Nicholas Reicher

Writing Your Next Blockbuster Film or Novel

Category: News

Busy Time of Year!

Busy time of Year!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

This for me is a busy time of year. I’m hoping things will finally settle down soon, and I can get a lot of writing done. One of the first things I’d like is to get a lot of sample writing on this website! I’ve got what essentially is an entire book about 33% done. I’d like to get some sample scenes from my movie scripts up as well.
I just don’t have the time!

So I’m hoping that in two or three weeks, things will settle, and I’ll have time to work on everything. I need to get blog posts online, get a whole bunch of social media stuff prepped, etc.

It’s amazing to me how much time getting this website up and running really took. I’ve done web sites for years, and this one took far more time, because it’s the first time I’ve really had to mess with SEO, and getting images on a website, etc.

So bear with me! I’ll have something soon for you!

Updates

My web site has been around only for a few months, and I’ve got a lot of content on stuff that interests me, and hopefully one or two things that interest you?
I’ve also got a checklist of things to do.

Updates

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Moving To WordPress
Moving to WordPress has been a huge job. I must not have done it right, because it moved everything over – but it didn’t move ANYONE over who was subscribed to the blog! I can’t read and comment on your blog, if you don’t subscribe to this one!

I installed All In One SEO, and that has almost doubled the time it takes to get a blog post on-line. What is it? It is a Search Engine Optimization tool that allows me to enter meta-data for use with anyone copying an article to Facebook or Twitter, and also for what shows up in Google. The good part of All In One is I’m able to get myself higher in the search engines that way. The bad part is – it takes almost as much time to enter keywords and meta descriptions as it does to write the post! I still need to go back and add Meta’s to about 60% of my blog articles. How will anyone find my ramblings on Godzilla if I don’t’?

Adding Images
I’ve finally started getting images entered for every blog post. That was something I was delaying, because pure and simple, it adds yet another 5 minutes of work per blog post. When I once had a hobby blog, I could just write it up in Windows Live Writer and post away! Now, I write it in Scrivener, copy and paste to the website later on, tweak the formatting, enter keywords, enter SEO Keywords and Meta tags, and NOW I have to add an image!
Oh well. That’s what professionals have to do!

Photo Session
Need to get some photographs of myself on the website, and edit the website header image to include a picture of me. Not for me, I know what I look like, but it’s the professional thing to do. Done!

Social Media
So far, I’ve got my Twitter account set up. Still need a Facebook and LinkedIn.

These are my big to-do’s… what’s yours?

Short Story Still in the Works

Haven’t forgotten! I’m so desperately swamped with work, and trying to get my writing done! This is a busy time of year for my job – and right now I can’t take the time away from my script work to write a short story!
I should be done by Thanksgiving with the script work, and can take a week to bash out a short story! In the meantime, I’ll try to get some more excerpts on-line!

…oh, photos coming soon.

Free Seminar!

No, it’s not mine…. There’s a free seminar tomorrow by Michael Hyatt – by complete coincidence, it’s the one I missed!

7 STEPS TO FASTER AUDIENCE GROWTH

How to Build an Engaged Online Following
in Just 30 Minutes a Day

https://platformuniversity.com/webinar/

Join me tomorrow! There are three to choose from (I’m not teaching it, I’m just part of it!)

How to use Evernote Templates

A few months ago, I took a Michael Hyatt Seminar on-line. They’re free, and he gives you a LOT of information for free. So he tries to sell you something at the end, big deal. Michael is up front about that, and he works from the concept that to sell it, he must believe in it. Michael will not trade integrity for cash. If he recommends something, it’s something he uses and believes in.
One of the things he recommended was Evernote. I was already using Onenote, and it was good. I just didn’t see what benefits I’d get from trading to another note-taking program. Well, I very quickly found out!

What are Templates?
Evernote doesn’t really have templates, the way other programs do. However, Evernote users found a way to do them, and the Evernote people shrugged, and began to offer templates themselves!

How to use the Templates

To have Templates, just create a notebook and call it “templates”. Drag it to the toolbar to have a quick access shortcut to it (this is helpful!).
Now, add anything you repeatedly have to type or format into the templates notebook.
Download some of the templates offered by Evernote users and by Evernote into the Templates.
All you have to do now is click the toolbar hyperlink to your Templates, and scroll until you find the one you’re looking for. RIGHT CLICK on the template and choose “copy to notebook”.
Go to that notebook, and re-title the template. You now have a ready to use Evernote file filled with whatever text you repeatedly have to type!

