Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thoughts on the experiment

I have no idea if what I am doing will result in sales, which is the point. I know it makes my book pages at Amazon more professional looking and, hopefully, appealing. I already have some enthusiastic supporters but they may be exceptions. All I can do is crank them out. However, if I were creating these stories from scratch, no way. The risk is too high. This experiment is doable because all these stories were written 25 and 30 years ago. Hey, they'd make great movies ha ha.

Some time this afternoon I should reach 1000 downloads. A magic number.

I am going to approach a writer or two at SF and LA papers about an article on my narrative theory. I think the way is through tech writers, not literary writers. How tech influences narrative. I need a longer track record first, more positive reviews. Hence what I'm doing now re promotions.

Marathon, remember. One foot after the other.

posted from Bloggeroid

Crunch time

Only one item on today's agenda: finish the CS article.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Poor Sketch

Somebody is doing early fireworks, and Sketch just raced by and crawled under the bed. He spends a lot of time there this time of year.

posted from Bloggeroid


Has anyone written on the rise and fall of Michele Wie? I was skeptical of her future even when she was a teenage phenomenon. Her attitude sucked. No fire. Always making excuses, always finding the silver lining. Yeah. I blew the lead today but yesterday I was great! I figured she was one of these poor modern kids who got a medal for finishing last. Her fall was expected.

posted from Bloggeroid

Amazing progress

As June winds down, my summer just begun, I released today the third novel in the Overdrive series - and three was the original goal for the entire summer!

Let me pat myself on the back.

posted from Bloggeroid Refugee From Roswell (Stories In Overdrive) eBook: Charles Deemer: Kindle Store Refugee From Roswell (Stories In Overdrive) eBook: Charles Deemer: Kindle Store:

 "Three generations of women. The same boyfriend.
1987. Helen in her 60s. Amy in her 40s. Tricia in her 20s. And their boyfriend, Joe. Who never ages.
Helen and Amy have compared notes and have a theory. Each, in their 20s, fell in love with Joe. Now young Tricia did the same. And the inevitable moment has come when Joe breaks up with her. He has to because he never ages.

They watch the moment from a nearby table at an outdoor cafe. And when it's over, they go to a tearful Tricia and offer her sympathy -- and a very unworldly theory about what just happened.

˃˃˃ Observing humans for 40 years
Joe, they suggest, is an alien. Maybe a refugee from the crash at Roswell in the summer of 1947. It makes as much sense as anything else."

'via Blog this'

Looking ahead

In the fall I'm going to consider the possibility of repackaging two of my better novels, Sodom and Kerouac. I'll look at how the new versions of other early novels did.

Just a trickle of downloads so far today. Doesn't surprise me.

posted from Bloggeroid

Roswell officially released.

And now, next week, on to #4. I want to release 4 and 5 at about the same time since a new author wrote one.

Hot out, very mellow in ... but no ambition to finish this article.

Already made a casserole for dinner. H comes home from class pooped, needs to put her feet up for a while. Good to have dinner ready.

Sketch looks bored. Take him out.

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Waiting is my middle name

Waiting for Amazon to let me upload the final Roswell file. A typo in blurb to correct while I'm at it.

A mello day! H taking art class all weekend.

I don't like the 4th any more. Sketch hates fireworks, will be under the bed. And I keep remembering my 4th in a VA hospital with vets diving for cover.

posted from Bloggeroid


Downloads of my free screenwriting app are picking up at the Amazon app store.

posted from Bloggeroid

The game of Go

I was my high school chess champion. The trophy is in my home office! In the Army I started playing the Japanese game, Go. Haven't played in decades but I picked up an app to play on the Fire and am enjoying it. Keeps the mind sharp.

No poems for a while. Fascinating (subconscious) cycle.

posted from Bloggeroid

Roswell, at last

Just made next to last submission to Amazon, should be published late today or tomorrow. A struggle to get this one formatted right. Not sure why. But I did remember something I'd forgotten: it is much easier to proof  on the Kindle 3 than on the Fire. Much. Easier and clearer notes, for one.

Curious if downloads continue today like the fury yesterday. I expect a drop off ... but I didn't expect so much yesterday either.

By the way, my summer goal was to release 3 in the series -- and I've done that before June ended! Amazing. Well, letting the computer do most of the work ... until I have to go in there and fix things manually.

Only two things I want to do today. Yard work and finish the CS article.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Democratic art

Everything that happens at Amazon supports the new notion that art is democratic. I don't think any of the arts are democrstic, any more than I think brain surgery is democratic. Today my point of view, once considered obvious, is dismissed as elitist.

And we wonder why our standing is so low in the world in matters of brain power?

Maybe this is another carrot to keep the masses from rebelling. We convince them their bad verse can be called Poetry. Once upon a time, Dorothy Parker wouldn't let her good verse be called poetry. She had standards and knew where she fit in on the literary map.

Philip Glass said all art should be offered anonymously, to get rid of the icon of the artist. But then art would have to be useful for something. I don't worry about who made my can opener. It works. In what our culture had become, do the arts work out of the leisure activity model? They sure do for me ... but I avoid social gathetings of the arts like the plague. I don't trust them, and I don't think they really are about the arts.

If course, this is why I'm on the wrong planet.
posted from Bloggeroid

Early 4th

Bbq burgers and hot dogs. Potato salad, 4 bean salad. Dinner tonight.

Made new batch of scrapple this morning.

More problems than usual getting Roswell file right. Still no CS article. Jeez.

Frustrating day saved by cooking.

Downloads pushing 800.

posted from Bloggeroid


Another marketing factor ... only a fraction of free downloads get read. Figure I heard was 20%. 1000 downloads, then, get 10 reviews, 200 reads. The 200 figure is where you go after more reviews. I'm trying a strategy suggested in book I admire. Take a few months for possible early evidence it's working.

Like I say, this is a marathon.

Over 700 downloads. 140 readers!?

posted from Bloggeroid


The accepted wisdom is an author gets 1 review for every 100 downloads. Terrible. So there are strategies to try and improve this.

I just hit 300 downloads. Part one looks like it will be a success. I'm 10% into my promotion.

posted from Bloggeroid

Devil's Music promo

You can pick up a free copy ... I'll provide link and info later ... but the promo off in a sprint, unlike last one. What determines success of promo? Two stages. First, number of downloads. Second, number of reviews generated. This is about exposure, not sales. Ideally each book needs only one promo, then lives on its own.

My worst case scenario was 100 downloads in 5 days. Well over that already. Never done 5 day but I am taking advice of book I admire.

This is the first "by the book" marketing effort. Very curious how it goes.

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Roswell close to release

I had hoped to release 3 novellas in the series this summer. I may do that before the end of June! I had no ides my math background would come forward and show me ways to streamline the transformation process. Now I am thinking half of them, 7 or 8, before school starts again.

CS to finish!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another great review

The first review that's sensitive to and speaks to the series as a new narrative form. Well, she's a grad student I work with and has heard my spiel. But this doesn't mean it's not true!

