Website Updating and Reorganizing

I’m currently in the midst of doing some revising here. I’m not eliminating anything, but I am rearranging some of the access points. The main intent is to move as many things from old HTM pages over to one of the WordPress platforms on the site. Right now, I am transferring the introductory pages to the sample scripts over. Originally, I had put three of them on the News blog, but I’ve decided they would be better suited on the Fiction blog.

The separate Works index will shortly be replaced by a WordPress page (which will be much, much easier to update!).

It’s all with the intention of making the visitor’s experience on the site easier. So please, roam around and enjoy!

Things being transferred so far:
X-Files: Sasquatch
CSI: Obsession
Burn Notice: Hostile Negotiations


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CAPS 2015 Holiday Party

I missed last year’s party, because I was in Oregon, so I was certainly looking forward to this year’s festivities. Once again we gathered at the Montrose Bowl for our fun evening. We had a good turn out.

Montrose does up their streets in this neighborhood with lots of lights, so it looks very lovely.

scribblerworks 2015 holiday party 1

Of course, the precipitation we had in Southern California on Thursday afternoon gave the street the reflective sheen.

The thing about parties is that we give ourselves permission to clown around.


The location is a bowling alley, of course, so once everyone has settled in, some hardy souls try their luck at knocking down pins.


One of the first things we do in festivities (after eating, of course) is the presentation of the year’s service award (named for member Scott Shaw! who is a model of service). This year, Tone Rodriguez, back in town from Arizona for the holiday, did the presentation, and the award went to past President Pat McGreal.

scribblerworks 2015 holiday party 4

Once the serious stuff like that is done with, we get on to the silly stuff like the gift exchange. The routine is to bring an inexpensive gift. Using raffle tickets, we get called up by our numbers and make a selection from the pile of wrapped gifts. It’s a mystery as to what might be in the package. For instance, below, we see that Kirby Shaw (Scott’s son) received an unusual apron.


For most of the evening, Jim MacQuarrie had his outer shirt buttoned up over his tee-shirt but as the evening wound down, he remembered the reason he wore the tee. Something he wanted to show off: a benefit of participating in the press party for this big, upcoming movie release. Just a little thing that he got in advance of the general public.


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Premise Reunion & Farewell Party

Premise has been a prayer fellowship for Christians who work in the entertainment industry, with a history of 33 years of fellowship. But recently, the organization reached the end of a road. Whatever the dynamics are that lead to the end of a fellowship are an issue for another time. Last night, we held a Reunion and Farewell party – to celebrate the events and friendships that are shining spots in Premise’s existence.


The last time the fellowship had gathered had been at the June business meeting. Because this had the aura of celebration and reunion, there was a lot of conversation going on. Happy conversation.


Of course, there is always a good time when food is around.


Looking back over the history of the group made for a period of good reflection – many blessings. Fun retreats together. Relationships built, including marriages. The loss of some friends to death, and remembering with joy what those individuals brought to the group.

Nobody was feeling that this event meant the end of all the relationships that had been fostered by the group, though. Indeed, the conversations seemed to indicate that many in the group will stay in contact, and even reconnect with former members who joined us at the party.


I had had a long day prior to the party, so this gathering was a perfect ending to it.


As individuals move forward, including some new options for fellowship and ongoing prayer together, this party marks a true celebration of what that fellowship can mean. It was a very good evening.


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A Day in the Life of Comic Con International 2015

My plan had been to leave Pacoima early – by 5:30, ideally. That would have meant reaching San Diego before 8, and taking the trolley to the convention center, picking up my badge quickly and being on the spot when the exhibit hall opened at 9:30. It was a nice plan. I failed at it.

I didn’t get myself out of the door until after 6:30. Then I had to get some cash and gas, so it was just before 7 when I finally got onto the freeway. Oh, joy. Morning traffic all the way. I discovered that I have no love for Waze because it won’t show me the whole route upfront. It expects blind trust for each turn, and won’t give you advance knowledge of route changes. This is why I prefer maps. Then, of course, there’s the way it eats through the battery charge.

