WIP: Resume Writing Book Complete

Finally, the draft is complete, or so I think. Will put it aside for a week and then start editing. Hope to be submitting in by the end of June? I hope.

Then on to my Atlantis stories and a few more kid stories.

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POEM: I am not allowed to cry

Sometimes I have really weird thoughts veggin out on the train.

 

Not allowed to cry.

I play a sport and skin my knee,
but I am not allowed to cry.

Frustration swells, anger barely controlled,
but I am not allowed to cry.

Love fulfilled, two as one,
but I am not allowed to cry.

Pride is bursting, joy overwhelming,
but I am not allowed to cry.

Pain unbearable, a loss unending,
but I am not allowed to cry.

One heart alone, sadness in silence.

Am I now allowed to cry?

WIP: Untitled Resume Writing Book

So, one of the things I have recently started is a book about resume writing and career tips. I have helped many friends over the years and have had many recruiters comment on my resume. Additionally, I have looked at a lot of resumes as a hiring manager in different jobs.

One chapter will be examples from different industries/job fields of metrics to discuss. Many resumes I see list only the tasks and do not show the complexity, nor quantify or qualify these tasks. So how does a hiring manager tell if you have done more than the next person?

I would like to ask if you can help me by sending the following information (job title, one or more sentences on what it is you do, and a few metrics your company uses to judge your performance over your peers.) I might contact you with a few questions to clarify some points later. As a thank you, I would mention you in my Special Thank You page in the book.

Here is a draft piece from the beginning of my book.

A resume is your calling card that explains your history and experience. Most resumes stop there. This approach gives a general idea of what you ‘might’ be capable of but typically does not give the impression of the scope.
The scope is how involved the tasks were. If you list you worked at McDonald’s as a shift manager, then you are in direct competition with thousands of others that do the same job and many front line managers at other companies. How do you differentiate yourself from the run of the mill person with management experience?
You need to quantify or qualify the workload or list things you did above and beyond your routine tasks. Not all stores are created equal. Some are super busy, and others are barely making it. Adding phrases that show the complexity of your work allows the reader to start forming a picture of your capabilities.
Most readers will look at your resume and start making a picture based upon the data you put in your resume. They will look at the names of the companies you worked for, the titles of your job and the skills and tools you list. The more you list, the more they will think you must be an expert.
Many years ago I was interviewing candidates for a Unix administrator position. I had a candidate that listed he was a ten year Unix administrator. The candidate did not record any achievements under the job description, but at that time I built an image of a very experienced Unix administrator. When I got him on the phone, I apologized for having to ask some pretty basic Unix questions that we asked all candidates. I felt pretty silly asking them.
To my surprise, he could not answer the questions. Most of his answers were “We have scripts for that.” In other words, the company had customized how they did many of the basic administrative functions. He could not tell me how the scripts worked either. So here I had a ten year Unix administrator that didn’t know Unix anymore if he ever did. He pretty much just did what procedures they had with the tools they had for the job. It got to the point where I said, “So you don’t know Unix anymore do you?” He agreed, and we had to end the call.
The point is, listing tasks or skills alone does not show what you can do. From that point on, I did not trust a list of skills but wanted to see how the candidate used those skills. I imagine many hiring managers and recruiters have experienced the same thing.

Update March 2019

Well it has been a while, sorry bout that.

I continue to write book two of the When Atlantis Fell trilogy. I had some major changes to some of the story lines so kinda rewrote part of Book One and Two. The script is also out pending Notes from a Note service I found on Stage32’s website. I should get that back in the next week or two. After that I will try to get representation. Procrastination? Ya most likely.

I have started outlining another series of books with the premise of some priests escaping the downfall of Atlantis with the power and knowledge they possessed. They create a secret society that tries to help humanity through the ages to culminate in a spy thriller-esque modern day chase.

