Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Editing files on iPad and sharing

Pages is not the only full blown word processor out there for iPad. After spending $10 on Pages, I discovered that Microsoft recommends Doc2 (that's doc squared) for use with Skydrive and any Word files that you might want to edit on your iPad and then turn around and edit on your PC when you get home.  I went ahead and got the Doc2 app and it works like gangbusters.  You can export from the skydrive app directly to Doc2, and back again after editing.  It is seamless.  It has my ultimate highest five star ***** rating.

You can find Doc2 software (created by Byte2) here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

oberster Gerichtsherr

oberster Gerichtsherr = Supreme Judge

"für das Schicksal der deutschen Nation und damit des Deutschen Volkes oberster Gerichtsherr"  - full quote from the justification speech, 13 July 1934, Reichstag.

Supreme Judge of the German People (German: Oberster Richter des Deutschen Volkes)

"...Although I had been willing to be lenient only a few days before, in this hour there was no longer any room for such consideration. Mutinies are crushed only by the everlasting laws of iron. If anyone reproaches me and asks why we did not call upon the regular courts for sentencing, my only answer is this: in that hour, I was responsible for the fate of the German nation and was thus the Supreme Justiciar of the German Volk! Mutinous divisions have always been recalled to order by decimation. Only one State did not make use of its wartime legislation, and the result was the collapse of this State: Germany. I did not want to abandon the young Reich to the fate of the old.

I gave the order to shoot those parties mainly responsible for this treason, and I also gave the order to burn out the tumors of our domestic poisoning and of the poisoning of foreign countries down to the raw flesh. And I also gave the order that if the mutineers made any attempt to resist arrest, they were at once to be brutally struck down by force (sofort mit der Waffe niederzumachen).

The nation should know that no one can threaten its existence-which is guaranteed by inner law and order-and escape unpunished! And every person should know for all time that if he raises his hand to strike out at the State, certain death will be his lot. And every National Socialist should know that no rank and no position relieves him of his personal responsibility and, with it, his due punishment. I have prosecuted thousands of our former opponents on account of their corruption.173 I would have to reproach myself if I were now to tolerate the same phenomenon in our own ranks..."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Docx to Pages

How to transfer Word files to my iPad and actually edit them? 

Microsoft Skydrive allows you to view any of your files on Skydrive with crystal clarity, but offers no editing feature (as yet).  You can open the PC site and use the Web App version of Word to edit files, but it is a singularly unsatisfactory experience on the iPad. We definitely hope this changes in the future.

So you have to use iTunes to import your docx or doc files into Pages. 

1. In iTunes click on your iPad in the Devices section on the left panel.
2. in the main panel click on Apps.
3. Scroll down until you see your Pages app displayed in the File Sharing section.
4. Click Pages in the Apps column
5. Click the add button in the Pages Documents column.
6. Add the document you wish from your drive or the cloud.
7. on the iPad click the + icon in the upper left, and choose copy from iTunes.
8. The file is downloaded into Pages and fully editable.

Return the file using the Pages export feature--you don't want to do the above in reverse do you?

Hopefully eventually Microsoft will offer an Apple ready app for Word editing, like they have for OneNote. Until then, the above 8 steps will have to suffice. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jomic Web Start

If you're like me, you work at a place that doesn't allow you to download and install apps on your work machine.

Which means, you can't read CBRs or CBZs at work.

Never fear mon ami; there is a solution!

Jomic has a web app that pops up and allows you to read online.  All you need is Java 1.4 or higher (Java 1.4 was released in 2002, so you probably do).  Amble on over to their site and have a look. And happy comic book reading on the company dime!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pat Fraley and the summer audiobook narration event

This past weekend I attended the Pat Fraley summer master's class in audiobook narration. Pat is probably the preeminent voice over teacher/coach in the world. Hillary Huber and Scott Brick also coached us on our demo excerpts. Scott is an audiobook superstar with over 600 titles to his name.

