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Monday, March 20, 2017

Just a little longer ...

Warner Bros. has moved back “Meg” to Aug. 10, 2018. It was previously dated for March 2, 2018.

Warner Bros. has moved back Jason Statham’s prehistoric giant shark thriller “Meg” to Aug. 10, 2018.

It was previously dated for March 2, 2018, and would have opened against an untitled Fox/Marvel film. The movie will be released in 3D and Imax. “National Treasure” helmer Jon Turteltaub is directing the film with Chinese actress Li Bingbing co-starring with Jessica McNamee, Ruby Rose, and Rainn Wilson. Shooting began in New Zealand last fall.

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Time Management for Writers: The Stopwatch Method for Massive Creative Productivity

Managing your work is a fool’s game because work is infinite. Good work only creates more work; in fact, bad work creates more work too.

So the more you work the more work you will have to do. It’s basic common sense that you can’t manage an infinite commodity.

What can you manage? Time.

You not only can, but must, manage your time because time is all too finite.
They say, “If you want to get something done, find a busy person.” The busy person succeeds in getting things done because he knows how to manage his or her time.

We all have the exact same amount at our disposal: 60 minutes each hour, 24 hours each day, 168 hours each week, 8,736 hours each year. If you put one hour into a project each day for a year, you’d have worked on it for 365 hours—more than enough time to write a book, and a screenplay, and a treatment or two.
“If you place a little upon a little,” explained the ancient Greek almanac writer Hesiod in his Works and Days, “soon it becomes a lot.”

Time Management Stopwatch image

Time Management Should Be Easy

Where do you find the time to get your most important work done every day?

One memorable day in Manhattan I was delivering a broken antique wall clock to my favorite repair shop. As I completed my drop off and turned to leave, I noticed an ultra-modern stand-up clock constructed of shiny pendulums, a different metal each for hours, minutes, and seconds, all enclosed in a sleek glass case. It was simply the most beautiful timepiece I’d ever seen.

Then I realized: it had no hands. At first I thought, No wonder it’s in the shop. It’s broken. But I studied the clock more closely.

Clock for time management image

No. It was designed without hands. It was a timepiece that Salvador Dali would have been as thrilled with as I was. Time moves in its own way unless we somehow capture it.

It reminded me that time is a free force. It just happens, whether you do anything about it or not. It’s up for grabs. It doesn’t belong to your family, or to your friends, or to your day job, or to anyone but you! What you’re working on at any given moment is how you control it.

The trick is where do you find that free time?—a question busy people are asked regularly. Here’s their secret: busy people make time, for the activities they decide to prioritize. One good way to wrestle with the problem they’ve solved is to ask yourself, “Where do I lose it?” When you find the answers to that question they may shock you.

I ask writers to make a chart of their weekly hours and use it to determine how many hours they devote to each activity in their cluttered, over-stimulated lives.
Maybe you’d be surprised—or maybe not—that most people have no idea where the time goes.

They come back to me with a grand total of 182, or 199, or 82 hours of activity—until I remind them that they, like every other human, have the same 168 hours each week to spend.

Then we get serious and analyze exactly where they’re lying to themselves about the time: forgetting about the endless phone calls with friends, or the true amount of time in front of the television, or the accurate time devoted to the daily commute, or the time doing absolutely nothing but staring out the window. When we get the time inventory accurate most people are surprised at the truth. But truth is the first step to freedom, and managing your time effectively is the greatest freedom of all.

I call it “making the clock of life your clock.” I believe in this philosophy so much I haven’t worn a regular watch for nearly thirty years, despite owning a vintage wrist watch that belonged to my father and an even older pocket watch that belonged to my grandfather. The only chronograph I carry around with me is one that allows me to make life’s clock my clock:a stopwatch.

The stopwatch makes the Spanish proverb, la vida es corta pero ancha (“life is short but wide”) come true.

You can get a free stopwatch app on your cell phone! In fact, most smartphones come with a built-in stopwatch app like the Clock app on iPhones.

