Monday, October 31, 2005

Unusually high rankings

Saul noticed that a Google search for his film company turned up an old reference to the then unresolved issue of the use of my Lou Lenart bio. Since that resolved comfortably, I went back and edited the post. Although I don't like editing posted content, what Google was picking up was not fair.

(Watch closely as I cleverly segue....)

I've been covering the Net for a dozen years, but I don't understand how my 101 blog ranks so highly on some fairly ordinary searches. Saul and the company don't have much of a Net presence, so my site's prominence in a search for their names isn't surprising.

I can't understand some other results. I only get a dozen or two hits per day, and only four or five other sites out there link to me. There's no reason 101 should be Google's second highest ranking for "narcotic nose itch", or third for "mice and tendonitis", or seventh for "things to do tomorrow".

That's just strange.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Back to script work

Alex wants me to write a three-page synopsis of one of his feature screenplays for submission to a Canadian writing prize. While I appreciate the confidence he must have in me, it's a daunting responsibility.

Alex was also surprised to learn recently just how little TV I watch.

The only shows I make a point to watch are "House", "Arrested Development", "My Name Is Earl", "Corner Gas", and "The Simpsons". When the sequel to "The Tournament" comes out, I'll certainly watch that, too. The first miniseries was hilarious, and was filmed in part at the arena I play at.

Shows I'll watch if they're on while I flick through channels: "Family Guy", "Scrubs", "King of the Hill", "Trailer Park Boys", and "Myth Busters". I used to watch a "Law and Order" every lunch hour on Bravo, all repeats.

I'll also watch anything with tanks or airplanes or guns in it. My presets include the Military Channel, the History Channel, etc.

I've watched a few "Dead Like Me" recently, but mostly because the lead is so odd looking.

Hockey, baseball, and NFL will also park my bottom on the couch, but not with any regularity.

You know those analyses that find that the Net has cut into TV watching? I'm Exhibit A. Well, the Net and three kids and four jobs....

Nearmiss and I have submitted our final draft. A surprisingly high number of the other pairs either broke up or otherwise failed to turn in a script.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Schedule off schedule

Nothing like a power outage to bring life as we know it to a grinding, frustrating halt.

Looks like tomorrow is a make-up day.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

My week is packed, primarily because Netsurfer Digest creaked back to life, which entirely befits this spookalicious season (I never feel quite right calling Halloween a "holiday").

I had three sets of assignments to correct for my classes. For the students past and present who visit this blog (shout-out to L... - nope, not going to, haha), here's some insight into a teacher's brain. When I first started teaching JOUR 202, the product of the LexisNexis assignment was a news article the students had to write. At some point, that changed to the current long list of short answer questions. That's not entirely laziness on the part of Leo, Matt (before he imploded), and me. The short answers are much easier to grade, but because of that, they most directly test the research skills - without all that fiddly writing obscuring the matter. But most importantly, it's easier and faster to correct.

Monday afternoon, I spent alternately trying to move to a new server and working on Child One's high school applications. I'm sure I did more, but I have no record of it. Oh, wait - Netsurfer. Sunday night, my publisher sent me a batch of Breaking Surf to whip in to shape for the issue that had been waiting for that since the first week of the month. I spent the day after class editing that. Good thing I had decided at the very last possible moment to get the Halloween issue in gear, or I'd be feeling pretty crappy about now. The Halloween issue should go out Saturday, maybe Sunday.

Tuesday was an Alex day. I tried to find people to talk to about the pilot/series. Anyone out there know people in the fashion biz who wouldn't mind spending less than a half-hour on a phone interview? I also corrected the JOUR 202 tests and assignments, took Child Three to hockey, and played hockey myself at night.

Yesterday was another teaching morning. I spent the afternoon on my final draft and polish of the short-film script I'm doing with Nearmiss. It's only OK. It tells the story, but I'm not entirely happy with the secondary characters. I wish I'd had more time for that.

In between, I did crap work for Alex. I found places for him to order blueberry bushes (not as easy as it sounds), tried to find out where he should report his neighbour's mess o' beef leavings, and pursued the true earnings per click of an online film site.

Today, I've wasted 20 minutes blogging. The rest of the day is Alex's. Tomorrow is more Netsurfer. Saturday, my kids are throwing a Halloween party. Sunday will be spent correcting JOUR 319 biographies.

