Friday, November 11, 2011

Frank Bertrand writings about PKD on Scribd

Frank Bertrand has been a Philip Dick fan since probably before I was born. In the 70's and 80's he conducted several interviews with Phil, and has written extensively about him since Phil's death.

I read a few of his articles when I first had the "PKD connection" on 6-23-2002. I'll be rereading those articles and even more for the first time.

His writings can be found here at Scribd

I've got a lot of rereading to do so I can complete this memoir. I'm looking forward to it.

Thank you, Frank, for all the time and hard work you have put in for the PKD community.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Memoir Kickstarter Project Launched

I've officially launched my Kickstarter project today. Kickstarter is a fundraising site for creative projects. In this model, one launches a project and sets a deadline to meet their funding goal (1-60 days). If the funding is not met then the project will not be funded. It is an all-or-nothing situation.  Rewards (usually in the form of the finished product, e.g. books, CD's, DVD's, ect.  The more you donate, the better the rewards. Also rewarding, is knowing that you will help someone fulfill one of their dreams, that they may not have been able to do otherwise.

My memoir, called Alienus Tempus, concerns how I manage mental illness and common and not-so common philosophical inquiries while trying to explain mysterious and remarkable events that concern the late science fiction writer, Philip K Dick.

If you happen to read this post, please take a look at my project even if you decide not to donate. That's okay... just so you know that one day this memoir will be available to everyone at no cost.  I want to get this story out. It's my dharma.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Waiting on Rights

I have a short story that follows closely my situation with PKD. It's a very condensed version, but it needs to be told before I can continue with any other work. This is the thorn in my foot that needs to be removed. I'm now waiting on The Estate (of PKD) to decide whether or not I can publish a portion of text from Phil's Exegesis Essa:

"The Ultra Hidden (Cryptic) Doctrine: The Secret Meaning of the Great System of Theosophany of the World, Openly Revealed for the First Time (March 2, 1980)"

The story won't work without it, so if I have to paraphrase it, I will do so. Let's hope for an optimal outcome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Blog Series by Charles Q. Choi from Scientific American

I discovered this new blog series from a post at Mindhacks

The very first post is here where Charles Choi describes the purpose of his new blog series. It is a blog about discussing with scientists questions that may science may be impossible to answer. Sounds like a winner!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Penn Writers

Not too long ago, I registered and paid for a membership with
This has saved me the same amount on an upcoming writers conference in Pittsburgh, PA in May. I'm also attending a pre-conference seminar the day before the conference begins.

This will be my first writing conference I will have attended. I'm looking forward to it, and plan to have my novel's first draft completed and a query letter and synopsis ready should I get the chance to perform an elevator pitch.  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Robot questions its own existence?

This is an exciting piece from Scientific American. Be sure to check out the video. This is the stuff of what good science fiction is made. Hard scifi, the kind where you create characters that are trying to reach an objective and you show your readers how it came about.

Be sure to watch the video of the robot trying to walk/crawl

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm Writing my Novel in 30 Days

Not too long ago, I bought a Writer's Digest Special Edition, "Write Your Novel In 30 Days". I am reading through the meat of the "how to's" and have officially begun this day. I've had much of the first couple of days already finished - like, 5 years ago.

However, I am going to stick closely with the suggested calendar. I've already got more than 10 key scenes, but most of them are in the Beginning. I need to create more for the Middle and the Ending.

I've been up all night thinking about it, so I've decided This Is THE Day to begin.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How much information is there in the world?

ScienceDaily (2011-02-10) -- Think you're overloaded with information? Not even close. A new study calculates how much information humankind can handle.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waking in two places at once

I had an interesting experience Sunday Morning as I lay in bed resonating in and out of sleep.
I would wake up to reality (while laying on belly) and open my eyes, see whatever was really there, and then as soon as I closed my eyes I would see another scene. This scene was a still picture scene (not a moving dream). It's like I was waking up to a different location (in space and/or time). Then I would open my eyes, see what was really in my room, then I would close my eyes and it's like I was seeing a new scene plastered to the inside of my eyelids. Very surreal.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I can't Read!!!

I've been having this obsession for about 4-5 months now, that I will lose the ability to read, and I tell myself over and over again (in my head) that I can't read.

I'm a writer; how can I write if I can not read. See the predicament I've made for myself.

I'm also upset that I can't be everywhere at once and am not able to literally see things from another persons eyes. How fracked up am I? I ruminate over this and other existential/philosophical questions. Arrgghhh!!!