The Stop Watch Method of Time Management

The stopwatch method of time management is simple. You use it to capture time, to make sure that your Priority Writing Project is getting the amount of attention you want to give it to move it—and your career success–ahead with certainty.
You know that the wall clock, or the one on your wrist or displayed on your cell phone, has a way of running away with your day. You say you’ll work on your Priority Writing Project from seven to eight a.m. and something is certain to come along to disrupt that hour almost as though life were conspiring against you.

What’s really happening is that you’re letting life interfere with your personal time management.

Of course when the interference occurs, you tell yourself I’ll catch up later,or say, “I’ll start again tomorrow and this time protect myself from interruptions.” But over the years we discover that life usually runs rampant over any and all such resolutions.

The stopwatch method works best in a life jam-packed with stimuli and distraction. It allows you to steal time. While clocks on wrists and walls record public time, your private prime time happens only when your stopwatch is running. The stopwatch allows you to call “time out” from the game everyone else is engaged in.

Simply promise yourself you won’t go to sleep at night until, by hook or by crook, you’ve clocked on your stopwatch one hour (sixty minutes) of working on Priority Writing Project.

Turn the stopwatch ON when you’re working on it, and OFF when you get interrupted.

Your stopwatch minutes may be harvested over a six-hour period, or over a twenty-four-hour period. You steal them when you can: waiting at the dentist’s, commuting to the ferry, when your lunch appointment hasn’t shown up yet, when your cell phone dies and no one can reach you until you’ve replaced or recharged the battery, when your date for the evening calls in sick.

It takes a few days to get used to this process, but once you do you’ll recognize the power it gives you over time.

If I could give you a magic pill that guaranteed you would work on your most important goals and dreams in life for one hour each day, would you take it?
Of course! And that’s exactly what the stopwatch method of time management does—it guarantees that your most important work gets done each day if you stick to the plan.

Optimum Attention Span (OAS)

How do you know how much time to devote to your Priority Writing Project—or to any activity, for that matter?

That’s a function of what I call Optimum Attention Span (OAS). For some activities, like watching your favorite sports event or shopping, your OAS might be extremely wide; for others, like listening to your boss complain or to your domestic partner nag, it might be miniscule. The trick is to determine what the OAS is for that Priority Writing Project.

At the start of any project, OAS tends to be smaller; as the project gains momentum and begins to appear reachable, your OAS expands. So when you start planning to write that novel, nonfiction books, or screenplay, give yourself 30-45 minutes on the stopwatch during the first week.

But reassess OAS at the end of each week because OAS changes and evolves. By the fourth week you may well be up to an hour and a half—ninety minutes on the stopwatch.

Increasing Productivity with “Linkage”

Isn’t it hard to work in fits and starts?

You might very well ask that very good question. The answer is that it’s actually easier to work that way than it is to work without stopping if you employ my time-management technique of linkage, what Hemingway referred to as “leaving a little water in the well.”

Here’s how linkage works. The phone rings, so you have to turn off your stopwatch. But you let it ring one or two more times, taking that time to make a mental decision about what you’ll do when your stopwatch is running again—that is, in your next Priority Writing Project stopwatch session.

And here’s an interesting secret: it doesn’t matter what decision you make when you turn the stopwatch back on.

The minute you make that decision, as you answer the phone and go on from one activity to the next, your mind starts thinking of better decisions than the one you just made; in fact, your mind becomes increasingly motivated to get back to that Priority Writing Project because it knows exactly what it will do when the next session begins.

You’ve created an automatic linkage—that makes restarting when your stopwatch is next running no longer an occasion for blockage.
Instead, you’re fully ready to jump in and get as much out of that next session as possible before it’s interrupted by life’s next distraction.

And, yes, have a desk drawer filled with stopwatches so you can employ a different colored one for each major project you’re engaged with. Or you can use different stopwatch apps on your phone.

The stopwatch method will truly make the clock of life your clock.It’s the magic writing pill.

