MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT
For Every Author Who Wants To Make Their Dreams Come True And Finish Writing Their Book! ...
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Columbine Survivor's Film, "April Showers," Gives Back.
All Cities Media and EMO Films Request Your Support.
Spread the Word.
Since 1990, Eric Shaw's All Cities Network has referred hundreds of millions of dollars in business to its membership base. But what is perhaps even more important is the ongoing charity work that is the cornerstone of All Cities' success: Give, give, give ... and you will receive in return. In that spirit, we ask for your support via the most effective means possible; we ask for you to spread the word. If you would care to utilize your databases to reach as many like-minded friends and associates as possible, all the better. So many are suffering ... and All Cities Network can help.
As recession grips the U.S. economy, one of the few industries that have remained constant is filmed entertainment. While studios and production companies may also be down sizing, the fact remains that consumers are still paying, substantially, for movies, regardless of theatrical, home viewing or otherwise. Enter "April Showers," the upcoming Columbine inspired feature written and directed by Andrew Robinson, a survivor of the tragic Colorado school shootings of nearly ten years ago. "April Showers," which opens theatrically April 2009, ten years to the date of the tragic scenario, is set to redefine to very nature of film distribution. To be released overseas by TriCoast International, the film is being released domestically, in theaters across the country in one week intervals, with 50% of producer and investor proceeds going directly to groups and organizations responsible for making a difference in young peoples' lives within the community that film is playing in. These funds will be donated to schools, school districts, programs within schools, scholarships, law enforcement funds, law enforcement offices, community centers, tolerance and acceptance programs. Exhibitors are currently considering donating their portions as well.
This unique distribution model is the brainchild of writer/director Robinson and producer Jenna Edwards. The team behind "April Showers," majority financed by All Cities Media cofounder Joel Eisenberg and Timothy Owens, collectively EMO Films, recognizes that it is imperative to give back to the community in a fashion that will inhibit further like tragedies. Also in the works is a day-and-date digital release platform, and upcoming DVD release. In all instances, a percentage of the proceeds will continue to be donated to worthwhile causes.
We call on all All Cities Network members and prior guests to spread the word about "April Showers." Regardless of whether you have a child in school, know of someone who does or are concerned about safety in our neighborhoods and school systems, we ask for your support. Please visit www.aprilshowersmovie.com for ongoing information about how you can help further our cause. The more people who are aware of our film, the more aid our institutions will receive.
Co-Founder, All Cities Media
Friday, January 30, 2009
When will we finally emerge from the financial fog of the economic crisis?
As I noted in the introduction to my novel Night of the Furies, the dark voyage of Homer's hero is known as the Nekyia, the 'night sea journey.' The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the Nekyia symbolically as a journey into the unconcious--the source of the creative and instinctual forces of life.
Mythologically, the night sea journey motif usually involves being swallowed by a dragon or sea monster. It is also represented by
imprisonment or crucifixion, dismemberment or abduction, experiences traditionally weathered by sun-gods and heroes: Gilgamesh, Osiris, Christ, Dante, Odysseus, Aeneas. In the language of the mystics it is the dark night of the soul.
All the night sea journey myths derive from the perceived behavior of the sun, which, in Jung's lyrical image, "sails over the sea like an immortal god who every evening is immersed in the maternal waters and is born anew in the morning. ["Symbols of the Mother and of Rebirth,"CW 5, par. 306.] The sun going down, analogous to the loss of energy in a depression, is the necessary prelude to rebirth. Cleansed in the healing waters (the unconscious), the sun (ego-consciousness) lives again. (NYAAP)
I perceive something in the collective soul of man which from time to time secretly needs the catharsis of economic collapse or war, or even both of those grievous things. And I also perceive that, as that secret need grows in the soul, so is it ineluctably met.
...One way or another we get the cathartic catastrophe, the ruthless purge of the shallow motives and inducements we had grown habituated to responding to, and their replacement by certain profounder, more basic incentives: staying alive, fending for those we love, and maybe fighting and even dying for a cause or a country and the half-forgotten principles that define it.
Being forced to face the looming abyss leads to a kind of deepening, a profound reconnection with fundamental truths. Hell may be the very thing we needed all along.
Aeneas and the Sibyl in the Underworld, Jan Breughel, 1598 (click HERE to enlarge)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
continued from previous post
THE STOP WATCH METHOD OF TIME MANAGEMENT
Where does the time go?
The nonproductive Type C: "I don't know where the time goes.”
Once your Mind's Eye takes over: "It doesn't go anywhere; time's in your face all the time! It's knowing what to do with it that counts.
The most familiar macro tool is the to-do list. It's excellent for getting specific small objectives accomplished, but ultimately you'll want to move on because using the to-do list to control your life ends up wasting too much time. Yes, you get the important little things done. But you can't write, “become an internationally recognized screenwriter” on your to-do list. The to-do list doesn't motivate or inspire you because it doesn't deal with goals and dreams, only with objectives. That's why even the shortest to-do list often gets neglected, ignored, postponed, constantly "carried over" from one day to the next. There’s a rebellion going on inside you. Accomplishing the list may satisfy your Accountant, but your Visionary is longing for more and feeling cheated…
As it recognizes the unique power of both his Accountant's and his Visionary's perception of time, our teller's Mind's Eye knows that the yin of Accountant time and the yang of Visionary time are both valid, simultaneous, and equally important in their places and for their purposes. Telling them both that they're correct, and that they can take turns, his Mind¹s Eye negotiates with the Accountant to allow a conservative, cautious amount of time during which the "success dreams" of the Visionary can be explored. Without the Mind¹s Eye's intervention, he was constantly conflicted over his use of time. With his Mind’s Eye’s help and negotiation, he begins to steal time for success, using his Goal Time Work Sheet [described in the book] to carve hours from the twenty-four hour clock and to mine, methodically, the breakthrough energy of the Visionary...
