Here, There be a Writer

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kickstarter Status Update: Stories to be Told, unsuccessful? I don't think so...

My Kickstarter is over.

I didn't make funding.

I did make 486 dollars of my 1,100 goal. That is 44% funded, and pretty damn good for my first time out.

Thank you to backers and everyone who supported me through donations, emotional and mental support, and shared the living daylights out of this little project of mine. This project, Stories to be Told is so important to me, and I can only move forward with its creation.

It has been quite a month. I found my passion, my Arete.

I have learned a lot this January, everything from marketing/business practices, how to get back up after falling, finding my joy in my writing my Arete), the choice to go independent, and the most important thing I learned is how to fail forward. Failure is a part of life and for every thousand failures, there will be successes. The more you fail and keep going (learning from each mistake and misstep), well the more you are to succeed. They also say it takes about 10,000 hours of work to make something a reality.

Arete: (Moral Virtue) as defined by Wikipedia, excellence of any kind. Connected to the concept of fulfillment of purpose. Greek in origin.

My friend and mentor, James always says that arete is the fulfillment of one's true purpose. I like that so much, that I knew I had to buckle down and take my writing seriously, edited and revise my writing, and take a step into my fears and do thing I was afraid to do; get myself published. That lead into the Kickstarter, and little did I realize that I would start a path to greatness and ever failure.

Note: failure is only true failure if it stops you from moving forward.

"It is not a catastrophe, but merely a course correction." 
~James A. Owen

So, what is next? Well, after I write to my backers, then I begin Plan B, which entails putting together "Stories to be Told", Issue 0 in a PDF version for my backers as a thank you.  Quite possibly I will sell the PDF version in the near future, but that is still early to say. There is the re-planning and re-structuring of the Stories to be Told Kickstarter re-launch with the printing of Issue #1 (maybe Issue summer or Issue * or Issue Badger, or whatever I care to call it). This will require a month worth of marketing and promotion prior to re-launch. I'm looking at April. Also, includes promoted my self as a writer, going to seminars and lectures on writing and business of art, printing business cards, bookmarks and stickers as promotional materials. Even going to writing convention, especially after I has print versions of Stories to be Told, although I will still go to these conventions and events before that happens.

My Publishing Company!

I still have a Winter Give-Away over at Here, There be a Writer. Go over there, click like and share the Winter Give-Away status to be entered into the give-away that runs through tomorrow (1/31/2018).  I will be drawing winners for a limited edition bookmark and another for a Phoenix Rising Press sticker.

On the creative side this means I need to continue to write and edit new works for future Issues. Also, I am working on ramping up of my submission goals for my children's books, A Little Lost and A Spatula Story, and any other pieces for my current and past catalog of works. The only difference this time is I will only by submitting from a list of selected works and researching places where I think they would fit into, and then submitting those pieces to those places until I get a taker.. That is going to be a project in itself.

These are the things I started in 2017, and will manifest in 2018 and beyond.

I know that sounds like a lot, right? It is. But it is worth it. Will I fail? Sometimes yes. But other times I won't. I will always learn what to do differently, what new things to try, and document what I do.

If I get board, I always have some other project to work on. This year my podcast Quantum Highway is going to be recorded and released! More on that later...

"If you really want to do something; no one can stop you. If you really don't want to do something; no one can help you."
~James A. Owen

Please keep coming back, Dear Readers. Thank you for your love and support. Leave me a comment on what you are doing in 2018. What books are you reading, movies you have seen, projects or classes you are taking, etc.

As always, your devoted writer,

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Movie Reviews: Paddington and Lady Bird

I haven't written a full scale review in a loooong time, in fact I have watched two movies this past weekend that very much need to be talked about, Dear Readers. Update: I also saw Three Billboard Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, so that will be my next review.

First up is Paddington 2:

A sequel that stands on its own, but is also aware of where it comes from.  It is rare that a sequel is as good, or better than the original. Paddington 2 is the first sequel that you do not need to see the first movie to understand what is going on. In fact the only thing to really need to know is Paddington is originally from Peru and was sent to England by his Aunt Lucy. If you are familiar with the books written by Michael Bond or the stop motion animation TV series that began in 1976 then you are all step.

With that being said, I need to point out the the story for Paddington is a solid story, believable, but also just a tad bit over the top. As Paddington is a clumsy bear and a penchant of being over eager to help that lands him into some tight spots, but he means way and because of that he is the most well loved Spectacled  Bear in Windsor Gardens.

What's a Spectacled Bear?

A bear native to the Andes Mountains of South America, and if you didn't know it, Paddington was originally supposed to be from darkest Africa, but it was changed to Peru because bears don't live in Africa.

The story of Paddington continues with Paddington wanting to get Aunt Lucy a very special birthday present, a pop-up book of London. The problem is that the book cost $1,000.00, and the bigger problem is that book has been stolen and Paddington is now blamed for the crime.

The Brown's, they are on the case to find he thieve and Paddington is sent to prison where he meets Nuckels and share he's love of Marmalade with hardened criminals. The pop-up book and the little bear from Peru are on a wild chase to find adventure and the real meaning of friendship

For Paddington 2, they created a beautiful story about adventure, friendship, and accepting others even if they are different.