I’ve done this for movie scripts, novel outlines, and journal entries. I found a Blog template, but it didn’t suit my needs, so I made my own. I prefer to blog inside Scrivener for many reasons, but you may find that Evernote is your perfect tool for blogging.

Conclusion

Using Evernote templates has helped me to keep my work systematic, and saves me quite a bit of time of typing or formatting. Every minute you save doing repetitive tasks can be used elsewhere. Save yourself time, stress and frustration by letting these tips work for you!

Survival in Catastrophic Conditions

Recent Events have shown me that after years of different survival TV shows, most people still have no idea how to survive a catastrophic storm. To hear that people drowned in their cars recently in Houston shows me that most people still have no idea what to do in a survival situation. Well, in addition to having been part of the Les Stroud on-line community when he first started out, I’ve ended up being a survival expert just from the research I had to do in my first novel! So, I’m going to give some pointers here, and I’d like my fellow survivalists to chime in!

Warning: Really long post! Clip this with Evernote for later study if you’re in a hurry. Print this out,and put in your emergency supply kit in a waterproof plastic sandwich bag.

Survival is about not dying. Let’s get that straight. When you’re in the midst of a hurricane, tornado, wild fire, earthquake, tsunami, the point is SURVIVE.Your possessions at that point merely are tools that will help you stay alive or not. The autographed Elvis print? If you can’t use that for survival, FORGET IT. LEAVE IT.

I say this because people will run into a burning house to grab keepsakes. I ran into a burning apartment once, to grab my neighbor who went back in to save some keepsakes, and physically dragged her outside. If I hadn’t done it, she wouldn’t be alive today – because everything literally went up in flames a second later.

Once you hit catastrophic conditions, everything is reduced to “how will this keep me alive?”

Floods

Let’s talk about the floods in Houston. Houston was running a campaign prior to the storm “turn around – don’t drown.” BEST advice I’ve ever heard. DO NOT DRIVE INTO STANDING WATER. It will ruin your car. Even if you slam on the brakes and try backing up, some idiot in a stomper truck will barrel past you, create a wave that lifts your Grand Marquis up and dump it right into the middle of the deepest part. I know, it happened to me once.

If it happens, look at your car. It’s gone (my Marquis survived actually, but that had to be a miracle). Get out, go to safety. If the wind is high, you need anchoring. If you’re one of those people with a flannel shirt, a man bun and a paracord wrist band – guess what? You’ve got the tool on your wrist to get out alive. Fasten the paracord to the steering wheel, loop it through your belt loops and tie it. Open the door (if you can, if not it’s the window). Crawl out, and wade FACING the direction of moving water. Right foot to left in a sliding motion. If running water is up to mid-shin, it’s enough to sweep you off your feet. Use peripheral vision to get to safety.
Power windows, and the door won’t open? Two words.. Rear view mirror. Take your shoe off, and hammer the rear view mirror sideways until it breaks off. Now turn, hit your driver’s side window with the mirror until it breaks. Clear out as much glass as you can, take the floor mat and lay it across the window. Climb out. (if you have a knife, the pommel end will break it. If you’re an ultimate survivalist, you probably have an ASP, and stopped reading this two paragraphs ago!)

No paracord? Change that. Get some. But for now, use some of the glass from the mirror to cut all the seat-belts in the car loose, and use that to make your safety line. Nobody in Houston should have drowned.

Tsunami.

Here’s a simple rule – get to high ground. Life saving advice. Don’t try to out run it, out climb it. Here’s your first hint. If you’re on a beach, and the waves start pulling back… RUN. RUN RUN RUN!!!! Get to high ground FAST. If you can make it to your car, forget the speed limit. GO GO GO. In the Christmas Tsunami years ago, people actually walked out on the beach leisurely as the water began to recede hundreds of yards. Every one of them died. Most tsunamis don’t look like anything until you’re being swept across the ground, and it’s too late at that point.
If you DO get in the water, here’s the only thing that’s going to save you. Pull your knees up to your chest. If you can, turn your body to go feet first. Get your head above the water, and keep it there. Angle yourself slightly to get swept towards the sides. GRAB something and pull yourself out of the water. Don’t rely on your hands… they’ll be chilled and too weak, and possibly broken after a minute. BEAR HUG is the technique to use to grab something. Pull yourself up. GET OUT OF THE WATER! You probably will have broken bones by the time you get out. Find something, anything to wrap yourself in, even if it’s tearing wallpaper off a wall, extra clothes, anything. You’re going to start going into shock from the injuries you just went through, so the most important thing is to heat up your core. Some people recommend walking rapidly to prevent chilled blood from your extremities rushing back into your heart.