By Saturday night, I'll be a hollow shell, ready to be filled. So, little journalists-in-training, what day and when is your Halloween party? I have a great hobbit costume....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


As in hurricane.

My father's note, sent Monday morning:

I woke up around 6 this morning and was a little surprised to hear the wind blowing out there at that force and so early. It was forecast to pass north of us around 2 PM today. I haven't yet checked all the sources, but since it is huffing and puffing from the south, I'm guessing it got larger in area and probably upgraded to a Cat 3. As it tracks north of us, the winds will shift to the west and start diminishing.

In any case, it was a VERY good decision yesterday morning to fly the plane down to Nassau for tie down. An additional distance of 125 miles from the storm is a wonderful idea and more importantly, Nassau airport is not subject to surges or flooding. It was in fact a beautiful day for flying yesterday.

The patio is clear, loose jalousie windows supported by either 2 x 4's or 4 x 4's, and I think I'll go have coffee and take some pictures. It very comfortable with the air conditioning; it is quite hot and humid. We will experience a severe cold front right behind the hurricane, dropping temperatures and bringing extremely dry air. It will be beautiful again!

More later when and if able. No desire yet to go back to shovelling snow!

This morning, he phoned me, and I sent out this e-mail for him:

Hurricane Wilma passed through Freeport overnight, and my father left a message for me to pass on.

Predictions had called for 50 mph winds, but the winds hit at hurricane strength.

Don and Marion are fine, but their roof is not. They lost the roof over their bedroom, but the house's windows all remain intact. Don's car, on the other hand, lost its windshield.

They have no power at the moment. Yesterday was 88 degrees, but the overnight low was only 58. (Tonight, the expected low is 48. - L) Fortunately, it's dry so Don and Marion don't have to worry about being rained on.

All in all, my father sounds cheery.

I wonder if the snow is any more attractive today.

Opportunity knocks

Last night, a Hollywood type contacted me about hiring me to do some research for a documentary. He wasn't explicit, but I assume he meant work on 101 Squadron. He wrote that Soly Haim had passed my name to him. I'm not sure if this is Soly's Lou Lenart project or not.

The man (who will remain nameless for now) has legitimate credits. He seems to be primarily an aerial photographer, but his credits extend from airline commercials to NASA projects to high-budget features. At least, those credits are on his CV. IMDb does match on one film, so I suppose there's no need to be paranoid.

He asked me how much I would want in pay, and I wrote back that he would need to detail what he wanted. I couldn't even gauge whether to charge by hour, per word, or as a flat fee. I'm not even sure if he would want me to travel to California for this.

More as this develops....

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Urg, aahhhhh

I got hit with a migraine today, but not a bad one.

In addition to migraines, I also get severe tension headaches. Pain relievers work for both conditions, but the Imitrex nasal spray only works on the migraines. I tend to stick with the analgesics because of that - the Imitrex only works about half the time.

I don't get auras. (I did once get one. It looked like a pink and powder-blue paisley pattern.) My migraines normally start off feeling just like a tension or caffeine headache. It's only once the nausea and pounding kick in that I can diagnose a migraine.

My self-treatment usually starts with upwards of 500 mg of ibuprofen (I use a generic, but most people call this Advil). If that doesn't help, I move on to the narcotics. I used to have a prescription to Percocet, but I had to take more and more to soothe the pain, so my doctor moved me to Dilaudid.

Percocet contains a powerful narcotic, oxycodone, that runs the risk of addiction, as Rush Limbaugh could tell you. To me, it's just another pill. I've never felt the slightest inclination to take one except for pain relief. Then again, the pills don't affect me the same way they do most people. One of my roommates also suffered from migraines, and took a Percocet. The pill made his arms numb. The Percocet only makes the inside of my nose itch, physically, and behaviourally, it loosens my tongue. I'm a quiet guy, but on Percocet, I jabber like a parrot. I rarely feel high on the pills - I need to take them on an empty stomach for that to happen.

The Percocet use got to the point where I'd take four or five, spread over two-pill allotments an hour apart, to get rid of a headache. One time last year, I was up to seven over two and half hours without relieving the pain. I went to a hospital ER, where they put me on an IV of something and helped me out.

Today, I started with 400 mg ibuprofen and a cup of coffee. An hour later, I took another 600 mg, and after that, one Percocet.

