Saturday, April 29, 2006

To Succeed You Have to Fail, says Samuel Beckett. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
-Richard Nixon

Allow me to fill you in on a little secret ... I’m not a blogger, I’m just pretending to be a blogger!
You have a lifelong dream of writing a book and making a movie. You decide it’s high time you made good that dream. So you start a blog! The amazing degree of village atmosphere inside the blogosphere just blew me away Media Dragon has given Cold River the sort of exposure I could only dream of I could only dream of ... Special Kudos to Google and to Clustr Maps. As a result, Media Dragon has Worldwide readership: What more could I ask for?
Following hot on the heels of the US release of Cold River, the book is now being printed and distributed in the UK, and is fast becoming available around the world. In the US, the book can be ordered from any bookstore and is available online from Booksamillion , Barnes & Noble , and more. It's also available from worldwide Amazon sites in Canada, Germany, France and Japan . And it's available in Switzerland and Belgium too.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: You've got to find what you love: Vesihiisi sihisi hississä
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

• Our Sole Goal is to Stay Hungry. Stay Soulful [Simply put, stay open to new ideas and thoughts and never be content to do the same thing day after day. Never worry about doing something you want to do because you are afraid of what others may think. It’s your life. Don’t waste it doing what others want you to do. Find what you love to do and do it! Stay Hungry. Stay Crazish ;-) ; Beauty of any Blog is in the eye of the beholder What's your favourite blog? ; Ouch: Does blogging help you become a better writer? No. Most blogging is sheer exhibitionism, either the self-absorbed ramblings of an individual blogger or the corporate site that exists for the sole purpose of making money. (If anyone sees a disturbing parallel between blogging and column writing, kindly keep it to yourself.) This doesn't mean blogs have to be badly written. It just means that most are. You, To, Can Right Like a Blogger]
• · Just amazing stuff as Croquet is out. Google does rock! There are no boundaries in the system! Google Releases Free 3-D Modelling Software ; After a yearlong review of its strategy, the British Broadcasting Corp., the world's biggest and best-known public broadcaster, said it plans to put more resources into its already-large Internet presence and no longer regards itself primarily as a producer of television and radio BBC Expands Internet Presence After Review ; Time to add to my occasional series on Web heroes and heroines, people who work tirelessly to help the rest of us understand the Internet better. Joining Gary Price, Tara Calishain and Wendy Boswell is Neil Reisner's Place
• · · The new meet market blog Blogging ; Okay this one's crazy - not just for the fact for what I now have on the trading block, but for the way it happened. I just got a phone call about this. I said yes on the spot One virtual afternoon with Alice Cooper The guy who is attempting to barter his way from a single red paperclip to a house
• · · · Deutsche Telekom 60 billion emails sent daily worldwide; The Save the Internet coalition is trying to prevent a hijacking of our future. The robber barons of the Information Age, the phone and cable giants Saving the Net from the Real Predators
• · · · · What this age of Internet euphoria looks like to those of us who were in the game last time around. For one, bubbles aren’t completely bad. The Way We Boom Now; Think of [the Internet] like Cable TV. Anybody can start a cable channel. But if you can't get on TimeWarner Cable here in Manhattan, for me you might as well not even exist. The Internet could work like that Anybody can start a cable channel ; A LOT of people spend a lot more than $US3000 a year on their hobbies Hobby blog now a learning aid
• · · · · · Editor: Why newspapers should do investigative reporting. First of all, it is our responsibility, You’re not going to see Bill Gates do it or the bathrobe-wearing bloggers . Journalists around the world are dying for the right to do it. And for us not to is unconscionable. If you must make phone calls, do like Tony Soprano and use a prepaid cell phone purchased with cash Watchdogs, Not Lap Dogs; I had a strong urge to see what was going on BEHIND the scenes. I got my wish, and what I found was that what went on in the White House was WAY more complicated than it appeared to me as a reporter on the outside. Nessen: Why I went from reporter to WH press secretary ; It was Scott McClellan's miserable lot to be fronting for a boss in a political tailspin, a President at pains to reconcile his own assertions to the American people with ever more well-documented reality McClellan could only be trusted to tap dance

Thursday, April 27, 2006

There is infinite hope, but not for us.
- Kafka

I love the sunburnt country, the land that loves to lose. This view of us comes up for discussion on this day every year. It seems to be one of those elusive "Australian values" so many people are trying to pin down nowadays. The land is peppered with national characteristics - "Laconic understatement", "Fair go", "Mateship" and "The tall poppy syndrome" There's a theory that Australia, founded by rejects from British society, is more inclined to celebrate failure than success, with a national holiday devoted to a military fiasco, a hero hanged after bungling a bank robbery, an alternative anthem about a sheep thief who commits suicide, a film industry that keeps making self-critical movies that nobody goes to see, ach and don't bother asking for Cold River in bookshops - the hottest book in America only exists at Martin Smith @ Bondi. Love them, hate them: the one emotion your readers shouldn't be able to feel toward sole survivor is indifference. The land of losers: Loving to lose