I reached the Qualcomm Stadium parking a bit after 10 a.m. I plodded over to the trolley stop, and was fortunate enough to get on one that was loading up at the stadium and not further out on the line. I got a good seat by the window. The ride in was nice, as I struck up a conversation with a couple across from me: the wife was in a Star Trek: Next Generation costume (yes, she was in engineering red). The nice thing, though, was that I breezed for registration.

I walked into the Exhibit Hall, right by the Kotobukiya booth, and was confronted with some good looking statuettes and action figures that are supposedly coming out later this year. A very nice Wonder Woman in the group, but I was more interested in the Black Canary. There was also a pretty good Black Widow one. But they would all require some pretty pennies to purchase.

Checking the quick schedule graph, I found out that the Spotlight interview for convention special guest Butch Guice was happening at noon. I got a hot dog on the way to the panel (since I’d only had an egg salad sandwich at 7 as I hit the road).

Spotlight on Butch Guice

Spotlight on Butch Guice

It was good to see Butch again – we’d met face to face back in the CrossGen days. The nice thing was that I also finally got to meet his wife Julie. We sat by each other and snickered over some of the comments during the interview.

Given how stiff my knees turned out to be all day, I realized that I was not going to be flitting about the convention center. I made my way to the far wing for the next bit of programming I wanted to see. I did snag a pretzel along the way, however.

That panel was the Ghostbusters panel, covering IDW’s comics, what Sony is doing, and the games that Cryptozoic has created. I had one particular reason for attending this, and that is that my good friend Erik Burnham has been writing the Ghostbusters title for IDW.

Erik Burnham

Erik Burnham

It’s a very cool thing to see Erik get recognition. He’s always been a sharp writer, and he’s earned his place at that table. The rest of the panel arrived and settled in.

Ghostbusters panel

Ghostbusters panel

I got this shot of the panelists, minus IDW editor Tom Waltz. Seated next to Erik are the art team that have worked with him on the Ghostbusters book, and then the two gentlemen at the end are the Cryptozoic guys. They got to talk about the game they developed, after crowd-funding the development. Tom spoke highly of how supportive Sony has been of the work that IDW has done, and that they are taking the Ghostbusters franchise very seriously.

From there, I made my way around the Hall G end of the upper floor. I made a brief stop in the Industry Lounge because, hey! CHAIRS! I actually had a nice conversation with the guy next to me, I showed him a copy of Creating Graphic Novels that I had in my shoulder bag, and we exchanged business cards. (I finally had updated ones with me, having just had them printed from Vistaprint a week earlier.)


Marvel’s Agent Carter cosplay

Seated across the table from me was a young woman who had pulled together a very good Agent Carter cosplay outfit. I had once again not been swift with the camera on the floor or in the halls, so I hadn’t taken pictures of cosplayers (I was sorry I missed the opportunity to catch the two Weeping Angels I’d seen in the Exhibit Hall). But my friend Corrina Lawson has really had Agent Carter cosplay on her mind the last several months, so I had to take this picture for her.

Then I was off to Barbara Randall Kesel’s panel on “Just What Does an Editor Do?” She’s taken to doing this fairly regularly, and gets good attendance at it. This time out, her panelists were Mike Marts, Joe Illidge, Diana Schutz, Shannon Eric Denton, and Joe LeFavi.


Barbara Randall Kesel’s “Just What Does an Editor Do?” panel

I get a kick out of listening to what the editors have to say about pulling books together. And the Q&A from the audience was interesting as well. There are so many aspiring writers out there, who are serious about wanting to get things right. Barbara’s panels are always good listening.

Next up – fortunately for me, in the same room – was the Mouse Guard 10th Anniversary panel. Mouse Guard is a beautiful graphic novel fantasy series, that I’ve become very fond of.