Of course, most readers don't care about the narrative theory behind all this. The stories will speak for themselves.

This marathon has begun nicely. I wonder when I'll hit the wall runners talk about.

posted from Bloggeroid

In the company of genius

Listening to a lot of Doc Watson today. Jesus, what a stylist, it doesn't get any better in his genre.

Man, that incredible two-finger Merle Travis picking style!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good webinar

Learned more great stuff, some already put to use.

Big test begins Fri, first 5 day promo ...

Tired. Man, I really really must finish CS article tomorrow!

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Most supportive comment of the day

[RE Overdrive series]
Not just "loved" it -- utterly taken with it. It's so flipping easy to read, it just leaves a reader wanting more. Waiting for #3 now! LBT

Relaxing afternoon

I'm enjoying time off. Still did a few things, a bit of grunt work on #3 and early prep on #4 ... a tad of marketing, again blown away by the tools available to me.

Not sure what webinar agenda is ... curious to find out.

Mariners blowing it in 9th. They're back in 4th.

Clear to me you have to get A. behind you for the real sales. I need a history of reviews and consistency. Confident of latter, doing my besr to drum up former. When it is time in a year or so, I'll focus on them.

Marathon. Marathon. That's my mantra.

posted from Bloggeroid

Day off?

I am getting so much done, and more quickly, I may take the dsy off until the 2-hour webinar.

posted from Bloggeroid

Webinar tonight

Another webinar tonight, two hours, in my continuing efforts to learn a foreign language ... called Marketing.

I repackaged my memoir and it is out.

This book, as much as any I know, documents the relationship between a writer's work and the events in his life. In other words, such and such happens in my life and this literary work comes out of it, and I document how it happened. Gives meaning to Moliere's statement "my life is a dress rehearsal for a play." Well, the statement I give him in my play ha ha.

Another 5 star review Stop the Whistleblower (Stories In Overdrive) eBook: Charles Deemer: Kindle Store:

Deemer is promising to deliver more stories in this series and I for one am looking forward to that."

'via Blog this'

Another review

Whistleblower got another 5 stars in a long rave. The reviewer called it an 89 page short story. I call it an 89 page novella. Hmm. At any rate, he's looking forward to more and absolutely loved the writing style, which of course is the key. I expect it will turn some folks off, the true fans of literary fiction. We'll see.

Very encouraging beginning to this experiment. So easy to get impatient and forget that WE ARE RUNNING A MARATHON HERE. Truely! When I retire in a year, I may have some foundation to believe this will work, or not, but not before. And I need to get all 15 books out, too, before I give up on the concept. And I like that I'm adding other authors.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


How sweet it is. Amazingly enough, their first CWS trophy. 


Spent a long day on my memoir. More later.

My Saudi student will participate in my narrative experiment. Moving her up to #4. More later.

Need to make changes in scifi re locations. Easily done.

CWS, go Bruins!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bruins, 3-1

UCLA takes first game of CWS final on pitching and defense. One to go. Maybe tomorrow! No matter which team wins, will be for the first time. A little history being made. If anyone had this final in Vegas, they made a bundle.

New memoir looking good. #3 looking good. CS article not so good. Downsizing hasn't started. Zero sum universe.


Man, Mulligan and Baker are sounding especially good this afternoon, as I worked on yet another diversion from what I thought I'd be doing. I decided to update and repackage my memoir. I think. I have to read it. A glance gives me the impression it is more candid than I remember ha ha. We'll see.

I started the CS article but still have to finish it.

We met with our mortgage guy. We may do nothing and let the house payment go up a tad, rather than refinance and pay charges. Need to do some research about retirement centers and such.

I get the impression we are too rich to be poor and we are too poor to be rich. Hell of a deal.


Week off to a great start ... but need to move downsizing front burner. So essy to push it aside. The least plessant of my chores.

Invited my Saudi former grad student to join the experiment, let me publish her thesis script. Hope she agrees, let me expand horizons. Consistent part of my premise.

posted from Bloggeroid


The new strategy, using an amazing AMC tool, seems to be working. 4 requests for review copies so far. About 15%.

Expected to be moving soon but may refinance house instead. Pretty set on our routine here and still more or less mobile.

New grunt work moving right along ... halfway through! This sci fi story is a hoot ... and timely! It was written 20 years ago.

Did marketing prep for Wes & Hayaam promo in mid July. This weekend, Devil's Music promo. Trying to get one book to sell another.

My sales have increased already. I assume from new strategy, not coincidence. Long way to go, however.

This is going to be a great summer, I think. Knock on my wooden head.

posted from Bloggeroid

Nobody's perfect

I have had great customer service experience with Amazon. However, trying to solve a minor tech issue that they caused is another matter. I think I am dealing via email with non native English speakers. Understanding issue. More housekeeping than serious issue but seeming ignorance pushes my button.

posted from Bloggeroid

Jerks win

Serena Williams is a jerk. Big time. Maria Sharapova has class. Big time. When they meet on the tennis court, SW trounces MS, who helps her by double faulting a lot. Thus the frustrating sport of tennis as Wimbledon approaches.

Premises of my narrative experiment

  • Screenwriters, not novelists, are the storytellers of our time.
  • The huge majority of their stories go untold because the movies go unmade.
  • There should be another vehicle for their stories.
  • More and more reading takes place on smart phones and tablets.
  • These devices are not verbosity friendly -- easier to read "vertical writing."
  • Twitter presents a new minimalist rhetoric for our time.
  • Recasting screenplays into vertical prose in a form looking more like traditional fiction than a screenplay, would satisfy 3 above and be less minimalist than tweets, therefore less extreme seeming.
  • Hence, Stories In Overdrive.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday rain

On the first day of summer. Of course, this is Portland.

Re-doing these 20 year old stories is like running into an old flame. Really enjoying the things I forgot about them.

Search & Replace is sn extraordinary tool when applied to format codes. I think I can do a script a week if I want to. Trying to decide if there's a disadvantage to releasing too many too soon. Not at first, but maybe later. I'll rethink this when five are released.

Should have no problem whatever meeting scifi deadline. Already 20 pp in!

posted from Bloggeroid

Scientist: 'Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It's Not A Question Of If. It's A Question Of When.' | ThinkProgress

Scientist: 'Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It's Not A Question Of If. It's A Question Of When.' | ThinkProgress:

"South Florida has two big problems. The first is its remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level. Its highest natural elevation, a limestone ridge that runs from Palm Beach to just south of the city, averages a scant 12 feet. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won’t just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Full day

Got so much done today ... #2 released, good grunt work start on #3 ... lots of yard work ... made great spring rolls for dinner (Chinese pork and shiitake mushrooms) ... and cheering M's, who take a lead into the 9th.

My CS article highest priority tomorrow morning!
posted from Bloggeroid

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight 'to hell' | Religion News Service

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight 'to hell' | Religion News Service:

"The bullets are coated in pork-infused paint, which the company states makes the ammo “haram,” or unclean, and therefore will keep a Muslim who’s shot with one of the bullets from entering paradise.

