My memory doesn't seem to function like other peoples. At least, from the way they talk it doesn't. I don't really remember any particular Christmas. All my memories just get all jumbled up together into just one big impression of Christmas.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Comet ISON is out in the early morning sky. Back in 2012 when it was discovered, at the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) in Russia, the hopes were that it would be a bright and impressive comet. As it has gotten closer expectations have been scaled back. But just recently the brightness increased and it has now become visible to the naked eye.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Once again I'm back from the Sandhill Crane Festival in Lodi. It was an odd year, while we did seem some of the cranes, I didn't see too many species of birds. I suspect the warm, dry, windy conditions made the viewing poor. Though maybe it was the end of Daylight Savings Time (one of the great evils of the 21st Century).
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Recently (Oct 19th) I dropped over to Ventura for their annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. For those that don't know this is a “race” where people have built human powered vehicles (mostly based on bicycles) and race them through four events.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
We all have stories. Big stories and small ones. Some are things that have happened to us, while others are things that have happened to people we know. Still others are things we've just made up. Not every story is one we really want to share, while others we'll tell to anyone that will sit still long enough to listen to the whole thing. And sometimes we tell the same story to the same people over and over again. Sometimes we don't remember we told them, while other times, we tell the story again because it is important to us.
Posted by Mark Fisher at 9:24 AM
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I write quite a few plays. Most are pretty short, ten minutes or so. So I keep my eyes open for places wanting short plays. Last year I saw a notice for one in Canada and they had a rule that (if you weren't Canadian) you had to have one of the characters say “I see a rabbit”.
Well I let that sort of percolate in my brain. And somewhere back in the dusty file cabinets of my mind an image came up. Like an old Ripley's Believe It Or Not, it seemed to have something about some cultures saw a rabbit on the moon instead of the man on the moon. Well off to the Internet I went and did a search on moon and rabbit. And just like my dusty cobwebbed memory had said, some cultures do see a rabbit on the moon.
So delving into Wikipedia I read up on some of the myths that arose to explain why there was a rabbit on the moon. And two of the stories were remarkably similar. And they were from separate continents. There was an old Aztec tale about the god Quetzalcoatl and a Buddhist tale about Sakra, a Buddhist “god”. Both tales involved the god traveling and being hungry and the rabbit sacrificing itself so the god could eat. And in return the god put the rabbit's image on the moon.
So now I had an image that I wanted to use for my play and after a short time I knew what I was going to do and the play wrote itself quickly. I was able to have a reading of the play at Fiddler's Crossing Open Mic Night a week or two before the deadline to submit the play. With Debbie Martin and Cambria Hynes doing the two parts the play was well received. Though I did notice something that I felt needed fixed, did a very minor rewrite and sent it off to Canada.
Well, to make a long story short, it wasn't picked for their festival, but that wasn't the end of my little play. For some time now Gary Mazzola and I have been collaborating on some projects and he decided that he wanted to make a film of my play. And with the help of some of the actors with Tehachapi Community Theatre the film “moon rabbit” has been completed. The video is available on YouTube. Either go to YouTube and search on “moon rabbit mazzola” or type in the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctg3KUdq95I. I think the resulting film turned out wonderfully.
So go and watch the film and see where my inspiration that came from a dusty old memory took me. But I can't sit back and rest on my laurels. I need to get back to writing. The deadline for our own TCT festival is coming up and I need to get something written for it. I wonder what dusty old memory I can find for that. (If you think you might have a ten minute play to share, go to http://tctonstage.com/playwrightsfestival.html and consider submitting for the festival next spring.)
Posted by Mark Fisher at 10:28 AM
Saturday, July 6, 2013
This post will also be found in Tehachapi's The Loop Newspaper.
Summer has finally started for me. One very time consuming project is finished, so it is time to start finding new projects to work on. Or get back to some that have sort of fallen by the wayside.
I've got a book I'm in the process of editing. A mystery novel set in the 30s out in Death Valley. I'm about halfway through the second draft and need to finish that up and get further along the path towards trying to get it published. Then I can consider writing more books with the characters I've begun to develop. As far as I can tell mysteries tend to build collections of books using the same detectives.
Then I've got plays to write. A couple that are already started and just need more work. And some that I've just started having ideas for. And I've got several out being considered for various theatres around the country. Plus it's about time to start working on one for Tehachapi Community Theatre's Playwrights Festival. The festival has been moved to the Spring (so 2014) and the call for submissions is about to be made. Anybody living in Kern County can submit a script, and a 10-minute play is only about 10 pages long. (For proper formatting I recommend the free software Celtx.) So it's something that many of you could try to do. We had some good scripts last season, but I think that we can do even better.
Then one short play I wrote earlier this year seems to be coming back and it is trying to talk me into making it a movie. And it will likely be different that some of the other things I've written that Gary Mazzola has turned into movies. Previously he's taken monologues or short plays and “filmed” them and released them on YouTube. But this will be different, assuming it ever gets made.
Then there's getting ready for the Kern County Fair. Yep, I'm going to try to get another ribbon or two. So that means trying new recipes. Maybe even something with Spam again this year. Yum. And there will certainly be some pies. I've got a really good lemon pie this year, so I'll probably take that one down. And of course keep trying with apple pie. I've got some new ideas there too.
And then there are always new things to learn. I need to try to track down a book on spiders. None of my insect books has more than a page or two on arachnids. And with all the spiders around right now, I'm feeling ignorant. Then I want to find some time to try to learn some painting. Probably watercolors. But I need to set up my computer room with space for projects like that. Why the computer room? Well YouTube has free lessons on so many different things. (Of course some like flintknapping shouldn't be done inside.)
So summer has barely started and I've got a full agenda already. Hopefully you'll be using yours well too. But you know... Right now I think I'll take a break.