The Mouse Guard 10th Anniversary panel

Moderated by Mel Caylo, the panel included editor Cameron Chittock, creator David Petersen himself, and actor-comedian Hal Lublin. It began with Lublin performing a dramatic reading of a Mouse Guard short story, with the visuals displayed on the big screen. Then there was a discussion of the origins of Mouse Guard. It wrapped up with a Q&A from the audience.

The last bit of the day for me was my friend Brandon Easton’s Writer’s Journey panel. This is one he does regularly, with a slightly varying rotation on the panel. It’s about breaking into comics and screenwriting. Often the subject matter has been literally about the basics of that, but this one also veered into the territory of diversity in the business. He was putting up information about the various fellowships that are available for television writing.

Brandon Easton's Writer's Journey panel about breaking into comics and screenwriting.

Brandon Easton’s Writer’s Journey panel about breaking into comics and screenwriting.

Usually, Brandon does not get personal about his experiences, but this time he opened up about some of the obstacles he’s run into. As he said, he’s a 6’2″ big black guy, and that at first meeting he’s often had the white executives that he’s met obviously mentally back away from him. Not having credits up until recently, he kept running into unconscious bias in many people. But now that he is taking part in the Disney fellowship, and is on staff for Season 2 of Marvel’s Agent Carter, he can get past that roadblock. His discussion of the realities of the hidden biases seemed to energize the audience a lot – everyone responded with excitement at his encouragement for people to persist.

After the panel, I chatted with Brandon briefly. And then I headed over to the Tin Fish, across the street and the train & trolley tracks from the convention center. It’s one of my Comic Con rituals, to have a meal at the Tin Fish. I still think back to one of my early experiences at Comic Con years ago: I had stopped into the Tin Fish on the Sunday afternoon before heading home, intending to have their clam chowder – and they’d run out. In the time since then, they’ve learned to keep stocked up for Comic Con. They do a booming business. I had a delicious grilled sea bass, with criss-cut fries and cole slaw.

Then it was back on the trolley, back to the stadium, and to my car. I knew I would not be able to drive the whole way back to Pacoima. It had been a long day. I’d made a motel reservation in Tustin. As it turned out, that was about as far as I could have driven: I was getting groggy at the wheel by the time I turned into the motel’s driveway.

All in all, I had a good day at Comic Con. I was disappointed that my hobbling kept me from visiting my friends in Artists Alley. But other than that regret and not having spending money for some of the goodies I saw, I enjoyed myself. I just have to work hard, save up, and plan ahead, so I can get back to attending the whole of the convention again.


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Piping Up At Hollywood Presbyterian

When I got back to LA after six months in Oregon, one of the things I looked forward to was music at church. I usually attend the Contemporary service at Hollywood Presbyterian Church, which means I do not get to hear the pipe organ every Sunday. I had vaguely hoped there would be an organ concert. And as it turned out, not long after I got back in March, our brilliant organist, Dr. Kimo Smith, was indeed going to be giving a concert on the organ. Which made me realize it had been nearly five years since the last time he’d given a full-on concert on the instrument. Time flies.

The concert was given on April 19 – so I’m a bit lagging in actually posting about it.


He opened with “Sonata No.1, P. 42” by Alexandre Guilmant. And then followed it with the piece that everyone associates with pipe organs (thanks to the movies!), Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”. I have to admit that when you hear that piece in person on a pipe organ, it really is impressive. The big pipes vibrate with intensity, and you can feel the music build and build. It’s always worth it to hear it in person on a big organ.

He took the time to explain the pieces he was giving us. After the Bach, he played Joseph Jongen’s “Choral, Op. 37, No.4.” He followed that with “Three Jazz Preludes” from Johannes Matthias Michel, which were very interesting. The three preludes were each based on a traditional church tune (hymns, basically), but each given a specific jazz flavor.  “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast” became “Swing Five: Erhalt uns, Herr.” “Bosa Nova: Wunderbarer Konig” was from “Wonderful King.” And the last prelude, from “In Thee Is Gladness” was “Afro-Cuban: In dir ist Freude.” There was something very lively and smile-inducing about those three pieces. A joyful addition to the program.