Hurricanes

I’ve endured plenty of category one hurricanes. There’s three common forms of death from them – drowning, flying debris, electric shock. Yes, people can die in a category one hurricane. Nobody should, but they do.
Storm surge is the number one killer. See Tsunami’s above. DO NOT sit in your car in rising waters and panic. PANIC IS THE REAL KILLER. Take a deep breath, understand youre in survival mode, switch gears NOW, and GET OUT OF THE CAR. See above.
Flying Debris. I know, we all want to say, “Yeah, I stood out in the middle of the storm.” We all think of doing it because we see those reporters standing out in it. What you don’t see is they usually pick a spot where they’re shielded from a lot of the wind, so flying debris doesn’t hit them. A license plate flying at 75 miles an hour will embed itself in your scalp just nicely. Not hit you and keep going (that requires stitches, it’s an emergency, and if you try to tough it out, you may bleed to death), but EMBED. As in, stuck in your head. If you see ANY stuff flying around, DO NOT GO OUT THERE! Category Two hurricanes can propel simple litter like soda cans at speeds that can be life threatening in the right circumstances – like if it lifted on floating water, and a gust catches the open mouth of it. ZZZING!!!! It’s like a baseball flying through the air. Most of the time they go rolling across the ground, but once I’ve seen them take off like a missile! Because… I went outside in a Category One hurricane!
Anyone who wants to go outside in a Category Three hurricane should go ahead and do it, and remove stupidity from the gene pool. A lot of people laughed at Stormchaser Jeff during the Houston hurricane, but he was trying to show you how drastic and dangerous a Category 4 hurricane really is – something not often filmed.
If the police tell you there’s an evacuation, take it seriously. If they hand you a sharpie and tell you to write your name on your arm, there’s a reason – they want to be able to identify your body. Don’t be an idiot, pack up and go.
Electrocution. Power lines tear loose all the time in hurricanes. Just because all the power is out in that area, don’t assume the line is! People walk into water where power lines are, and drop where they are as their heart stops. Make a wide detour around all power lines. Avoid driving over them if possible.

When you decide to bug out in a hurricane, that’s when you understand what a BOB is. That’s bug out bag. Everyone needs to have a bug out bag and survival supplies pre-packed. Survival shelves in your house? Useless. Keep everything in water proof plastic tubs, and at least one backpack. If you have to abandon your car in rising flood waters, the backpack will go with you. The tubs, you may not be able to rescue.
Wear Warm clothing. Better to get a little bit warm when you’re evacuating than comfortable. Why? If you don’t make it, now the warm layers will keep your dry-er. Plastic rain ponchos should be in every bug out bag – because in almost every major catastrophe, it seems to be raining at the time.
Bugging out when the hurricane gets there is too late. Better the day before. Figure out which route everyone is going, and plan on a different one. This may be a life saver! How many people die on the highway? Well, none. But traffic jams are stressful.
Pack your car with everything you need. Money, credit cards, important papers in plastic sandwich bags. Weapons and ammo if necessary. Medicines. Food. Clothes. Food. Water. Survival tools. Food. Cat food. Pet carriers (by the way, don’t be bashful about buying a dog carrier if you have more than one cat – they’ll be together, and their combined body heat will protect them better).
I use those metal water bottles all the time, with the annoying clip on the lid. If I had to bug out, those clips can hang from a belt, or a backpack.
You should make it a priority to raid Walmarts and buy sleeping bags, a tent, all survival tools you can get your hands on. Amazon sells Mountain Home and other “72 hour meal packs”. By the way, examine those carefully. I think that those 72 hour kits are a little light to last 72 hours!
Learn to read a compass.
Learn to read a map.
Carry a map with you – don’t assume you’ll always have your phone!
Look into wristwatch style GPS.
Plastic tarp is killer.
You can never have too much rope.
You can never have too many flashlights
You can never have too many knives.
Two is one, one is none. I’ve got three different ways to make fires. Swiss Army knife, pocket knife, multitool, folding saw… you’d think I have enough ways to cut things. From my estimation, a pocket knife is insufficient. A knife in a sheath with a blade longer than 4 inches can truly save your life. No kidding, one of the Les Stroud or Bear Grylls survival knives should be in every emergency kits. Hey, even one of those Rambo knives!
Folding shovel.
Shemagh.
Hatchet or axe.
Signal flasher mirror.
Whistle.
Collapsible water bags.
5 person tent (Coleman is a good choice).
Water bottles.