Time to schedule time
No time you spend is more important than the time you spend scheduling your time; and that needn't be more than a tiny fraction of the time available to you. But scheduling your time is doomed to ineffectiveness unless you begin from the reality baseline of knowing what you've been doing with your time, and confronting your own lack of awareness about where your time has been going…
Once your knowledge of your time usage has allowed you to make new goals and objectives regarding the use of time, how in this busy, busy, busy world do you enforce the objectives for yourself? How can you schedule a life that is one, long, endless shrieking, demanding interruption? After all, you can only turn off the phone for so long without losing your illusion of control, and all contact with reality.
How to make '"the clock of life" your clock: the stopwatch
Mercury's contemporary caduceus for taking command of your time is the stopwatch. Here's how you use this magical wand:
You know the clock on the wall will keep ticking away relentlessly until the day has gone by. You even know how it keeps ticking at night--why else would you awaken at 5:59 on your digital bedside clock when you've set the alarm to go off at 6:00? You know the telephone seems wired to that damned clock, life's interruptions seem wired to it, the myriad distractions that flesh is heir to seem wired to it--and you recognize that, as a result, you yourself and your dreams have been wired to the Accountant's clock for way too long. Your world has been defined by that relentless, uncreative clock. You are desperate to realize your Goal Time.
Today you stop the world by purchasing a stopwatch. I suggest buying the simplest one you can find, one that allows you to stop the seconds and restart them, without the other countless modes that will drive you crazy unless you're training race horses. Hang the stopwatch above your computer, your telephone, your work table--above whatever altar serves the god of your career transit dream. Promise yourself that, no matter what happens on that wall clock, you will work on your dream at least one hour before you go to bed tonight.
Or two hours. Try one first, then expand slowly and naturally in the direction of that Goal Time. Keep it as simple as you can and still make it work for you. Using the stopwatch allows you the freedom to write, but also ensures the constant sense of disciplined progress toward the success you’ve mapped out for yourself. Nothing is more satisfyingly inevitable than the achievements that time creates from small, stolen increments. One hour a day is thirty hours a month. Thirty hours a month will inevitably produce results, especially if you've programmed the three parts of your mind effectively to make the best possible use of that one hour. Imagine how quickly a writer marketing his work will move forward, having assigned five hours a week to marketing calls and letters. He realizes that the faster he gets through those No’s, the sooner he gets to the Yes. And it just takes time to get through the "No’s."
If the one-hour-per-day approach doesn't work for your unpredictable schedule, or makes you feel too disciplined, make it a weekly approach. One of my workshop students was having trouble keeping to his contract that he'd put in two writing hours per day. After several give and takes, we came down to the real reason he was having problems: He was leaving his day job in order to be free, and the daily discipline we’d been discussing made him feel enslaved again. I asked him if he'd be comfortable committing to a weekly number of hours, to bringing in his stopwatch to the next session with ten hours on it.
"And I could do them in whatever configuration I choose?"
"Absolutely. The whole idea is to find a way of tricking your mind into allowing you to live by your own clock."
He came in the next week with 10:06 on his stopwatch, and the weeks after with 10:04, 9:56, 10:10. He'd found a way of using the magic wand to give him that necessary illusion of freedom and control combined with the satisfaction of real progress in committing hours to his career transit.
You can get time out on a regular basis by stealing it. Now that you've embraced your career transit and are living the entrepreneurial life, don't forget to give yourself the benefits that your day job employer was forced to give you. Sometimes we are so excited about doing the things we love on a daily basis that we forget to give ourselves a break from them. “I don't need a vacation. My life is a vacation!”
Everyone needs vacations. Most people need them because work is exhausting. The entrepreneur needs them because vacations bring perspective and creative insights that are unavailable under the daily pressures of the career transit. "To do great work," Samuel Butler wrote, a person "must be very idle as well as very industrious." The entrepreneur, as both employer and employed, must schedule his vacations, with alternate dates in mind in case "something comes up" that forces a change. You are accomplishing just as much if not more when you "go away for the whistle" and allow your mind to play.
Buy How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Transforming Your Career on Amazon
Read 5th installment
Read If You’re Going to Invest in Yourself You’ll Have to Steal Time for Your Dreams from the beginning.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Jan. 22 Book signing of book by Dr.. Nicolas Bazan - Una Vida : A Fable Music and the Mind.
Barnes & Noble –3721 Veterans Boulevard, Metairie
Presentation and signing of the book will take place at 7 p.m.
Dr. Bazan's motivation for writing this novel is stated in his own words as follows: " Our work at the LSU Neuroscience Center is going very well. As you know the battle to conquer diseases - such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, macular degeneration ,depression, epilepsy, and so many others - is not a story of continual everyday successes. It is a slow journey through a complicated maze that is often fraught with setbacks and unexpected twists and turns. Experiments do not always yield the results anticipated, and scientists like me and my colleagues often find that we do not have the means available to solve the riddles of the mind and sight we so desperately seek to unravel. But don't think for a moment that a neuroscientist's objectivity means he doesn't have personal thoughts and emotions about the lives that have been affected, and that have been lost by the diseases we study. After years of those thoughts and emotions building up inside of me, I searched for a way to express what our work is really like in a way anyone could relate to. I decided to write a novel that gave me the greater liberty of expressing my own worries, motivations, doubts, aspirations, joys and reflections about the work we do on the always-expanding frontiers of neuroscience. My first novel mirrors many facets of my own personal and professional life, including why I strive to understand and combat the ravaging diseases and disorders that afflict the eyes and the brain".