“With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels,” the company said in a press release earlier this month."

'via Blog this'

Creative bigotry. Thanks to TS for alerting me to this.

The Alarming Science Behind Climate Change’s Increasingly Wild Weather: Ostro And Francis On Video | ThinkProgress

The Alarming Science Behind Climate Change’s Increasingly Wild Weather: Ostro And Francis On Video | ThinkProgress:

"Ostro’s observations suggest that global warming is increasing the atmosphere’s thickness, leading to stronger and more persistent ridges of high pressure, which in turn are a key to temperature, rainfall, and snowfall extremes and topsy-turvy weather patterns like we’ve had in recent years.
Francis’s scientific story is complementary. She sees the rapid warming of the Arctic weakening the northern hemisphere jet stream, and thus, once again, slowing down the weather, leaving a given pattern stuck in place for longer (making any event potentially more disruptive and extreme).

The event is a must-see twin presentation:"

'via Blog this'

Now I'm back to self-publishing, I've regained control | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

Now I'm back to self-publishing, I've regained control | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

"When I signed with HarperCollins, I thought “Great! This is the golden ticket I’ve been waiting for!” I thought it would be a great collaboration between me and the publisher, given my success self-publishing my first two novels. The reality was a big disappointment. The publisher seemed intent on pushing my books into pre-existing moulds (“misery lit”, “chick lit”) that didn’t reflect the contents.

“Brand Polly Courtney” was increasingly muddled, leading to confusion for readers. It turned out that my editor hadn’t actually read my first two books."

This phenomenon is great for professional writers. For amateurs and beginners, it lets them avoid putting craft to true tests, I fear. I don't recommend this to my students until they've gotten validation in the real cruel marketplace. For an old fart like me, who doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, man, it is a gift from the gods!

But the whole scene is still muddled by all the amateurs in it.

'via Blog this'

Simple language

One of my better grad student screenwriters over the years was a Saudi woman who came to me on a whim. She was struggling with her novel thesis, not from story issues but from English as a second language issues. When she discovered the rhetorical simplicity of screenwriting, she wrote a fantastic script and had no English issues.

The Overdrive books would be great for students learning English! How do I market them for this? See if there is an organization?

posted from Bloggeroid

Waiting, waiting

When I was editing video, I spent a ton of time waiting for "rendering" to finish. Now I'm waiting for Amazon to publish so I can resubmit again with the address in the file. This is the one flaw in an otherwise stellar process. I should be able to capture the address in drsft mode before any submission at all.

posted from Bloggeroid


MEETING NICOLE KIDMAN: (click to read whole story)

"He will meet her in the reception line. There will have been earlier opportunities but he’ll have missed them. There especially would have been an opportunity for a quick introduction before the film began had he been available but with lingering weakness from the recent flu, and the special honor this year of having the festival named after him, so that he too is a star of the occasion (in his own less glamorous way, as befits a professor emeritus), he will have his wife drive him to the university auditorium only moments before the film starts, letting him join the audience anonymously as people are taking their seats and saving his own dramatic introduction for later in the evening during the awards ceremony. Sandwiched between the film and the dinner, at the insistence of the student group that has done most of the festival’s grunt work, there will be a reception line at which Miss Kidman can be greeted and touched by her many adoring student fans, and it is then when he finally will meet her."

Reading about Kidman this morning in the LA Times, I was reminded of this very short story from 2004. It's a crowd pleaser, the few times I've used it at a reading (seldom do readings).

'via Blog this'

A Writerly Retirement: The two modes/moods of writing

A Writerly Retirement: The two modes/moods of writing:

'via Blog this'


Think I'll do yard work first and last for the day.

Really jacked about getting #2 out. Real shot at sci fi now. It's exposure (free via club I joined and so glad I did) to select ten thousand sci fi readers. Since it's free bennnie, why not?

Will do first grunt steps on script, while the morning warms up.

Busy, happy camper.

posted from Bloggeroid

What a great start to Saturday!

Did the major fixing of the manuscript from 3-5 a.m. Back to bed for a few, up and finished and submitted to Amazon, the next to last submission -- this one to get the page address, in insert.

#2 done, essentially.

Need to do the CS article today! Also yard work, our last dry day for a while, now or never etc.

But first breakfast. I deserve it.

Oh, apparently sold the first 2 books from the review. Why else?

Overdrive 2 is close

Just a few editing hours away from releasing Cravings, the 2nd in the Overdrive series. Exciting. Eventually all this necessary routine of marketing will become mindless knee jerks.

Cravings is very psychological. I had forgotten.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, June 21, 2013

CWS = UCLA v. Miss. St.

No one saw this coming. 9th dicey, Bruins had 4-0 lead but loaded them up with no outs. Escaped 4-1.

posted from Bloggeroid

Top 10

Top 10 UFO sightings: from Roswell to a pub in Berkshire

posted from Bloggeroid

First review

#1 got its first review, which she is posting 7 places incl Amazon. Not wildly enthusiastic but very positive, no spoilers. I'd guess 3 or 4 stars at A. Hope its soon. Best comment for me, fascinated by no frills writing style. This is ok.

May many more come.

LATER. It's 5 stars. This is worse than waiting for opening night reviews.

posted from Bloggeroid

A scifi story

I only have one scifi story, the Refugee From Roswell, but
I'm moving it up to Overdrive #3 to take advantage of a scifi marketing fair in July. Need to work my buns off to make it.

But I found a new shortcut - and #2 grunt work is done! Now the fun, polishing the story.

And I made the cover for #3. All these aliens are intergalactic entrepreneurs, preparing Earth as a destination resort, stellar safaris coming to see primitive humanoids close up.
posted from Bloggeroid

Mariners nightmare

When their ace Hernandez has an 8=1 lead midway through the game, you expect an automatic win. Not last night. In the bottom of the fifth, he gave up SEVEN hits in a row and the Mariners went on to lose.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Not only my office, my environment, my life ... but the computers. Uninstaling programs like crazy. Lean and mean computing!


Both Bruins and Beavers play tomorrow!

posted from Bloggeroid

Say whst?

Busy all day from 5 a.m. - and didn't do the two things that should've had top priority: the article (o patient editor!) and #2 grunt work. Amazing.

posted from Bloggeroid

New Kindle editions

Now you see it, now you don't ...

Chalk dust on black paper. Artist Tom Strah writes, "The slightest breathe erodes the image..." Sand castles are an eternity compared to this.
Helen's Sunset

I remember when ...

Thanks to Syd for this.

Details at Liquor and Lit.

All books live

Been a busy couple days, and I still want to add end matter to Sodom, but for the moment all my books are live and looking ok for the moment. I got my first request for a review copy of Overdrive #1.