A funny thing happened to me a year ago… the Quest pipe in my house burst, and flooded my house. The repair men who helped afterwards all remarked I was the first person they’d seen with an emergency kit. Literally this means, I would be the only person out of all the people they’d helped in the past to survive catastrophic disasters. I had lots of bottle water, canned foods, a Swiss Army Mess Kit (Truly a lifesaver… we’ve used it a dozen times).
Baofeng UM5VR 2 way radios. technically, these are for FCC licensed persons ONLY – but if you start scanning frequencies and hear Hams chatting and you’re in an Emergency, do this… click the talk button and say “BREAK BREAK BREAK Emergency Traffic.”
No kidding, the Hams are required by law to help. They’ll want to know who you are, where you are, how many, is there anyone hurt, are you in immediate life threatening danger…. While you’re telling them this, someone’s logging it (FCC Law requires it be logged) and the Hams will contact rescue and send people your way. Many Hams are actually members of CERT and ARES, and have had emergency response training. No kidding, police have ended up relying on them in many emergencies, because their radios are finely tuned to proprietary frequencies, and they can’t alter those. But Hams obsess about making sure if they are licensed to talk on a frequency, they have to have the equipment for it.

After the Hurricane:

This may not seem like an emergency, but up to three days after a hurricane there’s often freak flooding. Cities sometimes go as much as 14 to 17 feet underwater. Rising water is not an annoyance, it’s a life threatening emergency. Treat it as such and you will live. Ignore it, and you may die.

Fires.

When wild fires are on their way to your house, it’s time to go. If you can see the smoke, it’s time to stop worrying about the Elvis autograph. It’s time to get your survival stuff, your pets, and GO. If you’ve got lawn sprinklers, kick them on and GO. Don’t wait to see if you’re homeless.
If you see the fire… Get all synthetic fiber clothing off of you. Better to get burns on bare skin than artificial fibers that will melt onto you and keep burning you long after you’re out of danger. Better yet, wear wool, cotton, denim all the time. Polyester is death. Drop everything and RUN. If roads are clear, drive fast, but be prepared to get out of your car and run if necessary.
If you have to run… GET WET. Get your hair and body soaked. The fires can leap ahead of you. The best thing really is wet mud. Get your hair and body soaked and covered in dripping wet mud. A Shemagh over your mouth, soaked with water, will keep the smoke inhalation down to a minimum. Squint your eyes (sunglasses will help) and RUN. Do not run INTO flames that are higher than mid shin. Pick the route that’s the clearest (duh advice) and RUN. Do not stop! Stop means die.
When safe, if you’re burning, STOP DROP ROLL. Best done in water if you can. Keep rolling until you are 100% sure the flames are out. Dust bath your hair if you have any left.
You may need extensive care in an ICU Burn Unit, but you’re alive. People that run back in for the Elvis autograph died.

Earthquakes

Get outside. Better under a table than a doorway. I know we’ve all heard doorway, but in the last 40 years, more contractors skimp on building codes than they’ll admit. Doorways now collapse. Better to get outside. Middle of the street is best. Never assume the earthquake is done shaking.

Volcano.

You may laugh… but there’s a lot more volcanoes in the United States than most people know. I’m an amateur vulcanologist, and I can say… yup. One area I target as a disaster waiting to happen is in Washington State. You know those mountains you see on the coast?
They’re not mountains.
Two months after those go off, we’ll all be buying Macs. Because Microsoft has its office right under one of the biggest sleeping giant volcanoes in the United States (Mt. Ranier). With a blocked cone.

Meaning that when it goes off, it’s going to create a pyroclastic flow event. If you live in Washington State and you hear that any of the mountains just erupted, get to the ocean as fast as you can and start swimming. 20 feet offshore will be safe from the gases from the pyroclastic flow. Ask Pliny the elder. He was six feet closer to the shore than Pliny the Younger. Younger Pliny lived, Dad didn’t.
Don’t assume that all volcanos do the famous Strombolian fireworks and lava.Yes, you could outrun most of Kilauea slow moving lava. But most Volcanoes don’t do that. Some do pyroclastic flow (superheaed ash), some do laharrs (superheated mudflows, like Mt. St. Helens), and a few just do ugly things like…. Blow up. Like Krakatau did. BOOM.
Sinabung, one of my favorite volcanoes to watch, is going to do that someday. BOOM. And nothing left. The cone keeps plugging itself and collapsing when it erupts.