Hugh Grant is a stand out favourite. He is delightful and really makes his mark on the story. I think he had a lot of fun as Phoenix Buchanan and Jim Broadbend as the slightly forgetful but always helpful Mr. Gruber; of course Peter Capaldi was a personal favourite, reprising his role as cranky Mr. Curry. I thought the casting was solid for all of the characters, especially the Browns.

The animation was very fluid and I never felt that Paddington wasn't a part of the live actors, and the bit about the pop-up book with Paddington and Aunt Lucy was adorable and creative way to include Aunt Lucy into the story.

Paddington 2 is a must watch for both kids and adult alike. This is a movie that know no age limit, in my opinion, as there is something that anyone would get out of it.

Next, Lady Bird:

A coming of age movie about Catherine "Lady Bird" McPherson and her mother, Marion.

I loved the trailer for this movie, and because of that I needed to see this movie. It's such a real movie. There exists a place that is this movie and I felt that all of the characters were real people. The story was very real, relate-able story. That was what drew you into Lady Bird's world.

The story of Lady Bird is that she is trying to survive her senior year of high school at a catholic school, with dreams of leaving Sacramento behind, and going to school on the East coast. But there are the standard money problems, mother and daughter arguments, and the poor life choice that all teenagers must face from boys, dating, friends, and sex. All very real things that all of us have had to experience  in one way or another.

The writer of this fantastic story, Greta Gerwig makes you feel like you are living in Sacramento, CA in 2002, post 9/11, and at the beginning of the war of terrorism. A scary time for anyone, but especially for a teenager looking to spread her wings and go New York City. Saorise Ronan who plays Lady Bird is so convincing that you would swear she was an American teenager not an Irish actress, even though she was born in The Bronx and later moved to Ireland when she was three. I first encounter Saorise in the Vincent Van Gogh bio-pic, Loving Vincent, which is the first oil painting animated movie. She is also featured in Ed Sheeran's video, Galway Girl.

Also, you haven't seen Laurie Metcalf in a role like this, she is raw in to portrayal of Marion and her chemistry with Saorise and Tracy Letts as Larry McPherson (the Dad) is very powerful.

Greta Gerwig is an amazing writer and director, so I definitely want to see more of her work. So, go out and check it!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Kickstarter LIVE! (17 days to go)

It's official! I have a Kickstarter.

I am finally done with waiting around for things to happen. I am going to make things happen. Since 2011 I have wanted to take my writing and getting published more seriously. it was about that time I started submitting stories and poetry to online journals and some contests. I have received A LOT of rejection letters, a couple with constructive criticism (that was sweet of them), but nothing has yielded anything.

I kept trying though, although lately I have not been submitting as much.

It was last year that I realized that I needed to try something different.

First, I asked a fellow local poet friend if there were any local contests I could submit to. This resulted in twice having a selected (years 2016 and 2017) poem in two separate calendars  with featured local photographers.

Then there was a contest for a art and poetry called "The Sexuality Show"  (and The Sexuality Poems book) that featured local artists' work for a gallery showing and poems to be published in the aforementioned book on sexuality and gender. I submitted two poems for consideration. One was picked to be included in a book.

Talk about exciting!

I even got to read my poem at two separate poetry readings.

Talk about being nervous. I was going up against some really talented and well known local poets. But, I did it. And surprise surprise my fellow poets seemed to like my poem.

The story goes since 2011 I have been trying to submit poems and stories to various online journals, more in the last couple of years. The pile of rejection letters has grown. I felt that I wasn't getting anywhere. I was definitely getting discouraged. I was still trying, but not with the same exuberance.

It wasn't until I realized that I wasn't planning how I was submitting my poems and/or stories. I was being random in my selection of works, ad not being consistent. So, I started selecting certain works and kept submitting those. Again, more rejection and I wasn't getting anyway. I know rejection is part of the deal. Still its hard to not have my writing out there, which is the reason I became writer. I love bringing worlds to life, especially writing plays that get performed.

On and front, I wrote my first play in 2012-ish, and seeing this world brought to life spark something in me. Since then I have written seven or eight plays.

Sometime around 2013 I met my mentor in person, and something in that meeting and his words from his books spark and renewal. I started writing more, and after a while started concentrating on editing and revision of my previous writings. I had SO MANY already written that needed work and could be better and ultimately published.

But recently-about 2016 through 2017-the lack of progress and a shifting focus on what I what has made me realize that I am a good writer, a writer that deserves to be published. So, after I started on two new projects in 2017, I thought that maybe I can just publish my own works. I began taking my projects seriously; researching the independent publication of a children's book, courting artists, writing podcast scripts for a new story idea, courting a composer, and making plans for both of these projects. I have had to change my time tables a lot in the last year, but I am more confident and making more progress to making these a reality. I also realized that I could do a smaller Kickstarter and take some of my completed works and publish a literary magazine through crowdfunding.

What does this mean?

Well, 2017 was about developing ideas and editing/revising my work. 2018 is putting those ideas/projects into action.

I realized that you can never succeed if you don't try, and even if you fail in the process, you still learn something.

Time for action!

Introducing Here, There be a Writer's "Stories to be Told", my Kickstarter, which is live. I am hoping to raise $1,100 dollars to cover publishing costs and writer expenses to help launch my writing career.

Please have a look, maybe donate some if you can, Dear Readers. Share my little dream, so I can make  my dreams come true.