In the News and More
So, what'd you think of this year's crop of
Super Bowl ads? So far, polling by America
Online and USA Today shows Budweiser in the lead.
Between the Clydesdales, a donkey aspiring to be a
Clydesdale, bears, monkeys, and other creatures, last
Sunday night was more like the animal fair ad bowl.
For my part, I thought Deutsch's turbo-charged spot
for the Mitsubishi 2004 Galant GTS-V6 was edgy and
exciting and most notably, it sent me and probably
thousands of others to its website to see what
happens in the crash test spot. The site not only offers
an excellent primer on the Galant's new features, in
addition to warranty and dealer information, but it also
compares the Galant's safety features vis-à-vis its
closest rivals the Honda Accord EX-V6 and the Toyota
Camry XLE-V6. On the site, Mitsubishi allowed
consumers to play its kick-ass Super Bowl ad online and
tried to build anticipation for the new vehicle by inviting
people to sign up to receive an email alert for a sneak
peak of its next TV spot.
On another note -- Pepsi made a masterful spot
highlighting its online music giveaway via Apple's iTunes
Music Store. The ad's star was a little girl, one of
several kids sued last year for illegally downloading
music from the Web. She promoted Pepsi's plan to
counter illegal downloads by printing winning codes on
soda caps that will be redeemable for millions of digital
downloads from the iTunes Music Store. The ad's
soundtrack featured Green Day's version of "I Fought
the Law" and was, no doubt, part of the appeal at least
for me. But let's see whether Pepsi's plan flies or not.
Meanwhile, our love affair with erectile dysfunction via
Levitra and Cialis continued. The ads either got men
into the proverbial game, or sent them running
sheepishly from their Super Bowl party or neighborhood
But what did you think?
OF TOPS, SPEED AND SOME SUPER MOMENTS
- What is it about live mass television
audiences that causes white boys to do nasty things to
black women? Overactive libidos aside, we think it's
about another kind of desire - the public relations kind.
If you are to believe the statements of Viacom
networks CBS and MTV that Justin Timberlake's partial
disrobing of Janet Jackson during last night's Super
Bowl halftime show was "unrehearsed, unplanned,
completely unintentional" was written by spin
controllers, you clearly did not observe their on-stage
reactions in super-slow motion - over and over and
over again on TiVo - as we did into the wee hours of
the night. While it did seem that Jackson was startled
by the sudden exposure of her right breast in front of
what likely was the largest television audience of the
year, not to mention the scores of thousands of
spectators in Reliant Stadium, Timberlake barely skipped
a beat and appeared quite poised and almost defiant in
a strut-like pose while holding Jackson's breastplate
before CBS' cameras cut away. He even seemed to be
holding the item behind his back for a brief moment in
a "gotcha" kind of gesture.
Jackson, by contrast, looked suddenly to her right,
then down quickly before the network's editors cut to a
billboard of the ironically positioned AOL "Topspeed"
banner. Clearly, it was a moment that was all about
tops and speed. It was also about fame - or infamy,
depending on your side of the PR perspective. In fact,
what's really got us fantasizing like a Monday morning
quarterback isn't the metallic ring that was clearly
festooning Jackson's right nipple, but the notion that
Timberlake had some kind of secret sideline wager with
actor Adrien Brody, who's impromptu ravishing of
actress Halle Berry during his Oscar acceptance speech
was live TV's previous most notorious white boy
moment. Okay, so that's a little too conspiratorial, but
it's not so far-fetched to think that Timberlake was at
least inspired by the media attention Brody generated
with his ambush smooch. After all, what's the water
coolant flowing throughout America today? Surely, not
the outcome of the Big Game itself, or even the farty,
crotch-ridden ad campaigns that broke during it. The
buzz is all about the speed with which tops can be
removed on national TV.
LAY OF DEE KIDS 'MON- We, for one,
are little surprised to see all the hubbub surrounding an
endorsement deal for another distilled spirit, Allied
Domecq's Malibu rum brand, which recently signed
reggae singer Shaggy to plug its brand. In letters to
the Federal Trade Commission and the Distilled Spirits
Council of the United States, the Center for Science in
the Public Interest said the endorsement deal was
designed to appeal to teens, a charge, which if true
would violate alcohol marketing regulations. To make its
case, the center cited evidence of Shaggy's appeal
among teens, including his two Teen Choice awards
wins, which were based on voting in Seventeen
magazine and its online edition. Personally, we think the
association might be a stretch, but what we really
want to know is where the center was when reggae
singers were endorsing the use of ganja?
IN AND OUT- In most elections, even
primaries, TV depends on so-called exit polls that take
voters' temperatures after they leave the polling
places. The networks take exit polls and returns from
states where the polls close early, and "project" a
winner. This has caused endless problems, between
2000's media debacle and a presidential election where
a winner was called before all the states - most notably
California - had finished voting. But now, because the
voters stay in the caucus until everything's done, exit
polling is useless. So the networks did "entrance
polling." While it was surprisingly accurate this time
around, it also highlighted a disturbing trend:
journalists, like politicians, don't seem to want to wait
for the results to come in.
