NoNoNoNo: The Tyranny of #NaNoWriMo


We’ve now officially passed the middle of what all writers (and exasperated spouses/family of writers) know as National Novel Writing Month. And I have come not to praise this obnoxious exercise in virtual participatory nonsense, but to kill it, burn it, gather the ashes in a bucket and bury them. In a deep, deep hole.

But what is NaNoWriMo, as it is so frequently described and hashtagged by those writers the rest of us just want to punch in the throat? It is a challenge, issued to writers annually by, to pound out 50,000 words of a novel during November. Continue reading

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Funky Friday: Clinton In the News


Been hearing a lot about a certain Clinton testifying before Congress for something or other. Pretty sure it’s not this Clinton, though.

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Novel No. 2’s Soundtrack Takes Shape


Call me an overachiever.

It’s not enough for me to just imagine characters and settings and plot and all the tasty ingredients that typically go into a novel. No, I’ve got to go the extra mile and imagine what those characters are listening to, what music might be playing the background of a given scene and what songs would accompany the film version of the story that I spend years imagining in my head.

And yes, I do it all for you, my beloved readers.

OK, not really. The fact is, I can’t help it. I’m an annoying hipster’s worth of musical knowledge packed into the body of a middle-aged prepster. The combination of the words and the music is just there, and there’s really not much I can do about it. Continue reading

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired


Spoiler Alert: This post relates to a political issue. If you would prefer not to hear what I have to say, please move along. Thanks!

Another mass shooting. Another “quiet loner” armed to the gills and packing a gripe about … something. Another 10 people dead for doing nothing more than existing in particular place and an especially unfortunate time.

After years (YEARS!) watching these tragedies take place, then grumbling to myself, hoping they would stop by the time I had kids (those kids are now 8 and 11), then trying to move on, today I finally did something. It was a small thing, yes, but it’s something you and everyone else around you can do, too. I wrote my U.S. senators. I wrote my U.S. congressman. I told them how I thought they were being pathetic little bitches by letting us know their “thoughts and prayers are with the victims,” then not actually doing anything about the root cause, which is that anyone who is so inclined can get a gun in this country, no matter who they are or what they intend to do with it. Continue reading

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Here’s to a Surreal Start to Your Week


Time and space are funny things. I know this sounds like a Dr. Who quote, but stay with me.

For example, It never seems to take as long returning from a distant destination than it does getting there in the first place. Get head down in work you love and it almost seems you can accomplish superhuman feats of productivity with baffling speed. Then again, pause to check Facebook for 10 minutes and you might find you’ve frittered away an hour without realizing it. Colors and perspective inside buildings can make rooms seem far larger or smaller than they actually are. Continue reading

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Thoughts Upon Turning 47: Embrace the Thing You Love


As of today, I’ve spent 47 years roaming this earth (or at least various parts of the United States) with the rest of you, trying to figure out how this life thing is supposed to work.

And here’s a little something I’ve learned along the way:

If there’s something that you’re good at, something at which you excel and that brings you pleasure or joy to others, you are obligated as a human being to pursue it. You might not get paid for it or even get much recognition by others who do it. But your proficiency at this thing and the joy it brings you are the gifts you have been given as a member of the human race. Whether you see it as having come from a divine source or simply from a combination of evolution, heredity and life experience, it’s one of the biggest qualities of being human that sets us apart from chimpanzees and bonobos. Continue reading

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Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird


I always got the feeling when I was working in the full-time office world that – despite the diverse and disparate personalities that surrounded me in the newspaper business – I was always considered one of the worker bees who was a little … off.

Former co-workers can render their own opinions on this, but a few might agree that there was something a bit different about that Pruden guy (whether it was in a good or bad way is up for discussion). I distinctly recall this conversation between me and the day city editor at one newspaper who was filling in for the normal Sunday city editor.

Her: Scott, you’re not wearing shoes.

Me: Shoes? It’s Sunday. You’re lucky I put on pants. Continue reading

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My Rhode Island Geek Brothers and Sisters, You Have Failed PR 101

First off, I’d like to go on record as saying that I was a big ol’ geek long before I was a journalist, and I have the well-worn science fiction paperbacks, 1980s vintage D&D dice and former subscription to Starlog magazine to prove it.

But I sit here, at 46, as both (geek by birth, professional journalist since the age of 21), and from that somewhat odd point of view, I have to shake my head at the folks from Rhode Island Comic Con organization. Not only have you failed to understand what media coverage is all about, but you’ve also come off as little more that what those who mock you would cast you as: big crybabies.

Why the hubbub? It seems the people in charge of setting RICC’s press coverage policy forgot a couple of things. For instance, that we live in the United States of America, where a free and open exchange of ideas is held sacred, and a relatively unregulated press is part of that. They decided that as part of their press credential application, media organizations would have to promise to avoid “insulting or disrespectful comments and giving a bad image of the show.” As a result, the Rhode Island Press Association (indicated by the tweet above) has chosen not to cover the event rather than sign such an agreement. Continue reading

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Happy (Slow Going) Monday!


Summers for the freelancing parent mean two things – more time enjoying the warm weather and time off from school with the kids, and more late nights working on all the assignments that normal people would be doing during the daylight hours. The result is some groggy mornings, particularly when the work to be completed wasn’t finished until 2 a.m.

Thankfully, there’s coffee (or carrot juice, if you prefer) and plenty to resume working on today. Because when there isn’t more work is the time to become worried.

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