“Adventure Is Calling II”

“Adventure Is Calling II” by Shane Black

Take another trip around the U.S. and parts of Canada through my eyes, with Adventure Is Calling II.

I was fortunate enough to spend several months this past summer traveling around the U.S. and parts of Canada, teaching workshops and shooting timelapse along the way. Since the trip was so similar to the year before, I thought it was fitting to dub this video as a sequel to Adventure Is Calling. This trip spanned just shy of 4 months, covered around 14,000 miles and led to this film, composed of nearly 20,000 still images.

It was so great getting so much feedback on the last video about how it inspired so many to get out, travel, and spend more nights under the stars. I hope this video will revamp those desires.

Special thanks to Arn Andersson for making an extended version of his song The Truth Beyond for me to use for this video. arnandersson.com

Editor’s Corner 101.30

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Loving Our Villains.

You learn eventually that, while there are no villains, there are no heroes either.
And until you make the final discovery that there are only human beings, who are therefore all the more fascinating, you are liable to miss something.
― Paul Gallico

Scribe smallOnce upon a time – at least according to popular culture – the world was a simpler place. There were white hats and black hats and we walked through life with the certain belief that, no matter how grim things got, good would emerge victorious in the end. It is a comfortable worldview, littered with archetypes and stereotypes. We need not look too deep within ourselves to know who merits cheers, who boos.


Empirically speaking, of course – and taking absolute nutters like Caligula out of the equation – villainy – and heroism – are much more situational qualities. Napoleon or Nelson, Pizarro or Atahualpa, Saladin or Richard I. Each has their supporters and detractors, with the balance tipped by the passage of years and history’s shifting tide. As Ian Fleming – a man who knew a good bad guy when he penned one – wrote, “History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.” [Casino Royal] True-life villains are characters of passion and action, with the sort of laser conviction that makes them heroes in their own minds and those of their minions. (One has only to look at the current American shame, aka the Republican Party, to see this playing out in real time.)


The best literary villains – nutters still excepted – have always been closer to this real-life model than to two-dimensional mustache-twirling brutes or murderous harridans. Shakespeare’s legion of dark characters (Macbeth, Richard III, Goneril, Tamora, Claudius, et al), Marlowe’s Barabas, Hugo’s Javert and Claude Frollo, Quilp, Moriarty, the list is long and colorful. A complicated age requires complicated characters; modern audiences demand more layered, multifaceted antagonists, people who flirt with the shadows, one foot in light, one in dark.Charles_Buchel_Sir_Herbert_Beerbohm_Tree_as_Shakespeare_s_Shylock moby-dick


It is from this ambiguity that we get characters who, though considered villains by previous generations, might be now seen as sympathetic, occasionally even heroic. Shylock, Dracula, Captain Nemo, Moby-Dick, even Milton’s Lucifer, each are characters with complicated pasts, complicated motives. Personally, I cheer for them all, cheated, abused, betrayed – human – as they are. Gregory Maguire (“Wicked,” “Confessions of a Ugly Stepsister”) has taken this one step further and made a career out of turning tales on their heads and showing us just how heroic some famous villains are. All depends on who is telling the story.


(It being the Month of the Dragon, I would be remiss not to at least mention one of the most maligned “villains” of all time: Dragons. Smaug, Fafnir, Smok, Beowulf’s Dragon, all are literary black-hats who, in actuality, are simply guarding their homes and property, avenging past wrongs, in short, defending themselves from those who, by virtue of comely looks and Homo sapien “superiority,” believed they had the right to take what they wanted, when they wanted and where. Dragons are different and what is different is easily feared and vilified.)


What is the role of an antagonist in an increasingly grey literary landscape? And how do we make them memorable? Your antagonist is the one who drives your story. They compel the protagonist into action, give them someone to rise against and outshine, to save the kingdom or rescue the lost. Without villains, our heroes would just be sitting at home, enjoying their boring lives. Villains make heroes great.


To make them memorable, we must write characters we like. Their hearts may be cold as Pluto’s core, but you, the author, have to like them. You want to write villains you’d enjoy inviting over diner (just be sure to lock up any stray firearms and hide the silver). You want people who not only have an interesting take on their world but who, despite their ethical flaws, can also be understood. As much as we might enjoy the occasional larger-than-life monster threatening cosmic devastation, the best antagonists are simply people who, when confronted with crucial choices, opt for the more sinister path. The more heinous a character’s actions, the more they need some spark deep in their background that holds the possibility of being just like us.


As their creators, we have to recognize this and tread joyfully in their shoes. Then, in inky Stetson or raspberry beret, our antagonists will be memorable and alive.