Be careful how you interpret the world: it is like that! Escape, Beg, Borrow, or Steal:-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Mob mentality: The great are not good. And the good are not great
Death threats, shootings, strikes and bomb-scares ... John Patterson explains how - and why - the mafia tried to shut down the filming of The Godfather

It's said that there are only two stories: "Someone goes on a journey" or "A stranger comes to town". Star Wars is "someone goes on a journey". So is The Maltese Falcon, and 8 , and Thelma and Louise. On the other hand, Casablanca is "a stranger comes to town". So is All About Eve, and E.T. The Extraterrestrial and Fight Club. That last film, a favorite among frustrated young people, is a fantasy of release from stifling circumstance via the intervention of an unpredictable and superhuman visitor whose mere presence destroys the status quo in an orgy of divine chaos . . . oh, wait, did I say Fight Club? I meant Mary Poppins.

The Godfather And The Mob [So here is our preview of treats at the movies, for lovers of the blockbuster and the brow-furrower alike. Can't avoid: Mission: Impossible 3 ; It Just Looks Like I'm Not Hurting: What Big Love teaches about marriage and jealousy ]
• · Jean-Paul Sartre, finds itself trapped between being and nothingness ; The problem of private money influencing politics goes much, much deeper than Jack Abramoff. How Important Is the Quid Pro Quo? ; Cold River is now at Book Film To Reality ; It's a curious fact of modern life that if the world were to end tomorrow, we'd have seen it all before. European is decidedly the accent du jour in Tinsel Town. I'm into something that I cannot understand Hollywood's foreign affair
• · · We know sex is good for us. Now scientists say it can also protect against disease. It does not take a degree in medicine to work out that sex is good for you. Anything that is free, feels fabulous and leaves you glowing is plainly a good idea The secret of being in rude health is intercourse ; Who makes sure disaster movies are not laughable? These days, you can't make a film without a boffin Putting the science into fiction
• · · · By the 1950s, the image of the naked (or near-naked) woman was everywhere, selling cars, soap and soup, soft-core in Playboy, hard-core in imported porn Story of female nude is laid bare; On the weekend I invaded a few art galleries at Paddington and them I watched Fight Club with my Czech mate who had lived at Glenmore Road for 18 years. How time flies when you watch two contrasty movies in the row like the club and American Beauty! American Beauty almost spoke in tongues to some of us. Was the Real Estate woman played by someone we both know rather well??? Desperate for a symbol other than Fight Club's Tyler Durden to help "realign your perceptions" on life? Supercalifuckthesystemexpialidocious ; Why we can't get along. Big Brother's secret Identity and Violence ; Sophomore’s New Book Contains Passages Strikingly Similar to 2001 Novel Why old farts should get huge advances
• · · · · As anyone who has seen any version of Anna Karenina knows, a great book does not necessarily make a great film. And while The Godfather was a great movie, was it a great novel? Probably not Film of the book: top 50 adaptations revealed ; Why stop at just one career? Barbara Drury meets baby boomers who have found a more fulfilling life Love your work: Boom Lover afterparty
• · · · · · Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Tommy Carden: An Appreciation ; Our best asset: daggy idealism Loving to lose Tight Knickers ; When you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra - If we now see Michelangelo as the Titan of Titans in his age of artistic giants, it is partly because he has been so insistently described to us as a Titan by his adoring biographers, Ascanio Condivi and Giorgio Vasari. In fact, like most Titans, he was an unpleasant man to know. Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw -- don't waste time

Monday, April 24, 2006

A SOLEMN Anzac Day ceremony was to be held in the small township of Briagolong, in Victoria's east, to honour Private Jacob Kovco who died in Iraq. Hot War - Cold War - Nothing Fair in War ... (Nothing new under the sun ...)

Rushing Through Cold River: The Local Edge
Tolstoy claimed that all happy families are alike and that unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. That may be true of families, but if Tolstoy had looked at local communities, he might have concluded just the opposite ...
A thriving village atmospheres like the one experienced at Bondi are full of surprises. It may be one-of-a-kind shop, spontaneous meeting between neighbors, unique local products, or seasonal iceberg entertainment. Whatever the local mix includes, it sings out clearly that this seaside place is what it is and cannot be confused with any other.
A failed suburb is unrelievedly dreary. Boarded up stores, empty lots, a lack of basic services—everything to indicate that the life of the surburb has gone elsewhere. You can see hundreds of them, all alike, across the country. No one sets out to suck the life out of a suburb, but that’s often been the result of many local policies.
The advent of a typical Westfield (by way of comparison, Kemeny’s store) usually spells the end of the local shopkeepers as a vital economic force. Shopping giants with the promise of “national tenants” can also have a negative impact by siphoning off business from the malls until nothing is left but an endless series of escalators.
Until recently, the harm caused by wall to wall chain stores has been hard to calculate. It might bother you, but you can’t attach a dollar sign to your uneasiness. But now there is economic data to reinforce the idea that a steady diet of chain stores is bad for your local health.

