Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Umbrella Factory Magazine

Umbrella Factory Magazine ran from the March 2010 Issue 1 until December 2019 Issue 40. it was a ten year running online magazine. I was fortunate enough to work on all 40 issues as editor in chief. I met a great many writers, poets, and other magazines in that time. I felt like I had an identity with the magazine. It was a good amount of work, but very enjoyable. The last issue, #40 launched December 15, 2019. The website will continue on until late November 2020. Then it goes dark. Thanks for the good times.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Rocket House Studio

I got to be a part of Rocket House from 2009 until 2014. In that time I wrote a few screenplays, shot a music video, recorded a few soundtracks for animated short films and I wrote a directed a short film. Rocket House Studio and all the people there have been very good to me over the years. My involvement there was a highlight of my life as a writer.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

2019 Wrap Up

For almost a decade I have written a blog post once a week. If I look back on the years 2010 to 2018, I can sum up all my posts into categories: things I wanted to share, blocks of instructions, book reviews, reading lists, author interviews and rants that I called “a call to arms.” After the first year or so, I found it difficult to keep coming up with something to write about. Every year in December when thinking about what I wanted to do for the coming year, I would try to plan things out. At best I could come up with a few ideas, often seasonal things.

For 2019, I thought I would write my manifesto. Over the years I would think about my manifesto or at the very least what my manifesto would be like. I could never come up with anything particularly. I have so many pages of musings, and sketches of ideas, but I never completed a single thing. So, knowing this about myself, why now? Why 2019? And furthermore, what would my manifesto be like? After all, I don't live in a secluded cabin with a personal vendetta against anyone or anything. I really don't care about anything. Part of it is apathy, and part of it is that I have gotten to think about the things I wanted to think about, and I've always gotten to do all the things that I've ever wanted to do. A manifesto for a guy like me is not really something I would need to do.

But, I was faced with 52 blog posts for the year 2019. I decided that I would make a cohesive piece of writing that I would then split up over the entire year. I decided to have exactly 12 chapters of about 4,000 words each that I would make into 4 blog posts of 1,000 words each. I would post on Wednesdays. Not a bad way of doing things. Then I decided that I would share something, a Youtube video or something else that would enhance my series in those months when there were five Wednesdays.

So, then, what would I write about?

Well, I took to my heroes. I looked at all the chapter headings that Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson had. I looked at the various points of the Scout Law that I know so well from my time with The Boy Scouts of America. I came up with nearly twenty chapter titles. Then I narrowed it down to twelve.

Then I wrote.

The two things I was hoping to achieve with this exercise were these: a cohesive manuscript and an ease in the writing of a year's worth of blog posts. I feel successful on both counts. I feel like I could read this entire year's worth of posts as a single manuscript-style manifesto. And I also feel like it was an easy thing to write. Every time I sat down to write, I knew exactly where I was, where I was heading and where I have been.

In short, it was a great experience.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Future Part 3

At the time of this writing, there is one book getting published on Amazon every ninety seconds. If this post is approximately 600 words which should taken about three minutes to read, there will be four new books published on the online giant. Of the four books published during the reading of this, at least half will be self-published. And if you have a book which you think the world needs, you can probably publish your own book in about the same three minutes.

In a way, this is the greatest thing to every happen to the literate world. I mean, who wouldn't want to have all the books you could ever read at your disposal?

In a way, this is horrifying. Rather than having books, we now have data. We have data in lieu of any real knowledge. It's horrifying because we don't really have anything real, tactile, tangible. An ebook is great, but what happens when the “e” part fails. What do we do when the power goes out? We'll have the piece of mind that every ninety seconds a book was published.