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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

Narrative Non-Fiction Comics: UPDATE

inked comic page
The publisher received the first installment of my creative non-fiction comic this week. It has been almost a year since a posted about a creative non-fiction comic I've been illustrating and writing. Previous posts on creative non-fiction comics: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The irony is that Drawn, an illustration and cartooning blog, posted this on Monday:"Goodbye one-page diary comics; everyone’s blogging now."

It appears the one the inspirations for my work now has a blog (which isn't bad) but he posted this: "In the old days i'd have made a one-page ... but today we squander our narratives in a blog."

What a pisser.

The first installment is due to hit the streets in December and the medium is horribly dated. Another source of inspiration has a blog as well but hasn't updated since 2003. However, Vertigo released a five-issue miniseries by him that began in September.

Maybe it's not as bad as Drawn considered.

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Books News

Essay collection : A-- Over 5000 books sold in seven months is a big achievement for a small publisher with no current advertising and only two Web ads on two sites.

Essay collection : B-- Almost 800 books sold in less than a month. Five third-page ads and one full-page ad have been placed in a national magazine and two Web ads on two sites.

Anthology-- As stated here, here and here, this title's sales are dismal--worse than I expected. This will take a while to recover from.

Novella-- The manuscript layout is complete. The cover has an initial design. But I'm still waiting on the publisher.

Novel: A-- The initial book layout is complete and awaiting word from the publisher.

Novel: B-- Waiting from word from the author.

Non-fiction: A-- Delivered the first draft to the publisher and author this week and working on the marketing of this title. Marketing is tricky because there are so many books out there; why should you buy this book?

Non-fiction: B-- Still working on the title's content and market research.

PART: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

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An all-volunteer service

Heard this yesterday on NPR:
"Monday, Nov. 27, marks the day when the Iraq war becomes longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II. Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales notes that he is surprised that the U.S. military has held out this long, considering that it is an all-volunteer service. A veteran of Vietnam, Scales credits the country's sergeants for holding things together.... Scales says that today's sergeants' willingness to stay in the service contrasts to 1972, when many of the NCOs left the service, dissatisfied with the war in Vietnam."
My family spent Thanksgiving Day with an ex-marine and his wife. His experience on the Iraq battlefield is still very fresh--and raw. I have the utmost respect for his service. It is also a sober reminder that America is at war.

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Write Stuff: When is a short story too short?

This week's Write Stuff post: When is a short story too short?.

Note: My Write Stuff posts have moved from Sunday to Monday.

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Holiday spam!

104 emails in my office inbox. Only one is not spam.
87 emails in my gmail spam folder. One email made it to my inbox. I love gmail.

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Oh, and yeah, happy Thanksgiving!

I guess that means I don't have to work tomorrow.

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7 drafts and I submit to the editors

Okay, that short story I've been working on for the last few days is done after seven drafts and an hour long discussion with my wife about the first paragraph. Here's a teaser from the middle of the story:
“Need a ride?” Mick asked from an open window of a ’87 Camero blaring Mötley Crüe’s “Same Ol’ Situation”... He was a big kid, both tall and heavy, with his flannel plaid shirt open to an old white Joe Camel T-shirt. I nodded yes and he opened the passenger door.

Fruits and Nuts and other non-offensive cussing

I just found out I'm over on my word count for the story I'm writing... like I need to cut it in half! Ow. Let the surgery begin.

Knocking on Heaven's Door

Cable television was not available to me during high school. I was aware of popular music through radio and magazines, but not MTV. In fact, it wasn't until midway through high school that my parents purchased a color television. I watch Guns -N- Roses perform Knocking on Heaven's Door with new insight into an era I am familiar with but oddly a unfamiliar with this 15 year old video.

I hope all this research will yield a decent short story.

Something to Believe in

Something to Believe in by Poison almost became the graduation class song of my high school. Instead, Michael W. Smith's hit song Friends was voted the class song.

Here I Go Again

Over the last two weeks I've been exploring, researching popular music during the late '80s and early '90s for a short story I am writing for a literary journal. The theme is 1991. Here's a flashback to the era: Whitesnake - Here I Go Again.

Four Poets and a Singer-Songwriter

Traveling Bonfires Show at Malaprop's.
Nov 18 2006, Saturday, 7pm to 9pm, downtown Asheville, NC.

The Traveling Bonfires presents UNCA-based poets Arielle Carlson and Brian Sneeden, graphic artist and writer Matthew Mulder, Bonfires founder and editor-publisher Pasckie Pascua, and Paul DeCirce, leader and lead vocalist of the Asheville-based band, Peace Jones.

