Tuesday, May 31, 2011

*Sniff* Nobody loves me! *Sniff*

Today I found out the results of the storyboardtv.com pilot contest. I was not one of the top ten. Believe it or not, I prepared myself for this outcome, though I thought I stood a reasonable chance.
But that is life for a writer. Rejection is part of the game. It will; not stop me from writing, or pursuing my goals, which is to get the pilot on the air! Sometime in the near future I plan to send an email to the people at storyboardtv and rub their noses in it.
On the bright side, I have finished the rough drafts of episodes 1-10, working diligently on number 11. The plot is shifting, things are happening out of order from the book, but it's very similar.
I plan to start working diligently for textbroker.com, getting some money in so I can fulfill my *evil* plan of making more money. What a vicious cycle it is!
Hope your holiday was happy. I'll just carry on *sniff* writing. (j/k)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Plan Forms, Muhahahaha

The title is a bit misleading. My scripts aren't what I'm writing about, but my writing is.
Confused yet? Good.
The point is, I need to find something that will bring in money. I'd like it to be writing. Something that will buy me some time and some cash until I find out how well I did on the storyboardtv.com contest.
So with that in mind, I intend to use textbroker.com to generate sufficient income to keep my case worker off my back and save some money.
Textbroker.com is a site where you select the project you want to work on. The project is usually 3-400 words, more than likely ad copy for someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of money hiring a real ad writer. For your 3-400 words, you get (usually) $3-4. Not much, is it. Sometimes you get more, but not very often.
So for me to make this work, and to generate income high enough to at least buy some time, I'm going to have to write (I figure) 2 articles an hour.
Now the beauty of this, is I can write at any time. Except you need internet access to be able to do that, and the shelter has no wifi.
So I intend to get Cricket broadband, and pay $40/month for the basic service. It will be a tax write off, and I'll need it, because this is contract work. I can also write off my computer. The hard part will be driving off the people in the shelter who want to 'borrow' my internet.
NO! I'm practicing saying that even now. I don't mean to be rude, but I'M WORKING HERE!
Or I will be, once I get a little cash together for the modem and the service. I'm really looking forward to it!
That's all for now. I will report on the profitability of this at a later date.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Timmons Chronicles: Episode 8 - Finished! With A Twist!

Episode 8 of 'The Timmons Chronicles' finished this weekend. I included the monumental event, but it was at the end of Act III. I was working so hard to find a way to save the character in danger, and I did. And I did it in a believable way, I think. Of course, the main characters have no idea that particular character has been saved, but the surprise will have to wait. Many more surprises lay in wait for them. Unfortunately another minor character could not be saved.
I'm very happy with my writing of that episode. I took an event that was virtually a given in the first book of my series and I've turned it around. More to come!!!
I so hope this makes it to TV, or at least to video. I'd love to see the scene play out!
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Timmons Chronicles: Episode 8 - On a different track

I've been enjoying myself the last few days, with writing the last 3 episodes of 'The Timmons Chronicles.' As I have stated before, I'm using a different tact than in the original novel. The results will be more or less the same. I'm giving my lead character more room to try to save the day, as a monumental moment of the series approaches. He has more power, more insight, and best of all, he's figuring out everything on his own, using clues and a bit of logic to see the evil that has befallen them.
In Episode 8, the foreshadowing comes to an end, and the event may or may not take place at the end. I still haven't made up my mind. Our hero will do his level best to prevent it, though, if he only knew what was going to happen. But he can only guess and take precautions.
I'm really looking forward to see how this ends up on the small screen. I hope you are too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Writing Real Work?

I've been told by my case manager that I need to find a job. I've been tempted to tell him i have a job: a writer!
I know he'll roll his eyes at me and ask how much it pays.
Most of the people in the shelter who don't have a job just hang around various places, doing nothing. And the person running the shelter says things are going to change.
That got me wondering. Can I truly claim that I'm more productive than those who sit around doing nothing, just because I write blogs, and sit in the cafeteria at night typing away at scripts? Is writing a profession or a hobby? Some might say that depends on whether you get paid or not. I suppose, when you've got no other source of income, that matters.
I am going to try to convince my case manager that what I do, night after night, is better than doing nothing at all, which is what most men in the shelter are doing. And, of course, I am still looking for work during the day, though until I get my ID and a new phone, the number of jobs I apply for will be limited.
So what does the rest of the world think? Does the potential income and definite physical labor of writing beat out sitting around doing nothing? I am worthy to stay in the shelter over the rest of the deadbeats?
You decide!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wonderful Weekend - Sorta

