Archive for May, 2010

Hang In There, Baby

Posted in Novel writing, Perseverance, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Writing with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by davidburtonwriting

A quick note with news that I know you’ve been dying to hear. My novel Blood Justice will be published on October 1, 2010. 133 days from now.  So if you save 1 dime every day you’ll have a enough put away to obtain one precious paperback copy. Two dimes a day earns you one hardback or two, count’em, two paperback copies! Zowie! One for you and one for your very best friend to whom you always give the very best presents, just because.   What if you can’t control yourself and have to read a little bit right now? Go to http://bylightunseenmedia.com/bj.htm and satisfy yourself. Thanks for your support.

 If you live, you persevere, whether you think you do or not. Perseverance equals hope. We all hope to live another day and we persevere through each day, hoping to make it to the next. Suicides have lost hope and therefore do not persevere. If you know anybody who is talking or thinking or trying suicide, give them some hope, and perhaps they will persevere for another day, and another, and….

I’ve received uncountable rejections for my writing, even if you don’t count rejection by no reply, leaving one to wonder if they even got your query, or lost it, or it was stolen, or if they did get it they were so overcome with its brilliance they collapsed in ecstasy and died happy, and then their assistant, overcome with grief, accidentally deleted it and was struck dumb with horror at what they’d done. Yet, I keep on keeping on, because I have hope that an agent, manager, producer or publisher will be of stout heart and reply with those magic words – Please send the complete manuscript of ______.

Australian Jessica Watson recently became the youngest (16) person to sail around the world single-handed and unassisted. At 14 she decided she wanted to do it and went after her goal, acquiring sponsors and a support team and permission from her parents. Plenty of people said she was too young to do such a thing. But after battling loneliness, storms, 7 knockdowns, and miscellaneous breakdowns and repairs, and 210 days at seas, she did it, arriving with boat and herself intact and in good spirits. Now that’s perseverance! Well done.  BTW -16 year-old Abby Sunderland from California, presently in S Africa for repairs is also sailing single-handed around the world. When she arrives home she will be the youngest to sail around assisted. Another example of perseverance. Go Abby.

If you persist with your perseverance my hope is your tenacity will be seen as steadfastness.

To persevere is usually a good thing as long as it’s focused on some lofty goal that will better mankind, or at least your bank account.  Taken too far, you become a stalker, or serial killer, or that person in the office with that, at first, endearing, but quickly annoying obsessive compulsive behaviour.

By all means hang in,  persevere, be persistent, tenacious and steadfast, but not so much that you become so annoying that when you reach your goal nobody likes you and you celebrate alone.

IDEAS

What if the one you love breaks up with you and you take it hard and though you’re a nice person you get a bit stalkerish and can’t help but park outside the house and watch that beautiful, wonderful, though obviously lacking in judgement, person through the window with his/her new “friend.” You know you shouldn’t, but you persevere. And it pays off! While watching you see something evil about to attack. You run into the house to save them, but there’s nothing there. Humiliated again. You persevere and there it is again! No, you won’t run in to save them. No you won’t run in to save them! But you do! And it’s real and you save the one you love and he/she realizes they still love you and you’re together, falling down a tunnel to Hell.

What if you were on a plane over Africa and the plane crashed and some of you survived and quickly realized that no one was coming to rescue you? What do you do? You either give up and die, or you persevere and maybe die anyway, but God Damn It! you gave it your best shot and can die like a Man or Woman.

What If  (pick any great discovery or invention, such as penicillin, the light bulb, atomic bomb, MS  Windows?, the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or, no no, please, no, coffee) had not been discovered because the people with the idea did not persevere. How would life be different now if slackers had been in charge of inventing and discovering stuff?

There are plenty of stories about past  immigrants who work hard and persevere and become successful. But what about in the future? What about immigrants to the moon, or Mars, or a space station or another planet? What if they were interested in building a criminal organization, but in so doing they inadvertently created a working, successful society. After all, what good is it being a great criminal if you don’t have any victims? If you steal from a business before it gets started, the business will fail and what good is that? But if you help businesses and a society thrive, then you have something. Great criminals have to persevere, too.

My perseverance is over, so I’m going to steal away to write another day.

BTW – If you do not want to get an e-mail notice about my new blog posts, let me know. I will persevere in my effort to eliminate you from my list. It seems like it’s easier to add than subtract.

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What a Disaster!