In Dr. Nicolas Bazan's brilliant first novel, neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by a recurring dream of a banjo player in an elusive cornfield that leads him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer s, Una Vida can only offer tantalizing clues about her past through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that s fading quickly and forever into the recess of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida s true identity, he learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory and himself.
Buy Una Vida on Amazon
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
1) A little promotion, focused on NY media, can help us bring your book to the attention of major publishers. Brainstorm with us about this!
2) All other PR should be saved for the month of your books’ launch and following.
3) Read the chapter on publicizing your book in KJA’s How to Publish Your Novel (Square One Books).
4) Read John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book.
Come up with a marketing Plan!
• Books don’t publicize themselves and, today, publishers rarely put maximum effort into a book’s release until the book starts selling. This Catch-22 means that YOU are your book’s best hope. The sooner you take that approach, the better your chances will be. Even well-known writers have found that putting little effort into marketing will produce virtually zero results—one or two thousand sold.
• Let us review it before you start implementing it and spending money.
• Start a website (or blog)! Create a website solely dedicated to your book. AEI’s webmaster provides that service for our clients at rock-bottom prices. And get your link sponsored on other websites too!
• Write emails! Send an email to friends, family and co-workers about your book, and ask them to pass it along to everyone they know. You’ll be amazed how fast word of mouth spreads!
It’s invaluable to get endorsements for your book–authorities and/or well-known people who will say great things about your book to display on the jacket. There are numerous ways to request endorsements (aka “blurbs”):
• Ask your colleagues! If you are a professional in any given field, it’s always a good idea to ask your colleagues for their own endorsements, or to recommend you to well-known others, especially those who are writers too.
• Does your topic deal with a timely issue? Can you think of anyone in entertainment who may relate to your topic? Try and seek out celebrities (actors, best-selling authors, athletes) to endorse your book (it never hurts to have a famous name on the cover!)
• AEI recommendations! Being a part of the AEI family includes you in a circle of writers and creative people. We have many authors in our pool who can give you endorsements!
• Brainstorm with your editor. Check out your publishers catalog, and suggest writers who might appreciate your book.
• One suggestion. Busy people have good hearts but not enough time. Write the endorsement yourself, and fax or mail it to them, saying, “Would you mind endorsing my book along the lines suggested here?” You’ll be surprised how often they just say yes, and let you use what you wrote as their endorsement.
Hire a Publicist!
It’s never a bad idea to hire your own personal publicist to help spread the word about you and your book. A publicist can help you land radio or TV spots, get you interviewed in newspapers or magazines, and much more.
While all publishing houses have a PR department, and will do all they can to promote your book, it never hurts to have more personalized attention on top of what they can provide. Realistically, your publisher is never focused on your book. Only you and your personal PR team are. Costs for a publicist range, depending on what kind of service you’re looking for. Generally $2500-$5000 per month is the going rate.
AEI has contacts with several publicists we’ve used over the years to great success. If you need a recommendation, contact us. Otherwise, contact the following publicists and tell them you’re an AEI client:
Maryann Ridini, Ridini Entertainment
Rick Frishman, Planned Television Arts
Devon Blaine, The Blaine Group
Continue reading part two
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Hollywood, CA January 24, 2009 – On the heels of the most successful HollyShorts Film Festival to date which honored acclaimed filmmakers David Lynch and Paul Haggis and showcased short films from stars Josh Brolin, Jessica Biel and David Arquette, the organizers of the event announce today the official call for entries for the 5th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF). Recently ranked by Moviemaker Magazine as "one of the top film festivals worth the entry fee," HollyShorts will take place August 6-9, 2009 in Hollywood and feature a marquee opening night world premiere event, screenings, panels and exclusive parties. The announcement was made by festival director and co-founder Daniel Sol.
Submissions can now be completed directly online by visiting www.hollyshorts.com or by submitting on Withoutabox.
All submissions must be 30 minutes or less. Categories include Live Action, Animation, Documentary and Music Video. HollyShorts also has a discounted category for student projects. Deadlines to submit U.S. and International short films for the 2009 HollyShorts Film Festival are:
• February 20, 2009 – Early Submission deadline
• April 17, 2009 – Official deadline
• May 15, 2009 – Late deadline
Completed U.S. and international short films may be submitted and must arrive in office by February 20 for early consideration and a reduced submission fee. Complete information and eligibility requirements are available on HollyShorts.com.
To promote this year's HollyShorts Call For Entries, the organizers are initiating the following initiatives:
Haydenfilms + HollyShorts Case Study: Editorial Banner Campaign, Online contest and Haydenfilms.com streaming technology on HollyShorts.com.
Revamped banner campaign created by Dave Branin for placement on social media and networking web sites
Submission discounts for participants at upcoming HollyShorts monthly screening series at the Echo Park Film Center and Downtown Independent Theatre.
Special discount rate for HollyShorts enthusiasts who would like to subscribe to Moving Pictures Magazine, the independent film publication.
The 4th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival took place August 7-10, 2008 in Hollywood with top honors of Best Short Film going to "Bloom" directed Lance Larson. Larson was awarded $2000 VFX package courtesy of Clifton Post for his next project. The Best Student Short honors went to David Jibladze, for his short film "Beholden." Jibladze took home a 5-day HVX-200, HD Camera rental package courtesy of Martini Crew Booking. Over $25,000 in prizes were awarded.