Now, three hours after the first pill, I can finally get back to correcting student work. I still have some head pain, but I'll grind through it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The best site on the Net

Last night at the shmoozefest, I found myself discussing what I thought is the best site on the Web.

I've gathered roughly 25 sites an issue for NSD, roughly 45 issues per year, for 11 years. That's 12,375 sites. I only use the good stuff I find; my conservative estimate is that I've looked at 36,000 unique Web sites over the years.

Nothing but nothing beats comedy, in my opinion. So what beats all other sites on the Web?

Herb Zipper's "How to Be a Cyber-Lovah".

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I attended a semi-regular meeting of working pros this evening, mostly writers with a few directors and probably some other specialists sprinkled around as well. I spent most of my time talking with only four other people, and met a kindred spirit with respect to the pinnacle of television that was the prematurely extinct "Futurama". One director wanted to read my stuff, which I always appreciate.

The highlight of the evening, however, was a glimmer from the deep, dark past.

I was one of the first to arrive, and as I waited at the bar for two loonies to feed the meter, I noticed a woman paying for her glass of wine. She looked familiar, but I couldn't place her.

I fed the meter and returned to find this woman sitting in our then little group of five. She said her name was Alana, and I told her I was sure I knew her from somewhere. I assumed she was Jewish, and I was right, and so I focused on that aspect but I could make no connection. She is six years younger than me, so school or camp wouldn't link us.

Later in the evening, as I spoke with two other writers, my mind suddenly locked on to where I knew Alana from. When she came back to our corner, "Thunderdome, right?" I asked, "You used to go to Thunderdome?"

Thunderdome was a club in Montreal in the mid to late 1980s run by Pat, a man who would later become a close friend. It was the only place I ever went when I was in town then, always two and sometimes three nights a week. To call it a goth/alternative/dance club is to risk conjuring a cliche, but that's the genre. The Cult, the Cure, Sisters of Mercy, New Order, Depeche Mode... all the stuff I still listen to, but I don't have cages to dance in. People of a certain age still speak of that club in reverence.

Alana also spent a lot of time there. I was right. I doubt I ever said a word to her those 17 or so years ago, but I can recall a dress she used to wear with long sleeves and a short skirt. She sort of remembered it. I think I freaked her out a bit.

We spent the next quarter hour talking about cool clubs from that era. By the way, if anyone privy to our conversation remembers discussing the club on St. Hubert we couldn't name, it was Alcatraz.

New site, new features has migrated to a new server and with it, this blog. I hope the move goes without a hitch once the DNS change filters through the Net.

Edit (and second test): Things went kablooey, especially with respect to file permissions. So this is just a test of the update problems I've had.

Update: Nothing's resolved. Blogger can't update already established files, yet it can upload files that don't already exist. Yet in the same account, I can go in and manually delete files. It doesn't make sense.

I took the opportunity to modify some settings as well. Readers who don't have Blogger accounts should now be able to comment. Would somebody please test this?

Is that a padlock in your pocket?

McGill University yesterday cancelled what remained of its atrocious football season following a hazing scandal that involved rookies, a broomstick, and a particular body orifice.

Which is beside the point - my point, that is. My point is the photo that the Montreal Gazette used to accompany today's story of the reaction to the cancellation. That's the photo at left (click to enlarge, ha ha). Is it just me, or...?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Netsurfer Digest just may be dying. I only work there - and have worked there for more than 11 years - and I don't want to reveal any proprietary information on the process we use, but I do want to worry in public.

Most of NSD I put together weekly, without regard to timeliness. In the Breaking Surf portion, however, we try to stay on top of the breaking wave of tech, science, and online-relevant news. The publisher handles those assignments and writes half himself. I don't get paid enough to do that.

The problem is that since the end of August, the publisher has slacked off. NSD came out September 1, September 15, and October 2 - not a good record for a putative weekly. I have three issues worth of articles waiting to go out. I've been doing my work, and our writers have submitted everything I've asked of them. And we wait.

Furthermore, I sort of haven't been paid since June - well, there's no "sort of" to that at all. The publisher has lagged in pay before, although not by this much. I trust him, and I consider him a friend even though we now live thousands of miles apart and see each other only every three years or so. Then again, I trust too easily in financial matters (remind me to post about the Strategy First fiasco some day).

