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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Celtx

Did you know there are rules for screenwriting? Actual rules. And when you don’t follow the rules, you get beaten with a yardstick — or ignored by Hollywood. Whichever hurts worse. Now that I fancy myself a screenwriter, I’ve hired an assistant to help me follow the rules. OK, “hired” is perhaps too strong a word; “downloaded” may be more accurate.

Celtx is a terrific little piece of software, absolutely free, that will write scripts, storyboard scenes and sequences, sketch setups, develop characters, breakdown & tag elements, schedule productions, and prepare and circulate informative reports for cast and crew. (Yeah, I plagiarized that description from Celtx’ website. Ssshhhh.) In between screenplays, it also writes comic books. Not kidding.

Now if Charlie Sheen could just download an assistant to help him follow the rules, all would be well in Hollywood.

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Bed Bug Registry

Back in the early 80’s we had our first bedbug encounter, at a trashy little rathole in southern Taiwan. Head to toe. Those nasty critters left scars! We’d pay good money not to do that again! Fortunately, we don’t have to pay good money. The Bed Bug Registry is willing to warn us for free — well, so long as we stay in the US and Canada, or on a cruise ship. Next trip to Asia, we think we’ll take a good flashlight and a sturdy shoe.

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Slate Explainer

Slate Explainer

Elections, war, religion, bailouts, the Middle East…Whenever the news, it’s more interesting when I understand something more about the background. Slate Explainer goes in-depth to explain the story behind today’s headlines, with such fascinating articles as “Is a $1 Salary Paid in Installments?“, “How To Prosecute a Shoe-Thrower “, and “How exactly will Obama get all his stuff into the White House?

Readers can submit questions on other newsworthy topics…Just as you can submit comments on this blog entry by clicking the comments link below.

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Arts & Letters Daily

Arts & Letters Daily

Pseudo-intellectualism is way more fun than the real thing. When you’re a fraud, as I am, you can still gorge yourself on intellectual ding-dongs such as country music and Go Fug Yourself.

When my brain looks for healthy fare, it noshes at Arts & Letters Daily, a web portal that tracks interesting books, essays and articles that are all sort of au courant.

Then when I’ve had my fill of intellectual snobbery, I take a breather at The Smoking Gun, where I can be first on my block to find out which celebrity has been arrested today.

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Google EarthStill doing way too much research, and way too little writing, on my new novel. Google Earth is proving invaluable (or distracting. I’m not sure which). Where before I might have driven (or flown) to the place I was researching, now I can pretty much Google Earth it and get at least a sense of what a particular street corner might look like, or whether an area of the town I’m describing is rural or suburban.

Oh, and whether my daughter was out playing in the neighborhood when she was supposed to be home with her older brother, practicing the piano.  She goes on record as the first child in history to get in trouble because of Google Earth Street View.

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Young Writers ProgramOur entire family clears its November calendar for NaNoWriMo. For the young ‘uns, it’s the Young Writers Program, where they pick their own novel length and play along with the big folk.

This year, the youngest is aiming for 15,000 words. Will she, or won’t she?

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NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — inspires thousands of novels every December. Want to be the next JK Rowling? You’ve got one month. Clear your calendar!

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