The submission link and complete information regarding eligibility and entry rules for the 2009 HollyShorts Film Festival are available on the HollyShorts Film Festival website at www.hollyshorts.com. Information is also available through the HollyShorts hotline at 818-760-9897, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship information, please email email@example.com with your query.
HollyShorts is an organization devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panel and forums. The HollyShorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced 30- minutes or less. For more information, please visit www.hollyshorts.com. Filmmaker news available at www.hollyshortsfilmfestival.blogspot.com.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The 2009 New York Book Festival will consider large publisher, self-published and independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children's books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/zines, e-books, poetry, wild card (anything goes!), unpublished stories, science fiction, horror, photography/art, romance and biography/autobiography works.
A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:
1) The story-telling ability of the author.
2) The potential of the work to win wider recognition.
Entries can be in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French or Italian and must be published on or after January 1, 2001. Our grand prize for the 2009 New York Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and a flight to New York for the awards and our day festival on June 5-6, 2009.
TO ENTER: Click on the "ENTER THE COMPETITION" link at www.newyorkbookfestival.com and follow the directions to get an entry form. Forms may also be faxed/e-mailed to you by e-mailing us at NewYorkBookFest@aol.com. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee.
The 2009 New York Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, DIY Convention, Beach Book Festival and New England Book Festival, and is sponsored by the Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, eDivvy, Westside Websites and Shopanista.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Work management doesn't work.
Time and work are, in one essential regard, opposites. Here are the laws of time-work physics:
- Time is finite. We only live so long and, while we're alive, we have only 24 hours in every day.
- Work is infinite. Work, whether good or bad, always generates more work, expanding to fill the time available.
Don't get me wrong. Work is what we're trying to find time for. Writers write. Craftsmen make tables or boats or flower arrangements. Actors and models go for auditions and interviews. Salespeople make sales calls--the more calls they make, the more sales. Shakespeare's observation, that "action is eloquence," is not only creatively productive, it's the best way to stay sane. Even one phone call a day in the service of your career transit, means, if you take two days off each week, 200 calls per year. That's definitely progress. Success comes inevitably on the heels of constant work, as the ancient Greek poet Hesiod pointed out in his almanac: "If you put a little upon a little, soon it will become a lot." Major effort leads to major victory.
My mentor Tom Bergin (Sterling Professor of Romance Languages and Master of Timothy Dwight College at Yale) was the author of fifty-nine books by the time he retired and eighty-three by the time he died. Yet he described himself as a "plodder." He just kept plodding away, in the vein of Hesiod. Tom and I exchanged hundreds of letters from the time I left Yale to the time he died. He taught me the relentless equation between consistent, minor actions and ultimate productivity. One day, by way of complaining about having no time to do any serious work because of all the trivial errands and duties he had to attend to, he sent me a quotation from Emerson: "Things are in the saddle and ride mankind."
Against the accelerating incoming bombardment of the things of contemporary life, Type C work happens only when we steal time to make it happen. Yet schedules, to-do lists, self-revising agendas are constantly being tested and found insufficient. They work for a while, then become ineffective. Without recognizing this reality, through the Mind's Eye's awareness, each time this happens it may send us into a tailspin that moves us further from success. Life delights in creeping in to sabotage our dreams if only to make sure we’re serious about them. One of my clients, after six months of working together to change her habits to become more productive, told me I was the "Ulysses S. Grant of time management." She told me that Grant wired Lincoln: "I plan to hammer it out on this line if it takes all summer"--and that his telegram was read along the way before it was handed to the beleaguered President. The jealous snoops told Lincoln, "You know, we have reports that General Grant drinks a considerable amount of whiskey." "Is that right?" Lincoln replied. "Find out what brand he drinks and send a case of it to each of my Generals." Lincoln recognized that whiskey was Grant's caduceus.
The human nature of time
Archimedes: Give me a lever and I can move the world.
Time is the Type C’s lever.
All you need to make your dreams come true is time. Using time as your most faithful collaborator begins with understanding its interactive characteristics and protean shapes. You'll begin noticing that time behaves differently under different circumstances. When you're concentrating, your awareness of time seems to disappear because you've taken yourself out of the Accountant's time and are dealing with the Visionary whose experience is timeless. When you're away from your writing, you become very conscious of time because your Visionary is clamoring in his cage to be released from the constraints of logical time.
"You've got my full attention": compartments of time, time and energy, rotation, kinds of time, and linkage
Time-effectiveness is a direct function of attention span. When you're concentrating, giving the activity you're involved with your full attention, you produce excellent results. When your attention span wavers and fades, the results diminish. Until you recognize that attention span dictates effectiveness, you're likely to waste a great deal of time.
The key to avoiding this situation is assessing how long your attention span is for each activity you engage in--and then doing your best to engage in that activity in appropriate compartments (allotments of time that you've found to be most productive). Since my particular career is multivalent, covering writing, editing, producing, managing, etc., I pursue what I call a "rotation method” of moving among activities that support my producing, managing, writing, and speaking. I love all these activities but each one has its own high ratio of crazy-making aspects that diminishes automatically when that activity is juxtaposed with the others.
Except during a crisis in one of the four areas, at which point all other activities stand aside until the crisis is resolved, I find it stimulating to spend an hour working on production-related matters, then spending the next hour on calls that manage various client projects in development. I've also learned that it's a waste of time to try to control things that only time can accomplish--such as making a phone call, then waiting next to the phone for a response to it; or staring at the toaster waiting for the toast to pop up. The only time you have anything approaching direct control of anything is when the ball is in your court. During that moment I focus on getting the ball out of my court into someone else's court so that I’ve done what I need to do to make the game continue.