Don't Cut The Cake
The Australians seem to come up with some bizarre PR
news from time to time and they're at it again.
A memo sent out by Fiona McLean, public affairs and
marketing manager for the Health Insurance
Commission - the body that oversees Medicare down
under - asks that Medicare officials do not publicly cut
cakes celebrating the organization's 20th birthday.
"If you are organising an event for a local member,
please ensure that he/she does not put a 'knife into
Medicare' by cutting a cake. . . take it away (out the
back) after the candles are blown out (if you want
candles) and cut it up . . . away from any cameras,"
the memo reads, reports The Age.
Why doesn't McLean want the cakes cut in front of the
media? Seems she doesn't want anyone to get the
impression that the government is cutting Medicare
"[The Health Minister's office] would like the overall
message to be one of the Government saying that
Medicare is here to stay and that the Government is
doing everything possible to make it bigger and better,"
the memo reads.
Grubby Grubman's Testimony
The Daily Snooze finally broke some sort of story.
The Snooze got its hands on pretrial testimony given by
PR maven Lizzie "heavy on foot, short on brains"
Grubman last September. Grubman is being sued by a
man who she ran over in the summer of 2001 in the
chic Hamptons. If you don't recall, Grubman ran over
more than a dozen "by accident" after a verbal
altercation with a bouncer who told her she couldn't
park in a fire zone.
Asked why she left the scene, Grubman replied, "I didn't
go over to them, but I was trying to get the phone to
call 911, and I was saying, 'Oh my God, what can I
She said a rather large friend of hers then whisked her
away from the scene.
"I was screaming, saying, 'I need to go back and take
responsibility for my actions,' and I was held down and
not allowed to move," she testified.
Am I the only one who doubts this woman screamed, "I
need to go back and take responsibility for my actions!"?
Gotta love those little rich, spoiled kids.
The Parent Trap
John and Michael are ready and anxious to become
dads. They've figured out how to juggle their
schedules, how to childproof the house, what nearby
schools are like. Friends and family are supportive. So
why is John having last-minute doubts about his
My partner Michael and I were sitting in our adoption
class when the teacher asked us to imagine and answer
some of the "tough questions" our kids might ask one
day. After a few minutes, Nancy-a single woman in our
group-turned to me quite innocently and asked, "How
would you explain to your child why he has two dads
and no mom?"
Nancy's question caught me completely off-guard. Until
that moment I thought Michael and I had covered all
the bases. We'd discussed how we would change our
routines, how we'd manage schedules and discipline and
homework. We'd investigated schools and "childproofed"
our home. We were as ready as we could be.
Suddenly, none of that mattered. Her question
triggered a thought that kept rolling around in my
head: "Do I really deserve to be a father?" I found
myself turning red and mumbling, "I don't know." She
gave me an empathetic nod-and the rest of the class
passed in a blur.
When Michael and I started telling people we wanted to
adopt, we found universal support. Gay and straight
friends alike said, "You'll be such great parents. Any kid
would be lucky to have you." Our social worker moved
heaven and earth to get us into her class. My mom was
so excited that the first words out of her mouth
were, "You're going to tell him to call me Grandma,
Michael and I basked in the glow of all this support. And
the practical side of parenthood didn't throw me. As
the oldest of five, changing diapers and making bottles
is second nature. I've got three brothers, and every
one of them is a great dad.
So why did Nancy's question trigger such a blast of self-
It ate at me for days-and when I finally recognized
why, I was surprised and disappointed. It was an ugly
case of internalized homophobia. I feared I did not
deserve the privilege of being a father-just because I
For someone who makes his living as a civil rights
activist, my reaction felt especially problematic. I'm
definitely out at the office, at home, with family and
friends. I've battled the demons of religion,
discrimination, and internalized homophobia-an ongoing
process that had made me simultaneously stronger and
more sensitive to the struggles of others.
In hindsight, I recognize those attitudes for what they
are-a powerful, often unconscious sense of inferiority,
of unworthiness. I've wasted too much time thinking I
somehow don't deserve the same good things in life my
straight friends and family take for granted, believing I
had to live my life making amends for my sexual
orientation. Too often I have been a slave to a cycle of
And I suspect I am not the only one who has
experienced that struggle. In our class Michael and I
met Mason, another gay man who was finally ready to
adopt. He told us, "I've wanted kids all my life, but I
always told myself parenthood wasn't for me. It took
me until I reached my mid 40s to realize there was
nothing holding me back from realizing that dream
I've come to see that the only way to break out of that
cycle is to reframe my self-perception. Recognizing
those attitudes for what they are-and recognizing
their source-can be transformative. The struggles we
as gay people often experience don't make us weaker-
they can make us stronger and better equipped to
thrive on the challenges of everyday life. And they can
become tools that enable us to connect in more
meaningful ways to the world around us.
