Author Archive

Mysteria in Tredecim

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Book, Chapbook, On Writing, Robin Randle Stories, Where Madness Dwells, Writing with tags , , , , , on 05/03/2016 by wooddickinson
Hekate's Key

The Key to Hell

Update. My novel The Robin Randle Stories, is with an editor. So I’m kind of stuck. That’s not really true, I am trying to get a new old house ready to move into. Our current home was built in 1941 but that’s not old enough anymore. Our new old house was built in 1919. Maybe as you get older you want everything around you to get even more older. I’m just saying.

So about three weeks ago I’m trying to wake up. I’m off the news feed until there is a story worth reading or seeing, that doesn’t have the word Trump in it. So while I’m waking up an idea hits me. When I first conceived The Robin Randle Stories it felt like it would contain three books in it, not just two. I always thought the first two would be the novel but I just felt that a third book would come along to round things out a bit. I didn’t know what that third book was until I was trying to wake up and avoid the new broadcasts.

It would be a book penned by Station Cross, Robin’s partner. The novel is in first person personal point of view so Robin has to be there all the time just like we are. There are things that happen that are a mystery to Robin as events unfold both because she just doesn’t remember things right and she’s just not there when people do other things. I realized Station does a lot of stuff Robin doesn’t understand or know about. The third book was born.

I started writing it and got well into it three times (that starting over again three times) before I got the feel of it right. To pay tribute to the false starts I gave the book three different titles. Station had to work through her “naming” of the book finally arriving at the simple title, The Thirteen Mysteries or Mysteria in Tredecim.

About 13,350 words later I think I have a solid draft. Took me about three weeks to get it to near finished condition. If that ever happens. I don’t know if it belongs in the novel or not. Funny how that works. I’ll let the editor make the call. I will always have it and can publish it as a chapbook if there is any interest after the novel comes out. Can’t sneak it out early, spoilers!

It was a lot of fun writing about Robin’s story from her partners point of view. Station has such a different voice. It is deeper and harder in a way but it does surprise at times with softness. I learned that she carries a different set of worries from Robin’s but no less difficult. So now all the mysteries are explained. How plans were made, what choices brought on later hardships and how Station puzzled out a way to help Robin even when she thought it would be impossible to do so.

I took a bit of time out yesterday to create another teaser trailer for the novel. Guess its the filmmaker in me. I also got Robin’s website up which is where you can see the new teaser. The URL is http://www.robinrandle.com. Oh, the three titles,

Mysteria Eleusiniaas

Sanctissimis Antiquioribus Ordinis Mysteria Eleusiniaas

also know as

The Thirteen Mysteries

(Mysteria in Tredecim)

written

by

Station Cross


Outrage!

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Climate Change, Faith, family, Fear, God, Humility, Love with tags , , on 04/07/2016 by wooddickinson

4289975I get up this morning and I’m greeted by a news story on the radio about Ted Cruz making an unfortunate campaign stop in the Bronx. A man named Rebel Diaz yelled, “He is anti-immigrant. He denies climate change. He’s a right-winged bigot and he’s not welcomed here.” Wow.

I’m an artist and writer. The freedom to create work that may express a certain viewpoint is critical to me as it should be to all Americans. Expressing one’s opinions is part of the social discourse of our lives. Without this, we simply lose an entire part of who we are as individuals. Mr. Diaz has a right to his opinion and a right to express it in a peaceful manner. So does Ted Cruz. You may not like what Mr. Cruz has to say but vitriol is never a proper response. Respectful discourse is at the core of what we Americans are.

We as individuals must respect the views of others. We don’t have to be open to listening but we must act with respect. I think so many of us use our loud voice so we don’t have to truly listen to another’s views. I mean listening is dangerous because if you really listen and seek to understand (not agree) to another person’s feelings, thoughts, ideas you might find that you have to rethink your own views and maybe, just maybe change them.

For those who don’t know here is the first amendment to the constitution of the United States-

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

No where in this amendment does it say I have the right to scream and disrupt public assembly. What it does say is that we have the right to assemble as a group to protest and give voice to our political beliefs but it must be done peaceably.

You don’t need a law degree to understand the constitution. It’s very plain. For instance, like it or not, the second amendment says we the people have the right to keep a well regulated militia as well as a right to keep and bear arms. Don’t shoot (pun intended) the messenger.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Agree or not this amendment guarantees two things. #1 we can maintain a well regulated militia (army) and #2 we as individuals have a right to have a gun and use it when needed as long as its use isn’t in violation of the law meaning the commission of a crime. What it doesn’t say is that individual states have the right to control my ability to do so.

As an artist I feel all of the rights guaranteed in the constitution must be protected. I may not like it but when you chip away at one part you chip away at the whole. No good comes from that.

Remember our Declaration of Independence says –

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

What that means is we the people are in control not our government. Remember that we fought a war to gain relief from oppression by England.