Rotating from one activity to another ensures that the outreach begun in Activity A will be "taking its time" while I'm engaged in Activities B, C, and D. When the phone rings from the A call, I interrupt D to deal with it--and it's generally a pleasant interruption, knowing that one facet of my work is vying with another for my attention.
An hour is probably my average attention span compartment. But the length of the particular compartments (remember that "compartments" are allotments of time given to a particular work activity) changes from time to time as my attention span for that activity evolves. During the original drafting of this book, for example, I spent two hours a day writing, whereas before I began the draft my attention span allowed me to spend only an hour or less a day thinking about the book and gathering my notes for it.
There's no magical formula for determining attention span; it changes as you and your circumstances change. Yet once determined, attention span is the mastering rod between the serpents, the compartment of time where past and future meet in a present that feeds from the first and nourishes the latter.
Obviously attention span is related to your energy level at different times of day, and with regard to different activities. Activities that drain you should not be scheduled one after the other, but should alternate with activities that create energy for you.
Energy and attention span will also be different depending on whether you are at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a particular objective. Your attention span is most in danger of sabotaging you in the middle, where it's easy to confuse your fatigue from the hard work of plodding forward with some sort of psychological upset caused by the process you're engaged in. Usually that situation can be resolved by shortening the allotments of time you're devoting to the present objective; or changing the activities around which you¹re scheduling this objective's compartments.
When a particular compartment is nearing its end, use the last few minutes of it (when the Accountant comes back online to remind you that the time is "almost up") to jot down what you’re going to do the next time you revisit this compartment. This automatically puts your Visionary and Accountant into a percolation mode in which they bat things back and forth "in the back of your mind" while you¹re busy working in the next activity's compartment.
Buy How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Transforming Your Career on Amazon
Read 4th installment
Read If You’re Going to Invest in Yourself You’ll Have to Steal Time for Your Dreams from the beginning.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Hope is not a plan, of course. But plans succeed only when they are fueled by hope. A writer who lives without hope will never see his screenplay produced or his book published.
Wake up every day with hope. Add determination and enthusiasm. Add time, action, and shake it up! Remember that these are all decisions, and you are fully capable of making them.
Hope that your work will be sold, that you will receive good financial reward, that you will receive critical recognition.
Those are the hopes you have little or no control over.
Hope that every day you will find more time for your writing. That every day you will learn something about your craft that you didn’t know before. That every day you will feel satisfied with that day’s work and look forward to tomorrow’s.
Those are the hopes you control. And they are the hopes that lead to true happiness as a writer. By them you can measure your success as Thomas Carlyle defined it: “Steady progress toward a worthy goal.”
May be this year’s work be your best ever!
kja (at) aeionline (dot) com
Visit Serdar Ozkan’s website.
Read The Missing Rose Press Release.
Monday, January 19, 2009
kja (at) aeionline (dot) com
Buy Demonkeeper by Royce Buckingham on Amazon
Sunday, January 18, 2009
2009 Dream Leader News!
Teen motivational expert Jill Esplin, and her self-leadership book and board game for teens – Dream Leader – are sharing the stage in '09 with big brands like Disney and Tiger Woods. And, with the personal connections of a new Dream Leader enthusiast, a plan is in the works to introduce the teen life skills products to both the incoming and outgoing First Ladies, as required curriculum for middle school and high school students.
The Disney connection is part of Discover Your Dreams, a program Jill designed and will lead in February '09 at Walt Disney World for 16-year-olds whose parents are YPO members (Young President's Organization). The youth leadership program features Disney's Youth Education Series programs as well as the Dream Leader book, game and new journal. Jill is also working with YPO and Tiger Woods Learning Center to design and lead another teen program focused on entrepreneurial and non profit leadership.
More Dream Leader news! The NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) is featuring Dream Leader book and game in their educator's catalogue for 14,000 members – the second year in a row. And, media resource company ParentClick.com's Founder and President Rachael Ross Steidl, has requested to review Dream Leader products for her national parent audience. ParentClick.com organizes and advocates for the best youth resources for parents locally in 24 U.S. cities.
Posted by Sue Baechler
(Dream Leader game co owner)
January 16, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Google Blogs Alert for: Goblins! An Underearth Adventure
Ms. Yingling Reads: Happy New Year and Welcome Back !
By Ms. Yingling I refuse to burp the alphabet, mainly because I tried and failed. Yes, that's Darth Vader, saying "The force is strong with this one." The boook with which I subdue him is Royce Buckingham's Goblins! An Underearth Adventure. ...
Ms. Yingling Reads - http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/
[PDF] FLYP Forward E-Newsletter 2008
Goblins! An UnderEarth Adventure. by Royce Buckingham (September 2008) Tweens. ISBN: 0399250026. Reviewed by Paula McCahon, Librarian II, ...
Buy Goblins!: An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham on Amazon
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Come and play with me at Liberation Yoga Sunday Jan 25th, for a special fund-raising class for the non-profit YOGA GIVES BACK, an organization that I am thrilled to be working with that seeks to give back to India, the land who gave us the limitless gift of Yoga. We'll start with a brief talk from YGB founder and popular local Ashtanga Yoga and Sanskrit teacher Joel Bender to set the intention and shed some light on Yoga Gives Back. Then I'll guide us through a strong, intentional flow yoga class for about 80 minutes. After a long, scrumptious savasana, we'll wrap things up with a raffle of various donated prizes from local merchants.
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Sunday, January 25th 2-4pm
Liberation Yoga (one of my favorite yoga studios in LA): 124 South La Brea, between 1st and 2nd.
