April 28, 2008
Last night I finished my rewrite of The Bleam Corp Annual Chili Cook-Off. I’ve bestowed the tale with a new ending (sans the Deus ex machina), and lopped off about 1k words. A small part of me will miss the random closet full of weapons that somehow made its way into a bean cannery, but the new ending makes a lot more sense. Does that make me a sellout? Probably.
In other news, I finally took my college placement test today. I’ve been putting it off, taking only the classes that didn’t require the test beforehand. It’s only a community college admissions exam, but I still have to brag that I qualified for Honors English. I received the maximum score possible in both reading and writing.
Of course, I offset that accolade with a “they let you out without a handler?” score in the math section. Not to make excuses or anything, but I haven’t been in a math class in about seven years. You know how high school math teachers always try to convince you that you’ll end up holding a cardboard sign for a living, if you don’t learn algebra? Well that’s a filthy lie. You can quote me on that.
That math class I took so many years ago was a breeze. I had no trouble understanding the concepts. So if I understood it so well back then, why do those problems now appear to me like some vaguely familiar acquaintance from kindergarten? The reason is that I’ve never needed to use those skills outside the classroom.
The truth is that most people only need a solid understanding of basic arithmetic, and possibly some algebra. Granted there are many fields that might require you to make sense of a complicated mathematical jambalaya, but there are just as many, if not more, that only serve up tomato soup.
Photo courtesy ugaldew
April 27, 2008
Guillermo del Toro is packing his bags for a trip to Middle Earth (known in some circles and New Zealand). He’ll be there for about four years while he directs the new film adaptation of The Hobbit.
I’m no Hollywood insider, so my opinion means very little, but I’m going to offer it anyway. Pan’s Labyrinth was garbage. Sorry, but someone had to say it. I know it received a lot of critical praise, but it that doesn’t remove the swarm of flies chasing after its scent.
Still, Pan’s Labyrinth at least looked pretty. I think its problems stemmed more from the writing than the directing. So, as long as they keep del Toro a safe distance from script, it might be OK.
But there is more concerning news. The current scuttlebutt is that they are going to make two films. The first based on The Hobbit, and the second culled from Tolkien’s notes on what happened between the end of that book and the beginning of Fellowship of the Rings. In other words, it will be written by a committee.
I don’t hold out much hope that we’ll make it through five whole Tolkien movies without at least one disaster.
April 25, 2008
I’m a movie fanatic. Zombie cinema is one of my favorite genres. Zombie 90, and Zombie Doom, hardly qualify as cinema.
Now, you take an island populated by a cult, run by a guy named Karl the Butcher, throw in a mad scientist, some zombies, and even a few ninjas, and you’d think you’d have one hell of an awesome movie. (Sounds like Oscar-worthy material to me anyway.) But when the costumes are straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail , the dubbing sounds like one guy is doing all the voices, and the whole mess looks like someone shot it with a 300 dollar camcorder, the scales of movie suckdom start to tip in the wrong direction.
Read the full review
Genre: non-fiction, movie review
April 23, 2008
It’s no surprise that moving to Arizona has had a great influence on my artistic endeavors. I’ve gone crazy taking photo’s of cacti, and desert landscapes. I’m sure it will seep into my writing sooner or later.
This is a vector illustration of a desert sunset. Vector graphics are generated through mathematical formulas that represent all the lines and shapes. (Thankfully there are programs like Adobe Illustrator that hide all that ugly math from sensitive artistic eyes.) Because the image is made of mathematical formulas, it can be enlarged for all eternity, without sacrificing image quality.
I was surprised to see this become best seller on Shutter Stock.
The aliens have landed, and there here for the chili. Now a simple janitor stands between humanity and a very messy invasion.
“All the big shots go home by five o’clock, ya see, so I always clean their crappers at the end of the day, so they’ll be nice and fresh for them to foul up in the morning.”
“Why not clean them in the morning, so the big shots can see you working?”
John paused. No one had ever questioned his knowledge of the intricacies of the janitorial profession.
“You don’t want them to see you working. Important folk don’t wanna see the guy who cleans their crapper.”
“But if they don’t see you, how do they know who’s responsible?”
“No, you don’t understand. When it comes to latrine maintenance, it doesn’t matter who cleans em so long as they get clean. See, the trick isn’t to get em to notice you; it’s to keep em from noticing a mess. They ain’t never gonna notice a lowly janitor, but they will notice a crappie looking crapper quicker than crap-cramps after the chili cook off. A mess they’ll notice, and they’ll complain. That’s what you want to avoid.”
Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy
Length: Short Story
Status: Rejection Blues
April 21, 2008
Synopsis: A bitter mailroom clerk inherits a fortune and then has to battle various supernatural forces in his new house. Are there really monsters attacking him, or is the solitude of life without employment driving him insane?
Dirty yellow plaque decorated the jagged teeth of a sinister grin. A large rounded snout supported the grin in front of a bulbous, disfigured face. A green, mucus-like substance dripped from the creature’s jowls.
The thought of stains from that substance on his new carpet somehow found its way into the chaos of Phillip’s mind. The concern was so foolish it brought his attention snapping back into focus on the problem at hand: This thing was about to devour him.
Length: Short Story
Current Status: Awaiting Submission
April 20, 2008
“Where have you been? It’s alright, we know where you’ve been.”
And where have I been? Well, I’ve been around. I maintained a blog once before. It ran its course and now takes up megabytes on that great server in the sky. Ok, so it’s more likely on the not-so-great server in the underworld, being tormented with hot pokers and mouse trailers.
Now here I am again, starting the blogger’s journey all over again. Why? Because I’m a junkie. But apart from the desire to take another hit off the blogging crack pipe, I’m here because I’ve turned a corner in my pursuit of writing. I want to take you along on my new journey into the world of writing fiction.
Along the way I’ll be discussing my approach to writing, the struggle to find publication, and my progress in creating the ubiquitous “Great American Novel.” I might also digress into diatribes on any number of other subjects if the spirit takes me.
So unbuckle that seatbelt, and stretch out in the back seat, because it’s a long, slow road.