On my “Grandpa and me” children’s books, my artist partner continues to work on the art for book one. That will probably be a few months, I imagine. I have already completed book two. Where the first one was about where we are in relation to the world and universe around us, the second will be about not throwing plastic in to the rivers or oceans. I will try to knock out stories when I can to keep my partner busy.

I have also started writing a second line of kid’s books. These will be a boy or girl in middle school barely listening to the teacher drone on about a subject. Then the doodle will come alive and take the child to see what is being discussed. The first book will be about ancient Rome, so the child and Gubitz (my name for the doodle) will go walk a street in ancient Rome.  I plan on dropping a few facts in the story.  History will be a big topic in these books but I might do math or other subjects and have them go back to important events (Newton’s Laws? The signing of the Declaration of Independence, etc..). I will need to find another artist for these as I believe that will start to overwhelm one person.

On a slightly different tack, a friend and I are looking into creating a publishing company that will produce these kid’s books. Hope to have more news on that this summer.

I have started writing the play, Fight of Ages, again. Only a few scenes of Act One but it is a start. I wish I didn’t lose that notebook. I even had the lyrics for a song in the play. I guess that makes it a musical, right?

So busy with a lot of things.  Just need to complete some of these things. Until next time.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all.

2018 was such an ‘interesting’ year. I had the good and bad, sometimes at the same time. Crazy.

Well I got the results of the screenwriting competition I entered, or probably more accurately, I didn’t hear back. So back to the drawing board. I will modify the script some to take account of the notes I received. Then start querying agents to see if they are interested in representing my “When Atlantis Fell” universe.

While I am doing that I will also try to finish up my trilogy. I have nearly completed book two and will start on the third and final before editing. I have a few changes of book one that I need to make to jive with the TV pilot script.

A good thing that happened in the dying embers of 2018 was that I found a partner to collaborate with me on my kid’s books. She will do the artwork and page layout and I will try to produce a story worthy of her art. I need to see if she gives me permission to use her name before introducing her.  We are setting our goal of two kid’s titles this year.

She is also kind enough to work on some of the concept art for “When Atlantis Fell.” I am excited to include that into the growing transmedia portfolio for this universe.

Lastly, I need to revisit my play writing. I lost the notebook that I had written the first play of “Fight of Ages“. This will be a set of five plays that revolve around a story of good vs evil with outs of effects and music.

2019 is shaping up to be a creatively busy year. On top of looking for a job and maybe starting a business.  Let’s see if I am up to the challenge.

 

 

From the Web: Story or Plot?

I was reading an article by Scott McConnell on Stage32 and thought it was a great explanation of the differences between Story and Plot. Basically a story is a series of “and then this happened, and then this and then this…”  While a plot is an interaction between forces (mostly characters).

That made me wonder, what are my novels? Do they contain an ever escalating plot or are they just intertwined stories? I need to go back and review.

Please enjoy the article.

WIP: Professional Notes back!

So I entered a screen play competition, 2018 First Look Project, by Script Pipeline back in September.  Submitted to the TV Pilot competition, which will return results in December.

Luckily, I received my Notes back the other day. I am pretty optimistic about what they said even though they did hit me hard too. Here are the first two paragraphs of what they sent back.

This script presents a fictional world that not only expands the globe but also seems to have no boundaries in time or space. Although completely mythical, most depictions of Atlantis have tended to place it within an ancient world. But although the opening voice-over firmly ties the story’s vision of Atlantis into its original Greek origins, the script soon introduces such technology as space ships and televisions, expanding the overall concept into something wholly original and quite compelling.

A lot of effort has clearly gone into world-building, and much of it is impressive. There is distinct vision at work here, with enough detail and creativity to set the script apart from the many projects attempting to become the next GAME OF THRONES. However, there is also a lack of discipline and narrative focus on display in this pilot. A lot of characters are introduced, but the episode lacks a clear story spine, and by the end most readers are likely to be intrigued by the concept but confused about the plot line and the potential narrative direction of the show.