Now you are officially a published author and your book is all set up with a route to market. Ultimately there is only one person who has all the power to make your book a nationwide hit or a local bust. That person is you. You have the power. It doesn't always have to be you. Sometimes you get lucky, and someone else loves your book so much that they sell thousands or millions for you. For example, there is a bookseller at Bondi who has hand-sold thousands upon thousands of copies of local writers. Rita Nash of Martin Smith loves local authors and she tells everyone about them:
3 Hall Street
Bondi 2026
Voice: 9365 1482

My best argument for why you should promote your cold war book on the Internet is the fact that you're reading this. Make sure that you learn how to make love to Google as it didn't cost me a cent to get s(ix) out of 10 ranking on Google. The only cost is perperation, sneaking something different on your blog and do not be afraid to make mistakes, link to risque articles, illogical structure, random picks, different headlines. One liners that bite. Be prepared to fail and fail better each time. Google loves failures - there are 30 million of us out there. Rule # 1 & 2 just do not mention the word - failure. Instead use success! However, it's much easier to sell your books offline than online, because folks will have an opportunity to leaf through the book and read as many quotes, ideas and poems as they like before purchasing. Books do not sell unless you really make some noise & bring attention to yourself. Even then, it's tough. So get ready.... Start with the local newspaper, the most likely place to write an article about your book

Repeat: Australia's fastest growing online bookstore Booktopia is making my book available Down Under for the first time. Tony Nash who tends to exceed every customer’s expectation is making sure that his company makes a mark in the retail part of the complex publishing world. Link to Cold River
Level 12,
157 Walker Street,
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Head Office:
Phone: +61 2 9954 1080
Fax: 61 2 9954 6
Booktopia: A book, like revolution, can change the world

Thursday, April 20, 2006

After a moment that seemed like an eternity Media Dragon was born ... In 1980 I rolled downhill to Australia and the only place that would have me fast ;-). They picked me up when I was down!

“You only have to look at that dreadful American man, Henry James. The worst writer in the world. He never risked anything.” V.S. Naipaul minces no words ... and he likes Media Dragon. No one like Naipaul for making you feel both spoilt and inadequate as an audience

The sun sets unevenly and the people
go to bed
The night has a thousand eyes.
The clouds are low, overhead.
Every night it is a little bit
more difficult, a little
harder. My mind
to me a mangle is.
-Robert Creeley

Rich in risk and reward: The "Mystery" of tha (sic) Media Dragon

It has been about a seven years since Media Dragon began an excessive stream of ink over his decision to share his cold moravian river story with the wider world, but only four when the baby was actually born. And soon, in June 2006 exactly, Media Dragon clothed as the blog will be actually 4 years old. Will I reach 4000 posts by June? The Google gals and guys inform me that it is in a vicinity of 3600 posted entries at the moment ... Between then and now we got (envelope pleeze) 935,537 individual sessions; 3,289,927 total pageviews; 4,193,916 individual hits; and we moved a total of 105.78 GB of data through the pipe. We are rather proud of that. As they say, to understand just one life or pipe, you have to swallow the world. Doublethink is what writing is all about. You believe and you don't believe all at the same time. Everything is possible! I love being on the edge. Forget bleeding edge, let’s talk hemorrhaging edge, way way out there ... Bloggers and Media Dragon pundits are exerting a disproportionately large influence on society. The rise of the blogger

However, life of the blog offers diminishing returns: the longer you are invested, the less likely you are to reap the dividend of survival. Indeed, based on actuary tables, it becomes increasingly less rational to celebrate one's blog future the older one gets. Like my mate Wilston Smith of 1984 and Churchill, I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter Why do We Celebrate Birthdays: A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough

He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
-Robert Frost

Keep The Cold River running. Consider exploring, only a click-away, our generous sponsors:
I will write about my friends,
the story of each of them,

I see in it, I see myself,
a tragedy like my own tragedy,

I will write about my friends,
about doors that don’t open,

about desires slaughtered at birth,
about the Iron Curtain walls,

and about the thousands of failed escapes,
buried without names,

in the cemetery of isms ...

All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books:

Jozef's journey as a writer has been like a trek through an amazon, a strange jungle, - beautiful, exotic, and frightening at times. Some days are peaceful and full of light, other days feel like nothing but a series of slips and stumbles. Peculiar sights, sounds and creatures have kept me company as I have wandered through strange lands with no map or compass. I am still on this journey, and it continues to take me to fascinating places. Come take a swim with me in Amazon River ... and discover the darkest, sickest recesses of human fishy nature

Publisher: Head of the Double Dragon Double Dragon: Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Tail Down Under Booktopia Like the Australian Dream? Some books are merely important. Cold River is necessary
Exclusive as Iceberg Bondi - CEO Network! The Richest Club in the world - The Forbes (Compliments of Robert Scobles and Bill Gates ;-)
S(i)x Degree of Separation is our Oyster! The Psychology of Whole Wide World Revolution!

