Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekly Book Update #6

I have been working on my first book over the past year. My goal is to have this book published. Not self-published, but actually published by a publisher. I've self-published before and I might do so again, but I want to test the waters in the publishing industry. I want to put the name of a publisher on my resume.

With that in mind, I've decided to make every Friday "Book Update Day". Every Friday I will give an update as to where I am in the writing/editing/publishing process - at least as far as I can say.

(And I missed my first Book Update week last week. Oops. I was getting good at this.)

Book Status:

I finished re-writing the first chapter. Yesterday I merged the several paragraphs of background on the characters into the second chapter. I still need to smooth it out and bring it back into the story.

That's one of the things about writing a long story. It sometimes feel like I am knitting a giant sweater. All the tangents have to be part of the story. No strings can be left hanging. Especially if they are in the middle of the chapter. Sections can't be disjointed.

The goal now is to finish this second chapter, then maybe give the story another once over, then send the polished draft to a select group of friends. Once I get back some feedback, then it is on to contact publishers.

Interesting links of the week:

Here are a few links that have inspired me this week:

Washington's Comedians are Taking a Do-It-Yourself Approach -

This article explored the Washington DC stand-up comedy scene. It talked about comics finding hole-in-the-wall bars and putting on their own shows, some of which have gained significant followings. Among the factors I've thought about if I were to ever move to DC is the comedy scene. There have been some great big-name comics from there, and great to see the lower ranks holding their own as well.

Where Parody Ends and Politics Begins -

An interesting look at comics and parody parties that become serious for change and run for political office across the world. There is truth in humor and sometimes that truth gains enough of a following to be popular.

Worst I Ever Bombed: Patton Oswalt - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

This Youtube clip from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon has comedian Patton Oswalt describing his worst-ever comedic performance. While funny, his bombing isn't really a bombing, more like a lack-of-trying. It could be worse, he could have bombed in Afghanistan.

I just noticed all of today's links started with the letter "W". So today's post is brought to you by the number 6 and the letter W.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Star Wars Read Along

A long time ago, in a state and town far, far away, I was but a wee lad with a slight Star Wars fascination. I was all into Star Wars as a kid - the toys, the bedding, the lunchboxes. Every once in a while, I take a cyber trip down memory lane and check out something that brings out the kid in me - kinda like Frosted Shredded Wheat, but with lightsabers.

Anyway, last week I found a YouTube clip of the Star Wars read-along book. This book came with an audio tape - or in some cases I think a small record (33? 45? I'm not up on my vinyl lingo). Although the character voices were not the "real" voices, the audio did have an authentic R2D2 beep notification for when to turn the page. Which I think should be incorporated in all online books, lessons, and academic classes.

So big kudos to the person who put this together. It is very well-done. And click play and enjoy a trip down memory lane to galaxy far, far, away.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lortz in the Nude

It started innocently enough.

In 1996, in my military training school at Fort Huachuca, one of my classmates mimicked a commercial of a local dive strip club called the Sorry Gulch Saloon. In the style of late radio announcer Jan Gabriel, my classmate inserted my name in the commercial instead of the name of whoever was feature dancing at the Sorry Gulch. Being that I didn't mind at all, and I have always been up for being the subject of a victimless joke, the radio call became one of the funniest catch phrases of my time at Huachuca.
"Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
Live at the Sorry Gulch
It's Lortz in the Nude!
This Sunday. Lortz in the Nude.
First 200 ladies get a free Lortz t-shirt!
Be There!"

After military training, I went to Fort Hood and never saw that classmate again. The Lortz in the Nude call sat dormant until 1998. Then, sometime during my Bosnia deployment, I dusted it off and used it a few times, usually to break up a boring day. Then, to my surprise, a flyer appeared on my desk:

Who was I to argue?

Then, a month or so later, this was created:

It was an epic performance. According to news reports, the event had to be moved to a city park as ticket demand was too high and several riots ensued among the Bosnian women who could not get into the hotel. Once the hubbub was ameliorated, the show went on without a hitch.

Shortly after coming home from Bosnia, I couldn't abandon my blossoming career as a performer. I had to flyer Florida State University and let them know of the show.

As you can see, the flyers are getting a little more complex, as was my show. This show, however, had to be cancelled at the last moment due to protests by the Student Body. Ironic, don't you think?

The night I graduated, however, I was able to perform one show in Tallahassee.

The level of pandemonium that show caused forced me to reconsider doing "Lortz in the Nude" performances. I decided to stay in Tallahassee, continue my education, and get out of the game for a while.

Receiving a letter from the Secretary of the Florida Public Endangerment Commission calling my show "a danger to society" forced me to also lay low during my time in Tampa. Working a well-paying job and the spread of picture phones and made me wonder if I would ever do my show again. Although the show was popular, the dogs cute, and the fire hot, I just couldn't see a reason to endanger my career.

Until now.

I'm back.