Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On the list of things that I did today that I'm certain you didn't do today...
I saw Elvis Stojko. That's right, world champion figure skater Elvis Stojko.
How and why? Well, I was out at the Memorial Centre here in Peterborough talking with the assistant general manager of the Peterborough Petes about some side-work for their online newsletters, and while we were there, there was a TV crew doing some promotional work for ... Stojko's new show, "Rock the Ice." This according to the Peterborough Examiner.
Now, I'm not a fan of figure skating, but I respect world dominance in any form, and when he dominated the world with the first triple-whatever he did, that was cool. I didn't get to see him do much figure skating, he was mostly posing for pictures with some other figure skaters - but he did one of those spins, where you start standing up and then go down into a tuck, and stand back up again, while going wicked-fast. Let me tell you, in person, like, when he's only a few feet away - they move fast! Seriously fast.
I also got to interview Zach Kassian, the Pete's new captain and first round draft selection of the Buffalo Sabres last June. More on that when it's done - for the record, Kassian is awesome.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
But, I guess I'm just stalling - time to get down to it. '
Chapter 1, scene 1 ....
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Here's a mock-up of the next Zombie Dinosaur image. It's not going to be as large as the Zombie Stegosaurus, which took weeks to finish. Rather, it's only being put together on a small 6"x8" piece of paper. The Zombie Steg was on, like, an 8.5" x 11". That's just too much work.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
To further break this down into measurable units, this is 6 chapters and 28 scenes - which represents a big chunk of the book. It also represents the climactic ending of the book, too. These scenes are all the more important to consider and draft to make sure that everything falls into place. These scenes are also the parts that were mostly in the second half the book when all of that time travel business was confusing things - so it's also been a challenge to smooth out all of the things I didn't want in there, and making everything fit.
So far, I'm happy with it.
The biggest changes:
So here are the three things that I had the most problems with, and those who did a peer review of the book had problems with, too. Needless to say, these items are all going to be remedied for the better - and in most cases, completely omitted from the next draft.
- Time travel - so ... he went back in time, but the first version of him was still there? Like, there were two of him? See, yeah, that was a bit confusing. GONE. No more time travel.
- Dream sequences - those were awkward. It seems whenever a writer is stuck, you throw in a dream sequence. Well, to be honest, I was stuck when I wrote them, but now I know where the story's going to go and how to get it there, so I'm not stuck anymore, and can completely remove the dream sequences - for the better.
- 911 transcript at the end. Yes, the ... what was it... Six pages of a 911 transcript - that's all gone, too. You won't have to read that again. I'll bet it was a pain in the ass. I'm sorry. I had this vision for the novel where there would be a bunch of different forms of information, like newspaper articles and transcripts and websites, etc, that would tell parts of the story instead of it all being just written down. While that's still a neat idea - the transcript didn't really work out. It stuck out like a sore thumb and I think took the reader out of the moment at a crucial time in the narrative.
There was also a concern that the manuscript was getting wet while being out on a beach - I have yet to find a reasonable way to make the it waterproof. I also can't find a way to make it look as if you were reading a book instead of doing homework - so you may still be teased for reading it while on vacation.
So these are all things I'm happy with.
What I'm not happy with is that my coffee maker is starting to malfunction. It seems that it doesn't want to percolate anymore. So the water just sits in the back of the thing instead of brewing coffee. It's a good thing that our wedding shower yielded us a new coffee maker that we haven't hooked up yet, but now, certainly, we'll have installed by the end of the day.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Chapter and Scene #:
Draft of scene: Chapter 14 sc. 2 (formerly Part 2, Chapter 3, scene 2)
Day: November 15
Point-of-view character: MP Lefevre
Additional characters: Chase Nguyen, The Ghosts of Man
Location: in the Mercury Topaz heading out to Leamington
Approximate time: 9 a.m.
