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Monday, November 29, 2004

Did I Mention?

I was checking the official "Next in the Series" website this morning, and thought that I remembered that I had forgotten to mention a)that the website exists, and b)that samples from some of the scripts I've written are posted there as PDFs. These are the script samples that I sent to PRI with my proposal, along with a CD of old stuff from ten years ago, just to show that I know my way around a microphone.

Unfortunately, the script samples are not quite the complete collection. The sample from "The Tale of the Weekend Upcoming" has not been posted yet; neither has the proposal itself. The link to "Bitlle Joinsoin's Adventure Through the Watching Glass" is broken. My systems administrator--my nephew, Chris--is working on the problems. Since he works full-time as a high school teacher, is studying for his Master's, and insists on making time to spend with his lovely new bride, progress comes at a measured pace. Which is fine, I'm not complaining, I'm grateful for all he's done.

Still, feel free to take a look at the samples. There's no obligation, and I think they're entertaining. Nothing to be afraid of.

Or maybe I should take a different approach, the approach taken by WC Fields in "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man." Hurry! Hurry! See the World's Shortest Giant! See the World's Tallest Midget! Step right up! Don't be the last in your family to see these wonders! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This Just In

I got a return call from the Program Manager of PRI today, and I guess that not much news is good news.

She apologized for this taking so long, but apparently, she hasn't listened to my demo CD yet. She said she hopes to get to it soon. She also offered to release it if I wanted to submit elsewhere, but I assured her that "as long as it's still in the running, why get out of the race?"

Again she was very nice and is probably terribly overworked. Right now, I wouldn't be looking to get the show on the air before next Fall, which means I should be able to pull it off as long as I get word by March. January would be better, though.

In the meantime, I'm going to have to polish off the remaining scripts and keep my fingers crossed, which really slows down my typing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Number You Have Reached Is Ignoring You

Since nine months is long enough to grow an infant, I figured that it was also long enough to make a decision on a radio show, so I up and called the Program Manager at PRI this morning. I called a little after ten, Eastern Time, which would be about nine her time. I got the voicemail, which indicated only that she was either on the phone or away from her desk, so I left a friendly message asking for any update. It is now pushing one, and no return call so far.

Now, in recent months, and no more frequently than once every two months, I have e-mailed her to try to get an update or to inform her of developments such as the Next in the Series website and this blog. In July, I sent a plain, old-fashioned letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope asking for information. Nothing.

Now, today, it seems, I am getting nothing again.

It is one thing to get rejected. It is quite another to get ignored. I am considering my options, which include formally withdrawing my submission so that I can submit it to NPR. (I have their submissions guidelines bookmarked, just in case.)

And I thought people in Minnesota were supposed to be nice.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Extra! Extra!

Samples from the scripts I've written are up for viewing at the official Next in the Series website. The proposal I sent to PRI should be available soon. All are in PDF format for the convenience of the viewer. So, stop on by and give 'em a read! Your comments are welcome right here.

And if you do take the time to peruse them--Thanks.

The Technology Trap

Assuming that PRI has not, by that time, rained money down on me, when I return to working on radio scripts in December, I will be working on my laptop at work and the PC at home. My Olivetti (ironically, not the one pictured above) may stay out, but it will not be used for the last episode of "Plant Your Wagon."

Unfortunately, as long as I have to work at a "real job," I cannot get enough hours in front of a manual typewriter to get any work done. Some day, though, some day.

I posted the photo of the Olivetti Lettera 25 above (which I do own, by the way) because it is used on the sign-in page for to promote the damn "Write Your Novel in an Afternoon Contest." I find it interesting how the lowly manual typewriter is still a potent symbol of the real writer, I know I have the image in my head of the hard-bitten guy or gal slumped over a Remington, pounding out copy while a cigarette dangles precariously from his or her mouth.

What is the comparable image from today? A spiky-haired teen tippy-tapping on a laptop, headphones encircling his skull, GameBoy at the ready? A Starbucks-sipping metrosexual thumbing a Blackberry while waiting for his low-carb bagel? Something's not the same.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

PRI Watch 2004 Continues

Nine months ago today, I submitted the online application to Public Radio International (PRI) asking them to consider distributing and possibly funding "Next in the Series." Still no word.

A couple of days ago, I was pretty worked up about it and considered the possibility of calling the program manager and saying "What the hell?" Now I am more sanguine about it, but my mood changes day-to-day.

I actually did call last May to make sure that they had gotten the damn thing in the first place. I spoke with the program manager, who knew my name and seemed genuinely glad to hear from me. Other than confirming that they had received the proposal I had sent by mail, though, she was short on specifics. She said that it was being considered and that there was a backlog and that she hoped they would get back to me soon. I hate to see anyone's hopes dashed--especially in this case--but I'm afraid that's what happened.

And so another month has gone by without word, but no news is good news, or so they say. Maybe they're just waiting on some funding. I know I am.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Am I Blue?

On Tuesday, the state I live in, Georgia, went for Mr. Bush by a margin of 59% to 41%. This was no surprise to anyone; Georgia had been written off as a Red state since at least the mid-term elections two years ago. Neither major candidate burdened us with a visit, and our exposure to vile political ads was limited to those of local interest. My vote for Mr. Kerry was symbolic at best. Thanks to the Electoral College, my interest, my vote, my participation were pointless, and the only voters who counted were those in so-called “Battleground States.”

Our system is broken and our method of choosing a President is a mockery of democracy. Filtering the will of the people through the Electoral College is to the practice of democracy what light beer is to stout or porter: a pale, watered-down, flavorless substitute.

The two-party system is also broken. Why moderate Republicans don’t just declare themselves as Democrats, I’m not sure. Their beliefs are closer to the Democratic platform than the current Republican platform is. And the Democratic platform is further from my beliefs than ever before.

My mother’s father explained why he was a Democrat in the following way: “They’ll both steal from you, but the Democrats will give a little bit back.” I’m not sure that that is still true. As the years have passed and as the consensus has moved steadily to the right, so has the Democratic Party, and this abandonment of it liberal basis threatens to turn it into the 21st Century Whig Party.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I took an online test that showed the testee which political party or candidates the testee’s beliefs lined up with. And, although Mr. Kerry outscored Mr. Bush by some margin for both of us, Mr. Kerry was easily outpaced by the Green Party. And after Tuesday, after a lifetime as a Democrat, I am thinking of going Green.

Here’s the headline: “Reds Make Blue Green.” You heard it here first.

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Plant Your Wagon" on Hiatus

I finished the scene I had been working on for the past couple of weeks yesterday, but still have another 15 or 16 to go. Since today is the first day of the novel challenge, I'm going to put "Plant Your Wagon" aside in favor of "Michael Drayton, Detective Guy."

May God have pity on my heathen soul.