Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Accidentally Yours

On Valentine's Day, in the afternoon, as I was in the center lane of a 3 lane road, trying to cross, a car came up on that center lane and hit me. I rolled over the hood of the car and landed on the pavement. The driver had to be going 35 mph.

My right leg was broken, my right shoulder was dislocated from impacting the pavement and my right arm was broken.

I have posted a number of videos about the accident and my injuries on my youtube page.

I am currently recovering, but have no access to the internet while in the shelter. My leg is healing fine, but my shoulder is not only still quite painful, but I can't move my right arm very much. It pretty much hangs there. I have a doctor's appointment today where I hope to find out more about my shoulder.

In the meantime keep me in your prayers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Introducing Mike's News Hangout!

Okay. I get the hint. I'm not getting any financial help to set up my business. That's not stopping me. So without any further ado, may I introduce Mike's News Hangout!

This is a sole proprietorship, whose purpose is to provide viewers with content that they will find enjoyable. Content that I hope will make them laugh, cry and open their eyes to the lives that most Americans live on a day to day basis.

It is my intention to travel, and keep traveling, from city to city, state to state, event to event, armed with a video camera, a computer, an internet connection and eventually a vehicle of some kind. Really, that's all I need to start. I'll post videos on my Youtube account.All you have to do is to watch them. I can make money from that, though how much will be determined by how many views I get. That will depend a lot on how much content I provide and the quality of that content.

I intend to be as high quality as my budget allows. Right now, that's a pretty low budget. I could use a better quality camera, because right now I'm limited to a web cam and a cheap battery-driven camera that doesn't shoot high quality video. I don't have a vehicle, so my stories will be limited to the Raleigh area until I can afford a vehicle. Of course, if you'd like to donate one, I wouldn't mind. If not, don't worry about it.

I have no money for living expenses, so I'll live in the shelter, eat donated food the same as the other homeless and poor people and use my Food Stamps when that's not enough.

But I intend for this to work. Some of you are going 'Not again...'

No. Not again. This is it. Either this succeeds or I die trying. I'm tired of the whole shooting match. I won't use people or be used any more. I'll find news, record it, and post it. All I ask is to watch the video. It's that simple. Below is a sample video, not high quality, not well edited, but it's there. Watch it. I'll wait.

No. I won't wait. I've got work to do!

New Excerpt from my WIP

Note: Aperians are short humanoids who live a long, long time. Atrelle is one who has devoted herself to Chloe.

The Aperian sitting in front of me smiled warmly. “Mistress, I understand your frustration with my people, but too many of them are happy and healthy living under Androsian rule.” Her face was lined with care and her 750 years showed in the form of gray hair on her head and deeply placed eyes.

I nodded at her. “Madame Yrnop, I appreciate all the work you’ve done for me. I know you’ve risked life and limb for a free Aperia. But I can’t free them if they don’t want to be.”

She smiled again. “Yet I will continue to fight the Androsians, even if it is behind the scenes. You may continue to access my computer to gather what information you can. I’m sorry that my people cannot be more cooperative.”

I smiled. “If only they were even remotely cooperative. Even your own staff can’t be trusted.”

Madame Yrnop sighed. “They are loyal to Aperia first and me second. Still, you have been able to hide - how do you say it - in plain sight - for the last five years. I would consider that an accomplishment by itself.”

I lost myself in thought for a moment. “What was Aperia like before the Androsians?”

She half-smiled and then grew wistful. “When I was born, Aperia was only just starting to explore our own solar system. But even then we had the most marvelous curiosity, as a whole. There are few Aperians, even now, who are not curious or enterprising when it comes to exploration. We built cities, just as you see now. We built them everywhere, on the land, under the oceans, in orbit and on our moons. By the time I was 100, we had gone from exploring the solar system to developing our first warp engines. We progressed so fast, but we had no idea what lay out there.” She pointed up.

“We had no idea that the other intelligent species would all be larger than us, and most of them were more aggressive. We had built an economy on our planet where few people were poor. We were never sick. We were all industrious. We all worked hard. I have learned quite a bit about your race over the last five years, both from you and Atrelle. Many of you are as industrious as we are, but not all. Many of you are content to let others do the work. Our people do not understand the concept of retirement. We work hard until we die.