Draft of scene: Nguyen was pissed – in the car on the way back from the cemetery. He’s jonsing for his heroine, and there is none to be found, because MP gave it to Luc. They get into a fight, and MP is smacked around. We see a side of Nguyen that makes us scared, and provides some insight into MP’s life. She’s not going to put up with this shit anymore.
So, given that information, you can plot out and pace your story, making sure that you fit in everything you want to fit in - but very simply. This way you can go back and look at the whole thing and see what you like, don't like, and make changes "on the fly" rather than rewriting the whole thing at a later date (like I'm having to do now).
That all being said, I've decided that after reviewing the manuscript and reviewing all the changes I care to make, I should go back and plot each scene over again, making sure that they're all plotted properly with the rest of the story.
The biggest change I made was removing some time travel from the story, and that means that everything that my protagonist went back in time to do over, had to be conflated back into the time-travel-less version of the manuscript. So it's been challenging to get everything back into shape. Anyhow ...
A great big chunk of today has been "rewriting" all of the scenes to make sure that everything I need to happen does in a logical way. By changing the story as significantly as I have, it's made for omissions in some places, made additions required in other places, and major edits to a significant bulk of what will remain in the book. I would have to imagine that these changes should shorten the book a little bit, but we'll have to see- there were certainly be some scenes and chapters that will have to be completely reinvented or written from scratch to facilitate some of the changes.
Another neat addition will be the growth of one of the minor characters in the story, whom I hope will make some scenes more interesting, or at least more full of conflict than before. How he's going to wind up sounding and all of that is yet to be confirmed, but it should be fun to develop him.
But I guess I'm blogging about this now because I'm probably ready to quit working at it for today. I've been through almost 16 chapters and 14 pages of recaps, which may not sound like a lot, but it is for all in one sitting (I think, anyhow. I've never done this before.)
The great part will be that I should be able to finish this by tomorrow. And once that's finished it means I've got all of the scenes, all of the characters, all of the settings, all of the material all in front of me exactly where it needs to be - and I just have to use some mortar to put it all together -and then it will be ready for some further peer reviews (so I hope you're ready to do some more reading, folks. I'm going to need your help.)
I hope you're as excited about this as I am - it's been a long while in the making (almost two years) so ... it's about time I finished something like this, don't you think?
Saturday, September 19, 2009
While Burke admitted that the price-tag to acquire a player like Kessel was high, it was feasible for several reasons.Now, it's going to be a while before they can actually use Kessel, because he's just had surgery and won't be ready to play until November, but that's alright, because the Leafs locked him up long-term: five-years for $27 million.
"It's a very high price but it's one we feel makes sense for us and I think what's made it possible to expend those picks is two focuses: one is that he's a young player, he's not even 22 yet," Burke said.
"And second, we think with some of the players we acquired without giving up picks like Tyler Bozak, (Robert) Slaney, (Christian) Hanson and (Jonas) Gustavsson, these are players that were they available on the draft would command a high price like that. We feel by stocking the cupboard we can take some of the cans off the shelf for the future."
All in all, the Leafs have done a great job drumming up enthusiasm for the new season. They're hope again that they could be something fun to watch after all. I can't wait.
Now, even though its name is stupid, it's still a pretty cool fossil. It's like naming your kid Lola, who goes on to become an Olympian, or something like that. In any case, here's an excerpt from the article:
The new animal, based on a single fossil smuggled out of China and eventually sold to a private collector, has been named raptorex. It lived 125 million years ago in a lake-dotted region of northern China.
Raptorex had a big head, tiny forelimbs, and a body built for sprinting, just like T. rex. But this fossil is of a young adult dinosaur, nearly full-grown, that at maturity would have been only about 9 feet long, compared with about 40 feet for an adult T. rex, according to a paper published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science. It would have weighed only 150 pounds. An adult T. rex could reach 13,000 pounds.
This scrambles the picture of mega-predator evolution and raises the question of whether other jumbo dinosaurs also materialized in a pipsqueak version.
