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Monthly Archives: November, 2015

The Most Important Job

I am an insurance agent.  You are a writer.  She is a physical therapist.  He is a stay-at-home dad.

We have jobs to perform.  We have careers to build.  We have schedules to adhere to and meetings to attend.  We meet deadlines, make appointments, and multitask our way through the days.

We navigate the hustle and bustle of society.  We ride out the ebbs and flows of the economic system.  We create trends, and then we buck them in favor of the next latest, greatest thing.

Some struggle to wade through the mundane hours of their workday.  Others strive to climb the ladder and achieve new heights of career elevation.  The luckiest of us grab ahold of that thing that sparks our passion and find a way to make both a living and a life with it.

Source: The Most Important Job

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 MWA Names Major Edgar Award Winners

Classic Mysteries · by Les Blatt · November 24, 2015

The Mystery Writers of America has announced the names of the recipients of three of the organization’s top Edgar Awards for 2016.  Walter Mosley will be named a Grand Master, for his lifetime achievements as a mystery writer. Editor Margaret Kinsman and the national organization Sisters in Crime will each be receiving the Raven Award, which “recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.”  And Janet Rudolph, the director of Mystery Readers International and editor of the Mystery Readers Journal, will receive The Ellery Queen Award, which honors “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.”

(Darn! They overlooked me again. But I’ll get them…..)

Source: News Reader | NetworkedBlogs by Ninua

A Preview of “On the Frontlines of the Television War” by Tony Hirashiki

Hirashiki 1

Time: 10am

Date: April 27, 1966

Place: ABC News bureau on the 6th floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon.

“How do you do, sir? I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Yasutsune Hirashiki—just arrived from Japan.”

Well, my initial greeting went very well. I shouldn’t have been surprised–after all I’d been practicing it for days.

The man with the mustache gave me a smile and a handshake. His name was Jack O’Grady, the bureau chief for ABC News Saigon. He wasn’t all that tall, just a bit taller than an average Japanese.

“Welcome to Vietnam! New York told me you were coming. They said you were a damn good cameraman.”

He went on to tell me that he’d screened the demo reel of film clips that I’d sent to New York weeks ago and that he was struck by the creativeness of my photography.

That sounded good.

“I’m ready to work, sir. When shall I start?” I said.

“Well, this week is very quiet, so why don’t you check with us next week?” He replied.

What? I hadn’t expected that. Did he just say that I didn’t have a job this week but I might have a job next week. But only if it was busy?

I was sure he was mistaken. I had a letter from Jack Bush, the executive in New York who hired camera crews around the world for ABC. He had very clearly said that I should quit my job at a Japanese local TV station and fly to Vietnam where a job was waiting for me.

This is what I’d wanted for years. I quit the news cameraman job where I’d spent the past ten years, packed up everything I owned, and came to Saigon to join ABC News–one of the mighty American News Networks.

Clearly, this O’Grady fellow hadn’t gotten the message.

I hadn’t practiced this speech but I believe my English was very clear. “Mr. O’ Grady, I was hired by New York as Saigon bureau cameraman. According to New York’s instructions, I quit my job at a Japanese TV station, and come here to work.” I said.

Mr. O’Grady patiently listened to my terrible English and said, “Show me the letter.”

I gave it to him. He read it, smiled, and said, “Look at this line.”

He then ran his finger along the line of incomprehensible English words as he carefully read them to me. “It says that you will have a chance if you go to Saigon but there the word ‘hired’ isn’t in here. We will give you a chance. Come back and check next week. If it’s busy and we need a cameraman, we’ll send you on an assignment and you’ll have a chance to show us your work.”

I was in shock. He was right! Being Japanese, I had translated the letter with a dictionary and only paid attention to what I thought was the important parts of the letter.

Quit. Go to Saigon. Have a chance.

A Preview of “On the Frontlines of the Television War.”

bell standup

Tony Hirashiki and Steve Bell in Cambodia. (Or is it properly Steve Bell  and Tony Hirashiki?”

“The Charming Dictator”

How to litter your manuscript with typos (in 9 easy steps!)

Yes, this is based on a recent personal experience. Want the details? Keep reading!

How to litter your manuscript with typos

  1. Create a character with a short name that could easily be found in many longer words — i.e., “Kat”
  2. Write 40,000 words of a story
  3. Realize that you prefer an alternate spelling — i.e., “Cat”
  4. Do a “Search All” and “Replace All” to change the spelling — i.e., “Kat” > “Cat”
  5. Write another 10,000 words
  6. Realize you prefer the first spelling
  7. Do a “Search All” and “Replace All” to change the spelling back — i.e., “Cat” > “Kat”
  8. Casually reread the story and realize you’ve created 218 typos — i.e., “sKatter”, “reloKated”, unsKathed”, “mediKations”
  9. Success!

