The Keyboard Aficionado

The Keyboard Aficionado

I love a good keyboard. I am really convinced it helps me write. The big thing for me is the keys. It has to be a soft, silent key stroke. I’ve tried them all. I think I have tried almost every manufacturer. HP, Dell, Logitech and even some cheap off brands. I have had more keyboards then computers by far. The picture is my latest. It’s a Logitech and I love it! The key strokes are exactly what I like. Soft & Silent. Plus the keys are illuminated which is pretty cool too!

Happy writing!!

Remembering Space Shuttle Challenger

Remembering Space Shuttle Challenger

Today is the 28th year anniversary of the Challenger Disaster. I wanted to take a moment to remember the astronauts we lost that day. The sacrifices they made and the sadness I feel towards the families of those astronauts. Being a fan of America’s space program fueled my interest in science fiction so as I write scifi I can’t help but to think of the real science of space and the real heroes of the space program like Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis and Sharon Christa McAuliffe. I remember where I was when it happened. Over at a friend’s house watching it live on CNN. I still remember it to this day quite vividly. It was the first national tragedy I ever experienced, I think maybe that’s why it remains in my memory so and especially since I loved this sort of thing. The shuttle program was already near and dear to my heart and experiencing this disaster impacted me more so. It makes you appreciate what you have. The time on this planet is short. Make it count. Don’t just be a spectator in your life, go out and live it every day because you’ll never know when it’s your time to leave this world just like the Challenger astronauts had no idea it was their time when they lifted off from Kennedy on January 28th, 1986.

Live today!

Why Bother With The Theater?

Why Bother With The Theater?

Remember when it was fun going to the movies? Remember when if you didn’t see it at the theater it would be a very long wait until you had the chance to see it again? I can recall back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when it seemed like it took a film FOREVER to come out on home video! I can remember going to the local video rental store and keeping my eyes on the coming soon list to see that one flick I had been waiting for to come out on video. Not really like that today. As a matter of fact if I happen to miss a film I wanted to see during it’s theatrical run I feel it’s not that big of a thing since in 90 days or less the damn thing will be on Blu or DVD. Hell, I have purposely just not even bothered with the theater and waited 3 months. Why pay for over priced tickets, over priced concessions and annoying moviegoers when I can just wait a little while and enjoy it on my HD big screen TV with insane sounding Dolby surround sound in my decked out movie theater room I have in my basement? Sounds pretty damn logical to me! And Hollywood wonders why people aren’t coming in droves to the theater anymore. It’s because you fucking morons, companies like Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer have made home theatre a better option…PERIOD!

Writing & Music

Writing & Music

I think as writers we do many different things to help us during the writing process. I know a lot of us use music as a tool for inspiration during that process. It is perhaps my most valued tool. The type of music I use is almost executively film scores. It can put my mind in that mood. That feeling of what ever I am writing about. If it’s a science fiction novel, then more then likely it’s music I select from several science fiction films. I have even made story breakthroughs by just listening to the music. I can daydream about my story and let the music take me there. As I write my epic scifi novel DEADSTAR I am listening to M83’s Oblivion score from the Tom Cruise film. I am also listening to Deep Impact by James Horner & War Of The Worlds by John Williams. I see my stories as movies, plus the fact I am once in a while a filmmaker. It is that love of film that brought me to this place, as a writer. When I visualize my story, I see it as a movie. I think a lot of writers operate in this fashion. When I visualize a great scene or when story elements come together chills race up and down my spine. It’s an exhilarating feeling to have it all come together. Music plays an important roll in all of that. It helps me bring it all together at the same time inspiring me to visualize it. If any writers would like to list what tools you use to help you in the writing process please feel free to comment and if it’s music let us know what kind of music and why.

Sepideh – Reaching For The Stars (Documentary)

Sepideh - Reaching For The Stars (Documentary)

I am so inspired by this doc I had to blog about it! Being a fan of science fiction and science Astrology holds a special place in my heart. I was drawn to this film. I ran a crossed this title on iTunes. It is currently screening at Sundance. Sepideh tells the story of teenager Sepideh Hooshyar. She has an intense passion for astrology and stargazing. She is a determined young girl who only wishes to become like her hero and role model, Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari. We journey with her through the years of 16 to 18 years old as she struggles on her quest to become more then what Iranian tradition dictates to young women from the middle east. I found myself feeling sad for her as she is met with disapproval from members of her family. At one point her uncle threatens to kill her if anything inappropriate happens while on one of her late night observations with her astronomy friends. I also found the film uplifting and inspiring with seeing her dogged determination of not letting go of her dream. I think a lot of Americans see people from the middle east with their heads in their Koran and spending all day praying. They too have families and lives. They too have dreams for their future just like we do and it was refreshing to see that in this film. It really opened my eyes and I encourage everybody who loves an inspiring story to check out SEPIDEH – REACHING FOR THE STARS!

Word Count Goals For Manuscripts

I think one of the tools that helps me when I write manuscripts is having a word count goal whenever I sit down to work on a novel. I started out slow by having a word count like 250 words. Once I have become comfortable with attaining that count, I up it by another 250 words. I also think there should be a cutoff limit. My personal cutoff limit is around 1,500 words per writing session. If I am feeling less inspired I knock the word count down. The thing is to each time you write to hit that target number. Personally I don’t feel good about myself if I can’t hit that number so I make sure when I sit down to write my goal is attainable but luckily I have never not hit my target count.

Why I Gave Up On Independent Film

Why I Gave Up On Independent Film

Quite honesty it was a pain in the ass. When you don’t have a group of friends it didn’t work for me. When I was younger I had a great group of guys that would go out and make films. It was fun! Now that all those friends have moved away and on to other opportunities I don’t know anyone with the passion for it like I do or anyone that I can trust enough to film projects with. I have met some over the internet here locally but they have proved to be talkers and not doers and that is the type I have run across. When I started filming The Chronicles Of Elpininki Dixon it was a struggle to get anyone to commit to it, like they said they were committed but when it came time to show up, they didn’t. Some did and I appreciated that but the others that didn’t I really don’t understand what they got out of it by saying “I’m all in” and then not show up or call or text, just nothing. When I was looking for talent both for crew and cast I had a lot of people respond very positively and then when I wanted to met or something I would never hear from them again. What’s the fucking point? Like I had some that were crew and never showed up after committing themselves to the film. The 2nd day of filming I had to do everything myself because I was the only crew member that showed up, lol! I realized the hard way a lot in that industry (at least in KC) were bullshitters. I said the hell with filmmaking and decided to just be a writer and I have to say I am much happier. Bad thing is I now have $20,000 worth of film equipment that I will probably never use.