Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

And I find myself writing fewer and fewer characters with the hope that I will hit the sweet spot and get produced and then get my backlist having more characters produced. But one must write what one loves.

Endless Rewrites

Pretty much everyone in the theatrical community, barring perhaps those lucky tech people whose expertise lends itself to more consistent work, works under the shadow of improbability. If fifty actors show up to auditions for a play, and the play has one male character, each actor has a 1/50 chance of getting the role. This may be even more difficult if one of the other actors is Samuel L. Jackson. Playwrights face a similar challenge re: play contests,  made worse by the fact that you don’t know your odds at all, nor is it likely that you will recieve notice of your failure within the month. Obviously, the economic reality is grim, but if you wanted to make money you would not have gone into the theatre.

When I write a play, I am often beset by the fear that what I am writing will not be submittable or…

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Has your website been hacked?

September 23, 2012

One thing we webmasters have to worry about is the bad guys looking to install malware on our website. Fortunately, there are sometimes simple things we can do to find out whether we’ve been hacked.

We (the royal we) sometimes say “Google is your friend.” This is true here as well. Suppose your website domain is chasbelov.wordpress.com. Enter the following search:

prescription site:chasbelov.wordpress.com

If you’re lucky, Google will come back with no or one or two hits (unless you’re a pharmacy). But if you’ve been hacked by spammers, you might well come back with 2,000 or more such hits, as a major theatre I Googled yesterday did. No, I wasn’t (initially) looking to see if they were hacked; a drug-related result from their website came up as a result for a search I was doing for some special interest theatre. But once I got that result, I came up with the above search to test how bad their infestation was.

You can set up a notification at http://www.google.com/alerts

This is definitely not the only way hackers can mess with your site, and they can hide it from Google by telling Google not to index the page. But it’s an easy enough check so you might as well do it.

Hope this helps. (And yes, I’ve notified that theatre.)

September 21, 2012

Self-referential reblog, with a big congratulations to my sis, Bob T Panda (long story)

The Panda Chronicles

Well, as you all probably know (and more probably are sick of hearing) here at the Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire,  we recently (like yesterday) raced to the finish line of our Kickstarter project which we initiated to fund our first book, The Panda Chronicles Book 1: Your Brain on Pandas.  If you were a supporter through Kickstarter, we shower thanks and blessings upon your sainted brows.  If you weren’t…well we’ve given the panda kindergarten your address.  ‘Nuff said!  Soon, we will be welcoming all our supporters to The Roll of Honor, with your very own special page, as well as thanking you all in the book.  In writing.  Is that cool or what?

Even if you forgot or couldn’t (or, heaven forbid, wouldn’t) support our project on Kickstarter, never fear!  We will certainly let you know when our book is available through Amazon and other…

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September 14, 2012

Counting down the days to the end of my sister’s Kickstarter project. Hopefully, a happy ending is in store.

The Panda Chronicles

I always like September, well, at least now that I don’t actually HAVE to go back to school, that is, but it still, oh these many years later, (don’t ask) gives me a burst of energy to get back into the studio and actually get something done. The panda kindergarten is no exception and they absolutely PROMISE to be much better behaved this year. (Although I think I saw some paws crossed behind their backs when they said that.)

Meanwhile, back at the Kickstarter ranch, we are at 86% with only 6 days to go!  For those of you not following or yet on board with the Kickstarter project (ahem) hope you will check it out, because we have big, pandy plans here at the Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire!  I’d like to unveil the third in the triumvirate of panda posters (starting with “30 days of Pandas

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The Perfect Title – A Cautionary Marketing Tale

September 9, 2012

We all want our work to have the perfect title. And we want to be able to market it. If I were to title a play Sibboleth, it might be the perfect title for the theme of the play, but if someone searches for it, Google will ask “Did you mean shibboleth?” although at least for now it does give the “sibboleth” results.

So when we give a blog post or Kickstarter page or some other page a title, it’s not surprising that, sometime after publication, we may find ourselves wanting to update it to make it snappier or catchier or more imaginative. And we may follow up that desire by re-titling the post or page.

Following that urge can have annoying consequences. Gory details follow.

Read more The Perfect Title – A Cautionary Marketing Tale (long post)

September 9, 2012

If you haven’t checked out my sister’s Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of panda cartoons, please do so.

The Panda Chronicles

In fact, we are chewing our claws down to their little nubbins!  It is an all panda alert for our Kickstarter project!  The panda kindergarten is in a neighborhood near you and no one is safe!  Don’t make us resort to whining and sniveling.

This could happen to you!

And have we mentioned the really cool things you get for supporting our project?  First and foremost, THE BOOK!: The Panda Chronicles Book 1: Your Brain on Pandas.  And then, there is the Bob T. Panda for President bumper sticker, which we hope to have ready for this fall, so you can pledge your allegiance to the BEAR!

And need we mention the 30 Days of Pandas Poster?

So if you haven’t signed on to the panda bus yet, there’s no time like the present!  If you already have, consider upping your pledge! An additional $5 added to…

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