Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Confession

I have a terrible confession. I went to see the movie Max Payne. Funny in a bad/good way. A sniper with a rifle standing above and about 20 feet behind Max takes a shot at him. Ten feet to his left. Another shot, ten feet to his right. Max does a back flip and takes out the sniper with a shotgun. In another scene, people chasing Max from about 40 feet back shoot at him repeatedly, missing him by about 20 feet to the left and right. Must have a 20 foot rule; every 20 feet, miss by another ten feet. Good thing Max wasn't a hundred yards ahead, they would have been missing him by a couple of miles.

There was something in the movie that sparked a reverie, shadows. I once had a girlfriend that shadows would come over. I used to travel to her place and seal her room at night with light and write on her pillow and the pillows of her kids that they were loved and protected. Once I was sitting in bed with her, meditating while she slept, and a bright white light flashed and filled the room, as bright as a flash on a camera. A shadow about the size of a person went up the wall in front of the bed and out the ceiling.

One funny story about all this, after we'd broken up I was sitting at home in bed meditating when I felt pulled out to her place. She later asked me if I'd 'been there' at that particular time. When I admitted something pulled me out there, she told me she'd had a new beau spending the night in another room for the first time. A white cloud came rumbling down the hall and over the bed he was preparing to sleep in, and a voice demanded, "Who are you?"

He's lucky I didn't zap his manhood with a lightning bolt.

Anyway, every time I see shadows in a film (Constantine is another) it creeps me out. Damn things.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Writers Welcome to Orycon

Patty Wells speaks about the various programs offered to writers by Orycon, a science fiction/fantasy convention held in Portland, Oregon. For more information about Orycon, visit

I shot this in the
lobby area for the convention using an inexpensive wireless mic. It picked up more
background sound that I would have liked, but live and learn. This is why I like doing this kind of piece someplace I can control the environment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mike Thaler, Tales from the Back Pew

Mike Thaler, author of The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, reads from his new series, Tales from the Back Pew.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mike Shepherd Speaks about his Kris Longknife Novels

Mike Shepherd speaks about his Kris Longknife novels at Orycon 30, a science fiction convention held in Portland, Oregon. I shot several authors, including David D Levine, Sheila Simonson, and Mary Rosenblum. So far I've just edited two. I didn't take a tri-pod, since I didn't have a 'place' to shoot these. I discovered that in a hallway, it's best to shoot the author sitting at an angle to the wall behind them to give a sense of depth. In hindsight, I could have shot some hallway chats with people to edit together.

Mike was a good subject. He has a nice strong voice and he's done his share of public speaking.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Appaloosa Past

I just saw the movie Appaloosa. In the film, a woman has sex with every dominant male she comes across. I was in a relationship many years ago that had that dyanmic. At first, not knowing what I was dealing with, it seemed fine since I was the alpha male. My girlfriend was going through a divorce from a gun collector/lock smith. He didn't like her going to school so he rigged her briefcase with a blackpowder charge. When she opened it, there was a flash and a bang. He just wanted her to know what could happen if she really crossed him, like asking for alimony in a divorce.

Didn't do much for her nervous system. That and his rigging firecrackers to drawers (and doors) so when she opened something around the house, bang!

During that time, I wondered if I'd open a car door, see a bright flash, and watch my hand go sailing over my shoulder.

It was odd at the time that because I'm tall and big and quiet around people I don't know, so my girlfriend's tormentors all assumed I was plotting to do something to them. So they all took a step back when I was around. That probably did help to keep something unpleasant from happening.

Around then I became an editor for someone who'd just sold a screenplay to Columbia. A male writer. They had a brief affair, which destroyed that working relationship. Our relationship survived, but the same problem eventually killed it.

To me a relationship is a sanctuary, a place I can be with someone and talk about my day, my life, just be myself, share myself and be open and intimate with my sweetheart. It's not a circus, with me as the guy who follows the elephants shoveling up crap.

Ah, well, it was something to be young and in lust. That woman had me on fire.


A fifth edition of my writing workbook, A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling, is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Halloween at Collins View

The International Club holds its annual Halloween bash where I live. I performed in a skit as a werewolf in the song about Wolfman Jack. The skit went well, although I missed a cue because I couldn't see much wearing a mask. I realized how much I depend on visual information to do a skit versus listening to audio cues from the lyrics.

A group of dancers did a wonderful performance about politics. One dancer wore a George Bush mask, another Bill Clinton, another Barack Obama, another John McCain; another dancer was made up/dressed like Sarah Palin. Watching Bill Clinton close in on her for some hanky-panky was hilarious.

Bruce Fraser did a song about George Bush, Rush Limbough, and Hurricane Katrina.

A good time seemed to be had by all. Since the party happened where I live, I could go to my room when I felt like it. Crowds and noise aren't my favorite things in life.

Another Trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel

I spent three nights at this hotel on the Oregon Coast. The rooms are made up for various authors. I was in the Hemingway room.

I finished a draft of a play. I went wanting to finish a second act. Because I had time to sit and think about the play without interruption, I realized the reason I couldn't finish the second act was because I didn't have one. The play became a more tightly-focused one act of 65 pages.

During breaks, I wrote four one minute plays. There are a few places that do one minute play festivals, but they are done for the year. It was an interesting excercise, two characters, a situation, some humor, a twist, done.