So that was the good part.  There are other notes explaining about what the reader thought was wrong. I need to definitely do some thinking on what to change and what to ignore. Some of the comments seem to counter what I was trying to do. After all, it is a pilot episode and I am trying to introduce most of the main character for the TV series. I could cut out some of the main character scenes but somehow that doesn’t feel right to me.

The beautiful thing about notes from what I have read on-line is that they are opinions and not all will agree. Take what you think makes sense and ignore the rest. There is no one way to write a book and stories, like Game of Thrones, dump conventional wisdom on its ear. In fact, it is proving that ensemble adventures can be popular. With the right story that is.

So put this on the back burner and think on it while I continue writing book two of the trilogy. Currently I have almost 40,000 words written. About half way through the story for book two.

Until next time…

From the Web: Self-Publish or Traditional Publishing?

An interesting article by Joleene Moody, on her website joleenemoody.com, that I found off Stage32. The article discusses the differences between the two types of publishing and who would benefit from each.

Not to steal the thunder of the article, because I think she wrote it very well, but if you want total control of the look and feel, then self-publish. If you are not interested in anything beyond the writing and don’t mind others changing the story some, the try traditional.

I think I will self-publish. Maybe. I still plan on trying to turn my trilogy into a four to six season serial that will be offered on Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu or one of the other streaming services.

I have already put together some other story ideas in the universe for follow on stories, computer games and even a theme park ride or two. Yes I do dream big.

Anyway, more on that in a future post. The article gives some food for thought on which route to take. Please enjoy and comment on what you think is best and why. Would love to hear other folks opinions.

From the Web: High Concept LogLines

Sometimes you come across an article that explains things in a really easy way. That is what I found today on the The Script Lab website. The Secret to Understanding What High Concept Means in Hollywood by Ken Miyamoto from ScreenCraft. 

Loglines are those simple yet elusive pitches that need to be near perfect for a no-namer to garner the attention of the ones who count in Hollywood. Those that can commission or influence a screenplay. Actually, the book publishing world has this too.

To give you an idea of what the article discusses, the idea of a High Concept script is one that is an original and unique idea that shows obvious potential to a mass market. This articles states a High Concept has two parts. The gimmick or attention getter and the concept or how it comes together.

An example from the article:

Gimmick:  A woman wakes up with superpowers. 

Concept: A woman wakes up with superpowers and must use them to save the planet amidst an alien invasion as she learns that the origin of her newfound powers may have a connection to her unknown past.  

With my When Atlantis Fell novels, I am trying to craft what feels like an unobtainable “perfect logline.”  Reading these articles helps me to figure out how best to write one.

Gimmick:  Group destroys a government turned evil to save the world.

Concept:  Flying craft, energy weapons, sword and shield are used in an Ice Age global war. The downfall of Atlantis is told by those linked to one man. An Atlantean officer who must destroy his civilization to stop the new leaders from enslaving the world.

Still trying different versions.  Happy to hear alternative ideas.

WIP: Treatment for When Atlantis Fell

So I have completed the pilot episode for the four season serial. This is an epic, sci-fi/fantasy ensemble covering the destruction of Atlantis during the last Ice Age. It is based on a trilogy that I am currently writing and the rewrite of Wall of Destruction.

Now I am working on the treatment I believe that Hollywood would eventually ask for. For season one I will cover half of book one of the trilogy (which I have already written). Here is the synopsis followed by the episode summaries.

What do you think of the story?

Log Line: Flying craft, energy weapons, sword and shield are used in an Ice Age global war. The destruction of Atlantis is told from the perspectives of those crossing paths with one Atlantean officer, who causes the fall of civilization to stop those who would enslave the world.

Synopsis:

A global war between the empires of Atlantis and Rama, ravage the Ice Age world. Their civilizations fueled by Aether, a power source channeled through crystals that act as batteries. Aether allows them conveniences similar to our modern society. Both have more primitive allies who have superhuman heroes that have been blessed by the Gods. For Atlantis, there is also a political rivalry for the Emperor’s ear between the Atlantis first party, Shigar, and the peace party, Nelos.

