Semi-Writer Saying Hello

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SemiWriter
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Postby SemiWriter » Tue May 12, 2009 9:21 am

I'll never find out what the problem was, but I highly doubt that anyone clicking it was the issue. Plus the thing was barely making any money, anyway. Maybe $1 a day at best? Eh, whatever.

They mentioned "content." Whatever was wrong with my content, I have no idea. We could sit here and speculate all day about what I had in the three blogs and never come up with an answer.

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SemiWriter
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Postby SemiWriter » Sat May 23, 2009 8:22 pm

So I'll be away from California for a week--the whole story is over at http://semiwriter.blogspot.com/?zx=6bf777334c22448f

No sympathy necessary. But here's hoping that my own family doesn't turn me into more of a basket case than I am already.

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SemiWriter
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End of May

Postby SemiWriter » Fri May 29, 2009 11:00 pm

Freshly returned from the funeral--I got an earlier flight out of Detroit direct to LAX, rather than one that would've taken me to San Francisco around midnight, then left me a half-hour to switch terminals, go through security AGAIN, and get to my gate. Blogging it all over at http://semiwriter.blogspot.com so's I don't bore people with everything here.

Thanks to my reimbursed and now-cancelled Michigan car insurance, I am now able to join HERC. YAY! Check is in the mail, Harlan. Okay, it's stamped and in the envelope and ready to go in the mail. Unfortunately, I have no job yet. I got my anticipated rejection letter from the hotel where I applied to be a housekeeper. But I do have at least three days of work scheduled this month, which will help.

And I have a quandry that I'd appreciate other writers' feedback on (it's in the blog). I've got a story with a taboo subject in it. Is it wiser to write something and let the story unfold in such a way by itself, or to edit out the "bad stuff" for the sake of mass publishing?

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Jan
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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Jan » Sat May 30, 2009 4:45 am

I'd say ask youself if you are a writer or if you want to be popular. :)

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Moderator » Sat May 30, 2009 1:33 pm

Welcome back. The question isn't whether you ought to write the story, but whether you want to censor where it wants to go.

Write it, and if the taboo is still too strong then decide what you want to do with it. My own preference is that taboo-bending stories are the most important ones.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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SemiWriter
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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby SemiWriter » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:58 am

I had to cut the sex scene scene. It just won't flly. It WAS integral to the development of the characters' relationship--the sex was kind of the ultimate union (physically and emotionally) between these two previously warring characters--but the taboo is just not something that's gonna go over with an audience at all. To try and make up for the lost word count, I inserted a short story and made a few changes to it, thus giving the characters' father a stroke.

Which still leaves me stuck at 56,000 words. I've padded. I've been through this thing page after page, but I am still 4,000 words short. Which bugs me because this is NOT The Great American Novel. It's not even all that good. It's just a regular run-of-the-mill book that I want to peddle and see what happens. But it won't "go long"! Damn it.

A brief touch on financial matters: no luck on the job front yet. Extra/background performer work has dried up and nothing new has emerged on that job front, but for some reason the TV entries on my little IMDB resume has now been made into a regular IMDB page (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2803524/); it hasn't exactly gotten me any work but, hey, thanks IMDB! My grandmother died a few weeks ago and my mother has said she'll give me a little of her inheritance, but I think my uncle (who is holding the purse strings) hasn't divvied up the estate yet between her and my aunt. When that happens, I'll be able to pay off some of what I owe but will still have one of my credit cards pushed to the five-digit limt.

A lot of TV shows start filming soon and so maybe things will improve a little.

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Moderator » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:51 am

Semi - Coupla things:

1) Woohoo for the Regular IMDB page. Very, very cool. At least it's something to point to when auditioning.

2) I've written a novel. Once. (We've all agreed that the police were quite right to invade our home and take the only known copy down to the station and publicly burn it.) From that lofty perspective I would tell you to let the story go where it wants. Then, if you get to a point of frustration, put it down until it speaks to you about what is missing. Don't be concerned by word count so much as story. If it's a good one the word count won't matter if the writing is taut and the story flows. I have a friend who is a successful writer of non-fiction and self-help books. Two years ago she chucked it all to write her first novel, which she spent hours and days and weeks and months (and years) agonizing over. It comes with the territory for most of us. Harlan, for another example, is an exception to most writing rules, but you'll note his long-form output is exceedingly thin. Let it go where it wants, then go back and beat the %$#@ out of it for going there -- but see where it leads and see if there's anything useful. If it thinks it's done, then maybe it's done.

3) I wish I had some sage advice about the job market. My best friend is now working two jobs trying to make ends meet, and he has two kids to support. I think you're on the right path about fall season shooting being ready to start. This is when you should hit the casting directors hard. If you ever run across a casting director named Jordana Capra tell her you know me -- it might take a second, but she should recognize the name. We drifted apart some twenty years ago, but were good friends before that. (We knew each other from work, then my wife and I choreographed dance routines for a stage play Jordana's husband Jim was directing.) Tell her I said hello.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby SemiWriter » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:42 am

Having gone through my book again, I decided the 56,000+ novel wouldn't be worth the Herculean effort that it takes to get something published these days. So I took the easy route and put it up for sale on Scribd.

http://www.scribd.com/share/upload/1280 ... uf8i097syx

Taking out the taboo WAS necessary, at least. And for lack fo a better idea, I used a picture of myself from my mid-teens (approximately the age of the character) for the "cover." Thus, it is done.