It was a whirlwind, but I feel that I will have, after some professional editing and mastering, three incredible demo samples to post on my ACX profile and my website (which does not yet exist!). 

Because this was a master's class and seminar, the 10 students took turns working with the pros and recording their excerpts while the rest watched. Reason being, when you're in the hotseat, you can't absorb anything but adjustments and direction. When you're in the booth watching others go through the experience, you can absorb concepts and techniques. It was well worth the expense, which was for me, considerable, but after the fact, when you realize how much care and concern each of the pros (and that includes Andy, the sound engineer) showed to every student, it seemed like a fantastic bargain!  And of course, my peers, the other students! The talent, so incredible. But we're in Hollywood, in the thick of it, and talent's taken for granted. The blade is there; we're just honing the edge.
Pat Fraley's Summer Master's Event

Monday, March 19, 2012


Neo noir requires a number of things, a prose voice that snaps, crackles and pops and sex, drugs and violence. It simply doesn't work without sex, drugs and violence. Try to write noir without those elements and very quickly you find yourself in Bugsy Malone territory, which is real kiddie porn without the sex: it shows prepubescent kids behaving like adults, dressed like adults, and with adult motivations. When they get splattered with cream, you go, "oh, yeah, I know what THAT means..." So I had to just make my characters high school seniors. It helped to watch Twilight the other night. The girls joking about the size of their boyfriends' bananas set my heart at rest. Now I need a freaking ending. My highschool gumshoe Rick Swick has a wooden tanto, and I think he's going to go all buffy on Edward's ass. But there needs to be a couple of reversals before that happens. I hate plotting... Character development and rising action are fun and games. Endings are hard work.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Neo Noir Noodlings

My noggin is noodling for some neonoir nonsense. Reading James Ellroy's Crime Wave currently and hepcats, it is da bomb! Never have I experienced such piercing yet purple prose. It rocks, it rolls, it smokes, it cornholes, it's fabulous to the maxi, and it speaks to me fortissimo! Ooooh daddy-O, give it to me like fizz in the joint, like a flaccid acid skid, a methy-dexy knock out punch, and I do mean TKO, sweets.

I have in mind a high school neo noir, a melange of messy matriculators, devilish delinquents trying to score to the core. The maguffin: Mr. Frink's stolen test questions, and set in the scintillating seventies, so I can dispense with all that turgid technology like personal computers and cell phones. Kids have to hoof it in their platform shoes and bell bottoms if they don't have sweet rides provided by their permissive parents.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm so confused. My mind is spinning. I'm reading James Ellroy's Crime Wave right now. Crime Wave is a collection of shorter pieces, including the piece he wrote for GQ magazine which he later expanded into his memoir. It has my undivided focus and attention, like a laser beaming into my brain. This fluffy bullshit chick-lit style writing that includes every nuance of character reaction makes me want to puke (much the same reaction Rick Santorum has to JFK). Ellroy's is the kind of writing I want to emulate: powerful, muscular, spare--like a marathon runner, not like a big fat bacchus. Maybe that just means I have to write shorter pieces. Apparently novels these days require polixity.

Monday, March 5, 2012


No, not the car company. Instead something about writing.

An editor from Virginia called me last week and raked me over the proverbial coals for having a narrative voice too distant from my character's point of view. This is a common theme that I hear in criticism of my work. It implies that the reader has difficulty relating to the character, and that I should provide more sensory detail, more physical and mental reactions to the events that transpire in the story.

I well know that this is a big flaw in my writing. The Seattle agent that represents Dan Savage told me that my main character in "After the Fire" just didn't make her care enough about him. And that is after I've been working on fixing this problem for years. So obviously this kind of writing is not something that comes naturally to me. I see fiction like I see movies or video games; visually, with the camera over the shoulder. However, that's just not today's mode. The current mode is very close third-person point of view, the eyes of the character are the camera. It's a type of third person point of view that's almost, but not quite, as close as first person point of view.

