Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday!

I've been seeing this flying around the blogosphere for a while and thought I'd give it a shot. For those not 'in the know', What's Up Wednesday is a fun little meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk where you discuss....basically.....what's 'up' with you.

What you're reading, writing, etc.

So, here goes....

What I'm Reading

Save The Cat, by Blake Snyder. I've been hearing a lot about this book from a lot of different people, so I decided to pull the trigger and buy a copy. I've just started reading it, but have found some great information already. Even though it focuses on screenwriting, a lot of the advice can also be applied to novel writing, as well. Who knows, maybe it will inspire me to write a screenplay or something. Anyway, it also gives me another reason to play with my new Kindle Fire HD. That'll be a post for another day...

What I'm Writing

I'm still working on my super-heroic western tale, Last Chance. Even though the progress is slower than I'm liking, it's steady progress....which is better than no progress. I'm still doing character backgrounds and world building via longhand, along with random ideas and things like that. I've been toying with the idea of making it my NaNoWriMo project for this year. Again...that'll be a post for another day...

What Inspires Me

Honestly....not much. The world seems to be in a very sad state and times are looking grim. Of course, I think that could be said for almost anytime in our history, so I'll have to buck up and keep looking to the skies. While doing a Google search today, I have to admit their 'doodle' gave me a smile.

What Else Is Going On

As I mentioned, the wife and I treated ourselves to a Kindle Fire HD (she wanted one and, when I started fooling with it, decided I "needed" one..) and I made the mistake of downloading the game Tiny Castle. I wish I hadn't!

[Sidenote: As I went in search of a webpage for this game, I got sidetracked by a browser game with the same name and spent fifteen minutes playing it!!  Sheesh. Oh, yeah, the link (to get you hooked too!) is HERE. I'm too easily disracted.]

Seriously, though, it's a fun little "time management" game and can really suck you in if you're not careful. It's a nice distraction from looking for full time work (my job is still only part time, alas) in a crappy job market.

So, how about you? What's up on your Wednesday?

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Legend of The Legend Of The Lone Ranger

On researching some things about the Old West, I ran across a very interesting article about the old 80's movie The Legend of the Lone Ranger. I remember this film well, mainly because I was very excited about it's release.....sort of like I was with the latest, Disney, offering.

I don't remember being as disappointed in the 80s version as I was with the newest release, though.

Anyway, I found the article extremely interesting because it mainly discusses the star....a relative unknown named Klinton Spilsbury and how he, pretty much, came out of nowhere to get the role (because he 'looked good in the mask') and then disappeared just as quickly afterwards.

Sort of like character he portrayed, in some respects.

I had fond memories of this movie growing up and remember the hullabaloo surrounding the film and how the studio treated Clayton Moore (the original, t.v. Lone Ranger) so poorly, when all he wanted to do was continue wearing the mask and talking to fans. Apparently, that backlash really hurt the film. Probably more than the poor performance and prima-donna attitude of Spilbury who, as the legend also tells, had his voice dubbed by another actor. Even such big name stars like Jason Robards and Christopher Lloyd couldn't help ticket sales.

While the film was a marketing success (from what I've read), it still did terrible box office to the point that no one was interested in picking the property back up until Disney decided to give it a go.

In my opinion, they should have just let sleeping dogs lie.

Can you tell that I really hated Disney's Lone Ranger??

I also found the entire movie on YouTube and am going to give it another watch. I haven't seen it in over twenty years so I'm interested to see if it still holds up and is still a better Batman than Ben Affleck.

Oh wait....that's a post for another day.

The Legend Of The Lone Ranger

Have a great week!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The "Write" Stuff...

The picture above is of the latest additions to my arsenal in the War On Writing. Yes, you read that right....I'm waging a "war" on writing and won't consider myself "victorious" until I'm finished with my latest WIP.

Up until recently, I've been using Yarny, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs to aid me in my battle. There isn't anything wrong with these methods, mind you, but now I think it's time to go "old school" and get back to basics.

I've had the blue spiral binder for about a month and it's pretty handy. It's a three subject binder with double pockets separating each subject.  The first has been designated for character profiles, town background, etc. Basically, world building things. The second is for outlining and general notes. The third has yet to be determined...maybe doodles or something...I don't know.

The two composition books were found at the local CVS, two for five dollars, so I grabbed a couple. I'm not sure what I'll be using these for...maybe more specialized notes? The pens are some cheapy (a pack of ten for a dollar something, I think) Paper Mate Eagles, which write remarkably well. So what if they have caps instead of clicky-clicky things?

Anyway, I've been putting these to good use and have found it a bit liberating to be able to "work" on my project while outside or at the pool or any other place I don't want to lug the laptop to.

My one rule in using these tools is to always write in pen. If I don't like an idea, I just put a single, solitary, line through it. Who knows when I might go back and think it wasn't such a bad idea down the road?

How about you....anyone else still use some of the more mundane methods to help with their writing?

Until next time, wish me luck as I storm the beaches and try to conquer my war on writing!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest/Super Blogger Award!

If there's one thing that's a constant in the blogosphere, besides blogging, it has to be the notion of the "blog fest/blog hop/award".

For most of us, these are fun, a bit of a distraction from our usual blogging 'habits', and a great way to meet new blogging buddies as well as discover new blogs we may not have found, otherwise.

I did say....."most of us".

Gary, over at Klahanie, marches to the beat of a different blogging drum. While a very thoughtful, good natured, and engaging, blogger, he's not very keen on the whole notion of the 'blog hop'. This meant, of course, that someone, eventually, would dedicate one to him.

