Writer's Journal: June

I'll be trying to expand this journal somewhat. I recently visit Jan Strnad's journal on another site (it's linked up in my Links section. I saw a far more interesting presentation that what I've been doing, and it inspired me.

I hope you enjoy the change.

Week of May 29th - June 4th

My partner in crime, Mike Aragona, gave me a scare this week: he sent all the online Comicopians a reminder that our deadline was that Friday. I panicked, being far behind on my zine... until I realized from our deadline schedule that we had until the 12th. Thanks, goose.

On the other APA front, I picked up the latest APACalypse this week. We really need more members, and fast; we're down to 8, with half of us founding members.

Most of my free time (translation: my few hours not in school) was spent performing my duties as a Geocities Community Leader. A large portion of time was also devoted to updating some of my other web sites, and roleplaying one of my fantasy wrestling characters. Acting out a character's interviews is a great exercise to stretch your character dialogue muscles.

[An aside here: I can't get over how weird it is being back in school again. I'm taking courses at the college that I graduated from in 1986. I even have the same student number. Strange feeling, coming full circle from the age of 19 to 31.]

This was the second week in a row that my PWD column, submitted on time, was published in the weekend edition instead of the Wednesday one. I was ready to send a polite kvetch-note to my editor... when I re-read the deadlines note. I was getting consistent at handing my column in at the same time... one day late.

Week of June 5th - 11th

My PWD column went in on time - the REAL time - this week.

I also got Comicopia ready - the night before deadline. The night before a class quiz, too... so I was a walking zombie the next day.

Week of June 12th - 18th

I started working on my APACalypse zine earlier than usual. In part, this was due to me learning a few tricks with Photoshop, tricks pertaining to text designs.

How did this inspire me to write? Simple: I already had a rough idea of the articles I wanted to produce for this next zine. Knowing how to create the visuals for the section headers gave me the extra visual cue I needed for extra inspiration. Visual cues are a trick I've found very useful over the years; I often clip out photos from magazines and newspapers that interest me, galvanize ideas in my head.

I also started to work on a client's site for my freelance web design practice. In the end, the experience didn't turn out well... but I see it as a positive learning experience: it gave me ideas for what to do (and not to) with the next customer I have. More importantly, the work paid for may help me to get a flatbed scanner for the business. That may assist me with some of my design ideas on this site as well.

Week of June 19th - 25th

On the writing end this week, I e-mailed my first set of notes to Peregrine Games for the Space Scum game. Hopefully, these notes will end up used in the final game. I'll be paid for them regardless, but I also want to know that I came up with good work that will impress the publisher enough to keep working with me.

I'm fairly confident that my notes will impress the editor. I've been fortunate enough to be able to write good humor materials in the past... and some of the stuff that I submitted is (in my opinion, anyways) truly inspired.

I also continued working on my APACalypse zine. I feel that I'm making good time on the work, since my deadline is the 10th of July, and I'm well ahead of that. Note: As I'll explain in my next journal entry, this belief was very wrong.

I also earned the money I needed to pay the balance of that scanner purchase. Not through my writing work, or web design: I was an extra on the set of a film in Montreal.

It's been 3 years since the casting agency that I signed with called me for any projects, so I jumped at the chance. However, before anyone gets romanticized ideas of the life of a film extra, let me debunk some myths: it's hardly an exciting or glamorous job. Basically, you move around often to balance a shot at the director's whim; you don't have lines - you may be asked to cheer for a scene, or to ACT as if you're speaking, but just mouthing nonsense syllables; the majority of the people involved treat you like cattle.

So why do it? Several reasons: first, the pay is good. Second, you never know when your face may actually appear on screen in the final piece (or your elbow; a friend of mine can recognize his in a scene from Woody Allen's Radio Days).

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Last Updated: July 5, 1998

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