[ ] ARIELLE CARLSON (poet) – 7:00pm to 7:20
[ ] MATTHEW MULDER (poet) – 7:20 to 7:40
[ ] PASCKIE PASCUA (poet) – 7:40 to 8:00
[ ] BRIAN SNEEDEN (poet) – 8:00 to 8:20
[ ] PAUL DeCIRCE (singer-songwriter) – 8:20 to 8:50

You can buy copies of Late Night Writing here for $8.00 + shipping and the Autumn 2006 issue of .ISM Quarterly (that published my poem "Loneliness Visits") here for $4.95 + shipping (out of stock according to the Web site--I have five copies currently) or you can join me here and get both Late Night Writing and the Autumn 2006 issue of .ISM Quarterly personally signed by me for $12. Obviously, supplies are limited.

Traveling Bonfires Show at Malaprop's features Paul DeCirce.

"DeCirce's flute playing and quirky, fun originals are quickly gaining the band many regional fans." --Billboard Publicity Wire, November 3, 2006

"Artistic use of flute, layered between 70s-style keyboard solos and quirky lyrics... gets the crowd dancing, and then expands their minds." --Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress, Asheville NC, Sept. 27, 2006

"There's just no stopping this pied piper. Peace Jones creates a mesmerizing, booty-shaking small town ruckus; working class funk-Americana... shades of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, George Clinton and Rare Earth..." --The Indie, Asheville NC, Oct. 2006

True Home Open Mic photo essay

True Home Open Mic sign-up list for Nov. 16, 2006
Over 5200 subscribers from 20 + countries tune into the True Home podcast

Host, Jarrett Leone, welcomes "pod people" and guests to The Courtyard Galley

KT, Solo, Yawway perform Don't Fade Away

Solo, Yawway invite Steve to jam with them as the perform a "country" rap

Steve performs some amazingly complex instrumentals

Whiskey Drip play a newly composed song

Jen reads her poem Sick and Tired

Ash joins Anneabell as they perform Orphan Girl

Ash takes requests and plays old and new material

True Home Open Mic Podcast number 9

Last week's podcast features Ash Devine, Moss, your truly and others (who I can't find blog/web links) on the 9th podcast. As of last week, 4300 subscribers in more than 20 countries are listening to the podcast.

For me, last week's open mic was a dress rehearsal for my upcoming reading at Malaprop's (by the way, you're all invited-- details here). I began by reading part of The People (published in Wander, Volume 1, Number 5) and then three selections from my first poetry collection, Late Night Writing (published in 2004 by Wasteland Press).

Will I be at the Courtyard this week? Find out Thursday night.

how to listen or join the True Home Open Mic Podcast:
Subscribed to Asheville's coolest podcast, True Home Open Mic Podcast. It is easy to subscribe using Apple iTunes:
1) open Apple iTunes,
2) Click on Podcast Directory,
3) type "True Home Courtyard" in the Search iTunes Store window, and
4) click "subscribe."

[For non Apple iTunes users; copy this address into your podcast application: http://www.webpasties.com/podcast-8670-930.xml]

For those in the Asheville area, join crowd every Thursday at the Courtyard Galley hosted by Jarrett Leone. Signup starts at 8:30 PM and performances from 9pm-12.

Asheville movie set, part 2

More filming of the movie Don't Fade Away (I actually found out more about the film while mingling down at the River District Art Stroll).

I didn't have my digital camera with me at the time, but I saw the crew filming a car scene on Lyman Street (crossing the French Broad River on the Amboy Road bridge). Word is that the crew is filming 90 days of principle shooting. So I guess Asheville residents will be seeing more film crew in the next months.

Asheville movie set

Stumbled upon these movie set on Lexington Avenue tonight. The name escapes me--something about fading away or fade away or just fade...

Anyway, I started talking to this guy on set who wore a headset and a lot of warm clothes. His job was to keep people quiet when the crew is shooting a scene. I think I watched them shoot the same scene 12 times before they moved to the next scene.

Since I was on my way to the Courtyard Galley Open Mic I had my notebook in hand. He asked to see it. I gave it to him. Someone called him on the headphones and he walked over to the crew as he flipped through my book. He disappeared for awhile and for a moment I freaked and thought, "What if he takes it? What am I going to read tonight?"

He reappeared, walked over to me, handed me my notebook and asked if I write screenplays. I stammered a bit and asked if he meant plays. Script writing he insisted. Not in a long time, I managed to say (like university creative writing class). He said my poems were very well written and I should try writing screen plays. A laughed at myself because I had taken a silly quiz that reported the same thing. So I gave him my business card and asked him to give me a call.

I told my wife about it. We laughed and tried our best impressions of Bill Murray in the film The Man Who Knew Too Little: "I'm in the movie business... Blockbuster Video, Des Moines, Iowa."

Edgy design, edgy gear

Awhile back Edgy Mama put out a request for some edgy gear and I couldn't resist an edgy design project. So I submitted design and it was voted on and won thanks Edgy readers like Ptaak, fringes, naughty drawdy, Lightning Bug's Butt and Autumn. Check out Edgy Mama's blog and find out when the enviro-friendly Edgy T-shirts are available.