I’m just sayin’

Once Again Adobe

Posted in Adobe, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Computers, Fine Art Photography, Photo Editing, Photography, software, workflow with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/09/2016 by wooddickinson

100 in 365 version 2.0

I don’t mean to complain but Adobe can be a major pain in the ass. I’m an Adobe Creative Cloud member and rely on Lightroom and Photoshop a lot. I also use Audition and Premiere when I’m not using Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro. To be truthful I like the Adobe audio and video products but find Apple’s to be more conducive to creative flow. Logic works very well with my PreSonus control surface and I’ve never been able to get Audition to do the same.

I do create short teasers for both possible film projects and writing projects. I post them to YouTube and add them to my different websites. As for photography I’m pretty much married to Lightroom and Photoshop but also use a range of additional products like On1 Photo 10, the DxO Pro X suite, several Alien Skins filters and so on as ways to shorten my editing time. I spend on average two hours editing per photo that I post to my Adobe professional portfolio site now at http://wood.myportfolio.com/projects.

Now on to the issues, recently my Creative Cloud App stopped working. I could no longer download the software or the updates! I tried all the usual uninstall/install stuff Adobe says to do along with some special software that is supposed to fix these problems. Nothing worked. So, once again I’m paying for a service that I can no longer use. I called Adobe tech support and spent an hour on the phone with a woman from India that I could barley understand. It was obvious she was just a help desk kind of person and had no idea how to think beyond the instruction manuals she was reading from. Neither would she vary from the “Adobe Protocol” for support phone calls. After an hour she just gave up. Gave me a case number and said someone would call me within 24 hours.

Needless to say that didn’t happen but after a few days I did get a call from someone. They left messages and after several days and multiple misses I was able to be available for their phone call. You’d think they’d give me a number to call so I could make contact when I was available (not working) but no.

Another hour on the phone without a solution but at least I could understand this fellow and he did seem to know the systems and software much better. Another call back later and another hour on the phone I finally got the problem fixed BUT I had to download and reinstall all my Adobe software. That was an all day project.

While on these calls Adobe ran a program so they could control my computer remotely. The first woman I worked with was very poor at using this software and kept moving the pointer around putting my computer to sleep or ending the programs she was trying to run. I got to where I’d jump in to “save” her from the time consuming mistakes.

Upside. I did write a letter to Adobe corporate office after my first support call complaining about all this. demanded a year of Creative Cloud for free. I got the obviously stipulated 3 months of free service which I guess is better than none. Remember this. Demand free service when you have a failure of this nature. Really, it isn’t so free since I couldn’t install updates for about two months. It’s the very least they can do and really three months isn’t enough in my book.

Adobe could do a few things to improve on their service. First, have the people who I will talk to trained and ready to speak clear and understandable English. It’s just a common courtesy and nothing against any ethnic group. Put on your best public face I say and remove all barriers to customer satisfaction. Second, don’t make me demand free service, offer it up front again as a common courtesy to professionals using your product.

_______________________________________________

To remind you Adobe’s Vision and Mission are below. I used this company in a lecture I gave on corporate ethics last year.

Vision Statement: To revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information.

Mission Statement:

Adobe’s mission is to be the premier provider of products and services in the information age for professional publishing solutions, business publishing solutions, document solutions, and digital imaging solutions in the company’s addressed market segments while: achieving and maintaining an above-average return on investment for shareholders measured in terms of return on equity, earnings per share, revenue growth, and operating profit; maintaining or achieving the number one or two position in addressed market segments in terms of market share, customer satisfaction, revenue generation, product margin, product functionality, and technological leadership; treating all employees with respect and rewarding both group and individual performance that exceeds commitments and expectations; being a good corporate citizen in the local and national locations where the company produces, sells, and services its products.

 

 

Back to It

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Block Island, Blogroll, Book, Computers, Exhibition, Fine Art Photography, Photography, Robin Randle Stories, Where Madness Dwells, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 02/22/2016 by wooddickinson

sea grass 128I’m getting back to all of this social media stuff. There are days I feel like throwing the iPhone in the trash and turning off the computer like, forever! I think it’s because of the amount of static or noise that finds its way into my email, Facebook and well, everything else.

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped paying attention just that the amount of useless information that’s pushed on us is incredible. It’s hard enough to read, learn and understand the important stuff in life that the noise has become impossible to handle. I don’t think I’m alone on this. It is a matter of filtering and getting filters in place is hard with our current technology. Current marketing practices demands you irritate everyone to get your message out. Targeting systems are getting better but the junk email just blows my mind.

I’m working on a few things. First my novel “The Robin Randle Stories” is with my editor now. Hope to see it published soon. I’m starting a new novel, “Mercy Lake – a ghost story.” I’m also working on a photography project called “A Study of Pathways.”