After his failed marriage of 21 years which took him to all different part of Australia, Jozef Imrich works, lives, and plays in the ocean near Bondi, Sydney. When we are walking in the deepest of valleys the feeling of self-importance is diminished and we are more open to others. The irony will undoubtedly be lost on some, but by failing, Jozef and Cold River succeed brilliantly ;-) My country man and the expert of the blues, Kafka, would be proud of us! The world, like happiness, is an illusion, but if you try hard enough you can beat it ...
My Iceberg: to-die-for location
Live Love Bondi: Terry Burke, Maurizio Terzini and Mario Venneri

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
— William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Morava River

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

For the first time in my publishing career the Australia's fastest growing online bookstore Booktopia is making my book available Down Under. Tony Nash, who tends to exceed every customer’s expectation, has a knack for creating a positive retail experience. This savvy company has already made a mark in the complex world of distribution of books. Maiden Time for Cold River

Head Office
Level 12,
157 Walker Street,
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Head Office:
Phone: +61 2 9954 1080
Fax: 61 2 9954 6
Booktopia: A book, like revolution, can change the world

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This post was inspired by an aristocracy of excellence - Julie ...

Film is visual brevity.... If the novel is a poem, the film is a telegram.
-- Michael Hastings, screenwriter

A Movie Parable: Adaptation ...Much has been already written about the disappointing third act, but I found it to be a bold and brave statement. Kaufman makes a concession to his artistic integrity which fails in comparison to the rest of his film. But by failing, it succeeds brilliantly. The irony will undoubtedly be lost on some but for those who get the joke, it will be impossible not to appreciate what Kaufman has done.
As one of the characters says in the film, "Adaptation is a profound process," and indeed it is. The act of changing in order to thrive and prosper in the midst of one's environment is something that is commonplace in all of nature. It is no less necessary for us. As natural men and women, we become accustomed to a certain way of behavior. When we are filled with God's spirit and a new awareness and understanding is become known to us, we must learn to adapt or change if we are to thrive and prosper as spiritual men and women. Our "old man" or natural man ways will not cause us to succeed as God's people on this earth.

Someone once asked me what making a movie was like. I said it was like making a mosaic. Each setup is like a tiny tile. You color it, shape it, polish it as best you can. You'll do six or seven hundred of these, maybe a thousand. (There can easily be that many setups in a movie.) Then you literally paste them together and hope it's what you set out to do. But if you expect the final mosaic to look like anything, you'd better know what you're going for as you work on each tiny tile.
When we're sitting at rushes, watching yesterday's work, the greatest compliment we can give each other is, "Good work. We're all making the same movie." That's style.
- "Good style, to me, is unseen style. It is style that is felt." (Sidney Lumet in "Making Movies", 1995

Adaptation: From Cold River to Hot Blockbuster: In Reading the Movies, William Costanzo notes that it has been estimated that a third of all films ever made were adapted from novels Opening shot: Book-to-Film Adaptations: The Wishlist by Jozef Imrich

Ode to Film Makers and Informers: They’re different beasts Serious Voices of Cinema: artist who paints with light
Even Hollywood, bombarded by thousands of scripts weekly, complains incessantly of a shortage of material that is fresh in voice, vision, and point of view. "The ideal writer is the one that has a great concept, a great story and can execute it. Usually, you get one of those things," states Candy Monteiro (Producer, Monteiro Rose/Los Angeles). Good writers know it's not the idea, it's their voice

What people want to see is a script they haven't seen before. Ken Sherman points out that he looks for originality, passion, an individual voice, as well as someone who is a craftsman and is not afraid to be different. In truth, there's a shortage of powerful books that can be turned into movies