In season one, RISOR, the commander of a squadron of Atlantis’ flying machines called vailixi, fights his nation’s enemy and his political enemy, JANA, a Shigar member and rival squadron commander. Atlantis turns to powerful Aether weapons, like our nuclear weapons. This starts a tit-for-tat destruction against each empire’s cities that culminates in Rama recognizing they will lose. In a desperate gamble, Rama decides to flood the coastlines by releasing the built up waters of the northern ice pack. INDRAJIT, a hero of Rama, leads a strike on the ice barriers causing flooding that forces the abandonment of many coastal cities including Atlantis. In eastern Europe, ROGAT, friend of Risor and an infantryman, survives the resulting floods but is forced to lead the surviving Atlantean peoples of Eastern Europe to safety while Greek hero, DEMETRI, chases them in the hopes of destroying the last remnants of Atlantis, in the region. Meanwhile, Atlantis realizes that Rama caused this destruction and wants revenge. They recall all forces to the new Atlantis site to lead a massive strike against the remnants of Rama. The remote colonies, trying to recover, realize this would strip them of protections at their most vulnerable and refuse. In Altai, Risor has a successful coup against the military commander as Altai plans for its freedom. In the east, Atlantis sends a force to Moia to force the local military to comply. SHANDAR, a fellow squadron commander in Asia, leads a force that destroys the Atlantean force and forces Utanor and Moia to be independent.

 

Season 1 Episode Summaries

S1E1: Indrajit goes to the northern ice pack and captures an Atlantean research team. In Atlanta Nado or Eastern Europe, Demetri’s men ambush an enemy force. In Altai, or along the Mississippi River, Risor meets his friends for dinner before they go back to their respective assignments. He meets Rogat there. In Atlantis, Lena says good bye to her lover, Tilor, as his leave ends and he returns to his base. Rogat returns to his base and is promoted to troop leader because of an ambush that killed the previous leader when Rogat was on vacation.

S1E2: Demetri is in the capital of the Tugar, discussing an upcoming attack on Dedeni. Rogat’s troops were left behind to garrison Dedeni when the larger Atlantean force attacks the nearby Tugar town of Bicas. Rogat feels like something bad will happen. Lady Jana comes to Risor’s base and tells him, his squadron would assist in an attack on Rama. He argues about the consequences of the attack but eventually bows to her demands. The attack proceeds successfully destroying the targeted city. Meanwhile, Shandar Kotan leads an attack against the Hu city of Magno to disrupt the allies of Rama at the same time. Demetri launches an attack against Dedeni and overruns the base. They trap Rogat and a few survivors in an underground bunker. Demetri and Rogat meet to talk surrender but Rogat refuses. A relief force of Atlanteans arrives in time to stop the assault on Rogat but are beaten back with heavy loses. Demetri departs giving Atlantis a major defeat.

S1E3: After the strikes in the last episode, Risor is being asked to explain his actions. After the unexplained loss of power, he returned to base. He believes this inquiry is part of Lady Jana’s revenge for questioning her about the logic of the strikes. His squadron joins a multi squadron strike but he is not to command it as is his normal right. Another rival, Jamal, leads the strike. The strike goes all wrong and they barely escape with few survivors. They return to base to find out that Rama has struck their base and colony with WMDs of their own. They try to help survivors but need help. Shandar’s squadron is sent to assist Risor with the rescue. Indrajit returns home to find out that Rama and Atlantis are now regularly destroying each other’s cities and that his mother was killed in such a strike. He discusses what the Atlanteans were looking for on the ice pack.