With a bit of reframing, I now realize I bring distinct
advantages to parenthood. My experience can give me
heightened compassion for a child who feels lost
because he no longer has a connection to his birth
parents. I may be more empathetic to some of the
issues he may face as he learns to become a part of
our home and family. I'm probably going to be a lot
more sympathetic as he explores and establishes his
And I've found there is no cookie-cutter definition of
family. My widowed sister struggles at times in raising
her two daughters, but there's no doubt in her mind
that her children come first. When my old colleague
Nate was sent to Iraq just after Amelia was born, the
distance did nothing to diminish his or Mary Ellen's
sense of connection. Our friends Rob and David juggle
demanding careers with their devotion to 5-year-old
Ethan, whom they adopted as an infant.
Very different circumstances and very different families,
with one common denominator: The children thrive
because they are deeply loved. I've come to realize the
real measure of my ability as a parent, or any person's,
has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It rests solely
in letting my child know he is loved and cherished
above everything else.
It's good to recognize this on the road to parenthood. I
suspect I'll probably continue to deal with moments of
self-doubt along the way, but then, I don't know any
parent-straight or gay-who hasn't. I'm grateful for
Nancy's question, and for the opportunity it gave me
once again to move past self-doubt. For I'm learning
that when I am no longer driven to prove my inherent
right to exist, I can get on with living-and sharing-a
life that really matters.
Written by John Sonego, Director of communications,
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
YOU GOT SERVED
You Got Served is a perfect example of why folks in the
music business shouldn't always step over into the
movie business. The film is written and directed by
Christopher B. Stokes; before making the direct-to-
video House Party 4, he was the manager for such
acts as IMX and B2K. In fact, members of both groups
appear in Stokes' theatrical debut in lead roles, as do
rapper Lil' Kim, MTV host "La La," and video
choreographer Wade Robson, all in cameo parts, all
probably favors for a pal.
I think I'd like to see a documentary on street dancing.
There's obviously a subculture hinted at here that's
worth spotlighting. But instead, all we get with You Got
Served is a weak update of Beat Street or Breakin'.
Stokes shows he has no eye for filmmaking and
storytelling, and there's nothing worthwhile here that
fills the void between dance numbers. A movie with
this much dancing should be crackling with
electricity. Instead, this is simply no fun, a limp hip-
hop flick without a single spark.
The Big Bounce
Many of Elmore Leonard's crime novels make for great
movies, including the 1990s films "Get Shorty"
and "Jackie Brown."
The author's trademark is a wittily percussive narrative,
driven as much by humor and character development as
action and suspense. Unfortunately, Leonard's latest
novel to become a movie, "The Big Bounce," is only
slightly successful in living up to the material.
The best performances are little more than walk-ons.
As Ray, Sinise brings his usual skilled mix of menace and
charisma to the proceedings, but his total screen time
amounts to only a few minutes. Freeman, as the wise
yet wistful sage he has played many times before, is
compelling enough, but his character doesn't go
anywhere. The same goes for Jones and Sheen's
extended cameos as comic villains.
When the Taliban denies women the right to work, an
Afghan widow (Zubaida Sahar) and her young daughter
(Marina Golbahari) have no one left to support them. To
avoid starvation, the mother dresses her daughter as a
boy and calls her Osama so that she will be allowed to
work in a local shop. The plan gets out of control when
Osama is taken away to a school to be trained as a
soldier. If her secret is discovered, she will be
executed. Osama has one ally within the school;
Espandi (Arif Herati) knows her secret and tries his best
to protect her by teaching her how to behave like a
boy. That's a lot to deal with when you're only 12.
It's a difficult life to imagine, living under oppression,
but the movie paints a pretty clear picture of the
struggle of everyday life for the women who must
always be covered with their burkas and are treated as
second-class citizens. It also shows the boys learning
the ritual bathing and prayer ceremonies, as well as
military training (they are under the age of 13 when
they're rounded up and taken to these schools).
This movie has a similar feel to Kandahar (where a
women contemplates suicide because she can no longer
stand to live under these conditions). Both films have
powerful images and dark stories, yet still manage to
find beauty in the country, the customs, and in some of
The Perfect Score
There isn't enough material in that equation to fill a 30-
minute TV sitcom slot, and yet, The Perfect Score is a
The Perfect Score is oddly paced and emotionally flat.
There are a few laughs, but it seems to take forever to
tell a fairly simple story about a standardized U.S.
academic quiz that is held to be crucial for college
entry yet known to be unfair on various racial and
Anything interesting in the film takes place on the
sidelines: Johansson's icky father and his much-younger
girlfriends, Matthew Lillard's cameo as the useless older
brother of Standard Cute Guy, Tyra Ferrell as the jock's
tough mom, and so on.
The pleasure of watching Scarlett Johansson turn dross
into gold every time she's on camera is the only reason
this movie rates any points at all. That the first shot of
Johansson is a close-up of the crotch of her underwear
tells you pretty much everything you need to know
about The Perfect Score.
