What is Going on in that Place?


Central park was unusually loud on 5th Avenue at this hour, Alana noticed. The park side of the street was crowded and she was having trouble getting into a rhythm on her morning jog.  She couldn’t remember ever having to dodge people like this at 6 am.

At 82nd Street, Alana barely missed running over a man who was sitting on the sidewalk crying. He was in an old dusty grey suit.  Strange.

Alana decided to slow down and walk until she could continue her run at the 72nd street entrance to the park.

Moving through the crowd, Alana began to notice that the people in the crowd were not dressed appropriate for the time of day or the weather.  It was November.  Everyone was dress for summer. They looked like they were going to a garden party.  To Alana, they looked happy and drunk.

As Alana passed by, a handsome man gave out a chuckle.  The man looked like an extra from the party scene in The Great Gatsby.  He was talking to two women. Both were stunning, in ankle length sun dress with big yellow, purple and pink flowers on them.

“The lights. Did you see the lights?” One women said.
“The music was phenomenal.” The guy with the smart looks and loud laugh said.
“I loved the food.” the other women said, “I hope we can go back.”

Suddenly an elderly women interrupted the three hipsters.

‘That women looks like my grandmother,’ Alana thought to herself.

“You can’t go back in.  They never let you back in.” The old women was dressed in a similar dress as the two young ladies.  But, where they looked like they were ready for a fashion photo shoot about the 1920’s, the elderly women looked like she had been wearing her clothes since 1920.   The only reason Alana recognized the dress was because the large colorful flowers were still visible on the faded fabric.

Alana continued on towards where the crowd was entering Central Park.

A younger women grabbed Alana’s arm, “Have you seen it?”

“Seen what?” The women lead Alana to the park entrance.  As they turned the corner, Alana saw it.

It was magnificent.  It was a castle. A castle in the middle of central park. Alana had taken this route many times and she was sure that it had not been there before.

The women let go of Alana’s arm and took off towards the castle.

Most people walking towards it were like Alana, mesmerized and curious.  Those walking away were drunk and happy, but those who had been before, just stood around looking old and angry, like the old women and the old man crying on the street.  Angry and desperate to get back in.

jet flew overhead confusing Alana.  You don’t hear jet engines overhead in New York City.  Which made Alana realize she wasn’t in New York anymore.

“What is going on in that place?” Alana said.

My Weekly Update – Junowrimo, Job and Just Freakin Cool


Going into week three, I have a handle on JuNoWriMo. In fact, I am kicking junowrimo’s butt.  And, I am pretty excited about it.  I am over 40,000 words in 16 days.  I have about 20,000 words to go before I finish my 1st draft of my 1st novel.  That is my new goal for June.

It hasn’t been easy.  Far from it, but what I am most please about it my preparation has paid off.  Even when I though I would run out of story, taking a day to step back and review my outline revealed that the story wasn’t supposed to end where I originally thought. It just transformed the story even further and I love it even more.

Lessons learned, preparation is key, but being open to new ideas and adjusting you plan my reveal something better.

Favorite passage written last week was this toast that John makes in front of his best friend and Sydney’s brother about how they are going to maintain their relationship when Sydney goes back to China:

“7 days ago, I meet this girl and instantly knew that I had to get to know her.  There was just something about her, that I am still trying to figure out.” Looking at Sydney, John continued. ” Now I don’t know whether it was God, the universe, karma, Budda or The Force, but something in this world has saw fit to bring us into each other lives and I think that force has earned our respect.” Sydney had no idea where John was going with this little speech or declaration, but she was all ears.
“I am not typically one to just let things happen and we all know Sydney has to know the answers to everything before the questions are even asked.  But, baby you can’t research the outcome of this one.  All we can do is trust that the force that brought us together will keep up together.  Even when we are miles apart.” to Kevin and Dennis, “And, that the people who love us the most will remind us if we try and take control this love thing.”

*Now this is unedited, but does it make sense?  Let me know.


There is one definition of the word job that says, “Anything a person is expected or obliged to do; a duty; a responsibility. That is how I have been think of my writing lately and I am happy to report that it has transformed not only my attitude, but the quality of my writing as well.

Now, no one wants to be obligated to do something, but if you think about it.  There are obligations and responsibilities that we take on in our paying jobs every day.  We do them because we want to get a pay check, we want to get a good review, we want to move up and be recognized for a job well done.

Well that is the same with my writing “job”.  Although I don’t get a paycheck for it.  I have an obligation and a responsibility to not waste this gift.  I have a responsibility to myself to respect the time I have dedicated to this so far and to my blog readers and fellow writers who are so supportive and who have given me great advice.

So, writing is my job and finally, I have a job a love.

Just Freakin Cool New Followers

*If I missed someone, sorry and thank you.

This Weeks Schedule

Monday – Junowrimo Participant Interview – James Eggebeen – He has already hit 50,000 words. 
Tuesday – Movie Quotes
Wednesday – Writer Wednesday Blog Hop – the photo this week is so cool.
Friday – Junowrimo Participant Interview – EM Castellan
Sunday – My Weekly Update