The orthodoxy in paleontology has been that T. rex got its peculiar body shape -- the colossal head, powerful jaws, slashing teeth, and comically short forelimbs, among other features -- as a side effect of evolving into a giant animal. The small arms have been seen as a natural trade-off for the big head. The fossil record shows the limbs becoming shorter as T. rex evolves to monstrous dimensions between about 90 million and 65 million years ago, when it went extinct along with every other species of dinosaur, other than birds.
Raptorex, however, shows that having the jaws as the first line of attack rather than the forelimbs worked for bodies at the much smaller scale, and tens of millions of years before T. rex's giant phase. Like T. rex, raptorex had a bite force so powerful it could chomp through bone.
My fiance even thought this name was dumb, and is patiently awaiting the discovery of stegosaurusrex, diplodocusrex and Rexasaurus rex.
This is a story about a couple of kids who killed an alien, and now don't know what to do about it.
Kinda looks like a little, skinny manatee, or something. Anyhow, it came at them, so they threw stones at it, then took pictures of it - and you can see a video on it here.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Frankly, these are all things that are supposed to be done before you write 105,000 words, so shame on me. But now all that is taken care of, and I can begin to make the necessary changes and get things very, very close to being ready for manuscript reviews. That's huge. I'm excited, and thus, have now blogged about it. You're welcome.
Well, I said I'd be working on this some more, and I have. As for rereading the whole thing and taking notes - then brainstorming ways to improve the characters, story and cohesion between everything (while eliminating the time travel *phew*) I have reread the thing again making an inventory of all of the scenes in every chapter - so I've got a detailed background of what happens, to whom, at what point - meaning changing character's and their plots will be much easier to track, which is good.
The next step is redrafting the story lines (most importantly, removing the time travel) adding some neat new ideas (which I think will add a few meaningful layers to the characters) and make sure I like how the new story fills out.
The next step after that would be to rewrite all of the material that I want to put in, and edit all the stuff I want to take out - that's a big step, too. But after that, I'm real close to having the book I wanted to write in the first place, which is important. The next step after that is to get a few people to read it, give it a critique, and then take all of their input and go over the book once again (I may have read it about eight times already) and may read it up to 14 times before I'm ready to send it to a publisher, which I will one day.
The Extent | Trust Fund Baby
I hope you liked the episode - there was a funny scene that was taken out of the episode (in fact, a few things had been changed from the draft I made) and if you were interested in seeing what a script looks like before the actors and directors get at it, I could post it up here, but I think I'd only do that upon request. So let me know if you'd like to see what 10 minutes of Youtube looks like on paper.
Rights to the Loch Ness Monster
Someone apparently has the rights to the Loch Ness Monster, if it's ever recovered, believe it or not.
The Loch Ness monster will go on display at London’s Natural History Museum if it is caught under a deal negotiated with bookmakers William Hill.So, if there is a Loch Ness Monster, you'll know where to find it.
The museum has secured the rights to showcase Nessie’s remains should it be captured, in exchange for verifying her existence on behalf of the bookmakers.
Under the deal, formalised in 1987 and revealed in archive documents released by the museum, William Hill pays the museum an annual fee on return for the guarantee its experts will provide “positive identification” of the elusive creature.
The agreement, which has netted the museum at least £22,000, also covers the Yeti. The bookmaker currently offers odds of 500/1 on the existence of the Loch Ness monster being proved within a year and 200/1 for the Yeti.
Other awesome monsters
(lost the hyperlink to this story- I didn't write this:)
A pair of nearly complete long-necked, long-tailed, sauropod dinosaurs from 170 million years ago may help dinosaur researchers fill in the blanks on the origins of the biggest of ancient beasts.
The dinosaurs measured 42 feet from nose to spike-equipped tail, from which Spinophorosarus ("spike-bearing lizard") gets its name. The bony tips in its tail likely swatted away predators.