MOVIES OPENING TODAY
February 6 ; Wide releases
Against the Ropes: Born into a boxing family, Jackie
Kallen (Meg Ryan) knows a winner when she sees one.
Even though Luther Shaw (Omar Epps) might be a little
rough around the edges, as soon as she sees him in a
fight, Jackie knows he's a champion in the raw.
Barbershop 2: Take a seat, sit back, and get ready for
another haircut: Calvin opens up shop once again in
Barbershop 2: Back in Business, a sequel to the original
comedy smash hit.
Miracle: Based on the exciting true story of one of the
greatest moments in modern history, "Miracle" is the
inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport
and united a nation with a new feeling of hope.
Welcome to Mooseport: A former U.S. president whose
plan to retire in a small Northeastern coastal town goes
awry when he tries to fill an empty mayoral seat.
Cast: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, Eva Green
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Three young movie-lovers, one American and a set of
French twins, are drawn together during the political
upheaval of the 1968 Paris student riots and explore
relationships in the context of their passion for film.
Betsie's Literary Page is well aware and gratified to see
that so many readers have shown interest in our
newsletter, and much curious of new and upcoming
We also appreciate all the mail recieved, but if we do
not respond immediately - it's not because we're
ignoring you - it's because we get at least 100 emails a
day and require a bit of time, as we do reply to each
and every one - as fast as we can.
So go ahead, encourage others to have a look.
Although our readers must be doing this already,
because of the dramatic growth in subscribers we know
undoubtedly it has all been due to word of mouth
recommendations. Quickly closing in at 1700
subscribers, for this we thank you.
"What writer?" you say.
"Ahhh! Well below you will find several more books of
notable interest, read on."
** Please continue to feel free to send us your
comments, opinions, articles and suggestions. Betsie's
Literary Page is where readers are respected, books are
cherished, aspiring writers are encouraged and authors
|Recipes & Jokes|
These spicy nuts make a wonderful addition to icy cold
beer or frosty Margaritas !!
2 cups salted, skinless peanuts
2 Tground red chilli powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
Place nuts in a large baking pan with sides. Mix spices
together in a bowl and sprinkle over the nuts. Drizzle
with a little olive oil if the spices do not stick to the
Heat in a 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. Usin a
spatula, turn the nuts over and cook for another 5
minutes. Serve warm.
Alone on A Deserted Island
Ed finally decided to take a vacation. He was tired of all
the cold and snow in Wisconsin, so he booked himself
on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time
of his life - until the boat sank.
He found himself swept up on the shore of an island
with no other people, no supplies... Nothing. only
bananas and coconuts. After about four months, he
was lying on the beach one day when the most
gorgeous woman he had ever seen rowed up to him. In
disbelief, he asked her, "Where did you come from? How
did you get here?"
"I rowed over from the other side of the island," she
said. "I landed here when my cruise ship sank."
"Amazing," he said. "You were really lucky to have a
rowboat wash up with you."
"Oh, this?" replied the woman. "I made the rowboat out
of raw material found on the island. I whittled the oars
from gum tree branches; I wove the bottom from palm
branches; and the sides and stern came from a
"But-but, that's impossible," stuttered Ed. "You had no
tools or hardware." "How did you manage?"
"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman. "On the
South side of the island, there is a very unusual strata
of alluvial rock exposed. I found if I fired it to a certain
temperature in my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile
iron. I used that for tools and used the tools to make
Ed was stunned. "Let's row over to my place," she said.
After a few minutes of rowing, she docked the boat at
a small wharf. As Ed looked onto shore, he nearly fell
out of the boat. Before him was a stone walk leading to
an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white. While
the woman tied up the rowboat with an expertly woven
hemp rope, he could only stare ahead, dumbstruck. As
they walked into the house, she said casually, "It's not
much, but I call it home. Sit down please; would you
like to have a drink?"
"No, no thank you," he said, still dazed. "Can't take any
more coconut juice."
"It's not coconut juice," the woman replied. "I built a
still. How about a Pina Colada?"
Trying to hide his continued amazement, he accepted,
and they sat down on her hand-woven couch to talk.
After they had exchanged their stories, the woman
announced, "I'm going to slip into something more
comfortable". "Would you like to take a shower and
shave? There is a razor upstairs in the cabinet in the
No longer questioning anything, Ed went into the
bathroom. There, in the cabinet, was a razor made from
a bone handle. Two shells honed to a hollow ground
edge were fastened onto its end inside of a swivel
"WOW! This woman is amazing," he mused, "what next?"
When he returned, she greeted him wearing 'nothing
but vines' strategically positioned, and smelling faintly
of gardenias. She beckoned for him to sit down next to
her. "Tell me," she began suggestively, slithering closer
to him, "We've been out here for a really long time. I
know you've been lonely.
There's something I'm sure you really feel like doing
right now, something you've been longing for all these
months. You know..." She stared lovingly, longingly,
into his eyes.
He couldn't believe what he was hearing: "You mean---
", he swallowed excitedly, "We can watch the SUPER
BOWL from here??!"