Dr. Kenneth Atchity (Georgetown B.A., Yale Ph.D.) has been teaching time management throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe for decades.

Books include A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write (ebook: Write Time: Guide to the Creative Process, from Vision through Revision—and Beyond); How to Quit Your Day Job and Live out Your Dreams; Writing Treatments that Sell (with Chi-Li Wong), Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer’s Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business and, with Ridgely Goldsborough, Why? Marketing for Writers. Dr. Atchity’s more than thirty films include Meg, the Emmy-nominated Kennedy Detail, Hysteria, Erased, Joe Somebody, and Life or Something like It.

Companies serving writers include,, and and teaching sessions can be accessed at


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Story Merchant Books More March Amazon eBook Deals!

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There is a scrap of a boy who dreams of riding a dragon, but he feels his dreams are far away, especially in the land of Drumnonia where there are dragons, riders, AND demons, gods, and elves. In the end, he becomes a dragon rider, and not just an ordinary rider either: he is the Dragonheart! Book 2 follows Shashtah's journey to becoming the most destructive weapon Centuria has ever known: The Dragon Sun.     BUY NOW

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As the transition period between the Middle Ages and modern times, the Renaissance is perhaps the most distinguished age since that of Classical Greece. Part of Harper Reference's successful Reader series, Kenneth Atchity's Renaissance Reader is a unique volume that provides a vast and varied collection of primary source documents and artwork of this fascinating period of history.      


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An Ed Noon Mystery!

Ed Noon's career takes a sharp turn when he is hired by the President a nuclear scientist, who has mysteriously disappeared, and with him, the designs for America's most powerful nuclear super-weapon.


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A voodoo cult masterminded by the fantastic Count Calypso is trying to take over the world and Ed Noon is the only private eye between Manhattan and Port-au-Prince who can stop him.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Guest Post: Where Fake News Began by Jerry Amernic

George Orwell and his epic novel 1984 are making a comeback. His character Winston Smith existed in a world where freedom and privacy have disappeared. Some think this is happening today.

But Wells also wrote War of the Worlds and because of that we can thank him for introducing us to ‘fake news,’ courtesy of a young radio broadcaster named Orson who had almost the same last name. In this case, Welles. In 1938, on the day before Halloween, Orson Welles convinced America that earth was under attack by Martians.

Sound crazy? Well, millions of listeners believed it. The next day The New York Times reported that in one community 20 families rushed out of their houses with wet towels on their faces to protect them from Martian gas. People hid in cellars, hit the road and packed their guns.

We can laugh at this today, but go back to October 30, 1938 and the world was on edge with the rise of Nazi Germany; World War II would begin less than a year later when Germany invaded Poland.

Orson Welles began his radio broadcast by saying it was based on the H. G. Wells novel War of the Worlds, but hey, humans are a strange breed in that we believe what we want to believe.

Which explains why the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a fictional blueprint for Jewish domination of the world – still carries weight. It was published in Russia in 1903, translated into other languages and eventually went ‘viral.’ American industrialist Henry Ford, a noted anti-Semite, printed half a million copies in the U.S. alone. The Nazi propaganda machine wasted no time stirring up the masses and the Protocols found their way into German schools.

Now it’s 2017. No one trusts the media. What’s more, we don’t even know what constitutes the media and anyone can be the media. This means they can ‘broadcast’ whatever they want – whether it’s based on fact or not.

What with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the line between fact and fiction is no longer the blur that it once was. Today the blur doesn’t exist because everything is fact and fiction.

There’s an old joke in journalism that you should never let the facts get in the way of a good story. This notion is running rampant now and it’s not a good thing. It is a dangerous thing. Why?

Because we humans are a strange breed.

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Jerry Amernic is a Canadian writer of fiction and non-fiction books. He is the author of the  Holocaust-related novel 'The Last Witness'.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Story Merchant Books March Amazon eBook Deals!