True Home Open Mic Podcast number 8

True Home Open Mic Podcast
The Courtyard Gallery
Every Thursday at the Courtyard Galley. Hosted by Jarrett Leone, signup starts at 8:30PM and performances from 9pm-12
If you haven't subscribed to Asheville's own True Home Open Mic Podcast, please do. As of last week, there are over 3000 subscribers in more than a dozen countries! The podcast is available through Apple iTunes.

It is real easy for Apple iTunes users to subscribe:
1) open Apple iTunes,
2) Click on Podcast Directory,
3) type "True Home Courtyard" in the Search iTunes Store window, and
4) click "subscribe."

[For non Apple iTunes users; copy this address into your podcast application: http://www.webpasties.com/podcast-8670-930.xml]

.ISM Quarterly
Autumn 2006
I'm featured on the 5th podcast (released Oct. 17, 2006) reading My Father's Promise and Red Dye #40 Epsicle Ice Pop and shamelessly plugging Write Stuff.

Last week (the recording of the 8th podcast that was released Nov. 7, 2006) I read "Loneliness Visits" that is published in the Autumn 2006 issue of .ISM Quarterly. I shamelessly plugged the quarterly magazine and host Jarrett Leone plugged 1000 Black Lines.

What will I read tonight? Find out by visiting The Courtyard Gallery or subscribing to the True Home Open Mic Podcast.

Also, check out podcast 6 (released Oct. 22). It features "musica latino"--the whole gallery sang along to the music of Tito. Podcast 7 (Oct. 30) features an open house party for the Yellow Door Media Center with guest Michael Farr and others. Every podcast includes performances by Ash Devine.

OK, this is odd

Confession number 1:
Last night I got a message on my voice mail from former President Clinton reminding me to vote for Democratic candidates. If it wasn't for the fact that it was a recorded message I would have been more excited. And he didn't even leave a return number. That's the annoying thing about it. I still voted. I'd still like to return his call and at least thank him for calling my home.

Confession number 2:
Today, as I entered Westend Bakery, a woman (Caucasian, early to mid forties, wavy chestnut colored hair) said, "You're wearing a tie. You're not welcomed here." I looked down and sure enough--a tie hung from my neck. I tied it myself--thank you. Since she does not work at the Bakery, doesn't know me and conveyed her observation/opinion in a rather rude manner, I smiled instead of held the door for her. In spite of the insult I should have held the door open for her. If you see her, please apologize for my rudeness.

Book News

Essay collection : A-- Week 28 and almost 4800 books sold! Very exciting; an average of more than 170 books have been sold per week.

Almost a year ago I began exploring the potential to introduce this book to the marketplace. The powers-that-be requested a ROI (rate on investment) report and P & L (profit and loss) analysis on the book project. At the time, the company had never published books and did not know whether or not it was worth the investment. I had produced a mock-up of a manuscript and presented a proposal that when something like this:
Target Reader: An average household income of $60,000.00. Over 50 percent of demographics have more than three people per household. Over 50 percent of these demographics are between the ages of 25-50. Over 50 percent of this audience spent less than $199 on books in the last 12 months. More than 80 percent of target readers have read one book in the last month. Offer a collection of essays by [author's name] to this very loyal reader base that read [author's] regularly published column. Also, release the title in time for Mothers Day.

It took three months of deliberation before the powers-that-be allowed me to begin collecting the essays, formatting the manuscript pages and in general producing a book from concept to full-color casebound completion.

boxes and boxes of books delivered
So this week began a new chapter in book publishing for me. The delivery of thousands of copies of Essay collection : A-- its THIRD printing!

Additionally, thousands of copies of Essay collection : B were also delivered. Essay collection : B production began at the end of July and the manuscript was delivered to the printer the end of September. Yes, two months of selecting the essays, light editing, page layout, book, cover design, coordinating distribution and customer service, establishing e-commerce and planning, writing and designing a national print and electronic ad campaign. And that's not all...

open box of books
Simultaneously, I was organizing feature articles (under the direction of a notable national editor), typing non-electronic articles, light and heavy editing, proofreading, preparing almost a dozen drafts of the manuscript, page layout, book, cover design, coordinating distribution and customer service, establishing e-commerce and planning, writing and designing a national print and electronic ad campaign for the anthology book due out this month--try producing and managing two books at the same time while loosely holding onto your sanity. It's like getting your messenger bag strap caught in the door of a bus as you leave and hope the bus driver doesn't take off with you dragging along the asphalt.

more boxes of books
Um, yes, I see that hand raised amid the masses of blog readers (all eight of you, and hi mom... I'll call you this weekend).

Your question is:
Why are you using "Essay collection: B" and "Anthology" as titles and not the actual book titles that are visible in the images provided?

Good question. And thanks for asking.

Short answer: googling the book titles or author names will not bring people to 1000 Black Lines.

Long answer: if I were the publisher of these books (and not the designer) I would be promoting them shamelessly. Since I am not the publisher, I'll look at the ground, kick at a leaf on the sidewalk that skitters away in the breeze and say "I'm just part of the team... doing my job."

PART: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]