Title: Secrets of Modern Slot Playing
Author: Larry Mak
Publisher: L & M Publications; 4th edition (January 2003)
Paperback; 108 pages
Before you hit the Casino!
Anyone who has ever entered a casino will find this
book a terrific resource. The author explains in layman
terms how a slot machine works, dispelling myths. Fate
is your best friend when you play a slot machine
because there is nothing except mathematical
probability when you hit the spin button. Luck has
nothing to do with winning or losing at a slot machine,
you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
An enjoyable read with many humorous anecdotes that
many of us will be able to relate to. Highly informative:
in providing payout tables of various machines that are
seen in many casinos today. There is also a state
listing by casino that shows how each casino pays by
denomination of slot machine. It not only teaches, but
also provides detailed tips to improve the player's
chances of winning when playing slot machines.
This reviewer recently went to a casino and tried some
of the hints from the book. Although I did not come
out a winner, I limited my losses to $40.00 for 4 hours
of playing time. Pretty good!! I really enjoyed this book
and would recommend it for anyone who will be visiting
a casino in the near future. For those who gamble and
those who do not but are curious and want to learn.
Reviewed by Lee Burlison
Title: La Nueva Raza Latina en America (La Historia de
Author: Tony Alcazar
Genre: Inspirational/How To
Price: $11.95 *free shipping
Rating: Highly Recommended
The ideas written in this book have already been
written more than a thousand times. We've even heard
this type of story from aspiring immigrants over, and
over. Maybe from someone within your own family.
What makes "La Nueva Raza Latina en America" unique
is that this is the true story of one man, a hopeful
illegal who dared to enter the United States - all in
search of the "American" dream, and found it.
Alcazar, and his wife, from Lima, Peru applied for and
surprisingly enough got a visitation visa to the U.S.
then boarded a plane, hours later landing in LA. He
cozened with the Mexican population and passed
himself off as one of them, just in case he was caught
by immigration. Thus making it easier in returning to the
In detailed description, the author recounts how he
reached his dream of running his own Bookkeeping
business. Alcazar takes the reader step by step,
through his struggles as well as his good fortunes.
But even the worst can happen to those who reach
their goals. Like a drug addict, a crash down to reality
can be a nasty blow!
Definitely the books objective is to save time in arriving
at one's goals and managing to have a standard of life
equal or better than a born "American" citizen. But by
lack of faith they have been only used by few, is why
in the United States the richest country of the world,
only 5% is economically independent, for that reason
also, so many are poor - specially between the Latinos.
It conscientiously touches on important, and necessary
subjects for personal growth. Overcoming and
happiness of the human being, among them: Desire,
Work, Preparation, Persistence, Value, Faith,
Spirtualism, Optimism and Success.
Written in Spanish only, clearly this book is aimed at
Latinos, and with good intentions. Fact is, not only do
Hispanics make up the fastest-growing ethnic group in
the country, they also represent a commercial
Although I believe this book would be of great value to
all people, from all walks of life. "La Nueva Raza Latina
en America" is not only inspiring but an eye opener. An
absolute sure winner and the author should consider
resubmitting this book to a publisher in English of
course, as many would benefit from what lies between
the covers. I for one, did.
Reviewed by Betsie
For more information on Tony Alcazar or his novel "La
Nueva Raza Latina en America" go to:
Adventures of Riley: Safari in South Africa
Written by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz
Illustrations by: Sarah McIntyre
Publisher: Eaglemont Press; (October 2003)
Rating: Highly Recommended
A boy's adventure!
This scholarly tale of 9-year-old Riley on "Safari in
South Africa," with his cousin Alice, aunt Martha, and
uncle Max take census of the different breeds of
Riley learns the eco system is the responsibility of
everyone and every creature in the world must do its
part for the world to continue to survive and have
balance. Poachers, predators, and developers however
tip the scales of the eco system and cause the animal
population to become endangered.
With each animal they encounter, some fun and
interesting facts are revealed regarding their behaviors,
eating styles, and play.
The authors evoke the help of several zoologist,
conservationist, and educators in the animal fields for
references and include next to the fun facts
illustrations of the references.
This tale has awesome illustrations, set on the
background of actual safari scenes and with real
pictures of safari wildlife. You too will feel as if you
were on this adventure.
The Adventures of Riley in South Africa is one of a
series of - Riley's tales. This book contains information
on accessing the Internet so kids can continue more
adventures, and a passport book with a stamp of South
Africa, so when they read a different book they can
collect the stamps.
Children will absolutely love this book and learn from it.
**A portion of the proceeds will go to the Wildlife
Conservation, Smithsonian Institute: Educational
Mission and the World Wildlife Fund.
Reviewed by: Demetria Harris
For more information or purchase your own copy go
|For Aspiring Writers|
One of the most insightful critics of science fiction and
fantasy was a fellow named James Blish. He wrote some
of the best fantasy and science fiction novels of the
40's and 50's, including Cities in Flight, Surface
Tension, Black Easter, and the Hugo-winning
classic, A Case of Conscience. The essential
quality of all work was that his heroes weren't just
solving a physical problem; they were almost always
caught on the crux of a moral or ethical dilemma
created by their role or situation.