Register at firstname.lastname@example.org
$30/25 if you register by January 20th
p.s. Of course, if you can't make this event, you can make a donation to Yoga Gives Back anytime!
p.p.s. Stay tuned for future events from YBG with some of your other favorite yoga teachers...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What is time?
Unlike oxygen, an element which is objectively, scientifically definable, and more or less beyond our control, time is man-made, relative to perception and subject to choice. The Type C Personality (C for Creative) learns to redefine time subjectively, in order to become successful by his own standards. Objective time, dictated by Greenwich Mean Time with an occasional correction for NASA, leads only to the conformity of repetition. Subjective time alone allows us to distinguish ourselves and to achieve our dreams of success.
Logos vs Mythos
According to the classical Greeks, the two primary ways of perceiving the world were known to them as logos (for the Accountant¹s logic) and mythos (for the Visionary¹s simultaneity). The Visionary’s belief in eternity is what makes the Type C’s life change from barely bearable to ever enthusiastic. “To himself,”³ Samuel Butler wrote, everyone is immortal. He may know he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead. The Visionary¹s eternity is the experience of mythic time that occurs when you “lose yourself” in the pursuit of your dream. It’s Br’er Rabbit’s ‘”briar patch” speech: “Throw me anywhere, but please don¹t throw me in the briar patch!” The briar patch, of course, is Rabbit’s favorite place, his home—the Writer’s work!
Sometimes you¹ll meet an old schoolmate after years and have the experience that “t seems just like yesterday” that you were having this exact same argument, or laughing for the same reason known only to the two of you. A moment passes, as the Accountant wrests control from the Visionary: “But, on the other hand, it seems every bit like the twenty years it’s actually been.” Has it been twenty years, or was it just yesterday? William Faulkner wrote: “There is no such thing as was; if was existed there would be no grief or sorrow.” To the Visionary, time exists always in the present. He feels timeless when he’s in his own Type C time—writing!
To the Accountant, who’s kept track of the years--and also the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds--precisely, it¹s been exactly twenty years, and he can prove it by reciting all the things that have happened to both of you in the interim. The Accountant clocks time with digital precision, obsessive call-ins to the phone company¹s correct time service. The Accountant¹s time is what keeps society sane, if you call today’s society sane.
But when the Accountant¹s insistence dominates, you are denied making your dreams come true. The Accountant, nervous about anything intangible or unseen, doesn¹t believe in dreams; or, at best, assumes the worst about them: “They¹re only dreams.” Human beings can’t fly.
To the Visionary, whose relationship with that same friend is/was intense, it’s just yesterday. The Visionary clocks time only by reference to intensity. Lovers live from embrace to embrace, the time that’s passed between them not counting. Have you ever felt like life would pass you by when you¹re stuck in an endless left-turn lane during rush hour? How long does a second last if you’re perched at the parachute door of a plane at 15,000 feet about to make your first jump? How long is forty seconds during a 6.6 earthquake? Or at the edge of a cliff, about to rappel for the first time? A friend of mine described an encounter with a prospective client, “I spent an eternity with her for an hour and a half yesterday.”
The Visionary brings you mythic time when you engage in your career transit with all your heart, mind, and soul; when you are occupied in doing something that "takes you out of time," or "takes you out of yourself." You're ecstatic--which, from its Greek origins, literally means "standing outside" yourself. "I don't know where the time went," is what you say when you've just passed fourteen hours creating the whole magical kingdom of Tumbukti and its graphics--and your spouse, sent by the worried Accountant to tell you you've missed an important dinner party, is banging on the door because you've taken the phone off the hook. Like Alice's White Rabbit, the Accountant would always have you believe that you're late for a very important date. And the Accountant doesn't like it one bit when your Mind's Eye stops to question how important that date may be; or, whether you made the date in the first place or whether it was made for you. Type Cs insist on making their own dates because their Mind’s Eyes have learned how to insure that mythic time gets preference over logical time.
You've had this experience: You've told yourself you're just going to steal "two hours" to work on your dream. You go into the briar patch. One hour and fifty-five minutes have gone by, during which you've been “lost”--fully engrossed in your writing, without a thought for the outside world that operates on the Greenwich clock. The hours have passed "like a minute" (the Visionary's way of talking makes the Accountant crazy). Then, you look up at the clock to discover that only five minutes remain of your bargained for two hours. How did you know to look up at the five-minute mark? Because your Accountant never sleeps, even when he's been taken off duty. If you decide to remain in the mythic time of your dream work beyond the five minutes remaining--that is, beyond the exactly two hours you set aside--the Visionary has won this particular encounter. The Accountant has lost. If you decide to quit "on time," you may think the Accountant has won, and the Visionary lost.
What's wrong with this win-lose scenario is that it's exhausting, and impossible to maintain in the long run. Most people, faced with this constant natural strife between the two aspects of their minds, have allowed the Accountant to take over entirely as the only peaceful alternative. They've chosen the Accountant's conservative, safe way of behaving because the daily battle is too costly in energy and emotion. If the Visionary "wins" the five-minute battle, for example, and you continue working on your new invention for another four hours instead of the two you'd set aside, guess how hard it's going to be for the Accountant to agree to the next two hours you want to steal. The Accountant will use every instrument in the arsenal of procrastination to postpone the trip to the workshop.
How to avoid losing time
Francesco Petrarch: It is appointed for us to lose the present in the expectation of the future.