The movie effectively captures the novel by incorporating the very strong presence of the narrator. Part of its success derives from the fact the movie incorporates a lot of music, bringing it alive in a way the book cannot. Writers often dream of their novel being made into a successful film. But a (a sad, little sinking feeling) overcame me the moment I heard the screenwriter wanted to set the film version of The Wives of Bath in the present.
• There is no possible way to review CCCold River if you are insecure or paranoid Some books are merely important. Cold River is necessary [People quarrel with every incarnation of a book on film. And that's their privilege Film directors don't always play by the book ; Thanks Julie: The Orchid Thief - Are we as an audience being tricked? Is Charlie Kaufman just messing with our heads or does he really believe what he writes? ... what he is writing is what we have been watching – and the film we are about to watch: The book is also about orchids themselves, their haunting beauty and ability to spark passion in people who lack the emotion. I don't want to cram in sex or guns or car chases. You know? Or characters learning profound life lessons.... I mean, the book isn't like that, and life isn't like that. It just isn't - "I wanted," she comes to feel, "to want something as much as people wanted these plants." (Adaptation is one of 2002’s freshest breaths of air. It is undoubtedly bizarre, and even, for a first-time viewer, somewhat confusing. But having been wowed by the film twice, I feel assured in saying something as quote whorish as…“has more layers than orchids have petals”) Adaptation: Ouroboros is a snake eating its own tail ; Screenwriters Trying to Stay True: If ever a book-based film inspired questions of the original author, it is "Adaptation - To begin.. To begin... How to start?... I'm hungry... I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think... Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee... Coffee and a muffin... Films Based on Books: The Shooting Script ]
• · Making an independent film takes talent, ambition, knowledge, salesmanship, persistence and a bit of luck. Film Makers ; A Bit of Illusion, A Bit of Laughter: Why can’t modern Czech moviemakers succeed at home? Exploring Czech Cinema ; Like all central European countries, the Czech and Slovak republics have been buffeted around by the whims of history, as borders have flown back and forth and regimes have come and gone. Any journey into these countries' cinematic cultures, then, is inevitably also an exploration of their complex histories and senses of identity Czech and Slovak Cinema ; Australian directors return home to develop adaptations ; Film Forum: Like The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence will remain a significant cinematic contribution to discussions of foreign policy, ethics, national identity, and human rights. Christopher Doyle's cinematography captures so much heat and dust, audiences are likely to use those free soda refill coupons Two Elegant Adaptations by Director Phillip Noyce
• · · Plastic: The bookshelves have long been a treasure-trove for frustrated film directors and ambitious TV producers The Human Strain — On Your Suspension Of Disbelief; Yeah, but the Book Is Better Adaptations from book to film are risky at best ; What wonderful adaptations of books do you know of? Unadaptable: Your Future Nostalgia. Today; Why not sock the audiences early with the ‘fuck her in the ass’ line? Film Adaptation of Literature ; Studio executives in Hollywood have a good deal in common with football managers. It's hard to know exactly what they do. They're inevitably fired. - Books are books; films neither improve them, nor are the contents of novel mysteriously changed by the alchemy of a movie adaptation Hollywood and the Recycled Idea: To the Best of Our Knowledge
• · · · On March 26, 1969, a young man named John Kennedy Toole connected a hose to his car's exhaust pipe, locked himself in and committed suicide. It is impossible to fathom why a person takes his or her own life, but this much is certain: Toole was despondent about his career as a writer, his unpublished novel had been rejected year in, year out, and the future seemed bleak -- which makes the subsequent success of "A Confederacy of Dunces" all the more dazzling. Best-selling books can have a tortuous path to the big screen: Tales from the script ; A Nerdy Day At the Movies, and The Three Laws of Adaptations
• · · · · It's a real albatross to take on a well-known book, because you know people are going to be profoundly disappointed Adaptation a labour of love: Everything is Illuminated ; Anthony Minghella has carved out his own significant directing niche-big-budgeted, glossy and nicely scaled, literate adaptations of great books-and no other director today seems to quite be playing so well in that field. Examining his last three films, "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and his latest, “Cold Mountain" may be the most bittersweet-or at least bitter-of the three Cold Mountain: based-on-the-title-of-the-book ; Making a Good Script Great and Creating Unforgettable Charactes Writer-directors either work very well or fall in a heap The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact And Fiction Into Film ; I asked about 15 colleague directors to do this film, because I loved the book. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Ephesians 4:22-23 (KJV) The female face of moral concern
• · · · · · This Is The Title Of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times In The Story Itself Overcaffeinated: an argument between High and Low Art ; Richard Scarry’s Noah the Boa was the original snake on a plane. (Where there’s some lawsuit speculation. I just want an injunction against "motherf****** snakes on a motherf****** plane" chatter. Seriously, what the f***? And I’m sure people in Hollywood are already working on knockoffs. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.) Noah the Boa and other book-to-film miscellany; The Weinstein Company sued Columbia Pictures last week over rights--including publishing rights--to the work of the late Wang Du Lee, author of books including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Crouching Dragon

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.
- Harper Lee is often assumed to have suffered from prayers too fully answered. She made possibly the greatest literary debut of all time with To Kill a Mockingbird, winning the Pulitzer (galling to Capote) and selling more than 10 million copies. But in the 46 years since, she has produced only three magazine articles, all in the '60s ... Yet if success can paralyse, the lack of it can do the same ;-)

It should have been the highlight of his year. It's not everyday that your work is read by 110,000 people. On a summer-hot morning last year, before the sun could summon up the energy to burn and fry, the surreal barbarians entered the gate. Barbarian souls are never black or white; they're all gray in the end, Dadais. You're a gray soul for sure, just like the rest of us. Jozef Imrich's memoirs detail an escape so tragic that some critics have questioned, if, like his name, he made it up... It should have been the highlight of my life, but it is hard to know which to hope for! There is no true life when everything is prosperous. It is the essence of a rich life to be always uncertain of tomorrow... to run the gamut of monthly bills and yet to be determined never to give up the fight. I gather Lauren agrees with this notion too ... Does a richly surreal life require a messy battle with adversity?
(The central question in art is that of the ego. Franz Kafka attempted to answer this question in several ways. One way was to not finish what he started (none of his novels was ever completed). Another way was to not publish what he wrote (most of his writing he never attempted to publish). Finally, he tried to destroy what he had written (he asked, on his death bed, that his friend Max Brod burn all his papers, a request which Max Brod fortunately disobeyed). But none of these strategies was sufficient unto itself, which is why Kafka did finish and publish some stories, and gave Max Brod the impression that he was at least ambivalent about his request to have his papers burned after his death. So what was Kafka doing? Who am I like? You are like me! I’ve had these doubts before. They will pass, they will pass . . .)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Rational derangement of all the senses
Sometimes you just find that something isn't there any longer that was there. It isn't sad. It's just right. This sentiment applies to relationships not just writing ..

