Category Archives: Fun

Science Fiction Story Weekend

I’ll be teaching Science Fiction Story Weekend at the Oregon Coast on October 23-25 this year.

A maximum of thirteen of us will gather at the mysterious Siltcoos Station for a weekend of speculation and writing of outlandish, otherworldly stories. We’ll engage in world-building and species-building exercises and then write a complete short story in twenty-four hours. Tuition includes instruction in the short story form, particularly science fiction, lodging and simple pot luck meals.

This workshop will be based on the format of the amazingly-popular Ghost Story Weekend that I hold every spring. We eat well, we write like fiends and we always make sure there’s time for long walks down the train tracks or country lanes, and for laughing together as only writers can. Siltcoos at Sunset

This is a Lane Community College class, offered fall term, and will only appear in the Florence campus catalog. Registration opens September 4. Section  CRN 23262 includes lodging ($117) and Section CRN 23262 assumes you’ll sleep somewhere else (a shame, really) for $73. To register, click here

Please join us.  You might be surprised with what you write.

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Filed under Fun, Ghost Story Weekend, Learning, Short Stories, Writing

What Makes a Film Great?

I just saw Star Trek, and I’m still high.

Let me start by saying that I’ve been a big fan of the original series (yes, I’m that old) and all its syndicated reruns for all these years. I enjoyed NG, but never really warmed to it the way I did Kirk and Spock and the crew. I own all the movies, and my hour really came when Picard and Kirk were on horseback together, Picard looking pale and fey and Kirk robust and an obvious horseman. Not that they were competing, except in my mind, but there was no competition for my affections. I’ve been very clear on this blog what a fan I am of William Shatner; when I look at his face, I feel like I’m looking at my big brother. I am a true fan of his entire body of work.

So when I heard they were coming out with a Genesis-type film, I got scared. How could they capture the real affection and amusement of the original cast? How could they come up with a story line that befit such a monumental task? How could they cast such important roles? I know that you know that I’m not the only one who knows pretty much everything about these people.

And they pulled it off, in what appeared to be effortless fashion. The casting was superb. The writing perfect. The effects breath-taking. The bad guys truly bad. This film was a thrilling ride.

Last summer I blogged about the Sex and the City movie, how I had grown accustomed to the well-wrought women and their relationship, and how the movie–while I was nervous about that, too–pulled it all together and became a brilliant piece of filmmaking. I am scared that they’re moving too fast with those girls to put out another movie so soon, but we’ll see what happens.

Regardless, I can not wait for the next Star Trek film, especially if it involves the same cast and crew, because they’ve got it down.

If you haven’t seen Star Trek, see it without delay, whether you’re a fan or not.

The only sad note is that Shatner didn’t recite the famous lines: “Space…the final frontier…”

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Filed under Fun, Personalities, relationships, Writing

Is Anything Better than Hanging with Writers?

Another Ghost Story Weekend has come and gone. Fifteen of us this time (two over the limit) showed up at Siltcoos Station on a brilliantly beautiful weekend to write the dark and horrific, and we all did an excellent job.

The Surviving Members of Ghost Story Weekend 2009
The Surviving Members of Ghost Story Weekend 2009

As usual, there were stories of vampires, of haunted places, of mysterious ghosts, of friendly ghosts, of helpful ghosts, of harmful ghosts. All ghosts were welcome, and they came in well-considered abundance.

But what could be better than hanging out with other writers for a weekend? We ate together, laughed together, camped out in cabins like the adventurous souls we are, and tried to scare each other silly. And in so doing, we became better friends.
This was the 19th annual Ghost Story Weekend, and one attendee, Christina Lay, has only missed one of these annual fests. This year she brought finger food (literally). I wonder what she would have brought to that missing weekend. Maybe we’ll find out next year.
Meantime, I can’t wait for another spring to roll around and I put out the call for all ghost story writers to converge on a hopefully-haunted boathouse on the spooky Oregon Coast.
It’ll be another great weekend, I’m sure.
Join us?

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Filed under Friends, Fun, Ghost Story Weekend, Possibilities, relationships, Short Stories, Writing, years

Facebook: Okay, now I get it

Well, that didn’t take long.

I searched and found a couple of people I knew, so I invited them to be my “friend.” Soon their friends were my friends. Then my dog has her own page on Dogbook (can you believe this?) and she has her own dog friends. And I’m a member of groups, and they have friends.

It’s the ultimate time suck. And addictive.

Perhaps I’ll be there more often than I imagine.  And I still feel as though I ought to have a professional presence there as well as a personal presence. Hmmm. Maybe the twain will finally meet.

Regardless, I better go check to see what all my “friends” are up to. That will keep me from pining about not having the new updated Kindle.

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Filed under connections, family, Friends, Fun, time

Instant Karma

Boy, don’t you wish everybody got what they deserved like this?

Hmmm…. maybe not. Never know what might come my way.

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No need for expensive presents

Okay. It’s too late for Christmas 2008, but try to keep this in mind for Christmas 2009.

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I’m sure you’ve already heard of this guy

But he is definitely worth revisiting.

I first saw Jeff Dunham on Comedy Central. He had two videos that I’ve watched from Netflix, too. This is from one of them, either his Christmas special, or “Spark of Insanity.” He has other characters, as is obvious, but this one cracks me up, no matter how many times I watch it.

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