Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Yes, the Hobbit Shire Soup was good. If you remember two months ago, I wrote a post where I was sipping oolong tea and contemplating Hobbit Shire Soup. It was delicious. I plan to make it tonight mainly because my significant other has not got the cheque that he has been promised and we are down to the last dime in the bank, if that. No one ever said that writers automatically become rich and famous. Hobbit Shire Soup is quick, easy and, most importantly, cheap to make out of pasta, tomatoes,onions, and chickpeas. You have the basic food groups: grain, fruit, vegie, and protein. It's good if you have bay leaf and parsley at hand. A writer's feast.

Oh hell. I am so depressed. I have a manuscript that I would like to get out but the synopsis is just not gelling for me. I know the cheque is in the mail. Isn't it always? That doesn't matter when the mail slot is empty. I understand at these times Chaucer's Complaint to His Purse:"To you, my purse, and to none other wight /Complain I, for you be my lady dear!/ I am so sorry, now that you be light;" The physical container for money is flat and also the bank of imagination. The only things that keep me going are the neighbour kids that occasionally drop by to see my youngest. Some of those children don't get breakfast. I feed them but lately worry if my family is going to make it through the week or to the end of the month with our sparse larder. However, I can't refuse children who say that they are hungry with their being pale thin creatures on my doorstep, and Canadian winters cold and without regard. Mine is just a temporary bump until the cheque arrives. I know that some of these children live in households of seven where there is just enough apartment space for four people.

Perhaps writing is not just for money. Whenever there is a setback or crisis, writing is a lifeline that the neighbour children do not have. I'm holding on tight to the last thread.


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Monday, December 17, 2007


There was a question on one of the Facebook groups when a high school student asked if he should pursue a career in writing. This is my reply with additional comments since the wall post only allowed 1,000 characters.

The post starts with "I don't mean to be sarcastic but have you ever heard of the term 'struggling writer'?" I then address the high school student's other concerns. Find a job that pays the bills first especially if you plan to go to college because that leaves most people enough in hock to busy them for quite a while.
Secondly, being a writer is a difficult career. The market is saturated with people wanting to get their novels published. Hell, even Jane Austen would have a hard time selling a novel in this market. I wrote an editorial in one of my blogs about a man who passed off Austen's novels as one of his own.

So why write? Because you have a story that pulses through your blood and won't leave you until its ink dries on the page.

However, for the money, there's always commercial writing work. You develop that by making contacts. Facebook is one way to do that. Of the Social Network Services, Facebook is the most useful. LinkedIn is a good tool also. MySpace, LiveJournal, and Orkut are useless because they are not well-organized and cater to a less literate crowd. Bebo and Friendster are the same in the lack of content. Twitter is useless unless you are terribly vain and want those who would rather not know about your latest hernia operation. Also try Sunoasis and Debbie Ng's freelance writing blog. Good luck!

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Friday, December 14, 2007


Please support the writers' strike in Hollywood. One way that you can support the writers' strike is to boycott any scab activity that takes place online. Recently, I found this ad. The spelling errors are not mine:

"Freelance TV Writers - (US-CA-Hollywood - 90078)

Min Education:
Job Type:

Everyone knows it is a rough time here in Hollywood with the strike and with the holidays coming up it couldn't have come at a worse time. I was starting to wonder how I would be able to make it an enjoyable Christmas for my twin 12-year old daughters. That is why I decided to come up with an alternative.

I, and some marketing folks, producers, and other interested parties had some private disucssions on how to get some writers back to work while this strike works itself out. I've worked out deals to get scripts written on a couple of CBS shows and I'm working on a deal with Fox. We will be privately and discretely writing scripts for these shows. We will ensure your privacy and confidentiality and are willing to pay top dollar for talented writers. We are currently working on bring other shows into the mix, but the producers want to see if we can make this work for a few shows first before giving us many more.

Together we can make this a happy holiday season for our families, contact if you have any questions.

William Kinkade
Kinkade Creative Solutions"

I've excised the contact information for the company. Why help them?

Help these people instead.
Here is the web page for the Writers' Guild of America.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007


The early sun dissolves the mist
that has covered the mountain.
All night I have listened to the wise,
yet failed to learn.
Dimly, darkly, the eternal pines
rise without effort from the vanishing fog.

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I was ambitious to have a new poem every week but my life circumvented that (off-line writing, family concerns et cetera). So without further introduction, please enjoy the new format.