The weather was wet on Saturday, but for the most part I was dry, either in the library or in the shelter. Saturday night was relatively quiet, though much to my surprise, I found them showing the Baseball game on Fox on the community TV. I love baseball and can't get enough of it, but it's sorely lacking in the Raleigh area. there is no baseball team in Raleigh, per se. There's a famous team in Durham,  but really, it's too long a trip and I have no money to spare. There's another minor league team not far, but still far enough to make it impossible for me to watch. I suppose I could watch NC State play baseball. But I'm not that desperate.
But I like to watch on TV, and usually in the shelter, they're showing basketball or racing on Saturday. I can tolerate racing, but I can't stand basketball. So I was thrilled to watch the game Saturday night.
Then I went to bed. Sunday morning, around 3am, I woke to pains in my side. I've already had my appendix out, and this hurt pretty bad. At first I was thinking liver problems. I felt chills and feverish, and then I felt the kind of aches and pains associated with the flu.
Great, thanks guys for giving me the flu.
Later that morning around 5am, I felt the need to throw up. Joy! Except I had an empty stomach, so nothing but dry heaves. Fun!
Strange part was after that I started to feel somewhat better. I got about half an hour's sleep before the lights came on, and the I felt okay enough to eat breakfast. I managed to hold that down, went back to bed.
Later I got up, did laundry, and basically spent the entire afternoon in bed.
By the time dinner rolled around, I felt okay, still an occasional twinge.
So whatever it was, the dry heaves got rid of it, or moved it, or something. I'm feeling okay now.
For my second topic, the shelter strips the wax off the floors and rewaxes them, a time consuming process,  twice a year. Now is the time. They warned us Friday that we'd be forced to leave the center early, 7am instead of 8am. They turned the lights on in the dorm today at 5am, half an hour early, but they served breakfast at the usual time, something that irks me. Why wake me up early but not serve breakfast early? But it's nothing I have control over.
That process will continue through Friday. Yay. I think.
My writing continued, with work on episode 7 of 'The Timmons Chronicles' continuing. For those that have read the book, we're up to the point where a certain chemist bites the big one. Not the first death of the series, mind you, but the first one directly involving the protagonist. And, sadly, not the last.
Writing will continue.
I have, however, to concentrate on finding any kind of job. My case worker made that crystal clear. It's tough to do, however, when you have no phone, except for the one to the shelter. I think I've made the point before but if you're an HR person trying to contact me and you get 'South Wilmington Street Center' when you dial the number I provide, you might think twice about hiring me. Maybe. At any rate, I have to go through the motions at the very least, so today I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon filling out a Walmart application. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Few Random Rants/Raves

Okay, I have a lot going on in my mind and elsewhere now.
First, welcome back Blogger! It was down for a good part of the day.
Second, there's a job magazine that the shelter carries, JobFinder, that I have some serious problems with. A sample of the last issue: 3 or 4 ads for Medical Testing. One ad for donating plasma. Several ads for educational opportunities. Where were the job listings? Oh yeah, there were none. Guess they should change the name to 'Find a Job? Ha! No! Wanna Donate Plasma?'
Third, I went to DMV yesterday and got my ID replaced. Next, once I get the ID, is to get the Social Security card replaced.
Fourth, the North Carolina Employment and Exchange Commission decided to deny my unemployment claim. Not entirely unexpected, but given the questions they asked when they called me, I rather hoped they'd see things my way. An appeal is forthcoming.
Hopefully I will get my debit card replaced in the next couple of days. Not much left in the account, but it will get me a 5-day bus pass and a soda. MMMMM Soda.
Still waiting for the tax refund. it may be the longest two weeks of my life!
That is all. Go on about your normal lives.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Change to the Plot!

I worked more on the scripts for my proposed television series, The Timmons Chronicles. The series is based on my novels, 'Theater Boy,' and 'The Timmons Incident.'
The first episode was not something that was included in the book, though parts of it were hinted at. The second through 5th episodes went pretty much the way the book did.
However, for the sixth episode, I went off on a tangent, even the main character hinted that he may become unpredictable. That will last for an episode or two, then one of the defining moments of the series will happen, and the plot will return to what happens in the book, more or less.
I did this because I wanted to give my main character more power and be less dependent on his 'family.'
I'm not sure where I'm going to take it yet. I've reached the end of what I had written out last year, and it's all new. it ought to be fun, though.
I found a penny in the shelter Sunday, and decided my luck needed to change, so I picked it up. My luck was fine for all of Sunday. A friend paid me back $2 he had borrowed. We'll see if it holds up
I am STILL waiting for my state tax refund, North Carolina!!!!! I can't express how much I need this money!
That is all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