I have a two page list of Obsessions somewhere. I'll have to find it and post it.

Depersonalization Disorder doesn't make things any easier.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Story - "Regolith Obessions"

This is a story I first wrote about 5 or 6 years ago. Mostly untouched since then. A little rusty. Hope someone likes it.

Jesse kneeled next to the portable one piece oxygen generator, repositioned the catalyst for the eighth time within the preceeding thirty minutes. Once finished, he stood up with the pack in hand ready to hoist it onto his back, then took it off and set it aside, only to tear into it again.

Melony, his wife and Mars native along with his Earth born sister, Jackie, were sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee and nibbling at toast beneath the skylight revealing a rusty Martian skyline.

They peered compassionately into Jesse’s labroom as he worked heavily at his gear.

Shifting her gaze from Melony to Jesse and back to Melony, Jackie whispered, “How bad is it now?”

“It’s worse,” Melony complained. She pulled the coaster closer to her and sat her cup down. “Last night he checked the alarm … let’s just say I lost count after twenty. And this morning, he switched the computer on and off at least ten times. He said the settings didn’t seem right and if he rebooted, the system would run better. He’s less convinced every day.”

“Oh … I didn’t realize it was that bad.” Jackie squinted and dabbed at the corner of her mouth with a napkin. “Is it like this everyday?”

Melany nodded. “It’s so difficult to watch him. I feel so bad, and there’s nothing I can do to help. For nearly six months now, we’ve had to deal with this. He’s been completely out of Stabil for a month now.” She slammed her fists onto the table. “Those damned Terrasolus. If they don’t want to colonize other worlds why don’t they just stay on Earth and leave those of us who do alone?”

Jackie nodded in agreement. “Dan tells me that the Marsguard may soon reach an agreement with the Terrasolus. Maybe soon they’ll let at least one of the supply shuttles land.”

Melony’s eyes widened. “Really? That’s such good news. If he can keep it together just a little while longer, we’ll be OK. If he gets any worse, I’m afraid he may not be able to meet the Quota. I don’t know what he’d do without his work.”

Jess entered the kitchen wearing Mars atmospheric garment, his oxygen tubes draped over the front of his left shoulder. His dark hair dangled over his deep set eyes and weathered face. He blinked hard five times and then furiously rubbed his eyes.
“Okay, Hun,” he sighed, “I guess I’ll be on my way now.” He bent over and kissed his wife firmly on the lips and then glanced at his sister. “I’ll see you later, Jackie. If you’re still here when I get back.”

Jackie smiled at him and said, “Okay, Jesse. Take it easy.”

“I’ll call you between classes,” Melany called out as he left the living quarters and entered the gas exchanger module.

Descending from the hazy sky in his rotacar, Jesse looked out at the freshly dug land and gasped. He had removed far more of the Martian regolith than he had realized or had ever intended.

At testing site sector BE31, about 40 miles south of the Zephyria Plains Volcano there was supposed to have been twenty, two meter squared, one half meter deep sections of dug soil. What there was, however, was a continous levy of martian soil, totally upheaveled bordering the edges of a hole the size of a Terran city block.

Taken aback, he frowned, shook his head and said, “What a damned waste of time and resources. I should just stop while I’m ahead. Just move on. Not that hard to do. Why can’t I? Just do the required amount … a good representative sample and then stop. That’s it.”

At the landing pad, Jesse hopped out of the rotacar, his boots crunching through a few millimeters of the permafrost that surrounded the dig for hundreds of miles. From the storage trunk he retrieved his field equipment, which consisted of various spectrophotometers, field scopes, collection devises and microbial culture media and loaded them onto the remote Intellirove.

High above him, a circling 3D phrase that read “Must we destroy Mars, too?” projected from a distant location he could not directly see.

“Marskeepers,” he sighed. “I applaud their idealism, but their missing a little on the practical side. Don’t they realize that we have to get off Earth, sometime. And to do that, we must make other worlds more like Earth. Survival 101.”

After about three hours of digging, sampling, and culturing he sat down next to the hole and refreshed himself with water and a fieldbar. He scooped up a handful of Martian soil, crumbled it, and let it filter through his fingers.

“I wonder what it is?” he thought.

Most soil scientists don’t sample and test soil deeper than two feet on Mars, because that is where the bacteria and fungi had been seeded in hope that they could eventually add grassy plants.

