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Sunday, July 21st, 2013
10:00 am - Wake up! Wake up!
Time flied.

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Saturday, March 12th, 2011
12:34 pm - Haven't blogged in a while - Damn You, Facebook
I'm thinking about doing Script Frenzy in April so I've been gathering all the various writings I've got and one of the places I looked was here.  So I spent the morning re-reading my journal.  Some of it's good.  A lot is boring.

I liked the first few entries where I was a Hollywood wannabe mad at Frank Digbee.

Anyway, for Script Frenzy I have several choices.
1.  A thriller I started as a writing exercise for my first NaNo.  The bit is actually here on LiveJournal at jimisen.livejournal.com/15734.html
2. My second NaNo novel rewritten as a film.  San Francisco, New Orleans, the Philippines, Japan.  Alice Roosevelt, Wooblies, Sex. 1906.
3. My space opera.  I already have a couple of pages of script.  Out-of-work asteroid miner versus corporate villains.
4. 'A One-Act Play' - a local playwright overhears and uses a conversation in act one.  Act two is the one-act play he writes.  Act three is the audience member who recognizes the scene because they were in it reliving the original which is unlike the playwright's imagined scene.

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
7:35 pm - Writer's Block: Torn between two lovers

Have you ever fallen in love with two people at once? How did it work out?

Submitted By [info]e_fem_erna

<input ... > View 1317 Answers

I took the road more traveled and that made all the difference.

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Friday, April 2nd, 2010
8:32 am - Writer's Block: Take me to your leader
If an alien ship were to land in your backyard and choose you as the earthly representative of humanity, what would you tell them about our world? Would you consider going back with them for a visit?

Odd. I just started Script Frenzy yesterday and the crux of the story is an alien encounter. I haven't quite settled on the details but I expect them to be sentinels, benign, minuscule, somewhat like the Moties, but not destructive, perhaps mechanisms rather than organisms.  The main character's representation of mankind will be a bit pathetic, i.e., he gets in mortal danger and has to somehow explain to the dense aliens that he is in dire need of help.

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
2:37 pm - Does the Oregon tax propoasl really mean 22% increase in state income tax?
The FreedomWorks website, http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/oregons-latest-tax-hike-scheme, describes the proposed increase in state income taxes thus: "The tax increase punishes the middle class with a 22 percent increase in taxes on small and family businesses."

Is this a realistic characterization of the tax increase?

For a single taxpayer:
The tax increases from .9 to .108 for Taxable Income between $125,000 and $250,000 and .11 for income above $250,000.
Take a single tax payer making $325,000 gross a year. in the mid 1990's the average deduction for those making between $100k and $200k was $65k. Let's assume our payer can do as well in the late Aughts. So the taxable income drops to $260k. Oregon tax under the current rates would be about $23187. Under the higher rates, it would be about $25637. I'm not taking into account any Oregon=only adjustments or deductions.

The actual increase is about $2450 or slightly more than a 10% increase in the state tax owed.

The payer would only see a 22% increase where the amount of income below $125,000 was an insignificant portion of the total income. At $500k the effective increase is ~16%. At $2M it's ~20%. At 4M it's ~21.5%. So the single taxpayer with taxable income of $4M would owe an addition $78k, about 1 week's salary.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
3:55 pm - NaNo 09
I won. I wrote the great American draft or part thereof. All 50,000 words. Another .01% of a hard-drive tied up until my heir erases it.

Before Thanksgiving is a personal best.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2009
12:48 pm
I'm a O84-C5-E15-A17-N60 Big Five!!

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Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
8:19 am
Well, I've started NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, the NaNo website is slower than molasses. Hope they get that ironed out soon.

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Thursday, September 28th, 2006
12:39 pm - Bokkonon says 'busy, busy, busy'
September is Oregon Bike Commute Challenge Month. Intel is head-to-head with Nike to see which Oregon employer of more than 10000 people has the higher bike commute participation, and we're a shoe-in to lose. But I'm doing my part. I'm biking 14 out of 20 days. It did rain and my back gave me problems in the middle of the month. You don't want to hear excuses.

October is not a themed month, but Novemeber is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so I really need to use October to get my research done.