Snow

Snow, meaning blizzards, is one of those “stay or go” questions. You are safer with your car unless it’s buried. Hopefully you have that Baofeng and a cell phone. Call someone. Now, if you’re miles from someplace, and you have no food or water, here’s where the decision gets made for you. GO THE DIRECTION YOU CAME FROM. Hopefully, you know where you are, have a compass and a map. Get your shoes off, stuff anything cotton like a handkerchief into the sox, put your shoes back on. If you have plastic bags, put them on over your shoes.
Go the way you came. You know you came from somewhere! Forwards is not always the best solution, unless you know for a fact you are only a mile away from the destination. Wrap in layers. Take clothes off as you start getting warm. Wind is the killer, not snow. Snow is actually a good insulator, unless its mixed with ice.
The most dangerous situation is walking across a snow field that’s dry powdery snow on top of a frozen layer. If the field of snow is on a 14 degree pitch, stop, wait until noon, THEN walk. I’m not kidding. That’s how avalanches start.
If of course the field of snow above you is well… two inches higher, then you’re fine. Keep walking. (how would you know if it’s a 14 degree pitch? If you can’t estimate well… and who can? Carry a protractor in your car!).
Do not eat the snow. Scoop it into a bottle and hold it in your armpit. It will melt the snow. You still get dehydrated in the cold.

Rule of thumb… overheated, get wet, spread your arms and legs away from your body.
Freezing… get dry. Pull arms and legs up to your core.

I know some of you have things to add… chime in and add your own survival hints! What are must have items in your BOB? What did I forget and leave out?

My Polls!

If you go to the categories section on this page (right hand side), you’ll see a category marked “polls”. These are important for me, as it helps me to know how to connect with my readers, what they like, what social media they use, etc.
Right now I’ve got two polls on “What kind of fiction do you like?” and “Which logo do you like?” These are of course important, as it helps me to know 1). What you want to read and 2). If a logo gets more votes, I’m going to use that logo on all my social media, business cards, letterheads, folios, website, etc. I’m not adding polls just to get interaction (although that’s certainly a plus!).
Your answer helps me to know how best to serve you. Won’t you please help out?
Thanks!

Oh, and I’m under 200 words, and Scrivener is telling me I’m not done. But the color indicator in this case (see yesterday) is to tell me when to STOP, not when to keep going!

Still working on a short story!

I’m a trifle busy lately, and I’m really trying to make a dent in a million projects. It’s working, but my oft-promised short stories for this blog still haven’t really materialized.

I’m working on it! Promise!

Evernote!

While I’m out and about, or at my day job (which of course, I’m praying I’ll be free of by this time next year, as I get my first book published and my first screenplay sold and I’m VERY BUSY this time next year, scoping out possible houses to buy in New England)…. I often am jotting down a MILLION notes, thoughts, scene fragments, and to-do’s on any available piece of paper.

I have a notebook for that purpose, but sometimes I’m somewhere without the notebook, and I get an idea.

Write it down.

Up until now, I’ve used a very cool program called “Notebrowser” to keep track, and Cintanotes before that. Last year, my new Dell laptop (replacing several years’ reliance upon bloated HP computers) came with OneNote. I moved to that immediately. Indeed, I began going into Notebrowser and finally cleaning it out, with the intention of deleting it.

Of course, the need to get 1,667 to 3,000 words a day into my books puts an effective barrier into that.

So, I liked OneNote, but I didn’t like that it was a full screen app, and not a program. It made it VERY difficult to use it effectively.

Recently I discovered that the OneNote I had wasn’t the full program, but rather a “lite” version from the Windows App store, installed as a factory setting with Windows 8.1… More on that later

So, since I took a Michael Hyatt webinar recently, he pushed of course Scrivener and Evernote. Scrivener I’m already a believer in. I downloaded Evernote during the webinar,, but I didn’t install it for a couple of days.

A couple of days ago, i installed it, and began to play around with it. I resolved to move everything instead over to Evernote, and installed the “Clipper” function in my Opera browser. Now, I can directly store things into it. Normally, I print to PDF, but the Evernote way has an advantage… I can find it quicker.

The concept of notebooks and stacks was easy to figure out, by thinking of a stack as a multi-subject notebook, and the notebooks as the individual subject sections.

Ta-da!

MUCH easier. Now, supposedly, I can scan or take pictures of all my handwritten notes, and Evernote will OCR them – in other words, read them and copy it into Evernote, allowing me to delete the images.

But since I suddenly came up with an idea of a kid’s book, my odd little sketches of strange little animals won’t get deleted or thrown away any longer!

Sorry about the copyright notice

I know it’s a little large. I’ll try to remove whatever I legally can so all the text isn’t

squashed

to

one

word

wide.

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