Sneak Preview: A new scene from “He’s With the Band”

Before the year closes out I wanted to share something that I’d been working on since I haven’t published anything new this year. As I said earlier today (and in the past), I wrote a new scene for He’s With the Band earlier this year but I haven’t been able to get it all typed up. As a thank you to everyone who’s been waiting patiently for it I wanted to share what I have of the new scene available. It’s a very early draft so not only do I have more to add to it I may also make some pretty big changes to it when I finally get the new version published.

more “Sneak Preview: A new scene from “He’s With the Band””

About the crazy, creative person in known as me

"A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity" - Franz KafkaAs I said yesterday, I just read Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking and I’m blown away by how open she is about everything. As 2014 comes to a close I know it seems this writer hasn’t written much and in the spirit of Amanda’s begin open with her fans I wanted to try to explain why you haven’t seen much writerly output from me, and how I hope to change that in 2015.

FAIR WARNING: I may drift into TMI territory at times. If I do feel free to skip to the next paragraph. I’ll try to keep the oversharing to a minimum. more “About the crazy, creative person in known as me”

“When did I become a futzing photographer?”

Sunday I started the day out of the rain at the Forest Hills MBTA station reading Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (a book I can’t recommend highly enough, whether or not you’re a fan of her’s, whether or not you’re an artist or content creator or not, and especially if you’re pissed with her about her Kickstarter projects or any part of her Theater is Evil album and tour) and when it came time to head to Jamaica Pond I opted to head through Franklin Park via the Shea Rotary, even though it was a little out of the way. more ““When did I become a futzing photographer?””

Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Devaluing Books? The Dark Side of Exclusivity

Monday Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, the company I use to distribute my ebooks to stores, posted an article on the downside to making ebooks available to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service. When I decided to publish my fiction writing as ebooks I turned to Smashwords to help get my ebooks to readers. Smashwords has a long list of online stores that they distribute to they have a caveat with Amazon: Due to the way Amazon has set up their Kindle Direct Publishing service they can’t do bulk uploads to Amazon like the other stores do. Fortunately, I can upload my ebooks to Kindle Direct Publishing myself so Kindle users can find my ebooks. But when it came to Amazon’s Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited I channeled Charles Emerson Winchester III and said, “Thank you, no.”  more “Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Devaluing Books? The Dark Side of Exclusivity”

How to find Smashwords authors on Aldiko

Find Smashwords books on AldikoI’ve partnered with Smashwords to distribute my ebooks to online retailers, and one of the retailers they distribute to is Aldiko, an app for Android devices. Up until recently I haven’t had a way to see how to find my ebooks on Aldiko, so tutorial will show you his to find Smashwords authors on that app. I’ll also show you how to add ebooks from other sites to your Aldiko library. more “How to find Smashwords authors on Aldiko”

A glimpse at a video I would have made for the Franklin Park photobook

Read my posts about the Franklin Park photobook I wanted to make this past summerSome of my readers will remember that at the end of the summer I ran a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise funds to buy the equipment I needed to create a photobook of a year in Boston’s Franklin Park. Not only would I have taken a year’s worth of pictures for the book, I also would have shots some videos as well. This morning I was finally able to shoot a video that I’ve wanted to make for a year and a half. more “A glimpse at a video I would have made for the Franklin Park photobook”

[Off Topic] But what are you protesting FOR?

[I hope you’ll pardon this very off topic post, but I read something last night that I want to pass along and it isn’t available online anywhere for me to share a link to.]

If you haven’t heard about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, about the grand jury investigating a possible wrongful death at the hands of the local police decided not to return an indictment you must not pay much attention to the news or social media. (Whether that’s a good thing or not is a matter for another post in possibly another venue.) Last night I was reading the current issue of the Boston Bulletin, a free local paper here in the Boston area, and I read an editorial that makes a very good point about something that’s different about protests now compared with protests back in the 60’s and 70’s. For not the first time I wish this paper has a website that I could share a link to, but it turns out the only thing they have is not only hidden behind a paywall but it’s hidden so well that I only found out about it after writing their corporate parent and asked how on earth a weekly newspaper being published in the 21st century doesn’t have a website. (I have to wonder how much revenue they’re losing because they keep that little tidbit to themselves.)

I ended up typing it up myself so I could share it because I feel it’s an editorial that really needs to be read by a lot more people than the thousands of people who know about the paper and pick it up.


“Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?” Marlon Brando’s character in “The Wild Ones” responds to that question with; “Whadda you got?” It is an apt metaphor for our modern addition to protests.

From Occupy Wall Street, and its Boston offshoot, to recent, local Ferguson protests it is becoming clear that activists have a new strategy: protest first, figure out what you are doing later.

The infuriating thing about the Occupy protests wasn’t the demonstrations, so much as the fact that no one could tell you what they hoped to accomplish. We heard ideas (student loans, wage gaps, wealth inequality), but not a relevant clue info how sitting in the mud of Dewey Square would resolve anything. There were no solutions, just a lot of weed and Hockey Sack.

We are conflicted when it comes to the local protests over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The protests in Ferguson are frustrating enough, with legitimate concerns overshadowed by thugs who think destroying local businesses and stealing booze is going to help matters. We are hardly convinced that Brown makes the best poster child for reforming police tactics. Frankly, there are an almost infinite number of young black men whose personal stories make a better case. Nevertheless, we understand the broader outrage in that community and the scary militarization of police we are watching evolve

But what were the protesters in Boston hoping to accomplish last week by blocking downtown traffic? Irritating drivers in the middle of the night hardly seems an effective method to make your point. It was just another case of protest now, figure out the message and the desired outcome later.

One Ferguson-related protest that actually outraged us was a national Black Friday boycott. Of course that decision to not shop hardly caused a ripple. But why was this even a thing? News flash: retailers hire folks of all colors and, in fact, there are plenty of minority-owned businesses that could have been hurt

Oh, but those big, bad business people are the enemy.

The rage against retail was in evidence this week when dozens of Roslindale residents gathered to protest plans to open a Petco Unleashed in Roslindale Square. To be very, very clear we are concerned too, especially given that Pet Cabaret has been a longstanding good neighbor to the community. But the debate, as is often the case, veered away from the specifics of that plan and into a more generalized diatribe about “chain stores.” It echoed the foolish Jamaica Plain attack on Whole Foods and that neighborhood’s ongoing effort to keep Centre Street clear of those big bad capitalists.

Plans are now afoot to draft a city ordinance that would limit the number of chains in a neighborhood business district. It is a ridiculous idea.

Only the most foolish of neighborhood activists could think it is a good idea to arbitrarily reject job-creation in this tough economic environment. Chain stores are not inherently good or bad, so let’s stop acting like they are a gateway to Hades.

If neighbors oppose Petco it is their right to do so. If the city has zoning concerns about a planned Home Depot, so be it. Don’t want Walmart to come in? By all means make your opinion heard. But let’s keep the debates specific and stop making these protests so amorphous and wrongheaded. We know you like to yell and pound your fists, just try to make all the energy you expend meaningful.