My novel this year will be about a Wobbly who gets sent as a crew member on the 1905 senatorial junket to Asia. Also onboard is Alice Roosevelt, Teddy's daughter. (That's an historical senatorial junket.) He ends up getting involved in Phillipines politics. The American occupation following the war with Spain had only recently managed to suppress local uprisings. Obvious parallels abound with the current occupation in Iraq.

The Wobblies want him to get in touch with Asian socialists. These turn out to be way more radical than he is and test his dedication to the cause. There are also conveniently located Philippine Muslim tribes, documented American atrocities, Japanese and Chinese nationalists and internationalists, and a plot to "burn down San Francisco just like Chicago." And it's an homage to Bogart in 'Across the Pacific'.

I'm throwing in a man-eating female yellow journalist from New Orleans who has to marry the American general who is covering up atrocities on his watch.

It seems like enough to generate 50,000 words but how to make the dialog flow? That's my problem.

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Sunday, March 12th, 2006
5:58 pm - Lucky Numbers 23, 11, 47, 8, 39, 5
My fortune cookie says "You can depend on the trust of the collective." I think it came from an old warehouse in mainland China.

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2005
11:40 am
I made it to 50000 words today and got my winner's certificate. The book is not complete. I still need to fit some of the peices together and it needs a major overhaul to be a coherent, crafted mystery. But all NaNo promises you is a rough draft by the end of the month. I got mine.

Now I can catch up on Netflix.

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Sunday, November 27th, 2005
10:42 am - The Great Race
On the rise

On the rise

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Friday, November 25th, 2005
9:06 pm
After several bleak days in which I coudn't write a thing, I finally took off again today and wrote 5K (and the day is not over). This puts me within a few hundred words of par.

And with three out of the next five days off, I finally feel like I might make it. Of course, I won't end up with a complete novel, like Bruce did last year. I'll just have 50,000 words of disjointed scenes.

My problenm is that although the protagonaist can get from town to town, he has very little free time and few friends in those towns. It is hard to come up with convincing reasons and scenarios for him to learn the things he must learn, we must learn, in order to discover the murderer.

I needed to have plotted this better back in October.

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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
7:15 am
No blogs's from Blueberryjoe. That man needs to get on the internet and tell us all the matter of Madrid.

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Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
10:38 pm
While doing some research on Alaska for my novel, because I'm blocked and haven't written 500 words in the past two days, I stumbled on the U of Fairbanks oral history project for Holy Cross.

There's an interview with Jerry Walker at http://uaf-db.uaf.edu/jukebox/holycross/HTML/jwinter.htm.

Jerry was one of the up-river captains when I worked for Black Navigation. So was his brother Dave. Those two and Capt Brown were the three old hands at Yutana Barge Lines in the 70's and early 80's.

One year when the Pat had wintered in Nenana so they could overhaul her, Jerry came down on the first run as far as Marshall to act as pilot. I got to spend a lot of time with him. He told a story about this cowboy and a prize bull which I plan to use in my book. It was incredible to find this 1/2 hour interview with him.

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Thursday, November 10th, 2005
10:47 pm - WriMo progess
I took today off and wrote a lot. I'm within a little over a hundred words of where I wanted to be by tonight so I feel back in control.
But the plot is developing too slowly. I planned to have a few chapters about my first year in Alaska, one chapter about the winter that also introduced another Portlander who would tie in, then have the murder happen in the second summer. But I've only covered the beginning of the first summer and I'm almost a third of the way along. So I'm trying to compress all the action into the first year. That changes some of the dynamics because I'm a newbie deckhand, not a veteran first mate.
I can make more use of my buddy, Steve, the current mate/pilot, who got me the job. Or I can just be leisurely and pretend I'm writing a 100,000 word novel and if it takes 25000 to describe the first year, terrific.
But then again, maybe I'm over describing the towboat trade, which is interesting to me but how much so to a casual reader? This sort of minutia made Moby Dick for the connoisseur but spoiled it for high school students everywhere.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
10:32 am - WriMo Ramblings
I'm running behind on my novel still. I made it to 6800 words yesterday which was a gain of about 500 over the daily requirement. Ai this rate I expect to be caught back up on the 20th. But it's starting to flow and I have 4 days of vacation booked just for writing. It still feels do-able.

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Sunday, November 6th, 2005
9:48 pm
Well, I'm back from 4 days at Disneyland and I've transcribed all the handwritten WriMo pages from my notebook to my computer. My word count is a miserable 4200 when the org says I should be at 10000 by the end of day 6. So I have to get back in the saddle after I post this. I should be able to crank out another 1000 or so before bedtime.

