they made did, in fact, get them where they are now. Kind of a direct cause and effect type thing: You drink a gallon of gin every day, you probably will become an alky who wakes up in gutters.

Now, like I said, it's probably a whole lot easier on the mind to trace your steps and see the causes and effects of your decisions and their outcomes. But then there's them little moments of serendipity where things just lined up and worked in your favor. You got what you prayed/wished/hoped for against staggering odds. Well, how do you explain those if everything else is the rational result of your choices?

If we keep going down this path, we open up a whole slew of other possibilities with things like luck vs. probability. I'm sure that if you got enough mathematicians, statisticians, and computers to run theoretical probability of most anything...well, the math could probably figure out exactly what the odds are of whatever happened to you happening to you. Those answers though, may still be too wild to accept completely without considering some unquantifiable outside source...(Note: I haven't even brought God/Buddha/Zeus/Gaia/That Spaghetti Monster Thing into this...we'd be here all day.)

After all, haven't you met people who things always seem to come through for (the lucky), those who always have things tank (the unlucky) in and amongst the either/or majority? And it's always made me wonder (and a few other people, I might add) on whether it's possible to reverse that polarity: lucky to unlucky, or vice versa? And that brings us back to the whole destiny/choice thing: Are you destined to be lucky? Are you destined to have your luck run out? Or are you lucky as long as you keep making the right choices, and it falls off sharply once you start making wrong ones?

That's assuming there even is luck, destiny, or any of the above.

I think if you've gotten to this point, you'll realize that I've given this a whole lot of thought. Also, in case you'd like any conclusions on all of the above...well, you're luck either changed to the bad, or you're unlucky streak is about to continue...and/or you were destined for disappointment...or the choice you made to read this set you up to be let down....because the sad fact of the matter is, I haven't come to any conclusions about this. Like I said, I just think about it too much.

Anyhow, I am running some clinical tests on it all. Not scientific tests, I've only got me, so there's no control group. I've set up some time limits on destiny, and we're going to see where my luck and choices will take me. Otherwise, this time next year I may have relocated to work out some regrets both new and old.


(postscipt: I am a sixth of the way through my fiction experiment. If you haven't already, check it out at )

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Will Said Skills Pay the Bills?
A study in...well...what I do all day...

I’m the busiest person I know that isn’t currently earning any money.

I like to look at it as fame and fortune in the potential sense. Just like putting a ball at the edge of a table where it might tip off represents some form of potential energy. Or something like that. I never said theoretical physics were my strong point.

Seriously, though. I’m working hard. In between doing the occasional job search, and sending out a resumé or two.

First off, so many new creatives seem to keep getting found through blogs. This one hasn’t done me much good in terms of fame (though I’m always impressed by how many folks read it), and my original one didn’t have the powers that be knocking down the door. Secretly, I suspect it was my twenty page analysis of the Italian space opera Starcrash that caused that blog to jump the shark.

So I’ve started my new one: the fraction of new fiction nearly every day of the week. I’m nearly ten entries in to my goal of one hundred, and so far so good. Although, I’m wondering if it’s a bad sign that I’ve already dipped into the bag of tricks for the poem. Anyhow, it’s a fun exercise and it gets me warmed up (and closer to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) each day, before I...

Work on my new book. Yes, I’ve started a new piece of fiction, and it’s going pretty well I’d say. Granted, those of you who know me might ask yourself, "Who the hell is he writing these things for if he never sells any of them?", and you’d be 100% correct. Oh, because that’s the other thing I’m doing: researching agents and publishers. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I’m going to start carpet bombing the publishing world with my text...OR, try to figure out how to get them edited to just publish them myself (with less typos) if all else fails. Anyhow, I try to hack off a few pages of that every day, before I...