There is, of course, something grandiose about this romantic idea of writing. The brutal truth is that it is an ill-regarded job, paying virtually nothing and requiring long solitary hours and isolation. Perhaps in order to keep going one must think of it as something more magnificent that one has no choice but to do. And perhaps this is why writers who choose to give up writing remain the most troubling.

• Life is unfair / Kill yourself or get over it! Great paradoxes of the condition that his inability to do so became a kind of proof of his genius [I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activity - Justifiably paranoid? Alone together : Book Review: Carrying not coals to Newcastle, but hard-boiled, U.S.-style crime ; Ha! I'm caught up! Tanya is a girl who escapes her unpopularity by dreaming that she will become the muse of a great writer. Her favorite is Dostoyevski, and she chooses as her own inspiration his mistress, Polina, who was immortalized as a character in The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot. Memoirs of a Muse: In the Bathtub of the World ]
• · People do awful things to each other. But it is worse in places where everybody is kept in the dark. It really is. Information is light. Information, in itself, about anything is light. That is all you can say, really. - Czech-born Tom Stoppard (as the new photographer Guthrie says at the end of Night and Day.) Nondisclosure Agreements, "Film Fuss" ; Some people say that I have it all-- I disagree. I constantly have to struggle with this love-hate relationship I have with writing. I love reading, that's for sure. And I love to write… about myself as and when I want to. But … Writing in Exchange for Bread on the Table
• · · Ever wondered why so many young adults are still living at home with their parents? Puzzled by the plummeting birthrate among the under-30s? Few takers for true adulthood ; Hanging in there Male Nudity ; The new naughty Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television
• · · · Translators of fiction are like priests who stand between us and the literary gods. We need them even as we pine for direct contact.... When he grew up he would work in a match factory Novels found in translation ; Some of literature's biggest names have been struck down, but writer's block is not always an angst-ridden affliction When an author's muse packs up and leaves
• · · · · “There is always, in every truth procedure, a poetic moment,” says Alain Badiou. “We can’t even know a truth event without a sense of poetry”. Math Matters: It was a sky of names. We lost the sky; I have a hard time seeing where the opening of the Kreutzer "comes from." There are no easy sources for its particular beauty. The sort of question I feel it asks is Why Do I Exist? or How Did I Come Into Being? And that is what gives it, for me, a kind of surreal beauty: an oddly certain question, a fragment that is strangely and prematurely complete. The piece is mature beyond its measures.... I Have A Question: is Beethoven setting up a dualism of light/dark?
• · · · · · THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD: I like to think of it as mythological, but, of course, one person’s myth is another person’s cliché Literature: At home in Dublin’s criminal underworld ; Melissa Plaut's NEW YORK HACK, about the author's years driving a New York City yellow medallion cab, "a career change she made after having decided at the age of twenty-nine to become "the driver of my own life More assholes, more hookers

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
- Elizabeth Taylor - Complements of Anita Sharpe

Everyone we meet in virtual blogosphere is part of the kaleidoscope of our real life. It is as a divine-plan, which helps develop us into the unique person we are today. Every experience we encounter has an effect on how we think, link and act. It gives us an opportunity to grow and evolve as a person and a big part of this, I believe, is our ability to embrace life. We even need to embrace anonymous cowards of shire boys caliber like Bob as in our real lives at work and in our neighbourhoods and clubs we all come across all kinds of nasty people and virtual life is not divorced in this context from the reality ...
Yet nice people tend to outnumber nasty people. It is the law of the universe unless we create totalitarian regimes and the web is far from totalitarianism. In many ways the blogosphere is more than making the world smaller and smaller; it's the contagious relationships we encounter, which give us the greatest challenge that test how strong our spirit is. Enthusiasm and commitment is a contagious mixture and quite catchy. Most of us tend to ignore less than witty characters like bitter Bob. How we deal with these relationships is an indication of our ability to give and receive friendship. We are few clicks away from the answer to so many issues. Can one person make a difference? It's easy to be cynical about the power of one. But a person's importance, so difficult to quantify in life, is perhaps more easily measured in death – and the gaping holes left behind. Power must be dispersed: not so much because everyone is always good, but because when power is concentrated some people tend to become extremely evil Absinthe & Cookies (a bit bitter, a bit sweet) Gathering of the Blogs 2006

Bloggers feel like they are cheating on their lovers, sneaking off to fondle the keyboard and share secret thoughts with all manner of lurking strangers hidden from sight -- like whispering in the dark or writing blind in a crowded bar Dare to Blog it

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Smallest World Ever: Some Assembly Required
The world is Szirine’s Oyster: over 110,000 reader from all over the Small World Phenomenon The Small world effect of Three Clicks of Separation: Publish, be read, and get paid. Start writing instantly! Thanks to Google, Media Dragon is an on line survivor as Google ads pay for my monthly ADSL subscription. In addition, (New Tender Brand Image) Telstra has also provided me with a sweet deal I could not refuse ;-) To Blogging like this is to be Happy forever - I could never imagined I would have readers from all over the world… I have every hope that Media Dragon like Cold River

will outlive me. If I have one reader, just one reader who is moved by my story and links to stay true to himself/herself no matter what, then I am happy, I consider that success by my own definition. The most important thing a survivor can do is remind people of the high price of freedom ... Look upon Google! Bloggers may breath a huge sigh of relief as some bloggers such as Darren Rowse are not only survivors but thrivers too ...