The dilemma has come to a head. Every year, I work hard on the NSD Halloween issue. That issue is a repository for all the Web sites I find in the year that are too extreme for the standard NSD. I match the sites to a narrative, and everyone has a good time. But the work for that issue is about three times the work of a standard NSD. The motivation to do it this year escapes me. I should already have the articles out to my stable of scribes, but I keep putting the work off.

If I don't get the editorial surfing and narrative done in the next two days, I might as well drop the curtain on the Halloween issue, and quite possibly on NSD itself. But in that case, I just might have to wave goodbye to five months of back pay.

Especially demoralizing is the fact that not one single reader (and we have thousands upon thousands of subscribers) has written in to ask what the heck is going on. That's as surprising as it is worrying.

I spend about 15 hours a week on NSD. I could easily fill that time with paid research work, but I would miss it. One thing that's kicking around in my head is the concept of a NSD-type blog, in concert with the best of my writers. NSD used to be a free, ad-supported service. Could something like that be again? Even if it starts from point zero?

I hate moving my cheese.

Bonus irony:

If you search for "contributions to society" on Google, this blog is the third entry on the second page of results.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


News@Concordia keeps a list of all blogs related to the university - well, at least those it knows about. 101 joined that blogroll last weekend, which explains the heavy traffic I see. Hi, all.

I had another screenwriters' meeting tonight. Anne was there, and she spouted how much she had enjoyed "Sheep's End". It was another small meeting, which means another productive meeting. I didn't leave with hte same prospects of work that I took away last month, but those didn't pan out anyway. I did learn of and skim what seems to be an excellent text on story: "The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing". Used copies seem to go for about $5 US, so I no doubt will order a copy somewhere. My only real question is why did I jot down "James Marshall" at the meeting when the author is "Evan Marshall"....

Bonus question for the Webosphere:

Anybody out there have a copy of the functioning, stand-alone HID Explorer application for Mac OS X?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Concordia Journalism blogs

I found four through Google Blog Search. You can see them in the sidebar to the right.

The Pod is four students, starting their second years as I write this. I bet they're surprised I found them.

Writer's Blog is a former student of mine who also leans toward scriptwriting, it seems. Os was also a student of mine, although he hasn't graduated yet - and his blog is in a coma.

Of All the Gin Joints in the World belongs to a first-year student who isn't in my JOUR 202 class. The fool.

Any more out there, folks?

Friday, October 14, 2005


I trapped another mouse last night. A female. That bodes ill for keeping my house mouse-free.

Oh, she went for a peanut-butter-baited trap. I recommend always using it, even if the package says you don't have to.

I stumbled onto a blog of a journalism student at Concordia, which led me to seek out more. I'll add a blogroll category for that this weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I gave Alex some notes this week and he seemed to appreciate them a whole lot more than the help with storylines on the girl project. That was encouraging. And schmoozing with others starts next week. I'm on the mule train to success!

Unfortunately, all those notes have slowed my own writing. I'm a day or two behind on my self-imposed deadline on the project I'm doing with Nearmiss. I should get the minimum done today.

I found a few more interesting screenwriting blogs and I've added them to the blogroll to the right.

Matt Watts is a TV writer in Toronto.

I Can't Really Film, but I Can Write Sometimes (henceforth referred to as I Can't Really Film) is a woman in San Francisco who seems to be at pretty much my level - a pro writer outside scriptwriting who is trying to break in. She also has some fundamental troubles she's trying to overcome, although with her it seems to be the spine of her stories. I'll be keeping on eye on her posts.

Shouting into the Wind is a woman in Los Angeles who has her own eye firmly keyed on the TV industry.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Webs provide for family

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. It's never been a big deal in my family, and in general is less of a celebration compared to Americans and their Thanksgiving holiday.

But tonight, oh, tonight, my young will be feasting on the fruit of my victory.

It's a male Mus musculus. It preferred the peanut butter to the unbaited trap. And it took the trap right in the eye. This one died behind the TV cabinet downstairs. It's a male, so it didn't have kids. On the other hand, killing males does nothing to control a breeding population. We'll see if we catch more....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Scene pulses

I've been working on a miniature questionnaire to help take the pulse of scenes and tackle my weak points.