Need to write and deliver that screenwriting article today! Make good progress on #2 grunt work. Get a plan together for downsizing my office. It will be a very busy summer.

posted from Bloggeroid

Hanging in

It's important in my narrative experiment to survive initial negativity. I expect some. Nasty reviews. Anything new attracts them. This asks readers to look at stories in a new way. To bring a new aesthetic to the table. But at a gut level there are many readers who will love this, who page turn through the frills already. No clutter here! The key is to find the one and avoid the other.

I can even market to those who hate it by sending them to my traditional work.

So ... in my final year at PSU, important to keep the experiment active. Hopefully after a year, I'll see signs of encouragement.

It's an experiment without preconceived expectations. I hope there are lots of readers like my grad students who loved it.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beavers stay alive

1-0 over Indiana, stays alive. Possible final could be Bruins. v. Beavers. That would be fun.

Exhausted ... another day of deeds done.

posted from Bloggeroid

Round Bend Press: Baseball Fantasy

Round Bend Press: Baseball Fantasy:

'via Blog this'

TS has some interesting things to say about this image. I agree with him.

My summer begins

Got sidetracked with another way to bang my head against the wall over hyperdrama.

Need to do an article for the Creative Screenwriting editor ... more, more, he says. Topic, what beginners can learn from Pinter's love affair with sentence fragments.

Some household chores already today.

Hey, my summer has begun! Is that why it's raining?

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bruins and Brahms

UCLA won its second unlikely CWS victory. Now rest until Friday, inside track to finals. Sound muted, Brahms on Fire, nice way to watch game.

Beavers, with a loss, play tomorrow.

posted from Bloggeroid

Up and running

All reworked books now live online. Each the focus of a 5 day promo, starting in sequence (skipping 4th weekend) on the 28th. Biggest change is in book's end matter, also strategy that makes most sense to me, offering a satisfied reader effortless ways to read more.

After more research, Facebook and Twitter seem to be a poor use of energy for writers. Readers can help you there.

The experiment continues with its first real test the entire month of July. If July sales aren't above my average, back to drawing boards.

posted from Bloggeroid

Gift from my bistro

Quite a few of the bistros at the local Starbucks are PSU students -- in fact, it was my students who convinced me that Starbucks was a progressive place to work -- and one gave me a goody as a gift today, "Happy summer!," knowing my grade deadline was today. Very nice. And I double checked and am fine, so I guess this is when my summer officially begins. And I already have a new book out and four books repackaged, so it's quite a kick start to the summer.


Disappointing. Less than 100 downloads in two days. But I learned a few things.

posted from Bloggeroid

Old age is a blessing

Of the blessings in my life, and there are many, being born before WWII is high on the list. Several wonderful things follow: I wasn't raised on TV; I was a teenager at the birth of rock and roll; I was a young writer when "the literary novel" was held in the highest esteem by publishers and agents (today it's a pejorative term); I was active in the 80s when literary grants were plentiful (got my share). All accidental. All so different from coming of age today. Blessed.

posted from Bloggeroid

Perverse fascination, or it didn't used to be this way

I just spent the last several hours going through 24 book marketing sites to see if any of them might be useful to me, guided by the Author Marketing Club that ran the webinar on Saturday. I can't believe how much the literary world has changed in the last half century, since I was a budding writer and grad student at the Univ of Oregon. At that time: I had never met anyone who had written about vampires or zombies; I had never met a screenwriter or knew anyone who wanted to be a screenwriter, though I knew some filmmakers; never had a conversation with anyone, fellow MFA student or faculty, that mentioned the word "marketing" with respect to sales. All the talk was of getting an agent and getting a short story in the New Yorker or the New American Review.

I began publishing while still a student, in Prism International, The Literary Review and other places (one of my teachers admitted he'd been trying to get in there for years!). Never was there talk of MAKING MONEY. It was assumed our writing would NOT make money, as a matter of fact, because we were realists and knew the market for literature was small ... and we didn't want to become hacks, which is how we literary elitists thought of pop novel writers, TV writers, even screenwriters. The writers who sold out.

Now here's the thing: this attitude was not only respectable, it was mainstream in the universities! It was assumed we would all end up writing good and maybe even great literary novels and teach to make a living. Marketing? Give me a break. Might as well sell encyclopedias door to door. Writers were like priests: we had a calling. To discover small truths about the human condition and communicate them in stories. A noble calling! Publishers made their reputations, if not their rent, on this kind of writer.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, how times change. It would appear that literature today, if it can be called that, is really about marketing. Readers, who used to be searchers, partners with serious writers in the quest to learn who we were, now have been reduced to consumers.

And here's the great irony today. What serious writing is going on -- and it's always going on and even is very visible in foreign countries still, if less so here -- it's no doubt being put online in obscure places by serious writers with infinitesimal readerships. The "self publishing" that the major publishers are crying about now, being indie ebooks now make up 20% of the market, and with some justification given all the crap out there, it's unbelievable how much bad writing is available to, ahem, consumers, this same self publishing is what may rescue literature if anything does because now writers can easily "do it" themselves, "do it" meaning making their work accessible.

I've said this many times before but what the literary world needs as much as anything today is a bright, serious, ambitious critic with a solid education in literary history, who would go find all the great stuff hiding in cyberspace and collect in some kind of online journal, a champion of literature who will show that great writing still exists, it's just not as easy to find as it once was. Because not every student in America, certainly not every one of them, wants to write about zombies and vampires and get rich doing it.

Or maybe I'm more delusional than ever.

Getting into a new rhythm

Official deadline for grades is 5 today, and I need to double check mine before then. Otherwise, the day's only self-imposed goal is to make progress in #2 grunt work. I'm about a quarter of the way through it. Maybe get another ten or so pages done through the day.

Also, good idea to make a plan of attach on part one of downsizing, my office. This is like doing a rubric cube or Chinese puzzle ... where the hell do you start? A major task at hand, first in the office and then throughout the basement. How did we accumulate so much crap anyway?

Oh yes there is book repackaging number 4. The 3 are up and reborn now. But one left to do. I finally have a handle on a cover. Shouldn't be too hard to get it ready.

Back to bed or read the paper?

Monday, June 17, 2013

2 down

2 final files uploaded ... have 3rd ready as soon as A publishes so I know book address. Process would be quicker if A provided this before actual publishing. Now they publish, I immediately unpublish, add address to book file and re- upload. Wasted steps in there.

So I spend a lot of time waiting. Almost as bad as rendering video.

posted from Bloggeroid

Korean marinade

Made my marinade, steak strips submerged for a day or two.

H brought home pickled herring. Yum.

Waiting for A. so I can upload final files evening 3 old novels should be reborn. I like them all, in different ways.

Hugely productive dsy. Even got in a little yard work.

posted from Bloggeroid


UCLA upset LSU, which is #4 in country. Far out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Extraordinary morning

Read my last student script, from a grad student I've been working with. Just first rate work. I remember her first class and how much she was over-writing. Now she writes with the engaging economy of a pro. Love to read good work. If she can figure out the story, she has the tools to communicate it. Very energizing to see work this good.

