Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Top 10 Reasons for Not Writing (right now)!

All writers have reason for not writing when they should be writing. Facebook and Google+ are too obvious, and I obviously have time to write, right?



My Top 10 Reasons for Not Writing (right now)!


10. This table is wobbly
9. It's kinda blowy under this vent
8. The coffee hasn't really set in yet
7. Does the number of characters in '10' make my list line up weird?
6. Hi, Dave!
5. This chair is wobbly
5. My Pandora station seems weird
4. I have to Tweet something about #amwriting
3. I wonder how long it will take to find a good picture for this blog post?
2. The coffee line looks short, maybe I should get more while I have the chance

...and the #1 reason why I'm not writing right now, is...



1. Blogging!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just write it (before someone else writes it)

I’m not saying anyone took my ideas, because they didn’t. They just had the same ideas that I had.


I won’t go too far into how I invented the constantly variable transmission, but after dropping a sugar cone on the floor and watching it roll around a few times, there it was. I was working the counter at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, so they'd have probably taken my patent, anyway.

Anyhow, someone else invented it first, so I’m not going to sweat it.

The thing is that sometimes your ideas are really good, but if you keep them to yourself, someone else does it and you don't.

Worse, they might do it poorly. Even more [sic] worse, they might make millions. It's most worse if you know them. Rich bastards.

Take Cowboys & Aliens for example.


Not that I know them. I don't, but what a stupid movie. A lost opportunity to be awesome.

I don’t know the origin of the movie idea, nor the dates involved, but for decades, I have had a whole ‘cowboys and aliens’ story outlined on my computer that is NOT stupid. Maybe one day I’ll write it as a book (although I won’t because no one buys those kind of books).

Age of Adeline…


My daughter and I went to see Age of Adeline on Monday. It was a good movie, sort of. I’ll probably rant on Age of Adeline's lost opportunity to be awesome (or at least cuter) later, but I’m ranting about something else right now.

The thing is that Adeline is stuck at age 29, and has been for 100 years. She has to pickup and move every 10, each time getting a new identity, new home, new job. That’s the freakin’ story I’m writing right now. Crap.

The previews…


Sometimes the previews show me more about how much writing I’m not doing than getting me excited about what’s 'coming soon.'

The previews during this movie made me sit up straight, once again. There was one of my characters (or so it seemed), starring in her own tv series. It’s not the same, but it’s close. Crap.

Oh look at this next preview; another idea of mine has its own movie. Crap again.

None of this is plagiarism or theft; they just had the same or similar ideas.


The point is that if you have ideas that you love, hurry up and write them. If you don’t, the odds are good that someone else will, then it’s you copying them, even though you didn’t.

Even though yours was first.

Even though theirs sucks yours would have been much better!

Yeah, their ideas aren’t the same. They might not even be as good as yours will be (or would have been).

Your story or idea might be much better, but now you have to deal with all new doubts. …and aren’t the doubts you already have about your work enough without having to create all new doubts.

If you love your idea, don’t just write it down, write it!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

it's an old story

While going through some of my dad's boxes, I found one of my own. 


The box was mostly junk, but there was a hidden folder of old negatives from the days when I wanted to be a photographer, notes for scripts that I wanted to write for shows that no longer exist (remember Get A Life?), and some stories that will never see the light of day.

These are not hidden gems or diamonds in the rough. Luckily, most weren't anything serious, but writing assignments, completed. Rarely anything I would actually write on purpose, but you do what you need to do to finish your homework, right?


They are, for the most part, embarrassing


...but they also give me some confidence in the writing I do today.

I can still see my style in my old writing, and I know what I meant to say, even if I didn't say it all that well. My writing teachers were nice to me, and for that I thank them. 

I will save these papers for the times when I need to see how far I've come, but it also reminds me that future Roland will one day look back at what I write today and vow to "save this junk as a reminder of how far I've come."

Truly the worst was the poetry and the flash fiction exercises that they put us through, although they didn't call them flash fiction back then.

Here's a poem for your 'enjoyment,' although I confess to have just edited it. ...unless you think it's terrible, in which case this is exactly how I found it, 25 years later. ;)


Dreams


I wake up in the morning, and I remember nothing.
I know the dreams were there, but I have to let them go.
Why waste what little time is yours remembering something lost?

So little time in the day to do what needs doing.
Nap time passes (spent more wisely)
Fight back a yawn and keep on working - a little coffee wards it off , but no magic lasts forever.

Sleep away a third of what little time you have.
So much time given to dreaming; so little remains for the day.
You say dreaming's healthy?
You need them to stay sane?
But, I've only one dream I remember, and in it, I’m awake.