Go out for a walk to the Barnes & Noble that is nearby to research usually one of two things: the aforementioned publishing world, or web design information. Some of you may say, "can’t you find this stuff on the internet?" Well, yes and no. I’ve found that most publishing info on the net can be anywhere from vaguely helpful to disturbingly spurious, AND everyone seems to want a little cash up front for what might be bogus info inside. As for the web design...some stuff helps and some stuff assumes you already know a lot, and my catalogue of info’s too hodgepodge. Mostly, though, it’s an excuse to get out of the house, it just helps that it allows me to peruse information in books that I either wouldn’t buy or are too expensive to buy right now. So that all gets done, before I...

Well, usually between my break and dinner, I work on other small projects. It might be some experiments with the web stuff I’ve been reading about. It might be some work on some design-oriented artwork I’ve been working on. It might be working on one of the short scripts I’ve been juggling for a couple of friends. But, primarily, now, it’s been the new feature screenplay I’ve cooked up. This was largely due to the realization that I’ve let my feature work slide too far to the side, and I need a new calling card screenplay to try and get me an agent or something like one. I’ve usually got something worked out on screen or on paper, before I...

I’ve been gettin’ skinnier from all this walking back and forth to the B&N (along with other exercise I try to fit in)...but also from my largely vegetarian light diet I’ve been munchin’ on. I didn’t mention lunch above...but I eat it too. Also, during these times of sustenance, I usually watch the Daily Show, read some blogs or websites, peruse more job listings, watch movie trailers, and so on. So, it’s a little dinner and some entertainment, before I...

From dinner until the time I go to bed, I’ve been painting. I used to have the worst time shifting gears between writing and painting, but necessity is the mother of invention. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned (and gushed about), I have a piece in a show in April. I’m excited about that, and I’m excited about doing more artwork for the first time in a long time. I’m actually inspired. I’ve got a running list of ideas for work, when in the past, I only thought of something one at a time over considerable stretches. Problem is, I don’t have enough of a catalogue of work (anyone remember the Great Flood?)...and the kind of stuff I’m doing takes a good while...however, I’m doing what I can and chipping away at it a little bit every evening. I just want to be ready.

Will any or all of this pay off? That’s the million dollar question, and what I’m waiting to find out. I’ve got lots of little apples floating in the sky in terms of potential income...and I’m looking for a real job...and representation...and trying to shore up my body of work for all of the above. So I’m feeling pretty positive that something’s going to pay off...and hopefully sooner rather than later.

(Don’t worry...Professor Positive here will find something to b!tch about...probably within a day or so...)

Monday, March 10, 2008

After More Than a Decade of Silence...
I broke out my Rhymes...Someone tell the streets...

(For my new writing project (here at: ), I wrote my first poem in probably...12-15's probably not gonna win me that Poet Laureate post, but I figured I'd share it.)

Atop the wind and through the blighted snow,
A dark form led by a rusted pistol.
Light falls dim, but the whiteness holds the glow,
The crusted center of a clear crystal.
The lurching figure brings little but woe,
Against the white, a shadow most wistful.
Behind, his footfalls burn stark cold to mud,
A trail of tramplings, ringèd red with blood.

He searches not lustful jewel or gold,
The beloved symbols of man’s precious boon,
No warmth, no bright shelter sought through the cold
Nor ghost ferry across to the moon.
The goal of his trek his spirit does hold,
The result of a wrong done in time now old.
At the end of a trail of rough red slush,
An ember of black hate to feel the crush.

A town far behind, a tavern stinking,
A long bar, wooden floor with sawdust strewn.
More whisky, more wine, the time for drinking.
Merriment turns to misery too soon.
From the doorway the men begin shrinking,
Evil arrived bringing a flood of maroon.
One after the next they fell with a thud,
Only one survived this deep crimson flood.

Ahead a frozen tree amidst the ice,
A wind burned monument of wintry strife.
Against which, a body, a goal to entice,
A fight, a struggle, the form of a knife.
But to the wind, this rogue has paid the price,
A lump, a stone, a statue, bereft of life.
No duel, no justice, no fate by daggers.
Into the future, onward, he staggers.