Set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Mark (Milton) Koopmans, Tina Downey, Robyn Engel, and Morgan Shamy, this is a fun and simple hop where all you need to do is make up three bloghops that you would never dream of signing up for. The crazier, the better, but let's keep things PG-13, o.k? :)

My three would be...

1. Pointy Sticks Meet Eyeballs Bloghop-- "Where you see the point coming...and that's the last thing you see."

2. The No Pitstops Blogfest-- "It's a road trip. A long, roadtrip...and we ain't stopping. We're also eating Taco Bell and drinking coffee so, warning, explosive results may occur!"

3. The Snakes In A Sleeping Bag Bloghop-- "Where there's a snake in someone's sleeping bag. Is it yours?"

So, what three bloghops would you never participate in?

If you want to see the list of participants and show 'em some love, you can find the info HERE.

While we're on the subject of blog hops and blogging awards, I guess this is a good a time as any to award another "Super Blogger Award".

The "rules" (more like guidelines, really, yaaaarrrrrr!) are simple:

Take the award for yourself, then pass it along to someone who inspires you or you just think is 'super' in one way or another. Tell us why you think that person is super and deserving. Now, all the recipient has to do is reveal a (as in one) small secret about themselves (super people always tend to have a secret or two, right?) and pass the reward on to someone they think is deserving.

This one is going out guessed it....our friend, Gary.

Gary has been on the short list for this since I came up with it, for a variety of reasons.

As I stated above, Gary is thoughtful and engaging in not only his blog, but his comments. He always replies to each and every comment left for him as well as making sure to return the favor by visiting others. His posts, while always heartfelt, are usually laced with a hearty dose of humor and sarcastic wit. I can't remember a time he's commented on this blog and I didn't have a grin or a chuckle from reading it.

So, I just want to thank Gary for his contributions to the blogging community and hope he'll accept this in the spirit in which it's given.

Gary, (and Penny!), thanks for all you do and, please, keep on doing it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG: August, 2013. Eye of the Tiger.

Yes, I know....back on Monday, I said I'd probably be skipping this month's IWSG post but, as I traveled the blogosphere and read/commented on my fellow insecure writer's posts, it made me realize that I didn't have a decent excuse for not participating.

I mean, sure, time has been scarce....but who isn't plagued with that dilemma these days?

So, I yelled at myself and said "Hey, if they're doing it....why aren't you?".

"O.k!" I yelled back..."I'll do it!"

Hence, this eleventh hour post.

So, here I am.

I want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting, as always, as well as his compadres for this month M. Pax, Melissa Maygrove, and Karen Walker. Stop by and show them some love, if you haven't already.

Anyway, as a good news/bad news thing, I still have some of the same, nagging, insecurities I've always had and, I think, always will.....

Am I good enough?

Do I have the drive?

Can I even write and, more importantly, can I write in a way that people will enjoy?

The upside is that I haven't really developed any new insecurities to deal with. Hey, we have to take our sliver linings where we can find them, right?

Dealing with insecurities is all a part of being a writer (or a painter, or an actor, or a sculpter, etc.), in my opinion. Once we think we've "arrived", I think it makes us sloppy. We have to stay tough, we have to stay hungry.....

Eye of the tiger, man, eye of the tiger....

(oh, sorry...where was I?)

I guess my point is that, no matter how alone you feel in your writing trials, you don't have to succumb to that sort of loneliness because you're not alone in this.


The rest of us are here for you and we know what you're going through.....mainly because we've all gone through it.

I realize this sounds like a PSA, but it's the truth so hang in there and keep writing.

Eye of the tiger, man, eye of the tiger....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quick Update/Music Monday

Thing have been a little quiet around this here blog......too quiet, as they cliche-ly say in the movies.

But still, I haven't been posting much and that's mainly been due to working a lot....both at the new job as well as on my Last Chance project. I'm still around and still trying to visit others, I'm just not as consistent as I used to be, so I apologize for that.

I just wanted to update you all with a few, quick, tidbits about the goings on, here at the Means Ranch:

The Ninja Captain, himself, Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh interviewed me for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge site, which can be found here. Just wanted to thank Alex for thinking of me and for the fun questions regarding my A to Z Challenge theme choice.

Woke up this morning to a hit and run on my old car. We know which neighbor did it, just not sure as to all the details. On the bright side, though, the car hasn't ran for a few years (so we're not really out anything) and no one was hurt. And, no, the car wasn't parked was just whacked. Really hard.

I'll, more than likely, be skipping this month's IWSG post, but will be visiting as many as possible. If something changes, you all will be the first to know :)

Oh, almost forgot, for you Whovians out there....did you see who is going to be the twelfth Doctor? It's veteran actor Peter Capaldi.

If you're like me, and not very familiar with his work, check out his IMDB entry HERE. I wasn't a Matt Smith fan, at first, but he grew on me and will be missed. I liked how they went for an older incarnation, this time around, and I'm hoping Capaldi is up for the challenge.

We shall see!

So, for today's Music Monday, let's snatch Mr. Capaldi's TARDIS (before he snags the keys) and head back to the 1970s and the era of.....Disco. (Oh, stop rolling your eyes!)

Here's The Trammps with one of my favorite songs from the Disco Era.....Disco Inferno!

Hope you all have a great week....keep writing, or whatever endeavors you're working on,.....and take care.

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