The first part of the concert was rounded out by “Toccata in D Major” by Marcel Lanquetuit.

After a short intermission break, Kimo relaunched the music with “Toccata para Organo” by Ariel Quintana – who just happens to be the Music Director at Hollywood Pres. Kimo teasingly called it “Opus No. 1” even though Ariel has not (yet) written another for Kimo to play.


This was followed by “Three Hymn Preludes” arranged by Fred Bock, who had been the Music Director at Hollywood Pres until his untimely death in 1998. It was Fred who brought Kimo to Hollywood Pres, for which we are very thankful. The three hymns used were “Be Thou My Vision”, “In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified,” and “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”

The program was closed out with Denis Bedard’s “Suite for Organ”.

All in all, it was a lovely program. I’ve always enjoyed listening to pipe organs, for it always takes me back to listening to my mother rehearse on the piano, during those years when she also worked as an organist.

I admit that I had hoped that Kimo would end the program with the rousing “Rondo in G” by John Bull. It’s a virtuoso piece, with a lot of hand work and foot work. It was one in particular that I remembered from my mother’s rehearsing. But as it turned out, there was a reason why it was not included in the concert. When the church had it’s annual Celebration Sunday, were all the choirs sang, and the bell choirs played, where we wind up our “year” with music from all levels, the “Rondo” was the piece that Kimo chose as the postlude to that service. So, all my music wishes were fulfilled.

Oh! I should add that one of the things I’d always hoped for was done this time around. A camera was positioned, with the image projected to the sides of the choir loft, so that the audience could see much of Kimo’s hand work on the multiple keyboards.  It wasn’t an ideal positioning, over his left shoulder, but it gave people the beginning of an idea of how much work being an organist is. If I were in charge, though…. I’d tried to position one camera directly above the keyboards, so we could get an even better view of the jumping around that has to be done there. And then I would also light the pedal-board below, and put a camera down there (if possible), so that people could see how much an organists feet get worked as well. Maybe some day.

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Bradbury’s Influence

I’ve been reading Ray Bradbury: the Last Interview this last week. I’d recently come to realize how much Bradbury had influence my own writing. I had not thought about it because I wasn’t a reader who was immersed in his writing. But definitely, I encountered Something Wicked This Way Comes at a crucial time in my formation as a writer. The lyricism of his prose always stayed in the back of my mind, sinking in roots in my own imagination.



Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about his outlook on writing, both stylistically and in terms of craftsmanship. The following is a quote from the book, about the importance of writing for love of the work.

People will always give advice to a writer to slant, to write for the money. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. You will sicken and die. If you turn away from you— who you are, what you are, what you dream, what you need— you are going to wind up so unhappy , so miserable. It’s not worth it. Being poor isn’t so bad as long as you have your imagination and what you are. Being rich for the wrong reason is a lousy business. You aren’t rich at all. I’ve known a lot of Hollywood writers over the years who made ten times my income, and they were profoundly unhappy. Because they wrote things they never should have written. They never went on vacation. They never went to Europe and saw London or Paris or Rome. They were afraid that if they ever left Hollywood, they would be replaced. And they were probably right. They were replaceable. But when you write from within, if you write from within and are true to who you are, you are original and you cannot be replaced. No wonder these writers were scared! Nothing was written out of their hearts or ganglia. And so the lesson is, of course, that you must never turn away from the essential you. If you turn away from who you are, you will sicken. You will age ahead of your years. And so you must learn to turn inwards , to your own experiences, to your own memories, your passions, your loves and hatreds— you will then begin to summon the essence of you.