“We traveled to a system outside our own for the first time about 500 years ago. Then we met our first alien race: the Sysrowians. Here we found a race similar to ours, if a little bit larger. They were also industrious, but their customs were different, their languages seemed harsh to our ears. And most importantly, they would not share technology with us. We left them to their own devices and pushed further into the galaxy.”

She sighed. “And that is when we met the Androsians for the first time. We were overwhelmed from the beginning, attacked before we could even start to defend ourselves. I was on that first ship, Mistress. We were captured, we were tortured, and we were raped.”

I reached out and touched her shoulder. I could not drop my antibiotic shield, but I could still feel her pain.

She sighed. “When the Androsians discovered where our home planet was, they not only destroyed our world, wiping out most of my people, but they also attempted to destroy the Sysrowians. But they fought back and very nearly pushed the Androsians back.” She started to cry. “Our people helped the Androsians to defeat the Sysrowians.” She broke down in tears. “And I have been bearing the guilt of that deed ever since. My own father told us that the Sysrowians would not help us, so we should not help them. But when I pleaded with him to not help the Androsians conquer Sysrow, he called me weak. He sold me into sexual slavery with the Androsians, and it was not until he died, 75 years ago, that I was released from that bond.”

She trembled. “And now you see why I must help my people to gain their independence. Why I must help the Sysrowians to gain theirs. I will do anything I can to accomplish that mission, even give my life, though little enough time is left for that. You must make them see that your way is the best way, that a free Aperia can live in peace with its neighbors and still be profitable. I have faith in you, Mistress.”

She touched my arm. “No one should be punished for simply being curious and ingenious enough to follow the stars.”

I nodded. She smiled and stood. I stood also and took her hand. I led her to the door and hugged her before she left. She looked back at me and I could see the pleading in her eyes. “You have the power to make a difference. Let it be for peace!” She turned and walked out the door.

I felt a touch at my elbow. I turned to see Atrelle, her eyes red from crying. I hugged her tightly.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why I Want to be a Social Media Journalist

A few posts back, I laid forth an idea for a business, where I would buy a van, a computer or two, a few cameras, a wifi router, and then go out and about the world whoring myself making video to be posted on youtube. I want to take a moment to talk about why I want to do this.

First, it's a source of income. Yes, I'll need to borrow to make it happen, but based on what I've read on the youtube site, it's possible to make substantial amounts of money through partnering with youtube. I also suggested building a web site with live streaming video and selling ad space there.

Second, it's a chance to leave a lasting impression. I'm a writer, primarily, and my writing has not taken off yet, so how then can I be remembered after I'm gone? By making a video that goes viral. Maybe making many videos that go viral. It doesn't take much. I could film cats in cute positions all day and post that and probably make a lot of money. But being homeless, I don't have a cat.

Even so, this is not how I want to be remembered. In the late '90's I took several Broadcast Journalism courses, and even worked at two television stations behind the scenes. I would have loved to be behind the camera during a live event back then, but I was stuck in the studio, behind a camera, editing video, running a CHYRON and an audio board, popping tapes in and out of a player. I was, for a brief time, an Associate Director, which meant I ran the board that actually displays the videos on-air. Unfortunately, my dexterity and the patience of the producer proved to be less than optimal. I still loved the whole news.journalism thing, and though I got out of the field, I'd like to join it again - on my terms.

Third, I want to be there as events unfold this year. If the Mayans are right (and who am I to argue with an extinct race of humans) 2012 will likely be one of the busiest news years ever. Even without the Mayans, things are happening all over the world that need someone to record them. Much of the mainstream media is ignoring, or worse, putting down the Occupy movement, which I think is a very bad idea. We have a Presidential election going on, and two conventions that need an impartial eye watching not only the candidates, but the people around the conventions: protesters, law enforcement, the movers and shakers of Washington. I want to be there for those events and make some money from them!

Fourth, lest you think I'm attention whore, I'd like to cover other parts of the American way of life: baseball games, football games, basketball, hockey and not just professional. I'd like to travel from city to city, town to town and take the pulse of America. It has been too many years since we saw something along the line of 'On the Road with Charles Kuralt.' I'd like to cover major and minor events. Since I'm a geek, I'd like to cover geeky stuff, like anime conventions, Doctor Who, ComicCon, and the like. And then I'd like to post the results on youtube and make some money on it.