During much of the 60's and 70's, Blish served as the
book reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction. He demanded that writers live up
to the challenges they set for themselves, and he was
a major voice holding the genre's feet to the fire.
Blish was also a very kind man, very much commited to
the success of young writer's.
If you never learn anything else about heroism, it
doesn't matter - that's the important lesson. Who
does it hurt? And why?
The beginning of your story is about who. You have to
show the audience everything they need to know about
who this person is.
The middle is about why. You have to show the
audience everything they need to know about how this
problem works and why it belongs to this person.
The end is about the what. What does this person do
to resolve the hurt? And if you've taken care of the
who and the why, then the what will be obvious. (The
trick is making it surprising as well.)
The hero doesn't have to be the most important person
on the planet - just a person who gets shoved into
enough situations that he will experience the scale of
the problem. He should meet many people, all of who
are reacting to the situation in different ways, each
one dramatizing a different facet of the human
The job of the storyteller is to put the hero up a tree
and then throw rocks at him.
When you hurt the hero, you reveal his emotional core.
If the hero's wife is being held hostage by Klingon
terrorists, if his mother is dying of Martian measles, if
the dog has mutated into a ghastly green amorphous
blob that eats everything in its path, if the
experimental black hole at the lab reveals itself to be a
sentinent being, and all happens simultaneously, then
whichever these of these issues the hero tends to first,
tells you what is most important to him.
That's why it has to hurt. Because that's how we find
out who the hero is.
| ||Screenplays Wanted
** DO NOT SEND MATERIAL TO ANYONE LISTED
UNLESS YOU ARE CERTAIN THE COMPANY AND/OR
PRODUCER IS LEGIT AND YOUR WORK HAS BEEN
Gary Hoffman Productions
I am looking for a completed laugh out loud, family
comedy in the vein of 'Romy and Michele's High School
Reunion' and Nation Lampoon's vacation and reunion
movies. Relatable characters a must.
Some of my credits include 'National Lampoon's
Thanksgiving Family Reunion', 'The Big Heist',
and 'Bastard Out of Carolina'. For more see IMDB.com
Both WGA and non-WGA welcome to submit.
Please e-mail a logline followed by a synopsis to:
Gary Hoffman email@example.com
Scripts wanted! Any Budget! Any Genre! Send One
Page Synopsis to Richard Banderas at script to screen:
New Eng. based indie production co. is seeking scripts
in all genres for immediate production. An award
winning team of ambitious young artists, two-time
official selections at ME Internat. Film Fest, 4 features
directed. Are you an unsold, but brilliant writer? We
want your script, outline, concept. One-time licenses in
exchange for % of any gross, Does not affect your
ability to sell your script in the future. Let us audition
for you! Watch our highly acclaimed work, on request.
A chance to see your work on screen. Email:
**Any company or producer can be checked out on
Director/producer seeking low-budget drama/romantic
drama screenplay. No horror, sci-fi, period piece. Please
e-mail short synopsis (1 paragraph - 1 page) to
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the trailer for his
recent project Frame of Mind at
Company: Simon Joecker
Contact Person: Simon Joecker email@example.com
Major company with first look deal/financing. Looking
for high budget films in any arena but horror and "out of
the ordinary", you must know deep down if your script
is good or not. We are also looking for television
pilots/series. Money is up front the amount depends on
how much work has to be done to it. DO NO EXPECT
TO RECEIVE ANY MATERIALS SUMBITTED BACK TO YOU
DUE TO VOLUME ON OUR BEHALF.
Company: Reid Media Group
Contact Person: Eric Belmont firstname.lastname@example.org Is
there money upfront? Depending on how much work
Get Produced! Seeking Series Pilots and Teleplays for
Production in advanced workshop called "Pilot Season."
Projects will be produced using state-of-the-art
television equipment and will be intended for broadcast
as well as showcase presentations to networks and
television distributors. Sit-coms and One-Hour dramas
preferred, but any TV format will be considered. Submit
completed scripts to: San Diego State University,
School of Theatre, Television and Film, 5500 Campanile
Drive, San Diego, CA, 92182-7601, ATTN: PILOT
SEASON-COM 171B. (note: 9-digit zip code is
important!). Submissions will not be returned. Register
scripts before submission.
Company: San Diego State University School of
Theatre, Television and Film
Contact Person: Tim Powell email@example.com Is
there money upfront? Negotiable
Screenplays wanted with strong character driven
stories action - drama, suspense, and mystery thrillers,
Only send us a logline or one page synopsis no
attachments please. Scripts will not be returned due to
volume. Company: Handheld Productions
Contact Person: JS Harrier firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a script you would like to see realised as a
film? Melbourne based Producer seeks scripts of all
lengths, genres to turn into films.