I also repackaged 3 of the 4 books I'm doing first and am pleased with the results.

Also made a marketing schedule for the new releases.

I should take the rest of the day off.

posted from Bloggeroid

A Writerly Retirement: Repackaging, reworking

A Writerly Retirement: Repackaging, reworking:

How two new versions are shaping up.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Thinking seriously of repackaging 4 early novels that have been gathering cyber dust at Amazon. Another experiment, not too much work. Nothing to lose.

posted from Bloggeroid

Grunt Sunday

Listening to Mariners and doing grunt editing on #2. A script to read ...only 20 pp. If not today, first thing in the morning.

Like this story. Really not about vampires but addiction. Very slow work on Fire but somehow relaxing.

posted from Bloggeroid

A Writerly Retirement: Advertisements for myself

A Writerly Retirement: Advertisements for myself:

The title says it all.

Preparing #2

It is very convenient that I can edit on the Fire as well ad downstairs in my office. Slower but nice, doing another page now and again through the day.

Halfway through promo ... looks like a disappointment. I know one reason why. Learn and move on.

Damn, my potatoes were good! To think what I've been missing.

posted from Bloggeroid


Just made myself the best potatoes I've had in ages. H is at church, so I just made them for myself. Usually I make them milder, the way H likes them. Today I smothered them in paprika and cumin. Man!

OK, no more depriving myself. In the future I'm making two different batches.
posted from Bloggeroid

Changing city

Fascinating article in Chronicle about how SF is changing, in fact being taken over by young white techies with lots of money. One luxury downtown living quarters recently had ten competing bids and sold for half a million over the asking price! Every work morning 17 unmarked buses pick up 7500 techies to take them to Google and other tech companies throughout bay area. That's more commuters than the ferry system. The middle class is priced out of downtown. O brave new world.
posted from Bloggeroid

Father's Day

Having no experience as a father is one of the great vacuums in my life. I occasionally regret this but usually when I do, the gods present me with an opportunity to watch dysfunctional families at work and I feel relief to have escaped such a fate. I used to think of my work as my children but that's a silly game that doesn't last into old age. Circumstances just worked out in such a way that I never engaged the role of parent. We non-parents are a minority class.

However, I do have two god sons, Dick's sons, that I've known almost all their lives. This is nice but it's not the same thing.

Grunt work

Back in the groove, doing grunt work for #2. Going steadily forward. May actually finish this month. A new one a month would be ... pardon me ... awesome.

Grades in. Double check everything Monday.

Turned gray again, 3 days rain projected.

Time for the Sunday paper.

posted from Bloggeroid

A good day crashes

Yesterday was great until mid-afternoon. Then the day crashed, and it's sucked ever since. Up and restless now.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lena and Aydin perform

Lena is a graduate student and screenwriter I've been working with. She and her husband also are musicians.
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon (1953). Re-envisioned by Aydin and Lena.

Florescent Adolescent by Arctic Monkeys. Re-envisioned by Aydin and Lena.

Eventually ...

I learned how to code within the Amazon book description and now am jazzed by how my book is presented. First rate! if I may pat myself on the back.

If this experiment works, it will be because one book leads to another. The series, not a single book, the series with its narrative approach will sell it. And that's long range. Onward.

posted from Bloggeroid


At 6 a.m. I attended a free online webinar about marketing Amazon books. Learned a few things I didn't know. Felt more like a Martian than ever. In the entire affair, there was not a single mention or passing reference to the quality of the material being marketed. Apparently it doesn't matter.

But I tried a suggested trick to get reviews this morning. Amazon has a Hall of Fame Reviewers list. This itself is interesting. More interesting, there are 10,000 people on the list. My, my. A class of citizens I didn't know about: the professional amateur reviewer. Most review products, not books, but I went through the top 50 and found 6 possible reviewers for Overdrive and so emailed them. Not really expecting much but we'll see.

I can see how one could get lost in the quagmire of the marketplace. There is something fundamentally corrupt -- maybe that's too strong ... maybe "sad" is a better word -- about all the energy being put into these strategies and none to improving the quality of the product. More and more, the culture's engine runs on the fuel of hype and bullshit. It's worse today than in the past because the tools, thanks to computers, are so much more sophisticated. No one used to have time to do all the grunt work required for the projections etc that are commonplace today, because computer generated.

Well, my charge is to keep my head on straight and not let the shit I'm wading in get too high ha ha. I also have a perverse fascination about all this. No wonder Mad Men was such a good series. Advertising is right up there with professional sports as the most corrupting influences in the culture.

2 day promo

This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Overdrive story #1 is available free. Use this link:

Free 2 day promo

Friday, June 14, 2013

Press release

Explicitly following directions in a marketing book, I wrote and sent out a press release. Now I see it appearing online all over the world. Certainly getting exposure. Will more result? We'll see. Again, with FIFTEEN titles to release, this experiment is a marathon.

Time to get on #2 ... no rush, just the steady pace of the marathon runner.

posted from Bloggeroid


R.P. suggested this: Carpe scrapple!

Works for me.

posted from Bloggeroid


I am experiencing post partem laziness. Even watching a movie takes too much energy. Must be time for ice cream.

Must remind myself that my experiment is long term. Cool it short term.

posted from Bloggeroid


My small Kindle book resonated with another drinker:
This the best article I have ever read on dealing with alcohol problems. It makes absolute sense to me. If I jump I fall. Thanks for writing it. I'll let you know how it goes. 
I wish him well.

My argument is that for some, drinking is like gravity. But you are NOT powerless. You either climb up to the roof and jump, and break your leg, or you don't. Your choice. Period. You are not powerless. You don't have to jump. So AA puts the wrong spin on everything. AA is anti-intellectual and anti-existential, and that was my problem with these good folks. They're really a Christian fellowship but won't admit it.

Quotation of the day

From The Passive Voice:

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. 

--Barbara Kingsolver

Throw It Out And It Powers Your Home: Puerto Rico Turns To Garbage For Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress

Throw It Out And It Powers Your Home: Puerto Rico Turns To Garbage For Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress:

 "The $650 million facility, which will be built in three years in the town of Arecibo, will create thousands of direct and indirect induced jobs, and turn more than 2,100 tons of garbage a day into renewable electricity for more than 76,000 homes on the island. "

'via Blog this'

NASA Finds 'Amazing' Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks 'Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?' | ThinkProgress

NASA Finds 'Amazing' Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks 'Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?' | ThinkProgress:

 "A NASA science team has observed “amazing and potentially troubling” levels of methane and CO2 from the rapidly warming Arctic. Given the staggering amount of carbon trapped in the permafrost — and the fact that methane is a very potent heat-trapping gas — the space agency is now asking: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”"

'via Blog this'


Here's how the next 3 or 4 days shapes up:

  • finish grading
  • write new CS article
  • begin #2 grunt work
  • begin downsizing, start with office
  • celebrate! on principle ... you are among the blessed

The experiment begins

#1 of a series of 15
We are launched.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Friday launch

I think I'll do the official Overdrive launch tomorrow morning. And finish grading.