"Because we know comparatively little of dinosaurs from the time period in which Spinophorosaurus lived, the discovery is a “puzzle piece” that helps fill in a pretty big gap in our understanding of evolution in the Jurassic," Harris says.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As for AdventureLand, it's not the comedy you're expecting, and it doesn't really feature Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig from SNL as much as the previews would have you believe. It's a fantastic story of a boy coming of age during a summer while he worked at a theme park. It was really cool - I probably should watch movies with plots more often, I guess.
That being said - we watched Final Destination in 3D last night - so much for plots. It was cool though, and apparently the 3D that's used in this movie is heads and shoulders above the quality of 3D that was used in Journey to the Center of the Earth [sic] and Up! Basically, Final Destination was pretty cool - the writing set up the "Mouse Trap"-esque disasters very well, and the writing in the premonition scenes was great. There's this scene in a movie theatre that brings the entire show together all at once, and it's incredible. Plus, due to some clever premonition sequences, you get to see the main cast die more than once in many cases. Also, the black guy named ... I don't remember, but he was a security guard, was awesome.
If you're worried about gore and guts and stuff - this may not be the movie for you - BUT the deaths are so over-the-top that it's almost like a live-reenactment of a Tom & Jerry cartoon - just with more realistic consequences.
Now, while in theatre, there were some great previews for a couple really neat-looking movies. I'm not really sure what the hell Avatar is supposed to be about, but it appears to be some sort of trip to the outer limits of space, where they convert humans into fantasy characters and toss them into a Halo/Half Life/World of Warcraft environment, and they ... have a war?
Here's the trailer - what you wouldn't know from watching that was that Sigorney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez are in this film. Why wouldn't you showcase some stars in your trailer, I don't know. In any case, I wasn't sure about that film, but if it's got Sigorney Weaver in it ...
Next (this is just like being in the theatre with me!) there was a new Gerard Butler movie called Law Abiding Citizen that looks really awesome. I'm probably going to see this, too.
Looks cool, eh?
There was also a trailer for Ninja Assassin - sounds neat.
Also, while we had no t.v., I watched "The Ruins." It was gory and scary, but ... basically, this is an example of the reason why I don't want to get into movies. There's a scary mystery, and once it's all played out and you know what's going on, you feel like it's stupid. BUT, in the end, was the journey enjoyable? Did it make you squirm (after retyping this word about three times, I realize I've never spelled the word "squirm" before) and care about the characters? Well, I guess the characters were alright - but watching them solve the mystery was kinda gay.
OKAY - that's enough.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Hope you like it.
Also, might Rambo be fighting his super-bad alter-ego that's nothing more than a furious, intelligent version of himself in a sequel? Stallone is rumoured to have been quoted to have said:
"It's not a Universal Soldier, it's not me fighting some super-soldier, it's actually a feral beast. It's a thing, it's this amalgamation of fury and intelligence and pure unadulterated rage. It's before men became human. This is when they were still inhuman. And, so, what he confronts is everyone's virtual nightmare...he's going against a feral beast that has absolute cunning and intelligence and a will to survive that is only matched by Rambo's, and that what makes it uniquely different. It's like man's conscience fighting his dark, dangerous, uncontrollable sub-conscious.Sound stupid? Hmm, let's think of the only thing that could defeat Rambo? Well, of course nothing can defeat him, except for himself. Bam! That's gonna be our sequel!
It's your worst nightmare. You're battling your primitive self, which has a lot more cunning and power than than you could have ever imagined."
I'm disappointed with the state of creativity of people desperate to expand a franchise sometimes.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I'm becoming more settled now - which is good. I've been making it out to the gym each morning after breakfast, followed by a trip to the public library (do you have a library card? I do now) to enjoy the dependable access to the Internet, and the ability to publish posts online.
Splits with the Spits
Later on this afternoon I've got a meeting with the Assistant General Manager, Aaron Garfat at the Peterborough Pete's, who is the OHL team in town. That should be neat. I've got my letter of reference, cover letter, writing samples and resume ready to hand in and talk about getting involved with the franchise. This is where Stevie Yzerman played his junior hockey - and I'm sure many, many others, too. And I'm eager to learn all about them.