Friday, February 6, 2015

I feel good being a number

because it's a low number, relatively.


I signed up for The Grid last year, and it can't come soon enough.




I got a message that I've been put on the short list to test things early, likely because I jumped on each and every survey they sent out pretty quickly.  

...and I'm so handsome.


It's scheduled to go live in late Spring, so I'm happy I won't have to wait as long. I'm feeling pretty good about this.

If you're looking to start a new site in the next few months, check out The Grid and become a Founding Member, which is a pretty good deal.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stop writing ebooks!

In the olden days, there were just books. Then came the pdf, and the ebook was born.

Publishers did not produce PDFs or ebooks, so only self-published writers wrote ebooks.

Today, there is the Kindle, the Nook, the Kobo, and a variety of other ebook reading devices and apps.

Ebooks are, today, as real a book as a physical book.

A book is the content. It's the words you write. ...and sometimes the design or  the experience. It's no longer just the 'thing' you are holding.

The best publishers and self-publishers produce physical books and ebooks.

I think Writers Digest and Digital Book World call the books that self-published writers write ebooks because they think self-published writers aren't real writers.

If you call what you write an ebook, you're telling the world you're not a real writer. Write a book, and if you do things right, you'll have both physical books and ebooks.

Be a writer.

Be a real writer.

Write books.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pride and Prejudice and Webcams

I feel pretty late to the party, here, but I just found out about a fun webshow called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.



I'm not really sure how an Emmy can go to a show that was broadcast online, since the Emmys go to television shows, but the show won a Prime Time Emmy in 2013 nevertheless.



The show is a modern take* on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, with Elizabeth Bennet as a young grad student, moving back home to her old room in her parents' house.

I've tried to read P&P before. Twice. Boring. And the 'modern' movies aren't much better than the older movies (also much boring), but so far, so good on this. Just don't test me later, because I'm not sure it's spot on accurate to the real P&P.

They are blessedly short, so I can watch one a day, like forever almost.

Roland

* and by 'modern take' I mean not boring and overwrought like period books and movies always are tend to be.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Heard in 3 coffee houses over the weekend...

...so I must post it.

It's a favorite anyway.

"You are my sweetest downfall"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The best paranormal tv is stupid

I love the idea of angsty paranormal tv better than the shows themselves


The netflix blurbs are promising; angst, love, loves lost, and plenty of paranormal action, but two or three episodes in, things always start to go stupid. I'll forgive the crappy special effects, but if they are so bad that you can't pull it off, write another script. Don't they give the writers an idea of what they've got in the CGI prop room?

Haven


I'm watching, but I have to push on through things like abandoned dogs turned into men. Dog men. Like a pack of them, and they are learning to use tools. Oh no! One has rabies and it's the family dog. You can't Old Yeller a man, though. ...or can you?

I'm glad I stuck it out long enough for the one where she sees all the men she loves die on the same day. That's gotta be tough, and it was well done.

I love the theme music. It's up there with Game of Thrones and Firefly




The Originals


Too complicated.

I like that the actresses aren't all super skinny and scrawny like most tv actresses. Don't get me wrong, they aren't really overweight, but they are normal. ...and beautiful.

Even with that, too much happens in just one episode to care anymore. People swap sides, mysteries are looming and found out immediately, but look, there's another mystery!

This one isn't just werewolves and vampires, but they also have witches and 'hybrids,' which they talk about like it's got a wikipedia entry. A hybrid is like a mash up of a werewolf and a vampire, and I guess they are like an unstoppable army of one, and they want to make more.

Also, talked about like it's a common term is the title word; Original. Like "OMG an Original is in my bar!"


Being Human (US version)


Fun, but is that enough?

I'm 5 in, but not sure I'll continue. The premise itself is 'stupid,' so at least I know what I'm getting into.


Fringe


Something dumb happened around episode 1 (maybe it was 3) that made me both bored and roll my eyes.

It's still on my watch list, but only because I can't remember why I stopped watching it. There's no one hot enough to make me press on.


Beauty and the Beast


Something truly dumb must have happened early on, because I have no urge to remember this one or why I stopped this on early.

I don't think it's paranormal, either. I think it was a toxic waste accident or military experiment gone wrong. ...or right? Either way, it's boring, despite the amazing beauty of whatever her name is. The one who used to be Lana Lang on Smallville.


Lost Girl


Take every freakin' random 'fae' or paranormal idea in the world and stick it in this show for one episode each.


I'm sure it looked good on paper.

There's a unintentionally comical 'fae' underworld that's actually right in front of us (Is your dry cleaner really using magic to clean your suits? Look out!).