A Message From Jessie:The Incredible True Story of Murder and Miracles in the Heartland by Buck Blodgett

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Against a horror stands a single man, Darius Inglorion, a holy warrior known as a Paladin, who is summoned to rally the states of the Southlands frozen by fear and treachery.

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If you want to be successful, if you want to go from rags to riches you have to start by thinking ... It's Possible!

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Rina Tham's Lucky Number 9: Journey of a Rubber Tapper's Daughter

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Read how Rina overcame poverty, debilitating health issues, many other dramatic life challenges and how her ultimate triumph over such adversity has resulted in a deep desire to give back to the world.

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Take a trip through the South Texas terrain through the eyes of drug runner!

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Story Merchant Books: Sell Your Story to Hollywood FREE Until March 16th!!

Dealing with Hollywood High Concept and more! "#1 Writer's Pocket Guide to The Business of Show Business"!

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Through the expanding influence of the Internet and the corporatization of both publishing and entertainment, the process of getting your book to the big screen has gotten more complicated, more eccentric, and more exciting.

This little book aims to help you figure out how to get your story told on big screens or small. It’s not going to give you rules and regulations, because they simply don’t exist today. Any rule that could be promulgated has and will be broken. What this book offers instead is nearly thirty years of observation of how things happen in show business, the business of entertainment (better known around the world as Hollywood). Dr. Ken Atchity’s Hollywood experience ranges from writing to managing writers to producing their movies for television and theaters. He’s seen the Hollywood story market from nearly every angle, including legal and business affairs.

Dolphin Boy Fundraiser Screening March 16th to Benefit Lashon Academy

Please Join a Special Screening of  Yonaton Nir and Dani Menkin​'s  Dolphin Boy for Larger Than Life, supporting Israeli kids with cancer and Lashon Academy, The first Hebrew Charter School in the valley.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Introducing Ken Atchity's Master Class in Storytelling!

For Every Author Who Wants To Master Storytelling

"Our innate ability to tell stories not only makes the world evolve, but is the foundation of great, unforgettable books.

Introducing: Master Class In Storytelling

What you will learn:

    Master the art of storytelling
    What is a story
    What is a storyteller
    How to harness your innate storytelling vocation
    What is the value of stories
    What stories do for us
    What are the storyteller's responsibilities
    What you need to do to create great stories

Who is Ken Atchity?

Ken Atchity is a best-selling author, writing coach and L.A. based movie producer whose accomplishments include


        Former professor of comparative literature and teacher of creative writing at Occidental College and UCLA
        Fulbright Professor at the University of Bologna

Work History:

        Produced nearly 30 films in the past 25 years for major studios, television broadcasters, and independent distribution.

        His documentary special for Discovery Channel, based on the New York Times bestseller “The Kennedy Detail” by Jerry Blaine & Lisa McCubbin, was nominated for an Emmy.

        Has worked in nearly every part of the entertainment and publishing industries.

        Nearly two dozen of his clients have been NYT Bestsellers.

He is also:

        An author who has been on the inside of the publishing industry and knows how it works

        An author of over 20 nonfiction books and novels

        An experienced writing coach who has helped literally hundreds of writers to find a market for their work by bringing their craft to the level of their ambition and vision


        He was a book columnist for The Los Angeles Times Book Review

        He is the founder and co-editor of DreamWorks: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Dreams and the Arts

This Master Class In Storytelling shares a lifetime of secrets learned by, and from, the most successful writers and creative industry professionals globally.

Ken Atchity is uniquely qualified, as a best-selling author and writing coach, to help you understand everything you need to know and do to master the power of storytelling.

    Ken Atchity is the author of these six best-selling guides for writers:

Here's Exactly What You're Going To Get With The Master Class In Storytelling:

    Video Training that will change your attitude
    A Discussion Forum Online
    Fast track material so you are not overloaded with material you DON'T need
    No padding, just what AUTHORS NEED to learn, FAST
    A guide to removing the roadblocks to your success as a storyteller
    A program that will set you up for long-term success
    Access to Full Course Online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    You can take this course when you want
    No deadlines for completion
    Additional Support, If You Take That Option
    Please see the list of modules further down the page for even more detail!