My plan is to hold each scene up to this template and answer all the questions. If a scene fails to provide answers, it must be fixed or thrown out.

Plot: How does the scene advance the story? What story beat does it hold?

Theme: How does the scene advance the theme? What meaning does it impart to the audience?

Characters: What is the conflict between characters? Where does the tension come from, and what does it lead to? What does each character want out of it? What are the internal motivations of the characters here? The external motivations?

That's what I have so far. Have anything else?

I need to work on stories of monkey vs. monkey - conflict between people. So far, my stories are monkey vs. leopard - most of the conflict is people fighting a situation. Some analysts call this the difference between character-driven and plot-driven stories. I'm trying not to compromise. I want to do both at the same time.

In other news, a man who is getting paid to write a children's book on Canadian heroes wanted to use my John McElroy essay. He declined my more than fair offer to sell it to him.

Bonus Mus musculus update:

(Well, I assume it's Mus musculus....) The mousetraps I bought claim to attract mice with scent impregnated in cheese-shaped panels of plastic. I used two traps as is and added peanut butter to the other two. We'll see which trap snags a rodent first.

I found a pile of dried vegetation and a few mouse droppings under Child One's "bed" - it's really a sofa, which she prefers to sleep on. I don't know if the vegetation was a mouse nest or a random concentration of dead leaves and stems from her plants in that corner of the room.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Visitors among us

I get a kick out of watching Web site stats. A little thrill runs through me when I see my small but worldwide audience, not out of vanity but because it proves just how different the world is.

Cultural evolution does not change at a steady rate. In the 20 years from 1900 to 1920, the world saw an enormous leap in technology. The horse fell by the wayside. Aviation technology established itself as a presence, if one only for the rich.

The next 20 years, to the start of the next world war, was more or less static. Inventors started on many inventions that would have an impact, but these devices did not have much of an impact on everyday life - television, for example. Part of the problem was the Depression, of course, but don't underestimate a lack of war. Sure, Japan romped through Asia and Italy tried to take on Ethiopia, but for the most part, the wealthy nations did not wage war and in fact signed treaties meant to restrict the technology of warfare - battleships, for instance. Ironically, the battleship treaties led Germany to develop the intriguing pocket battleships, but that's another story....

World War II was the crucible of the greatest advances of the 20th century. Radar, computing, electronics, jets, rockets, women in the workforce - this war hastened so much. But was 1960 so different from 1950? Not really. Aircraft were bigger and cars were pointier, but life in 1960 essentially was the same as it had been ten years earlier. In the next ten years, rock music exploded, as did disaffection and drug use.

But look at us today, and compare us to the mid-1970s. We use CDs, but we listen to the Beatles. We cook frozen dinners, but we do it in the microwave. We watch Giligan's Island, but we watch on HDTV on more cable channels than we know what to do with.

In the last 30 years, the only real cultural motion has been in computers and the access to global peers. I could take one of my students - 19 years old, born in 1987 - and I could drop that person in 1995. She wouldn't feel one iota out of place. She'd feel perfectly at home in 1985, but she'd miss her IM chat and she'd have to worry about long-distance charges on the phone. But that's 20 years ago.

Take a person in 1975 and drop them into 1955 and there'd be a huge culture shock. Place a 1960 person into 1940? Forget about it.

We've had a static culture for 25 years or so. The Clash is on the radio and seems right at home. The only difference is communication.

That's why I like looking at site stats. It shows we've changed.

I also like looking at the stats because they're like a puzzle to interpret. Some of the key stats for this blog:

Alligators in a Helicopter is my top referrer, with 12 of the last 100 referrals (a referral is when a visitor arrives through a click on a link). Screenwriting Life is second, with six.

A Technorati search for "Serenity" produced five visiting clickers, and a search for TriggerStreet produced one.

The most amusing stats are the Web searches that lead people to this blog. Among them:

• casey schroeder gmail
• elvi return policy
• videotron mail relay
• videotron smtp server
• hurricanes story webs
• blue's clues episode inside locked trunk

I love that last one.

Most of my visitors come from El Monte, Calif. I suspect those visits are mostly Scott the Reader, and that the city isn't strictly correct. If not, all you El Monteans should comment here. Second place is Houston, and I suspect that is my brother - all of them are Mac OS X entries from the same ISP. If you read this and you're in Houston and you're not my brother, speak up!