I will have an exhibition next summer for the Block Island Conservancy. I’m very excited about that. It’s wonderful to be involved in such an important effort. Here are some websites of mine if you are interested –

Wood Dickinson – my main portal and links to everything else

The Robin Randle Stories

A Study of Pathways

Mercy Lake 

Photographic Portfolio

I’ll be much more regular about writing. I do have a lot to say!

 

Engineers…

Posted in Apple, Computers, software, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 06/12/2015 by wooddickinson

IMG_3873

And no, I don’t mean train engineers. I was always taught that form follows function. Seems safe to me. Of course “safe” isn’t always fun. If “safe was all we wanted then there wouldn’t be  Macs vs PCs or better yet Windows vs OS X.

But, even while trying to make a product (design) fun, it still needs to function very well. I remember when Steve Jobs said the inside of a Mac needs to be as excellent as the outside. I agree. A real good looking car just may not be the car you need to get the job done.

Now, about the current iPhone. Who in the world thought putting the power button directly across from the volume buttons was a good idea? Did anyone (yes ANYONE) not notice that this was a bad design idea? Really, not one engineer or beta user?  No department head at Apple? Anyone for that matter notice this blunder before the product launched?

To make matters worse, to chase other companies “cool factor” Apple curved the edges of the phone making it much harder to hold. I know, hands free, I get it.

The same goes for Apples newest product, the AppleWATCH. I have to wonder, “Did the product team at Apple ever notice young people don’t wear watches?” Nope. Apple pushes ahead asking us to buy this $350 (really more like $600 to $700) watch so we can sit back and watch version 2 roll out in a year. Don’t we all have to have the newest version?

Me, I love watches. They are truly works of art. I’m talking mechanical not quartz movement watches. There are some fine quartz watches on the market and I have a few but it’s the mechanical watches that draw me. The form and function in either a MeisterSinger or an Ernst Benz shows beauty of form and function at its finest. There won’t be an “update” for these watches. No Legacy System here.

IMG_3870

Memo – Someone at Apple, you should read The Fifth Discipline. I saw a short film Peter Senge screened several years ago. It was about Cremona, Italy. Cremona is the worlds greatest center for violin makers. Its most famous resident was Antonio Stradivari. This film detailed how experts have searched for the secrets Antonio knew that allowed him to make the finest violins the world has ever seen. In short, they failed.

Peter noted it isn’t about engineering or science but more about the soul of the violin maker.

Funny words for a MIT business professor to use.

I’m not on the AppleWATCH bandwagon and to be honest, I hate my current iPhone. I’m sick of endless product revision using the latest hardware, endless software revisions, well, you know the drill. Being a geek at heart I have a lot of what’s known as legacy systems around my house. Many of these systems truly don’t work with current software and operating systems.

Then there is my wonderful Les Paul circa 1970. It is all vintage and more valuable today than the day I bought it. To learn more about things –

Personal Mastery – The search for Stradivarius – Society for Organizational Learning

EMAIL!

Posted in Computers with tags , , , , on 03/17/2015 by wooddickinson

19373469Back in the “old days” of computers email applications became available and I was very excited about the prospect of much more immediate communications. This was for work application. I never really thought that people would start using it for personal communications as well.

I met my wife when I was sixteen years old and we wrote hundreds of letters back and forth. We still have them in boxes, a record and testament of our growing relationship. I use to write about everyday to her. These letters are hand written and decorated as best as we could do.

Today email has become the de facto method of communications. They are temporal and ephemeral by their very nature. Personally I keep all my email except the “junk” folder. But, junk seems like all I get. The amount of “newsletters,” offers, ads etc. far out strip emails from people I want to hear from. I find I miss important emails due to the amount of stuff coming into my inbox.  Looking at my email today I have 1400 unread emails in my inbox! How did this happen?

Well, you register a piece of software or hardware even your new toaster and it is followed by emailed offers, newsletters and other marketing material. When is someone going to tell all these companies that this amount of communicates is more confusing than the last Transformer movie. I delete “blocks” of emails now. I know in doing this I delete stuff I really want to or need to read. It’s all very frustrating. I know people, you might be one of them, that just creates a new email address on a routine basis to stop this flow of junk.

Again, when you do this, important emails will not get to you and you’ll miss the free upgrade offer of a major piece of software you use. I use scads of smart email boxes to sort things but it’s getting to be too much. I’m on an unsubscribe binge and updating my junk folder settings like crazy. What a mess. Somehow I mean to beat this back because I do want to keep my email address.

So, if I miss your emails please be patient. I’m going to get this under control one way or the other and companies out there STOP IT.

eBay!

Posted in eBay, Store with tags , , on 02/12/2015 by wooddickinson

ebay_logoI finally got eBay working. It isn’t easy I’ll tell you that. My store has an eclectic mix of items that I’ve picked up over the years. That includes Camcorders, cassette recorders, video editing gear, music gear, office gear, and maybe a few collectables from time to time. Please visit and subscribe.

The store URL is:

http://stores.ebay.com/10-Past-Midnight

You can visit by clicking HERE.

10 past midnight

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