Petrarch, the first "Renaissance man," was aware that we spend a large majority of our time "somewhere else" than in the present moment. Planning for the future, worrying about the past--so much so that by the time you reach middle age the two horses, Past and Future, are engaged in a life-and-death race along your internal timeline. Competing for your vitality, stealing your present. The time you spend on past responsibilities, past regrets, past relationships, eats into the time available for growth and progress toward your future goals.
If we don't recognize "what's going on here," as Accountant time and Visionary time battle in our perceptions, we can get very confused. When we get confused, the Accountant can take control of our lives. For most people, the Accountant has been in full control. Consequently, they are frustrated, bored, caught in a rut. With the help of Mercury's powerful caduceus--whose two snakes represent the taming of past and future around the strength of present awareness--the entrepreneur's now-open Mind's Eye can transform the bloody battlefield into the altar of your hopes and dreams. Awakening his Mind's Eye, Jack London said:
“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
This anti-Accountant declaration is made by your Mind’s Eye--which knows that only by marrying the Accountant's logic with the Visionary's myth will the present be captured for effective dream work, in lieu of the Visionary wasting the present in daydreaming, or the Accountant in obsessing about the past and the future. When your Mind's Eye takes charge of these constant time wars, productivity combines with peace of mind. The photographer Ansel Adams said, "I'm amazed at how many people have emotional difficulties. I have none. If you keep busy, you have no time for them."
Buy How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Transforming Your Career on Amazon
Read 3rd installment
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It
What Is the Protocol for Writers
Emailing Their Managers & Agents?
Email is the major time-devouring dragon of our times. We all know its advantages, but its disadvantages—inundation, infinity, etc.—so often outweigh the advantages that many execs end up discontinuing personal responses in favor of handing all email off to assistants. If we spent all our time answering email, there’d be no time left to develop or market your projects—which is our priority. If you don’t want to end up completely out of touch with your rep, consider the following protocol:
1) Don’t send your agent or literary representation more than one email every couple of weeks. If you have that many needs, you will end up on his “life is too short list” before you know it.
2) Consider getting your questions answered another way (from a third party, by calling or emailing the rep’s assistant, from a book, from the Internet, etc.).
3) Keep your emails short—no longer than three lines max. The people we email daily (buyers, financers, publishers, producers, studios, agents, lawyers) normally communicate in tiny bytes—2 or 3 words!
4) Don’t put more than one subject in an email. This causes “time block.” Can’t answer the entire email until we know the answer to each question so it goes into the “later” file immediately.
5) Don’t email unnecessary follow-ups, like “thanks.” They just add to the burden.
Monday, January 12, 2009
A number of readers have asked where I came up with the name and the history of the fictional island in Night of the Furies. Like the story itself, the island is a mix of mythology and history.
The name of the island was borrowed from Homer. When the hero of the Odyssey is first introduced, he’s been imprisoned for seven years on an island called Ogygia, detained there by his lover, the nymph Calypso, who desires to make him her husband. Through the intervention of the gods, Odysseus is set free and eventually makes his way home to Ithaca.
In the narrative structure of the Odyssey, then, Ogygia forms a kind of fulcrum, a middle point, halfway between his adventures after setting sail from Troy and the final voyage that delivers him home. For this reason—and the obvious parallels of erotic possession—I thought it was the perfect island name for the middle novel of my 'Night-Sea Trilogy.'
The actual history of Ogygia in Furies was based on the tragic history of Chios, a large Greek island off the coast of Turkey.
Chios was conquered by the Persians, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Venetians, and for centuries was ruled by the Ottoman Turks. In 1822, during the Greek War of Independence, the Sultan decided to make an example of the island. 82,000 Greek islanders were hanged, butchered, starved or tortured to death. 50,000 Greeks were enslaved and another 23,000 were exiled. Fewer than 2,000 Greek islanders survived.
The Chios massacre outraged Europeans and inspired several paintings by the French artist Eugène Delacroix, including Le Massacre de ScioHERE to enlarge):
in 1824 (click
The church and the monastery I described in Furies were based on the Néa Moní monastery on Chios. It’s actually true that, after sacking the place, the Turks slaughtered most of its 600 monks and set the 800-year-old monastery on fire.
Beyond that, there’s one more connection between the mythical Ogygia and the historical Chios: Chios is believed to be the birthplace of Homer.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Follow your dream, and, by definition, you can't fail. Success lies in the following. If you have a dream, you have the responsibility to yourself and to the source of dreams to make it come true. That means finding time to "do what you have to do"--the very opposite of "marking time." Our minds experience life on a timeline of their own invention, a continuum that stretches from our first moment of consciousness to our last. "The end of the world," said Bernard Malamud, “will occur when I die. After that, it's everyone for himself.”
And finding time in our accelerated world where we hear of "flextime," "time-elasticity," the sweet spot in time," virtual time,” “time shifting,” and "time slowing down” is more confusing than ever before. A little over a century ago, if you missed a stagecoach you thought nothing of waiting a day or two for the next one to come along. Today you feel frustrated if you miss one section of a revolving door! So many of today's "time-saving devices" prove to be frauds---requiring more time to select, install, maintain, and update than it used to take without them. It's hard to believe that a few short years ago we had not yet become addicted to FAX machines, microwaves, VCRs, earphones, cell phones, answering machines, voicemail--and more recently the time-killer of them all, email! All these inventions, as helpful as they can be to the Accountant's output level, suck up our time in ways that, unless they are examined and acknowledged, become quite destructive to the realization of the writer’s dream.
Things have gotten so bad that we can't really manage time any more. We’re now forced to steal it.
Doing the wrong things, no matter how fast, or how well, you do them, or how many of them you do, will not advance your dream. Don't confuse efforts with results.