S1E4: Risor leaves Vortia and returns to Atlantis to face an inquiry into his behavior. He ordered the retreat and Shigar enemies are trying to frame him as a coward and derelict in his duties. He is ordered home during further investigation. Lady Jana confronts him and openly declares her hatred for him. Tilor sees him off when an attack on Atlantis occurs. While unsuccessful it was close, this drives Tilor to seek safety for Lena. Lena and Tilor spend their last night together in Atlantis. Rogat’s company was sent to another area along the Tes Naldo or today, the Black Sea. He meets Yalana who he promptly falls for.

S1E5: Tilor and Lena arrive at the north African coast village of Dumon tu Mare. One of the other members of Tilor’s squadron has family here and Lena will stay with them. Tilor and Lena say their good byes and Tilor leaves. Shandar is home after seeing the horrors of the strike on Vortia, he talks to his father and then the colony’s Council of Elders. Back near Tes Naldo, Rogat beats off an attack by Tugar and their allies. Risor is home when word arrives that he is cleared of charges and that he can return to duty. Up north, a Rama vimana flying craft force heads over the ice cap, they use their brahmastra weapons of mass destruction to destroy the ice barriers holding the large bodies of water in the ice pack. It comes crashing out.

S1E6: The citizens of Alta are woken to an alarm to evacuate to the hills. Risor and his family flee and barely make safety ahead of the flood. Many citizens are washed away as the city is swallowed in the flood. In Atlanta Nado, a tsunami is reported heading for Rogat’s fort. They start to flee. Back in Alta, vailixi survey the flood as it empties in to the Gulf. They find few survivors. Rogat and some of his people make it to safety as the waters start rising against the hills. Demetri witnesses the destruction of the city of Delin, down the coast from Rogat’s fort, and the death of most of its people. They stay for hours after the waters recede and witness no rescue attempt. Demetri surmises that Atlantis is also affected and in dire straits.

S1E7: A news report and fly over of the swamped city of Atlantis and one or two small colonies starts the episode. Risor’s vailixi flies over the swollen river back to Sun’s Farewell bluff, where command tents were set up. Inside, the Council of Altai was getting a report from Tolen, the city’s head scientist or shilot, about the floods. Reports are flooding in about Atlantis and other colonies being hit. In Utanor, near Japan, Shandar hears of the destruction of Atlantis and the call for the colonies military to strike Rama. Shandar and the council agree not to send any forces because they are needed to help defend the colonies of Utanor and Moia. They prepare their defenses. Lena and the villagers see the waters rising and know of the fate of many colonies. She is worried about Tilor.

S1E8: Risor wakes up to a sprawling tent camp of refugees, he heads back to the command center on the bluff. There he finds out the order that Atlantis has given. There is a debate on response with the overall military commander trying to organize a force to go to Atlantis while the Council wishes the forces to stay there. Risor prepares to use his squadron against the land forces if that is necessary. Fordo, the military commander, confronts the Council and Risor to obey the summons from Atlantis at gunpoint. Risor has his squadron show up over head and Fordo’s men surrender. Risor is promoted as the overall commander.

S1E9: The council in Altai discuss leaving the Atlantean Empire. They discuss what to do with Fordo and the men that backed him. They decide the best thing to do is send Fordo on a peace mission to the local tribes to see how they are doing. Sending him and his men will get them out of the way and give him a chance to show he can be trusted. Meanwhile, Atlantis has sent a force to Moia, the other Asian colony to gather the colony’s forces to go with them. Word gets to Utanor and Shandar mobilizes a force to go save Moia and his beloved.

S1E10: Shandar has his squadron speeding to Moia to free them from Atlantis. His girlfriend commands the squadron stationed at Moia. Her squadron is detained in their barracks. She was able to escape and contact Shandar from the nearby temple. Shandar attacks the Atlantean vailixi and their men on the ground. Shandar leads a small force to free Jolna in the priests quarters. They succeed and then head to the central council chambers. There Jolna realizes the Atlanteans tortured her father and she kills the leader before Shandar can stop her.

End of Season 1