Total Retail Value: $78 - for the basic course - BUT YOU WON'T PAY THAT

AND IT'S 100% Risk-FREE!

If MasterClass In Sorytelling doesn't deliver on its promise you WILL receive a full refund, This Is A No Quibble Refund Policy!
Special Pricing When You Order Now

The total value of what you're getting today is $78, for the course. But the good news is you are NOT going to pay that price.

Because I know what it's like to struggle, when you're an outsider in the industry, and because I want to do everything I can to help you succeed, TODAY we're giving you everything listed at a special price of just $39! That's right, that a 50% discount for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

Order Now!

Claim your copy of this exciting and informative NEW Master Class from Ken Atchity!

Total Value: $78 - for the basic course, but you won't pay that price. Your price is $39.

P.S. Never before have you had such a unique opportunity to have this PROVEN expert take you by the hand and help you get in the right mindset to write great stories.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

7 classic books you need to read in 2017

7 classic books you need to read in 2017

Winter is finally on its way out, and it's time to start thinking about spring vacations — and the books to read while traveling to the nearest body of water that isn't frozen over.

The phrase "beach read" might evoke images of Harlequin romances or frothy chick-lit paperbacks rather than the Great American Novel, but it's time to rethink what's on your reading list. Some of literature's greatest stories are entertaining and can be read outside of a classroom.


Sales of George Orwell's book, published in 1949, have risen dramatically since Donald Trump's election, with the book hitting the top of the Amazon best-seller list and a theater adaptation slated to open on Broadway in June. Clearly the dystopian novel about Big Brother and the Thought Police is resonating strongly with the American public.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The first book in Douglas Adams' comedy science-fiction series follows Arthur Dent, the last surviving man on Earth after the planet is demolished, to make a hyperspace bypass. He embarks on a series of adventures and misadventures with a crew of hilarious sidekicks, including the depressed robot Marvin the Paranoid Android.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain's story of the adventurous orphan first published in 1884 offers a scathing satire on societal standards, especially racism. The book has long been the subject of discussion and debate about the language and racial slurs that fill the pages as it narrates the story of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, who travel down the Mississippi River on a raft.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The 1961 story of "The Teacher Who Changed My Life" may seem tired to some, but Miss Jean Brodie, an educator who declares herself to be "in her prime," definitely changes the lives of a few of her students — although not in the ways one might expect. The "Brodie set" receive a real-life education about love, sex and politics.

The House of Mirth

Few books expose the hypocrisy and social pressures that women had to endure throughout history more movingly than Edith Wharton's 1905 story of Lily Bart. Lily is a well-born but poor woman who struggles to move up New York's social ladder, racing against time as she approaches the apparently unmarriageable age of 30. Her heartbreakingly tragic conclusion causes this book to be a guaranteed tear-jerker.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel was censored and scandalous when it was first published, due in part to its sexual content. The story of a young woman whose life is shaped by how men treat her, Tess includes addresses rape, religion and the danger of keeping secrets because of societal shame.

Little Women

For those in the mood for something a bit lighter, Louisa May Alcott's story of four sisters growing up during the Civil War is a heartwarming story of family and friendship with a powerful thread of feminism and emphasis on independence published in 1868.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pitch A Producer With Ken Atchity At The Dublin Writers' Conference June 23 - 25, 2017

Los Angeles based movie producer with 30 major movie and TV productions created, member of the Academy of Motion Pictures (the Oscars), author of Sell Your Story to Hollywood, The Writers Pocket Guide to The Business of Show Business, and Writing Treatments that Sell, book publisher, previously professor of comparative literature, vice President of PEN, LA Times book reviewer.

Ken will listen and critique a 1 to 2 minute public verbal pitch by you about any story, for print, TV, film. His feedback could change your life. Only ten places are available. Apply early – email: after booking your conference place.