Everything looking good.

posted from Bloggeroid

Human anguish

It just occurred to me, in unlikely circumstances soon to be revealed, that the predominate theme in all the arts in all times, at least in the West, has been human anguish, the profoundly sad expression of sudden understanding that the immediate reality is unfulfilling at best and painful at worst ... that this human experiment, in both large and personal perspectives, is a failure. And this came to me while listening to Rock & Roll Lullaby by The Belmonts a capella. Go figure.

posted from Bloggeroid

Great stuff!

Listening to an album of Ernest Tubb ... been a while, and I love it. Great era of country music, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson and, of course, Hank Williams. Ernest Tubb!

posted from Bloggeroid


"This is the perfect thing to read on a Kindle," says H. That's what I like to hear! "This is great," says a reader on an Iphone. The theory that vertical writing is perfect for electronic devices is the starting point for this experiment. So far, so good.

The real key -- and this make take a year or two, if it happens at all -- is to get Amazon turned on about this. Because most success stories happen when they put their considerable weight behind them. But first things first ... I am getting the first out, now to get the second, get three by the end of summer would be just fine, and maybe six by the time I retire. Then I'll have a pretty good sense what is working and what is not working, and can act accordingly.

What excites me now is that my hunch of the vertical writing - small screen marriage is right on.

Close to launch

I think I'm ready to launch #1 in the Overdrive series but am waiting on a couple marketing things I'm researching.

This story has a long history. I wrote the screenplay maybe ten years ago, under the title Black and White. My agent loved the script - his second favorite of mine, the first being Sad Laughter - and hated the title. We changed it to Don't Shoot I'm White! and he really tried hard to find it a home. A few nibbles is all. Long been among my favs, maybe top five.

Antsy. Don't feel like grading. Maybe go get a coffee.

posted from Bloggeroid

Whoop! Whoop!

Our ex-mayor
A note from our extraordinary ex-mayor, Bud Clark, that he's reading Kerouac's Scroll. How nice.

Format adventures

Had a heck of a time getting the new Kindle perfect ... varying indents for paragraphs but I finally discovered what I was doing wrong, and doing wrong all along without consequences apparently, and this discovered, it was relatively easy to fix. The problem is discovering what you are doing wrong! So, live and learn, and all that. I think it's perfect now but need another reading before I release it.

A reader on an iphone says no issue reading there. I like it on my Fire.

More grading. Just a couple students left. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow. I haven't even had breakfast yet. A fresh batch of scrapple! I have a reader who worries about my health because I eat scrapple. Does my doctor know? Of course my doctor knows. I'd rather live 3 years eating scrapple than 10 years not eating scrapple. My choice!

Well, maybe I'll do some pre-format stuff on Overdrive #2. Onward!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New batch

Just finished a new batch of scrapple. Making it a major ritual. Moreover, it's fun and the results are special.

More grading. Over half done. Maybe quit for the day.

If I get a second wind, start importing the novella changes.

Typical gray chilly Portland day. No temptation to go out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Great morning, already

Terrific progress - and I haven't even started on finals yet. Read the novella, taking notes, and there is much less to fix than I expected. Man, this will be a fascinating experiment because clearly this is a different way to write a story in the pop universe. Reminds me of some French minimalists from the 20s. Anyway, good shot at publishing this by the weekend.

What to charge? Only 73 pages. I am thinking 1.99, then bundle them at 3 titles for 3.99. So I'd have 15 titles or 5 volumes of three. It's a numbers game. What I need to establish is consistency, a brand. You like one, you want more. The first test is the first year, see where sales are when I retire. Maybe I could have five out by then.

So far, so good. But it's time to hit finals.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dana v AlphaSmart

Aha, here is a significant difference. Dana gets 30 hrs on 3 AA's, not 700. Major concern in the field.

Neo 3, the present model, is like AS.

posted from Bloggeroid

How old is this album?

Listening to the first Ella and Louis album ... I swear, I was living at home when I bought this, which means either high school or freshman year at Cal Tech. Amazing it's that old.

Students in panic

More than the usual last minute panic among students this term. One sent me her final and project from a plane on her way to Nicaragua. Another thought everything was due at the end of this week.
 Ah, me.

Need to take Dana to Starbucks tomorrow. Can't get a connection, or anything close, to the network here. Reading stuff on net, should be easy. We'll see. I notice Dana is lighter in weight and has twice as large a screen, which is nice. Touch screen, lots of apps I'd never use. Not sure which I'll be using. Maybe both?

Tempted to start finals tonight but, no, time to relax and hit it very big tomorrow. Could get half my grades in tomorrow.

Dana wireless

Arrived and, man, it's like new. The AlphaSmart family is indestructible! However, could not get it to recognize our home network. This doesn't bother me. I can hook up with cable here at home. Have to go to Starbucks and see if I can connect. Protocols so old, may not be doable, though customer service thought I could.

So many adventures.

posted from Bloggeroid

Good start

Got a decent start on the grunt work for Overdrive #2 ... a lot of the key to progress here is defining "search and replace" in such a way that a ton of change is done automatically. It's an art in itself, doing it in a way that reduces your grunt work later. I am better at it in #2 than I was in #1. Learned a few things.

I still have to do a lot of it manually, however. That's what takes all the time. But it's looking like #1 could be published next week (!) and maybe #2 in July. Far out. I need 3 or 4 out there to see if they are catching on as a series. Each, of course, will hype the next one at the end and make it easy for comments to Amazon (i.e. provide links) and so on. Trying to do this right. For a change ha ha ha ha ha! Well, you get the picture.

Slow action of students coming by with their finals, picking up their projects. Presumably there will be heavier last minute action ... or some final exams will be missing.

I am ready to get out of here, to tell the truth.. But can't just yet.


Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons

Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons:

"An international team of researchers has reached a milestone in experimental confirmation of a key tenet of quantum mechanics, using ultra-sensitive photon detectors devised by PML scientists."

'via Blog this'

Is a sleeping climate giant stirring in the Arctic?

Is a sleeping climate giant stirring in the Arctic?:

""The Arctic is critical to understanding global climate," he said. "Climate change is already happening in the Arctic, faster than its ecosystems can adapt. Looking at the Arctic is like looking at the canary in the coal mine for the entire Earth system.""

'via Blog this'

Disease Outbreak Threatens the Future of Good Coffee | Wired Science |

Disease Outbreak Threatens the Future of Good Coffee | Wired Science |

"A disease called coffee rust has reached epidemic proportions in Central America, threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers and the morning pick-me-up of millions of coffee drinkers."

'via Blog this'

Berkeley: What We Didn’t Know by Adam Hochschild | The New York Review of Books

Berkeley: What We Didn’t Know by Adam Hochschild | The New York Review of Books:

Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power
by Seth Rosenfeld
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 734 pp., $40.00                                                

Margaret Atwood: doyenne of digital-savvy authors | Books | The Observer

Margaret Atwood: doyenne of digital-savvy authors | Books | The Observer:

'via Blog this'

Ta da!