Those who break out of busy work and into the success they’ve dreamed of have learned to redefine time. If you recognize that time is merely a concept, a social or intellectual construct, you can make the clock of life your clock; then determine what you do with it.
Buy How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Transforming Your Career on Amazon
Read 2nd installment
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Beach Book Festival will consider self-published or independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, teenage, how-to, science fiction, romance, comics, poetry, spiritual, compilations/anthologies, history, business and health-oriented books published on or after Jan. 1, 2001.
Our grand prize for the 2009 Beach Book Festival is $1500 cash, a flight to Atlantic City for our casino-based awards program and a publicity campaign touting competition winners.
Submitted works will be judged for general excellence, i.e., the potential of the work to be an engaging beach read this summer season.
ENTRIES: Please classify your book and enter it in the following categories.Multiple entries must be accompanied by a separate fee for each book.
1) General Non-fiction
2) General Fiction
3) Children's books
6) Comics/graphic novels
15) Science Fiction
In addition to honoring the top selections in the above categories, The Beach Book Festival will award the following chosen from submissions:
1) Beach Book Author of the Year-Honors the outstanding book of the competition.
2) Beach Book Designer of the Year --- Honors outstanding and innovative design.
3) Beach Book Publisher of the Year-Honors the top publisher based on materials displaying excellence in marketing and promotional materials, as determined by our judges.
FESTIVAL RULES: Beach Book Festival submissions cannot be returned. Each entry must contain the official entry form, including your e-mail address and contact telephone number. All shipping and handling costs must be borne by entrants.
NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package via e-mail and will announce the winning entries on our web site. Because of the anticipated high volume of entries, we can only respond to e-mail inquiries.
Deadline submissions in each category must be postmarked by the close of business on April 25, 2009. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail. Please note that judges read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions at our meetings.
TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at www.beachbookfestival.com or may be faxed/e-mailed to you. Please contact our office for fax requests. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee of $50 in the form of a check, money order or PayPal online payment in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee.
Entry fee checks should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC. We're sorry, but entries must be mailed and cannot be delivered in person or by messenger services to the JM Northern Media offices.
Entry packages MUST include:
1) One copy of the book;
2) Your official entry form or a copy;
3) The entry fee or receipt for online payment;
4) Any marketing materials you wish to send. Marketing is used as a tie-breaking consideration by our judges.
Entries should be mailed to:
JM Northern Media LLC
attn: Beach Book Festival
7095 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028-0893
AWARDS: The Beach Book Festival selection committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project.
The 2009 Beach Book Festival is part of the JM Northern Media family of festivals, which includes the New York Book Festival, Hollywood Book Festival, London Book Festival and DIY Convention. The 2009 Beach Book Festival is sponsored by The Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony; Westside Websites com; Shopanista; eDivvy and The DIY Reporter.com.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
William Diehl’s New York Times bestselling novel, Hooligans, has been optioned from Virginia Gunn Diehl and the Diehl Estate by Informant Media for five figures against six, according to Atchity Entertainment International (AEI) President Chi-Li Wong. AEI manages the William Diehl Estate.
Both the novel and the script that Diehl himself wrote the first draft of tell the story of a band of rogue cops who reassemble in a southern coastal town to settle an old score—and to revive flames long dormant. The story offers a gritty, realistic look at how the introduction of the gaming industry affects the mid-sized city, seen through the eyes of a law enforcement agent who remembers the place untouched.
Informant Media’s Judy Cairo and Michael A. Simpson will produce with AEI’s Ken Atchity and Chi-Li Wong, once the script has been revised for production by Simpson, Diehl’s long-time screenwriting partner. Informant Media just completed “Crazy Heart” (Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Maggie Gylenhaal) in association with Butcher’s Run Films and MTV Films.
AEI has also optioned Diehl’s 27 to Scott Abramovich's Breaking Balls Film, with the script now completed by Abramovich. AEI is also producing Diehl's Eureka with Neil Canton and Danny Davids.
Diehl is the author of nine best-selling novels: SHARKY'S MACHINE (1978), CHAMELEON (1981), HOOLIGANS (1985), THAI HORSE (1988, winner of the 1988 American Mystery Award as best spy thriller), THE HUNT, formerly titled 27 (1990), PRIMAL FEAR (1993), SHOW OF EVIL (1995) and REIGN IN HELL (1997) and EUREKA (2001). His novels have been published in 21 countries. Diehl was completing his tenth novel SEVEN WAYS TO DIE, as yet unpublished, at the time of his death in November 2006.
Two of his novels, SHARKY'S MACHINE and PRIMAL FEAR, became hit movies. A remake of SHARKY'S MACHINE is currently being developed by Warner Bros Pictures with Phil Janou attached to direct and Mark Wahlberg as executive producer.
Monday, January 5, 2009
The Age of the CymaScope
From the beginning of recorded history and philosophy, men have believed that the power of creation is directly linked to the power of sound, the power of the Word, the power of Om.
The CymaScope, invented by John Reid, is the only instrument of its kind in the world that can make sound visible. Before the invention of the telescope we knew very little about the Universe. Before the age of the microscope we had not even guessed at the existence of a microscopic world. We are now entering the age of the CymaScope, in which the once invisible realm of sound has been made visible.
Our visual acuity is such that we understand far more about the world and the Universe by our sight than by our other senses. The CymaScope makes visible the sound and vibrations that underpin all of creation, allowing us to study Nature in ways previously unimagined.
One application that is currently being explored for this wonderful new tool concerns our desire to open a dialogue with dolphins. Science fiction? Wait for John’s Grammar of Dolphin!