Always before him, the frosted barrel,
Forever encrusted with windswept blades.
It guides, it searches a most mortal peril,
The future beyond still hidden in shades.
Our hunter, the wild makes ever more feral,
The hero, a conqueror of cold Hades.
Behind, his footfalls burn stark cold to mud,
A trail of tramplings, ringèd red with blood.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Toe First...Into the Barrel of Monkeys...
Just thinking out loud...with a keyboard...and a beer...

From what more than a few reputable sources tell me...content is no longer king...the purveyance of said worthless content has usurped the throne (although they've always had a pretty good hold on it...).

I'd say that's roughly true.

Entertainment is no longer made by the few for the many. When you step back and look at it, the truth of the matter is that the accusation of media being left-winged commies is only partly wrong. I'm not saying that every media corporation (with the exception of Fox, of course) really are leftist Jew liberal socialist granola eaters (although some of the members just might be) as the more conservative side has often posited. But the means to create said media have definitely been deposited in the hands of proleteriat, comrade.

Once upon a time, a typewriter was a significant purchase, and a film camera a pipe dream. Then a computer was a significant purchase, and an early forty pound video camera was owned by the few. Now computers are nearly ubiquitous and a high end hi-def video camera can be had by virtually anyone who can afford the computer.

Stepping over those two little roadblocks, access to the tools necessary to edit and polish one's own content is only a stone's throw away. The means of dispensing it to the public has also come into one's own hands. It would appear that you're home free...and that you could be a super-star in no time...but wait...there's a catch...

For one, it depends on what you do. If you're like me, and you write stuff...well, less and less people read and fewer people than that want to pay for what you wrote. To a degree, movies are scrambling to keep you in the theater...but even at your best, you're not going to make the next Star Wars at home (at least not if you plan on finishing it in 10 years). If you're a musician...well things haven't changed that much...although you now can receive all the royalties to your music: who's to say how many people will buy it, and of those, how many are just going to pass it along to their other friends, gratis. Looks like T-shirts and touring's still your bread and butter...

So, in many ways, the bottom has dropped out of content. However, if you can manage the site or service that provides that content (especially if it can hold lots and lots of advertising of one kind or another), then you just might be able to wipe your butt with hundred dollar bills soon enough. For instance, I write this blog for MySpace, Blogger, etc. and despite possibly giving you a few seconds enjoyment, I will see nary a dime for it (which, despite the kevitching in this article, is fine...haha...I do these for fun). The providers, however, are paid to place advertisements all around my scribbledy-gook, and they do get paid for it either in a traffic agreement (like TV ads) or a per-click basis.

Granted, I could on some sites tap into a little of that myself with AdSense or what have you...but the operative word is "little". And while technically I'm being paid to write something popular that brings the people in, mostly, it's all determined by whether or not someone hit the button for the free ringtone in the corner, and signed up for junkmail.

So...that's what I've been wrestling with now: how to get paid to produce content when the gap between the unwashed heathen masses who fill Youtube to the brim with their shenanigans and the untouchable gods of the hillsides rake in the cash for it.

I believe it can be done...but it's a matter of figuring out how...and staying clean and vaguely respectable at the same time...

On a side experiment's going along well...though it's far too early to tell...Post 003 went up today and I'm quite proud of it for a quickie one-off...take a look at:

Monday, March 03, 2008

And So Did It Begin...And Lo, Thy People Did Rejoice...
And they feasted upon the lambs...and sloths...oh you know...

So...I got up late this morning...and I've discovered that the day continues to get later, despite my best efforts. Now it's nearly two in post-meridian...and I've a move-on to make...

That having been unnecessarily said with much convolution...please take a stroll over to:

And view my first post of the first batch of 100. I'm going to keep trying to crank somethin' out for 4-5 days out of every week for at least 100 entries. Some might argue that it would be best if I wrote complete thoughts, plots, and/or ideas...and I say to them: how do you know I'm not.


(postscript: don't think I'm going to ignore all my li'l pretty ones while I'm doing this...I'll be back here from time to time....I promise.)