Mostly I wrote the Moonfathers' Grandson story while I was on the road. I put an excerpt at my NaNoWriMo page., http://www.nanowrimo.org/userinfo.php?uid=89976. Anyway, I have to aim at 2k a day until I'm well past the average. Work, work, work.

Speaking of which, I have to go back tomorrow to the grind. Oh, shit. I thinks it's going to get bad this fall. I REALLY want to retire.

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Monday, October 31st, 2005
7:53 am
A busy day today. Vacation day 1 and we don't travel until tomorrow. So today I have to pack, clean the car up, take books to the library and try to snag my new laptop from UPS because they want to deliver it too-morrow, which too-late.

But I don't have to go to work.

Yesterday, which, unlike today, was unexpectedly pleasant, we worked in the yard for several hours. Last night we saw Pride and prejudice at Portland Center Stage. It was a clever staging. The script combined both narration and dialog directly from the novel. So a character would speak of herself in the third person, then switch to dialog like this.

Eliza: "The news in Mr Darcy's letter excited Elizabeth. Her excitement burst forth. 'Father, we must reply at once.'"
Father: "Of course we will reply, my dear."
Mother: "Mrs. Bennet nodded approvingly." [nods]

They had no set, only a dozen straight-back chairs which were rearranged to fit the scene. This was done to great effect when they rode in carriages.

The play was developed in Seattle by the Boot-It Repertory Theatre which specifically adapts books to theatre while preserving the text.

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Friday, October 28th, 2005
10:32 pm - Edit this, MoFo.
A 547 word dialog exercise. It's snappy patter.
I pulled the car into the lot at the corner of 16th and Pine. There was an OPEN sign slipped in between the window and the shade. I pushed through the door into the lobby and looked for a phone.

“Can I help you, mister?” said the man behind the counter. He was about 45, probably short, though he was sitting down so who knew. His grease-stained paisley tie did not go with the pinstripe dress shirt, which did not go with the frumpy maroon Cardigan. “Another winner,” I thought.

“I need a phone,” I said. “My son’s in the car having some kind of attack and I need to call a doctor.”

“There’s a clinic about 5 blocks from here,” he said. “You could be there is two minutes. What’s wrong with him?”

“I don’t know. Can you show me which way the clinic is?”

He stepped around the counter. I had been right. He was very short, mostly in the legs which were stumpy like a dwarf’s. He grabbed my elbow and hustled me back outside.

“If you go down Pine for another three blocks there’s a four way stop. Take a right and you’ll see the building on the right-hand side.”

“Thanks, buddy,” I said.

“Where’s your boy?” he asked, turning away to look at my Buick.

“Sorry about this,” I mumbled as I cracked him over the head with the butt of my automatic. It turned out I hit him too hard.

I took a quick look around. No one was on the street. I grabbed him under the arms and dragged him back into the office. I shoved hiim into a corner and went around to the till. There was 37 dollars and change. He had a small cooler under the counter, too. It had a sandwich I didn’t want and a can of Miller which I took for later. Then I started looking for information.

The ledger was fairly new. It only showed records back to mid August. I rooted around in the drawers looking for the old one. I was coming up with it just as Joey walked in. He’d wiped the spittle from his mouth and was daubing the cut on his forehead with Kleenex.

“You dumb bastard,” he said, walking up to the counter and grabbing me by the collar. “Who taught you to be charge?" He glanced at the corner. "Is that guy dead?”

“Well, hell, I don’t know, Joe. I’m knee deep in cleaning up your mess here. You’re so all-fired concerned, go nurse him back to health.” I slammed the second ledger down on the counter, raising enough dust to make us both cough. Then I opened it to the middle and started searching. Joey walked over and gave the dead runt a nudge with his foot. He was a dead runt.

“Great, Lamont. You’ve officially joined the murdering class.”

“Joined it back in ’78,” I replied. “Your buggering uncle.”

“Hey, no family.”

Joey looked like he might actually be getting heated so I shut up and started scanning the book. The dates on that page were all in May so I turned back a few. I saw ‘July 7’ and then ‘Miller, Scranton.’ “Bull's-eye,” I said, swinging the book around and pointing out the entry to Joey. He grinned and nodded. “Too bad for Scranton,” I thought.

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