Search Engine stuff
I haven't been able to access the Google Analytics stuff on my page for a while, but beyond the regular "Bulk Barn in Kincardine" and "The Mist" searches, there is an odd search result that I thought I'd share.
Saturday, August 29 someone was directed to the blog after searching "adam leggett+soiree+london+ryan rogers+deb." Now, I don't know what that means exactly, but it would appear that someone expected to search online to see what were up to that night. I would admit that if whatever we got up to that night made it onto the Internet right away, that would be interesting. Just an odd search query, I thought. Or maybe they were looking for pictures of a night we had out in London a few years back. (I don't think Deb was there ;)
This week's episode of The Extent is coming up shortly. You'll be able to watch it before I am (what we me not having access to the Internet and all) so please enjoy it. I haven't seen much of the footage from this episode, but we were able to use a good friend of mine in the casting, James Mays. It was fun working with him on the show - and we hope that he had a good time on it, too. New episode counts: Ep. 1.01 1,430 hits, Ep. 1.02 1,296 hits, Ep. 1.03 975 hits, Ep. 1.04 888 hits.
Lost (Mysteries of the Universe)
Also, the third installment of Lost's "Mysteries of the Universe" is available. Check it out.
As I mentioned weeks ago, I was planning on spending time on my side projects while I've got free time - and I have been. I finished another re-read of Lefevre's Redemption, and with some guidelines from Karen S. Wisner's from First Draft to Finished Novel, and a strategy to work the time traveling (good grief) out of the story, I think it's going to be awesome. Yeah, I've put almost three years into writing it, but ... well, it just might show by the time I'm done. Who knows when that will be, though.
Trust me, though, I've got some great, fresh ideas to work into the story that will take the inexplicable time travel out, bring some more life to the existing characters, and make the entire manuscript more cohesive as a whole. Should be awesome.
Okay, I'll be back to post something about the Extent shortly. Hope you're enjoying the show.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
What this means is I've had to listen to hours and hours of FM radio. In conclusion, FM radio, I've heard enough Linkin Park, Our Lady Peace and Greenday now. Thank you - I'm aware that these are "new" songs and that they're affiliated with corresponding albums.
Now, when I can't get access to the AM dial, I'm spending more time reading books. I spend time with I Drink for a Reason by David Cross when I'm not slicing my finger open with an exacto knife while cutting through zip ties. The book is allot of fun, and I've always been a fan of Cross's humour, so I was pleased to find this book and pick it up.
It's definitely better than listening to the same three god-damned songs over and over again on the radio. Shit! Seriously, how does a program director get a job at a radio station with only the
skills to copy and paste the set list from the previous hour's worth of programming?
Stay tuned in the next hour for my next blog post entitled "FM radio experiment," featuring comments like "Since we still have no television or Internet...," "I spend time with I Drink for a Reason by David Cross ...," and "It's definitely better than listening to..." only on ... The Wolf.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Granted, I still haven't seen this because my Internet connection is weak - but I've found a local library that I'm going to check it out on later on today - after I get to the gym, which I also found yesterday. I'm also going to get some resumes and cover letters prepped now that I've had a day or two to acclimate myself with the city.
All of that aside - I hope you really like this episode. This is much more what the episodes will be like now that we've finished up with the introductory pilot material. So if you liked this, then I'm sure you'll like the rest of the season. The characters are cool and I think you'll enjoy meeting them as we go along.
Let me know what you think of it, or leave a comment on YouTube after the video.
I'm not sure how cool this actually will be - but it sure sounds cool - a Dinosaur Theme Park will be built near Transylvania!
A dinosaur theme park will be built at Rasnov near Brasov, Transylvania, at a cost of five million Euros, it was announced today (Tues).I'll post some more stuff up or something after I get to the library - the connectivity here is so dodgy that it's just not worth surfing the Net for things as awesome as this show. Talk with you soon.
