Friday, October 29, 2010

Live on the Internet

Well, I'm live on the internet!  For only a few weeks I've been taking small, small, small freelance jobs.  Not much to speak about but interesting all the same.  Since I had very little experience, my work was kind of farmed out to big companies who then took it as their own. But I lucked out!  I found the name of one company that I'd written a travel article for.  And BOOM!  Here's my article!  (Dang it if I didn't make 2 tiny spelling errors-grrrrr....)  My guide is on Santander and Bilbao, Spain.

Today, I wrote two articles for a more legitimate company here in the US.  The first one I finished.  It's about the fall foliage in Kyoto. favorite city in Japan.  I'm almost done writing the second article which is about the day Neil and I were on the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky.

So excited!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photos for Illustrated Reading~A Graveyard on Halloween

Thanks to Neil for braving an old graveyard for the new illustrations of my book, King Solomon's Rings.  As I am nearing the final touches to my website, I'm also preparing an illustrated reading of chapter two, where the protagonist is in a cemetery on a dare during Gate Night.

Sasha has always seen things that other's do not.  But this night, her imagination is in overdrive.  Shadows congeal on the night wind and from the gravestones monsters break ground to take over the world.

She can not scream.  She can not run.  Slowly, she realizes this is not her imagination.  This is real.  This is happening.  And she is caught in the middle of it all.

(Thanks Neil for the great shots...though I invent these scenes in my head, I was honestly scared to take the pictures.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Freelance Rookie

In taking an firm stance in my writing, I've spent all day today researching the freelance market.  I have to say I'm infinitely thankful to my teachers at Manhattanville.  I've learned so much about the industry from them that when I have days like this (when I am literally in front of the computer wading through piles of data and jargon and acronyms) I feel I have some buoyancy.

I researched two writing brokers, took two tests, and produced one writing sample.  Both websites let me in and now I have access to this behind-the-scenes writing generator.  So once I proved my worthiness, I started searching for jobs.  They don't pay much a penny a word but they are really interesting...and write up my alley.  There are tons of requests for pub/bar, hotel, car service advertisements.

Today, I got overzealous and started researching an article about Metro Ethernet over Fiber Networks.  Fascinating.  I watched youtube videos, read reviews--overall had a good time.  But made a fatal mistake.  i didn't reserve the bid before I started the work.  And--of course--when I went back to the request page it was gone!!! Dang!

But (at the risk of sounding like a nerd), I enjoyed the research.  If your interested, MEF is how the internet is networked through an entire metropolitan area using glass fibers instead of copper cables.  This procedure is more expensive but allows faster speeds within a grid that is not as susceptible to blackouts, hurricanes, and electrical interference.

So anyway, I banged out a baby article instead and am waiting for the admins to approve it so I can collect my $2.  Woohoo! Not bad for 30 minutes and almost on the same payscale as publishing a poem (how does that make sense?).

  I'm hoping another order like the MEF will pop up again.  That was $10 for one page.  But at least I learned something and I'm sure it'll make its way into my SciFi writing.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the Dunes

Nine years ago on Sunday, Neil and I left for Japan.  Six years ago on Sunday, my niece was born.  So on this past Sunday, the family loaded up and headed to the beach.  We skipped rocks, the kids harrassed some birds, and a photographer took our pix.  

On the dunes.  In the grass.

Get them birds!!

Neil on the rocks!

The Old Man and his 1,2,3

We three.

The Birthday Girl and her Dad

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mile Marker 20

With the start of the school year (and my obvious non participation in it), I had to make myself some promises.  First, of course was sticking to a firm schedule of writing and creation of work that is marketable and entertaining.  Second, I wasn't going to let myself devolve into the blob or pizza-the hut or the guy who sells comics on the Simpsons.


I started running.  Hoofing it on a treadmill.  Watching those dang numbers crawl slowly up.  One mile then two and I'm thinking all I've burned is breakfast!!  How is that fair?  Stubbornness kicked in and I stayed on the treadmill for one hour, jogging, walking, just trying to breathe.  September rolled into October.  Yesterday concluded 6 weeks of slogging it out at the gym.  I finished at a lifetime high score!  Twenty miles in one week!  (at a slow jog but whatever!)

And these are the new kix that I did it in!
Happy Fall!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Modern Art, Death Star, Maryjane

I wouldn't consider myself an art buff.  I like pictures and portraits, even maybe enjoy them when it's those massive sprawling canvas pieces that stretch from one end of the room to the next. Like oil paintings of life during the age of Enlightment or Romanticism.  I can appreciate that.

But one area which has always thrown me ...modern art.  Edgy.  Abstract.  Geometric.  Digital.  Come on.  Are you kidding me?  I can't wrap my head around that.

Until Neil and I rolled into Phoenix AZ.  We'd planned to meet up with our friends (you can see their backsides below).  I walked into the gallery excited but with extremely low expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised.

We joined a free tour and lucked out when it ended up just being the five of us.  Probably a good thing since we're not easily herded through a room.  We tended to stray off in different directions, drawn to certain pieces without consideration of what the tour guided wanted to show us at first.  But we settled into each other and asked the most obvious Q:  What is modern art?

She gave an answer.  We still didn't understand.  Then she showed us.  It became clearer.

It's about artist perspective and movement.  Or in this case, the ambiguity of flow.  I call this the death star.  Pieces of charred wood taken from a church that had been burned down, this exhibit is assembled by suspending the pieces from the ceiling with fishing tackle.  Now is it exploding?  Imploding?

(Nice calves guys!).

This I thought was funny.  It's called Pot Head.

Well off to run errands and write, write, write!
Artwork housed at the Phoenix Museum of Art.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Ear of the World

The highlight of this summer's road trip was seeing the famous red rock monoliths in the Navajo Nation at Monument Valley, UT.  There were tons of buttes, including Mittens, El Castillo (where Metallica taped a music video to i Disappear), and this pic--A giant windhole called The Ear of the World.

Hanging Lamp at Itsukushima Shrine

This image, taken in 2009, inspired my new writing project.  This lamp hangs from the sacred Itsukushima Shrine located on Miyajima Island, outside Hiroshima Japan.

(Hopefully my photo editing skills will evolve with my writing!!)

The writing life

Inspiration for me comes through the senses.  Up and down the Palisades, the leaves have abandoned their verdant summer hue and taken up that golden saffron amber of Autumn.  I can feel the season on my skin.  The high-pressure, crispness of the wind seems to just cut through light sweaters and thin pants nowaways.  Then last week, I could taste fall as my pantry turned over from strawberry smoothies and BBQ delights to lamb stews and pumpkin pies and orchard apples.

This fall, I found inspiration to write King Solomon's Rings.  The story takes place over the Hallowed Days between Gate Night and All Soul's Day, starting in Round Lake, New York skimming through Monument Valley, Utah and tumbling headfirst into Tokyo, Japan.  Fantastic!

The Melange

Melange is the French word for a mixture or combining of parts to create a greater whole.  Like salads or soups or people.

Melange in the realm of Dune is the spice which enriches health, space travel and prescience.

This blog is dedicated to the quest for life that combines health, travel, and writing.  A lifestyle that balances and enriches.  To make this thread of existence something greater than I could ever hope for.