I have a database of talented crew seeking projects to
Please email Nicholas Bolonkin at:
Spry Films is currently accepting Short and Feature
length screenplay submissions to fill our 2004-2005
production slate. Please visit www.spryfilms.com and
follow the submissions link. Please follow the Submission
Guidlines. Do NOT send screenplays without first
sending a query letter. They will not be read, but
** Make sure that the address you are mailing to
corresponds to the company's published address. Don't
be in a rush to send out your material. Once you are
certain the listing is legit, submit material through an
attorney or agent. Never, never, never send your
complete script to anyone over the net. A half page
synopsis is all that should be expected via email, the
requestor should supply full postal details for anything
more. Unless you intend to make more money from the
potential lawsuit than selling your script, make sure
your script is registered with the AWG. Best of luck!
Women Writers of the Desert is sponsoring an essay
competition open to all women around the globe. Entry:
$10. Deadline: March 31, 2004.
For mor details go here
Southern Playwrights Competition (for a play on a
Southern US theme by a Southern US playwright that
has not had an Equity production) $100 award.
Deadline: February 15, 2004
For more details go here
Association of Writers and Writing Programs awards for
unpublished poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction,
and novel. Entry: $20.00. Deadline: February 28, 2004.
For more information go
|Media Contacts and More|
Since we never recieved any feedback in regards as to
whether this section of the newsletter was useful, we
have come to the conclusion that it's not. This will be
the last posting of this type of information, making
room for an entirely new section.
The Brave New World of Book Buying
By Reid Goldsborough
When Full Text Is Accessible OnlineThe Authors Guild,
as an advocacy group for writers, tested
Amazon.com's "Search Inside the Book" feature and
discovered you could copy and print out more than 100
consecutive pages from a single book, though doing so
was time-consuming. Amazon.com has since disabled
the print capability, but you can still, without much
technical expertise, capture the screen and print it out
What would stop you-besides your conscience-from
collecting cooking recipes or travel suggestions this
way, without having to buy a book? "Most reference
books [are] at clear risk in such a database," said the
Authors Guild in an e-mail message to members. For this
reason, not all book publishers participate in the
Amazon.com defends "Search Inside the Book" by
pointing to its utility. "We believe that the more
information you give a customer about the products
they're interested in buying, the more of those
products they actually buy," said Jani Baker, director of
product public relations, in a phone interview. In the
first five days of the "Search Inside the Book" program,
sales of books that participated were 9 percent higher
than sales of nonparticipating books, she said.
Used-book Sales Ripple Effects:
Fewer sales are, of course, also a concern with another
Amazon.com feature, "Marketplace," which lets people
buy used books from fellow readers as easily as they
can buy new books from publishers. The savings can be
dramatic, and the potential loss of earnings is self-
Amazon.com defends this practice as
well. "Amazon.com is all about selling more books and
helping customers find and buy books they wouldn't
have known about," said Baker.
"We've found by offering customers lower-priced
options, it causes them to visit the site more
frequently, which in turns leads to higher sales of new
books," she continued. "It encourages people to try
authors and genres that they might not otherwise have
tried. Also, when customers sell used books, they have
more 'budget' to buy new books."
What is clear is that it's a changing world out there, in
book publishing and the larger world of information
technology. As always with change, there are winners
Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author
of the book Straight Talk
More Than Sheep
There's more to New Zealand than sheep and "Lord of
the Rings," there's PR also!
"When it comes to public relations, it may sound
obvious, but read regularly the publication you would
like to appear in and make a note of who is writing
business- oriented stories or lifestyle articles which
refer to products and services," Claire Fouhy, public
relations, events and sponsorship consultant, says.
I would recommend investigating public relations and
networking activities and, if you seek out what is going
on locally, you may well uncover some cost- effective
Don't underestimate networking events as a useful way
to kickstart new business relationships.
Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs run events
well attended by those in the business community.
There is a joining fee, but you will get the opportunity
to use their business network whether you are doing
business in Nelson or Nevada.
Their regular newsletters and functions are good ways
to build local contacts.
You can also contact your local economic development
agency to find out if it has a local business excellence
award. Find out when the submissions close and when
the prize-giving dinner is scheduled.
Most stories cover what, who, when, why and how and
you will need to cover these bases, but the real key is
how these elements are told.
You will note that most articles include some form of
announcement or achievement, third-party
endorsement and often a photo.
These are the elements that give the story colour,
relevance and a human touch.
Once you have thought about how you are going to tell
your story and the best person to approach at your
target publication, you will likely have better success
when you try to pitch it.
** Query Letter for representation Required first
Camille Sorice Talent Agency
13412 Moorpark St #C
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Acme Talent & Literary Agency
4727 Wilshire Blvd #333
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Alice Fries Agency, Ltd.
1927 Vista Del Mar Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Barry Perelman Agency
1155 N. La Cienega Blvd. #412
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency
10532 Blythe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Criterion Group, Inc.
8331 Keokuk Avenue
Winnetka, CA 91306
Diverse Talent Group, Inc.