The amusement park with the theme of the evolution of dinosaurs will cover 40.000 square metres of land on lease from local authorities, Rasnov Mayor Adrian Vestea said.
Gabriel Rozorea, one of the associates of the company that initiated the project, said:
"We have started knowing that the Brasov area had many hotels and motels but no amusement parks. We want to have a theme park with 80 dinosaurs, of which 20 will be full-sized.
"The dinosaurs will be made by an international team of artists. Aside from those, the park will also have accommodations for 30 people, as well as a conference room. Some of the money will come from bank loans, while the remaining money will come from European funds," Rozorea added.
Work will start in spring next year and is set to last until the end of the year or spring 2011 at the latest.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Well, my only dinosaur article I'll ever get to write for In Business magazine never was posted on the Internet, so you won't get to see my work with 'Paleo Joe,' and it'll be a while if I find out they used one of my photos for the article or not. It sure was fun to do an article on something I was so passionate about - and to talk with a bonafide paleontologist, as well. That was cool.
If I ever find a copy of that piece, I'll post it up - but until then ... The most likely place it will wind up is on Paleo Joe's website, where he may scan it and post it. If it does wind up there - I'll link it here.
Here's the new article from September featuring my good pal Adam McCutcheon, who became my star witness when I couldn't get anyone to talk to me about the home energy audits. I hope you like it:
The Government's Nudge Fuels Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada says, if you put your chips down, they’ll chip in.Read the rest of the article here (again, be warned, this will lead you to download a .pdf).
They’ve stirred up interest in energy efficiency and home renovations by dedicating up to $5,000 in rebates for homeowners, and Ontario has matched that offer, raising those benefits up to a possible $10,000 in rebates.
But, before you jump at your chance to claim your rebates, make sure this program is right for you. While presenting an excellent value to homeowners, it still requires a significant financial commitment.
I've tidied up some more of the kitchen, which is good. It's coming along - but still needs SO MUCH work. Luckily, our place doesn't need any renovations or anything before we set everything up - I can't imagine what it would be like to spend a week renovating the place while still living in boxes and stuff. Even taking a day or two to paint a couple rooms might be a bit trying - but next time we move, I expect these are some of the things we will likely do. I'm taking deep breaths already.
So far, Peterborough is nice. The weather has been sunny and welcoming, and the evenings have been quiet and cold - good for sleeping. The new curtains did the trick. Now the room is so dark, it seems like the alarm clock is a glowing spotlight. It's crazy. But the curtains are great. The ones in the front room are nice, too. When I get a more reliable connect speed, I'll post some pictures of the place up for everyone to enjoy - along with images of our couch, too.
Friday comes the dryer, which I hope just snaps in, but I have a feeling I'm going to have to find some metal piping/tubing to run to the exhaust vent. We'll have to wait and see.
Also, I've got a great idea to show you guys some day soon, and I hope you'll like it. I'll take a picture and send it to you as soon as I can. I think it'll be funny and cute.
I've also got to spruce up my resume and try and indicate that I'm even remotely bilingual if I want a good shot at that job at Parks Canada. I imagine that one of the colleges here will have a French course for adults or something (St. Claire in Windsor sure did) so perhaps they can give me a job while I take a course or something to solidify my francais? I'm also going to do some work and see if I can get in good with the Peterborough Petes and see if I can't contribute some writing of some sort with them. I had a great time with the Spitfires for the last few years, and this would be allot of fun, too.
The latest stats before the next episode of the Extent which you can tell I'm excited for by reading the last few posts, are as follows: Episode 1 (1,319 views); Episode 2 (1,220 views); Episode 3 (811 views). I'm really looking forward to this next one - stay tuned tonight for it!
There's a trail that leads into some woods right off of our parking lot, and I'm going to go check it out, then come home and finish up some errands, and then make my fiance dinner. I hope that trail is sweet - I might start jogging on it (today I'll just take the bike and scope it out).
talk to you soon