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Slideshow trailer

March 6, 2012

Finally! I’ll tell you what this shit is time consuming…and in the end the sound is still shitty. I cant get the shit to master to the F4V file without loosing massive audio quality. Why? Because I’m a hack.

Anyway, enough about me and my lack of proficiency. Here’s the vid.


moving forward

February 28, 2012

I am back.

I took a bit of a blog holiday for two reasons:

One, I don’t like the habit of having to check and manage my bloggings, at least so often that I don’t act like a normal, social human being; and two, I had for a while, really, nothing to say that was at all positive or rational or  cohesive or anything at all going on in my head that I felt appropriate sharing, due to its personal nature. I don’t want to make a big deal about it, but separation after 12 years is plain and simple, a mental cluster-fuck. Go figure.

So two things:

I am working on a slideshow movie thingy with the photos and sounds collected in Laos. Though I regret my dumb decision not to take my video camera, and despite that I ended up recording a pretty poor assortment of sounds, I did get lots of groovy photos of my adventure. There are a few gaps in the material but I think there is enough to tell a few stories. Stay tuned for that, the first installment in a week or so.

As far as the novel goes, I am right now as we speak plugging on forward, having overcome a bit of a writer’s block spell there. One, my living situation changed so drastically right after Laos and that took a bit of time, blood sweat and tears, and two, my mental house had to be cleaned out before I cold remember to get up in the morning and brush my teeth, let alone start writing some involving novel. Let alone what now has to be undertaken with the novel. Excuses, excuses: I know.

But I was immersing myself in the material the whole time, as macabre as that has been (I’m not sure watching films about torture techniques and the psychology of war and our bombardment of SE Asia is so healthy when one is already depressed) the whole new load of information, the new ideas that I was inspired with in Laos have been arranging themselves, if rather slowly, in my imagination.

Where we stand now:

About half of the 100 pages I had written before the Laos trip are in the waist bin. Perhaps there’s a moment or two I could rehash for stories at later times, but mostly it  is crap. Basically, I am completely revamping of the story. From A to maybe Q, not all the way to Z.

The main character’s life story has changed, of course, he still has dengue and the first chapter in the hospital has stayed essentially the same, with a few elements removed or added according to the new ideas.

The major change is that I finally got the characters my story so badly needed. Characters in turn, bringing with them all their baggage, influenced my story to change a bit.

And this is exactly why I went to Laos. To talk to people. To touch and talk to my characters.

So I finally have my characters, and have worked out the story. Now I just have to figure out how to tell it. One question I have been tinkering again with is the exact order in which the story is told. More chronological or more flashback-arific?

I don’t know. I tend toward jumpy.

But where I am at now is I have completed a first rewriting of chapter one, which was easier because I didn’t change too much, the scene stayed the same, with objects and his mental state changing a bit. Chapter two is where things get different, and I am about 8 pages into a version I think I like right now, having written now 2 versions that failed (attempts at the aforementioned chronological).

So I has me a long journey ahead, but not so long though I think. I have thousands of documents, hundreds of pages of notes and drafts of images and scenes, and a pretty clear idea in my head of what’s for.

Now if I’d quit stewing about big and mean life is and how my little sad heart hurts, poor me, maybe I could get something done…

I am moving in that direction.

Anyway, look forward to those vids and continuing updates on how my book is going.

Some nice pictures so nobody gets annoyed

October 8, 2011

So I spent the better part of my trip, doing all I could to find people who had stories, spending all day every day trying to talk with people and then writing it down, spending probably more than half my money on internet time to upload the pictures and stories to get their story out in an interesting way, so maybe people would read it.

My last 72 hours in SE Asia I spent at least 40 of them at a computer.

Ten of the 72 hours I was on a train.

A couple of those hours I was eating.

I slept only two of those nights, one of which in my sleeping car…on the aforementioned train.

And I got clicks. 125 in one day actually, an all-time high for anything I’ve ever blogged. Read more…

Laos: past and future, highs and lows

October 2, 2011
tags: ,

Alas…I have departed hot and rainy Asia and returned to cool and sunny Germany.

“What comes now?” is the question of the hour, and from the outpouring of people sending me letters in the last weeks I know many are concerned about how I will answer this. Particularly the blog entries I wrote sharing my fears and doubts were followed by many notes expressing concern for me and encouraging me to ‘keep my chin up.’ And while I thank those who wrote for their well-meant words…I want to clarify things here.

Keeping ones ‘chin up’ is a recipe for disaster. Read more…

An ear doctor, Mr. P and Mee

September 27, 2011

When I first got to Laos, I went to visit COPE, which is the visitor’s center at the Lao National Rehabilitation Center.

Unfortunately, they had just undergone a flood a few weeks before, and were still in the process of cleaning up and renovating.

I asked at the front gate if there was anyone I could speak to, but the guard didn’t know what the hell this crazy Farang was saying and just motioned me to go inside the compound.

So I went in and saw that, yes, COPE was closed…and feeling like a bit of a jackass just standing around with people moving about in wheelchairs and on crutches and doctors obviously going about with work to do…I started moving back toward the gate, when another Farang came walking toward me.

“Are you looking for COPE?” he asked. Read more…

Learning Lao, barf-bags, scooters and Phonsavan second impressions

September 27, 2011

I have learn some Lao now in the 3 weeks I’ve been here.

My first words of course were ‘hello,’ ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘goodbye,’ and, very important for a Farang with a huge backpack: ‘excuse me.’

The problem is pronunciation.
Lao is one of those dang tonal languages where one western spelling can mean five different things depending on if your voice goes up (like in English questions), down, stays flat, etc. The tonal thing my stupid ears have yet to grasp.

In Vientiane, the Lao capital, and the other tourist haunts, these few words will get you mostly by.

In my travels up north I had to learn more.

And quickly. Read more…

Phonsavan, first impressions are a bitch

September 25, 2011

Monks on alms tour and 6 am rushhour in Phonsavan

My first impression of Phonsavan…was a touch unsettling.

Initially I was annoyed–the whole bus station thing…but after 14  hours on the bus and marching the 5km into town as I mentioned earlier, I went to my hostel, took a shower and crashed out.

The next morning up around 5:45 as has been usual for me since getting to Laos, I went for some coffee, to figure out where the hell I was, and to figure out my plan for the day. To tell the truth I was a touch fatigued from the trip north and back, moving a bit stiffly and slow.

I lit a cigarette, took a sip of my jet fuel (Lao coffee is it’s whole unique thing, for those who don’t know) and I went to ash my smoke when I got a bit of a shock.

My friggin’ ashtray was a BPU #3!

Sorry: a clusterbomb! Read more…