Posted in calamities, Disasters, Disasters, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Water, Writing with tags , , on May 8, 2010 by davidburtonwriting

Disasters happen everyday everywhere. Some affect hundreds, thousands, millions, maybe even billions for those who believe (rightly) in global warming and look ahead a few years. Some disasters are small – Nobody is reading my blog, AArrrgg!  Some are huge  – earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes/cyclones.

Disasters come in all sizes, just check under disaster in a thesaurus.

How a disaster affects you,  is a personal matter. Of course we all feel for the people of Haiti, but does it affect you more than an accident that requires surgery  you can’t afford? How much caring can you spare for flood victims when in order to survive a disease you have to declare bankruptcy and lose your house? Thousands lose loved ones to wars and natural calamities, but if the one you love leaves you, breaking your heart, which tragedy is the one that consumes you?

Potential disasters of global proportions are always waiting in the wings for their entrance. There’s that old chestnut –  the asteroid heading right toward us. Not worried about that? Ask the dinosaurs, if you can find one. Global warming is a certainly a threat, but who’s going to worry about slowly rising sea levels after a 50 mile wide asteroid plunges into the ocean ( Talk about your tsunamis!) and causes a new 1000 year ice age. At least the poor overfished fish would have time for a comeback.

The only plague, flu, epidemic, pandemic we (you and me, of course, would survive any disaster) might have to worry about after the cleansing rock from space, or was that from God, would be a Zombie plague, assuming they could swim. I wonder what would happen to the Zombies if they ate all the living people. Would they starve to life? Eat each other until the last Zombie standing raised its boney arms to strains of the Rocky theme? I’ll leave that to the philosophers.

Space has several other misfortunes to offer: Our sun going nova, a distant sun going nova so we have plenty of time to attempt a getaway, aliens blowing up the Earth to make way for a new interspace highway – oops, we already went through that, aliens that want to wipe us out just because we’re here, lots of little asteroids, the pissed off ghosts of all history’s innocent victims tired of wandering around space wanting payback, or the soul of a planet ruined by its inhabitants coming to save the Earth from  its unappreciative inhabitants, among other things weirder than we can imagine.

IDEAS

What if  the Earth became so crowded,  and our (or our alien friends) technology became so sophisticated we could slowly move the moon closer and closer to Earth until it gently touched us. How would you like to be a first settler? How would this affect our orbit, our gravity, our atmosphere?

What if aliens did wipe out all the people on earth, except for you, me, and a small group of miscellaneous others. We had no hope of defeating them so the plan was to somehow steal a ship and escape to…. How would we do it? Would we find alien “friends,”  be  ignored, be chased to be put in a zoo, be put on display, then using our animal friends, escape? Maybe we’d escape and meet up with enemies of our enemies and help them wipe out the new Earth tenants and as a reward we get the planet back?

Surely there’s room for one more asteroid-is-going-to-hit-the-earth story. Maybe this time there is a secret government project that wants this particular rock to hit the Earth. A CONSPIRACY! Yes! But A rival group wants to prevent the hit. What is the reason for wanting the collision? Who’s idea was it? (All the conservatives could have a field day blaming Obama, no matter which side he was on.) Who prevails and what happens whether it does or doesn’t happen? And what if when the asteroid hit you lived in a lab 50 feet underwater, and suddenly you were 500 feet down and the shock had opened a volcanic vent close to you so you were going to get baked, boiled or poached if you didn’t escape. Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

What if  the Zombies did take over and ate everybody? Then some alien researchers arrived and wrote a report titled – A History of the  Zombie Occupation of Earth and How It Died (or, How it Thrived)?

What if there was a local epidemic of some kind and the area was domed or force fielded over. Unfortunately you were in the area, fortunately that area covered the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory or JPL or Stark Industries. Unfortunately you were never going to be let out, though you now posed no threat.  What’s a bunch of pissed off brainiacs in one of the most advanced laboratories in the universe to do?

What if the disaster was closer to home.  Your spouse or child is attacked, gravely injured, maybe paralyzed or dying. They needed some sort of transplant and it appeared that the attacker was the only viable donor.  How far would you go, what sort of deal would you make, how much of your conscience would you ignore, what, or who, would you sacrifice to find the attacker and take what was needed to save your loved one? And what would your spouse or child think of what you did?

What if there was a local disaster and the only people available to help were inmates, all set free by the flood, fire, earthquake, at a prison close to a small town.  Who would step up, and save/change civilian lives, and maybe their own?

Tragedy or not, I’m off to my bomb shelter in a deep cave. Will you be here when I come out again?

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