C. A. Pack

Musings & Brainstorms & Rants

August 2013

60 Seconds to Self-Publishing Your Novel

For months, I’ve been researching the best way to publish my novel,
Evangeline’s Ghost, and I think I’ve got most of the steps down. Take a look and let me know if I missed anything.

Dwindling Drive-Ins

drive in
There was a time when Long Island had at least a half-dozen drive-ins, but they’re all gone now. They gave way to large multiplexes with lots of screens and sky-high ticket and concession prices. I attributed it to greed. Now it looks like the few remaining drive-ins may be killed by technology. I just saw a Businessweek article that says: even though as many as 4,000 drive-ins dotted the landscape in the 1960’s, less than 400 of them exist today. And now, with the advent in digital films, they too could fade fast.

Here’s a link to the article.

The demise of the drive-in is especially sad for new parents who either cannot find, or can’t afford a babysitter. Drive-ins were a great way to go out on a “date” with your spouse and bring baby along. Even if the tot got cranky, you didn’t have to worry about his or her screams bothering everyone around you too much.

Drive-ins are great and it’s sad to think technology and property values are stomping out a beloved part of American life.

Christina Bianco & Her Divas

This is too entertaining to pass up. I’ve got to embed it.

When “Total Eclipse of the Heart” first came out, I think I played it 142 times in a row. I just might play the following YouTube video that many times - to hear all the nuances.

Killer Bee

A Tree Grows in Westbury

I had a beautiful palm tree in my condo when I first got married, but didn’t know how to care for it and watched it slowly die. I followed it up with a rubber plant that met its demise at the paws of the only cat I ever owned. And so it goes with plants and me.

But now, after seeing this article on Houzz, I think I may give it another go with a Kentia Palm.

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Hire a decorator to find that sofas and a coffeetable for your living room.
For small bathroom ideas, browse photos of space-saving sink consoles and clever hidden medicine cabinet mirrors.

Making Manuscripts

In the
Library of Illumination, Johanna teaches Jackson all about bookbinding and illumination. The following video from the Getty Museum outlines the steps that were taken to create an illuminated manuscript on parchment book from scratch.

Raising the Bard

I just saw the following tips on a mailing from Writer’s Digest, and I want to share it, because it’s such good advice
not just for thriller writers but for all genre writers.

10 Things Thriller Writers Can Learn From Shakespeare —Zachary Petit

Conspiracy. Murder. Politics. Love. Sex. Ghosts. Pirates. Thrillers and the works of William Shakespeare may have more in common than you’d think. After all, as authorr A.J. Hartley pointed out, the legendary playwright that we now regard as “refined” and “literary” was considered ruetic and fanciful in his time. Shakespeare wrote for the mass medium of his day, Hartley said. And as Hartley proved in his session “Cues From Shakespeare, the First Thriller Writer,” there’s a lot the bard can teach scribes about storytelling.

Here are some of the enduring lessons Hartley shared.

1. “Good writers borrow. … Great writers steal.”

Most of Shakespeare’s stories originated in other source material. “This is just kind of the nature of the beast,” Hartley said—there’s a limited number of original tales out there. So, great writers steal—“and then own the result.” Shakespeare wrote his works in his own way, with his unique signature.

2. Remember: Shakespeare never went to Italy.

Hartley asked: Without delving into the Shakespearean authorship question, how could the son of a glove maker evoke settings, fields and time period he couldn’t have ever experienced? “By reading. Copiously. Diligently.” But, Hartley cautioned, writers should never let their research trump their tales. “[Shakespeare] gives you as much as you need to tell the story, and that’s all.”

3. “Get right to it.”

Shakespeare doesn’t waste time getting things moving. Any book should do the same.

4. Story is character.

In the bard’s world, the props and costumes are kept to a minimum. The plays can be performed on a bare stage. “It’s all about the interaction between character and how the characters speak,” Hartley said. Likewise, from a story perspective a thriller shouldn’t be about explosions and car chases, but character.

5. Begin scenes late and end them early.

Just like the screenwriting maxim.

I couldn’t agree more. If it worked for
shakespeare mini it should work for us, too.