Add plenty of attractive lesbians and insinuate that most women are easily swayed to go gay, and you have Lost Girl.

I have to hear "Oh, you're the unaligned succubus" one more time...


Maybe paranormal angst books are better?


...but a few that I've tried have been too dumb to continue reading.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Better



My favorite. Sorry.

Friday, January 16, 2015

If you make a promise

and no one's listening... 


As I've said before, my intention is, and has long been, to move things here to a new site, but the question is 'why?' ...and why haven't I?

The other question is why did I stop posting just because I haven't moved? Is there such a thing as "fresh start syndrome," and if so, do I have it?

This place, little dog lost...


...started off as a personal blog, morphed more toward fitness, and then got all but abandoned when I joined fitness forces with my wife over on EatWellMoveWell.com after we published our first book. Things are going really well over there, but writing about health doesn't scratch all of my itches.

I still itch to write about things that are angst, passion, and love filled, not to mention...



Cheesecake! Which seems like a kind of love, but...

Cheesecake is hard to justify on a website dedicated to helping people lose weight, get fit, and get healthy. Not that those readers can't eat cheesecake, but they don't need me to help them out.

I will move...


But not now. Not yet. I want things on my site to look (and be) more modernized, automated, and integrated.

I'm no longer a 'lost dog,' so that can go, too.

I'm an 'early adopter' for a slick new website system that launches in 'Spring' or 'late Spring' (or so they say), so I will carry on here for the time being. Why change now and then change again in a few months?

I will write...


I've been stalling or using moving to a new site as an excuse not to write here, but that's an artificial barrier that I hope I've now put behind me.

Let's talk more soon!

Yours in angst,

Roland

PS. I also like to write about coffee.



Monday, June 30, 2014

Confession

Father Martin slid the confessional screen open, revealing the dark shadow of a woman on the other side. As he sat back, the old priest smelled a spicy, oriental scented perfume. He tried not to be curious as he waited for her to begin.

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned," she said. "It has been 200 years since my last confession."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Make some art


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If it's not perfect, it's crap!

It seems that trainers, nutritionists, and other fitness pros rightfully want it all to be be perfect.

Apparently there's little room for incremental improvements when it comes to fitness in the media. It's either perfect or it's crap!

Dung Beetle #1 - It's getting rounder!
Dung Beetle #2 - It's CRAP!


"Call them out in public!" they say

...even when the trainer in question might be merely wrong. No, they are never wrong, they are lying.

A new healthy food? Nope! One of the food's ingredient's ingredients is from a supplier that doesn't say non-gmo. Boycott them!

Great new product? It can't be, they are advertising! How can they find time to market if they are in the trenches all day, quoting Bruce Lee to their clients, and frowning in the general direction of Facebook?


Don't let perfection be the enemy of progress

I'm happy to point out that Tracy Anderson has bad products, that The Biggest Loser uses bad methods and sets the wrong expectations, vegan diets are not healthier than diets containing meat, and that Crossfit doesn't do enough to police their own gyms to keep them from f-ing people up.

What I'm not happy about is when good things get a bad rap. When a magazine like Men's Health holds a competition to find the best trainer, and no one on the internet thinks they are good enough because they aren't perfect. But these phantom perfect trainers didn't apply. I'm sure it's because they were too busy digging their trenches, and didn't hear the call for applicants.

If a new diet helps people, it better be 100% accurate to science, or the author is a liar or has a hidden agenda.

Oh, and the internet is filled with crappy fitness products that are marketed to the unsuspecting dieter or internet trainees, but when someone writes a better one, it's never good enough.

...and because it's marketed and advertised, it must be even worse.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of bad training is for good trainers to do nothing." - Anonymous, CSCS, CPT, PES, MS, DPT, LMNOP

Um, complaining isn't doing it, either! Complain all you want, but if you don't do something good, you're pretty much doing nothing.

If good trainers and coaches don't write programs and products, then all these poor people will be able to buy is the crappy ones.

If no one good provides online training and nutrition programs, then all we have left is the bad stuff.

If good trainers and coaches don't advertise and market, then the people who respond to marketing are left to buy from the bad trainers.


Are you doing your part to help those who need you the most? 

I'm not saying that you can't be a damn good trainer, training your own clients personally, and running your own business. That's good work, and you do your clients a great service; hands on is best.

Still, as long as there's a market for online training, fitness books, and fitness products, someone good needs to do it. It doesn't have to be you, but you also don't have to condemn it.

The bottom line is that there are people who buy all levels of product and service (just try to stop them). If you don't do something good for them yourself, or you discourage good people from doing it, you sentence these poor souls to buying pure crap.

..and now whose fault is that?

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