Bradbury, Ray; Weller, Sam (2014-12-02). Ray Bradbury: The Last Interview: And other Conversations (The Last Interview Series) (Kindle Locations 818-828). Melville House. Kindle Edition.

I am trying to hold onto that love of my stories, that love of the craft.  It’s so easy in the regular beat of trying to get on with life to lose track of loving your stories. It’s so easy to just be focused on getting the next patch written for the paycheck. I want to keep Ray’s words in my soul, so that even the “work-a-day” writing jobs are filled with that love that comes from the core of me.

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WonderCon 2015 Excursion

My first week back in Southern California just happened to fall before the 2015 WonderCon. I had registered for the con while I was still in Oregon, because I knew that I needed to get back into the swing of things, in order to get in gear promoting Creating Graphic Novels. It was a tight week for me, but making the contacts would be a good thing.

I got a ride down to the Anaheim Convention Center with my friend Robin Reed. We got down early enough to get a good parking spot. Pro Registration check in went quickly this time. Then, of course, there followed a long waiting time because the exhibit hall and programming didn’t open until noon. When it did, I went into the hall to say hi to a few friends. Travis Hanson had his booth close up front and looked to be set to do good business. It so happened that he was located right next to the GLAWS booth, so I also got to greet quite a number of my old friends that I have not seen in six months.

At 1, I headed up to programming. I’m always interested in what Barbara Randall Kesel puts forward, and she had a “Just What does an Editor Do?” panel. Scheduled with her were Sarah Gaydos, Shannon Eric Denton, with Joe Lefavi and another gentleman (whose name, alas, I’ve forgotten). Unexpectedly, Barbara called me up to join the panel so that the gender numbers would be even. I was pleased for the opportunity, given that I need the practice of speaking in public, but I knew I was rusty and not exactly looking “presentation ready” (I just meant to be a mere attendee, after all). But even with my less than spectacular contribution (just not up to speed yet), one guy in the audience checked with me for the specifics on my book, while another woman from the audience approached me to ask if I’d be willing to speak to her writers group out in Ontario in a couple of months. That made for a good start for the convention for me.

Later in the afternoon, I attended Michael Lovitz’ presentation about comic book law – in this case about intellectual properties, copyright and trademarks. I was already familiar with much of what he had to say, but it was good to get a refresher on the points. I followed that by attending “Publicizing Your Project” with Amy Ratcliffe, Craig Miller, Joe LeFavi.

"Publicizing Your Project" panel

“Publicizing Your Project” with (l to r) Amy Ratcliffe, Craig Miller, and Joe LeFavi.

They had some good suggestions about publicizing strategies.

The last panel for me was “The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comics & Hollywood Scripting” moderated by Brandon Easton. Brandon does this panel frequently, and he and his panelists are always interesting.

"The Writer's Journey: Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting" with (l to r) Brandon Easton, Tony Puryear, Erika Alexander, Marc Scott Zicree, and Hannibul Tabu

“The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting” with (l to r) Brandon Easton, Tony Puryear, Erika Alexander, Marc Scott Zicree, and Hannibul Tabu

Robin and I wrapped up for the day and headed north.

The next morning I got up early to get to Robin’s so we could get going for that great parking again. I left Pasadena 6:30 and as I drove westward to Glendale, I saw that the moon still hung low in the sky already filled with dawn. She was bright and plump, but her lower quarter was shadowed by a remainder of the eclipse as if she had opened herself up to drain out the excess light-weight she had gained drinking in solar reflection all night long. Then she dropped lower still, peeking over Mt. Hollywood for a moment before sliding away from daylight.

(Okay, enough with the lyricism.) Robin and I did indeed get a good parking spot. Saturday had several panels I meant to attend.

At 10, I went to the “How to Get News Coverage” panel, that covered a lot of elements that I already knew, but it was good to have others recommend the approaches. This panel was held in the same room that Barbara Randall Kesel would do her “Ideas” presentation  at 12. So I sat through the panel in-between about “Whovian Costuming for Beginners.”