I also have a reader at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is sort of encouraging. And an Inktomi spider visits me once a day, so I can feel important.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

New mouse

I have managed to knock one errand off my list. The Concordia Bookstore is in the same building as the Journalism Department, so it was easy to buy a new mouse there.

I swung for the fences. I spent $80 (Canadian, after tax) on an Apple Mighty Mouse. Because of my small hands, the high arch of most mice aggravates tendonitis in my hand. The Apple mice are low, so I figured I'd treat myself. It's the second best mouse I've used - unfortunately, the best mouse I've used was a CompUSA house brand that the store no longer sells. My girls knocked the batteries out of it one day, and replaced them backwards. I recognize the smell of burning circuitboard in the evening. It smells like... defeat.

When I got home, the malfunctioning double-clicking mouse was no longer malfunctioning. I wasn't sure what I should do with the pristine, returnable $80 Mighty Mouse. Elvi pointed out that we need a back-up mouse anyway, so why don't I just keep it. She spoils me, she does.

I'll spell it out plainly, since no one else seems to: the Mighty Mouse has right click, left click, and scroll-button click (functionally although not physically). The side squeeze buttons are awkward to use, but you only have to squeeze one side. The scroll button works well, although I'd prefer it slightly larger.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is the subject of much debate in SF circles. Is he a fascist? A Hitler apologist? Did he even write the award-winning "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead"?

One tactic I consciously avoid in this blog is linking to content as an entry. I don't have this blog to show you what other people are writing - it's here so you can read what I put down. This is a rare exception, because I want to point out a passage may otherwise go overlooked.

Card recently reviewed "Serenity" and you can read that here. He thought it was the best movie of the year, and possibly of all SF, but that's not what led me to post the following excerpt.

Because for me, a great film -- sci-fi or otherwise -- comes down to relationships and moral decisions. How people are with each other, how they build communities, what they sacrifice for the sake of others, what they mean when they think of a decision as right vs. wrong.

Yeah, even comedies. Even romantic comedies -- it's those moral decisions.

Wow, that sounds so heavy. But great film is heavy -- out of sight, underneath everything, where you don't have to be slapped in the face by it. On the surface, it can be exciting, funny, cool, scary, horrifying -- all those things that mean "entertainment" to us.

Underneath it all, though, it has to mean something. And the meaning that matters is invariably about moral decisions people make. Motives. Relationships. Community. If those don't work, then you can gloss up the surface all you want, we'll know we've just been fed smoke. Might smell great but we're still hungry.

That is exactly what I have a problem with.

I'm toying with some system that may help me improve, a sort of checklist for scenes that will force me to address the issues I seem to circumnavigate.

On the other hand, just the fact that I have to make a checklist is not, I have a hunch, an omen for success.

Busy-ness and another mouse problem

I haven't blogged much in the past few dys. I've been busy thinking of 16-year-old girls, correcting assignments, and thinking of the short.

Nearmiss and I took the same initial approach to the notes, that being complete bewilderment at how to handle them. Once we started chatting - well, instant-messaging, my brain seemed to start working. We have a good collaborative partnership: she likes all my ideas. Seriously, my strengths are her weaknesses, and my weaknesses are her strengths. She can't grasp the big picture, schemes like plotting, a cinematic scope, and theme. My problems are emotional investment, crisis, and stakes. We complement each other.

I sent her "Sheep's End" and she is going to see what she can find. I'm open to a partnership. The short is certainly progressing well.

My mouse has started to spontaneously double-click. I don't have another USB mouse to test with - I hope it's the mouse and not my keyboard or Mac. I'll go get another tomorrow, right after I pick up mousetraps. And a bulb for my overhead lights. And a bulb for the torchiere. And a new remote for the VCR....

I found an Orson Scott Card article I'd like to comment on, but that will have to wait until after tonight's Rosh HaShanah dinner. More later tonight. Or tomorrow.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Good exercise

I'm wrestling with stories based in the dark, gritty world of 16-year-old girls.

My main stumbling block remains emotions and motivations in general. Toss in what I see as a bit of a contradiction - to me, 16-year-old girls are flighty and driven to be emotionally attached, but aren't necessarily dark or gritty - and it's not easy work.

On the other hand, it may help me improve in the long run.