End of a Bad Week

Well, the whole week wasn't bad, but the last 2 days of it were devastating.
First, Thursday I had put my phone on a table just inside the shelter, while I got the usual search. I apparently forgot to pick it up, and when  remembered about 1 minute later it was gone. Nobody saw anything, which really is a shame.
Anyway, no phone and no cash at the moment tog et a new one. Still waiting on the state tax refund (45 days my ass.)
The second event, much more devastating than the first was the loss of my wallet. I had taken my bus pass out to board the bus, and thought I had put the wallet back in my pocket. When I got off one bus to get on another, I found my wallet gone, about 30 seconds had passed. I went right back to the bus I had just got off of and sure enough, the wallet was gone. the bus driver said someone else had claimed it.
Now, I realize that both these incidents were entirely my fault, but the fact that no one in charge even offered to help me get back my belongings really ticks me off. the thief in the shelter was still in the shelter and the security guard (Wake County Sheriff) did not even bother to help me look. The bus driver only said it was an older guy and did nothing else.
I sometimes wonder if anyone really cares anymore. Let's all go to hell in a hand basket. And you bet this will go into my script! The whole point of the script and through out the script it will be reiterated is: There has to be a better way. We need to care as a society about our homeless, about our jobless, and about each other period.
I can only hope the state tax refund comes soon, and even then I'm going to have to replace my ID before I can cash it. My frustration is building.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suggestions for Jobs

Since posting my resume, I've received several suggestions on what kind of job I should apply for.
I know what my background suggests. I know that I do not have any legitimate writing experience save my books, my blogs and my screenplays.
I know that my background suggests I stay in tech support. I'm sick to death of phone work. I may be willing to take tech support work if I can work using strictly email or even IM. Sadly, those jobs are few and far between, and are usually outsourced because you can't hear an accent over email or over IM!
So I'm back to what I want to do, which is write. I could take those kinds of jobs I hate, but I'm not that desperate yet. Those kinds of jobs will be around when I am desperate, because they have a high turnover rate, which might lead one to think they aren't the best jobs in the world.
Yet, they are jobs, and if it comes down to it, I'll take one, but I need a break.
So I continue my writing binge. I'm working on scripts, novels, and yes, resumes! I'm working on applying for jobs. I'm working on surviving in a homeless shelter where respect and privacy simply don't exist. I'm not going to complain about it, anymore.  People seem to think I'm ungrateful. So you will hear no more about how bad it is, except to compare it to life in the streets, which is infinitely worse.
So the saga continues, and until something positive happens, you probably won't hear from me!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My 'New' Resume

I've decided to post my new resume on this blog, open to your critiques or even job offers!

Michael Harrison Fox
1420 S Wilmington St
Raleigh, NC 27603
    Writing skills:  Proofreading, editing, technical writing, creative writing, novel writing, screenplays, ghost writing.
    Computer skills: Troubleshooting, OS Installation, Hardware installation.
PC’s: Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, Microsoft Office 2003-2011, Microsoft Works, Open Office, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Blogging, Video Producing and Editing.
Apple: OS X 10.4 to 10.6, iMacs, Macbook Pros Safari, iWork, iLife, Final Cut.
Programming Languages: COBOL, Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS Level 3.
    General Skills: Administrative, Call Center, Management, Technical Support.

Current Experience:

1996-Present     Freelance Writer
                           Job Description: Write, proofread and edit for a variety of clients, including Examiner.com, personal blogs, novels and screenplays.

2010 -2011     Affiliated Computer Services
                       Apple Advisor
                       Answer tech support calls for Apple CPU customers.

2009-2010        Alpine Access
                         Answer tech support calls for Sprint Smartphones.

2005-2010        Sento/Total Outsources Systems
                        Answer customer service calls for a variety of clients; act as mentor for Rite Aid rebate program.


University of Nebraska at Omaha
Associate’s Degree - Broadcast Journalism

Florida State University
Associate’s Degree - Computer Science, French

Publishing Credits:

Personal Blog: http://rantsandravingsofasaneperson.blogspot.com/

Examiner.com credits:


Theater Boy - available via amazon.com Kindle
The Timmons Incident - Available via amazon.com Kindle


The Timmons Chronicles - A proposed television series


Tuesday ups and downs

The Carpenters once recorded a song in the early 70's, "Rainy Days and Mondays." I loved singing along with that song.
Generally speaking Mondays don't get me down, but rainy days do. And Tuesdays, but mostly because of Warcraft being down most of the day.
Today I'm feeling up and down, up because Osama bin Laden is dead, and I got a favorable comment on my script on storyboardtv.com.
Down because I still have not found a job, and unemployment looks each day like it will not come through,. though nothing official yet. I will appeal if it does not go through.
I have done some preliminary work with my 'Working From Homeless' script, mostly character and plot development, and the more I work on that, the more I like it. It's just a matter of time before I have a rough first draft.
Other than that, I spend each day at the library, typing away, surfing, perhaps a bit of playing on the Warcraft PTR, and that's it. I don't get the feeling that I'm accomplishing anything. Maybe that will change when the top 10 of storyboardtv is announced.
So, that's it for this update. You may go back to your merry lives and I will continue mine, and somewhere, we may all find happiness!