The goal for the first year of operation, other than covering the conventions, is to hit every Major League ball park for a game and a tour, and to look at what kind of people go to those games. I'd like to do the same for NFL football, the NBA and the NHL.

And if in my travels I happen to be around when a major news story breaks, well then I'll have the privilege of covering that, maybe even exclusively. I want to cover social issues that are near and dear to me, like the Occupy movement, like the homeless situation in each city or town I breeze through. I want people to see what's really happening in America.

Fifth, I want to host and moderate Google Plus Hangouts with people who have ideas, or people who have educated opinions on the events of the day, who have answers to the questions that people are asking, like what the hell's a Google Hangout anyway? I'd like that to be done on a daily basis.

And finally, I want to travel like I haven't done in years, and really, like I've never done. I feel restless staying in one place too long, and there is so much of America and especially the world that I haven't seen and experienced. I want to experience other cultures, other ways of thinking within this country that I love so dear. I've traveled quite a bit, born in France, moving from state to state and country to country as an Air Force Brat. I want to travel more.

So this is what I want to do. I want to be the most objective, impartial journalist I can be. What do I need? Really, all I need is a van, a high quality camera, a high quality computer (Mac Book Pro!), and access to the internet through cell or satellite systems.

Do I need $100,000 like I asked for? No, not really. But it's nice to have a cushion to fall back on, so that I can take a few weeks to prepare for my journey and not be in the shelter. So that I can buy a new van with a warranty, and can afford the insurance for it. So that I can get the health care things that I need for a healthy body, eyes and mouth. I need glasses. I need to get my teeth fixed. Can I work without them? Well, not the glasses. I need them to drive. Teeth? Maybe. But I'd make a better impression with a mouth full of shiny white teeth than a mouth full of what I have now.

So the call goes out again. I could use help setting up a business plan that will get me a shot at a loan. I could use a co-signer because my credit sucks. If you want to donate equipment, I can do that. If you want to donate or lend money, it would be appreciated and paid back.

I'm trying my best to gather all the tools I need to do this by myself, but even the most affluent people needed help at some point in their lives. So I'm asking for help. Can you please help me? Can you make a difference in the life of someone who has struggled and now only wants a chance to make a difference himself?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Wish I Could Draw

I've been thinking of different ways to express my artistry. I'm fairly certain I can write, at least no one has run away kicking and screaming after reading my books (a good sign). I'm capable of shooting competent video and editing it (working on a piece about the shelter and being homeless in general). I've been known to write a song (all right, just one so far).

There are, however, come aspects of being an artists I know I will never master or even come close to. First, there is playing music. And I've tried this with some software, I just can't get the hang of it. Maybe that's the software and I just need to write the software to do that (another talent, I think).

I know I can't sing. People really do run away if I try, birds fly away, squirrels shake their fists. I can live with that.

But one talent I really wish I had was the ability to draw.

I have so many ideas that I could animate if only I could draw. The problem with videography is you need subjects to record or actors in this case. If I could draw I could animate my ideas and at least give people an idea of what I wanted to do with a script.

But I've never been able to draw and even my handwriting is suspect. I have friends who can draw and I envy their talent. I suppose I could get them to draw for me, but to me the act of creating is a personal thing, and I'd very likely want to control every aspect of it.

But I've been thinking lately of ways to promote my work, and I don't think that Hollywood is where I want to end up. Yes, it would be nice to be on TV, or in the movies, but I think I would get more personal satisfaction from my art if I were to produce it for the Internet.

For instance, my Timmons Chronicles series could be produced in 20 minute segments, much the same as The Guild, or possibly even as a Youtube series, and there are many like that.

So I can either collaborate with an animator to animate that series, or get together resources like Felicia Day did for the Guild or for her Dragon Age videos.

So here's the deal. If you are an animator, or if you have resources that I don't have and want to help me produce my Timmons Chronicles series, please contact me. I'm sure we can arrange something!

My email address is My phone number is 919-520-1300. Hurry! Operators (or in this case me) are standing by! Don't miss this opportunity!

Have a wonderful day, Internet!