Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who Wants to Review a Short Film?

Today, for no good reason whatsoever, I popped over to IMDb - the Internet Movie Data Base - where I have a tiny, tiny entry. I then checked out the short film project with which I was involved, and realized that we were suffering from the vary thing that affects most litle homemade films.

No one gets to see it. And those that do, don't get to make their opinions known.

A few years, I wrote a short film. Then with director Monte Kraus, Philip Scarborough (an occasional visitor here), Tom Beck (a frequent houseguest here), Sam Morris IV, Diego Velasco, Sam Watson, Matthew Beall, and others (stay for the credits!), we put together the short film and entered it into a small film festival. It won. This made us happy.

Not long after, we entered it to IMDb and were delighted when it was accepted.

So, it is with just a little shameless interest, that I am going to point here - The Pop-Up Prophecy.

Then, if you feel the muse upon you, pop over to our IMDb page here and leave a review, or even just a vote on the site's 1-10 scale. None of us have ever tried getting anyone to the site, so it would be interesting to see what people think of the short. (You can also read the script here.)

Then, if you're a high-powered Hollywood type and you'd like to offer any/all of us a job, just drop us a line here.

Smirk if you want. But I'll bet you smile first.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fiction: "Ploughman"

I have no real comment to make for this one, except to thank you in advance for any feedback you might give. I have published it in its entirety on this page.

**This is the version that I have edited for submission. It is quite a bit different in phrasing, rhythm, and style than the first.


Somewhere overhead, flies buzzed and a hawk called. Tall grass swayed in the breeze, tickling his face and arms. He breathed raggedly, open-mouthed, the only human sound around. Beyond the smell of blood and death, the scent of wheat still lingered, drifting to his nose, his mind. The smell of good earth and green grass; it was the smell of life to a ploughman.

He touched again the blade that pinned him to the earth. Slick with oil and his own blood, it had resisted his attempts to pull it from his belly. He’d lacerated his fingers trying; now he was too weak to do anything but try to push it away.

He had never meant to be a soldier. He’d never wanted to wear the leather for his king, never wanted to go into battle with an axe in hand. An axe was meant for trees and stumps. It wasn’t meant to be used on another. His axe was steel and oak, and lay just out of reach. He had always planned to use it until the grave, never knowing how close that would be.

His king had called him, and he, a man of the plough, had come.

The king was not a bad man. He taxed his subjects at the same rate. It was steep, but it was fair. The taxes paid for the wardens who patrolled the lands, the roads that carried the goods, the priests in the city, the walls of the stronghold, and the men that stood upon them. They paid the price of civilization.

They paid the price of protection.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Southwestern College Board Must Go!

As of just a couple days ago, I have started running a website dedicated to defeating our corrupt Governing Board at Southwestern College, by voting the bums out in November. The site is not a Writer's Washroom site, but it is certainly related to the work I did last year to trash the Board at every opportunity.

The site is located at: http://www.swcboardmustgo/ - and I'd love some visitors familiar with the situation over there. If things go right, we'll have essays from students, members of the faculty, and me; a video or two; maybe some nifty evidence of corruption; and more surprises than you can shake a stick at.

If you'd like to write something for the site, email me here at my usual address, or visit the SWC Board Must Go! website and join in.

This does also mean that I will be keeping most, if not all, of my new anti-Board work over there, and not here. For my South County-based readers, this may be a hassle. For those of you who come from elsewhere and just like reading the drivel that I post, this will probably be a blessing.

One last thought: I still get a buttload of hits from people searching for "Nick Alioto" or some combination of his name on this site.

(Some real recent searches: "Nick Alioto Wisconsin Criminal", "Nick Alioto Wisconsin School Corruption", "Nick Alioto Southwestern Corrupt", "Nick Alioto Kenosha Wisconsin Rip-Off", and "Nick Alioto Thief". I'm not saying any of that; I'm just saying what searches brought you to me.)

If you know Nick Alioto from the past - people of Wisconsin, I'm talking to you, then I would love to hear from you. I'd like to know every stinking thing he did in the Midwest to rip off all those school districts. Anyone want to drop some knowledge on me, do so. Send me an email. If you want to remain confidential, I'll respect that. If you want to trash him publicly, I'll respect that even more.

Thanks for visiting everyone, and remember: SWC Board Must Go!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Conduit" - Prologue/Chapter 1

Howdy, readers. I'm going to be honest about this bit of fiction: it's fairly long. It is both the prologue and the first chapter of a completely different thing I've been working on. Which means I had the idea about two years ago, started it, stopped, started again, stopped again, rebooted it, rethought it, regurgitated, reduced it, enlarged it, and got enraged with it. Then I just started over and am much happier with it.

Should you choose to read on, you'll notice that the prologue is an entirely different flavor that the first chapter. That is correct. Don't think you stumbled into two different works.

As always, I thank you for reading, and I'd like any feedback you have to give.

And as always, I've only put the first few chapter of each on this page. I've also made it so you can read either the prologue and Chapter 1, or just Chapter 1 - for those of you who skip the prologue (which I don't understand).

Conduit Prologue – “Obelisks

The hermit stepped out of his shack and into the sun. He covered his eyes with a leathery hand, squinted up into the sky. The sun seemed to be closer to day than usual – and moving quicker. The day would shorten if it was. Walking onto the hardpan dirt, he hurried around to the side of his shack where a split-rail fence surrounded his little garden. Rooted more in sand and loose dirt than in real soil, it was difficult to maintain, but not impossible. The straw-man propped in the corner helped keep the crows away, and they were as destructive on the few green plants as the sun was. He pulled a wide-brimmed hat off the straw-man and slipped it onto his own head. His eyes not yet adjusted to the sun and unable to see, he turned and stumbled over a rough patch of ground. He dropped to one knee. He rubbed the knee for a minute before standing and gathering his robes around him.

Glancing back up at the sun again, he blinked his eyes and struck out down the slight hill, away from the shack and toward the pen where he kept his goats. Tending the goats was at least a thrice-a-day venture: milking and feeding the morning, feeding in the evening, and watering them early in the afternoon. But it was a necessary thing. It took him only a few minutes to shuffle down the bare hill to the pen and check the trough. It wasn’t empty, but would be within the hour. He sighed as he always did, and reached for the nearby pump handle. Faded by sun and time, the once-blue handle was now barely gray. He used both hands to loosen it. When most of the shrill squeaking stopped, he pumped using only one hand. He rested his other arm atop the short fence and leaned against it. As he waited for the trickle of water to appear, he looked north toward the horizon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Revisiting an Old Friend: "Melbourn's Storm" (the re-edit)

This WIP is down. In September 2012, Lore magazine will publish a much better version of "Melbourn's Storm." As such, any version of the story is unavailable except through them.