Thursday, April 28, 2011

Working from Homeless

I was thinking last night (as I'm wont to do), and an idea for a movie occurred to me. Since I live in a shelter currently, the idea of writing something shelter related shouldn't be too big a stretch, but the idea was that a man who lives in a shelter wants to try some of the 'work from home' ideas, while he's living in the shelter and has no rent to pay (though lots of other bills).
So the working title (and I've been told it's an excellent title by two people so far), is 'Working from Homeless.'  I'm still in the 'thinking about it' phase, thinking about what happens to the hero, or anti-hero in this case. I'm going to make him hard to get along with, no one wants to hire him because of that, at times desperate, and willing to try any work at home job at least once.
A friend suggested a love interest, another homeless person, a mother with children, living in a motel. I have to give that some thought. I may make her an acquaintance at first, someone who works at a Starbucks where he is trying to work on his laptop. But I need him to face a crisis in the end. No one wants him, no one loves him, he's about to end it all by diving off a railroad bridge, and she stops him.
Or maybe not. I just don't know where it's going yet. But I will work on it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'm going to take a side trail today and not write about writing.
In the last 24 hours, I have had a sinus infection take me from a slightly swollen face to a veritable black eye of a puffy cheek. Now I bring this up because on first glance you might think I had gotten in to a fight. I haven't been in a fight since Junior High. And I lost that one!
So here I was this morning, cheek puffy, seeing people look at me funny all morning, and I rode the bus to the library where I 'work' at my writing, when I pass 3 men in suits, having a conversation outside a cafe in the Cameron Village area of Raleigh.
I thought to myself, wow, they must be important. I wonder what they'd think of me.
And then it hit me. Not literally.
How important you are does not really bear on what you do, or how smart you are or how not smart you are. It has to do with perception. If someone perceives you as important and praiseworthy, then you are.
As I passed those 3 gentlemen earlier today, it dawned on my that because of the way they dressed and acted, I thought they must be important. Someone else, looking at me, no suit, no tie, just a black eye, laptop in a bag and a baseball cap on, one might perceive that I was on a lower caste than those gentlemen. They might look down their noses at me.
I thought about that a little, and it occurred to me that I really don't care what most people think of me. I'm not the suit and tie type. I prefer to wear a cap because outdoors my head can get sunburned! Any important decisions I make have an immediate impact on me, and me alone.
And I like it that way. I don't want to be responsible to other people. What I would like, however, is to entertain people with my writing. And if I make a little money on the side, well that's even better.
So let's put that perception to use in the writing world. (Okay, I lied about not writing about writing.)
I want people to perceive that I'm a writer, but, seriously, how does one do that when they are a complete unknown? I'm terrible at self-promotion, and always will be. I've tried to put the books into the hands of friends, teachers, co-workers in an effort to get them to help me promote it, and, frankly, that's been disappointing.
So, what's next? And how much money will it cost me? Because if there's one thing I've found in all this: If you want to promote, you have to pay. There is no longer that 'If you build it, they will come' attitude. I have to pay someone who puts the book on their 'popular' web site and that will draw readers. I have to pay to enter contests and hope I win.
Well, sorry to say this, promoters, but I'm broke as far as an advertising budget goes. So I'm going to continue what I've been doing (which may lead some to question my sanity) and hope that somewhere along the line, someone notices.
One thing I'd like to try is a recorded book reading (after my black eye fades), posted on my Youtube account, and hope it goes viral. I'd also like to make a book trailer, and perhaps someday I will. Something's gotta work, dammit, Jim!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Writing and the long wait

I've been writing off and on since 1996. Sometimes I can't stop myself from writing, and that's a good thing in most cases. The problem is when I'm doing that, I'm usually writing it by hand instead of using the computer. I have a couple of notebooks filled with scripts for episodes from my would-be TV series, and a year after I finished them, I'm just now getting to the point where I'm typing them into a computer.
I blame Warcraft for that. I got stuck into the same loop I always do when things get somewhat comfortable, and play games.
Now that things aren't so comfortable, I'm back to the point where I'm writing again, and trying to get serious about it. Now, however, I have my laptop again, and can comfortably sit in a local library and type away, or check email, or check various web sites that I've found in my journey.
I can't afford Warcraft, so that particular distraction is gone, but sometimes I get so tired of waiting to hear back from agents, or waiting to get a book review, or waiting to hear if my script is going to win a contest.
Unfortunately for writers who are not well known, this is the norm. I'd love to sit at a cafe all day, writing and sipping a cappuccino, but I'm broke, and the best I can do is to sit at the library, yes it's warm and comfortable, but I'm not comfortable, and that is what's driving my writing lately.
I wonder, given my history, if I need to be out of my comfort zone in order to write effectively.
I certainly hope not, because someday I'd like to make at least a tolerable living using this skill that, I feel, is the best skill I have, and more importantly, is the skill I feel most comfortable using.
Ah well, nothing to do but keep typing, keep hoping the story gets noticed. I do not want to be one of those authors appreciated more after he dies than when he was living.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tornado in Raleigh

Saturday, a tornado struck downtown Raleigh. The worst of it hit about half a mile from where I was staying. I consider myself to be very lucky to have survived such a devastating storm, and pledge that I will continue writing the best quality books and scripts I can!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back from the dead

It has been nearly a year since I posted here, and while I have not been idle, I haven't been as productive as I'd like to be.
But for the record, I did enter my Timmons Chronicles script in a contest recently, and am waiting on the results.
Also my books have been released on Kindle and Nook. Here are the links to Kindle:
Theater Boy
The Timmons Incident
Both are $2.99.