Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Friday, May 20, 2011

The End is Near

The world  comes to an end tomorrow at 6:00 pm. I have a gig at 7:30. I wonder whether I should bother going.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

AT&T Ripoff

Is AT&T ripping you off? Do you have an iPhone or 3G iPad? Read this article:
Lawsuit accuses AT&T of overcharging iPhone, iPad customer data use
My iPad, which I use to proofread manuscripts and read books, is the wi-fi only version with no monthly connection fees. And I don't have a iPhone. So, they aren't getting me. But how about you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A better keyboard

Earlier I talked about my disappointment in the aCase keyboard that I bought online. I returned it, and learned that the vendor, CTCStore, has a 25% restocking fee plus they charge the shipping charges, which had been included in the sale. So, take heed. Before you One-click anything on amazon, find out about the seller's return policies. These are unreasonable and should be revealed before you are allowed to buy anything.

I visited the sites of several other iPad Bluetooth keyboards and read their reviews. I chose the ZaggMate keyboard/case combination.

It arrived a couple of days ago, and I am happy with it. Because it has a narrow keyboard--about the size of the typical netbook--speed typing is less than optimum. But I have small hands and can adapt.

I am diligently working on two manuscripts. One has been ongoing for about two years, the other I started this year and have it ready for publication now pending a blessing from my writing coach.

Every writer should have a writing coach, someone who'll tell you no holds barred when your writing sucks and how to fix it. Here's mine:

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I got this guy a little over two years ago, dismantled him and set him aside.

He had paint that I couldn't strip because what the chemicals do to me make Mr. Hyde look like Mr. Rogers. But lately I got to thinking about him and sent him to John Parisi to strip for me. So now he's a box of parts.
He'll get an ethnic transplant. He'll become an illegal alien. This all came about because I wanted to write a politically incorrect script about what's been happening in Arizona. It's not easy material for a gringo to write or perform.
He will be properly attired for the role. Anyone know where I can buy a child-sized serape?
Oh, yeah, his name will be Juan. If I have him finished in time, I'll take him to the convention in July.
Come meet Juan and me at my book signing.
Ventriloquism: Art, Craft, Profession

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

lulu and others

I started a lulu project for the nursing home book. (Sounds exciting doesn't it?) I wanted to see what it would cost to publish a hardback, dustcover edition. Createspace doesn't have that option. Author copies on lulu cost $14.48 a copy for a 190-page book. That's really up there. There are quantity discounts, but you have to buy a lot of copies to get that. And they won't publish hardcover books on Amazon. Or so they say, but you can you choose to publish on amazon, in which case the price per book goes up to $27.60. What's that all about?

Then I decided to use Createspace to publish an audio CD of some of my music for personal distribution. I wanted to see what it would cost per copy. Guess what? Unless I can't find it, you cannot get a quote for artist copies until you've uploaded your audio tracks and artwork. What's that all about?

Is it just me, or are these POD giants trying to make it difficult to POD?

Maybe they are all PODs from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

It's Mayday. Every year on this day I think about the leader of this band.

Wild Bill Whelan is the cornet player. I knew him from 1958 when I was a senior in high school trying to play Dixieland jazz. Years later I played in many bands with him. I'm the piano player in this video, made in 1975.

Why does today make me think about Wild Bill Whelan? Every year since I knew him until he died in 2003 he'd call me up on May 1st and recite a simple 2-line poem. Then he'd hang up. The poem?

Hooray, hooray for the first of May,
Outdoor fucking starts today.

I sure do miss him. I'll be outdoors a lot today in remembrance.