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest

“Things they don’t teach you at school…”

shadowspeak by jkmccormack (c) JkM 2013

“Shadowspeak” (c) jkm 2013

 “I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school.

They don’t teach you how to love somebody.

They don’t teach you how to be famous.

They don’t teach you how to be rich
or how to be poor.

They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone
you don’t love any longer.

They don’t teach you how to know
what’s going on in someone else’s mind.

They don’t teach you
what to say to someone who’s dying.

They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

“Letters to a Young Poet” [Part XXII of XXIX]

rainer maria rilke letters to a young poet COVER

“Letters to a Young Poet”

by Rainer Maria Rilke


Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 17th May 2015

RILKE Painting blond

(22nd week)

“what we call fate
does not come
into us
from the outside,
but emerges
from us.
It is only
because so many people
have not absorbed
and transformed
their fates
while they were living
in them
that they have not realized
what was emerging
from them;
it was so alien
to them
it was so alien
to them that,
in their confusion
and fear,
they thought
it must
have entered
at the very moment
they became aware of it,
for they swore
they had never before
found anything
like that
inside them.”

1 home large photo

One of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Homes

Dvorak, New World Symphony – 2nd Mvt Part 2,

Dublin Philharmonic, Conductor Derek Gleeson

* * * * * * *

“Secrets Running Scared”


Her blue car stands out in a herd of parked cars
All meant to be part of the congregation
The blue streaks inside memories gone past
Living within a hidden room closed in the mind

Secrets running scared not wanting daylight’s touch
The ink scurrying across the page away from forming truths
Fearing the emotions, recalling how close her body felt
She held me in her arms, a lasting time awakening touch

Confidence in retreat caressed by butterflies quieting the anxiety
Her voice electrifying the invisible space with lightning flashes
Frightening away the flesh eaters grabbing at skin, stealing the feelings
Dreams of truth haunting the recall, clouding the hidden shadows.

© jk 2015

#6 (c) jkm 2015

#6 (c) jkm 2015 “Blue”


“Wayward Pines”

A Small Screen Newcomer: “Wayward Pines” FOX coming in MAY 2015 [Reminiscent of “Twin Peaks”]

“Wayward Pines” Trailer – M. Night Shyamalan

“So, M. Night Shyamalan… WE MEET AGAIN! The last time we heard from old M. Night he was putting us through hell with After Earth, and three years before that he was putting us through hell with The Last Airbender, and, well, two years before that he was basically urinating all over our laps while laughing at us with The Happening. All this is to say it’s no small thing that we are excited about Wayward Pines, a new series about a Secret Service agent looking for two missing federal agents in the creepy-ass Idaho town of Wayward Pines. Mostly it’s this cast we can’t get over. It stars Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard and includes a knockout roster of character acting talent like Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, and Juliette Lewis. Considering Howard is very booked with Empire (also on Fox) and Lewis is coming up in the American remake of the show Secrets & Lies (an ABC program), it’s sort of weird that they are both here, but Fox is billing this as a “series event,” which means almost nothing. Is it a limited series? A mini-series? An M. Night-is-on-parole-till-he-proves-himself series? We just don’t know. But we are certainly very intrigued.” — WIRED

“My Bow Breathing”

VIOLENCE. FRONTAL NUDITY (male and partial female). I give it an R for the violence and M* for the Nudity. Meant for Teens and Adults. *Mature

Could it be the primitive side is just a dream where revenge and justice finds its way to the surface. Walk the path and breathe the breath of the Bow as you follow her on her path. Acting on every breath she takes. This film is intriguing and raises ethical questions. If based on a fictional story that is real, is she just, or is it her path that leads her in all the acts she performs. Gives one a puzzle and will awaken a reaction. What that will be depends on the viewer, I think.

Open up to full screen. Turn up the volume and get absorbed in the completeness of what you will see and experience with all your senses.

“This is a short film about a girl who’s trying to attune her breathing to the movements of her bow, arrow after arrow. But her sporting talent hides her need to retrieve a primitive, violent instinct, an archetype.”

“My Bow Breathing” “IL RESPIRO DELL’ARCO”

from Enrico Maria Artale

You better turn off the lights. And raise the volume!

The film makers first feature film premiered at Venice Film Festival. He is now working on a second feature film project related to this short.

FB page: facebook.com/pages/Il-Respiro-dellArco-My-Bow-Breathing/234801209875114

Film career highlights:
Tel Aviv Uni Film Fest – Best Film
Seminci Valladolid – Golden Spike for Best Short
Nastro d’Argento (Italian Film Critics Award) for Best Short
Locarno Film Festival – World Premiere
New York Film Festival – US Premiere
Broadcasted by Studio Universal