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Kristian » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:55 am

I'll definitely give your novel a look, once I can squirrel away a few precious minutes from an oppressive schedule that dominates my every waking moment. (And, surprisingly, many of my sleeping moments, as well!)

Let us know how iScribd works out for you. My one experience with a novel proved to be a nightmare of publisher insistence that I write what I could not. The details are trivial, but that particular novel is probably dead, buried, and will never see the light of day or the moonglow of night anytime soon. *shakes fist*

The biggest danger I see with something like iScribd is that you'll likely never be able to take a work published there and have it published in print, as so many publishers are loathe to reprint previously published material. This is a practice that, I hope, will continue to lose traction in the coming years, due to the successes that are coming from printing material that has proven popular online. Time will tell.

Still, given the shameful percentage of sales that writers get these days, maybe things like iScribd and eBook readers really are the wave of the future. I'm just not sure I want to ride it...

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby SemiWriter » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:16 pm

All I know is that Scribd offers an outlet and a way to be paid. Kindle is doing the same thing now as well.

iUniverse, where I self-published my books, gives a higher-than-average cut of royalties... but it's still gawdawful pitiful. I make maybe $15-20 per quarter. But since nobody wanted to accept "Nature Boy" for "legitimate" publishing ("he's not a 'name' actor"), I guess that I just have to take it and shut up.

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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Michael Mayhew » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:06 pm

Kristian - I know that some print on demand books have been successful and even been picked up by "legit" publishers. In a way POD has been taking the place of what used to be called the mid-list - mainstream, non-genre novels by career writers who had some name recognition but were not bestselling writers. As publishers have adopted a blockbuster mentality, it's easy for them to scan the POD world, see if any particular novel is selling very well and then scoop it up. For a while there was a terrif blog called POD-Y Mouth http://girlondemand.blogspot.com/ where this amazing woman devoted herself to reading a huge amount of POD books and praising whatever she found to be the best. She ultimately gave it up and went back to having a life, but not before she generated a huge amount of attention for some very good new writers.

I don't know if purely electronic publication has had any sort of similar success. I'd say even with POD it's a crapshoot, at best.

Semi - glad you finished your book. I'd say in future you shouldn't worry so much about taboos. Taboos have power, and that makes them interesting. The real question is whether or not a scene is well-written. Certainly Nabokov's Lolita was all about taboo, but tons of people read it and enjoyed it. In my own experience, when I am writing about things that make me uncomfortable, that often means that other people are going to find it interesting.

So, something for next time.

MM

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SemiWriter
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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby SemiWriter » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:26 pm

A brother doing his twin sister... sorry, but that's going beyond even what might be termed "accepted" taboos.

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And now a man with a ferret up his nose...

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:23 am

RJF wrote:And for those interested in the technical side of pubic hair and grayness: http://www.professorshouse.com/family/h ... -grey.aspx


Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread--haven't gotten all the way to the end, but this has given me an idea for a story...wait for it..."The Pubic Hair of Darienne Gray".

A vaudeville theater star's leonine head of hair gets thicker and darker as she ages, while her snatch gets grayer and more wrinkly. Finally it looks like a toothless Osama Bin Ladin (without the nose). Darienne slaughters her way through esthetician after esthetician, keeping her waxing jobs a secret that they take to their graves. (ooooohhhh)

Finally, one brave young Asian girl rips the silver beaver pelt off with one mighty pull, sending Darienne leaping from the table to a fetal position around the ceiling fan. Her flailing arm spills her glass of anesthetic chardonnay in the process.

Rushing out of the curtained room, brandishing the yard-long strip of honey-waxed cloth, Mei-Ling bursts into the theme song from the musical Hair. (aaaaahhhhh) All the women in the establishment cross their legs tightly and gasp in horror. Her secret revealed, Darienne ages centuries within seconds until she is merely a dried out zombie, blown by the ceiling fan down into a dusty heap amongst the broken chardonnay glass.

Hair today, goon tomorrow. :P
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

Gwyneth M905
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report from the trenches

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:31 am

RJF wrote: I did this iReport on CNN a few months back (and took a lot of abuse in the comments section) you're welcome to check out: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-226203


Wow, this is really putting yourself out there on the line. That take some big swinging brass ones! :) (compliment) are you ipeek? (I'm a little dense.)

I hear you. I'm just damned lucky. I got my apartment during the only rental slump SF has ever had -- 15 years ago -- and it's RENT CONTROLLED!!!!! AMEEN!!! So, me, the cockroaches and the rats get along just fine playing poker and fighting over the remote. :wink:
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

Gwyneth M905
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Re: Semi-Writer Saying Hello

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:43 am

RJF wrote:A brother doing his twin sister... sorry, but that's going beyond even what might be termed "accepted" taboos.

Dorothy Allison has done some really powerful stuff about incest that is impossible to stop reading once you get into it. And the ancient Egyptians routinely married brothers to sisters to keep the dynasties going. I say, go back to your work and write it on your terms and damn the consequences! :D POWER TO THE WRITER!!!
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)


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