A year ago I attended a business lunch where the topic was blogging. I like to write, and was awaiting release of my first book, but did not know about blogs. The panelists spoke about how easy it was, how popular blogs were, the benefits of SEO and the ease of getting started. Later that night I started “Some Assembly Required: The Biz Dev and Networking Blog“. I used as my platform solely because that was what the panelist had recommended (and because it was free).
Taking up John's call for innovative new FreshTags applications

Blogging Moments Of Clarity [BNA's Web Watch Reading Room Great resource highlighting new government reports, bills filed, hearing information, and NGO reports by topic of the day Web Watch Reading Room; Bizarre passwords: 'smellyundies' "enforcer", "chunder" and "crunchymaggots" Police secret password blunder ; Charles McGrath, former editor of the New York Times Book Review recently posed the rhetorical question: “has there ever been a book that wasn’t acclaimed?” All the books are above average ... Six degrees of reputation: The use and abuse of online review and recommendation systems by Shay David and Trevor Pinch Why look at book reviews? ; I really liked a recent post by Jack Vinson on Reputation everywhere or the growth of web based rating systems Reputation Everywhere – Jack Vinson ]
• · How The American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, And Destroy Democracy Tragedy & Farce ; An empowered community of participating citizens is the ideal. But what happens if the people at its heart lack the resources needed to make it work? Bottom-up. Community-based. Multi-stakeholder. Participatory. And now Everyday Democracy. The rocky road to citizen rule
• · · Honest. Just read my piece. I Agree With You, Completely ; When old regulations meet new technologies, there is bound to be confusion. Net Gain on Campaign Finance Rules
• · · · Visits to blogs, local information and social networks drive Web growth New Trends In Online Traffic ; And brainy young things: At America’s highbrow magazines, the torch has been passed to a new generation of Baby Remnicks We’re all sort of the anti-blogs
• · · · · Blackboard Blogging: Web journals become the new fly on the wall of teachers' lounges. Some are gossipy; It's disturbing to watch bad ideas grow legs Free speech should soar above insult and injury; Slashdot vs. Memeorandum, Malda vs. the Crowds
• · · · · · This could be a good option for someone who wants something that does a bit more than Blogger but without cost. There's also an Eponym Blog Search. Eponym Blog ; I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I'm blogging, I'll make a comment even though I'm not in a mood for commentariat ;-) Spendingnd the last stage of my life terrified that no one will notice when I die ;-) I am having of one those existential blogs set aside ... Send me love History of Escapes

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In my eyes the world is full of nice people. I appreciate post peppered with ideas by Shel Israel, who wrote Naked Conversations with Robert Scoble, for figuring out how to deal with anonymous reviews on Amazon:

In a commentariat there is a suggestion by a certain Bob of fame that bloggers could be classified as being a kind of bunch who practice and preach back-scratching ...

should amazon blog.jpg

via Werner Vogels by Hugh, priceless humour

'I fully realize you may try to side-step my question, because I haven't revealed who I am. I haven't read Naked Conversations, and perhaps in there you explain why one shouldn't engage in blog conversations unless the other party has revealed who they are.

Nonetheless, I will ask.

Have you read Jozef Imrich's book, Cold River, from cover to cover?

The reason I ask is that I've noticed that some bloggers operate in a tit for tat manner. For example, if you put me on your blogroll, I'll put you on mine. Now mind you, I may never read your blog, but since you scratched my back, I'll scratch yours.

Now clearly Jozef is a fan of you and your book. So I'm left to wonder if your calling his book "wonderful" and "gripping" is based on personal experience of having read it cover to cover, or whether this just mutual back-scratching.



Shel Israel replied:


Yes, I have read Jozef Imrich's book cover to cover. I did that before starting the Naked Conversations project. I did that before ever staring the Naked Conversations project. I do not make recommendations of any product or service that I have not tried, read, listened to or watched myself. having answered your question, please answer one for me.