1875 Century Park East #2250
Los Angeles, CA 90067
ES Agency, The
6612 Pacheco Way
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
Film Theatre Actors Exchange
390 28th Ave #3
San Francisco, CA 94121
Gage Group, Inc., The
14724 Ventura Blvd #505
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Hart Literary Management
5686 Antelope Trail
Orcutt, CA 93455-6066
Laya Gelff Agency
16133 Ventura Blvd #700
Encino, CA 91436
Media Artists Group
6300 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Michael D. Robins & Associates
23241 Ventura Blvd #300
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Stars, The Agency
23 Grant Ave, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
CNN's "Morning with Soledad O'Brien and Bill Hemmer"
* CNN's "Morning with Soledad O'Brien and Bill Hemmer"
is now heard regularly weekdays from 7 to 10 AM from
their New York headquarters. CNN's "Morning" covers
the news of the day, both serious and less so, with
interviews and contributions from reporters on the
scene. The show also covers sports, celebrities,
and political people who are currently making news. The
executive producer of the show is Margaret Aguire,
with Wilson Surrat the senior executive producer. They
are reached at (212) 714-7800.
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" is the top rated
show on cable television, seen from Monday to
Thursday from 11 to 11:30 PM on Comedy Central. The
show takes a very irreverent look at the news of the
day, and those who make the news. Jon Stewart,
who is the executive producer of the show and its star,
takes a skewered look at the day's news and very
often show regulars will parody the people and events
that are on the front burner of the news. The
producers are interested in the eccentricities,
distortions, and abnormalities of the day's events, and
products, corruption, and as well as spokespersons who
can stand on their own during a tongue-in-cheek
interview. They will think nothing of bringing someone
down to size, so this show is only for the brave of
heart. Madeleine Smithberg,, who had been the founding
executive producer, has retired, so the new executive
producers are Stewart Bailey, and Beth Carlin, reached
at the show, at 513 W. 54 St., New York, NY 10019,
(212) 468-1700; Fax: (212) 468-1890.
CBS' "The Early Show"
Victor Neufeld, longtime ABC News exec, has left to
become the number two producer of "The Early Show"
on CBS. Michael Bass is the program's senior executive
producer. The format of the early show features four
hosts---Julie Chen, Hannah Storm, Harry Smith
and Rene Syler. The show is reached at (212) 975-
For Book Aquisitions
*** Letter of Inquiry Required first
Acquisitions,Joint University Libraries,419 21st Ave.
Acquisitions,Univ. of Tennessee-Knoxville,James D.
Acquisitions,Memphis State Univ.
Acquisitions,Univ. of Mississippi
Acquisitions,Mississippi State Univ.,Mitchell Memorial
Library,P.O. Drawer 5408,Mississippi State,MS,39762
Rare Books & Special Collections,Univ. of Louisville
Library,2301 S. Third St.,,Louisville,KY,40208
Acquisitions,Univ. of Kentucky,Margaret I. King
Rare Books & Special Collections,Ohio State Univ.
Libraries,Wm Oxley Thompson Mem Library,1858 Neil
Rare Books,Bowling Green State Univ.,Library,,Bowling
Rare Books,Univ. of Toledo,William S. Carlson
Library,2801 W. Bancroft St.,Toledo,OH,43606
Rare Books & Special Collections,Case Western Reserve
Univ.,Libraries,11161 E. Blvd.,Cleveland,OH,44106
Rare Books,Cleveland Public Library,325 Superior
Acquisitions,Cleveland State Univ. Libraries,1860 E.
Rare Books & Special Collections,Kent State Univ.
Rare Books & Special Collections,Miami University,Edgar
W. King Library,,Oxford,OH,45056
Rare Books,Cincinnati Public Library,800 Vine
Rare Books & Special Collections,Univ. of
Cincinnati,Main Library,Clifton Ave.,Cincinnati,OH,45221
Rare Books & Special Collections,Wright State Univ.
Library,Colonel Glenn Hwy,,Dayton,OH,45435
Rare Books & Special Collections,Ohio University,Vernon
R. Alden Library,Park Place,Athens,OH,45701
Rare Books,Univ. of Notre Dame,University
Rare Books & Special Collections,Ball State
University,Alexander M. Bracken
Rare Books,Indiana Univ. - Bloomington,University
Libraries,Tenth St. & Jordan Ave.,Bloomington,IN,47401
Rare Books & Special Collections,Indiana State
Univ.,Cunningham Memorial Library,,Terre
Putting Pen To Paper: A Journal to
At the end of every month this section will contain
excerpts about the entire publishing process by Dee
Power and Brian Hill, as they go through the motions
with Dearborn Publishing.
Copyright by Betsie, 2004 All
contents of this email are for the use of Betsie's
Literary Page subscribers and may not be reproduced in
any way and/or posted on websites without prior
express written permission. If you would like to have
friends or associates receive our emails, rather than
forwarding this, please have them subscribe.
Thank You for reading, see you next week!