Barbara Randall Kesel

Barbara Randall Kesel

(Alas, I got more of Barbara’s microphone than I did of her face.) Barbara is always fun and interesting when she does her “Where Do Ideas Come From?” discussion. She goes almost non-stop during the allotted time.

I took a break from panels and went down to the exhibit hall to check out some of the booths and get some lunch. Of course, the concessions in the hall were more expensive than seems reasonable, but when you’re hungry, you end up accepting it. I did encounter the following in one of the booths —

Full size inflatable Dalek.

Full size inflatable Dalek.

Back upstairs, there was a spotlight interview with Stan Sakai about 30 years of Usagi Yojimbo.

Stan Sakai with Jessica Tseang

Stan Sakai with Jessica Tseang

Stan’s a great guy, and managed to have an upbeat or funny answer to all the questions from the audience, including a query of “Is there some other character that you think you could write and/or draw better than the current writer or artist?” His prompt answer: “Groo the Warrior” – that Mark Evanier, what is he thinking, and “Have you seen the characters? They look like potato people!” This got a good laugh from everyone – for they all knew he was close friends with Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés. It was a nice chat, and it made me extra glad I had earlier purchased a copy of the graphic novel 47 Ronin from Stan.

The last panel for me was “Inside the Writers Room” with a number of television writers talking about their experiences on a wide variety of shows.

The day wound down, my knees and legs were stiff for all the walking. Robin and I headed back to Glendale. And that wrapped up WonderCon 2015 for me. The last day of the con was Easter Sundayand celebrating that took first place with me. All in all, for me, it went well and gave me some things to think about as I plan for the future.

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The Season of the Hermit Ends

The last six months have been a wonderful time of refreshment here in Oregon. It has washed away a lot of the stresses that I’d been carrying for the last two years especially. The quiet and solitude have drained away a lot of the psychological toxins I don’t need. So, it is a bit saddening to be making preparations to leave and return to Los Angeles. I will miss the ranch, and the animals (although it will be nice not to have the daily inhalation of grass and alfalfa dust). But I have missed my Los Angeles communities, and the southern California weather.

I had been told that there was a “back road” into town from the ranch. But most of the time because I was trying to conserve gas and time, I hadn’t tried it. But a week ago, I had a lovely day and no rush, so I took that drive into town. Because it’s a back road, it is much more up-and-down over the landscape than the freeway. But it does have some lovely views.

scribblerworks-back-road-oregonI drove a little bit further up the road to get a more spectacular shot of the pocket valley up ahead.

scribblerworks-back-road-oregon-2Although I have taken several photos from various spots on the ranch, I hadn’t taken one from the road, looking uphill at the ranch itself. So I decided it was time to do so. The following shot shows the lower meadow, where the llamas and donkeys usually spend most of their day, grazing. None of them are in sight in this photo, because I had just fed them up at the barn, and they were all still up there munching away. The building in the foreground is the ranch chapel.


And then, of course, there is my home for the last six months, the trailer known as the “Fifth Wheel”. Sitting in the center of the property, amid the trees, it has been a very satisfactory hermitage for this time. But I confess, I will be pleased to return to more ordinary quarters.



The ranch is always going to be a beloved place to me. I will certainly keep it in prayers for the future, for their ministry in giving faith groups a wonderful place for retreats and meditation.




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Passion For Work

On Facebook earlier today, artist Colleen Doran posted a link to an interesting blog article that featured some comments by Mike Rowe about the “follow your passion” advice that usually gets passed around easily.


Rowe’s comments gave me some food for thought. I’ve certainly been an advocate of people pursuing the things they dream of doing. My feeling about it is that if they don’t at least try for the “dream career” they will never know if it was possible, and they would spend a lot of time regretting “things not done.” Even so, there were points in his comments that were worth considering.

I posted what follows in the comments discussion responding to Colleen’s sharing of the article.