Well, it took long enough but I just printed from the Fire, using H's printer, which is on our home network. Makes life a little easier.

posted from Bloggeroid

Last lap

Caught up on hard copy projects. Now the final exams and a few online things.

Stop at grocery on way home, supplies for scrapple, for tomorrow, I think.

Ready to read 1st overdrive for story content.

Made a decision to number scenes, like chapters. Easier to find your place later.

Shooting for grades in Friday.

Definitely light at end of tunnel and all that.

Oh ... wireless ASmart due any day. Low cost experiment. Be so cool if it works.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, June 10, 2013


Still one to go...bright and early. Collapsed after grunt work end, never recovered. Not good for much beyond listening to Marines game.

Pick up finals tomorrow, start over.

posted from Bloggeroid

The fun begins

Second wind ... and I just finished the Overdrive grunt work. Amazing. Now to let it sit, get my grades in, and see what the hell I have.

posted from Bloggeroid

Screenwriter Blues

Written almost 20 years ago, as part of a series called Real Audio Screenwriting Tips.

Cold summer soup

Making an elaborate chilled zucchini soup. Cooking therapy.

Man, so close to end of grunt work! Then I can take a sober look at what I have. Very optimistic from casual reading along the way.

Only one script to go for tomorrow.

posted from Bloggeroid

Cheap Food Is A Thing Of The Past, Report Warns | ThinkProgress

Cheap Food Is A Thing Of The Past, Report Warns | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

Phase 1 progress

Less than 20 pages to go in my grunt work transformation of a screenplay to a new narrative shape.     I have been helped considerably by shortcuts, using find and replace. I am thinking I may have this one ready before the 4th of July. That would be very nifty!

At least two scripts to grade today, several more online but I can delay them if necessary. Everything looks doable today. Except perhaps my energy level, which now is beginning to fade after several hours of work.

The more I get into the new narrative form, the more I am encouraged by it. This really could end up being something significant, both aesthetically and practically. It all depends on readers for the latter, of course, but I wasn't expecting the former possibility. This indeed could become a new narrative form. Derivative, in that in comes from a screenplay, but nonetheless different because it creates a different relationship with a reader. Fascinating to me.

Well, onward onward.

A first

Columbia won its first ever NCAA baseball tournament game. Behind 5-0 in 8th, they tied and beat New Mexico in 13. Know the feeling, having played for college underdog. Sometimes an obscure win feels as good as a championship.

posted from Bloggeroid


Last night did some Overdrive editing on the Fire, not as awkward as I expected, especially after changing a lot of text with find and replace. Over half of #1 grunt work. The story polish will be fun.

Need to finish projects today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Happy birthday, Cole Porter!

Same day (not year!) Charles Dickens died.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, lazy

Fortunately had a good early morning, both grading and grunt work for Overdrive. No energy presently ... but Hernandez is pitching, maybe Mariners can win one.

posted from Bloggeroid

Founded 1994

It wasn't easy to find this in the cyber graveyard, so I am posting it for posterity. A late 2000 version of my original 1994 website, the first for screenwriters and playwrights. Getting in on the ground floor had many advantages and certainly helped my tutorial sales in the early days, when we were averaging 500 unique visitors a day. 

Picking up the 12-string

I have a wonderful 12-string guitar that I bought from folklorist Barre Toelken when I was a grad student. I stepped into an elevator with him and he flat out said that the IRS needed a mess of cash that afternoon, did I want to buy his 12-string? I used to play it at parties at his house and loved it. I said I didn't think I could afford it. Make an offer, he said, you may be surprised. I think I offered $100, a fraction of what it was worth. I could barely afford that at the time. Sold, he said.

This became my main instrument. It's what I played in my Guthrie show years, touring. I set it down a few years back when I took piano lessons, then later it stayed down when I took banjo lessons.

Lately I've been thinking it's time to pick it up again. Interestingly enough, it's not playing but singing that triggers this energy. I think I have a new attitude about a number of my regular songs that will change and improve them in subtle ways. Record them for my archive. That's all. No public performing. Been there, done that.

So maybe I'll do that after my grades on in. Dust it off. See how the strings are, and if I am interested in playing it, well, surely it's time to buy new strings.

Strange and interesting energy, this. Maybe I'm not quite done with music after all.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Loss of Nameless Things

Fascinating documentary about the unusual journey of American playwright and artistic director Oakley Hall III. I confess I had not heard of him but this film makes his story compelling. He wss an adventurous, edgy theater artist.

posted from Bloggeroid

Extraordinary documentary

Evocative. Horrifying. Personal. Hopeful. Necessary. "Worse Than War." Indeed.

posted from Bloggeroid

Old times

Spent some time on the deck, typing on the ASmart. Man, the heavy action snd click clack brought back memories of youth, on a portable Olympia in a campground, trying to type my dedtiny. Great memoties!

posted from Bloggeroid

The Writing Life II: Nostalgia

The Writing Life II: Nostalgia:

"Ran across this bit of past kudos ...
In his 1997 book Every Writers Essential Guide to Online Resources and Opportunities, Gary Gach wrote, "Charles Deemer should win an Oscar for best screenwriters' Web site, but the Academy hasn't come to grips with the Internet yet.""

Link above has another link at bottom, to replica of my original website for screenwriters. 16 years ago my site was the first and best around.

Hungry editor

Note re my first submission to the new Creative Screenwriting: this is good, send me more. Nice to be wanted. But 1. have to get grades in first and 2. this is not a top priority. At the same time, I can dash off screenwriting articles in my sleep, so I'll try to send things his way regularly, which also should boost publicity for my app. And my books. I mean, a welcome mat from an editor is nothing to sneeze at, even if I've been there before. But it's been a while since I've done this sort of thing for publication. I definitely am not re-entering the stress world of all this (but then I needed the income for rent, now it's coffee money).

 But It's still a nice note to greet me in the morning. Five scripts to grade today. Should be able to handle it. Working a little on the series story last night, fiddling with different formats, "looks." I think I have one I like, finally. It's tricky, this re-vamped, disguised screenplay approach. Seems to be a three-step process: 1. re-format 2. minor rewrite 3. polish and publish. I am about 1/4 through the first step on the first script. It goes fairly quickly, all grunt work at step one. Grunt work, grunt work. Mindless. I think I can get the first one published by mid July.

Friday, June 07, 2013

A wrap for the day

Graded about half, a decent start, enough for the first day.

Listening to Damascus Diary, BBC podcast, personal report, gripping. So many interesting podcasts on the net.

posted from Bloggeroid

Best version of this song ever, period

Not sure what happened to cover image.