Jesse, on the other hand, had the obsessive thought that the Terrasolus seeded the soil with terrestrial invertebrates from Earth, which he knew was nonsense since there still wasn’t enough atmospheric oxygen in the air or soil for them to survive. But, Jesse grew up on Earth and studied terrestrial vertebrate biology. He knew them well. He could not escape that transfixing thought, therefore he dug further, until a random sampling area was no longer much of a random area but a complete perimeter exposure. He hardly ever dug below two feet, but a few days ago he had done just that and a subsequent microscopic analysis of the material had revealed tiny spheroids about ten micrometers in diameter. Since, he’d been scooping away just past that two feet point on all areas he had formerly dug.

A rotacar beat its’ way through the air splaying Martian dust in its wake. It eased onto the sand next to his. The sun glared down on Jesse’s eyes as he squinted to try to make out who was traveling toward him. Jess noticed the red “Marsgaurd” logo against the green-blue background of the security vehicle.

To his surprise, his brother-in-law, Dan, climbed out of his rotacar and approached him.

Jesse stood up, shook the sand and soil from his pants and extended his hand. “Dan, I thought you weren’t coming with Jackie this time.”

Dan shook Jesse’s outstretched hand and replied, “Hey, Jesse. I wasn’t planning on it, but ah … something’s come up. Something that I need to check out personally.”
Dan nodded toward the East, “So, how long have they been airing their propaganda?”

“Well,” Jesse shrugged. “It used to be random out here but now it stays on any time someone is in the vicinity. I guess a motion detector must trip the power to the holograph projector. Maybe it’s infrared. I don’t know. It’ll go off soon. Legally they can’t air longer than one minute, once per hour per 100 miles. Anyway…” He crossed his arms and leaned against the field cart. “So, why are you here? Wait… wait… Has the terraform committee sent you here to check up on me?”

“No, Jesse,” Dan rebutted, shifting his weight in the sand. “Why would you say that? Wait…I haven’t said anything to anybody. Nobody outside the family should even know. You know that. We’ve done well at keeping that in the family. It’s nobody else’s damned business, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Well, something’s bothering you; what is it? Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“Look, Jesse. The Guard HQ has just found evidence that a few of the more extremist Terrasolus may have seeded damn near the whole planet with some kind of microscopic toxin. Apparently, it was incorporated with the last bacterial spray over fifty years ago. It was incorporated into a radioactive timing device. Once the target time occurs the toxins will be released. We don’t know what the toxin can do. We can only speculate. We’re trying to gather more information, and have assembled a think-tank to determine if anything can be done.”

Jess stood motionless, suspended in disbelief, then kicked a couple of pebbles into the hole he had just dug.

With his hands on his hips, he slowly turned away from Dan and hung his head low, straining to hold back tears of frustration. He knew this was major, yet his own battle crept in. How could he help in this time of need, in his ridiculous condition?

“Unbelievable,” he mumbled while turning to face Dan. “Well, I guess this supercedes my medication problem, huh?”

“We’re hoping that they didn’t go as far as that, and this is just a little scare and that’s it. Just keep a close watch for anything peculiar, OK? I have to get back to regional HQ, got a lot of people to talk to.”

Dan turned and began walking toward his rotacar, when Jesse ran up to him and gasping for breath said, “Wait, Dan. I have something to show you.”

The Hum - West Coast

The Hum had manifested itself to me on two occasions on the West Coast.

The first time was when I was staying with a hostess from near Monterey, CA. Each morning as I woke and all was quiet, I could hear that faint hum, like a gigantic engine from a distance.

The second "session" was the two days I spent at the USA Hostel in Hollywood. Each morning when everything most all was quiet, that faint electric pulsating hum could be heard prominently.

Spaceship Earth! LOL

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Walk

I have some unfortunate news to share with any who were following my walking blog. Because of medical issues with my right foot arch (Plantar Fasciitis) and previous ankle injuries included a fracture in my right ankle, I am unable to continue to walk.

The situation in which we must find a ride to the place we last ended our walk is a difficult and unpredictable one, which will conclude in a much longer walk than anticipated and difficulty in trying to find parking spots. However, I believe that I could work with that, but the injuries to my right foot and right ankle have proven to be not be fixable at the time.

I feel much regret and felt like forces beyond my control were at work. Although there is no blame. That's just the way things are at the moment. Perhaps, when my daughter has gone off to college and if I correct the medical condition and finances permit, I will attempt this walk at that time.

I like this insight from Viktor Frankl -

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to chose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens in your life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.