I like that he is very pragmatic about the aspect of passion versus ability. Ability increases with training and hardwork. In the arts, yes, “talent” is important (a musician with no sense of rhythm is going to be lost, for instance), but even then it needs to be polished, honed, perfected by hard work on the basics.

When I was in the middle school age range, I drew a lot. My passion was fashion design. I really intended to go that route. But a “research a career” assignment in 9th grade opened my eyes to a few things. The key part of it was that I realized I did not have the temperament to sit at a drawing board all day, every day. I loved doing artwork, but realized I would die inside to be stuck in that kind of routine – so that also eliminated commercial art. I just wanted to do art when I *wanted* to do art (I still work at it, and am very satisfied when I *do* artwork). But it wasn’t going to be my living.


It took a long time to find what would take that place. The funny thing is that I had already started writing a fair amount. Eventually, the day came that I realized my “passion” was writing, and I trained myself hard. And I’m pleased with the work I now do. But my own projects as a writer still don’t pay my bills. So I do SEO web content writing – and I’m darned good at it, because I bring all my creative abilities and understanding of communication to the job.

I’m still “following my passion” – but I’ve also accepted the cost of that. I don’t make a lot of money. I live extremely modestly (and have even gone through a season of being officially homeless – though I’ve been fortunate in having had places to stay in that season).

What I see, when I look around at aspiring writers who want to “follow their passion” are a lot of them who are not willing to learn all the business aspects needed to make it a success. They don’t want to do the work to build their audience. They don’t want to do the work of getting themselves in front of people (which really frustrates me, because at the moment I’m stuck in rural circumstances that don’t allow for me to be doing presentations and seminars).

The work doesn’t go out and magically find its audience. You do have to do some labor in beating the bushes – and you have to learn to love that process as well as creating the works you are promoting.


The post at Yellow Hammer News is by Cliff Sims, about some observations Mike Rowe has about “follow your passion”.

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Enjoying the Portland Comic Con

I posted a full report about my trip to the Portland Comic Con on the Creating Graphic Novels blog. It was a challenge to make the trip happen, but once it came together, I made the most of it. I stayed with my friend Kar-yee Wu and her family, getting to meet her youngsters. Although I’ve stayed in contact with her online (Facebook in particular), it’s been about ten years since we last met face-to-face. So it was good to see her again.

I was a little later getting away on the trip than I’d intended, but once I was on the way I enjoyed myself. However, I’d been up late Thursday night, so I did find myself getting just a little groggy on the drive. I got off the road, and parked to take a 10 minute cat-nap, which helped a lot.

I hit Portland about 3 o’clock in the afternoon (the time the show actually opened), and so encountered Friday afternoon traffic. I also felt I had not done enough research on the layout of Portland, because I didn’t feel quite sure I was going in the right directions. As it turned out, I was doing fine. But the city itself surprised me, being planted on the steep banks of the Willamette River. I think I’d like to go back for a visit, just to see more of the city.

I had a good time at the convention. I even encountered someone who had just purchased Creating Graphic Novels, which was rather fun to find out. But I’m still out of practice taking lots of pictures of cosplayers. I did get at least one good picture, though.

The Beast and Belle sit down for a snack.

The Beast and Belle sit down for a snack.

After a deal of plodding around the convention (and wishing I had spending money for some of the goodies I saw), and enjoying my visit with Kar-yee, I headed down the road again late Sunday morning. All the locals were marveling about how warm the day was to be. However, when I got out into my car and rolling, what I had not anticipated was that the warmth had created a thick layer of fog. The blanket of fog seemingly covered the whole of the Willamette River valley, limiting visiblity much of the time to about a quarter mile radius. And it lasted all the way from Portland to Eugene.

Climbing up out of the valley just south of Eugene, I emerged into sunlight and blue, cloud-swept skies. In the end, I pulled back into the ranch mid-afternoon.

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