One of the things the Virginia editor mentioned was something called "GMC" which she told me stood for "goals, motivation, crisis." So, I did a little research, and discovered a book called "Goals, Motivation and Conflict" by Debra Dixon. This seems to be exactly what the Virginia editor was talking about. I ordered the book. On Amazon, it's exorbitantly expensive for some reason, so order directly from the publisher.

I will post more after I receive it and digest its contents.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Two rejections in the past few days. One was "can't use it." The other was "can't use it. Best of luck placing it elsewhere." Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I get the impression that the first response was really saying, "It's not at all right for our publication." And the second response was saying, "this shows promise, it's not right for us, but keep trying." One has to parse these or one goes mad.

Friday, February 24, 2012

After the Fire

After the Fire is my Hollywood novel-in-progress; written between 2004 and 2006, and tinkered with ever since. I cut 13,000 words this weekend. It's down to a very trim 90,700 words now. There's only one scene that was really hard to give up; but there was just no place for it, and it's already been published as an excerpt so, "Adios for the nonce!"

It's interesting how when you cut explicit words, the imagination provides them anyway. Readers get the idea without seeing the close-up of the naughty bits. I suppose I had to originally write it to see how the characters behaved, but I found that cutting "insert tab A into slot B" the prose got stronger by pointing to those events so the reader can imagine them in the white space.

I want the 90K word count because it feels right: balanced, manageable, and accessible-not because of publishing constraints. I decided to cut one scene because, although it shows my hero slipping deeper into mental illness, the other subject-matter seemed too extreme for the mainstream (he winds up in a bathhouse). I'm finally thinking about my audience. I want to hint at the nitty-gritty, not rub their noses in it. So I'm showing compassion for my readers, lol. I want to attract as wide an audience as I can.

I wrote out of order and without a clear idea of where the story was going, so I wrote about 75 scenes for After the Fire (some MUCH better than others, lol...) but when I pieced the novel together like a puzzle, 25 of those just naturally fell by the wayside. For example, there's a three chapter series concerning the villain's background that never made the cut. So much of what would otherwise have been cutting a manuscript of 150K words (if I'd tried to keep every scene) didn't have to be done because those scenes were never part of the mix. There's still plenty to cut. Smoothing and mixing transitions is definitely the project I face now. Writing scenes out of order and with no narration is a great way to start a novel; however, it just takes so long to finish! Writing scenes out of order and with no narration pretty much guarantees that your scenes will have some kind of purpose underlying them but fitting them together into a coherent narrative is a big effort.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ultimate Compassion

Philip Glass set this passage to music in his 5th Symphony. It is one of the most beautiful non-scriptural passages I have ever read, and I want to put it to memory. Reminds me a little of the prayer of St. Francis.

Gladly do I rejoice
In the virtue that relieves the misery
Of all those who suffer
And place them in happiness.

Thus by the virtue collected
Through all that I have done,
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.

May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Til everyone is healed.

May a rain of food and drink descend
To clear away the pain of thirst and hunger
And during the aeons of famine
May I myself change into food and drink.

May I become an inexhaustible treasure
For those who are poor and destitute;
May I turn into all the things they could need
And may these be placed close beside them.

May I be protector for those without one,
A guide for all travelers on the way;
[May I be] a bridge, a boat and a ship
For all who wish to cross the water.

May I be an island for those who seek one
And a lamp for those wishing light,
[May I be] a bed for all who wish to rest
And a slave for all who want a slave.

May I be a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
Powerful mantras and great medicine,
[May I become] a wish-fulfilling tree
And a cow of plenty for the world.

Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the boundless creatures.

And until they pass away from pain
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.

Sãntideva: Bodhicaryãvatãra 3:1, 6-925; 3:17-21
(Sanskrit, translated from the Tibetan commentary by Thog-me