Woo Hoo! My First Book Royalty Check!


Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) has deposited twenty seven cents into my bank account. Yeah, I know, but it’s a start.

I am a screenwriter, but I chose to publish a few of my screenplays as e-books. I am still learning the mechanics of converting screenplay files into book files. The format appears a little wonky depending upon which electronic device you read with. I am sure I will figure it out eventually.

In the meantime, here is a link to my latest effort.

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It’s Time to Die (movie)


A final message from an ex-military buddy brings Josh to a bar on a Chinese island where he is trapped in the perfect tropical storm.

Hey guys, we need your help. Please check out the video above and share with your family and friends!

Facebook is so “last decade!”


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300 Million People Use WeChat To Text With Strangers, But Most Americans Probably Haven’t Heard Of It

WeChat is a multipurpose messaging app made by Chinese Internet portal company Tencent. The app’s popularity is soaring overseas. WeChat launched in October 2010 and had about 5 million users by May 2011. By January 2013, it had exploded to 300 million users, according to Tech In Asia.

The app has a startling array of features. Users can make video calls and hold live chats with friends, host group chats, scan for strangers to talk to nearby, and so much more. Rumors have been circulating that the app could gain a new shopping feature in the future too, which could be a huge potential revenue generator for Tencent. (more)

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Virtual Cremation in China


thIn China, many buildings don’t have a fourth floor. Or a fourteenth floor. Or a twenty fourth floor. You see, the Chinese word for the number four sounds a lot like the Chinese word for death. Don’t laugh; a lot of western hotels don’t have a thirteenth floor!

Chinese cultural tradition shuns the mention of death. I’ve heard stories of Chinese families who avoid telling elderly parents about the death of a family member, carrying on a pretense about that member being very busy and away on an extended trip, etc.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this video of a proposed project on www.jue.so which is a Chinese version of Kickstarter. There are  English subtitles, by the way:

生命体验馆—在线播放—优酷网,视频高清在线观看.

How to Write Your First Screenplay


Got an idea for a blockbuster movie rattling around in your head? Ever told yourself you’d sit down, write that screenplay and send it off to Hollywood? Although it’s not as simple as it sounds, it’s for sure they don’t give out any Oscars for “good intentions!” Here are some tips to help you get started writing your first screenplay.

Academy Award
"and the Academy Award for good intentions goes to"...

Step 1
Unless you’re writing for a very avant-garde audience, all stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Since movies generally last about two hours, you should think in terms of your beginning (introduction) lasting about 30 minutes, your middle (development) lasting about 60 minutes, and your end (conclusion) lasting about 30 minutes.

Step 2
As a rule of thumb, one written page of script is equal to about one minute of action on the screen. Your finished screenplay should be more than 90 pages and less than 120 pages in length.

Step 3
Screenplays must follow an industry standard format. Fortunately, formatting software is available. Some of it is even free. The beauty of this software is, when you edit or rewrite, it will automatically re-format for you. Check out the Internet for more information on screenplay software.

Step 4
One method for getting started is with note cards. As you visualize each scene, jot down as much information as you need to remember it. You can arrange and re-arrange the order of scenes in this way.

Step 5
The moment you create something you have an automatic copyright which is called the statutory copyright. You shouldn’t worry too much about someone stealing your ideas. However, once you have completed your first draft you should register your screenplay at the very least. Check out the Internet for more information on screenplay copyright and registration.

Step 6
It’s called a movie for a reason. Fill your screenplay with action words and only as much explanation as needed to paint a scene in the director’s mind. Less is more.

Step 7
Listen to the way people talk. Often, a conversation does not follow a straight path. Try to mimic this in your dialogue while still getting the story told. Again, less is more.

Tips and warnings:
You can read examples of famous and not-so-famous scripts on the Internet for free.

Once your masterpiece is completed you may want to let family and friends read it. Unless you’re related to a famous Hollywood executive, take what they say with a dose of salt. And if you do know a famous Hollywood exec, why are you reading this?