Source: How to litter your manuscript with typos (in 9 easy steps!)

A Summer’s Day Ride in Bonner Springs Kansas

It is moments like this, along with the sound of our pipes and beautiful scenery that propel us to chase the front wheel on every opportunity!

Source: A Summer’s Day Ride in Bonner Springs Kansas

Guess what? A compelling new mathematical definition makes our humble moon a planet

UCLA professor Jean-Luc Margot has proposed a new, mathematical definition that would apply to bodies both inside and outside our solar system. By his calculations, detailed in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal, our moon could qualify as a planet, as New Scientist reports.

The planet definition debate has been particularly controversial since 2006, when the International Astronomical Union came up with a set of criteria that stripped Pluto of its planet status.

Source: Guess what? A compelling new mathematical definition makes our humble moon a planet

Writing Quotes — Elmore Leonard

Sorry, it’s too late.

Terry

Photo post by @amdobritt.

Source: Writing Quotes — Elmore Leonard

Busted – A Short Story

By now, Colleen has hopefully shaken off the long road trip, had time to stretch her legs, and started to put things in order. It’s an exciting time, starting a new adventure. uPG8Dw0

Source: Busted – A Short Story

–The silence and the sea

The silence and the sea.

A Poem by Coyote Poetry

"

We need to listen to the sea, the wind and rebirth each day hopeful and ready.

"

                                    
  The silence and the sea
Blessed is the man that knew regret and he learn from it.
Lucky is the man who loses the emotion of rage.
Learn to live in the splendor of celebrating each new day.

Old man baking in the hot sun by the Seaside beach.
Watching the glistening sea dance upon the morning shore.
Drinking coffee and waiting for a reason to write.

He watches a young man walking alone.
His head lowered, eyes detached to another place and time.
Roaming the beach looking for answered that can’ t be found.

Source: –The silence and the sea

This week we’ll know whether Amazon can start making drone deliveries

Source: This week we’ll know whether Amazon can start making drone deliveries

 

This is truly frightening…

“Hill 875: A Preview of “On the Frontlines of the Television War” by Tony Hirashiki

When the second group came past, a reporter finally called out, “What happened at the front?” and another asked, “Tell us what happened on Hill 875.”

The soldiers just kept walking past without the slightest reaction and didn’t say a word. We were surprised when a few turned around and walked back to where we were standing. They faced the cameras and the massed microphones and began to tell us what had happened.

It was an eruption of anger, frustration, and sorrow at the hell they had gone through for the past days. In the beginning, the soldiers spoke one by one but soon they began to talk over each other, shouting and even weeping as the terrible memories poured out. I had covered these units before and I knew that they were some of the toughest troops the Americans had. It was a scene of raw emotion.

The military press officials tried to stop the men from speaking by pulling them away from the press but the soldiers ignored them and continued to tell us their stories of hell. We all stayed behind the rope but the soldiers came closer and their stories became more intimate. Everything they said was a testimony to the shocking, brutal, bitter and cruel nature of the fighting on that hill. They were so angry that curse words and slang came pouring out; i knew we couldn’t broadcast that sort of language back in those days but they were speaking from the heart and they were probably the only words that could begin to express their feeling. It was the reality of war being told in a truer way than I had seen in all the time I’d been in Vietnam. big standup

(Tony with Don North – Not at Hill 875)

Announcing a Conference Dedicated to Indie Authors!

Source: Announcing a Conference Dedicated to Indie Authors!

Hakarl: There are Just SO Many Uses for This Word!

IN ICELAND THEY have this delicacy called hákarl that recently initiated diners describe as “the worst tasting food on Earth,” “the world’s foulest food,” and “the worst thing I have ever had in my mouth.” To say it smells like a urinal would be generous. Not that anyone should be surprised, considering hákarl is rotten shark meat fermented in the dirt or open air for months on end.

Source: Absurd Creature of the Week: The Mystery of the Arctic’s Toxic, Lethargic Shark | WIRED

Spenser is Back!

519BrdTSLpL._SX281_BO1,204,203,200_With WONDERLAND, Ace Atkins flawlessly captures Parker’s narrative voice and has written the best Spenser novel in his years. It reads like Parker in his prime, and even without Hawk appearing in the book. There isn’t a single false note in the plotting, character, pacing or prose. It’s an astonishing feat, it’s like he’s channeling Parker from the great beyond. It’s actually better, and truer to Parker and his characters, than the last few Spenser novels that Parker himself wrote. It’s a shame Atkins can’t take on Jesse Stone and Virgil Cole, too.

Buy on Kickback on Amazon

Buy Wonderland on Amazon

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