Who are you and why do you need to wear the mask of anonymity?
Comentariat of Another Idea for Amazon

Cold River has been part of the Deep Book Blog selection for many, many, years ... Books by Bloggers

Bill Gates and Robert Scobles of Microsoft fame have been distributing Cold River in PDF and other versions for four years

CODA: Christopher Morley once noted Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity D. P. Roseberry, the editor of Cold River

As I noted earlier, the world is filled with nice bloggers and cartoonists.

courtesy of Hugh via Alan Weinkrantz


Werner Vogels writes: In order to get closer to their customers, humanize Amazon, increase sales, and stay modern, has decided to make all Instant Messenger (IM) handles of its employees public. This way customers will get unprecedented access to the talented engineers at Amazon to answer all their questions, or just to have an interesting conversation about a new book or that old sci-fi movie. If you want to know why the shipping prediction date was not really clear, feel free to IM Justin Rudd, and get the details behind the algorithms he used to give customers a fast estimate on when they can expect their purchases. Amazon Gets IM on - 1st of April ;-)

A number of emails reached my inbox today one by a professional writer noting:

'That review is unconscionable. There's no reason for anyone to be that vicious, particularly in public.

It might still be more effective to have others respond to the nasty reviewer, at the very least to demand civility. He's entitled to say he doesn't like the book and doesn't think others should buy it, but that level of vitriol suggests that either
1) this person has a grudge against you or
2) this person is immature enough to think that kind of nastiness passes for wit.

You have my heartfelt sympathy. '

As they say, the river to getting positively reviewed is never a smooth one ... No great accomplishments are ever realized without first having to endure steep surf, hard rips and sharp turns.

In many ways, hate and indifference are very dangerous combinations ... The road to totalitarianism and horrific episodes like Auschwitz was built by hate but paved with indifference.

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Elie Wiesel (US News & World Report 27 October 1986)

Inspired By Shel Israel - Hugh of Gaping Void fame draws on his deep sense of back-scratching humour 'Should Amazon Blog?' Nobody Cares ...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jozef Imrich who wrote a wonderful, gripping true story of his escape from Communist held Czechoslovakia called Cold River just left a Comment on my recent why Amazon Should Blog post made mention of the pain that bad reviews on Amazon cause. That gave me an idea. Amazon could allow authors to respond to reviews. That would create a person dialog and be fascinating to follow. It also might do something Amazon's Connect, it's author blog does not yet do--it could join the overall conversation of the blogosphere. Another Idea for Amazon
Only customers who purchased the book from should be able to post a review on that book. Reviewers should be allowed anonymity, as long as keeps track of the reviewer's real identity. should not allow any Tom, Dick or Harry with a Yahoo! Or HotMail Email address to post reviews on any books they want that's the system they have now and it has resulted in a review process that cannot be trusted. If you buy the book from, then you can review it. Fraud
In view of the recent glitch that outed anonymous online reviewers, Internet reviewing is taking a beating. Is that fair? Amazon Anonymous Time to get tough: Managing anonymous reader comments

Ironically, in true naked conversation style. Top down and bottom up

The Blog, The Press, The Media:
Initially, the seed was planted by Woody Allen when I was crossing the metaphorical Iron Curtains for the second time ...

Every blogger knows that to sell books and gain credibility, you must get your book's message to the news media via a publicity campaign. A good literary publicist is the vital link between authors and the media contacts who will determine whether your book becomes the talk of the town or languishes on bookshelves ... If you've ever sent a novel off to an agent or publisher, you'll know they're looking for certain things when they read your manuscript. The words by Stephen King on the first page, for example.

I'm supposed to be writing, but here
I sit fiddling around with blogs, surfing the net,
reading other people's writing, making myself another cuppa.
• This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Help Me, Help You: How to Get the Most Out of the Author-Publicist Relationship: The literary snob [ From blog to book. Publish your own work and keep control.
Bloggers: Publish a Book ; Get top ranking on all the major search engines using free tactics Blogging For Dollars ]
• · Don't give agencies your money. Ring The Sun direct, get more cash! Big cash for your story ; The price, by the way, is high but not ridiculous yet. In the end I took their $750 Million offer ... Wimp! Facebook is doing the Skype dance
• · · Are you a Bad Kisser ? Quench your Thirst Here! How to Kiss? - An Art ; Why Amazon Should Blog ; Enter Amazon’s bad boy one each Werner Vogels. Your irony is dead on. Amazon Bad Boy - Werner Vogels ; I have often wanted a forum on Amazon to voice my issues and feedback and emails have not been entirely satisfactory. Naked Answers
• · · · What we have here is a failure to communicate. Ironically, in true naked conversation style ; A new wave of start-ups are cashing in on the next stage of the Internet. The New Wisdom of the Web ; I'm so into technology, I breathe it. It's my favorite. Life's too short not to try to do what makes you happy. Technology vs. Reality, "The Write Tech"
• · · · · On internet dating - Each person is unique and contradictory Science of falling in love; And are some people really luckier than others, or is it all in their heads? As Luck Would Have It; Imagine a freelance writing niche where there is little competition, the demand is high, the money is very good, and the projects are fun and relatively easy to write. Amazon has created a marketplace for monetizing ideas, opinions and human intelligence in general... which is basically brilliant. Everything old is new again: Human Intelligence Test
• · · · · · I know you are but who am I? Kudos to "Legitimate" Review(er)s ; had an interesting article about anonymous bloggers (it's part of their premium site so you may have to suffer through an ad to see it). Bloggers Anonymous