Taking a grading break, listening to Best of Little Walter album, Walter Jacobs, my favorite blues harmonica player hands down, the clean school of playing, phrasing and tone over showing off, brilliant simplicity, does on harp what Billie Holiday does with voice. Extraordinary. Terrible ending to his life and art but at his best, on the top of the mountain.

posted from Bloggeroid

New York State Senate Wants To Make It A Felony To 'Annoy' A Police Officer

New York State Senate Wants To Make It A Felony To 'Annoy' A Police Officer:

'via Blog this'

The World's Biggest Coal Company Is Turning To Solar Energy To Lower Its Utility Bill | ThinkProgress

The World's Biggest Coal Company Is Turning To Solar Energy To Lower Its Utility Bill | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

Alpha Smart experiment works like a charm

A little morning experiment. Writing on the ASmart, see if I can import directly into blog with cable. Should do. Never tried it. Also just tried the spell check, cool. Must have used it years ago.

This has slow keyboard action, which I actually like ... like a typewriter.

Well, if this gets in, it works.

Early birds

Sketch up earlier than usual, wanted out. I stayed up and finished Foyle's War, good drama. Get couple more winks. Breakfast assembly in mind. Make my grading schedule with a big start today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, June 06, 2013

BBC rocks

I think I found another first rate drama set in England during WWII ... Foyle's War. 4 seasons, just started. Hope it sticks like Wish Me Luck did. Kept me up past my bedtime.

posted from Bloggeroid

All Yankees

Not looking good, Y took early lead and have built on it. But bball is not predictable, look at bottom of 14th yesterday.

Start grading projects tomorrow, maybe on the deck, iced coffee, bbq lunch ... see what happens. Take break with yard work.

Feel better than I did after my earlier energy crash. Feel rather good.

Seem finally to have found the best apps for my work flow and routine. There are many versions of whatever application one seeks, some suck, most are so-so, a few are brilliant. Takes time to find what you need.

posted from Bloggeroid

Yankees at Mariners

Tonight's entertainment! H away all day, meetings, art shows. The 2 dogs at home, right Sketch? Yep.

posted from Bloggeroid


I seem to be getting a second wind!

Well, YouTube is all screwed up on the Fire but works fine on the netbook. For now, leaving well enough alone. I hope.

posted from Bloggeroid


Man, there is wiped out and there is WIPED out. Ice cream doesn't revive me.

posted from Bloggeroid

Old, old

Man, I think I am done for the day. Tuckered out.

posted from Bloggeroid

One foot after the other

Class longer, so I missed 130 and didn't want to wait an hour so took diff bus. Long walk home but made it. Fresh pot iced coffee waiting for me! And the Sketch welcoming committee. So all is well.

posted from Bloggeroid

Looking It in the Face by Charles Simic | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Looking It in the Face by Charles Simic | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books:

 "Of course, I never really believed it would happen. Grow old, I mean. I knew it was coming, saw the evidence of it in my friends and relatives, but despite that, I acted as if aging had nothing to do with me. Even having people congratulate me on my seventy-fifth birthday doesn’t sound right to me. "

Corporations have you by the balls

I got tired of all the interruptions by Google+ in my work day so I disabled it. Ends up I also disabled all 100 videos I have at YouTube! Jeez. So I am back in the fold. Jeez.

LATER. Aha! I found a way to disconnect the accounts, so what I do at Google+ does NOT affect what happens at YouTube. That's better.

Small strokes on a sunny morning

There was a maple bar left when I got to the SU! At 10! Not often. And I noticed earlier than someone bought the Kindle version of my book of poems, which doesn't happen very often and always cheers me up when it does.

I'm hoping I get out of class early enough to catch the 130 bus home. Shortest walk bus only leaves every hour, so I'd have to wait until 230 or take a longer walk on the other end, and the short one is long enough for me. If I miss it, I'll grab lunch somewhere and then leave.

I always want to do yard work when I get home. I won't start grading projects until tomorrow. This is easier than evaluating them earlier. There I made suggestions for improvement. Here, it is what it is.

Really getting ready to do something consistent with the AlphaSmart. Getting a very cheap used version with wireless, see if I can hook up at Starbucks. That would be very liberating for the future. Then files could be emailed to myself on the road for use later. I already can blog on the road with Fire. But Fire needs recharging. ASmart goes 700 hours on AAA batteries ... so then you just replace them. ASmart is immortal. Mine, after all these years, all that earlier use, is still like new. I swear, it is the best writing tool ever invented -- and it is marketed to grade schools! International journalists have discovered it but I think most American writers expect too many frills. This, after all, is for writing and nothing but writing -- and how many "pure writers" are around any more?

And now that I've discovered you can write screenplays and stage plays on them, formatting perfectly later by uploading to a program -- wow, this is very liberating for students who spend their summers hiking in the mountains, for example. This adds to the uisefulness of this amazing AlphaSmart keyboard. But only for writers who want to write, not escape from writing ha ha.


Sharapova presently in tough semi at French Open. Gritty jock but hard to watch because her toughest opponent is herself... double-faulting. ...just took 5-2 lead in 3rd set, serving. match pt... deuce ... has ad ... deuce ... ad ... deuce ... (drives me crazy) ... -ad ... deuce ... -ad ... deuce ... +ad ... deuce (missed 4 match pts so far) ... -ad ... loses on double fault! That's her. 5-3.

LATER. After several more stressful stretches, S finally won 6-4, goes to finals, probably to face her nemesis S Williams, who has her number.
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Sunny San Diego NW

Another San Diego day here in Puddle City. Go in early but an afternoon appointment just got rescheduled, making my day even shorter. Picking up final projects is the theme of the day.

Writing this in one of half a dozen writing apps. Have full powered WP for serious work but this is like Notepad, writes text file but best, lots of send options, including email, box and blog. Proved to be most versatile. Took a while to get here.

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Last day

The last day of class, and a short class it will be. Collect projects. Watch student video. Show a few past ones.

It's all over but the grading.

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013


M's v Chi, scoreless into 14th, White Sox score 5. Probably end. But M's score a run, then load bases, bottom 14th. Seeger up, 0-2 count. Home run!! 5-5, on to 15th. Absolutely amazing.

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Slow is wonderful

Got a few yard chores done. Getting ready to grill chicken and lamb skewers. Made gazpacho. Moving slow in anticipation of picking up projects tomorrow.

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Gazpacho weather

So I just made some to go with mixed grill bbq.

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Browser wars

I can't find a browser that does everything I want to to. If I want to save images, the only way I can find them later is to use Silk, the browser that Fire came with. But to play flash video in my archive, I have to use Maxthon. For general use, I prefer Chrome. Hell of a deal.

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A San Diego morning

That's what I just overheard at Starbucks near the Y where H has an exercise class. Finally signed tax forms for refund. Yard work later.

If anyone in San Diego ever exclaims, It's a Portland morning!, it must be raining and said as a downer ha ha.
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Mental health

Must say I'm feeling more "together" and content than I've felt in years. The peace that comes from the decision to retire from teaching, plus the good karma of my gift to future screenwriting students. New challenges ahead. Mentally very much alive.

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