JuNoWriMo Participant Interview James Eggebeen

It is the end of Week 2 of Junowrimo and I would like to introduce you to Junowrimo Winner James Eggebeen.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.
I am writing the second book in my Fantasy Series. The first one Foundling Wizard is about a young Wizard whomeets a young Sorceress on his way to Amedon where he hopes to be trained. They find out that they are destined to work together to defeat the Evil Priests, who kill young Wizards, and take their power.
The second book is Wizards Education. Now they are on their way to Amedon when they get derailed by not only by the Priests, but a rogueWizard. The Wizard wants to keep them out of the hands of the Priests, but also wants to keep them away from Amedon, so he can take control of the Wizards Council. They have to face challenges that test their commitment to magic and to each other in order to survive.
 The web site for this series of books is www.loritwizard.com.
Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
Yes, this is my first time doing one of these. I thought it would be nice to meet a few other authors and stay motivated to keep writing.
How has it meet your expectations so far?
It’s far exceeded my expectations. I’ve made a bunch of new friends, and even re-connected with one of my old writing group partners from way back when. (waving hi to Eden Maee) I love doing the sprints. The excitement and mutual support is great. I never would have made the progress I did without the sprints, and oh yes, the competition (waving hi to Angi Black).
What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?
I usually get up at 3:00 to 4:00 AM. I drive for an hour to get to the office and then take some time to write before my work day starts. I have daily overseas calls, so I start pretty early, but I usually manage to get in an hour or two before work starts.
It takes me an hour or so to get home at night. This gives me time to think about what I want to write. Once I get home, I usually write for at least another hour or so. With the sprints, it was more like two.
This schedule lets me really think through the scenes I’m going to write, before I finally sit down. I review all of the action and dialogue in my head while I’m driving. Then it’s just sitting down and writing out what’s in my head already.
Did you do any planning for Junowrimo? If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?
When I found out about this (two days before it started), I stopped writing and planned out a lot of the remainder of the novel. I was already 30,000 words into it, but I had not detailed out the whole thing. I knew that I would need some solid plot and scene design, so I went ahead and created all the scene templates before it started.
My scene template is a file where each scene lives (I am a big Scrivener fan; don’t get me started on that!).
Each scene template has the following form:
Point of View:
What changes in the scene?
What is the conflict?
Why will the reader continue reading?
I lay these out three scenes to a chapter and template twenty four chapters.
I thought I had enough material when we started, but I ran out of outline by the end of the first week. I had to take some time to outline more, and then I ran dry again. The last few days, I had an epiphany. We read linearly but don’t have to write that way, so I plotted out the ending and wrote some of that, now I have to go back and fill in the middle.
I think that’s going to work out real well. Now that I know where it all ends up, I can drive the plot there. Of course, there’s a lot more work in revision than writing. I just love that part. You get to go back and drop in all the foreshadowing and hide Easter eggs all over the place for the reader to discover later. It’s a lot of fun.
You are the first to complete the 50,000 word count for JuNoWriMo 2012. Any advice for those of us still in the trenches?
Don’t worry about the word count. The words will come. Think about what you want to write, imagine it all in your head, and then make it come alive. That’s the secret to getting a lot written.
JuNoWriMo is about setting up good habits in how you approach your work. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. Turn off the TV and shut down your web browser for a while each day, and before you know it you’ll have written more books than you would ever have believed possible. 
Thank you James.  Congratulations on completing the challenge!

For more information on James Eggebeen, visit his blog sites at www.jameseggebeen.com & www.loritwizard.com.

Should I be Worried about the Chinese Government

The Eye in the Logo Means they are Watching You!

It looks like I better be careful. They might be getting ready to shut me down.  It is happening all over China.  Rules took effect recently that create a censorship point system in order to curtail any offensive content on social media sites in China.  Now, we are not talking about Facebook and Twitter.  Both are banned in China.  In addition, the government has and utilizes the power to shut down internet access, cell phone access and satellite TV access anytime it sees fit.  For example, the government decided that the anniversary of the terrible earthquake that happened a few year ago, but be honored by not allowing English channels to broadcast for several days.

China provides it’s citizens their own social media networks.  One of the most popular mini blog sites, which is similar to Twitter is Sina Weibo.   And over 300 million users post and comment on Weibo every day.

Each Weibo user receives a user contract with a starting score of 80 points.  For every bit of content posted your score can go up or down depending on the nature of your content.  Over 100 points, you are golden.  Drop below 60, you are in trouble.  Loose all your points, no more access for you.

Who decideds who stays and goes?  It has everything to do with the content.

Censorship Central

I image a room like this with a 1,00o computer terminals and shifts working all day and night to rid the internet of objectionable content.  It probably feels like a sales call center.  These men and women probably have quotas and get bonuses for banning people from Weibo.  Ban a user, ring a bell and you get a little extra in your check that week.

This article got me thinking.  If I was a Weibo user, how would my current blog content fair.  According to the article, my post must avoid the following:

Offensive Content:  Serving McDonald Big Macs at a Appreciation Party.  That offended me.

Content that spread rumors: Is it a rumor, if it is true? I am sorry, but Crazy stuff happens in China.

Content that called for a protest:  I thought is was my duty to protest against people taking off their clothes at a public resort pool.   Especially if that person is my employee.  There were children present.

Content that promotes cults or supersitions:  Chinaism, is not a cult, it is a way of life.

And finally, content that impunges the Chinese honor:  Well hell, that is my whole blog.

I have written a lot of post on China.   And as you can see, I have violated a few of these rules myself. But, since I have an app that makes my computer looks like it is in California and I don’t believe those crime shows that show the cops can pinpoint a persons location from their IP address, I think I am safe for now.

My questions to you is, do you stand behind your blog content?  What if you were threaten to either remove objectionable content or be shut down completely? Would you risk death to defend your blog material? (I know, a bit extreme.  The worst I might fair is deportation or a Chinese prison)

Btw, I have had the most technical difficulties in writing this post then any other.  They might be on to me already.

Source:  NY Times Article – China Cracks Down on it’s Cagey Web Critics